I am a frustrated man. I continue to believe that Kerry has every opportunity to win this race. But what frustrates me is that from my vantage point in Saint Louis, Kerry appears to be running a ‘prevent defense.’ As every football fan knows, this defense mostly prevents victory.
Here in a key swing state (Missouri is the ultimate bellwether having gone with the winner in every presidential election in the last century, with on exception) we are getting no real attention. Kerry has made two stops in Saint Louis since the convention which is great. But, I’m aware of no TV or radio from either Kerry or the DNC. The DNC had ran some ads on the radio a few weeks ago but that’s all I’m seeing….or hearing.
Is Kerry ceding Missouri? I don’t think so – he wouldn’t have been here last week. What he is doing is playing it safe and concentrating media money and attention on a few key states, so that he can eek out a narrow win. As he gains momentum, he would expand to other states later, but not now.
Here is the problem with that strategy. Our opponents are ruthless. How Kerry, who has been in Washington for 20 years, could have learned nothing from the Clinton administration is a bit of a mystery. As Bob Dole famously observed in 1998, many in his party never saw Clinton’s presidency as legitimate. Yes, it is ironic that they support Bush, but they have no sense of irony.
If president Kerry has any hope of actually being able to lead, even for 6 or 8 months, he must break their back! He has to utterly defeat them at the polls. They must be repudiated by the voters, in Missouri, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in West Virginia, in Arizona, in Florida, yada, yada, yada.
Kerry must have coattails long enough to pick up at least the House. If he thinks he could win a narrow strategic victory in the electoral college and actually be an effective president he is out of his mind. They will eat him alive. That is what they do.
Forgive the cliché’ but this election really is the most important of my lifetime. This election is about who we are as a nation and who we are as a people. It is about our role in the world as a leader or a cast out. Our victory must be decisive.
Kerry with the DNC has more then enough money so where the hell is he?
Those of you not in Saint Louis, tell me what you see from your vantage point. Please tell me I'm wrong.