Life's been busy, but I did manage to catch some of the Democratic National Convention coverage. On PBS or NPR I heard one correspondent say: she overheard one of the delegates, during Clinton's speech, say "God, he's good!"
I must agree.
Whatever you think of the guy, he is a masterful speaker and it is a shame we don't get to hear great Presidential speeches anymore. Bush has his moments, certainly, but they require a crisis in the background to have any meaning.
That's why I chuckle when I hear over and over how Kerry isn't up to snuff on the speech front. Bush, at his best, reminds me of a passionate Moose Lodge member. He could give a "great" speech on the idiots down at city hall back in your hometown, but he really never sets you on fire like Clinton can.
The general wisdom out there seems to be that if Kerry loses, it will be due to "likeability" issues. I would agree that in a superficial manner, Bush definitely seems more approachable. "Hey, George, let's grab a beer after golf!"
Do we really want to have another popularity contest? Look what happened when we voted for Bush, because Gore was "too stiff." (Ahem, well, more people voted for Gore in 2000, but ...)
Iraq is an absolute mess. Our actions have resulted in "beheading" as a household word. Bush is a one-issue politician: tax cuts for the wealthy. I think "likeability" is just about the last thing we need to be worried about. We need smarts and toughness.