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Michael Ubaldi, October 22, 2004.
John Kerry played Candidate Mxyzptlk again this Thursday in an attempt to flatter sportsmen, Ohioans, Army-Navy surplus patrons and poulterers. Being rough-and-tumble is no prerequisite for the American presidency but John Kerry as John Kerry must present, as before, too high an electoral risk to the Democratic candidate's campaign strategists.
NO, REALLY: John Kerry could have snagged a few mallards for the headline "Kerry Gets His Ducks in a Row." He could have taken down a buck for the headline "Kerry Up '8 Points' in Ohio." Instead, he chased wild geese, and Clintonista-sabotage-theory scoffers have to wonder.
Michael Ubaldi, October 7, 2004.
Criticizing a tactical engagement from a strategic perspective, three years later, is petty enough. But what about when those comments contradict a position stated publicly over a month after the event:
The bottom line is that the closest we came was in Tora Bora. I do think some people have asked some questions about how that particular component of the mission sort of played out. But the fact is that it is a difficult place. [Osama bin Laden] is elusive.
Michael Ubaldi, September 7, 2004.
Candidate Mxyzptlk has again reared his two-faced head. This time, John Kerry's anti-gun, Senate legislation conflicted rather harshly with his weekend campaign stumping. As Drudge put it: "Kerry co-sponsored bill banning gun he waves."
CAVEAT: Kathryn Lopez of National Review has received mail from gun owners and enthusiasts who believe the firearm in question would not have been affected by John Kerry's Senate bill because it does not have a "pistol grip." But if that's correct, neither does the Browning Auto-5, whose [implicit] inclusion in Kerry's bill was part of the successful argument used by opponents. From a 2000 letter written on behalf of the National Rifle Association to the Firearms Division of the California Department of Justice:
In as much as virtually all sport rifles and shotguns have a "pistol grip" as defined in practice, the focus of SB 23 was on "conspicuous protrusion." Sentence construction indicates that pistol grips that protrude conspicuously constitute an "assault weapon" feature. Pistol grips that only protrude are not. Determination of whether the protrusion is conspicuous is accomplished by using the action as a reference point. However, the use of this term in the statute introduces another element of vagueness since the "action" is neither a part nor a specific location on a firearm..
MXYZPTLK TWO-FER: The Democratic challenger has now abandoned his previous position on liberating Iraq in order to adopt Howard Dean's rhetoric. The catch? John Kerry himself argued against the statements.
ABOUT MXYZPTLK: I've written enough over the months to warrant a separate category, as well as a broader explanation. Mr. Mxyzptlk is a mischievous, bowler-hatted little imp from the Fifth Dimension who, though various modes of Superman's trickery, is temporarily sent back and confined to his own universe by saying his name backwards (Kltpzyxm, go fish on pronunciation). It's therefore my hope that John Kerry, as Candidate Mxyzptlk, will — by sufficient reversal of key policy positions — be returned to his otherworldly place of origin.
NO, NO: The Kerry campaign defended itself. With what? Another contradiction.
Michael Ubaldi, August 21, 2004.
Two polls report disappointing news for John Kerry. Scott Rasmussen's firm shows President Bush's numbers on public preference for foreign and domestic leadership closing in, after a few weeks of rising, on their best levels of the year: 52%-42% over Kerry on national security, 48%-44% over Kerry on economic policy. A recent CBS News poll, one from a series that has provided John Kerry with his most flattering numbers over the past several months, indicates that the Democratic candidate has begun to hemorrhage independent voters and veterans — the latter find mirrored by Rasmussen Reports less than two weeks ago.
Are these numbers reflective of Kerry's choice to form a foreign policy platform exclusively on his four months service in Vietnam? Possibly; Democrats are not helping themselves by, after having essentially admitted that John Kerry's oft-repeated "Christmas in Cambodia" parable is not based in fact, making no effort to rebut the collection of rather extensive claims against the candidate's record, instead leveling unsupported accusations at anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. With a new television spot coming on air, doing no less than former POWs confronting John Kerry with his own words in Congressional testimony, Democrats and Kerry seeking to eliminate critics are likely to only confirm the impression that the Massachusetts senator takes no responsibility for deeds or actions.
And then there is Kerry and his performance as Candidate Mxyzptlk. Deriding President Bush's proposal to lessen American troop presence in strategically obsolete continental positions today, John Kerry was in support of exactly the same at the beginning of August. As Bill Kristol exclaims, "the problem with being an opportunist is that you can easily forget what you've recently said." And that public confidence is difficult to earn or keep.
Michael Ubaldi, August 5, 2004.
