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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The theorists send e-mail

The pro-Kerry e-mail machine swings into action again, blasting the major address on terror that President Bush is planning for Wednesday. Essentially, I've been receiving an e-mail-a-minute all day accusing the president of trying to do a "do-over," making up for his lackluster debate performance last week with a scripted, controlled speech carried in prime time. The letter-writers want either A. for the networks to not air the speech or B. for them to give Kerry equal time.

Here's a typical excerpt:

Bush is reverting back to his standard operating practice of conducting events where he controls the participants, the questions and the agenda. This format is not an attempt to inform the public as much as a pathetic excuse of trying to erase his horrible debate appearance with Senator Kerry. Bush has shown time after time he does not have the ability to lead this country. Thus far the media has aided and abetted him in this cover-up. This election is too important to allow this very partisan attempt to go unchallenged.

It is hard to understand why America suddenly needs a major address now, when the president just had 45 minutes to explain himself last week. Has something dramatic changed that America needs to be told about? We definitely have seen some American successes on the ground, with the recent battle over Samarra. And a new report on Iraq's WMD is due Wednesday. But similar events in the past haven't warranted presidential addresses. Slides in the polls, on the other hand ...

This is the tension between "The Presidency" and "The Presidential Campaign." The idealist hopes that somewhere, a line exists where the institution trumps the campaign. The realist knows that that line doesn't exist, if it ever did. And the dark theories abound. And the theorists send e-mail.