The Vodkapundit suggests that this article is another sign of rats leaving a sinking ship. It is but its also a wonderful example of liberal media bias that needs a fisk.
Bush re-election bid goes against grain
9/15/2004, 6:14 p.m. ET By RON FOURNIER The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Bush is embracing troublesome topics that should be hurting him and fighting for states that should be tilting away from him in a campaign that has focused so far on character over issues.
In the Bush view of things, Iraq is a political asset, voters won't punish him for an ailing economy and the race is a referendum on Democratic Sen. John Kerry — all opposites of what experts had predicted.
When I and my buddies in the pundits's club got together before this campaign season it was obvious to use that Bush had to stay away from Iraq because it's a quagmire and clearly the economy was in the toilet so he couldn't focus on that could he? You know this sort of thing makes us look like total incompetants - as if we were writing our columns while in our pyjamas!
This is what happens when a disciplined, focused incumbent faces a challenger who, thus far, is neither — and when voters start making gut-level choices based on notions of leadership and character rather than preferences on policy.
For Kerry to prevail, issues need to matter more. Or voters need to think better of Kerry's character and less of the president's.
Look the electorate just won't listen to what we tell them anymore, they will insist on making up their own mind. How dare they believe those nasty swift-boaties bashing the glorious Vietnam record of Kerry? And why don't they care that Bush was a shirking playboy at the same time. I mena when the witnesses came off like bitter political hacks my friend Dan Rather madefound some documents proving it and a nice 86year old granny to stand up and say that they were "fake but accurate". What else are we supposed to do?
The race is close, with Bush leading or pressing Kerry in several Democratic bastions, including Wisconsin and perhaps even New York, and solidifying his advantage in GOP-leaning states such as Missouri. In Florida, where the disputed 2000 election was decided, private polling gives Bush a slight lead.
The race looks like its going to be a Bush landslide dammit so we won't be able to resort to lawyers to get our man in.
The deaths of more than 1,000 U.S. troops might tempt an incumbent president to retreat from an unpopular war, but Bush seeks political gain from it. Even on its bloodiest days, he holds up the conflict as an example of his steely leadership and a willingness to make tough choices, while accusing his rival of wavering.
Hey look they died for NOTHING. September 11th was just one of those things, you know. I'm sure if we'd asked nicely those Taliban chaps would have extradited Osama without needing nasty threats. And that Saddam, I mean he hadn't gassed anyone for 10 years so obviously he was behaving himself, President Chirac assured me of that and he would know.
In a speech here to members of the National Guard, the president sought to deflect questions about his Vietnam-era service by turning the subject to what he said were Kerry's equivocations on Iraq.
"What's critical is that the president of the United States speak clearly and consistently at this time of great threat in our world, and not change positions because of expediency or pressure," Bush said Tuesday.
How dare he try to talk about current issues and ignore his past! Look we spent hoursyears manufactur investigating evidence that he was a deserter and he has the effrontery to totally ignore it and concentrate on Iraq instead. Anyone would think we were fighting a war there!
He's playing to undecided voters who tell pollsters they're wary about Iraq and the economy but still hold Bush in relatively high esteem on character traits such as strength, decisiveness and leadership.
It is a major part of Bush's re-election strategy to convince voters that the world is too dangerous to change leadership in the White House, even if the status quo is imperfect.
How many times do we have to repeat Bush Lied People Died? Look he's a stupid monkey how dare he be so successful
The loss of nearly 1 million jobs during his tenure is a problem for Bush, particularly in Midwest battlegrounds such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. But, with a flurry of excuses and statistics, he has fought Kerry to a tie on the question of who is best suited to create jobs, polls show.
"When you're out rounding up the vote, remind people that our economy has been through a lot," he told supporters in Colorado on Tuesday. "We've been through a recession. We had corporate scandals" and the Sept. 11 attacks, he said.
Why won't people believe us when we say that Enron was perfectly regulated upto January 2001? and the economy was in rosy shape in December 2000? It was all Bush's fault that the Nasdaq collapsed from April 2000! How could anyone blame it on us Democrats? And Bush completely failed to cope with the economic catastrophe of Sept. 11. Yeah some people died then too but it was the economy that got really hurt and that was Bush's fault.
Bush loads his speeches with one-sided data on the economy, including his take on the 5.4 percent unemployment rate: "That's lower than the average rate of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s," he said.
The number of Americans without health insurance has risen during Bush's presidency, reaching nearly 45 million in 2003. Medicare costs are rising sharply. Yet the Republican put Kerry on the defense this week with a hard-hitting ad asserting that the Democratic plan would leave "big government in charge. Not you. Not your doctor."
Just because every president since Nixon would have drooled to have a 5.4% and falling unemployment rate is nothing. And you know those health care costs? thats those evil drug companies and mean HMOs ripping us all off. Nothing to do with medical malpractise what so ever!
After months of catering to his party's right wing, Bush has dusted off his "compassionate conservative" agenda. The Democrats say the GOP doesn't care about regular people. So Bush's stump speech includes a pitch to voters squeezed by the fast-moving new economy.
"I understand the world we live in today is a changing world," Bush said this week in Holland, Mich. "Think about what happened in the workplace. Years ago our fathers and grandfathers worked for one job, one company; they had one pension plan, one health care plan. Today people change careers and change jobs often. And the most startling change of all is that women now work not only in the house but outside the house."
Bush campaign polling shows the line plays well with suburban women, as does his assertion that Kerry's health care plan would amount to a government takeover.
Look we've spent literally DECADES pushing the message that the Republicans are evil mail chauvinist capitalist pigs always exploiting the poor (that would be YOU reader) so how dare he show sympathy or not insist on women being chained to the kitchen.
Kerry has polls and focus groups of his own, and they suggest he can't win without undermining Bush's credibility. While aides acknowledge that it's late in the game to be defining a well-known incumbent, Kerry's reshuffled staff is casting every issue in the context of character.
Bush wasn't just wrong about waging war in Iraq, he was misleading. He hasn't just lost jobs, he hasn't been straight about it.
"His is the excuse presidency," Kerry said Wednesday as he tried to make the economy a character issue. "Never wrong, never responsible, never to blame."
I blame that evil Rove character. We had this great campaign idea that we could show the economy in trouble and Iraq a quagmire and the voters won't believe it. We say he's a shifty lying scum but its like all the proles aren't listening. And instead they have the audacity to question our man. How dare they!
EDITOR'S NOTE — Ron Fournier has covered national politics or the White House since 1993.
Covered eh? as in what stallions do to mares? Yes I know lowering the tone but really laughter is the best way to make the self important really furious.