dates to remember

OK, it looks like the campaigns are shifting a bit this week. First off, on the Kerry side, someones apparently made the decision that their man needs to come across as a little less lugubrious, so theyre having him make the TV talk-show rounds, hoping to replicate the success of candidate Clinton and his magic saxophone I guess we can assume that either they think the little test rollout they did with Kerry on the Daily Show was a success, or that theyve fixed whatever problems they saw in that appearance Well, tonight Kerry will be swimming out a little deeper into the waters of the undecided masses. (I figure most viewers of the Daily Show already know who theyre going to vote for.) Tonight, its the “Late Show with David Letterman,” and tomorrow morning its “Live with Regis and Kelly”. So, set those Tivos. (Ive also heard that hes taping a segment for the “Dr. Phil” show, but I hope to God thats not the case although it probably would put him right there in front of a few million more still-swayable potential voters.) I guess when youre as many as a dozen points down in the polls its time to do a little creative thinking If only Oprah had let him give away the fucking cars last week.

Meanwhile, in the caves beneath 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Karl Rove and the gang running the Presidents reelection bid have decided that its probably not in their best interest to back out of the second of the three debates that were suggested by the Presidential Debate Commission, as theyd hinted at earlier. Heres a clip from the Washington Post:

The nominees will focus on foreign policy during the opening session, on Sept. 30 in Florida; they will take questions from undecided voters at the town-meeting-style debate Oct. 8 in Missouri; and they will conclude with a session on Oct. 13 in Arizona that will revolve around domestic issues.

Vice President Cheney and Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards will debate Oct. 5 in Ohio. Each of the four debates will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will run 90 minutes

Bush’s chief negotiator, former secretary of state James A. Baker III, agreed to add the third debate in part because of Missouri’s importance as a swing state and because the president did not want to be portrayed as ducking his opponent, according to a source.

Under the commission’s proposal, the participants for the town meeting will be undecided voters from the St. Louis metropolitan area who are chosen by the Gallup Organization.

“The Bush campaign didn’t want to do the town hall because they really didn’t trust the process for identifying uncommitted voters,” said a Republican source familiar with the talks. “But things are going so well for them and so poorly for Kerry that they didn’t want to give Kerry an opportunity to change the subject and say that Bush is afraid of debates. Bush not doing debates or dragging out the debate on debates could have been played by the Kerry campaign as arrogance.”

On the subject of debates, I think I may have pointed it out a while ago, but I think its great strategy that everyone on the Kerry side has been really stressing the point over the past few weeks that Bush is a terrific, and undefeated, debater. In doing so, theyre trying to set the bar higher for Bush this time out than last time. In 2,000, when he went against Gore, everyone was willing to cut Bush some slack. It seemed like everyone was of the opinion that just so long as he didnt shit himself or forget his own name and political party that hed won. Kerry cant afford for that to be the case again. He cant have people saying, Well, that was pretty good for Bush. The reason that I bring it up now is that I just noticed in this Washington Post piece that the Bush campaign, for what its worth, is trying the same thing right back at Kerry, to the point of hyperbole. Heres the quote.

Matthew Dowd, the Bush-Cheney campaign’s chief strategist, said in an interview earlier this month that Kerry “is very formidable, and probably the best debater ever to run for president.” “I’m not joking,” Dowd added. “I think he’s better than Cicero,” the ancient Roman orator. “But I think it’ll be a very good thing for the American public to see these two men stand side by side. You can’t hide who you are.”

This isnt on the same subject, but I had a nightmare last night in which I was being prosecuted for having come up with the idea of serving suspected Republican voters food laced with salmonella and rat feces the night before the election, something that I suggested in jest on this site a week or so ago. In my dream I had a lot of blood on my hands Unfortunately, I didnt notice who won the election in my dream. If it was Kerry, Im thinking that maybe I might have gotten a pardon.

OK, on the subject of the debates, I had a thought today as I was jogging through the woods. What if, before the debate, I thought, Kerrys people could find out the name of a person who either did coke with the pre-Jesus-loving George Bush, terminated a pregnancy that he was responsible for, or were otherwise involved with him in activities that he would not like to be widely known, and then had their candidate drop said name into some portion of the debate, in some other context, just to shake Bush up? Every post-Reagan politician makes it a point to single out individuals that he or she has met while on the campaign trail, someone like an out-of-work mill worker or a woman whose son serves oversees in the military. So, what Im suggesting is that Kerry makes it a point to find someone with that exact same name and then uses them as an example during the debate. For instance, lets say that Bush used to buy coke from a guy named Thomas Kinkle in Boston. Well, Kerry could surely find another Thomas Kinkle and twist the story of his situation so that it mirrors, at least in some ways, that of the Kinkle known to Bush. If done at just the right moment, it might be enough to throw Bush off, and, without Rove or someone else there to talk him though it, he might not stay on message. OK, I know this suggestion might sound despicable, but compared to my last idea (remember those Botulism Parties) its really not that bad.

One last thing, as long as youre all marking your calendars, I thought you might like to know that Ypsilanti was chosen as the host city for next years Motor City Buffycon. And, word has it that Giles, Xander, Andrew, Warren and Jonathan will be on hand to sign autographs So, do not despair. Life will continue to go on even if Bush wins.

update: On second thought, maybe we are doomed if Bush wins. I just watched this video of Jimmy Swaggart saying before his congregation that hed kill a gay man if he ever caught one checking him out. That line gets applause, as does the mention of George Bushs name. Its chilling.

Tell you what, lets make plans to meet in Toronto on November 4, just in case.

* This post was brought to you by Doug Skinner and his friend Ol’Slavey, the newest member of the monster club.

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