A matter of appearances


Scott Johnson of Powerline knows a lot more about the craft of political positioning than the entire Kerry campaign. The difference is that Scott knows how to step back and think critically. He makes an excellent point about the underlying images being communicated by the two campaigns:

...who looks more presidential here? Senator Kerry is basically pleading with President Bush to protect him from attacks by his band of brothers. In a sense, he's running to daddy, who also happens to be his opponent in a race to determine who will be in charge of defending America. (Am I the only who hears echoes of Kerry's approach to the war on terror —— run to the French and Germans for help —— here?)

For his part, Bush appears as the even—handed parent, as he dangles a remedy that seems to offer Kerry protection, but takes no position on the merits of the underlying dispute between Kerry and his brothers. But this isn't good enough for Kerry, and he insists that Bush help him out even more by denouncing the substance of the Swiftvet ad. Yet, most Americans seem to find the ad credible (Kerry and his supporters certainly haven't been able to puncture it) and pertinent (Kerry made his service the center piece of his campaign. Is there any doubt that Bush looks like the stronger man here?

Posted by Thomas  8 24 04