Friday, August 06, 2004

Kerry and a cheap shot

via drudge

Referring to the moment, now immortalized in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," when Bush refused to leave a group of schoolchildren in Florida for seven minutes after being notified of the second attack on the World Trade Center, Kerry told the minority journalists:

I have not seen the film, because I really don't want to give any money to Michael Moore. I would like to know where and what Kerry was doing the morning of 9-11, backed up with video or some news reports.

I was asleep in my bed, and a friend can and woke me up.

Then Kerry says what he would do..."Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whispered in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to."

That is not what I would I have done. I would have cried and kissed all the children on the head, then dropped all (and I mean all of our nukes) on every single middle eastern country or that is what I would have felt like doing. Truth IS I don't know what I would have done if I would have been in Bush's situation, and I think it is silly to say that you would have done something different.



Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the movie either, but I saw the clip on TV. I think the President handled it very well. He couldn't just panic and run out. What was he going to do in those 7 minutes anyway? Finishing up with the kids was a good idea. He then excused himself, showing (in my opinon) poise and piliteness.

Andrew said...

Well, here's Kerry's account of what he was doing, from his and Teresa's interview with Larry King Live. It includes enough name drops (Daschle, McCain) and was well-publicized enough that if it was false, we can be sure Rove and Co. would have been all over it:

KING: Where were you?

KERRY: I was in the Capitol. We'd just had a meeting -- we'd just come into a leadership meeting in Tom Daschle's office, looking out at the Capitol. And as I came in, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid were standing there, and we watched the second plane come in to the building. And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think, and then boom, right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon. And then word came from the White House, they were evacuating, and we were to evacuate, and so we immediately began the evacuation.

HEINZ KERRY: You walked out with John McCain, didn't you?


KING: You and what?

HEINZ KERRY: He and John walked out together.

KING: He and John McCain walked out -- what did you think?

Did you think...


KERRY: I knew instantaneously...

KING: Clinton said he though bin Laden.

KERRY: I knew instantaneously with the first. I'm a pilot, and I looked at the weather, and it's what we call in pilot lingo CAVU, ceiling and visibility unlimited. And I knew that that plane did not fly into that building accidentally, as people were speculating. It just doesn't happen, could not, under those circumstances. So I knew it was deliberate, whether it was suicide, whether it was something -- I couldn't tell. When the second plane hit, it was obvious to the world.

And as we went out of the building, my immediately feeling was, we're at war. I mean, that was the sense, that we are under attack. People are attacking the United States of America and we needed to respond.

KING: Were you scared?

KERRY: No, I wasn't scared, I was angry. I was very angry.

If you look around, I'm sure you can find supplementary evidence or criticism of this story. But it's a lead to start from.

I really think that sitting around for seven minutes is *not* a reasonable execution of your role as commander-in-chief. As a leader, Bush had two obligations: (1) to gather as much information to act as quickly as possible in the interest of the nation, and (2) avoid inciting panic among the 10-20 schoolchildren in his audience--in that order. While you may have freaked out and nuked the middle east, nobody hired your for that job. Lack of composure, impulsiveness, dumbfoundednes, or any other mis-step is NOT a reflection on your job; but it IS a reflection on the fitness of the man who we expect to manage our country in times of emminent crisis.

Cubicle said...

"1) to gather as much information to act as quickly as possible in the interest of the nation, and (2) avoid inciting panic among the 10-20 schoolchildren in his audience--in that order."

"quickly as possible"...five mins, two days, 10 weeks...

that is very subjective. Of course, when he does act in the intrest of the nation, the left critizes him for acting hastily, and they say he is out of control and drunk with power.

On 9-11 the President did not do anything for 7 mins. Is that because he is a weak president? or because he did not need to do anything?

Did the buearcy of the goverment handle all the things that needed to be handled, without him?

I know a couple of air traffic controlers (both who where not at work that day). Every single plane had to come out of the sky as quickly as possible on 9-11, that is just one example where the buearcy did one it's job (to decentralize decision making capablity)

Given what i know about what the president has direct control over, it is better if the president waits till he has as much infomation as possible before acting (because one you drop a nuke you can't go back).

Which is worse under reacting or over reacting?

Cubicle said...

"And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table and then we just realized nobody could think,"

did the same thing bush did?

Andrew said...

Read the commission report. Those were seven disasterous minutes, and it was Bush's responsibility to take charge. The beaurocracy was not acting effectively, and while sitting for seven minutes with a bunch of schoolchildren, Bush was in no position to ensure that it was. It's simply inexcusable.

And 'reacting', by grounding flights, scrambling jets, and declaring a state of emergency is not the same as nuking some unknown enemy. It would have been completely inappropriate and pointless to do that; especially because in those seven minutes, we had no precise clue who characterized the threat. For all we knew, it could have been another domestic revenge for Ruby Ridge and Waco or something.

But to sit there and play "oh my God. What did I get myself into by running deceitfully for a job that so many people didn't think I was qualified for" is not the appropriate response. Whether or not he deserved or was prepared to be there, he needed to step up to the plate. And he didn't. And that's why we can judge him by a higher standard.

Cubicle said...

"Those were seven disasterous minutes, and it was
Bush's responsibility to take charge. "

bush is not god, he could not stop time. Their was nothing Bush could do about the situatin.

"The beaurocracy was not acting effectively"
agreed, but there was nothing Bush could do to make it work more effectively.

"and while sitting for seven minutes with a bunch of schoolchildren,Bush was in no position to ensure that it was."
agreed, but then again it would have taken him 7 mins to get back to his command and control center to do anything.

I guess bush could have left the classroom, but really in the end that seven mins would not have mattered at all.

"It's simply inexcusable."
disagree, there was nothing to be done. Except get up and start moving toward airforce one. In the end that would not have matter one iota.

check page 49 and 50 of the report, you tell me if the president could do anything?

If the president would have over ridden any sort of stanards or procedures he would have just made the problem worse by confusing everyone.

"he needed to step up to the plate."
also, you don't offer any exact suggestions (i think because there are no reasonable suggestions to offer). that is not constructive critisim, just plain old politics.

annika said...

Seven minutes is not a hell of a long time. i mean what do the critics think he could have done with those minutes? The president is always on stage. We don't realize that because we don't live like that. i'm sure that foremost in his mind, once he knew it was an attack and not an accident, was to appear calm and not panicked. The seven minutes was a message to the world that we are not afraid.

Anonymous said...

"Oh my God. What did I get myself into by running deceitfully for a job that so many people didn't think I was qualified for?"
Who's reading whose mind?
And if I'm reading Kerry's mind, I could imagine whatever I want to imagine him thining.
Judging from the previously posted inteview, sounds like both men were in basically the same mental state.
And whether Bush was sitting, standing, running, thinking in front of those school children for those 7 minutes, it is a very nit-picky thing to argue over and analyze and evaluate again and again. He could have been thinking the exact same thing while leaving/ walking to the plane or any other rushing around he could have done. "Wisely and slow; he stumbles that runs fast." ~Wm. Shakespeare

Cubicle said...


thanks for stopping by, have fun and enjoy.

though my point is similar, even if he did do somthing for those 7 mins he would not have been able to accomplish much.
check out pages 49 and 50 of the commision report and you will see what i mean.