Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bush Bounce?

I have a question. Should we pay any attention to polls? One poll says that Bush is ahead and Kerry is toast. Another says they are dead even. I am not a pollster, and I don't know their methodologies, so I don't know whom to believe.

Having said that, I am still concerned that Kerry's message is not as sharp as it needs to be. It seems that everyone except Karl Rove is dissecting his campaign and giving advice, so why shouldn't I join in too?

I think it is true that Kerry relied too much on his Vietnam story. If someone asked about the price of tuna he would say that he saw tuna while on his swift boat. It was especially foolish because I don't think that military service is the campaign advantage that conventional wisdom says it is. Clinton was called a draft-dodger but he still defeated two WWII vets.

I may be contradicting what I just said about not believing polls, but I think that Kerry should be ahead of Bush in any poll. OK, maybe not a Fox poll, but you get what I am saying. Bush turned a surplus into a deficit, the mission was not accomplished in Iraq, and 1,000 Americans are dead because of it. Bush has a solid record of failure to run against. I don't think the race should be close at all.

In the last 2 days Kerry honed in on outsourcing and rising medicare premiums. He needs to keep saying those things over and over and he needs a shorter, more concise stump speech. If he just tells voters how Bush has screwed up their lives, he should be able to win.

As far as Iraq is concerned, I think that Kerry made a major mistake when he said that he still would have voted to authorize the use of force. The Bush administration lies have given him an out. All he had to say was that he believed the President when he said Iraq had WMDs. End of story. I don't know why he didn't say it, but it keeps him from making Iraq the issue it ought to be. It is hard to criticize the occupation when he went along with it and continues to insist that he would do it all over again.