Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Kerry's got a summit: It's summit for everyone
Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | October 3, 2004 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 10/02/2004 7:50:47 PM PDT by Caged in Canuckistan

Kerry's got a strategy: it's summit for everyone By Mark Steyn (Filed: 03/10/2004)

Those of us who've been sweet on George W Bush for a long time have got used to these moments. In Thursday night's televised debate with John Kerry, he wasn't wrong on the substance, he just didn't have enough of it.

He was in the same state he was in in early 2003, just before launching the Iraq war, when he was tired and punchy and stumbling round the country not making a case against Saddam but just droning the same phrases over and over: "He's a dictator." Smirk. "He gassed his own people." Smirk.

On Thursday, his own people seemed to have gassed him. Bush droned, repeatedly, that Kerry was sending "mixed messages", but his own message could have done with being a little less robotically unmixed. He said: "It's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard - and it's hard work. It is hard work," again and again, round in circles.

And it is, no doubt. It's tough and it's hard work and it's incredibly hard doing the title number of Singin' in the Rain, but Gene Kelly made it seem blithe and effortless and graceful.

And the President of the United States owes his people a performance - in wartime especially. Churchill didn't just communicate the weight of the burden that he carried but also that he had the strength to bear it.

But who needs Churchill? It's not just that Tony Blair or John Howard of Australia could have done the job much more convincingly. Almost any of us armchair warriors could have put down John Kerry's feeble generalisations better than Bush did.

And yes, it's true, if you hadn't been following the election campaign closely till Thursday night, Senator Kerry wasn't as pompous or as boring or even as orange as some of us had led you to believe (his sudden tan had been much remarked on in the days beforehand) - though his lipstick was a slightly distracting shade and he would have been better advised to ease up on what was either his simultaneous signing for the deaf or an amusing impression of the stewardess pointing out the track lighting to the emergency doors. Perhaps the hand movements were just to show off the manicure he'd had during the day, while Bush was out putting his arms round Florida's hurricane victims.

But none of that matters. If John Kerry is so polished and eloquent and forceful and mellifluous, how come nobody has a clue what his policy on Iraq is? As he made clear on Thursday, Saddam was a growing threat so he had to be disarmed so Kerry voted for war in order to authorise Bush to go to the UN but Bush failed to pass "the global test" so we shouldn't have disarmed Saddam because he wasn't a threat so the war was a mistake so Kerry will bring the troops home by persuading France and Germany to send their troops instead because he's so much better at building alliances so he'll have no trouble talking France and Germany into sending their boys to be the last men to die for Bush's mistake.

Have I got that right?

Oh, and he'll call a summit. "I have a plan to have a summit. I'm going to hold that summit. We can be successful in Iraq with a summit. The kind of statesman-like summits that pull people together." Summit old, summit new, summit borrowed, summit blue, he's got summit for everyone. Summit-chanted evening, you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger across a crowded room. But, in John Kerry's world, there are no strangers, just EU Deputy Defence Ministers who haven't yet contributed 10,000 troops because they haven't been invited to a summit. And once John Kerry holds that summit all our troubles are over.

Having met him, I'm sceptical of Kerry's extraordinarily high valuation of his personal charm. But the notion that he'll be able to bring the French on board would seem to be at odds with Jean-Pierre Rafarin, the French prime minister's aside to a representative of Le Figaro the other day that "the Iraqi insurgents are our best allies". In a summit showdown between Chirac and Rafarin on the one hand and Kerry on the other, I bet on the Gallic weasels.

In his pre-baked soundbite of the night, Kerry said: "Well, you know, when I talked about the $87 billion, I made a mistake in how I talk about the war. But the President made a mistake in invading Iraq. Which is worse?"

Interesting question. The play-by-play pundits thought it brilliant, but I beg to differ. It would have been a better line if he'd said: "But the President's made a mistake in how he's fighting this war. Which is worse?" There may be a majority that thinks post-Saddam Iraq has been screwed up; there's not a clear, exploitable majority that thinks toppling Saddam was a disaster, and Kerry can't build one in the next month.

