The Corner

The Big Picture

This speech may end up doing good for Kerry, it’s hard to say. But I think it’s a terrible speech with a few good spots. It sounds like it was written by a committee. The funny irony is that Kerry is a committee of one. The speech reflects his own burning desire to be all things to all people and to say something “smart” about everything. Part wonkery, part Shrumian populism, several parts cliché, he says everything about everything because he thinks any choice is a false choice if the power of his intellect can be directed at it. You can be proud of serving in Vietnam and not contradict yourself by calling your extended band of brothers war criminals, you can vote for and against, you can be for spending less money and for “investing” much more money. Etc, etc.

As for his delivery, he sounded like an very idealistic Ivy League president to me. All the answers were obvious to those who already agree with him. Perhaps worse for Kerry than anything else: This man cannot tell a joke. Humor is perhaps the most important psychological tool for politicians, particularly for pols who have such a poor ability to communicate other emotional states. Jokes establish a rapport between the teller and the audience; “I see the world in the same way you do.” For Edwards, humor is less vital because he can do the feel-your-pain stuff. But for Kerry, a few good jokes would have gone a long, long way to humanize him. They could have been written beforehand — he certainly has the talent at his disposal. He could have practiced them. Instead he underscored once again that he’s too serious to be someone you could ever want to have a beer with.

Most Popular

White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More
White House

Hell, Yes

Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays on the subject, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, and here. These articles, and the one below, reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National ... Read More

Searching for a Sign

I’ve been waiting for almost six months to see a Biden-Harris yard sign in my neighborhood. Finally one -- just one -- appeared about two weeks ago. It is large and proud. The homeowners even equipped it with a spotlight, so that it is visible at night. I’m surprised, because liberal political yard signs ... Read More

Searching for a Sign

I’ve been waiting for almost six months to see a Biden-Harris yard sign in my neighborhood. Finally one -- just one -- appeared about two weeks ago. It is large and proud. The homeowners even equipped it with a spotlight, so that it is visible at night. I’m surprised, because liberal political yard signs ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More
Elections

A Collusion Tale: China and the Bidens

Understand what’s going on here: The media-Democrat complex is warning you, on the basis of no evidence, that if you don’t close your eyes to the explosive revelations from Hunter Biden’s computers, you will be abetting a Russian intelligence operation; yet it has become increasingly obvious that this is ... Read More
Elections

A Collusion Tale: China and the Bidens

Understand what’s going on here: The media-Democrat complex is warning you, on the basis of no evidence, that if you don’t close your eyes to the explosive revelations from Hunter Biden’s computers, you will be abetting a Russian intelligence operation; yet it has become increasingly obvious that this is ... Read More