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the only earth?

media nightmares

Am I the only one who thinks this is a huge mistake?
Kerry released a television advertisement yesterday blaming President Bush for a campaign by a "front group" of veterans that Mr. Kerry said had smeared his Vietnam record, as he intensified his drive to gain control in a fight that some Democrats said could undermine his campaign for the presidency [nyt]
I am amazed at how good the Republicans are at changing the focus of the election: did anyone really believe that Vietnam would be an issue in the 2004 election? That the issue would be anti-Kerry instead of anti-Bush is just freakish evidence of some sort of media strategy voodoo (/pact with the devil?). The SBVFT ads seem to be getting more play on the news than anywhere else: more than half of all Americans know about the ads even though they're only playing in a few markets.

I think it's a symptom of a greater problem with the Kerry campaign: use of his Vietnam service as the central metaphor for his candidacy actually echoes his (possibly undeserved) flip-flop reputation. See also: supporting the war, denouncing the war, embracing the war wrt Iraq War II.

It seems like the Kerry people should have noticed that voluntary Vietnam service wasn't enough to get Gore to the White House in 2000.

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see also: "Must-reads bonus, Swift Boat edition" [salon]

Comments

Bob Dole is the greater mystery in this whole thing. What a complete fuckwad.
I know! It's ridiculous.

I guess he's spending his "goodwill/Viagra/elder statesman" capital for this election. The Republicans are really pulling out all the stops on this one -- perhaps as a counter-balance to McCain as arbiter of all matters of war as campaign issue?
i think it finally became clear that because the swift boat group was getting so much coverage in the news cycle that not responding would be tatamount to acceptance of their charges.

i happen to think that using footage of the mccain attacks from 2000 & closing with "american can do better" is a nice counterpunch. the entire bush campaign has been so disingenuous about these ads that i'd rather kerry attack them on it than pull a dukakis.

while gore's service wasn't as decorated & the media gave bush a complete free pass in 2000, i agree that it's extremely odd for vietnam service to be an issue at all. thankfully, it's also starting to backfire. most of the coverage is now about how these guys are clearly lying about kerry & it also allows the media to focus on the pre-born again lifestyle of bush.
It seemed like a good idea to respond to the attacks in speeches and in person, but the television ads come across as whiny. The continued use of John McCain by the Kerry campaign just seems weird. Even stranger as McCain repeatedly appears at G.W.B. events.

I hope you're right about changing the media's focus. I don't know why, but nothing from Bush's pre-salvation days seems to stick. Maybe because Americans believe in second acts. Bush has successfully distanced himself from his history, in part by using God, while Kerry has tried to use his past as a campaign theme. I hope that he's able to use it as an asset rather than a liability (which was always my biggest concern with Kerry's candidacy).


instead

instead of escalating this mudslinging crap by playing their game, he should have just played the "um, acutally, this is a blatent FEC violation" card.

Evidence that SBVFT and the Bush/Cheney 04 campaign are coordinating campaign/publicity/advertising efforts.

Re: instead

and i'm gonna play the "holy typos" card right about now

Re: instead

One of the sunday show hosts brought up that flyer and the response from the BC04 spokesperson/coordinator/whatever was that obviously there is no connection because all publicity materials from the BC04 campaign bear the logo to confirm their endorsement.

Who needs more proof than that? (as long as we're talking about allegations regarding BC04. when it comes to KE04, official miliary records are worthless). see also: a doctor visit proves Bush's Nat'l Guard service.