Do Americans, even in anxious times, prefer an optimistic leader or an angry one?
September 10, 2003
Given in honor of the performances of the Democratic candidates in the debates on September 4 and September 9.
Blooper Award: to Bob Graham, for doing what the independentistas could not do after decades of struggle. In Thursday's debate, Graham granted Puerto Rico nationhood, referring to it as "that country."
Broken Record Award: to Dick Gephardt, for repeatedly calling Bush "a miserable failure."
Smug Award: to John Kerry, whose putdowns of Bush & Co. may backfire. Thursday night, he said, "Good things happen when Bush goes on vacation." He also said, "It would be wonderful to have a President who could find the other countries (beyond Mexico) in this hemisphere." Tuesday night, he said the diverse crowd was "Ashcroft's worst nightmare."
Best bin Laden Lines: Carol Moseley-Braun for "Osama Been Missing," Bob Graham for "Osama Been Forgotten," Al Sharpton for Bin Laden has "released more videos than a rock star, but Bush's intelligence agencies can't find him."
Best Deflection: Howard Dean, on why coming from an overwhelmingly white state doesn't make him out of touch with minority concerns. His retort: If the demographics of your state determines your politics, "then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King."
Best defense of Congressional War Powers: Carol Moseley-Braun, who said, concerning Iraq, "Congress abdicated its role under Article 1, Section 8."
Worst Defense of a Bad Vote: John Kerry, who said on Tuesday, "We had to give life to the threat (to use force). If there hadn't been a vote, there never would have been inspectors, and there never would have been a chance for the U.N. I think we did the right thing."
Best Line on the Bush Economy: Dick Gephardt: "How many Americans have to lose their jobs before he loses his?"
Runner-up: John Edwards: "The only Spanish Bush speaks is Hasta La Vista."
Most outspoken in favor of national health care: Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley-Braun.
Most passionate about equal education for all: John Edwards.
Most anti-Iraq war: Dennis Kucinich.