And We're Just Getting Started II

Dick Morris explains that the Bush campaign’s flip-flop attacks on John Kerry are just a way of softening him up for bigger blows:

By criticizing Kerry for changing his position constantly, the Bush campaign hopes to stop their opponent from wriggling out of his previous liberal votes and views. Once the public is alert to the chance that Kerry will change his mind, it becomes harder for the Democrat to explain away his votes and to move to the center under Bush’s fire.

Now, when Bush moves in for the kill and accuses Kerry of opposing the Defense of Marriage Act or appropriations to fund the Iraq War, the Democratic candidate will find it harder to spin his positions and to move to the middle on these issues. When he tries, voters will repeat to themselves the Ronald Reagan criticism of Jimmy Carter: “There you go again.”

By showing Kerry to flip-flop, Bush sets him up for the real charges – that he is too weak and too liberal to be president.


If you ask me, that’s a needlessly risky strategy.

By attacking Kerry as “too liberal,” Bush opens himself up to attack as “too conservative.” Then the whole campaign degenerates into a he said/she said fight, and everyone ends up disguested — yet again — with the entire process.

Better just to stick with the current line of attack.


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