Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

Clinton's Chief Strategist on Why Bush Will Win  | e-mail post

I've commented previously about how poorly run Kerry's campaign is, and that the real reason is that they fundamentally lack a positive message to offer voters, particularly independent voters.

Even Dick Morris, Clinton's lead strategist for his 1996 reelection campaign, is calling the election for Bush. Why? Because of Kerry's hamfisted and idiotic approach to dealing with the "missing" explosives story. From his NY Post Op-Ed piece on the 29th:
Then came the "disappearing explosives" story. Kerry's handlers, tacticians to the last, disregarded the needs of basic strategy and hopped on the issue with all four feet, running a TV ad lambasting Bush for losing the weapons after the invasion.

Strategically, this flawed decision assured that the final week of the campaign would focus on the areas of Bush's strength and Kerry's weakness: Iraq and terrorism. Tactically, it tied the electorate's confidence in John Kerry to the mystery of what actually happened in an ammo dump in the desert 18 months ago.

Then it began to explode in Kerry's face. Soon we heard that there were only three tons of explosives . . . and they weren't there when we occupied the dump . . . and they were removed by the Russians before we got there . . . and, perhaps, there are satellite photos to prove it.

All of a sudden, Kerry seems just not ready for prime time.

The backfire is amplified by the involvement of CBS and The New York Times. The plans of "60 Minutes" and Dan Rather to break the story on the Sunday before the election reflect overt partisan bias — an overt conspiracy of these leading outlets to stack the deck in favor of Kerry.

This controversy unraveling in front of us all, replete with conspiracy theories and denouement of media bias, is enough to occupy our attention and rivet our focus as Election Day approaches. It will drive all other stories off the front pages and will make the war in Iraq the key element in the election.

At this writing, the possibility that the alleged al Qaeda tape virtually endorsing Kerry will hit the airwaves makes one even more confident of a Bush victory. A threat to let blood run in the streets of America if Bush wins won't intimidate voters, but rather remind them of the importance of sending a warrior to fight the terrorists — and seal Bush's victory.
His basic analysis is that since Bush dominates in polling questions about who would better fight the war on terror, and who do you trust to handle Iraq, the final days of the campaign are all on his side.

The NY Times today has a piece that the Osama Bin Laden tape isn't influencing voters, but they based their conclusion on a relatively small number of interviews in five states: Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio. I would have loved it if they had interviewed people in New Jersey, who have been leaning to Bush in recent weeks because of the war on terror. (see my earlier: "What New Jersey is Saying (We're Safer With Bush/Cheney)" and the latest Quinnipiac University polling in NJ that has Bush and Kerry in a dead heat.)

Dick Morris actually thought Kerry probably didn't have a shot back in March, as his piece in The Hill details. Even then he observed, "Kerry has also made a big mistake in backing the criminal-justice approach to terrorism, seeking to transform the war on terror into a series of DEA-style busts. Voters recognize that Bush is right when he says that this is a war against nation-states that sponsor terror, not a hunt for criminal bands in the mountains."

Morris is right, people trust John Kerry to handle the war on terror probably only a little more than most people would trust Bill Clinton with their 20-something daughters. The big difference is that with the wrong approach to the war on terror, we all get screwed.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Sunday, October 31, 2004
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