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Michael Ubaldi, October 7, 2004.
Retail megaliths Costco and Walmart have beaten their respective sales forecasts. Consumer sentiment might have been rattled by a poorly received summer but money and goods are still changing hands enough for some generous black ink on the books. Today's sharp, 10% reduction in jobless claims that follows a year-long downward trend adds another exclamation point. Rasmussen Report's less-impressive hiring survey notwithstanding (especially since it hasn't proven itself an accurate predictor), President Bush may be looking to use tomorrow's non-farm payroll report to his advantage against John Kerry that evening.
Michael Ubaldi, October 6, 2004.
President Bush in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, delivering a well-publicized address on policy:
When my opponent first ran for Congress, he argued that American troops should be deployed only at the directive of the United Nations.
The American people saw John Kerry on Thursday night. They don't need the vice president or the president to tell them what they saw.
They saw it, all right. I saw John Kerry speaking with reasonable appeal on Iraq. Yet trying to help, Edwards betrayed his lawyer's prerogative: it's about what we all saw. You saw it, didn't you? Then that's what is. The mercy of American life lets a man have another chance when he stumbles. It was not meant to be an infinite lease on the interpretation of his past, distant or seven days ago. Journalists should be careful of speculating on a politician's ability to "reintroduce" himself: if he needs to try he's a phony, and his game becomes a matter of how many people will see through the ruse. Just because I saw Max Klinger dress up in drag on MASH doesn't mean I thought he deserved a ticket home from Korea.
The vice president scolded Edwards a few moments later: what one presents must be in accordance with what one does and has done, or else it's just theater.
Michael Ubaldi, October 5, 2004.
The first question came straight from today's mainstream media headlines; did the moderator say PBS or DNC?
Dick Cheney's first response was cogent, concise, detailed and calm. John Edwards jumped headlong into accusations and sound bites.
Cheney will tear Edwards to shreds.
'YOU DEMEAN': Cheney pushed back on the "90% casualties" lie to the point where Edwards tried to interrupt Cheney. Post-debate polls be damned, Edwards is sinking. Where's the senator's pull-string?
MODERATOR?: "Absent in the peace process..." Gwen Ifill is terrible. Not even a reasonable pretense of objectivity. [Danny O'Brien e-mailed me later: "I was very pleasantly surprised that she did what Jim Lehrer utterly failed to do last week: she questioned the Democrat directly about his and his running mate's records! I expected Cheney to have to play defense all night, but her questions were fair." Yes, she did question Edwards directly; I will give her that. There were more than a few bizarre, inside-the-left-circle questions, like, "Do you feel personally attacked when Vice President Cheney talks about liability reform and tort reform and the president talks about having a trial lawyer on the ticket?".]
'SENATOR GONE': By going Halliburton, Edwards brought a knife to a gunfight. Riddled.
MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS! MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS!: Senators Kerry and Edwards just love them. Love them. Except when the opposition puts them on the floor of Congress, in which case they don't bother showing up to vote for them. Factoid care of Dick Cheney. Edwards' rebuttal was a clumsy overbite.
MARRIAGE: It's funny how Cheney, supposedly part of the "hate" crowd, is perfectly comfortable with supporting his homosexual daughter and the protection of traditional marriage. Edwards is trying to explain the Kerry-Edwards "please everybody" stance, clearly uncomfortable. Funny? No — not funny. Instructive.
'THERE ARE TOO MANY LAWSUITS': When a lawyer can be made to say that in defense, it's game-set-match. Edwards is tiring and Cheney seems to be just warming up. Gwen Ifill's follow-up response for the Democratic Party was pathetic.
AND YOU ALSO KNOW: Cheney hit a nerve when John Edwards drops the H-bomb.
RICHARD CHENEY, M.D.: Ifill asked a question about AIDS and Cheney opened up like a tome. Edwards could barely stay forty-five seconds on boilerplate before stumbling into "healthcare."
'I DON'T HAVE THE RESUME VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY HAS': No one asked you to do the vice president's job, Senator. Just your own. Edwards even flinched when he said "intelligence committee."
FOREMAN CHENEY: Listening to the vice president describing his Washington work reminded me how rare it will be — maybe once in my lifetime — to see a second-in-command with no political ambitions of his own.
