July 17, 2004
@ 02:40 AM

Dave Winer writes

Russ Beattie says we should be careful not to give the Republicans ammo to kill Kerry. I am sorry Russ, I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried that the Dems are too flustered by the hardball tacticts of the Reps to fight back.

The only time I tend to watch regular TV that isn't TiVo is while working out in the morning at the health club. I've noticed that while John Kerry's ads tend to be about the qualities that  make him a good candidate for president, George Bush's ads have mostly been negative ads attacking John Kerry. Personally I would love it if Kerry's campaign continues to take the high ground and shows the Republican party up for the rabid attack dogs that they are. The problem with this is that negative ads work and some people tend to look at not hitting back as a sign of weakness, which is what it seems Dave Winer is doing.

Whatever happened trying to change the tone in Washington and elevate the discourse? Just another case of "Do what I say, not what I do" I guess.



Saturday, July 17, 2004 2:30:37 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Not to defend Republicans, but only to provide balance to your attack on them, I'll add that after watching the Dems' primaries it seems difficult to conclude that they are not rabid attack dogs as well.
Monday, July 19, 2004 9:52:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
its naive to think either side will not do anything and everything to win. Kerry has the benefit of having the moveon.org, George Soros, and Michael Moore to do the dirty work for him. Let's not kid ourselves here.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 7:22:24 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

Kerry would do best IMO to let Moore, Soros, Moveon do the dirty work, though, and stay out of it. He has done a really poor job of distancing himself from them, and thus he gets smeared easily with the Hitler ads and so on. I really think he could create a win-win by speaking out against the moveon and Moore's of the world -- they would not shut up anyway, and would continue to bash Bush, and he would get the benefit of looking like a "uniter not a divider". It's a no-lose situation for him.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:46:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Like most things, it is realy not that simple. At this stage in a campaign there are very different problems for incumbents and challengers. The best predictor of an incumbent Pres at this point is not the horserace, but rather the up/down on the President, as average voters have a fairly mature impression of the President, but know little about the incumbent, and have not fully informed their impression of him. So, in general the the incumbent is trying to define the incumbent nagatively, and the challenger is trying to define himself positively. This year also has some peculiar quirks -- if an incumbent had high positives at this point, he might want to stay above the fray (don't rock the boat), but at this point Bush is not doing that well with Positive/Negative favorability, so he has to make voters think Kerry is not an acceptable replacement. Additionally, and this is getting really strange, independents are very anti Bush - VERY. But there are some voters that slightly favor Kerry, but also have a relatively high opinion of Bush (8% was the number I heard). It is likely that Bush is going after those voters, and the way to do so would be to drive up Kerry's negatives. Another strange thing about this election cycle is that the Bush team seems to be targeting turnout over swing voters, which is strange for this point in a campaign - normally you would want the base fired up at this point and start taking positions that are favored by swing voters, that your base not be so enthusiastic about (base voters are more likely to be paying attention farther out -- swing voters tend to focus at the end). It could be that Bush has recalculated the right time to start moving centrist, but it is at this point a bit odd. Sorry for the length.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:49:51 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

you are correct but the longer this goes the less impact it will have. Time is not on his side. Kerry's own website links directly to MoveOn.org. McAuliffe treats Moore like his best buddy at the movie premier. This is prime content for the Bush team to use against him.

I think Kerry had a chance to make a real big impact. He could have denounced these organizations much early. He could have denounced Whoopi's shameful display. But in all cases he did not. I don't think he can anymore. He appears to be locked in too deeply with these fringe groups.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 6:30:54 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Bush is not going to distance himself from Rush, Hannity or the odious Britt Hume, O'Reily, etc., who are all considerably worse than Moore (at least with regard to F9/11), MoveOn.org, Soros, or Whoopi. It does not mean that Bush or Kerry support every one of the convictions of their varied supporters.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 2:35:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
theCoach, that is an interesting analysis of the strategies of both parties. Without seeing the same data that the parties do, a lot of their strategy seems bewildering to me. I suppose it is similar to corporate strategy; sometimes we do things that the average observer would think to be dumb, but knowing the inside story, turn out to be brilliant. Time will tell..
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 4:39:48 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

The people you named are journalists, amazingly for one station. Let me throw names and institutions out there that Kerry will not distance himself from: NY Times, LA Times, CNN, Washington Post, Franken, Garafalo, Rondstandt.

I don't consider people giving their opinions to be "worse". Its bad when people giving their opinions and claim its the truth. That is what Michael Moore does. He is the best at PR and promoting himself.
Monday, July 26, 2004 4:26:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Wow, Kerry has put the word out that all speeches at the convention have to eliminate the negativity:
This is a really big deal, IMO. Some would say it is too late, but it makes him look responsive, and I think it's a good move.
Comments are closed.