Video: Kerry's speech at the Angelides event, uncut(?)

I don’t know for sure that it’s uncut but it looks that way.

The pertinent material comes right at the beginning. He takes the podium at 1:30, delivers a pair of feeble Bush jokes, then seems to transition into the serious part of his speech — which is immediately followed by the “education” line at 2:15.

Reluctant verdict: inconclusive. But judge for yourself. Click the image to watch.


Update: Dafydd ab Hugh agrees that it was a joke — a joke Kerry was directing at U.S. troops, not George Bush.

It was a “blooper,” says Dean-o.

Update: The boss agrees with Dafydd that Waffles’s delivery was too smooth to have been “botched.” She thinks he said exactly what he meant to say. It’s possible, although even as delivered, the line could be construed as a reference to Bush. James Lileks, to take just one example, heard it that way.

Of course, this doesn’t explain why Waffles’s version of what he meant to say keeps changing.

Update: Patterico thinks Kerry was making fun of Bush.

Update: Apparently I’m “crazy” for believing that Kerry’s remark might have been aimed squarely at Bush and not at Bush by way of American soldiers:

[W]hen Kerry says “make yourself smart or get educated, or you get stuck in Iraq,” he’s not offering Iraq up as a good place ot be. He intends, of course, to mean Iraq as a threat held out to those who don’t “make themselves smart and get educated” — and that is an indirect swipe at Bush (because Bush made Iraq so bad, so now you live in danger of being sent there if you don’t de-retardify yourself).

Yes, he does mean it, as he means everything, as ultimately a crack about Bush. But he was, in fact, talking about our soldiers — or rather, urging students to study up and not end up like our stupid, uneducated soldiers, winding up in Bush’s unilateral war of choice.

The best evidence we have of what he meant is the context. The context had to do with Bush. Ace ignores that to focus on the Larger Truth: that Democrats generally and Kerry specifically are, always and in every context, troop-haters, and what’s more are so fervent in that hatred that they’d be willing to voice it a week before an election. Never mind the dozen or so, including Murtha, who criticized Kerry for what he said. That’s just politics. They all hate the troops, they’re just afraid of the political consequences of saying so.

Once you’ve made that move — they believe X, and if they say they don’t believe it, they’re lying — you’re in nutroots territory.

So yeah, I think it’s inconclusive. But if I had to bet, I’d bet with Lileks and Patterico that he meant it as a dig at Bush and no one else. This was his clumsy way of saying, “Bush mismanaged the war because he’s a moron who never studied.” He should have been more specific but he wasn’t because he’s a clod. Surprise.

Update: The latest Bleat is up. Emphasis mine:

It’s possible to view this outside of what people think Kerry has expressed before – gaffe-wise, sometimes a cigar is just a cigre. I mean zagar. I meant cigar, and it’s clear I meant cigar, and I will not sit here and have my spelling challenged by people who never correctly rattled off the letters in “antidisestablishmentarianism” while half in the bag on a bet in college. In any case, I don’t have any Outrage over the matter because I don’t particularly care what Sen. Kerry says, and don’t see him as a relevant actor in modern politics. I understand why great amounts of hay is being thrashed over the matter, this being an election season. I understand how some are using the gaffe to draw attention to a greater point re: the hard left’s attitudes towards the military, but if that wasn’t actually the point Kerry was making then I can’t jump on board and affirm the greater point. That smacks of fake-but-accurate.