August 23, 2004
RACING FROM THE KITCHEN:
Kerry Fires at Vietnam 'Smear' (Howard Kurtz, 8/22/04, Washington Post: Ad Watch)
Candidate: John F. Kerry
Images: U.S. soldiers on patrol; a long-haired worker; President Bush speaking; torn pages with the words "smears" and "lies"; John McCain against an American flag; split screen of Bush with Kerry as a rifle-carrying officer in Vietnam.
Time: 30 seconds
Audio: American soldiers are fighting in Iraq. Families struggle to afford health care. Jobs heading overseas. Instead of solutions, George Bush's campaign supports a front group attacking John Kerry's military record. Attacks called smears, lies. Senator McCain calls them dishonest. Bush smeared John McCain four years ago. Now he's doing it to John Kerry. George Bush: Denounce the smear. Get back to the issues. America deserves better.
Analysis: This rare Sunday-release spot marks the first time since clinching the nomination that Kerry has attacked Bush over a negative ad. It reflects anxiety and astonishment among Kerry advisers over how much media coverage a group of Swift boat veterans has generated with a $500,000 buy accusing the candidate of lying about his Vietnam service, despite numerous inconsistencies uncovered by the media.
There is no evidence that the Bush campaign "supports a front group" that produced the attack ad.
Those who know him have long warned that the Senator is rather thin-skinned and has no regulator on himself when he loses his temper, but you'd think one of those thousands of aides would tell him this just looks petulant while keeping alive an issue that's killing him.
It's impossible to imagine the Bush campaign losing its marbles like this over Michael Moore or Howard Dean or Terry McAuliffe or Max Cleland or any of the other Kerry surrogates who've said far worse things about the President. But then again, they're disciplined adults.Posted by Orrin Judd at August 23, 2004 12:00 AM