WHAT A CAD: Dick Cheney spoke of his background, gave a pleasant nod to Edwards. Edwards turned and tried to slash Cheney, tripping over the question instructions Ifill gave not to speak his running mate's name and then stacking his answer with stale doom-and-gloom talking points. One question later: "Can I say his name now?" Amateur hour. Cheney chose not to respond, peeking into the grave Edwards had just dug and fallen into.
CLOSING STATEMENTS: Edwards' is from an alternate political universe. The war of terror is an afterthought; color. Cheney's is business; no syrup. And terrorism takes top order. "It's important that we stand up democratically elected governments." Excellent.
THE PUBLIC: Hard to tell who they might choose, especially since Cheney's negative perception tends to be high. But as reader Z. Baker put it, Edwards is a "boy among men."
MEMORY: "The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight." That one goes into the history books. And the beauty of it all is that Edwards threw the first punch. [The leftist press is now working diligently to "disprove" the vice president's "claim." Who took it literally? The point Cheney made was the record of "Senator Gone," which is indisputable. One should also note how journalists aren't exactly racing to follow Cheney's debunking of Edwards' Halliburton charges.]
Michael Ubaldi, October 5, 2004.
That seemed to be the question no one on the right could satisfactorily answer this past weekend following the first 2004 presidential debate. From the oddest moment of clarity immediately after the candidates left the stage, when Clintonite Kerry campaign advisor Joe Lockhart told fellow Clintonite Kerry campaign advisor Mike McCurry that "consensus is [the debate's] a draw," a flurry of telephone polls superficially favoring the Democratic presidential challenger dropped into sight and the press, including Fox News, ran amok with every "Kerry ascendant" theme imaginable. A selective poll by the luridly pro-Kerry Newsweek suggested on Saturday that the Democrat had rebounded; a late Sunday Gallup poll corroborated it. Some Bush supporters and rightist pundits, disappointed from the start that the president did not drop his opponent's campaign into the killing jar, succumbed to doubt, wist and frustration.
Everyone who had an opinion began and ended with the characteristics of one Mr. Bush. The president's not this or not enough that; too much this and always the other thing. Commentary ranged from the irrelevant to the illogical to the recriminatory to the insulting. Critiquing strategy is one thing, otherwise perfectly acceptable; placing oneself in the other's shoes to replay that "lost moment," in this case pretending to go back in time and answer the president's questions for him, is ridiculous.
Many observers judging President Bush's performance are skilled public debaters who truly could have taken the president's place behind that podium and precisely wrapped every one of Kerry's charges into forty-five second hammerblows. But most didn't appear to realize how utterly different one's perspective is when actually in a debate, formal or coffee-table; let alone what it's like to have every single syllable resonate in a way that changes millions of minds, is combed by enemies and hung on by so many allies. The care necessary in choosing one's words is almost beyond imagination. On that, it is interesting to note that Kerry, the debate's "winner," accomplished what he did by leaving behind a trail of damaging statements and glaring misstatements of fact; Bush, the debate's "loser," did not.
The silliest commentary from the right has attacked Bush's preparation and execution, as if the White House spent a single afternoon pitching softballs, assuming John Kerry would stroll onstage dressed up in a hammer-and-sickle Evel Knievel suit, on fire, speaking Swahili and using Bruce Lee affects whenever he spoke. My own pre-debate analysis respected Bush's ability to exploit John Kerry's new campaign position of defeat, retreat and isolation. One week before that, I tried to set the conditions of a definitive Kerry defeat:
If Bush prepares himself to confront Kerry's indetermination and current, weak position, and succeeds tactically, Kerry's supporters — less than half of whom are actually voting for him — will scatter, and an election that is already the president's will swing towards a magnificent incumbent victory.
Did the president let Kerry get away with too many mischaracterizations? Perhaps, but would it have helped Bush to get caught in his opponent's talking-points tactics and reduce the war on terror to squabble over details? Even Kerry's use of the "bake sales for body armor" urban myth was an awfully narrow topic for the president to launch a campaign-ending excoriation.
The president's facial expressions are a non-issue, first because his most dedicated enemies believe he hasn't the intelligence to make them anyway; second, because Al Gore's 2000 strangeness amplified his aloofness and helped to define a man who spent eight years in the shadow of Bill Clinton. Bush, for all his aversion to the limelight, is as familiar a president to voters as there ever was. As for "peevishness" and the "change of momentum" described by Rush Limbaugh, I contend that the president, a few minutes after ten o'clock, simply had enough of John Kerry dwelling on Iran and North Korea while getting all the details mixed up. Watch the debate; how Bush is forced to correct his opponent again and again on easily verifiable facts. That's enough to drive anyone up the wall, and justifiably so.
