Just read the text of Kerry's prepared speech - not the transcript of the one actually delivered which varied slightly - and can't help but think in terms of the poetry slam: 4.8 for content, 3.0 for performance.
Which in this image-obsessed, media-driven world, one where George Bush is able to successfully present himself as a "regular guy," is a scary thing.
For those that worry about how my vote will ultimately be cast, understand that intellectually, I realize Kerry is exponentially better than Bush, hands down. Philosophically, though, it offends me that he is my only "viable" choice, as it should offend every American forced to contort their ideals to fit into one of two cramped boxes. It offends me that the media has successfully cast this 20-year political veteran as an underdog, a comeback kid; the same media that summarily dismissed him while swooning over Howard Dean, before dropping him like a music video hoochie not open to group sex. The same media that openly dissed the more progressive voices in the campaign and now cynically reports the many similarities between the two parties' nominees.
In the rush to support "Anybody but Bush," Democrats ended up with a nominee that was simply that. Not a principled individual they could believe in and rally behind, but a blank mannequin that could be dressed up as needed.
"Anybody but Bush" may be fine for rabid Democrats but I'm not convinced it's what people on the fence are necessarily looking for. At the least, it puts Bush's destiny in his own hands, a risky gamble I wouldn't bet on.
I have to wonder if Kerry's rallying cry of "Help is on the way." may end up being a reference to the Clinton/Obama ticket in 2008?