Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sullivan's take on Giuliani's take on Bush

Andrew Sullivan comments on speeches last night. Like others, he has bones to pick with the president, but in the end he is a supporter because Bush displays better leadership qualities than Kerry.

"Giuliani reminded us of why we tend to like George W. Bush. (Personally, I'd rather have pins stuck in my eyes than endure a conversation with John Kerry, but I'd love to hang with Bush.) All of this matters. A president in wartime needs to be able to connect with people. Bush can. Kerry can't. It also matters that Bush does seem to have faith in what he is doing. The problem is that he seems to have too much faith at times, and not enough skepticism. You need skepticism in war to second-guess your intelligence sources, to doubt the efficacy of a war with too few troops, or an occupation easily derailed by insurgent forces you greatly under-estimated and failed to foresee. Giuliani's gamble, however, is that, if you have to pick between faith and skepticism in a war president, the former is more important. If the choice between Bush and Kerry can be conveyed as such a choice, then Bush wins easily."

After watching the start of the convention last night I went surfing, then to bed. It was like the evening news: I saw it once before. At this writing nobody is calling the election. Most analysts are thinking in blue states/ red states terms. I will go out on a limb and predict that Bush will breeze in with a comfortable margin, not because I want that to happen, but because when the masses see a bloody shirt they can't help themselves. I sense a mob mentality at work. And I can't imagine a more effective bloody shirt than the destruction of the WTC. Even then I sensed that Bush had a second term in his pocket.

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