Some critics have derided Bush's use of adage, pollster Larry Sabato calling them "hackneyed phrases." But what would have been the alternative? Is fighting the terrorist front in Iraq easy work? No. So how do different words change the fact? They don't. Is there a painless solution that can be defined and set to a calendar? Well, that is what John Kerry proposes. Yet Newsweek and Gallup polls notwithstanding, the electorate still favors Bush's leadership, forward military posture and appeal for patience and fortitude by a wide margin. As the latest Pew Research poll shows, Kerry's weak personal support among voters and the president's corresponding strength continues. Rasmussen Reports marks American confidence in the war on terror at its highest levels; John Kerry's stump-speech defeatism remains an exercise in futility, and his pandering endorsement of American efforts only helps the president.
I've seen the phrase "no-holds-barred" attached to tonight's vice presidential debate. But then last Thursday was billed as a knock-down-drag-out, too. I would expect this debate to begin again as a grudge match, John Edwards and Dick Cheney waiting for the other to take off the gloves. Cheney would probably wait for Edwards, but if he feels confident enough, Cheney might draw Edwards into an armwrestle that the trial lawyer is not accustomed to. If it comes to harsh words, Cheney will have the advantage — unflappable, persistent and rich with information. The consequences of an Edwards fumble would be partially absorbed by Kerry. If tonight's debate is like last Thursday's, the press may have an excuse to run stories on Edwards "strong" showing, and attention will return to the president and the Massachusetts senator. But this time the debate's results may be more difficult to hype.
Michael Ubaldi, October 3, 2004.
Newsweek promised to deliver a change of narrative:
Shortly before the [first presidential] debate began, Newsweek national editor Jon Meacham suggested on MSNBC that journalists are tired of Bush being in the lead, and so will try to narrow the race. Meacham foresaw "the possibility that President Bush has peaked about a month too early. Because we all need a narrative to change." Chris Matthews asked: "Is that your prediction?" Meacham replied: "I think it's possible that we're gonna be sitting around saying, 'Well you know Kerry really surprised us.' Because in a way the imperative is to change the story."
Steadier hands have prevailed over at Rasmussen Reports, where President Bush's national standing is unchanged, and voters' responses to thoughtfully posed post-debate questions do not help John Kerry in the least. Every fundamental position of the president's now receives stronger support from those polled. On the topic of Iraq, about three-fifths of voters polled are committed to completing the country's democratic transformation. Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe President Bush holds that as his highest priority; only one-quarter of voters believe Senator Kerry's claims to the same. Kerry's weeks-long litany of defeatist stump speeches has solidified voters' perceptions of him as politically left.
There was certainly something to Gallup's immediate post-debate poll where voters, who comfortably gave the debate to Kerry, were virtually unchanged in their preference for Bush as commander-in-chief.
Kerry supporters are riskily exaggerating the senator's Thursday night performance. The candidate may have largely restrained himself personally and altered himself politically but left the stage with a trail of glaringly leftist statements (nuclear fuel for a hostile Iran, returning to failed diplomacy with North Korea, lapsing into "no-nukes" reactionism during a war, speaking out for 20th-Century bureau-oligarchy with his "global test" standard) and falsehoods (bake sales for body armor, New York subway shutdowns, confusing details for the situations in both Iran and North Korea, operations in Tora Bora). Meanwhile, the general antipathy of Kerry's supporters — and enthusiasm of Bush's — remains. No spin can change that. It was the left and Democrats who were looking for Kerry to give America a memorable performance. He did — at his own cost.
THIS IS JUST RICH: From the set of debate rules agreed upon by the Bush and Kerry campaigns:
"No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by either candidate.... Each candidate must submit to the staff of the Commission prior to the debate all such paper and any pens or pencils with which a candidate may wish to take notes during the debate, and the staff or commission will place such paper, pens and pencils on the podium..."
Also worth note is the Kerry campaign's convulsive denial, blaming "Republicans" when it appears that bloggers alone have raised the question.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Gallup says it's a tie. Incidentally, this settles whether they're an organ of the right.
