Tonight, I watched the Frontline profile of the George Bush and John Kerry called, cleverly, "The Choice 2004." [#] Over two hours, they present a measured thoughtful portrait of the candidates as a series of overlapping biographies, interviews, and video clips. It is a decidedly subtle piece of work, but important contrasts accumulate. I'd guess that fans of both might even find something to like. For my part, I was surprised by how much Bush's political career has been informed by an Evangelical mission, while Kerry's use of his experience during and after the Vietnam War as a central metaphor for his public service is probably less groundbreaking.
If it hasn't already aired in your area, keep an eye out. Otherwise, tune in and watch it online starting on the 15th of October.
For those who prefer text-based and more specific (to foreign policy) comparisons, the profile of John Kerry in last weekend's New York Times Magazine is worth reading, if for no other reason than to get the context for Bush's latest attacks of Kerry's goal to reduce terrorism to a "nuisance." [nyt]
Is there anything edgier than staying home to watch PBS on a Tuesday night? I tell you, this could be the way of the future.