But it would still have been a lousy line for this reason: "Talking about" stuff is all Kerry's got. He has no executive experience, he has never run a state, never founded a company, built a business, made payroll. Post-Vietnam, all he's done is talk and vote. For 20 years in the US Senate: talk, vote, talk, vote. So, if his talking and voting are wrong, what else is there?

Speaking as a third-rate hack, I'd say that as a general rule articulacy is greatly over-rated. But, if articulacy is the measure, how come Kerry can't articulate an Iraq policy any of us can understand? By contrast, for an inarticulate man, Bush seems to communicate pretty clearly.

He communicates the reality of the September 12th world, a world where you can't afford to err on the side of multilateral consensus and Hague-approved legalisms and transatlantic chit-chatting and tentativeness and faintheartedness about the projection of American power in America's interest. Mr Kerry thinks he can rebuild the polite fictions of September 10.

A majority of the American people - albeit not as big a majority as it ought to be - gets this. John Kerry still does not. Which means he lost the debate. He got a technical win on points from the pundits, but this election won't be won on points. It's primal. The pundits keep missing this.

They thought Kerry was good in the debate, just as he was good in his convention speech, because on both occasions he was tactically artful. But that's not going to cut it. We're post-Clinton: you can't triangulate your way to victory.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: firstdebate; kerry; kerryforeignpolicy; steyn
Forgive me if this has already been posted, but I think Steyn really nailed the debate. Enjoy!
1 posted on 10/02/2004 7:50:47 PM PDT by Caged in Canuckistan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

Darn, the title is supposed to be: "Kerry's got a strategy: It's summit for everyone"


2 posted on 10/02/2004 7:52:40 PM PDT by Caged in Canuckistan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan
This has got to make its way into a Bush ad soon:

Jean-Pierre Rafarin, the French prime minister's aside to a representative of Le Figaro the other day that "the Iraqi insurgents are our best allies".

3 posted on 10/02/2004 7:55:20 PM PDT by Petronski (DEMS: Kim tested, Osama approved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Petronski

Steyn for secretary of state!


4 posted on 10/02/2004 8:13:09 PM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (out of the sun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan
JOHN FRENCH KERRY'S SECRET PLAN: FRAUD OR DELUSION?


5 posted on 10/02/2004 8:15:01 PM PDT by drpix
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

Triple bump!


6 posted on 10/02/2004 8:20:44 PM PDT by jwalburg (Anti-Daschle gear: http://www.cafepress.com/southdakotapdq)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

7 posted on 10/02/2004 8:22:23 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservatives)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan
HANOI KERRY
CLICK HERE TO SIGN FORM 180

BUSH DID

WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?
WHAT DON'T YOU WANT
AMERICA AND THE PRESS TO KNOW?


Free online version of
Kerry's "The New Soldier"
You can read it online right now.

8 posted on 10/02/2004 8:25:27 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (MAKE SURE YOU ARE CURRENTLY REGISTERED AND VOTE Nov 2nd!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

"Kerry's got a strategy: It's summit for everyone"

TeRAYsa also has a strategy: It's SHOVE IT for everyone.


9 posted on 10/02/2004 8:26:02 PM PDT by maxter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

Kerry and the liberals believe they can negotiate with the Islamofascists, and make them stop murdering.
When negotiating with terrorists, the first concession is yours:
That's when you acknowledge that they have a valid point.
The rest of the negotiations are merely the terms of your surrender.


10 posted on 10/02/2004 8:30:20 PM PDT by concretebob (Honor a Veteran...Vote on 2 November)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

Mark, I dislike having to say this, but sometimes, you are a "third-rate hack."

Where you wrote, "with John Kerry, he wasn't wrong on the substance, he just didn't have enough of it."

Mark, read the Debate Record again, if you bothered reading it at all. Kerry had no substance. He uttered statements that are known in common knowledge as lies. He was full of logical fallacies.

Read what our President said very specifically about summits. Summits are happening without Kerry's interference.

Kerry lost the debate, big time. The only positive response he received was the applause of all the, uh, dilations excited by emotions in reaction to the comparison between his voice and our President's voice. But many of our best and strongest men have voices that would not be used for drama heroes.

But when it matters the most, our USA is not a nation of hysteria. Logical reviews of the Debate are on the way. Sorting logic from effeminate manipulation requires more time and "work," and President Bush will win the Election by a landslide.

