Thursday, February 19, 2004
George Bush is still a sound bet to win this election, Andrew Sullivan's misgivings notwithstanding. Sullivan dismisses as ersatz a CNNGallupUSAToday poll that came out yesterday showing Kerry at a double digit lead over Bush. Bush still stands at 51% approval rating, however. Sullivan is arguing that the President hasn't set out the argument for a second term, and therefore is losing by default. I would argue in return that Bush has been making his arguments, but they have been in the background, as the Democrats have been making all the noise. It is rather odd to point out, as Andrew does, that some of Bush's troubles are due to Democrats soaking up all the media oxygen in the room, and then farther down the column go postal on Bush for not getting his message out.
Not to be snarky, but let's try not to have it both ways.
Both Andrew Sullivan and the High Tory backbenchers over at National Review Online think that Bush needs to get going, but NRO's editorial brings a bit more to the table than does Sullivan. Naturally, they have their own criticisms of Bush (many of which are quite similar to Andrew's deficit hawkishness), but they also see an opening for Bush to debate the war and the question of gay marriage. The latter point I suspect Andrew would rather not see debated, so eager is he to create a new right out of whole cloth. However, I suspect it will be. And Bush will be on the Conservative side of both issues. NRO sees the Republican concern as overdone, and I tend to agree with them. Bush hasn't spent a dime of his 150 million dollars, and has suffered a relentless pounding from the DNC and the candidates. It's who wins November, not who wins February, that counts.
A final insight to the President's character going into the game is given by Peggy Noonan in her piece in today's WSJ Opinion Journal. Noonan, among several others, met with the President recently. She reports that he is supremely confident in both his own skin and in his policies. That is all to the good. This tells me that Bush is neither panicking nor uncertain, and is ready to go on the offensive.
GW can't begin to attack until after the Edwards boomlet (hat tip: John Ellis)has played itself out. That won't occur until after Super Tuesday in March, when the Pimp Media realizes that buyer's remorse won't get Edwards the nomination. On that day, the pimps will realize that they have to peddle dour John Kerry to the electorate in the fall. I predict they will not like having to do that at all. So, Kerry should wrap everything up by the second week in March. He should also be out of money-while the smart little squirrel George W. Bush will be sitting on 150 million dollars to spend between now and the Republican National Convention in New York. When the assault begins, Kerry's free ride will come to a sudden end.
Meantime, a couple of good things:
First, Howard Dean is gone for freaking good. Best comment on this?
A mournful Dean sock puppet meanders down State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, jacked up on speedballs and booze.
Then, there's the Fresh Faced Young Man. Best comment on the Edwards boomlet? Well, a huge hat tip to Wonkette for pulling this one out of cyberspace:
That's it, I'm outta here.