Tuesday, January 20, 2004


For whatever reason(s) I woke up at 6am this morning (1am EST) energized and starving, and I read the news online in the lobby of the Park International Hotel (while hearing the reports drifting in over the BCC) and then had breakfast in a room full of pharmacy students from Alabama.

Now, as promised, the latest from the American media, from Europe!

Before the bitter recriminations set in, I want to congratulate the Kerry folks (whoever they may be) and say how much it warms my heart to see a New York Times article that is not only respectful but borderline hagiographic. Some choice (and well deserving of celebration) moments:
What followed was perhaps the most concise and cutting indictment of Mr. Bush that the famously wordy Mr. Kerry has ever given.

"This president has an open hand for his friends at Halliburton, but he has turned his back on our friends and neighbors," he said. "He has turned his back on America's teachers and America's schools. And I will crisscross this country in this campaign and hold George W. Bush accountable for making a mockery of the words `no child left behind.'

"Add up the deficit and the indifference of this administration," he added. "Count the cost that working families are paying while the privileged ride high and reap the rewards. Seniors have seen their retirements stolen by Enron and Worldcom. We've seen financial scandals and jobs sent overseas. And at companies like Tyco, we've seen a work places where this president licenses a creed of greed."

"Two million people have seen their health insurance blown away, and three million people have lost their jobs," he said. "And when we add it all up, as I have in Iowa and New Hampshire and as we will all the way to November, it is clear that the one person in the United States of America who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush."
Music to my ears: paragraph upon paragraph of what the candidate said, with no smarmy interpolations or "balancing" response from a Bush campaign spokesperson!
By last week, Mr. Kerry had struck on a trademark move: offering to take questions until every caucus-goer in the room was won over. In Des Moines on Wednesday he cut his speech to 10 minutes and paced from one questioner to another for nearly two hours, transfixing hundreds of largely undecided voters. By Sunday night, as 1,800 supporters rallied at the Iowa state fairgrounds, his weekend of wearing down undecideds had left him rasping hoarsely.

But Mr. Kerry, who in the waning days of the race never showed the slightest sign of cockiness, had clearly mastered the art of expectations.

Look ahead to New Hampshire, someone asked him. Would he win?

"I intend to try," he said, the picture of humility. "I don't have to, especially now, but I intend to try."
"Never showed the slightest sign of cockiness"! "Mastered the art of expectations"! "The picture of humility"!

I don't care who you were rooting for, this is journalistic bliss, folks. Let's savor it now, for it ain't going to last. Jody Wilgoren is never far behind:
This is how Howard Dean marked the first loss of his charmed political life.
[Please tell me some reporter ever used the phrase "charmed political life" in reference to Gov. Bush in 2000.]
"We will not give up," he bellowed to the fiery crowd, grabbing one of the American flags being waved and thrashing it around.

Shouting himself hoarse, Dr. Dean readopted some of the growling, angry outsider tone that had propelled his earlier insurgency as he spun through the list of states where he planned to fight the next rounds: from New Hampshire to South Carolina to Massachusetts and North Carolina, the latter two the homes of the men who beat him here.

With a fierce grin and a red face, he vowed, "We will not quit now or ever!"
Dean bellowing? Waving and thrashing? Shouting, growling and angry? "With a fierce grin and a red face"? Who ever heard of such things? Jody Wilgoren must have been there in person, reporting on the event for a news article!


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