Wednesday, August 25, 2004



During the course of some presidential election contests there seems to occur a Moment that, in hindsight, exemplifies why the loser lost. George Romney's presidential aspirations were sunk the Moment he attributed his initial support of the Vietnam War to his being "brainwashed" by the U.S. military. Gary Hart's Moment occurred when the Miami Herald broke the Donna Rice Scandal. Howard Dean's Moment was his post-Iowa Caucus "Yeagh!" scream.

The epitome of this Moment, however, is this picture of Michael Dukakis riding on a tank:

For sheer dorkiness, Dukakis' picture takes the cake, so it seems appropriate to name the moment that defines a presidential candidate's loss as the "Dukakis Moment".

Why am I bringing all of this up? Because I think John Kerry had his Dukakis Moment last night:

After weeks of charge and countercharge in the presidential campaign, comedian Jon Stewart tried Tuesday to get to the bottom of the debate over Democrat John Kerry's military service in Vietnam.


As Kerry launched into a monologue about why President Bush avoids talking about issues like the economy, jobs and the environment, the comedian interrupted.

"I'm sorry," Stewart said. "Were you or were you not in Cambodia?"

Stewart and Kerry then leaned in and stared each other down before Stewart asked about other things Kerry's opponents are saying.

John Kerry didn't answer. That was his Dukakis Moment.

UPDATE: Hmm. Looks like I'm not the only one who is comparing Kerry to Dukakis:
There is no President in modern memory who is so universally hated than George W. Bush, and yet, you've never polled outside of the margin of error. Now, the polls are going against you, and by my measurement, its going to get worse, not better from here. Bush is a marathon runner and you are a country club golf cart riding, two caddy golfer. As long as you continue to bring your B game to an A game park, you and your party are going to look fools. At some point, you will begin to see you allies in your party and the press make you the pinata at this party. They will not take the heat for your loss, they will tie a can around your neck and toss you out into the exercise yard for the guards to shoot at. Everyone loves a winner, but no one can stand a loser.

You sir, are a loser. You will go down in history as the man who made Dukakis look good.
Prediction: Mcgovern, Mondale, Dukakis and now Kerry will each get an entry in the hall of fame of losers. 40 states will go for Bush. It will not be a close election.