Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Liberals eat one of their own

For anyone who voted for Bush but found themselves at least somewhat swayed towards Kerry by the positive media coverage of his campaign or anyone who voted for Kerry due to his support by the liberal mainstream media, the Newsweek coverage of the election is a must read.

Although there were hints buried in the coverage of the campaign that there was a certain amount of chaos in Kerry's operation and occasional notes about "eruptions" of his wife Teresa, by and large the mainstream media coverage of the Kerry campaign apparatus was very positive. On the other hand, the Bush campaign was treated like the evil empire with Karl Rove as the designated "Darth Vader" of the Bush team.

The reality, according to Newsweek is that the Kerry campaign was in considerable disarray with staffing issues and the candidate unable to decide what his positions were ("Flipper?"). As far as Teresa was concerned, her burning ambition to be first lady was apparently not matched by an understanding of the extent to which she needed to interact with "common folk", at least until the election is won. One is left with the feeling that she felt that her two well-selected marriages was all that she should be expected to accomplish.

Being President of the United States is a difficult and challenging management job. The cornerstone of Kerry's case as to why he should be elected was the four months he spent in Vietnam leading a handful of crew members on a small boat. And, while the Swift Boat Veterans (including all of Kerry's chain of command) joined in declaring him unfit for command, efforts of the Swifties were ignored (and derided to the extent possible) by the liberal media. But here, some 30+ years later, we have a John Kerry that was unable to command his own campaign staff.

What was worse, however, was that the media assigned to report on the Kerry campaign were biased in favor of Kerry and so did not report on the utter chaos and mismanagement that was apparently endemic in the campaign operation. According to Newsweek (no friends of the Bush administration):

"Though they groused about the campaign's tardiness and loved to gossip about Teresa, the reporters on the Kerry tour were at the same time somewhat protective of the candidate and reluctant to pass on rumors. Kerry might not be the warmest or jolliest politician, but he was still their candidate, the man they spent day and night following around the country, and whom some of them might follow right to the most prestigious beat in Washington, the White House. No hint of the Kerry-Heinz domestic discord crept into their stories, and the reporters sometimes gave the candidate the benefit of the doubt when he rambled or talked in circles."

While the understanding between the campaigns and Newsweek was that the Newsweek reporting would not be published until after the election, there was no excuse for the failure of the reporters assigned to the Kerry campaign to make the public aware of the serious management and organizational problems of the Kerry campaign, problems that would certainly grown substantially had Kerry been elected.


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