Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, September 29, 2003  

The Bush strategy: discredit, wait, bury them in money. In '95, Clinton started the ads in late summer and kept rolling through the primaries. Rove plans a different strategy. Describing all ten candidates as weak, he'll wait until a single opponent emerges, and then dump a quarter of a billion dollars on him. In the meantime, the Bushies will slag Democrats generally.

But the yawns over at the RNC belie anxiety over how quickly things are falling apart. The comparison to Clinton is interesting, but the circumstances were exactly reversed: after 2 1/2 years of unpopularity in which he looked completely un-re-electable, Clinton started pulling out of his nosedive, riding the wave of a surging economy. With early ads, he was trying to polish the apple. Bush, on the other hand, is in freefall after 2 1/2 years of unprecedented popularity. Ads right now would only highlight the fact that every initiative Bush planned to tout as a success is now regarded as a failure.

Calling the ten Dems "unusually weak and divided" is part of the discrediting--and flies in the face of polling showing Democrats are now competitive for the first time since 9/10. Much like Rove's endorsement of Dean, the one candidate of the early nine he didn't want to face, he's now trying to make political capital of the White House's weakness. It doesn't matter: the failures of the Bush team will either go away (making a re-election bid viable), or stay the same or worsen, dooming Bush to his daddy's fate.

Rove's playing the hand he's been dealt, but what he thought was a full house is starting to look a lot more like two pair or worse.

posted by Jeff | 10:42 AM |
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