August 31 2004
KERRY IS IN CRISIS: Roger
L. Simon is right, a shake
up by the Kerry camp at this point in the race is tantamount
to an admission of crisis. Mickey
Kaus is right, too: Joe Lockhart ain't gonna come riding
in and save the day.
Cook decided it was time to walk back his rather bold
prediction from three weeks ago that this was Kerry's race
to lose: "It really is pretty amazing how fast the
conventional wisdom can change." You don't say? Maybe
have been conventional wisdom in the first place.
I still don't understand how or why Cook and Sabato decided
to go out on a limb like that before the GOP convention.
It was like two respected Vegas bookies deciding to change
the odds of a game at halftime because one team was up a
point or two. It just never made sense.
the record, I'm not convinced the movement to Bush is all
the work of the Swiftees, though they've certain played
a part. But even if it is, it's not like the damage they've
inflicted on Kerry should come as a big surprise to anyone
who follows politics closely.
a press conference way back in early May - even if it
did get close to zero attention from the mainstream press.
I wrote about the Swiftees at the time:
far as politically damaging attacks go, this (the Swift
Boat Veterans) should rank right up there among the most
potent ones imaginable. It would certainly be a political
disaster of thermonuclear proportions if all of George
W. Bush's former commanding officers in the National Guard
condemned his fitness to be CIC.
I suspect this story won't get very much play (except
in the blogosphere) and whatever attention it does generate
in the mainstream press that might potentially influence
swing voters in battleground states will be seriously
diluted by Kerry's massive $25
million ad buy that began yesterday touting his service
other words, the Veterans' press conference and letter
may not have much of a short-term impact on Kerry's numbers.
it will be a different story after Labor Day when the
Bush camp puts clips from the letter and footage from
the press conference into an ad of their own and spends
enough money in those same battleground states to make
will Kerry be able to effectively rebut this letter when
the time comes? Very good question.
it turns out, the answer to the question is "not effectively
at all," which is why the Kerry campaign seems to be
teetering on the verge of a meltdown. - T. Bevan
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