What should the strategy of Kerry be in the presidential debates?
Right now their looks like their will be two or three debates. The first and last one will be about domestic policy and foreign policy. I don't know which order. There may or not be a second one.
originally there where three planned, but Bush's debate team is pushing for two. The theory driving that decision is Bush stands to lose much,but gain little because he is an incumbent. They are citing the type of debate the middle one is,a Q and A with undecided voters, to strike it. I think who ever is behind in the polls should push for more debates. It will make them look aggressive and the other person look sly, unapproachable, and unwilling to fight head on with the other candidate. In fact, Kerry has already asked for a debate every week until the election occurs. I think that was over the top. Pushing for 4 debates would be good move in my book.
When asked a question Kerry can do several things: Attack Bush's record, promote himself, attack Bush's ideas for the future. Attacking Bush's record is one of the worst things he can do. First off, everyone knows his record, so nothing new is going to come out of that. Secondly, Kerry will meet a wall of conviction. Bush will strip away the long, boring political process talk and concentrate on the reason why he acted in the way he did. In other words from Bush you will get, "I did what I did because I believed it made America safer" . You can argue if Bush's actions accomplished what he wanted to do, but you cannot argue with Bush's goal. Kerry can attempt to cast Bush's judgment into question. That is just trying to jump over the wall of conviction, not avoiding it entirely.
Kerry should promote himself by contrasting his ideas for the future against Bush's ideas. If the democrats ideas are really better, I think that the American people will see that and vote for Kerry. Bush has stated his plan, although it is weak on the details. I think it is important to point out that Bush has gotten many things that he wanted accomplished from his first term: Education and Medicare Reform. He has a track record of doing things, he said he would do. I also think that while I care about the details, some people may not. As much as I know, I still know very little about the details of the two things I mentioned earlier. As much as each side may mention about detials, they are of limited use. Kerry should explain what he wants to do, not how he wants to do it, and explain fundamentally why Bush's ideas are wrong. Concentrating on the future and his plans, is what Kerry needs to do.