Joe Trippi thinks that the Gulf War will present the biggest challenge of debate for John Kerry. Not the current one. The one that took place more than a decade ago and the one that John Kerry voted against.
In an attempt to further question Kerry’s ability to lead, and to further depict Kerry as a flip-flopper, George Bush will likely ask Kerry to square his vote in opposition to Gulf War I with this vote in support of Gulf War II.
Bush will use the specter of Saddam’s Army crashing through Kuwait, massing on the Saudi Arabian border, his willingness to launch Scud missile attacks on Israel, multinational support, and troops from Muslim countries on the frontlines and ask Kerry why when Saddam was visibly such an imminent threat at the time that even Al Gore and Howard Dean supported Gulf War I – the Senator from Massachusetts opposed it.
Maybe Kerry will have to employ W’s best tactic at this point in the debate; being sure even though you’re probably wrong. In the Bush world, the correct answer to this question is: “I made that decision. It was the right decision. You know where I stand. Mission accomplished. Nucular.”
Maybe the President will not be too anxious to bring up that era in the first place. First, Kerry could discuss the fact that the Bush in office at that time successfully put together a coalition and managed to fight a war and gain the respect of countries around the world at the same time. Second, that was just about the time that W decided to trade a young ballplayer named Sammy Sosa.