Kerry’s tin ear

· long story short

Look, I’m an anybody-but-Bush Democrat this time around, so I’ll get with the program if Kerry can sustain his lead, but something William Saletan wrote in his review of the State of the Union memes and countermemes from the two parties struck home:

8. The unofficial Democratic response. ABC and NBC interviewed Kerry, effectively anointing him the party’s true spokesman. His debut was unpromising. With a face devoid of energy and passion, he pledged to campaign “with all the energy and all the passion that I have.” He reeled off platitudes from his stump speech. When pressed to clarify his positions on the Iraq war, the Partriot Act, and gay marriage, he descended into endless nuance, going on for so long (and ending up somehow talking about race and judicial nominations) that Peter Jennings blinked with fatigue. The best line Kerry came up with was, “There are just two Americas: the America of the special interests and the lobbyists the president defends, and the America [in which] other people … are living.” It’s such a good line, in fact, that John Edwards has been using it for more than a month.

Just as Kerry lengthened, and drained the snappiness out of “Don’t send them a message, send them a president,” Kerry has expropriated Edwards’ “Two Americas theme” and has somehow flattened it and disimproved the rhetorical flow by saying “there are just two Americas” as if Kerry is uncomfortably aware of the origins of his slogans and can’t resist tinkering with them to personalize them, qualifying everything with nuance until it is the same flavorless pablum Democrats have gotten used to doling out.
Somebody close to Kerry, tell him to stop using more words where fewer will do, please?