Today John Kerry took a line from the congenitally lying, terrorist sympathizer Michael Moore and impugned President Bush for the seven minutes Bush spent in a Florida schoolroom after being informed of the World Trade Center attacks. It just so happens that the original Candidate Mxyzptlk is on the record discussing the forty minutes he and other senators spent staring at wood grain. What's so typical of John Kerry's "comically transparent opportunism" is the fact that no one in any capacity beyond the fuselage of those doomed jetliners could have done anything in that hour — and yet the Democratic candidate digs. This man Kerry wants to be president?
Michael Ubaldi, August 3, 2004.
The indefatigable Mark Steyn on John Kerry's sojourn into the land his running mate John Edwards would refer to as America Number Two:
[T]he photo-op didn't go smoothly. Kerry went over to say hi to some Marines, who turned out to be Bush supporters and resented the interruption to their lunch. More telling was Teresa Heinz Kerry. She pointed to the picture of the bowl of chilli above the clerk's head: "What's that?" she asked. He explained that it was something called "chilli" and she said she'd like to try a bowl. The Senator also ordered a Frosty, a chocolate dessert. They toyed with them after a fashion, and then got back on the bus.
Michael Ubaldi, July 19, 2004.
Michael Ubaldi, July 10, 2004.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, the man who would rebuild American intelligence:
The Kerry campaign wants to criticize the Bush administration's handling of intelligence.
A new set of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics actually shows solid growth in employment in relatively higher -paying occupations including construction workers, health-care professionals, business managers, and teachers, and virtually no growth at all in relatively lower-paying occupations including office clerks and assembly-line workers.
OUCH! AND AGAIN!: Indispensible as usual, Craig Brett racks up two more points on America's market boom. Unless it depends on the precise meaning of "the best economy we've seen in years."
Michael Ubaldi, June 25, 2004.
News that's fit to print:
Contacts between Iraqi intelligence agents and Osama bin Laden when he was in Sudan in the mid-1990's were part of a broad effort by Baghdad to work with organizations opposing the Saudi ruling family, according to a newly disclosed document obtained by the Americans in Iraq.
If John Kerry were coming from the geostrategic perspective of Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt, one where the threat of Saddam Hussein and his terrorist ties are immutable laws of our world, and the presidential campaign were truly about how to best fight terrorism and the nations and cultures that mass-produce it, the Massachusetts senator might have a message attractive to most Americans. As it stands, his foreign policy platform depends on blocking out or qualifying the kind of news the Times made today, denying the inextricable link between dictatorship and insecurity — in this case, terrorism. Trying to appease a core constituency agnostic to moral definitions of good and evil, democracy and despotism, all while seeking a complex matter to exploit as a campaign issue, Kerry is at perpetual war with facts; facts that may pile up considerably by November.
Michael Ubaldi, April 26, 2004.
I hadn't intended on making Candidate Mxyzptlk a series of entries but off went John Kerry one way while recorded fact went another [emphasis mine]:
Contradicting his statements as a candidate for president, Sen. John Kerry claimed in a 1971 television interview that he threw away as many as nine of his combat medals to protest the war in Vietnam....Throughout his presidential campaign, Kerry has denied that he threw away any of his 11 medals during an anti-war protest in April, 1971. His campaign Web site calls it a "right wing fiction" and a smear. And in an interview with ABCNEWS' Peter Jennings last December, he said it was a "myth."
THIS IS JOHN KERRY: Drudge has the Good Morning America transcript. Bizarre. Unpresidential. Harboring questions about Bush is normal and can work within supporting him for reelection; it doesn't require choosing his inconsistent, even mendacious opponent. Can you understand my shock about this revelation from anyone but a partisan Democrat now?
A THOUGHT: The "ribbons versus medals" element was introduced by Kerry himself; whether employed intentionally or reflexively to deflect responsibility, the dichotomy is quite capable of reducing this otherwise serious contradiction into a minor or, worse, partisan quibble — especially if adversarial press agencies or pundits latch onto it. Kerry has also massaged the discrepancy, on one hand claiming only his ribbons were thrown but on the other, suggesting that they're all the same to the military. Tricky work. At the very least, Kerry benefits from what the definition of "medal" is. It's a blind alley, all to Kerry's advantage. I would guess he intends to exploit any dithering, so the bait should be ignored. Remember, this man is untrustworthy; not unintelligent.
YES, BUT NO: Via IP, Thomas Oliphant vouches for Kerry. But if what Oliphant says is true, why did Kerry claim he'd dumped the Bronze, Silver and Purple? And that contradicts another eyewitness, ABC's Charlie Gibson. As John Podhoretz says, "In 1971, he wanted people to think he had thrown away his medals. In 1984 and ever since, he has wanted people to know he had kept his medals."
Finally, while the Democrats shake their fists at "right-wing attack machines" for defaming Kerry's military service — despite the fact that ABC, of all parties, has been pushing this issue — Kerry and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe impugn the president and vice president, respectively.