. . . So Goes the Nation | Chicago Reader

. . . So Goes the Nation

Documentarians Adam Del Deo and James Stern present a cogent and comprehensive postmortem of the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, with political operatives both Republican (Ken Mehlman, Mark McKinnon) and Democratic (Terry McAuliffe, the ubiquitous Paul Begala) recalling how the Republican ground forces completely outflanked the Democrats. John Kerry's gaffes and misjudgments play out in pointed video clips (his eastern blue-blood windsurfing, his notorious midsentence reversal on funding the Iraq war). Stern and Del Deo note such right-wing dirty tricks as the swift-boat ads and the heightened terror alert in the waning days of the campaign, but they also concede the Republicans' shrewdness in focusing on their base instead of courting the middle. As even Begala admits, the GOP turned out 11 million new voters. 90 min.

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