Read the Record, Mark, and write another one.


11 posted on 10/02/2004 8:37:15 PM PDT by familyop (Essayons)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: drpix
French John Kerry
12 posted on 10/02/2004 8:49:04 PM PDT by etradervic (If Kerry is the answer, could you please repeat the question?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan
But, if articulacy is the measure, how come Kerry can't articulate an Iraq policy any of us can understand? By contrast, for an inarticulate man, Bush seems to communicate pretty clearly.

Love how he worded that!

13 posted on 10/02/2004 9:07:58 PM PDT by ride the whirlwind (And I have faith in the transforming power of freedom. - President Bush to the criminals in the UN)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan; Admin Moderator
As [Kerry] made clear on Thursday, Saddam was a growing threat so he had to be disarmed so Kerry voted for war in order to authorise Bush to go to the UN but Bush failed to pass "the global test" so we shouldn't have disarmed Saddam because he wasn't a threat so the war was a mistake so Kerry will bring the troops home by persuading France and Germany to send their troops instead because he's so much better at building alliances so he'll have no trouble talking France and Germany into sending their boys to be the last men to die for Bush's mistake.

I demand an expanded tagline, so that I can put this quote in it.

And I also demand that Steyn and Coulter have 12-15 children, in order to ensure that conservatives have WMDDs (Weapons of Mass Democratic Destruction) in future elections.

14 posted on 10/02/2004 9:23:17 PM PDT by an amused spectator (Memo Depot: where trusted news anchors shop)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: familyop

Mark and Hugh Hewitt should have an interesting debate Monday. Steyn thinks Bush flopped. Hewitt thinks Bush creamed Kerry on substance, time and time again.


15 posted on 10/02/2004 10:41:57 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (I think John Kerry should be President.........of the European Union.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Choose Ye This Day
As you saw, I agree with Hugh. I'll admit, though, that some of us had the time to read the debate and not only watch or hear it before commenting. And some of us are very blessed to live in the USA and not be surrounded by quite the mind scrambling propaganda messages others have to live with.

Here's a copy of the White House Record of the Debate for any who would like to read it.
16 posted on 10/02/2004 11:09:00 PM PDT by familyop (Essayons)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

Caged in Canuckistan:

If you know Mark or anyone else up there who writes, the link behind the following leads to a copy of the Debate Record (copy from the White House--quotations, eh) that should load quickly. ...hope that helps.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1233814/posts?page=16#16


17 posted on 10/02/2004 11:16:06 PM PDT by familyop (Essayons)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: familyop

I have to admit, I was kind of down on Bush's performance (well, I actually only saw the last 15-20 minutes of the debate).

Then I listened to Hugh's show Friday, and I'm cured. I had to hear Bush's "body blows" a few times and not be distracted by body language, but I came away realizing that Kerry hosed himself. Bush walked away with the win.


18 posted on 10/02/2004 11:20:55 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (I think John Kerry should be President.........of the European Union.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan

The Umbrellas Of Summits <set to the tune of Michel Legrand's celebrated score: "We'll have the umbrellas of summits. Let's call summits for every occasion. There's a summit for every one. In winter, fall, spring, and summer, there are summits galore. We'll have summits covered by umbrellas. And we'll have umbrellas of summits. There will never be an end to summits. For I know all the problems of this world can be resolved by summits. Summits - we need them all and I've got a summit for any one who needs one. We'll have the umbrellas of summits."


19 posted on 10/03/2004 7:11:46 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
PLANS OF A TRAITOR

20 posted on 10/03/2004 5:22:52 PM PDT by Gucho
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caged in Canuckistan
RE: Global Test

I just want someone to ask Kerry the following question:

What if the American people were in favor of a pre-emptive attack somewhere, anywhere, in the WOT, and had, say, 70-75% public support for such an attack.

Further, what if the pacifistic European continent (read: France, Germany) were dead-set against it.

How would Kerry's supposed 'Global Test' fare?

Who wins? Do we attack, or do we bow down to European brilliance?

21 posted on 10/03/2004 9:12:44 PM PDT by zoyd (Hi, I'm with the government. We're going to make you like your neighbor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson