I’m putting my “pundit” status on the line to make the following prediction: after a cruel August, September 1st will be the single worst day for the disintegrating Kerry campaign.
I’m basing this prediction on two events scheduled for Wednesday: Kerry’s appearance before the American Legion and Zell Miller’s keynote address at the Republican National Convention.
Kerry is breaking with tradition to address the American Legion convention in Nashville, Tennessee; so, right from the start, he’s failing to extend the same courtesy to yield the spotlight that Bush did during the Democratic convention. It will smack of either political gamesmanship or just plain impoliteness (or, perhaps, creeping desperation?) And that’s before Kerry even opens his mouth. The American Legion is likely to give the Senator a cool reception, if the reaction of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is a precedent:
Kerry received his most enthusiastic response from 6,000 VFW members when he strongly advocated improving health care, disability and other benefits for veterans. But overall, he was received here far less enthusiastically than was Bush, who generated two standing ovations during his speech. By contrast, Kerry's audience offered cordial and polite applause, with one detractor heckling the Massachusetts senator.That meeting was before the Swift Boat Vets ad campaign really took off. By now the Legionnaires have fully digested the consequences of Kerry’s anti-war activities after he returned from Vietnam. They should be reminded of this also:
The RNC notes that Kerry criticized the VFW and American Legion in a 1971 book: "We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the 'greater glory of the United States.' ... We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars," he wrote.Since Senator Splunge can’t make up his mind on troop deployments, watch for him to pander on veterans' health benefits (that the Bush administration increased funding by 40%). The problem with this approach is the upper-cut in this Wednesday one-two punch: Zell Miller’s primetime speech on John Kerry’s diaphanous Senate career
John Kerry's "miserable record" over the course of his 19-year Senate career will be a focus of Sen. Zell Miller's highly anticipated speech at the Republican National Convention, the renegade Georgia Democrat told The Post.In nearly two decades in the U.S. Senate, Kerry has sponsored three pieces of legislation that passed into law. When he bothers to show up at all, he has amassed arguably the most liberal voting record in the Senate, reflexively taking the Ted Kennedy line on economic and military matters. In the 1990s, as Al-Qaeda nefariously planned, John Kerry skipped 76% of the meetings of the Senate Intelligence Committee. There’s a reason John Kerry devoted a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it twenty seconds to his Senate career during his acceptance speech to the Democrats last month – he’s justifiably ashamed of it.
So, if my instincts are correct, Wednesday will be the day we will see with a new clarity the other sides of John Kerry. The American Legion meeting (with the help of the Swiftees) will remind us of the anti-war activist who called himself a hero even as he accused his “band of brothers” of war atrocities. Then Zell Miller will remind us of the Senator who consistently voted to raise taxes, block defense bills, and otherwise rubberstamp the decisions of the senior Massachusetts Senator.
And the hits just keep on comin'