Campaign staff of Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. John Kerry are growing increasingly concerned about their boy's behavior on the stump. "He's been flat now for about a week and a half," says one staffer in New York. "We're not sure why."That anecdote tells us a lot about both Kerry's long windedness and the desire of CBS (the network involved) to make Kerry look good.
On recent stops in Super Tuesday states like Ohio and Georgia, Kerry has been long-winded in his speeches, and less focused with his audiences.
Where a month ago, he was bringing supporters to their feet by just waving, now he's lucky to get a strong round of applause from what used to be guaranteed applause lines from stump speeches.
"The scariest moments have been when he's doing one of his Q&A sessions with folks," says the staffer. "He'll give this incredibly long-winded answer, then the people just sit there. No applause, no feedback, no nothing. And he just stands there. You can hear a pin drop. That's not good in campaign settings."
It isn't just with the crowd. In what has become a famous incident on the campaign trail, a TV crew asked Kerry to comment on a specific issue, and the candidate gave such a complicated answer that the interviewer told Kerry staff they couldn't use any of it for a soundbite. The staff gave Kerry a printed, two sentence quote, and then asked the crew to re-tape the segment.
Saturday, February 28, 2004
The Prowler says that Kerry's staffers are worried that he is sounding like too much of a stiff.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 11:17 AM