WORTH REMEMBERING: "Consensus is it was a draw." Joe Lockhart, one very long stampede ago. With the public perception of the debate as Kerry's now reflected by at least one respected poll, the president is obligated to dispel the notion that he's outclassed. As for Election Day, his fundamentals, including an energized base and a larger number of certain voters, remain strong, and the president is more than capable of keeping Kerry's rise ephemeral.
Michael Ubaldi, September 30, 2004.
I watched the debate back at the ancestral home with my parents. "Watch" is a relative term. I can't sit down for events as energetic as televised debates. I pace, I interject, I occasionally curse, I cheer.
9:11 PM — John Kerry mentions Vietnam. Disregard the time. You wouldn't believe how many times it's nine eleven when I look at a clock.
9:27 PM — President Bush draws Kerry out. Cue tall, small man.
9:31 PM — Halli — buddy, what is your problem? Kerry drops the H-bomb. It's out of place.
9:34 PM — Bush has slapped Kerry with "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" over five times in the last several minutes. As he should; Kerry should pay dearly for both the reversal and the sentiment.
9:45 PM — Bush talks freedom for a millions-wide swath of humanity desperate for it. Kerry talks Vietnam. Again. No mention of freedom on Kerry's behalf.
9:52 PM — John Kerry says the word "free" for the first time. Bush has used it substantively ten to fifteen times. [Technically, Bush had used it twenty-nine times.]
9:55 PM — Tora Bora outsourced? To "warlords"? Kerry made that up. [Update: From Jim Geraghty, a soldier who knows otherwise than what Kerry said. Perhaps something will leave the hall with the candidates tonight.]
9:57 PM — Another Kerry phrase. "Global test"? Article VI of the United States Constitution, John. Article VI.
9:59 PM — Bush does his best to make Kerry regret "global test," the pointy-headed likes of which have not been heard since Al Gore's "gun-free school zones."
10:03 PM — The president is questioned about Iran and North Korea. He could have been more hawkish on both but isn't, and succeeds in out-Kerrying Kerry, who in turn is left to carp over minutiae.
10:14 PM — Randomly, Kerry mentions "global warming" as a rightful recipient of funding. In a foreign policy debate. Doth the ghost of Hans Blix haunt these hallowed halls? It sounds like a product placement. "A president must pay attention to the important things including, but not limited to, delicious Hershey's chocolate bars. [Draws bar from behind podium, sniffs lightly and unwraps. Smiles at camera, glint from tooth.] At your grocer's. Hershey's!"
10:15 PM — And then John Kerry makes a real product placement for a book he's written.
10:24 PM —
John Kerry: "There was a threat [in Iraq]. That's not the issue. The issue is what you do about it."
10:27 PM —
President Bush: We'll continue to build our alliances. I'll never turn over America's national security needs to leaders of other countries, as we continue to build those alliances.
As John Tabin in the American Spectator said, "The debates may not change the dynamics of the race at all, or they may help Bush, or they may help Kerry. Two of those three possibilities would be good news for George Bush. John Kerry can afford only one of them." Kerry did not score any significant or lasting criticism of the president; the president remained focused and delivered an impressive — and almost uncharacteristically tenacious, having asked for every thirty-second response he could get — defense of his term. I see Kerry remaining where he is or dropping as Bush strengthens his gains.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT: Notice how Senator Kerry moderated stump language for the debate, as if it were politically inappropriate; and how the president imported nearly all of his own.
NO, TWO: Added Friday morning. My one frustration is probably shared by the president, in that his big-picture appeals are constrained by today's transitional geopolitics. Bush could simultaneously rally Americans whose will has buckled and rhetorically trounce John Kerry by framing the war on terror as a war of liberation that can only be won when all of the Near East is free or demonstrably liberalizing. Unfortunately, such a position not only includes declared enemies Syria and Iran — thus immediately committing the United States to confrontation — but Cold War-era "allies" as well, whose still-pliant nature helps America prosecute the war on terror without assuming every front at once. Countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are the "Uncle Joe" Stalins of this stage of the war: totalitarian societies just as culturally dangerous as Ba'athist Iraq, Taliban Afghanistan, Ba'athist Syria and Islamist Iran yet operationally vital to establishing a democratic beachhead. Even with one hand tied behind his back, the president can successfully appeal to the better instincts of the American people.
Michael Ubaldi, September 30, 2004.
