Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I can't get the video to work on this computer, but judging from the transcript, Kerry's call to Don Imus this morning was more or less exactly what he needed to do.

I know -- you hate it. You hate that he did this and you hate that he went to Imus to do it. But that's how it works -- Imus is a gatekeeper, for better or worse, and the time to challenge a diseased, depraved political culture in which someone like Imus can be a gatekeeper is not a week before an election.

Kerry apologized to the troops for botching the joke but spent most of his time defending his criticism of the administration and defending his record:

...KERRY: I'm not going to let these guys distort something completely out of its context solely for the purpose of avoiding responsibility, which is what they’re doing.

Look, everybody knows I botched a joke. It's not the first time anybody's done that, Don. Am I right?

IMUS: ... the first time you've done it.

KERRY: Not the first time I've done it. But on the other hand, it's just a disgraceful thing when people try to assert that somebody like me, who has spent 35 years of my life fighting for veterans, standing up for veterans, fighting for their combat pay, fighting for Agent Orange recognition, fighting for their armor, fighting for their up-armored Humvees, fighting for them to have a strategy that wins, fighting to honor them that the notion that this comment was directed at them is an insult by these guys, and they know it. I mean, that's really the bottom line here.

Look, this is a great volunteer army. And the word "volunteer" army means you have to be smart to get in it. They know that. Everybody knows. You can’t get in the military today if you're not capable and not smart.

This comment couldn't have been directed at them, because you can't get into the military by doing badly in school. This was directed at the people who didn't do their homework, didn't listen to history, didn't listen to their own advice, and they owe the American people an apology....

The political culture demanded an apology, and he provided one. Impressively, he also kept punching, and hit his targets. You may have a problem with the apology, but it made the things you and I seek a hell of a lot more attainable.

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