September 12, 2004

As I see the campaign

The Kerry campaign has made a few mistakes and, so far, the Bush campaign is running like a well oiled machine.

I don’t think the Democrats had any great candidates this election cycle. I think Kerry was chosen because the Democratic base hated Bush and they thought Kerry could beat him.

I think Kerry is trying to thread a delicate needle. The Democratic base is against the war in Iraq in greater percentages than the general electorate. If Kerry goes too hawkish on Iraq, he loses his base. If he goes too dovish, he loses the rest of the electorate. I think that’s why we keep seeing those conflicting message coming out of the campaign, he’s trying to appeal to both groups at once. That’s a tall order.

The Republicans also had the advantage of having their convention after the Democrats. That allowed them to see what worked and what didn’t and adjust.

This is really Bush’ fourth Presidential election. He was involved in both his father’s and then his own. That gives him more presidential campaign experience than Kerry. I also think he saw what happened to his father in 1992 and is doing everything he can to not repeat the same mistakes.

Although Bush is ahead, world events could move the campaign in either direction. If Iraq appeared to be coming apart at the seams, I think that would help Kerry. A terrorist attack on US soil I think MIGHT help Bush, but that’s really a coin flip. It could go either way.

There are the debates. A major gaff by either candidate could sink their candidacy – although since Bush is generally considered almost illiterate, it would likely hurt him less.

Then there are those CBS memos. It now seems they are likely fakes. If they get traced back to the Kerry campaign, that could be bad. But I expect CBS will prevent that.

Posted by Ted at September 12, 2004 9:36 PM