Using Kerry?s own words, Cheney lobbed a delicious broadside: ?[Kerry] talks about leading a ?more sensitive war on terror,? as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side.?
Painting Kerry as both weak and indecisive on the war on terror, Cheney effectively portrayed his boss? opponent as a man unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
But he did so without exploiting attacks of recent weeks?Cheney explicitly applauded Kerry?s war service?ignoring any temptation to build off the success of the Swift Boat Veterans and John O?Neill?s brickbats.
What the White House appeared to understand is that the independent-minded swift boat vets will continue their assaults, and what Bush & Cheney & Co., need to continue hammering away at Kerry?s most glaring weakness: his penchant for taking seven sides of each issue.
The best line from Cheney on the night: ?Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual?America sees two John Kerrys.?
If Bush maintains what has become his trademark of late?mixing deft humor with deeply passionate, value-based prose?America most likely won?t see either John Kerry after November 2.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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