Andrew Busch explains why Kerry is facing an uphill battle in all the debates, not just tonight’s. He gives four reasons: One, with the exception of the JFK-Nixon debate, all challengers who have benefitted from debates were governors or ex-governors. Two, Kerry is not personally engaging; the more people see of him the less they like him. Three, because Kerry is behind, he has to prove to voters that he should be elected and in order to do that he has be aggressive. There are dangers here for him. Four, Kerry can no longer expect a sweet media spin in this new world of Fox News and talk radio and blogs. In short, a draw will not be good enough for Kerry. Read the whole thing.
The funny thing is that Kerry himself said that he would cease his complaints about Bush and the Iraq once the war started, saying "Its what you owe the troops". But three weeks later he was quoted saying that "What we need now is no just a regime change in Iraq, but a regime change in the United States". This guy just cant keep a promise.
The really shocking flip was Kerrys vote on the $87 billion. Of course theres "I voted before it before voting against it," a truly remarkable phrase that made a reasonable position (i.e., supporting a bill with a proposed amendment, but not supporting it without the amendment) sound completely ridiculous. Even taking his post hoc explanation of that statement at face value, however, Kerry has yet to explain why he made a vote that he himself said would be "reckless" and "irresponsible."
Asked if he would vote against the $87 billion if his amendment did not pass, Kerry said, "I dont think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. Thats irresponsible."
Kerry argued that his amendment offered a way to do it properly, "but I dont think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. Were not going to cut and run and not do the job."