Tuesday, August 31, 2004
By Steven L. Taylor

Bite-Size Toast: A Supplement to this week’s Toast-o-meter


September 11, 2001 was the focus last night (as the NYT noted: First Night, Single Theme for Double Term: Sept. 11 and USAT 9/11 both touchstone and test for party). On the one hand, the potential for being seen as being exploitative was present. On the other hand, there is no denying the centrality of 911 to this president and as a centerpiece for understanding his policies. Further, no doubt the issue of national security will be the issue that turns this election. I have thought that for over a year, and I continue to be convinced of that fact. Yes, many Democrats will be angry/offended by what they will see as exploitation–however, those voters will be voting for Kerry regardless of what the GOP does. The real question will be the effect on those on the fence. I predict it will play well with enough of them to give Bush a small but appreciable bump out of this convention.

As I argued in this week’s Toast-O-Meter, the conditions are right for the Bush campaign to use the convention to build a moderate lead–I think that the first night was a good start.

ROUND-UPS (mainstream press and Blogospheric):


Ron Silver

  • It was interesting to see a failry liberal pro-Clinton actor come on so strongly for Bush.
  • The full text is here.


  • The Transcript.
  • The Moore slam will likely be one of the most-played bites of the night.
  • Chris Matthews apparently didn’t like McCain’s Moore line–referenciong three distinct times after the speech–including defending Moore to McCain during an interview. Matthews pointed out that one of the points of the film dealt with the burden of the soldiers. However, he ignored McCain’s point, which was accurate, that the film does have a scene in depicting the peace and tranquility of Iraq pre-invasion. He adopted the same tone with McCain over Moore than he has been adopting with anyone who take the Swiftees seriously.
  • James Joyner wasn’t impressed.
  • Amy Sullivan, guest-blogging atThe Washington Monthly’s Political Animal thinks that McCain reputatin took a “bruising” as a result of the speech.
  • Joe Gandelman think the speech might have been a home run.


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By Steven L. Taylor

NPR seems obsessed with the fact that tickets have been purchased for RNC delegates for some Broadway shows, and the fact that some of the more racy shows might not appeal to the conventioneers. There was a story last night and a rather sarcastic one this morning. For one thing, I suspect that there are plenty of RNC delegates who would go to any number of shows, including the more controversial ones. For another, many will not doubt no have avant garde tastes–and so what? The tone of the pieces (especially the one this morning) had that whole “oh, look, a bunch of redneck Sunday School teachers have come to town” condescension that find itself quite amusing, but instead has a clearly insulting undercurrent.

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By Steven L. Taylor

I had Kathy Kinsely do some upgrades for me, including (and mostly importantly) setting up inline trackbacks and a few other tweaks. I highly recommend Kathy–her rates are radically reasonable and she is quite conscientious in her work. If you need a little coding help with you blog, or need some site design, look her up–you won’t regret it.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Having started in February of 2002, the Milosevic trial has started its second half as Milosevic Opens His Defense Case. He has 150 days to put on his defense.

While I understand the gravity of the situation and the complexity of the charges, but I am thinking that taking years and years to put on the trial seems to undermine the claim that this is the way that these types of crimes/criminals.

The Nuremberg trials tooks less than four years from the issuance of the indictments, and there were numerous defendants.

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Monday, August 30, 2004
By Steven L. Taylor

Rudy wins the night thus far with the litany of Kerry flip-flops and then stating “maybe that accounts for the need of John Edwards’ two Americas.”

Indeed, Rudy has been able to attack Kerry directly without seeming angry, or actually “attacking” per se.

Update: Here’s the exact quote via The Command Post:

My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Maybe this explains John Edwards’ need for two Americas – - one where John Kerry can vote for
something and another where he can vote against the same thing.


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By Steven L. Taylor

Certainly the Blogosphere has reacted to McCain’s Moore slam:

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By Steven L. Taylor

In re: Giuliani’s speech:

  • Nice start with the “hearing from us” litany.

  • I liked the bit about not letting terrorist dictate where conventions are held and so forth.
  • His discussion of terrorism, starting with the handling of the Munich Olympic killers, and the contrast with Bush was an excellent and compelling portion of the speech. Noting that Europe has been the center of appeasement and compromise vis-a-vis terrorism was a significant sideswipe at Kerry.
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By Steven L. Taylor

-Chad Evans at

-Jay Tea at Wizbang.

-The gang at PoliPundit.

-Ann Althouse.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Indeed: the first thing Chris Matthews did was play back the Moore slam–even over the beginning of the 911 widows.

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By Steven L. Taylor

More observations:

  • He was quite eloquent in his tribute to US solidiers.
  • Based on Taylor’s Iron Law of Political Speeches, this looks to be a successful one, as there have been several potentially excellent bites.
  • I bet that his Moore comment will get more play than anything else in the speech.
  • The middle was the best part–althought the very end was quite good.

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