Tuesday, October 21, 2003

What Clark should say- Part I

It would be nice if the last debate had put the matter to bed, but given the lack of creativity and the desperate nature of his rivals, don't count on it. How I wish he would respond to questions regarding Democratic credentials:

“My opponents have kicked this issue to death. Here are the facts: I haven’t voted Republican since the 1980s; I’ve never contributed to a Republican candidate; My local Republican organization asked me to speak in 2001 and after saying a few polite words about some people in the administration, I made the case that our foreign policy lacked the proper direction. Read the whole speech, my view regarding our foreign policy has been quite consistent. In January of 2002, I praised our troops and their commander-in-chief for taking out the Taliban in Afghanistan. That action made sense and I, like most Americans, always supported it. I reject the politics of pure negativism in which people are criticized for ever being polite about our leaders, even if they didn’t vote for them. When I disagree with this administration, I say so. But I don’t feel compelled to constantly carp and I was not raised to be disrespectful or discourteous as if to do so somehow shows the depth of one’s commitment to this country or one’s values.

As I travel the country I find most Americans don’t really care how somebody voted in the 70’s and 80’s. In fact, most people, including life-long Democrats who voted for Reagan, are concerned about their lives now and in the future. They’re concerned about the state of the economy, they’re concerned about health care, they are concerned about America’s place in the world and when we engage in petty squabbling over issues like this, they tune out because they think we ‘don’t get it.’ Well, I do ‘get it.’ I’ve listened to Americans all over this great country and they are hungry for leadership that looks forward, not backward and that addresses their problems.”

He needs to avoid sounding defensive, and turn the issue around on 'em. Successful politicians' learn the trick of turning every question into a positive.

No comments: