Sunday, September 19, 2004

W is for Loser 

The new DNC ad "Guard" is here. The theme is "How can Bush solve our problems (namely Iraq and the economy) when he won't even admit they're there?" It's a solid 15-second spot that will serve to remind voters of the ongoing mess in Iraq and the fact of the lost jobs. But I don't know how well the "Bush is out of touch with reality" line will play. Did anyone (even his supporters) ever think he was in touch with reality? He purports to be offering a "vision," and that's just what it is--an empty hallucination of death and power and glory--and "visionaries" ought not to be too troubled by the penury of fact. On the other hand, maybe it will work--but I think the message should have gone a step further and rammed the point home that This man isn't just out of touch, he's dangerously out of touch. He has put us all in danger, and unless you elect someone knew, we're all going to be in serious danger.

Regarding the "Phase 2" of the Iraq message, I think Giuseppe Abote nailed it over drinks on Friday. The message (as speakingcorpse suggests) cannot intimate any aspect of what the only possible plan is and must be: total withdrawal as soon as possible. (That'll just have to be done after the election, and if it ruins Kerry's favorability for a year or two, so be it.) Abote suggests that the message should be:

Bush is losing. I want to win. Dump the loser and come win with me.

It's strong message because a) it connects to what voters all over the country are learning daily in the newspapers: Iraq is lost; and b) it says rightly that Bush has presided over and is responsible for this loss; and c) it says, if you want to win, gotta go with the new guy. Fuck the plan for now. There is no plan (other than leaving Iraq). But that won't matter. The message is dump the loser and join the guy who wants to try to win.

I was also talking to someone else who has a good message line: Kerry is for September 12th Americans. That is: Bush, stuck on the 9/11 corpse-heap, has not led our nation to "rise" and "be the best it can be" in the manner which is naturally our divinely ordained destiny after 9/11. The opposition talks about a "pre-9/11 mindset"...so Kerry says, I'm going to be the September 12th President. Moving forward. Changing course. Stronger and safer. Come on up for the Rising, etc.

Problem is it's probably too late for this--Kerry would have had to go after Bush on his 9/11 "leadership" much earlier (as this page has advised for a long time).

On a bad note: whichever national poll turns out to have been correct, we have an undeniable problem with the Electoral College. It's not going well. Bush is leading beyond the margin of error in Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio, and now New Hampshire.

It's going to take a massive, massive GOTV effort in these states. I suggest everyone (if you haven't already) sign up to volunteer with ACT or with Swing the State. They're running Saturday bus trips to PA and NH, phone banking in the evenings, and more.


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