Of course, things can still go dreadfully wrong for George Bush. The economy could tank, Iraq could explode, terrorists could attack, Bush could have an embarrassing, deer-in-the-headlights stammering pause during the debates, the sky might fall. Crossing the street is fraught with lethal possibilities, too. But only professional political pundits would refuse to predict a successful street crossing based on random and not too likely events.
So it is none too soon to suggest that George Bush is likely to win the November election rather handily. True, Republicans must take nothing for granted and campaign as if they were down 10 points. I'm sure they will do exactly that.
But what deserves remarking is the truly desperate state of the John Kerry candidacy. Being a Bush supporter, I try to guard against conflating my hopes with my expectations. So I have looked to objective criteria, such as the behavior of professional Kerry operatives and advocates. If they appear to be in agony, things must be looking good for Bush.
I first noticed a couple of weeks ago that one of the shrewdest, coolest, most rational of Kerry's television advocates -- with strong professional ties to the Boston-based Democratic players -- was going nuts on TV shows with me. Normally polite and well bred, he suddenly started shouting and interrupting on air. Normally astute, he put forward the risible assertion about a week ago that Kerry had Bush exactly where he wanted him, that the Swift boat matter was playing into Kerry's hands. He maintained this charming idiocy even in the green room before and after the show. This put a spring in my step (no small accomplishment, as I have regretfully put on 20 pounds in the last year).
Next came the flood of leading Democrats going on the record with their searing advice to Kerry. It is worth noting that such major players would never go on the record (or even in print on background) if they hadn't first failed to get Kerry's attention in private. Basically they said he should bring on Clinton's men to replace, functionally, Kerry's current mob.
One unfortunately sexist Democrat put Kerry's female chief of staff in the same category as the failed female chiefs of staff of Dukakis and Gore. In other words, the Democratic Party honchos are violating their own sensibilities and telling Kerry to bring on the white men. They must be desperate. They have also suggested that Kerry get an "adult" on the campaign plane with him. Someone who can talk back to him. Thus, enters John Sasso -- the smartest Democratic Party gunslinger north of Bill Clinton.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.