Monday, May 31, 2004

A record to run away from...

From the front page of today's Washington Post

From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity
Scholars Say Campaign Is Making History With Often-Misleading Attacks
[...]Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts. Though stretching the truth is hardly new in a political campaign, they say the volume of negative charges is unprecedented -- both in speeches and in advertising.

Three-quarters of the ads aired by Bush's campaign have been attacks on Kerry. Bush so far has aired 49,050 negative ads in the top 100 markets, or 75 percent of his advertising. Kerry has run 13,336 negative ads -- or 27 percent of his total. The figures were compiled by The Washington Post using data from the Campaign Media Analysis Group of the top 100 U.S. markets. Both campaigns said the figures are accurate.

The assault on Kerry is multi-tiered: It involves television ads, news releases, Web sites and e-mail, and statements by Bush spokesmen and surrogates -- all coordinated to drive home the message that Kerry has equivocated and "flip-flopped" on Iraq, support for the military, taxes, education and other matters.[...]

Incumbent presidents often prefer to run on their records in office, juxtaposing upbeat messages with negative shots at their opponents, as Bill Clinton did in 1996.

Scott Reed, who ran Robert J. Dole's presidential campaign that year, said the Bush campaign has little choice but to deliver a constant stream of such negative charges. With low poll numbers and a volatile situation in Iraq, Bush has more hope of tarnishing Kerry's image than promoting his own.
I've been saying this all along! Bush doesn't have a record to run on. He has a record to run away from.

What can he say? "I presided over the loss of two million American jobs, all the while pushing two tax cuts that redistributed income from the lowest wage earners to my Investor Class supporters in the top 1% income bracket." That's not going to win many votes.

How about, "I lied America into an ill-fated invasion of a sovereign state because I wanted to enrich my friends in the oil industry. Of course this blew up in our faces and all we've done is kill over 800 of our young men and women and ruin our international standing." I guess that won't work, either. I guess his campaign knows what it's doing.