Like any unmoored opportunist, John Kerry has sealed himself into a self-propelled caricature. That pollsters would even ask voters if a given candidate is too ambivalent on cardinal issues is suggestive; that Kerry routinely trails in these surveys is revealing. Dan Rather hardly does worse.
The first of three presidential debates between President Bush and Senator Kerry is tonight. The president is doing very well in the polls; Kerry not so, with little room for error and no sign of improvement. The evening's topic — the election's topic — is foreign policy, where the president enjoys a powerful advantage. John Kerry, who says that the president is "unfit to lead," will try to match and defeat that public covenant. He's almost sure to argue that the president has failed in his leadership, that Kerry would have and will do better.
Nothing good can be said of a man who makes decisions in the comfort of hindsight, circling like a vulture over those who commit themselves to action. A careerist hedger, Kerry's taking of leadership for vulnerability is troubling enough. His only entrance into the debate over Iraq and the Near East's future, however, is a gauntlet of past positions — contradictions that would certainly go unnoticed in the deliberative wake of the United States Senate, but cannot be reconciled by men who wish to be president.
In December of 2003, when Howard Dean called the liberation of Iraq "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time," John Kerry condemned the statement, calling it the product of someone who did not "have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." In August of this year, Kerry insisted that he would have voted to give the president authority for force against Saddam Hussein knowing that even though terrorists were moving freely through Iraq, seeking low-mortgage WMD loans, the dictator's weapons programs focus shifted from fully active to primed-and-waiting.
Interestingly enough, the senator said "I believe it's the right authority for a president to have." That's a split-hair interpretation of the effort Congress was voting to support, especially now that Kerry maintains he voted for the authorization for, but not the use of, military action. Kerry considered the force of arms a stageshow or a prop, an admission of irresolution that explains why Saddam Hussein was convinced that it was 1998 all over again, that the Allies were bluffing — right up until Baghdad bunkers got busted.
At his July party nomination, John Kerry tried his best to imitate President Bush's conviction on defeating terrorism, and maybe its tyrannical underpinnings too, possibly. Without a public record to support it, Kerry used his war record. When fellow veterans began slicing flourishes, garnishes and white lies from Kerry's story — and the president, at his own nomination, reminded Americans why they so strongly supported him — the Democratic candidate took somebody's bad advice and steered hard left, reproaching the fight against terrorists in Iraq as if he were on the Senate floor in December 1944, working diligently to talk down the German Panzer blitz through the Ardennes.
Kerry went ahead and borrowed the precise phrase from Howard Dean which nine months before he considered fatal to White House hopefuls. Then he went one step further and adopted another Dean puzzler, insofar as a country of 25 million people under direction of their murderous dictator was far better than 25 million people following their own ambitions — nearly every one of them benign, admirable, philanthropic — under threat daily by a now-common terrorist enemy. "We have traded a dictator for chaos," went the putrefying conceit.
To which one naturally responds in question, as Diane Sawyer did, "Do you prefer Saddam Hussein in power?"
Kerry will say no. Right, so Kerry prefers what he describes as "chaos"?
Kerry will again say no, and emphatically return to his solace in the deliberative rearguard by reminding you how he would do "everything" so differently.
This is where some, including Bill Buckley, believe John Kerry is still able to effectively criticize the president, if only because we would be taking Kerry's word for an alternate timeline. But what about Kerry's words? How can the senator explain his "divergence" claim when the public record tracked him selecting nearly every part of the president's strategy as his own at one point or another, not so much in a discernibly logical order as an erratic, politically driven "me-too" course? He's said Iraq is "critical to the outcome of the war on terror." He's called for NATO involvement — the president brought the alliance in early. In between calling for more troops, then the same number of troops, then less troops, he has echoed President Bush's single position that military commanders will be manned per request. And somewhere in that bundle, John Kerry has stressed the importance of efficient but patient reconstruction.
Buckley recommends "picking holes in the president's answers," which means droning recitations of the costs and setbacks of war. But what good is that from a man who has spent months not honing his message but flitting between positions, trying to figure out which message sells? Kerry will look like he has all along: a backbencher who just points and complains.
The matter of terrorists in Iraq is not totally clear, but clear enough that Saddam Hussein's work with Islamists cannot be denied; and the president would be wise to memorize names, dates and relationships to end the left's "no connection" mantra. Even weapons of mass destruction are perilous for Kerry. Long after the Democratic Party openly called the president a liar over weapons of mass destruction — eight months after John Kerry himself went three days before going against his own better judgment that no, everyone was in agreement on Saddam Hussein's designs — Kerry turned around again and shrugged that "we may yet find them."
