Kerry's case that he would have acted with more swiftness and poise than Bush was also undermined by another interview -- this one with the candidate himself. On July 8, Kerry recalled for CNN's Larry King his actions that day. He was in a meeting in the office of Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) when he watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center on television, while standing next to fellow senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "And we shortly thereafter sat down at the table, and then we just realized nobody could think, and then, boom, we saw the cloud of the explosion at the Pentagon."
The Bush-Cheney campaign noted that there were 40 minutes between the second trade center attack and a plane hitting the Pentagon. "By Kerry's own words, he and his fellow senators sat there for 40 minutes,
To be fair 7 minutes or 40 minutes, both these guys reacted faster than I did. I was stunned for pretty much the entire day. I stared aimlessly at the television watching to see if the "This is all a hoax" message was going to appear, and praying that the jumping to the gun that it was Muslim terrorists would be proven false. At Oklahoma the media had blamed Muslims when it had been Whitey, and I have watched too many times the media (regardless of issue) jump to conclusions of outcomes.
The fact is, I am glad that the President took those 7 minutes. When I watched "Fahrenheit 9/11" I felt comforted by a father figure reading a children's tale, even with the subtext. I am also glad that Kerry was stunned for 40 minutes talking with other important Senators (like my former Senator Harry Reid), it makes them human and reaches far beyond partisan politics. Let's face it, the only people who acted almost instantly were the amazing emergency services people in New York! And they were the only people who could do something other than offer words of consolation.