It was not all that
long ago that Gallup had Senator John Kerry polling at an abysmal 9% nationwide,
in the single digit cellar with the likes of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Carol
Moseley Braun, and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
reflects a January 9-11 sampling of 426 Democrats who seemed about as enamored
with Senator Kerry as a canary would be with the cat. However, in just three
short weeks from that date, Senator Kerry went from invisible to invincible,
leading all remaining Democrats at 49%. By that time, Mr. Kerry had pulled
off twin victories in Iowa and New Hampshire. By February 16, the stodgy
John Kerry had effectively claimed the mantle of Democratic nominee, polling
among Democrats at a blistering 65%.
But let's backtrack a bit. After winning Iowa from out of nowhere, Mr. Kerry
certainly gained momentum going into New Hampshire, leading to another win.
From there on, what some have called a "cascading effect" took over, the
Democratic electorate wanted to be seen as voting for a winner, and believed
they had one in Mr. Kerry. Now, of course, it is no longer "candidate
Kerry," but "Democratic nominee for President Kerry."
But when I look back, I wonder just how this really came to be. Nobody has
been able to explain to me just what happened in early January to propel
Senator Kerry to the nomination. With single digits in the polls, inadequate
funds, and no distinct platform of his own, Senator Kerry was written off
dead. Then, methinks, the media caught its collective breath.
When Senator Kerry announced his bid for the presidency, he was instantly
spotted as the favorite, or establishment candidate, by the mainstream media.
But as time went by, someone else had risen to the forefront. The media soon
lost interest in Mr. Kerry, and instead focused its accolades on Howard Dean,
the three-term Governor of Vermont. Mr. Dean represented the unruly dissatisfaction
of the American left, and though unsure of his viability as "The" candidate
to lead Democrats from out of the political wilderness, the media glorified
his self-proclaimed Internet revolution and his firebrand rhetoric towards
In the same Gallup poll conducted January 9-11, Dean stood at 26% to Kerry's
9%. But as we all have seen, the candidacy of Howard Dean started a slow-motion
course towards destruction, with one incredibly acerbic miscue after another,
culminating with his now memorable "I have a scream" speech on the night
of the Iowa caucuses, where he finished a debilitating third. But months
earlier, the media had started to have second thoughts over Mr. Dean, as
the specter of Dean’s electability on a national scale was played out daily
among the editorial pages. Mindful of Washington whispers that the Bush Administration
would welcome a fight against Mr. Dean in November, the media attempted a
midstream correction in its course. Enter General Wesley Clark.
Officially entering the race in September of 2003, Wesley Clark was an overnight
sensation that was principally media-induced. A virtual unknown to most Americans,
a steady cadence nevertheless built up around General Clark. Fawning press,
like Newsweek’s “Who is this G.I.?,” attempted to parlay the
General’s four stars into political success. The only problem here was the
General himself. When Wesley Clark entered the Presidential race in September
of 2003, he led the Gallup poll with 22%. By the time he had bowed out of
the running, he stood at 10%.
No amount of media messaging could hide the fact that the General was a four
star political disaster, exposing his political naivety and a penchant for
conspiracies. In short, he turned into a mirror image of Howard Dean; prone
to ill-thought statements and accusations, with the added issue of no vision
to speak of except the ever present mantra of scorn against Mr. Bush. Here
too, as time went on, his viability as a national candidate was ever fleeting.
These facts were not lost on an elite media who see the present Administration
as possibly the greatest threat to world peace since President Ronald Reagan
announced his conception of the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI, in
1983. It also sees this Administration as a bulwark against the creeping
socialism that they have been a part of since FDR’s “New Deal” ushered in
a new dawn of generational spanning liberalism.
So now the media presents to you Senator John Kerry. As to the Senator having
what it takes to beat President Bush is a question that will have to wait
till November. But that does not really matter all that much now, as somebody
had to run against Bush. At the beginning of the process, the Democratic
Party and those most sympathetic to them among the press were somewhat despondent
over the field of nominees who had taken the field against Mr. Bush. What
is left of that field is not necessarily the best the Democratic Party can
do; it is really a case of what the media had to work with.
The elite media has taken a direct interest in the outcome of this election,
of this I am sure. Senator Kerry has yet to be openly vetted and challenged,
and has received news coverage worthy of a coronation. He is allowed to straddle
the fence on every issue of importance, voting record be damned. He has been
given a pass on his lowbrow politicking on the stump, even using 9/11 to
his political advantage by demagoguing those who rightly and justly do.
Even so, the best the editorial board rooms like that of the New York Times can muster is point to his ability “to
reflect his appreciation that life is not simple. He understands the nuances
and shades of gray in both foreign and domestic policy.” Yes, that fits
rather nicely in regard to Senator Kerry, the unprincipled choice of an unprincipled
media elite. You wanted him, and now you've got him.
Vincent Fiore contributes commentary for several web sites on a weekly basis, and occasionally has commentary posted on NewsMax.com. Your comments are always welcomed.
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