September 11, 2004


50 days to go, 10 points behind, Kerry struggles for second wind (Julian Borger, September 11, 2004, The Guardian)

With 50 days left in his presidential campaign and nearly 10 points behind in the polls, John Kerry found himself this week in a familiar situation: surrounded by people willing him on, but who were having trouble understanding what he had to say. [...]

After all the months on the road, many Americans are unclear about what he stands for, partly thanks to the efforts of the White House, which spent much of last week's Republican convention in New York lampooning him as a "flip-flopper".

The charge has been hard to scrape off, because it contains a large fragment of truth.

The Massachusetts senator has altered course on key issues, most notably Iraq, and he has yet to convince people that changing your mind is better than making consistently bad decisions, as he insists the president has done. [...]

[T]he inescapable truth is that the Democrats' campaign has been blown off course; the president has succeeded in conveying his simple "me strong, him weak" tune.

The tension has been noticeable in the Kerry camp, where speeches are being rewritten hours before delivery, and new faces have begun to appear on the team.

Hard not to revel in that "inescapable".

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2004 7:44 AM

Readers of the Guardian must be having their own flip-flop whiplash right about now due to the tone of this story, which goes against the "Bush-is-falling-apart-thanks-to-new-revelations" theme the paper had been feeding its supporters for the past week.

Posted by: John at September 11, 2004 9:20 AM

My fervent hope is that after he is overwhelmingly re-elected that Bush says 'I promise that I will pay less attention to the whining of Chirac, Schroeder and the Eurotrash chattering classes.'

Posted by: Bart at September 11, 2004 9:21 AM

I'm still reveling in "large fragment".

Posted by: Andrew X at September 11, 2004 9:32 AM

Julian Borger writes that one cost of the Iraqi war is "untold damage to the US way of life."
Huh ?

It's not only untold, it's unseen, and unfelt.

Borger must be the type of person who believes that if only enough people would wish hard enough that Tibet were free, the Chinese would pack up their bags and wander off.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 11, 2004 10:45 AM