WITH LESS THAN 38 WEEKS until the November 2nd vote, radio hosts have got to sharpen the message. That's less than 200 broadcast days, and even with 15 segments per three hour show, that's only 3,000 opportunities to present a four- to twelve-minute segment that focuses on some aspect of John Kerry's record.
As a service to my broadcast colleagues, I will prepare occasional talking point memos to fill the spaces between now and November 2, 2004. So here is Volume 1, Number 1 of the Kerry Files:
NATIONAL SECURITY. Voters cannot trust John Kerry's judgment or his resolve on issues of national security. From his April, 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to his statement on January 29, 2003, in a Democratic candidates' debate that the war on terror is "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation," Kerry has fundamentally misunderstood threats to national security and the best means to defend the United States against them.
MULTILATERAL MAN. The "Swiss-educated son of a foreign service officer," as Time Magazine described Kerry in its February 9 issue, is a fully-formed U.N. man, for whom the opposition of the U.N. to any proposed American initiative would mean at least temporary and perhaps permanent paralysis.
DEFENSE RECORD. As a senator, John Kerry has voted against the full funding of most major weapons systems of the past two decades, including the MX missile, the Patriot inteceptor, and missile defense deployment.
THE L-WORD. According to Kerry-friendly Time Magazine's profile, there is "plenty to support the notion that Kerry [is] just a classic bleeding heart: his ratings from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action have always hovered in the 90%-to-95% range."
GAY MARRIAGE. Kerry was one of only 14 senators to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law, signed by Bill Clinton, that obstructs the automatic extension of Kerry's home state's embrace of gay marriage.
ABORTION. Kerry has repeatedly voted against the federal law banning partial birth abortions.
MASSACHUSETTS. Kerry is a stand-in for Senator Edward Kennedy, the latest in a long list of failed Massachusetts liberals who wanted to be president--a list that includes Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, and of course, Teddy himself. A vote for Kerry is, in effect, a vote for Kennedy, as well as the East-coast elitism that has never successfully governed the country . . . or understood the world as other than a very contentious faculty meeting that can be calmed with the judicious application of soothing words and the distribution of small perks.
ARROGANCE. Kerry's personal arrogance is legendary, and his nickname--"Live Shot Kerry"--conveys that his arrogance is without even the mediating aristocratic virtue of reserve.
KYOTO. John Kerry's attachment to the Kyoto Protocol is complete and unshaken, despite the overwhelming rejection of the framework and its economy-crippling provisions by the public and most elected officials--including a large majority of Kerry's Senate colleagues.
FLIP-FLOPS. Kerry's indecision combines with his well-documented flip-flops to make him the Hamlet of the Senate--exactly the opposite of the war-time leadership we need.
JUDGMENT. Kerry has equated the president's service in the National Guard with avoiding the draft by skipping to Canada: "I've never made any judgments about any choice somebody made about avoiding the draft, about going to Canada, going to jail, being a conscientious objector, going into the National Guard." Equating honorable service with dishonorable flight is strong evidence of an impaired moral judgment.
DEATH PENALTY. As recently as 1996, Kerry publicly opposed the death penalty for terrorists. Now he says he supports it.
IRAQ. John Kerry voted against the 1991 war to liberate Kuwait. Had Kerry had his way, Saddam would still be on his throne, sitting atop Kuwait's oil, warehouses full of chemical and biological weapons, and, in all likelihood, nuclear weapons.
PERSONALITY. Kerry is without question the dullest, most self-absorbed, and most-awful-to-listen-to candidate in modern times. His Democratic primary victories were the result of Howard Dean's simultaneous self-destruction and take-down of Dick Gephardt. No other Democratic candidate could even make a plausible claim to be president. So Kerry emerged as the default nominee. He's got a glass jaw so transparent it sparkles in the fog.
THERE'S A SHOW'S-WORTH OF TALKING POINTS with which to start. Did I mention the photos of Kerry and Jane Fonda? Or that he's voted against cutting taxes a gazillion times and wants to raise them in 2005? Or his opposition to parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion?
Against this hour's work the Democrats have Ambassador Joe Wilson, their feverish attempt to distort the president's national guard service, and the possibility that Saddam fooled the world into believing he had WMD.
No wonder liberal talk radio can't succeed. Those hosts have no ammunition.
Hugh Hewitt is the host of the Hugh Hewitt show, a nationally syndicated radio talkshow, and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard. His new book, "In, But Not Of," has just been published by Thomas Nelson.