So how on earth can the senator exploit, as Buckley believes, the intractable difference between "weapons in hand, and weapons prospectively in hand"? If John Kerry's presidential prospects have narrowed to a matter of discovering one magic phrase to reach voters, obscuring every other facet of the man's biography, personality, policy and record, the Democratic candidate ought to concede now and begin a defense of his senate seat.
The idea of a magic phrase is worth scrutiny, too, since it quietly supports the hopes of those looking for a Kerry stunner — that he'll say something historic, setting the debate audience off in a brief explosion of sharp gasps before it goes silent; the president crumbling, weeping and running from the hall or otherwise disarmed.
The pipe dream all depends on what Kerry would say. Alright: what's left? The president "misled" us. His administration of Iraq has been a "miserable failure." It's "chaos." It's a "quagmire." We are "less safe," not only from terrorists but the "mushroom cloud." "The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush." Iraq is not threatened by terrorists, but "two men: George Bush and Dick Cheney." The president was "warned ahead of time by the Saudis" about the September 11th attacks. These phrases leave nothing but point-blank despair and hysteria; even that was handily supplied by the twin defeatist ads by the Democratic National Committee and MoveOn.
And none of it has worked. Few Americans will respond enthusiastically to pessimism or embrace defeat: "You know, something just clicked when Kerry spoke last night, and I was like, 'Wow! These Iraqis and other stone-age foreigners really aren't worth our time after all. Let's leave them be, raise taxes and socialize medicine!'" Ironically, the stuff a minority of voters want is the only thing Bush isn't offering. Yet if John Kerry steps up from behind the podium as Mr. Sunshine, Americans will shrug their shoulders, figure optimism is the most valuable thing, and vote for the man who they know can deliver — Bush.
There was a price to pay for the Democratic Party trying to look serious and cooperative about war while it continually knifed a sitting administration. For every attack John Kerry could level at President Bush tonight, there is an unmistakably serious-looking rebuttal from John Kerry. The president is a polite man, gracious to his opponents; after viewing his three-part interview with Bill O'Reilly, I imagine Bush will be sharper than we've ever seen him before, taking even John Kerry by surprise. But the president will still be humble. If he really wanted to make a sport of this evening's debate, he would begin every indirect response to a Kerry challenge by reciting, dating and serializing the quotations of a very fair-weather friend, John Forbes Kerry.
Michael Ubaldi, September 30, 2004.
New Jersey's and New York's tilt to Bush was impressive enough. But Maryland? Says Scott Rasmussen:
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds Senator Kerry with 48% of the vote in Maryland to 45% for President Bush. That's a stunning result in a state that Al Gore won by 17 points four years ago. Before the Republican Convention, Kerry was comfortably ahead in Maryland, 54% to 41%.
Michael Ubaldi, September 29, 2004.
The polling consensus, led by Rasmussen Reports and the Gallup Organization two days ago, shows that John Kerry's dunking Iraq as a worthwhile American endeavor has failed to gain him traction against the president. It occurred to me that the senator's generous use of terms like "chaos" to describe his version of events in Iraq and "fantasy land" to rebut those who disagree with that assessment could have resonated with some voters, a move from polling results that would have initially backfired, as respondents would hear "trouble," blame President Bush but turn to him as their preferred leader, anyway; yet by virtue of lowered public confidence John Kerry might have reserved himself a last chance to capitalize on worry before Election Day.
As it turns out, none of that seems to have happened. Rasmussen Reports found President Bush's rating for his administration of Iraq matching its highest point all year. John Kerry found himself a cul-de-sac.
Michael Ubaldi, September 29, 2004.
The United States Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter of 2004 has been revised upward from 2.8% to 3.3% expansion. This Associated Press article suggests a political opportunity for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. There's only one problem: America's economy is currently the fastest-growing in the industrialized free world; 660% faster than the German economy, 360% faster than England's and 1100% (yes, eleven hundred percent) faster than the second-largest national economy in the world, Japan. With the uncertainty of terror threats, high energy demand and the aftermath of a slight recession impeding market growth, America is faring well.
[Slight changes, same day, 6:35 EDT; upgraded the comparison to the German economy and changed "European combined" to "England." Eyes playing tricks.]