When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

August 04, 2004

You Gotta Wonder

Bravo Romeo Delta

With the whole Wendy's thing showing up on the radar, there's some more subtle points I ponder. If he had 19 $200 dinners ordered, that's a total of $3,800 for dinner. For one night. For 19 people.

That brings up some really, really interesting questions about Kerry's fundamental seriousness. Steyn's article above hits the vast majority of points on this, but there are a few additional things that intrigue me.

First off, as the man "reporting for duty", there's the open question of whether or not this at all an effective way to build campaign team cohesion. I can sure as heck guarantee that the rest of his entourage, who are probably working stiff, stiff hours, aren't getting the $200 dinner treatment. Lousy team-building and I suspect emblematic of a core problem with Kerry - he doesn't seem to think about things beyond the first level of analysis or so. Surely, given his experience as an officer, he can't have forgotten that you don't win the hearts and minds of subordinates with this kind of behavior.

To be fair, however, it might have been a gesture to celebrate the Edwards' anniversary. But even so, common sense would dictate that it would have been a much better thing to have celebrated with all the staffers on tour. Give them a few minutes of much-needed pat on the back by inviting them to celebrate with the candidates. That kind of thing can go a long way.

Secondly, given that Bush has a fairly substantial lead over Kerry in terms of fundraising, and that there has been an ongoing fear that the Bush money machine will bury Kerry. Dropping nearly $4,000 for a second dinner for the evening (and I imagine that the vast majority of Kerry's staffers are probably eating Wendy's for real), that just doesn't sound sensible. According to the link above, Bush has a big lead on cash on hand.

Again, in the interests of fairness, Kerry does have a lot of money stashed away, and $3,800 doesn't make that big a dent. But, on the other hand, if this is representative of campaign spending patterns, then they just lack the fundamental seriousness of a strong competitor. This sounds very much like the kind of situation where a CEO catches hell for an expensive junket while workers are being laid off. Good, bad, or indifferent, it just doesn't inspire confidence in the skipper's judgment.

So, in all, no smoking gun, necessarily, but there are some troubling symptoms that come out of all of this.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at August 4, 2004 09:35 PM
mypetjawa v. 2.0 (beta) Retaliates with: Secret Intelligence Intercepted

Retaliatiory Launches

And here I was thinking that getting 19 gourmet lunches for $200 was a good deal.

$200 each?!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 5, 2004 06:06 PM

Kerry? Wendy's? What? Did I miss something?

/sarcasm

Posted by: RS at August 6, 2004 06:07 AM

You know, at that rate of compensation, you could probably make a Kerry volunteer out of me, too :-) Two Hundred Dollar Lunches, ah ...

Posted by: Ray at August 6, 2004 08:31 AM
First off, as the man "reporting for duty", there's the open question of whether or not this at all an effective way to build campaign team cohesion. I can sure as heck guarantee that the rest of his entourage, who are probably working stiff, stiff hours, aren't getting the $200 dinner treatment. Lousy team-building and I suspect emblematic of a core problem with Kerry - he doesn't seem to think about things beyond the first level of analysis or so. Surely, given his experience as an officer, he can't have forgotten that you don't win the hearts and minds of subordinates with this kind of behavior.

Excellent point! He was a junior officer, of course, and probably didn't need to consider such issues. Whatever command mistakes he made could be PBed-over with higher authority. It also comports pretty well with my assessment of Kerry as a person capable of particularistic passion, but incapable of "big picture" commitments. Of course he's been the junior Senator from Massachussets his entire political life.

Posted by: Scott at August 9, 2004 08:51 PM

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