[FoRK] Dean gets its right

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) fork at ianbell.com
Tue Aug 3 14:34:54 PDT 2004


On 3-Aug-04, at 1:43 PM, Bill Stoddard wrote:

> Owen, I am not sure I see your point. Trump card? How is announcing a 
> terror thread based, in part, on 3 or 4 year old information in -any- 
> way "good" for the bush administration?  What would Dean say if bushco 
> sat on the information? Or announced it but did not 'act' on the 
> information (by raising the terror threat level) and subsequently one 
> of the institutions was blown up with a truck bomb?  This is a 
> complete no win situation for bushco (was in the beginning and is now) 
> and Dean is trying to spin it as some sort of sneaky assed bushco 
> conspiricy. The guy needs to get a life and lay off the crack pipe.

The attached article contains a number of the key facets to the debate. 
  One interesting snippet:

"The power of the presidency is unprecedented in its ability to command 
attention and allow the commander in chief to be on the offense every 
day," said Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's campaign in 1996 against 
incumbent President Bill Clinton. "The events of the last 24 hours 
remind voters that they have a commander in chief, and it probably 
raises more questions about changing horses in midstream."

-Ian.



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http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/9304179.htm?1c

Posted on Mon, Aug. 02, 2004
Terror alert has Bush, Kerry attacking policies
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By JAMES KUHNHENN
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Knight Ridder Newspapers
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Bush administration's announcement Sunday 
that al-Qaida was targeting institutions in Washington, New York and 
New Jersey sent a political curve ball through the windshield of John 
Kerry's caravan as it toured through upper Midwest battleground states.

Kerry promptly shifted his message from jobs to national security, but 
the events illustrated how uncertain the political landscape is for 
Bush and Kerry. By the end of the day, both men had used the threat to 
highlight their policies and dismissed each other as too weak, inept or 
slow-footed to keep Americans secure.

"The policies of this administration, I believe and others believe, 
have resulted in an increase of animosity focused on the United States 
of America," Kerry said at a hastily convened press conference outside 
a fire station in Grand Rapids, Mich. "The intelligence agencies will 
tell you that they (terrorist organizations) are using our action as a 
means of recruitment."

Bush responded in kind, suggesting that Kerry and the Democrats want to 
appease terrorists and that only his administration is offering them a 
muscular response.

"Some must think you can negotiate with them, you can talk sense to 
them, you can hope that they change," Bush said. "That's not what I 
know. I know, in order to deal with these people, we must bring them to 
justice before they hurt us again."

Foreign policy presents each candidate with both an opportunity and a 
pitfall. Neither wants to be seen as politicizing national security, 
but it's the dominant issue with Americans, so each candidate must try 
to find an advantage.

(EDITORS BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)

To that, Kerry on Monday characterized Bush's proposed changes in 
security measures as a desperate effort to gain the political upper 
hand. Aides said Bush proposed a national director of intelligence only 
after having first opposed it. Kerry foreign policy adviser Jamie Rubin 
accused Bush of "flip-flopping," as Bush loyalists often accuse Kerry 
of doing.

Kerry added: "We can't afford reluctance in the protection of our 
country."

Republican strategists say developments such as Sunday's alert for 
financial centers let Bush appear presidential and assure voters that 
he's in charge.

"The power of the presidency is unprecedented in its ability to command 
attention and allow the commander in chief to be on the offense every 
day," said Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's campaign in 1996 against 
incumbent President Bill Clinton. "The events of the last 24 hours 
remind voters that they have a commander in chief, and it probably 
raises more questions about changing horses in midstream."

Bush's strongest hand is his credibility on national security - 
reinforced because there have been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil 
since Sept. 11, 2001. But the administration has elevated threat levels 
repeatedly without incident, raising the possibility that the public 
will turn a deaf ear.

Kerry's best argument is his claim that Bush's war in Iraq has 
motivated terrorists, increased their ranks and spread them farther 
around the world.

Some Democrats accuse the administration of politicizing the war on 
terror by timing announcements such as Sunday's to draw attention to 
Bush and away from Kerry.

"It's just impossible to know how much of this is real and how much of 
this is politics, and I suspect there's some of both in it," former 
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Sunday on CNN.

The Kerry camp refused to level that charge. A senior intelligence 
official briefed Kerry about the threat by secure phone late Sunday as 
Kerry rode in his bus through Michigan. Rubin said Kerry considered the 
threat "serious."

"We would not want to say there is any political motivation," Kerry 
campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill said Monday. "We take the president 
at his word."


-Ian.


>


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