Tuesday, February 17, 2004
...Lawrence Jacobs has a tonic for all of the Democrats enthused by Bush's sagging poll numbers of late. Coming out of a Minnesota paper, this is pretty good for Bush.
Meantime, USAToday has several interesting stories. Indeed, given the fact that they appear in USAToday, I find their content shocking.
First is a straight-down-the-middle analysis of Bush campaign strategy by staff writer Judy Keen, giving a quick review of some of the pluses and minuses of the tactics that the Bush people will use. Hint: Bush will go after Kerry's consistency and his tendency to waffle. Smart move. The "L" word will only be used in passing, if at all.
Next up is a fairly liberal analysis of where Bush stands by USAToday political columnist Richard Benedetto. While it reeks of the kind of Beltway conventional wisdom that has become the bane of political writers everywhere, Benedetto cautions the reader that the campaign will be decided by the "big issues". In that respect, he has a clue.
Which surprises the hell out of me. I suppose that the mainstream media's honeymoon with John Forbes Kerry is coming to a close. Now they will actually have to peel back his record, which is not something they really wanted to do, I suspect. Nobody likes to find out that their knight in shining armor has less going for him than they originally thought. It's part of the dilemma the Democrats and their outriders in the media find themselves: Kerry is the default candidate; he's the one left standing after Dean imploded.
This situation suits President Bush just fine. He's sitting on a 200 million dollar war chest. Kerry isn't. For a better analysis of all this, check out Fred Barnes' piece in Monday's online edition of The Weekly Standard. As Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit might say, read the whole thing.