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Kerry's speech tells half of story (guilty of grave sins of omission)
Buffalo News ^ | 7/31/04 | Jerry Zremski

Posted on 08/02/2004 8:17:53 PM PDT by Libloather

Kerry's speech tells half of story
By Jerry Zremski

News Washington correspondent Jerry Zremski analyzes and fact-checks what was said during Thursday's prime-time television coverage of the Democratic National Convention.


WASHINGTON - In accepting the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. John F. Kerry was eloquent, passionate and presidential - and guilty of grave sins of omission.

He didn't explain his position on Iraq. He vowed to cut the deficit without explaining how. And Kerry's 5,310-word speech included only 73 words about his 19-year Senate career.

That's what pundits noted Friday when asked to square Kerry's speech with reality.

"It was an upbeat, positive speech," said James Campbell, a political scientist at the University at Buffalo who noted a disconnect between Kerry's rhetoric and his record.

By emphasizing his military service in Vietnam and his promises to build a safer, stronger America, Kerry ignored his record of opposing many new weapons systems over the years, said Campbell, a Republican.

"It's about as far as I've seen anybody go," he said. "It's borderline dishonest."

Campbell took issue with Kerry's comments on the Iraq war, in which he said: "I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war."

Kerry never mentioned that he voted for the Iraq war.

"Kerry said he would demand more hard evidence (before going to war) as president - but why didn't he do it when he was a senator?" Campbell asked.

Kerry said he would "bring allies to our side and share the burden" in Iraq, but he never said how long American troops would be in Iraq, or how many might be needed there.

"I don't think he could do that," said Kevin Hardwick, a political scientist at Canisius College. "He was wise not to."

After all, Hardwick noted, if Kerry offered solutions to the Iraq situation now, they could come back to haunt him if the situation changed.

Hardwick said it is easier for politicians to offer concrete answers on domestic issues.

However, Harry Zeeve, national field director for the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, said Kerry promised to cut the federal deficit in half in four years without explaining how he would do it.

Kerry made some expensive promises, most notably a tax credit to help people pay for health insurance, and said he would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for them.

He is relying on unspecified spending cuts to trim the deficit. "Neither Kerry nor (President) Bush have set out a hard-choices agenda for which programs they would cut," Zeeve said.

And while Kerry vowed to protect Social Security benefits, he offered no plan to deal with the crisis that will befall the program when baby boomers retire in large numbers, Zeeve said.

As for his Senate record, Kerry only briefly mentioned his penchant for budget-cutting, his fight for putting more police on the streets, and his effort to normalize relations with Vietnam.

"He wasn't invoking his Senate voting record," wrote Peter Jackson of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, on the center's web site. "Why would he?"

Jackson noted that the National Journal, a Washington magazine, showed that Kerry's Senate voting record put him far to the left of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, his Massachusetts colleague.

"In this age of sound bites, it is a foregone conclusion that his opponents will make use of that line and ask voters, "Seriously, judge him by his record,' " Jackson said.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boston; dncconvention; grave; guilty; half; kerry; omission; rats; sins; speech; story; tells
"Seriously, judge him by his record..."

That pesky record. Maybe it'll come up during the debates...

1 posted on 08/02/2004 8:17:56 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: Libloather
Kerry made some expensive promises, most notably a tax credit to help people pay for health insurance, and said he would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for them.

Yeah. Apparently, the magical Money Fairy is going to flit down from the puffy white clouds up above, and just hand him the money necessary. :)

2 posted on 08/02/2004 8:21:19 PM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (I feel more and more like a revolted Charlton Heston, witnessing ape society for the very first time)
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To: Libloather
Kerry's whole speech sounded like it was of the Sunday morning "talking heads".I heard a whole lot of "i would do it different", without any how it would be done.One exception were his comments on health care tax breaks.I read that as "I will not tax you I'll tax the evil (read that as rich) people to pay for your insurance".Amazingly enough he voted down incentives for companies to help provide group health care, must be because he thought it was a tax cut huh?Cant be voting for any tax cuts now can he! W
3 posted on 08/02/2004 8:29:25 PM PDT by TazforPrez
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To: Libloather

Kerry also said in his schpeech that the current administrations policies in Iraq are encouraging more terrorist activity....

Now isn't that just a little seditious ?

4 posted on 08/02/2004 8:33:15 PM PDT by Freesofar ( No one ever wants to go to war,.... But " when we have to" is a matter of policy)
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To: Freesofar

Are you sure its not Kerry's penchant for flip-flopping that is encouraging terrorists to this they have nothing to fear in his Administration?? ;-)

5 posted on 08/03/2004 4:39:00 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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