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Bush vs. Kerry

Sunday, 08 February 2004 12:00 AM

Issues – also crucial to a campaign – are not the subject here; skills as a presidential candidate are. It is now clear that John Kerry will be this year's Democratoc Party presidential nominee. So, let us examine a Bush-Kerry race.

Baseball's greatest talent evaluator was St. Louis Cardinal and Brooklyn Dodger general manager Branch Rickey. He taught his scouts to grade aspiring players on five baseball skills: 1) hit; 2) hit with power; 3) run; 4) field; 5) throw. Any player who combined these skills was a sure-fire major leaguer. To this day, baseball people salivate when they find a "five-tool" player.

Similarly, in elective politics, there are five attributes that, when combined, almost guarantee that a candidate will rise to the political "major leagues" known as the presidency:

With these Five Tools in mind, let us examine the now-certain November match-up of President George W. Bush versus Sen. John F. Kerry.

G.W. Bush is haunted by his father's defeat for re-election in 1992. Nothing motivates him more than restoring the Bush family name by being re-elected. (Oddly, in 1992 then-President George H.W. Bush did

Yesterday's "Meet the Press" appearance clearly showed that Mr. Bush is hungry and will fight like hell to win this year's election.

This is a

In yet another example of this self-discipline, President Bush carefully stuck to his script on "Meet the Press." He did not allow himself to fall into any traps set by Tim Russert.

President Bush is, after all, the

His State of the Union address was a flop, and his initiatives – especially on immigration and Mars – were greeted with yawns and cynicism. He seems devoid of positive vision – other than the notion of going back to the moon. More is required than merely saying "I have a vision," which is what the president said several times on "Meet the Press."

Kerry, too, is relying on negative feelings toward Bush. What positive or uplifting thought or vision has anyone ever heard come out of Kerry's mouth?

The key to this race may be which one of these two men can rise about their boring, plodding speaking styles and find a chord that connects them with people. Reagan and JFK could do it.

Can either of these two do it?

John LeBoutillier, a former U.S. congressman, is an author and columnist.

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Issues - also crucial to a campaign - are not the subject here; skills as a presidential candidate are. It is now clear that John Kerry will be this year's Democratoc Party presidential nominee. So, let us examine a Bush-Kerry race. Baseball's greatest talent evaluator was...
Bush,vs.,Kerry
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2004-00-08
Sunday, 08 February 2004 12:00 AM
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