Monday, October 18, 2004

Why Vote Bush? What's Wrong With Kerry?

Hugh Hewitt has an interesting symposium going on, in which he challenges bloggers to answer in 250 words or less the above two questions.

I speak as a Canadian citizen with no right whatsoever to have a say in Election 2004 (somewhat akin to a Guardian reader). Nonetheless, I think that America would probably be better off continuing with George Bush than replacing him with John Kerry.

My reasoning has nothing to do with the character of the two candidates (which seems to play a big part of other bloggers' assessments), but rather with the way each party has conducted their campaigns. My theory is that if you run a stumbling campaign, odds are you'll run a stumbling administration.

The Democrats stumbled rather badly in nominating a candidate whose most noteworthy accomplishments are three decades behind him, and publicizing that rather than his more recent activities. They also failed to articulate a viable and reasonable alternative to Bush's policies on Iraq and the War on Terror. (This is not necessarily John Kerry's fault; presumably he does have foreign policy people to advise him. His subsequent incoherence is only a reflection of their own.)

They also pursued a faulty strategy in smearing President Bush by going after his National Guard record (something which didn't even work in 2000) and failed to abandon it in a timely manner when it failed (the Rathergate fiasco).

Bush was vulnerable; John Kerry and his people could not exploit that fact effectively; and that is why I don't believe Kerry could be any more than a mediocre president.