Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Knowns, unknowns and the Ketchup Kid Mark Steyn on the New Hampshire primary, which frankly doesn't seem to deserve all the hype it gets every four years. New Hampshire could not be less representative of this country if it tried. All white, pretty conservative, but really more contrary than anything else. Any state that would vote for Pat Buchanan and John McCain isn't really on the same wavelength as the rest of the country. Anyway loved these lines about Kerry:

If you go to a Kerry rally – something of an oxymoron, but let that pass – the senator's stump speech is a karaoke tape of floppo populist boilerplate. If he'd downloaded it for free from the internet, that'd be one thing. Instead, he paid a small fortune to hotshot consultant Bob Shrum, who promptly faxed over the same old generic guff he keeps in the freezer: "I (insert name here) will never stop fighting for ordinary people against the powerful interests that stand in your way."

This shtick worked so well for Shrum's previous clients - President Dick Gephardt (1988), President Bob Kerrey (1992), President Al Gore (2000) and President Insert Namehere (2008) that he evidently sees no reason why it shouldn't elect a fifth president this time round. Throw in a few mandatory sneering references to Enron, Halliburton and Attorney-General John Ashcroft plus a handful of local hard-luck stories of doubtful general application –

"47-year-old Arlene Claxton of Hooksett worked 20 years to build up her hairdressing business only to contract a rare skin disease from a conditioner manufactured overseas by corporations George W Bush has given tax breaks to in order to export American jobs abroad to jurisdictions lacking environmental safeguards thanks to a sweetheart deal negotiated by a lobbyist for Halliburton and then learnt that her health insurer wouldn't cover the cost of treatment because etc etc."

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