Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kerry on Imus

Heard part of the Kerry interview on Imus this morning. While Imus said today that he will likely vote for Kerry, that did not stop him from asking a few hard-hitting questions. Some observations:

  1. Overall impression: If his performance on the Imus interview is the best Kerry can do, there is no way he can make up the ground he needs to win in November. As Imus said after the interview [I'm paraphrasing from memory], "I asked Kerry a number of questions on Iraq, and after listening to his replies I still don't know where he stands."

  2. A highlight of the interview: Imus asking Kerry whether the American soldiers at Abu Ghraib should be punished if they violated the Geneva Convention, and if so why should Kerry not be punished for his own violations of the Geneva Covention to which he testified before the Senate. Kerry's response was unconvincing.

  3. When Imus noted that Unfit for Command was number one on the Times nonfiction best-seller list, Kerry said that this was because right-wingers have been buying the book in bulk. Not exactly right.

    While Kerry is correct that bulk sales can influence the Times best-seller list (as Business Week exposed and the Times acknowledged almost a decade ago), it does not appear to be the case with Unfit for Command. The Times now notes with a dagger (+) instances where bulk buying might have influenced the rankings, and no dagger appears by Unfit for Command. Check it out here.

Update: MSNBC has posted a transcript of the interview. More thoughts on the interview from JustOneMinute:

In response to each question, Kerry delivered his stump speech, which was a bit tough for the radio audience - I thought Imus should have inserted one of those warnings saying "Do Not Listen To This If Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery"; what a time for Kerry to attempt a filibuster.