With friends like these . . .
Slate‘s staff has endorsed Kerry, which surprises no one. What surprises are the rationales:
- “I’ll pull the lever for Kerry, if for nothing else than to defeat the misconception that being contemplative is somehow paralyzing”
- “I cringe a little at where Kerry’s line on terror and Iraq has lately ended up.”
- “I remain completely unconvinced that Kerry understands the limits of multilateral diplomacy”
- “Kerry should be put in the pillory for his inability to hold up on principle under any kind of pressure. Objectively, his election would compel mainstream and liberal Democrats to get real about Iraq.” (the Independent Women are wondering as to what he means by this, though)
- “These times demand strong positive leadership. I don’t know if John Kerry can provide it”
- “Sen. John Kerry is the least appealing candidate the Democrats have nominated for president in my lifetime . . . can’t pretend to like John Kerry. He’s pompous, he’s an opportunist, and he’s indecisive”
- [Kerry] “appears to struggle with the contradictions in his beliefs.”
- “I’m voting for Kerry — he’s in many ways the antithesis of Bush”
- “I plan to vote for him mainly because I want George Bush evicted from the White House.”
- “But most of all, I’m voting for Kerry so that every time I turn on the TV (which I have to do a lot for my job) I don’t risk having to look at that whiny, pusillanimous face and listen to that fake cowboy drawl.”
- “I’m voting for Kerry as much as against Bush”
- “I remain totally unimpressed by John Kerry . . . Kerry’s major policy proposals in this campaign range from implausible to ill-conceived. He has no real idea what to do differently in Iraq. His health-care plan costs too much to be practical and conflicts with his commitment to reducing the deficit. At a personal level, he strikes me as the kind of windbag that can only emerge when a naturally pompous and self-regarding person marinates for two decades inside the U.S. Senate. If elected, Kerry would probably be a mediocre, unloved president on the order of Jimmy Carter.”
Don’t see any ringing endorsements there.
Of the three Bush supporters (What media bias!?), however few as they were, one is voting against Kerry because of Edwards’s bigotry, and the other two focused on the war:
- “The simple fact is that he is the only candidate who has had the courage to envision a long-term solution to the danger of terrorism—the liberalization and democratization of the Middle East.”
- “Nothing, though, is more important than Iraq and terrorism, and Bush “gets it” better than Kerry. Removing Saddam was right—as Tony Blair said, “history will forgive” an absence of WMD—whether we had U.N. approval or not. The insurgency is deeply troubling, but I don’t trust Kerry to improve the situation. The only fresh idea in his four-point plan for Iraq—the promise to bring in more allies—has been rendered moot by statements from France and Germany (talk about a coalition of the bribed and the coerced!) that they would not send troops. His convention-speech promise to “respond” to every terrorist attack combined with his “global test” comment in the first debate, convey a certain squishiness toward threats to our nation. Mock me as a security mom if you will, but I’m sticking with Bush”
Do we really deserve a “mediocre, unloved president on the order of Jimmy Carter” at a time of war?