Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Man Who Made John Kerry Cry

(Note: This is a special edition of the DUmmie FUnnies so the normal format will be dispensed with. Although much of this material has been covered in the September 15, 2006 DUmmie FUnnies EDITION, the events of today make it imperative to enter this again into the historical record.)

"May I be the first to say 'Mr. President'?"---Bob Shrum, Nov. 2, 2004.

It was close. Oh, so agonizingly close. The "infallible" exit polls showed him to be the landslide winner and Bob Shrum had already pronounced him to be "Mr. President." Democrats were celebrating and all that needed to be done was to wait for the actual election results to formally ratify the inevitable outcome. But it was not to be. Despite coming close to winning, Kerry's brief taste of victory turned to ashes in his mouth. Still he could have won. Many pundits, both liberal and conservative have gone over that election with a fine tooth comb and yet NONE have yet discovered the real reason which ultimately led to Kerry's tearful political demise announced today.

This is a story about a man still obscured by the mists of history even though the events took place only a little over two years ago. This is about the man who almost single-handedly kept us from having to call (like Bob Shrum unfortunately did) John Kerry "Mr. President."

My own personal experience with the events that led to Kerry's electoral downfall began early one morning in the summer of 2004. I turned on the Steve Kane show here in South Florida on WNN radio promptly at 6:00 A.M. as I often do. The show's opening featured the voice of John Edwards saying, "If you have any question of what John Kerry is made of, just spend three minutes with the men who served with him..." This was followed by the voices of the Swift Boat vets talking about John Kerry not being honest and lying. This now familiar clip was put together by Brian Craig the co-host of the Steve Kane Show. Here is some of the background about how that clip ultimately came to be the most effective CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL in political history as related by Nat Trayger who occasionally appears on WNN radio:

Before this election, I was channel surfing and I came upon a rebroadcast of a debate on C-Span. The debate had been originally aired in 1971 on the Dick Cavett Show. The opponents were two swift boat veterans, John Kerry and John O’Neill. The subject they debated, largely without interference from Mr. Cavett, was John Kerry’s public accusations concerning the alleged large number of war crimes committed by American soldiers. I watched and was fascinated by the obvious distaste and vitriol these men had for each other and I knew that there was political gold in them thar hills.

I sit in as a once a week guest on a radio show hosted by Steve Kane. The show broadcasts to Broward and Palm Beach County in Florida, the scene of electoral confusion and conflict during the 2000 election. On the show we discuss politics and social issues and we definitely lean conservative. I contacted the producer of the show, Brian Craig and he had also seen the debate and sensed what he had to do: Find John O’Neill.

...I informed Brian that John O’Neill was a lawyer in Texas and gave him the most up to date E mail address that I could find. Brian had also been tracking down John O’Neill and one of the first talk shows in the country to have John O’Neill and other swift boat veterans who opposed John Kerry was the Steve Kane Show. To our surprise they had many negative things to say not only about John Kerry’s anti war protests but his service also. These allegations became the focus of a national debate. Other local and national radio and television shows also began to interview the anti Kerry swift boat veterans.

...Senator John Edwards came to Fort Lauderdale and echoed the dominant theme of the Kerry campaign by stating “If you want to know about John Kerry, just spend three minutes with the men who served with him thirty years ago.” Brian Craig took Edwards statement as a challenge and played this statement followed by some of the negative comments that had been made on the Steve Kane Show by some of the swift boat veterans. Brian contacted the swift boat veterans who by now had organized and informed them of Edwards’ statement and his response to it. This suggestion was turned into the television ad that received so much national attention. Many analysts believe that the swift boat ads slowed Senator Kerry’s building of momentum.

And there you have the story about the man behind the most effective political commericial in history. Yes, the infamous commercial about the girl picking petals from a daisy leading to a nuclear countdown in the 1964 was also quite intense but it didn't change the outcome. It was merely overkill on the part of Lyndon Johnson and Bill Moyers since the Goldwater campaign was destined to lose no matter what that year. However, the Swift Boat commercial made all the difference in the 2004 campaign. Many have wondered why Kerry allowed weeks to go by without responding to the Swift Boat Vets For Truth commercial. The answer is simple. He didn't know what to say since the charges were true. Perhaps Kerry just hoped it would go away and be forgotten. That was not to be. The commercial that Brian Craig gave birth to was what ultimately led to Kerry's tears of today.

Ironically, I am not posting this because I am great buddies with Brian Craig. On the contrary, the few times I have called in to his show, I have been somewhat abused as an "agenda caller." I am sure if I called in tomorrow to tell him how I gave him credit for Kerry's downfall, I would again be accused of being an agenda or a chronic caller. But you know what? I don't care. I don't mind the abuse. Brian Craig can call me anything he wants but that's okay because at least he has kept all of us from having to suffer that arrogant mound of condescension known as John Kerry from ever becoming an occupant of the White House. And that MORE than balances out any names Brian might call me.

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