The report that more than 380 tons of exposives are missing from a former military facility (see below) should be the kind of “explosive” news story that would dramatically shake an election. If the story of the explosives wasn’t enough, then the fact that we haven’t heard about it until now even though reports indicate Condoleezza Rice was told as long as a month ago should have an impact. (Officials say that we probably didn’t get the news until now because they didn’t want the enemy to have the information – I assume that’s on the small chance that the weapons were looted by an ally who is just pulling our leg.)
But will this story have an impact? Probably not.
That’s not just because the news of Chief Justice William Rehnquist surgery for thyroid cancer has taken over the top spot in the news. And it’s not just because Bill Clinton will make his return to the political stage this afternoon in Pennsylvania.
It’s because very little of the news about Iraq has managed to sink in to the electorate’s collective mind. In some cases, voters don’t care about the news out of Iraq, in a lot more cases, people either just don’t know what’s going on or they have a limited ability to process the incoming information.
If a massive chunk of the American electorate still thinks Saddam had WMDs and/or that he was involved in the planning of 9-11, how’s a little thing like 380 tons of extremely powerful explosives going to break though?
No, launching a war under false pretenses and then wildly mishandling that war at every turn is not nearly enough to move an election.
Maybe someone can break a story that Bush cheated on his teen sweetheart while making out under his high school bleachers. That’d probably do it.