The Road to Election Day

This whole John Kerry Bad Joke news story is, in my mind, a little overblown. Just a little. I’m not terribly in favor of Senator Kerry these days, and then President Bush’s demand for an apology, and Kerry’s slow apology to the troops – well, it was too much 2004 redux. Really. Aren’t we supposed to, say, focus on the issues? Then, one wonders – would Pres. Bush’s pushing this backfire? (NY Times article that I’m linking – key quotes by Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenburg:

Mr. Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who was Mr. Bush’s opponent in 2004, is not running for office this year. But the president seized on what he said were Mr. Kerry’s disparaging remarks about the troops — and what Mr. Kerry insisted was a botched joke aimed at Mr. Bush — as he sought to make Mr. Kerry the face of the Democratic Party this fall.

In the process, Mr. Bush brought renewed attention to the war in Iraq, which he defended with vigor while campaigning in Georgia, at the very moment that a number of Republican Congressional candidates, following the advice of party strategists, were stepping up their efforts to distance themselves from the White House on the war as the campaign enters its final days. [….]

In attacking Mr. Kerry and defending the war, the White House clearly made the calculation that achieving what has been its main strategic goal this year — firing up a dispirited conservative base — would outweigh any risk that might come in spotlighting a war that Republican Party officials said had become a huge burden for its candidates.

After all, one man’s bad joke (and, yeah, it was lousy) may end up reminding us who’s the Commander-in-Chief who’s in charge in the first place.
And, really, all these NJ campaign ads – ugh. I know the NYC tv market has these ads because NJ shares the broadcast air space and all that, but it’s always jarring to watch ads for elections that I can’t vote in anyway. Kean, Jr., constantly reminding us Why Menendez is Bad (umm, can’t you tell us why you’re any good – besides being Kean Sr’s son, that is) and Menendez going all Bush-wacking or at least, trying to connect Kean Jr to the Bush people (umm, he’s a Kean – I’d hope he’s at least uphold the family tradition of being moderate Republicans). These Connecticut ads have also been strangely amusing – Gen. Clark campaiging against Lieberman (but not really telling us why Lamont’s great) and the Democratic National Committee connecting CT voters that Congressman Shays is a Bush man (but, he’s long been a moderate Republican – you know, one of those solid few left in the Northeast). And, Lehrer’s Newshour on PBS has managed to educate me on how Tennesee politics work. As much as Election season this year has been enlightening, I think I’ll be glad when it’s over.
Viggo Mortenson – the “Lord of the Rings” guy (who has done other roles, really) – is also a writer/visual artist/indy publisher. Cool.

Save the Hubble! (just don’t get harmed while doing it)

All Saints’ Day – even when we don’t know a lot of saints.