Kerry's tactical mistake?

Howard Fineman on Newsweek, believes both US candidates may have made important mistakes in the closing chapters of the election campaign. For Bush, it was his choice of campaign grounds, but he also believes that Kerry’s focus on the Iraq war instead of US jobs and its economy may have serious consequences as he seeks to convert the still undecided.

  • AndrewD

    The US election debate on the ‘War on Terror’ is whats going to win the election.

    Americans want a strong candidate to beable to do this and I don’t think Kerry is that candidate.

    Also Americans are almost comparing Kerry’s Domestic policies esp on Welfare to that of a Socialist/Communist regime. They fear that the state will control their wages/salaries.

  • Robert Keogh


    is this the Northern America or Northern Ireland website?

  • Henry94


    Anyone in the world who is interested in politics is interested in this US election. It is a facinating contest. I think Kerry is going to win and if he does then it will mean the coalition of the greedy in this life and the greedy for the next life will have lost their majority.

    That will be good news for the US and the world.

  • Mick Fealty

    Robert, I wouldn’t like to unbalance the blog entirely, but I hope the occasional snippet from the US isn’t over egging it too much this close to an election that’s likely to have consequences for all of us, North, South, East or West.

  • Davros
  • Mick Fealty

    Henry could be right. Something has shifted in the grand conservative alliance. Andrew Sullivan has clearly shifted full bloodedly in favour of Kerry!

    It’s not hard to see why he turned:

    “…it wasn’t the Kerry campaign that launched a direct attack on the other guy’s war-medals; or deployed every anti-gay slur known to man in critical races; or accused those who worried about missing munitions of attacking the troops; or implied that a vote for Kerry would mean a nuke going off in a major city. Both sides have been down and dirty in this campaign”.

    Kerry’s also been trying (with some success) to live down the secular, anti-religionist image of his party that may have contributed to Al Gore’s lost chance to take up tenure at the White House last time out.

    I’m not sure that the converse of the Incumbent Rule is not the more compelling dynamic. In a war situation, people may consider twice and even three times before dumping the commander in chief. Though it’s true that the US did it in big numbers to LBJ in ’68.

    There seems to be more resignation in David Vance’s latest attack Kerry in the week of the Bin Laden tape. So far the polls see it going Kerry’s way.

  • peteb

    Meanwhile Glenn Reynolds, previously accused of Intellectual Timidity by Sullivan, declares for Bush

    and Dailykos is now referencing the Fox News polls!?!

  • Mick Fealty

    Still, most voters believe Bush will win by a proportion of 2 to 1!

  • James

    I don’t agree with Fineman. The economic argument just hasn’t worked because Americans don’t have the bottle their fathers had. Right now 40% of Americans are scared as hell that there will be another domestic attack from the radical Islamists.

    I’m ashamed of these wimps, the smell of fear has been thick in the air since before they stampeded the hardware stores in search of duct tape to keep out the al Qaeda nerve gas. No politician, Bush OR Kerry, is going to pass these suckers up: Kerry signed onto the Democratic convention like Rambo packing everything except a bazooka and Bush’s people crafted a campaign add showing a dark, shadowy forest with a pack of wolves lurking in the trees to reinforce the fears of the timid masses. Just two different tactical approaches at the same goal.

    Myself, I made a point of flying on September 11, 2002. Flew home on Friday the 13th too.

  • peteb

    Ah.. faith is indeed a wonderful thing.. although, that could work against him, Mick.

    But still, if Rupert’s Minions (aka Fox News polls) are swinging towards Kerry that will be a concern.

  • Mick Fealty

    Kerry’s winning the politics online Global poll, with Bush best amongst Persian language voters. Via Jack O’Toole.

  • peteb

    an “online global vote for the presidential election”?

    If only it was a global vote… oh hang on.. isn’t that the same argument that the Guardian used?

    So…Which swing state do you want to target Mick?

  • James

    I crafted one very depressing posting on the outcome of a Kerry win a couple of days ago. I left it omitted the depressing outcome of a Bush win, thinking it to be obvious. Now CNN managed to make me look like Pollyana.

    Our least problem will be an outcome where there is a winner by one electoral vote. We can probably count on two or three months of legal wrangling before the Republican justices of the Supreme Court elect Bush.

    We could have an electoral tie. The President is then elected by the House of Representatives with each state casting ONE vote regardless of population for any of the top three contenders. The one receiving an absolute majority wins.

    Likewise the Senate decides who the Vice President is by casting one vote per Senator on the top two contenders. The one receiving an absolute majority wins.

    Nightmare scenario #1: Both houses cannot elect a President or a Vice President.

    Nightmare scenario #2: The House cannot elect a President and a Vice President is elected by the Senate. The Vice President elect becomes the acting President until the House gets it’s act together.

    Nightmare scenario #3: The House elects a President but the Senate cannot elect a Vice President. Who cares?

    Anyway Sluggiepoos, I just thought I’d let you in on the process which chooses who gets to play with the ICBM launch keyboard. Sleep tight.

  • PS

    Surely it would make more sense that if the electoral college vote was tied that the victor in the popular vote would become president.

  • Yank in Ulster

    Bush: Absolutely dangerous for the world citizen; productive policies on NI

    Kerry: Good for the world citizen; not so good for NI

    Yank in Ulster’s prediction: Kerry wins my home state of Ohio, but loses overall because of Michigan and Wisconsin going to Bush. (Oh the joys of electoral college counting!)

  • James


    I don’t think that Bush per se is such a good thing for NI as was 9/11 itself. We would have repostured even if Gore was in charge. Of course, Gore knew they were coming so maybe John O’Neill would be alive today and gazing on Mohammed Atta’s hide stretched across the barn door.

    Bush did much to torpedo the peace process by banishing his much discredited (at least amongst the neocons) envoy to the dreary steeples. They were so disgusted with the stench of his appeasement to the North Koreans (their phrasing) that they tucked it’s architect so far back in the sticks he has to pipe the sunshine in.

    I would also ask you to reconsider if Bush’s influence in Europe, at least, is really negative. The only negative European side I can see is that his actions have managed to divide the British Labour party as no Tory could ever hope to do. On the other hand, wonder of wonders, he has made Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder appear as great statesmen, worthy of neocon demonization, on the world stage.

    I also suspect that Europe is coalescing around a scheme of European-based security and that European leaders are secretly relishing this. Here Bush has done something that seven Soviet honchos from Uncle Joe to Gorbachev were never able to do: He’s put a poison pill in NATO. So goodbye to Yankee hegemony in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

    Kerry’s influence on NI is an unknown. I would guess that he will ignore it because he is going to be ass deep in frenzied alligators if he ever makes it to the White House. Well, maybe he could use Portadown as a hidey-hole from the House Impeachment Manager.

  • Robert Keogh


    I live here and it’s damn impossible to escape it. My greatest fear is that like last time the post-election wrangle will drag on for months. Well my greatest fear is that the idiot son of an asshole stays in office.

    “Don’t hate us because we’re americans, Just hate our government.”

  • willowfield

    Whether Bush or Kerry wins isn’t going to make one bit of difference to NI. The NI parties and “the two governments” (oh, how I hate that phrase) will decide what happens.