Monday, August 30, 2004

# Posted 2:51 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

CELEBRITY DRIVE-BYS: The convention are doing a pretty nice job of bringing some top-flight GOP operators in to talk with us. We just saw campaign manager Ken Mehlman and foreign policy adviser Tucker Eskew.

They both came at the same time, so I only got to talk to Eskew. I wanted to press him on the effectiveness of John Kerry's talk about building strong alliances. How effective is it? I said Kerry was short on specifics, but he was saying what a lot of people want to hear.

Eskew said he thought Kerry was playing more to the base. Moreover, Kerry's position falls apart when you look at the details. He's really talking about France and Germany, not "alliances". But what exactly is he going to do about France and Germany?

As a follow-up, I said that many people, including myself, have underestimated Americans' fondness for the United Nations. They really believe in it. That's why there was so much interest in getting the UN to authorize the invasion. Won't that help Kerry?

Eskew didn't think so. He said it's absolutely true that Americans want to liked. It's in our nature. (He's right) But at the end of the day they want to know that their President will stand up do what's necessary to protect the nation's security.

That wasn't enough for me, so I tried one more approach. I said that even if I agree on the merits that George Bush has made a lot of the right decisions about when to go with and when to go against our allies, it seems that the Bush campaign isn't confident enough to go out say that it has kept America's alliances strong.

In response, Eskew talked about Bush's success in coalition-building in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And that was where the discussion ended, because a staffer said it was time to go. I didn't buy the coalition-building and I don't think too many swing voters will. Eskew may be right that it won't matter. But I'd say it's a gamble, not a sure thing.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment