August 12, 2004


Bush's Mocking Drowns Out Kerry's Explanation of Iraq Vote: President Bush has challenged John Kerry for a yes-or-no answer on a critical campaign issue on which Mr. Kerry must maintain a difficult balance. (DAVID E. SANGER, 8/12/04, NY Times)

For five days now, as the long-distance arguments between President Bush and Senator John Kerry have focused on the wisdom of invading Iraq, Mr. Kerry has struggled to convince his audiences that his vote to authorize the president to use military force was a far, far cry from voting for a declaration of war.

So far, his aides and advisers concede, he has failed to get his message across, as Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have mocked his efforts as "a new nuance" that amount to more examples of the senator's waffling.

Beginning with his decision to take on a popular incumbent governor in TX and featuring his decision to run for president on Social Security privatization--the notorious third-rail of American politics--continuing on to staking his credibility on the 2002 midterms, George Bush has made and won more daring gambles than any politician in modern memory, but the decision to make John Kerry a mere object of derision is wildly ambitious even by the President's own standards. It's working.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 12, 2004 11:03 AM

It is working, even it nitwits like Robert Novak (read his latest column today, where he's moaning that the President STILL hasn't laid out a second-term agenda) can't seem to make the connection.

Really, considering the campaign doesn't begin until August 15, you have to consider that the "stealth" campaign that's been conducted so far has been wildly successful.

Posted by: kevin whtied at August 12, 2004 11:16 AM