Gaps: enthusiasm and credibility

The Boston Globe reports that, with the exception of New Hampshire and Wisconsin, turnout in the Democratic primaries has been mediocre at best: “Democratic turn-out seen so-so, despite party assertions.” The article is based on a study performed by Curtis Gans of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.
According to Gans, “Democratic turnout in the party’s presidential primaries through Super Tuesday was generally low — in the aggregate, the third-lowest on record.” Democratic party officials, however, are sticking with their story that turnout in the primaries reveals wellsprings of enthusiasm for Kerry.
Tony Blankley raises credibility issues of a different kind regarding John Kerry. In “Euro back-stabbers for Kerry,” Blankley goes in search of the factual basis for John Kerry’s assertion that he has “met foreign leaders who can’t go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, ‘You’ve got to win this, you’ve got to beat this guy, we need a new policy, things like that.'”
I don’t want to spoil the suspense of reading Blankley’s column, but he finds no factual basis to support Kerry’s assertion. Kerry’s office refused to respond to Blankley’s request for information regarding Kerry’s foreign itinerary over the past year, and Blankley is aware of no information suggesting that Kerry has recently met with foreign leaders on American soil.
Blankley nevertheless finds that whether or not Kerry lied about this convenient little anecdote, the fact that he thought it was a useful story to recount tells us something about how he views America and the world. Blankley attempts to deduce the foreign leaders whose antipathy for Bush and esteem for him Kerry might have been referring to, and narrows the candidates to more or less democratic leaders. (Based on the AP report of Kerry’s recently revised opinion of Yasser Arafat, we can probably rule Arafat out: “Arafat an ‘outlaw to the peace process,’ Kerry says.”)
As the leaders of Italy, Spain, Britain, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria have been strong Bush allies, Blankley infers that Kerry is referring to France’s Chirac, Germany’s Schroeder, Russia’s Putin, or Belgium’s whoever. He rules out Putin as far too smart to badmouth the president. So Blankley reduces the candidates to Messrs. Chirac, Schroeder or some of their lesser Euro-running dog lackeys. Blankley concludes:

Weak American presidents who feel the need to apologize for America protecting its interests in the world are invariably favored by both our enemies and our competitive friends. The French couldn’t stand our last cowboy president, Ronald Reagan.
I am sure that M. Chirac will be glad to continue to kiss Mr. Kerry’s hand, as long as Mr. Kerry will kiss a lower, dorsal part of M. Chirac’s anatomy. But I rather doubt John Kerry will get elected president by American voters while in that posture.

UPDATE: Reader Durbin writes: “Please do not forget Japan. Koizumi has supported the president since Sept. 11, and backed it up quietly by sending supply ships to support the effort in Afghanistan. The humanitarian deployment to Iraq by the second largest economy in the world simply is not being reported by Big Media. It only gets headlines here when a bomb goes off. Rebuilding roads and improving the water suppy are pretty boring. In a recent NHK poll, Koizumi’s support went up.”
Reader/blogger Margaret Martin explores Kerry’s European connections in “Why we can’t let that guy be elected president” on her Our House site. In her e-mail to us, Margaret speculates that one of Kerry’s anonymous “foreign leaders” expressing support might be the first cousin of Kerry (the Socialist Government environment Minister from 1988-92) discussed in her post.


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