Conspiracy or not, the Old Media have to be aware that the only chance Kerry has to win is to keep the heat on President Bush and away from John Kerry. It's like an old western movie with the media crouched behind some barricade shooting at President Bush while John Kerry, with the media's cover, is free to leave his own barricade and move freely toward domestic issues. As long as the media keep firing on President Bush he will be less likely to refocus the discussion on Kerry's miserable record and policies -- especially on foreign policy.
Don't get me wrong, economic and social issues are very important, and the economic ones, at least, will get a major airing in the upcoming debates. The president has to be fully prepared to answer Kerry's largely bogus criticisms on the economy, too. And, as with foreign policy, he needs to expose Kerry's long and damning record of tax-and-spend liberalism and in the process put the lie to Kerry's pretense to responsible fiscal stewardship.
That said, nothing will change the fact that we are at war, and the most important thing to be determined by this election is which of the two men is better suited to be commander in chief. It is President Bush's job, with the help of the New Media, to bring the focus back to the War on Terror.
Don't let anyone tell you that since Kerry hasn't been president yet, his record isn't as relevant as that of President Bush. His record and his positions on the issues matter every bit as much as President Bush's presidential record. This isn't merely a referendum on the president's record. We only have, effectively, two choices, and if the president loses, Kerry is our next president. That's a very scary thought, and the Bush team must demonstrate just how scary it is.
The Bush campaign's task over the next month is clear. Beginning with the Cheney-Edwards debate, Team Bush must proudly defend the president's record and relentlessly showcase Kerry's record, from his Jane Fonda days, through his two decades of anti-defense in the Senate, to his reckless policy shifts on Iraq and his triumphant global-test-multilateralism today.
I understand President Bush's desire to be gentlemanly and polite, but he shouldn't do so at the expense of the public's edification on the scary Kerry record. As we've seen in the past few months, like a vampire, John Kerry can't stand the light of day. It's time for the president to pry open Count Kerry's coffin during daylight hours and let the sun shine in.
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