Here’s a paragraph that should have been in John Kerry’s acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention. It’s from a campaign speech he delivered yesterday:
George Bush’s record speaks for itself. 1.6 million lost jobs. The first president in 72 years to actually lose jobs on his watch. 8 million Americans are now looking for work. 45 million have no health insurance — 5 million more than the day he took office. 4.3 million Americans have slipped into poverty over the last four years — 1.3 million are children. The average family saw their income fall $1,500, while they saw the cost of health care, child care, gasoline, and tuition rise faster than ever before. 220,000 more Americans did not attend college last year for the simple reason that they could not afford it. This President turned a $5.6 trillion surplus into trillions of debt for our children. George Bush accomplished all this in only four years. Imagine what he could do in another four. I want to be clear: I’m not saying that president wanted these consequences. But I am saying that by his judgments, by his priorities, he has caused these things to happen. And he can’t see the error of his ways.
I’m no campaign consultant, but I’ve thought that this was the winning message for Kerry from the beginning. He needs to find a similar message on Iraq, I think.
Kerry has an op-ed published in today’s Wall Street Journal that makes a similar argument. Usually I’m pretty wishy washy about Kerry, I’m going to vote for him, but my enthusiasm about him fluctuates. However, after reading the op-ed, I feel much better about him as a candidate. His plans for economic policy seem pretty clear and reasonable to me. My great fear is that he will try to impose protectionist trade policies, but I don’t get that sense from the op-ed. In fact, I’ve noticed that while he frequently decries companies shipping jobs overseas, the only thing he plans to do about it is to eliminate a tax loophole that rewards companies for doing so. That seems pretty reasonable to me.