The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


              Dirty Lies
As the Presidential campaign is drawing to a close, it is getting more and more nasty. The prime purveyor of the nastiness is Kerry, with his mendacious attempts to scare everyone from the young (the draft) to the old (social security cuts) to the sick (flu vaccine). David Brooks points out some of Kerry's attacks, and believes that all that Kerry is doing, is hurting himself.
I'm not trying to make a moral point here about sleazy campaigning. Politics ain't beanbag, and in the final days of a close campaign, exaggerations are the norm. I'm talking about competence and what this period says about Kerry and his campaign.

Bush's key vulnerability is that people fear he is in over his head. By lashing out wildly, Kerry muddles all that. Instead his blunderbuss approach suggests a candidate devoid of perspective, driven by unattractive and naked ambition.
And as John Podhoretz notes, negative campaigning by itself is not a winner; a candidate also needs to display his own positives.
Kerry has an agenda of sorts for the future, but he's mostly content to say he has "a plan" to fix things without spending much time or effort explaining what that "plan" is. And he almost never talks about his Senate record. Instead, he concentrates almost exclusively on the negative — hammering the president and his record.

The problem is that this approach gets stale. You can only say the same things over and over again for so long without running out of gas. That's why a successful campaign must balance the negative with the positive — must give people reason to vote for as well as reason to vote against.

John Kerry hasn't given people much reason to vote for him. He's betting his political future that 50.1 percent of the American people will cast a negative vote against George W. Bush.
Kerry is simply reinforcing the view that he is a naked opportunist who is willing to say anything to anyone, regardless of the truth, to get elected.
|| Nudnik 11:52 AM
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