The Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party has made much ado of President Bush’s decision to finish reading “My Pet Goat” to Florida schoolchildren for several minutes after he was informed of the terrorist attacks on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. John Kerry picked up Moore’s goat droppings and his campaign is running with them–despite Kerry’s own admission on CNN’s Larry King Live that after the attacks, he, along with Sen. Tom Daschle, couldn’t think. The Washington Times reported:
[Kerry] recalled walking into the office of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, and watching the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
“And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table, and then we just realized nobody could think,” Mr. Kerry recalled, “And then ‘Boom!’ Right behind us, we saw the cloud of explosion at the Pentagon.”
That was a span of roughly 35 minutes, according to precise timelines of the day…
The Times‘ Diana West notes today how FDR reacted after the Pearl Harbor attack:
No wonder my mother was a little breathless on the telephone. “Listen to this,” she said, preparing me for a snippet from a tome by the popular, late and liberal historian William Manchester. It describes Franklin D. Roosevelt’s initial reaction to news of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, that devastated the American fleet, killing 2,403 soldiers, sailors and civilians.
After calling the secretary of state, Manchester writes, “the President of the United States did nothing for 18 minutes.” Eighteen minutes. Why, that’s 11, maybe 12 minutes more than George W. Bush paused during a visit to a Florida elementary school before taking action on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Truth be told, I’ve withheld this historical mini-scoop for a while, thinking “Agitprop 9/11,” or whatever, which first ginned up the notion that President Bush fiddled around while the Twin Towers burned, wasn’t worth spilling ink over. But now that the Kerry presidential campaign is Michael-Moore-ishly aping the outrage over the Lost Minutes, the fact of FDR’s post-Pearl Harbor lull gains currency…
This, of course, is getting ridiculous — and I don’t just mean the non-issue over the first minutes after the World Trade Center attack. The real question is, why does Mr. Kerry keep erecting so many wobbly pedestals for himself? Whether it’s a silly vow of insta-action belied by his behavior; a Christmas in Cambodia that wasn’t really Christmas and likely wasn’t Cambodia; widely, seriously contested military claims of both heroics and atrocities; or talk of a “secret” plan to save Iraq; the man increasingly sounds like he is all bluster.
Mr. Kerry’s Brahmin braggadocio on the “Goat” minutes may seem to be a small thing, hardly a matter on which presidential elections turn. But in a campaign based solely on the candidate’s “biography,” it is one more telling detail in an evolving character study that the Kerry campaign, given the probing charges raised by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the pressing, new journalism of the blogosphere, is no longer sole author of…
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