In the final days of the campaign, we can expect the Bush team to be in all 9/11 all the time mode. During a New Hampshire campaign stop, W momentarily dropped the tactic of attacking Kerry at every turn and instead paid tribute to some relatives of 9/11 victims.
I’m not so sure about the idea of trotting out the relatives at this point in the campaign. But I am sure that Bush should have positioned himself more as a post-9/11 leader and healer than as a man constantly on the attack and a politician who behaved more like a desperate challenger than a war time incumbent.
Trying to shift gears at this point comes off as yet more desperation. The Bush team would be better off staying negative. It’s way too late to go positive and to focus on his own leadership.
During the New Hampshire event, confetti and fireworks were prematurely released. Once they went off, there was no way to reload the fireworks or to stuff the paper shreds back into the canon. And so it is with the Bush campaign. Long ago (maybe way back in South Carolina during the 2000 campaign) this team took the low road and focused all of their efforts on smearing Kerry.
There’s really no going back now. And because of that, the next time the confetti flies, it just may land on the other guy.