Monday, June 07, 2004

Spinning the corpse 

I know that politics is politics, but it still seems to me somewhat unseemly:

"[S]ome Democrats said they were concerned that the death of Mr. Reagan would provide a welcome, if perhaps temporary, tonic for a president who had been going through tough political times.

" 'I've been dreading this every election year for three cycles,' said Jim Jordan, Mr. Kerry's former campaign manager. 'Bush has totally attached himself to Ronald Reagan. He's going to turn Reagan into his own verifier.'

"Still, Mr. Kerry's aides said they believed Mr. Reagan's death would be, as a political matter, far in the background by the summer. And Republicans said there were risks in too conspicuously invoking Mr. Reagan as part of Mr. Bush's campaign.

"Advisers to Mr. Bush said they had not determined how prominently Mr. Bush should identify his presidency with Mr. Reagan, whether Mr. Reagan's image should be incorporated in Mr. Bush's advertisements and whether Nancy Reagan might appear on Mr. Bush's behalf in the fall."
At least no one is arguing yet that Bush has engineered Reagan's death to boost his polling at this stage of the electoral cycle.

One thing is certain though; the Reagan factor will not help John Kerry. People might or might not start comparing Bush to Reagan and find the former lacking, but who would ever turn to Kerry instead, because Bush is insufficiently like Reagan? Bush might not have the Gipper's charm or communication skills, but at least has similar ideological clarity (the left calls it extremism). Kerry scores low on all three. Stiff, boring and nuanced will not win Kerry this election; it's one for Bush to lose, and the only way he will lose it, is if by November enough swinging voters decide they dislike his enough that they will rather settle for stiff, boring and nuanced - effectively anything but Bush.


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