July 14, 2004

"It's the Hypocrisy, Stupid"

In Bush's War Room, the Gloves Are Always Off

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, a handful of President Bush's campaign aides huddled around two small speakers in a room that, with its shades drawn, was lit by the glow of 15 television monitors. They were listening to the voice of Senator John Kerry.

None of the networks were carrying Mr. Kerry's entire speech to a group of financial donors, mostly women, in Boston that day. But Mr. Bush's operatives had somehow arranged for their own audio feed, they refused to say how, and were listening intently, ready to pounce on any opening for attack.

After sitting impatiently through what seemed to be a typical stump speech, they found one: Mr. Kerry said he was "proud" of votes by him and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, last fall against the president's requested $87 billion appropriation for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a vote that Republicans have used to make a case that Mr. Kerry has been failing to support the troops after voting to authorize the war.

[....]

Several journalists who cover Mr. Kerry later said they were too embarrassed to say publicly that it took the Bush operatives to spot what was notable in Mr. Kerry's remarks.

[....]

But Mr. Kerry's pronouncement that he was proud of the vote against the $87 billion appropriation gave the war room something to attack. He was actually referring to Mr. Edwards when he said: "I'm proud to say that John joined me in voting against that $87 billion when we knew the policy had to be changed."

Posted by Ithildin at July 14, 2004 10:42 AM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE