I have to say, I was honestly impressed with Kerry’s performance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He laughed at the jokes without seeming forced and figured out how to play along with them and make one or two of his own, he talked about policy in a clear, concise, persuasive manner, and he managed to come off as relatively likable. His line about the attacks on his service was spot-on:

I’ve been through worse.

In a few words, it rebuts and disregards the attacks at once by minimizing them relative to the threats to real threats he faced down which said attacks are impugning. Equally clever was his assertion that

President Bush has won every debate he’s been in

Not only does he show that two can play at the expectations game and deprive Bush of the advantage of obscenely low standards he milked against Gore, he appears gracious towards the President while chipping away at one of his advantages: the perception that Bush is an unpackaged, unhandled straight-talker. Rather, Kerry rightly suggested, Bush has a shiny, studied presentation – but no record to run on.

If Kerry could find a way to walk on and wave without looking quite so awkward, or someone could tell him not to start re-buttoning your jacket until the cameras are off, it’d be even better.

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