Kerry's Was Harsher by Far

Whatever the fascination with the MSM today was with the fact that Kerry and Edwards both gave speeches yesterday assailing Bush, is beyond me. Instead of reporters reporting on each of the stories, it seemed as though there was a race to team them up again, or to pit them against each other. No need to do either, in my opinion. They are each making their own mark in their own ways, and saying things that Americans long to hear.

The WaPo has an interesting assessment of both speeches yesterday, noting that “Kerry’s was harsher by far”. Here’s a couple of quips:

President Bush came under withering criticism for his handling of Hurricane Katrina yesterday, with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) charging that the storm exposed the administration’s incompetence and ideological blinders and former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) asserting that even in its response, the administration backs policies that support the privileged over the working poor.

Of the speeches delivered yesterday by the Democrats’ 2004 ticket, Kerry’s was harsher by far, and it drew a sharp rebuttal from the Republican National Committee’s Tracey Schmitt.

Dan Balz of the WaPo notes that Kerry and Edwards speeches “followed pointed comments along the same lines by former president Bill Clinton, who criticized the administration’s response to the storm Sunday” on ABC’s “This Week.” Was Balz inferring that Kerry and Edwards were following Clintons lead? Hardly…

CBS News Senior Political Editor Dotty Lynch points out that “while at first blush these speeches might appear to be a coordinated Democratic attack on the President, the former running mates and their staffs engaged in a bit of jockeying for attention to their remarks.”

The Kerry camp took pains to alert reporters that Kerry would also be speaking on Monday although at Brown University in Rhode Island three hours after Edwards in Washington, Lynch reports.

Kerry aide David Wade said in an e-mail said that Kerry would be “provocative” and that while “this forum has been long on the schedule… as he thought about the meaning of Katrina, John Kerry threw way his original text and rewrote his speech to lay out what he believes is the challenge for America after Katrina.”

I was told yesterday that Kerry worked for days fine-tuning his speech. Whatever was in the original text that he threw away… we’ll never know. But we do know this, John Kerry delivered one heck of a hard hitting speech today that will not soon be forgotten.

Kerry said in his speech “over the next weeks” he will be addressing some of the “fundamental choices” that we face as we “step up and define ourselves again.”

That definition was clear when Kerry said, “I still believe America’s destiny is to become a living testament to what free human beings can accomplish by acting in unity.”

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8 Responses to Kerry's Was Harsher by Far

  1. Teresa says:

    Very, very good. Energetic, exciting, hopeful, dynamic article. Just what he is. You can feel the energy.

    I like this:
    “Although Kerry answered questions about a second run for president by saying he hasn’t “made any decisions about my future,” he teased one student questioner by asking “are you willing to take a year off and work like hell” for the campaign? When the young man answered, “yes,” Kerry responded with a noncommittal, “then I’ll consider it.”

    He’s running.

  2. KJ says:

    “The single most effective, fastest way to get change in this country — and not enough people buy into this — is to go out and organize in an election. Take over a City Council, take over a school board, run people for those offices, become involved in their campaigns.”
    ~~John Kerry via The Pawtucket Times

    Yep. 🙂 That reminds me, I need to go bother one of the local judges again and remind him that several of us want his wife to run for state rep. Last time I talked to him was two weeks ago.

    I love John Kerry.

  3. joe says:

    Get out there John!!!

    quite a speech!

  4. KJ says:

    Okay, well, talked to the folks at the courthouse, the Judge was out. It looks like it’s going to be a hard sell to get his wife to run, which is an extreme bummer. One of the women asked me to run, I laughed. This is really too bad… I’ll have to stop by again when the Judge is in.

  5. Nick says:

    “Whether it’s race-based or not, if you give your tax cuts to the rich and hope everything works out all right, and poverty goes up, and it disproportionately affects black and brown people, that’s a consequence of the action made,” he said. “That’s what they did in the ’80s; that’s what they’ve done in this decade. In the middle, we had a different policy.”
    Bill Clinton

    God I hate that no good sonofabitch. This asshole cut capitol gains taxes for the wealthy in 1997 while cutting Medicaid, not to mention other parts of the social safety net. Even Clinton’s own CEA chair criticized the capitol gains cut as helping prime the bubble and contributing to growing income inequality.
    Even after the enactment of CHIP its scope was so limited by CLinton (who ignored Teddy Kennedy’s and Orrin Hatch’s fight for inclusion of CHIP) that the number and percent of children actually went UP in the late 1990s. Robert Byrd was right in 2001: When asked what Clinton’s legacy was he responded “Republican control of the House, Republican control of the Senate, Republican control of the Presidency.”
    And don’t give me this crap that Clinton somehow deserves credit for the deop in teen pregnancy in the 1990s. Teen pregnancy rate have actually been dropping most years since 1957, its just that yesterday’s married 18 yr. old is today’s unmarried 16 year old. 25% of babies born in 1990 were illegitimate. 30% of those born in 2000 were. Should I blame Clinton for that.
    But what about the wonderful economy of the Clinton years? Funny you asked. According to economist/journalist William Grieder (and the US Census) median household income adjusted for inflation was no higher in 1998 than its previous peak in 1989. After a brief trip over the 1989 high in 1999, median household incomes stagnated in 2000, despite the fact that Americans (who in the 1970s worked an average of 40 hrs. a week) were now working an average of 50! hours a week in the 1990s. The percent of Americans that were underinsured or uninsured increased over the course of the decade of the 1990s, as did the gap between the rich and poor and the gap between the rich and middle class.
    The rich poor gap was closing from 1900 to 1920, and after an incrase in the 1920s and former half of the 30s, it declined until the 1970s, when the decline stagnated and then reversed in the 1980s. In hte 1990s, the growing gap grew pell-mell. Yes Clinton raised the top income tax rate, the EITC, and the minimum wage a bit-but so did BUSH SR. And CLinton’s slashing of the social safety net (albiet with more than a little help from a GOP Congress that rode to power on disaffection with Clinton in 1994) and his cuts in taxes on wealth served merely to confirm, not reject the Reagan Revolution. Apparenly Dubya ain’t the only baby boomer president who favored “work over wealth” to quote John Edwards.
    By the way was the “Clinton boom” built on sound economic policy? Or was it a bubble whose bursting hurt millions of Americans? Hint: it’s not Option 1. Yes Dubya did nothing about the economic downturn, and indeed pursued policies that made it worse. But in retrospect it can be seen that the economy of the 90s was a bubble that mostly benefited the rich whose bubble bursting hurt the middle class (and the poor) the most. On domestic policy, Clinton was almost a modern day Harding and Coolidge (with a little more compassion and without the sex in the closet that Harding has become known for). Hoover has been rediscovered in the form of Dubya. Does anybody know of any modern day FDRs out there. Ya know, someone with a more egalitarian outlook? I can think of a few, but I’ll let others fill in the blanks.

  6. Nick says:


    Should’ve been that Clinton favored “wealth over work” not “work over wealth,” the latter phrase more aptly describes Kerry, Gephardt, and Edwards, (and a number of Dems) NOT Clinton.