October 04, 2004

Thinking About Dick

from - smijer

When Dick Cheney squared off against Joe Lieberman, four years ago, he went off-character in a debate where the surrogate is expected to come out swinging, and conducted himself in a gentlemanly and statesmanlike manner. This put Lieberman, who was expecting an attack dog, off his stride, and served the Republican's strategy in three ways:
1.) By lending credibility to the "compassionate" part of the "compassionate conservative" ticket.
2.) By reassuring voters that at least half of the Republican ticket had gravitas and was "Presidential.
3.) By playing to the media meme that "voters want a positive campaign". I don't know why the media decided in 2000 that voters were "tired of all the negativity". I do know that Rove and friends were better able to pick up on the media's decision on behalf of the people and put themselves into that narrative in a way that would appeal to voters in this media-created reality.

But we all know there are two (or more) sides to Dick Cheney. We don't call him "Big Time" for nothin'. We know he doesn't mind speaking his mind to Pat Leahy.

So which Dick shows up, Tuesday night? My view on it is that Cheney will show up all smiles, a lá 2000. However, at some point in the debate, when Edwards feels safe to go on the offense, he will attempt to turn suddenly and softly lethal. He will have a few stock phrases prepared, based on which offense Edwards uses most effectively, designed to turn the force of the attack back on the Democrats. How successful he will be depends on how well Edwards is prepared for just such a strategy. I think the advantage goes to the trial lawyer in a case like this. But, John, don't leave so much as a square inch unprotected while on offense. Cheney can't attack you when you are boosting your boss, or playing defense. But, as soon as the word "Halliburton" escapes your lips, you are fair game. So, don't do it unless you can see your way through the remaining moves to a convincing check-mate.

I once predicted that Cheney would come off of the ticket. It is approaching or possibly even past the time that it would be too late for him to do so and the strategy be effective. I will, nevertheless, save my concession for after November 2.

P.S. I wonder what Neal "I-use-graduated-from-public-schools-as-a-put-down" Boortz thinks about Dick's statement from the 2000 debate:

I think public education is a solution. Our desire is to find ways to reform our educational system, to return it to its former glory. I'm a product of public schools, my family, wife and daughters all went to public schools. We believe very much in the public school system.

P.S. Dollars to doughnuts that Boortz mentions this fake news about WMD and terrorists in Iraq in his Tuesday lineup. What a maroon.


Posted by smijer at October 4, 2004 09:51 PM

You would have won your doughnuts had anybody been fool enough to bet with you. Neal Boortz is a shameless shill.

As far as the debate is concerned, George Bush set the standard so low that nobody will ever be able to crawl under it. I hope Edwards never mentions Halliburton or at least makes Cheney bring it up first.

It would be nice to see Cheney stammer and stutter and wriggle and contort the way his boss did but that just will never happen. I am anxious to see Edwards work. He must be pretty good. He has made one helluva lot of money connecting with "the people".

Let the debates begin!

univar.jpg Posted by Buck on October 5, 2004 09:27 AM
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