Monday, August 02, 2004
I will take time to examine Kerry's speech and where it leaves the campaign in a later post. Suffice it to say that the horserace numbers are looking much better for Bush than they were about a month ago. Bush's people expected him to be ten to fifteen points down by this time, not up by five in Gallup. Gallup's poll may be an outlier, as ABC, CBS, and Rasmussen tend to give Kerry a lead. However, the lead is at most five points. Karl Rove couldn't have written a better script.
For the Kerry campaign, this has to be bad mojo. Something Kerry said during his acceptance speech did not resonate with the Mushy Middle that decides elections. Jay Reding, writing over at Red State.org, says that we may be witnessing the arrival of the "9/11 Democrats", as they rise to turn away from their party's nominee this time out. Personally, I believe that Kerry jumped the shark when he insisted that he would respond forcefully to any attack on the United States.
Which implies that he would wait for the attack to occur.
I have a sneaking hunch that the pivot point of this campaign occured on the night of Kerry's speech, as his oration wandered into a terrain of Bush's choosing. Kerry followed this up with his famous assertion of a "secret plan" to bring the troops home from Iraq.
As opposed to victory over the Ba'athists and their jihadist allies, of course.
John Kerry can't quite get out of this trap of his own devising, nor will Bush's people let him. Americans love winners and winning, and will not tolerate being associated with a shameless bugout, no matter how liesurely it is conducted. Kerry has resurrected the Democrats as the party of Peace at any Price. What he never understood was that all the flags, all the generals onstage, and all the testimonials of long-ago courage alter the nature of the Democratic Party. Kerry is not an aberration; he is a creature of his party and its sentiments.
I strongly suspect that we have seen the high watermark of the Kerry-Edwards campaign.