Dick Morris, despite being a sell out to the highest bidder — right now Republicans — can on occassion make actual sense. Like today:
By criticizing Kerry for changing his position constantly, the Bush campaign hopes to stop their opponent from wriggling out of his previous liberal votes and views. Once the public is alert to the chance that Kerry will change his mind, it becomes harder for the Democrat to explain away his votes and to move to the center under Bush’s fire.
Now, when Bush moves in for the kill and accuses Kerry of opposing the Defense of Marriage Act or appropriations to fund the Iraq War, the Democratic candidate will find it harder to spin his positions and to move to the middle on these issues. When he tries, voters will repeat to themselves the Ronald Reagan criticism of Jimmy Carter: “There you go again.”
By showing Kerry to flip-flop, Bush sets him up for the real charges – that he is too weak and too liberal to be president.
Conventional wisdom says that this election is going to be close, a replay of 2000. It need not be so. If Bush runs aggressive national advertisements, hammering at these themes, he can put this race away by the end of the spring.
We must remember that Bush’s father trailed Mike Dukakis by 17 points in the months before the conventions. Until Bush Sr. ran negative ads, it seemed that the Massachusetts governor would be Reagan’s successor. Kerry’s bubble may prove to be just that fragile.
But, here’s the thing. Everybody is already thinking this — at least everyone I talk to. Morris just articulates it very well. One day, perhaps I’ll get big bucks for stating the obvious.