Here's an idea for Bush campaign ad:
Scene: Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and their cronies are in their cave, eating popcorn. The cave is dimly illuminated by the light of a television set.
They're watching a clip from the Wisconsin Democratic debate.
Questioner: Senator Kerry, President Bush . described himself as a war president. He said he's got war on his mind as he considers these policies and decisions he has to make. If you were elected, would you see yourself as a war president?
Kerry: "I'd see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president. . So I would see myself as a very different kind of global leader than George Bush."
Cut to Osama and Mullah Omar high-fiving each other, throwing the popcorn up in the air. One henchman in the background is grinning while waving a "Kerry for President" banner.
Fade to black.
Raise text: Re-Elect George W. Bush. The right man at the right time.
Now, I have no idea if it's a good political commercial or not. But it's the sort of commercial I'd like to see. And if John Kerry and George W. Bush have their way, I probably will. The president insists he's "looking forward" to a debate on his handling of foreign policy. And Senator Kerry says constantly, "If the White House wants to make this election about national security, I have three words they understand: 'Bring, it, on!"
Despite Kerry's instinctual condescension - "I have three words they understand" - I'm delighted he's so adamant.
Because for the first time since 1988, foreign policy is an issue. In 2000, the distinction between Gore and Bush was blurry. George Bush opposed nation-building and advocated a "humble" foreign policy. And Gore was a "hawk" in an administration that conducted a war against a dictator (Slobodan Milosevic) without U.N. support and without any "imminent threat" to provoke him.
Now things are reversed. Bush "arrogantly" supports nation-building while the presumptive Democratic nominee voted no on the $87 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, which means Kerry is opposed to the most important American effort at nation-building since Douglas MacArthur ruled Japan. And he also thinks making nice to the U.N. - not making war on our enemies - should be the top priority.