Friday, July 30, 2004

 

New Attacks

Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo writes about the new line of attacks from Mr. Bush.

Now this is rich.

President Bush's new line of attack is that John Kerry is a man of few achievements.

"My opponent has good intentions," the president said today. "But intentions don't always translate into results. After 19 years in the United States Senate, my opponent has had thousands of votes but very few signature achievements."

This might be a plausible line of attack coming from another opponent. Unlike, say, Russ Feingold or Ted Kennedy, there's no prominent piece of legislation with Kerry's name on it, though admirers of Kerry point to his critical role in a series of high-profile Senate investigations.

But coming from George W. Bush? A guy whose handlers had to get some of the more gullible run of journalists to refer to his life before he turned forty as his 'lost years'?

I mean, even if you grant that Bush's presidency has been a tenure of transcendent achievement (and it has undoubtedly been eventful), it's a bit hard to get around the fact that even by his own account he spent his first five decades kicking back, living off family connections and playing solitaire.

It's certainly true that Mr. Kerry said certain things in his war protestor days that can now be used against him with some audiences. But until he was well into middle-age President Bush's most noteworthy public utterances seem to have been limited to various invocations and inflections of 'par-TAY' and reciting the alphabet under legal compulsion.

(I'd be surprised if the Kerry camp didn't use this as another opening to highlight the difference between how these two men spent their twenties.)

It's also another case of the Bush campaign's internally contradictory lines of attack.

John Kerry: highly ambitious and grasping ne'er-do-well.

George W. Bush: man of action, sword of steel.


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