Friday, February 06, 2004

IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER

Bush is not a slam dunk in November. He can be. He might be. But it isn't a sure thing with Kerry in the picture now. With Dean, it was simply a matter of waiting for Mount Saint Howard to erupt -- he did and it was over early. For Kerry, who waited for Dean to self-destruct, the timing was flawless. For Bush, Dean's meltdown came too early -- the Bush team was drooling at the possibility Dean would be the candidate, but it looks like that possibility is over. After all, Dean's campaign's only platform was "against" -- he wasn't "for" anything, only against everything that Bush was for. The pragmatic Dems saw through that and he got blackballed.

Worse for Bush, his "negatives" in the polls now show him in a statistical dead heat if Kerry's the candidate. And the Bush team needs to be careful. Kerry has many negatives -- a voting record that's a clone of Kennedy's, being on all three sides of most issues (for, against, and "studying the situation"), as charismatically challenged as Gore, and (if you read a number of stories circulating these days) a guy whose influence can be bought.

Having said that, a number of thoughtful conservatives are concerned over Bush's vulnerablities.


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