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Old 08-28-2004, 04:25 PM   #1
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Kerry should hire Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews was on Bill Maher's show last night, and Maher made the comment that the Kerry people have said that they don't want to be "mean" to Bush, because it would turn off the undecided voters. Matthews responded by saying that whatever the Kerry people are doing now, it isn't working very well. He then followed up by giving his take on what the Kerry campaign needs to be saying.

I know his response is very simplified and maybe a bit overstated (the part about the middle class vanishing), but it makes a lot of sense. This guy got accross in half a minute what the Kerry people are having trouble getting across with millions of dollars for advertising.

I'm not proposing a debate about the issues he mentions; that has been done to death here. But, and I'm speaking as a Kerry supporter, what is the Kerry people's problem when Chris Matthews, not John Kerry, makes you want to pump your fist in the air and cheer, and the actual campaign seems to be stalling at a very bad time?

Here is what he said:

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What they have to do is remind people that it’s not just an election about “who do you like for class president” and “whose smile do you like” and “who would you like to have a beer with”. As if they’re ever going to have a beer with George Bush. I mean, it’s absurd. When are they going to have this beer? This illusionary, middle of the night drink with this guy? All they’re going to have him as is their president. That’s all they get out of these guys.

And my answer is; you want to think about this election more seriously. Vote Bush, vote Kerry, but think about this: do you really want the country to go in the direction they’re taking you, or say they’re going to take you, for the next ten or twenty years? Raise the stakes. That will make it easier for the undecided voter.

If you can’t decide based on what you’ve heard, think about this: Do you want to continue on the road of basically being “go it alone” in the world? I mean, Tony Blair will be gone soon, Musharraf will be gone soon. Then we’ll be completely alone in the world.

Do you want to go toward an economy that’s basically geared toward tax cuts for people who have a lot of income, and the working class and middle class gradually disappear? Well, you know which party that is.

(Do) you want to go to a party that is a little more hesitant? If we elect John Kerry president, he will be hesitant about going to war. He will be careful. In fact, he’ll probably wait around to hear what the French think. And if that bothers you, vote for Bush.

It’s easy, but these stakes are big. Do you want health research for the next 20 years, or do you want the same diseases we have now in 20 years? I mean, think about it. I think there’s an argument for the Republicans, but it’s a long term argument for both sides.

How can you be undecided about Bush and Kerry? I don’t get it. These guys offer radically different approaches.
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Any thoughts on this? (from both sides)

By the way, before someone points it out, I know Bush doesn't drink anymore. But I think a lot of us have probably come across people who have said something along the lines of "I like Kerry, but I'd rather have a beer with Bush". It's sad that some people actually base their vote on something like that, but that's another discussion.
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Old 08-28-2004, 04:33 PM   #2
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I'm a Kerry supporter also. Chris Matthews is a really smart guy, he'd be great for the campaign.
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Old 08-28-2004, 04:38 PM   #3
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Well, I know he's not going to hire him, and Matthews wouldn't do it anyway. But he made a lot of sense, and right now that's something I don't think the Kerry campaign is doing a very good job of.
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Old 08-28-2004, 04:54 PM   #4
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I've been saying this since the primaries, if the Kerry campaign, Kerry in particular, could break down their points (which are all very good, but complex) into simple soundbytes, this campaign would change. I give it to the Bushies, they're good at simplifying their message, and the Kerry campaign is not.
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:01 PM   #5
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I'd like to have a beer with Bush so that when I was finished I could smash him over the head with the bottle.
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
I'd like to have a beer with Bush so that when I was finished I could smash him over the head with the bottle.
Ouch! That's not even close to funny.
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Old 08-28-2004, 06:52 PM   #7
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Govenment agents will be coming to see somebody soon.
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:25 PM   #8
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Good point, U2democrat. It's really unfortunate that American politics has gotten to the point where it comes down to thirty-second sound bites on the evening news. I mean, politics is really pretty complicated stuff, at least from my point of view.
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Old 08-28-2004, 07:31 PM   #9
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when I have to predict the outcome of the next election in the netherlands I would guess they will be won by 'the way of the guy with the winning smile' (no matter that he knows about as much about what exactly going on in dutch politics right now as I do and that means he doesn't know much)

still I don't really care
if people vote based on soundbites and who they think would make a better drinking buddy then by all means vote for him
in the end we'll all get the leaders we deserve

same goes for the US
if either of them loses because the other had a better campaign (while so far you need a telescope to find anything that even remotely has to do with politics in either campaign) then so be it
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:12 PM   #10
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My parents and I were saying at dinner that if the American people choose a leader because of likeability.....that's really sad. Unfortunately it's so close that is what it may boil down to.

Verte, i agree its very unfortunate that politics has turned into dueling soundbites. Kerry has stressed many times that issues are complex, not black and white, but unfortunately with the internet and 24 hour cable news, peoples attention spans have become so short it takes a soundbite to get a point across, no matter if its simple or complex.
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:35 PM   #11
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That's basically my point, U2democrat. I personally can't stand the fact that soundbytes play such an important role, but the reality of the matter is that they do. And the discouraging thing, for a Kerry supporter, at least, is that he doesn't seem to be very good at using them. Chris Matthews isn't even a politician, but when I saw him say what he said, all I could think was 'that's great---why can't Kerry do that?
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:44 PM   #12
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This is why I never watch television news. Never. The only TV I've watched all year is figure skating championships and the Olympics. I get all of my news from the Internet. Now, my dad's addicted to "Hardball".
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:50 PM   #13
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I admit it, I'm addicted to anything CNN related. My favorite show is Crossfire and I correspond with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson fairly often. In fact the last time I was in the audience for the show Paul saw me with my parents and said "Hey! The Harrisons are here!" and Tucker turned and saw us and said "Heyyyyyyy!" Kind of surreal. But its shows like that, i admit, that have contributed to the demise of politics into soundbytes.
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Old 08-28-2004, 10:07 PM   #14
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Old 08-28-2004, 10:08 PM   #15
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