. . . Friday September 10, 2004

This Will Hurt You a Lot More than It Hurts Bush

The most recent numbers suggest that events in Iraq haven’t really hurt the President at the polls. In an ABC/Washington Post poll, the President had a 53%-37% advantage over Kerry when voters were asked who they think would do a better job of handling the situation in Iraq.

This would be the equivalent of Red Sox fans saying that Bill Buckner is the man they most want to field a grounder with a championship on the line.

But Dems shouldn’t worry. The debate over the typestyles created by Vietnam-era typewriters should be just the boost the Kerry team needs to focus Americans on the big issues in this campaign.

Just as Kerry began to hit hard (and Cheney humiliated himself and his office with his terrorism comments) and tie Iraq to our own economy, the topic gets changed once again. Back to 1972.

The American people already perceive W as a guy born with a silver spoon and connections (he’s the son of a President – that’s almost like being an apprentice to Donald Trump) and they understand and accept that those guys can get a break when it comes to things like, say, risking your life. Nothing about Bush’s National Guard experiences will shock anyone and the only poll number this debate is likely to change is the response to the question: “Do you find yourself rolling your eyes and become more disgusted with campaigns with each passing day?”

I understand the temptation to try to soil W just like the GOP has tried and succeeded in distorting Kerry’s military record. But Kerry backers need to understand that while keeping the focus on Kerry’s Swift Boat Kerry, keeping the focus on Bush’s Guard service hurts Kerry too.

Folks, Bush is already President. Going after his youth will no longer work. Focus attacks on the period from the 2000 inauguration to the present. There’s plenty of material.

We’ve got 52 days until the election and 32 years to cover before we get to the topics that matter. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Every day spent on the Vietnam era (and not on Iraq, the economy, health care) is a winning day for the Bush team.

Concentration is important!