Kerry's campaign changes tactics

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    CNN Headline News is reporting that in the closing two months of the campaign, John Kerry's campaign will change to an "attack" stance, firing back heavily at all the negative statements Bush, the Swiftboat Veterans and others have been making about him.

    Last night on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberman, it was reported that Kerry has been quite angry with his campaign director, Mary Beth Cahill, over her advice to not answer many of the Republican attacks. Perhaps Cahill's rationale was that by answering them you only give them credence. But the fact remains that Kerry is so upset that he has, in effect, demoted Cahill, bringing in folks like Democratic National Committee General Election Manager John Sasso and former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart to advise him and manage his campaign.

    Frankly, I think this is long overdue. They really haven't been hammering Bush much, and they do need to defend themselves more. I don't know, for example, that I've heard anybody connected with the Kerry campaign explain his supposed "voting against" the $87 billion to equip our troops in Iraq. And the constant repetition of misleading statements like that one will sooner or later stick in the minds of the undecided and the uninformed.

    I don't think Kerry should go completely negative. The opposite side of this equation is that people have (legitimately, I think) complained that he has failed to articulate what he would do as president. He needs to lay out his plans for the future in some detail. Clinton was right: get off the Vietnam hobby horse, and start talking about things that matter to people, like whether they'll be able to keep their jobs.

    What do y'all think of this change in strategy?
     
  2. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #2
    I don't like the attacks but if people are stupid enough to believe people like th SBVT then I don't see anyway around it. Maybe others have a better idea.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    The downside is you risk turning off voters (which to a man or woman say they dislike negative politics but are swayed by it nonetheless). If the voters get a sour taste about this election, Bush wins easily. Smaller turnouts help Republicans. This is one of the reasons why the GOP goes negative.
     
  4. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #4
    I'm all for this new attack mode. I don't think you win election against the Bushes by playing nice. They are willing to spread any lie they think will help them win. The only way to counter this is to do what Clinton did - go on the offensive. One doesn't have to manufacture lies like they do, but all the dirty little secrets of the Bush family are fair game. It is time to start calling the incompetent, drunken, spoiled little frat boy what he is and show what his failures as a President have meant to the nation.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I think it's high-time for Kerry to become more aggressive, but I draw the line at negativity because this tactic plays right into the Bush campaign's hands. Not only will they be willing take it a notch lower than Kerry is prepared to go, they'll be delighted to do it.
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    But where's the line between aggressive and negative? I don't want to see Kerry floating lies the way the SVBT guys have, but anything short of that is cool with me.

    I'm all for Kerry letting Bush finally have it with both barrels. Time for the touchy-feely types to take a backseat in the campaign staff.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    It's a fine line, but personal attacks and general nastiness pretty clearly cross over it IMO.
     
  8. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #8

    I'm thinking moreso that he needs to respond to the attacks -- not attack back.
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Well I have to say, I'm a little sickened by the swapping of accusations of 'unfit for president' that both campaigns have been making of each other. That's over the line IMHO.

    But lets get some talk going about Bush's national guard dis-service, the Bush ties to the Saudi's, his failures as commander in chief, his flip-flops, all that stuff that Kerry has been avoiding talking about. Let's see Kerry ask for a robust debate schedule and let Bush reject it. And where, oh where, is UBL these days?
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    afaict, the people who respond to negativity by agreeing is much greater than those responding to it by being turned off.

    i.e. nobody likes it, but many base their decisions on it.

    nice guys finish last. let the mudslinging begin.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    Some time ago, Kerry asked for weekly debates -- a proposition Bush was certain to reject.

    As for negativity, agreement with/being persuaded by it isn't the same thing as changing the minds of voters. Kerry knows he needs a good turnout to win, and disaffected voters don't go to the polls.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Negative or fair? Another 527, presumably, affiliated with moveon.org, is trying to raise money to get this ad run:

    http://www.texansfortruth.com
     
  13. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Personally, I'm sick of both the Swiftboat and National Guard stuff. However, what's sauce for the goose....

    And hey, at least Kerry can show that the Swiftboat stuff is so much b.s. Bush still hasn't explained those gaps in his service.
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    The problem with this approach is then you spend all your time defending yourself from all kinds of outrageous attacks and the Bush campaign defines the outlines of the debate - all about if you are some kind of low-life no goodnik. Attacks on Bush's record and about his personal hypocrisy are not only fair game, but also necessary. Otherwise, he gets to continue painting himself as a resolute leader against terrorism and that evil Saddam Hussein, instead of the phony, macho-posturing, incompetent he is really. In that vein, Kitty Kelley's book and the upcoming 60 Minutes interview with Ben Barnes will give the Bush campaign some charges of their own to deal with - let's see how they handle it.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Not to mention the new Bob Graham book. It's hard to paint a member of the Senate Intelligence Comittee as some kind of liberal whacko. Of course they've tried already, calling Graham a 'failed presidential candidate'. I suppose Bush thinks both Bob Dole and John McCain are not to be believed either by that measure...
     
  16. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Newsweek had some interesting thoughts on how Kerry needs to change his tactics:

    I think one of the messages Kerry needs to focus on is "the economy, stupid". He needs to start asking the question, at every opportunity, "What is the more immediate threat to your family: al-Qaida or the loss of your job?" The majority of us realize it's the latter.
     
  17. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #17
    But then there's this little bit of hypocrisy from Kerry, trying to make folks believe this is the "real himself".

    His views and votes* are exactly as Drudge reports:

    http://www.drudgereport.com/dncg.htm

    'Rat

    * During recent debate over amendments to the firearms manufacturers protection bill, Kerry voted with Kennedy about banning "armor piercing ammunition"--wherein specifically, .30-30 ammo was included...
     
  18. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Well, that's one vote, and I don't pretend to be so conversant on guns as to be able to judge it intelligently. But it does sound like it's describing primarily rifles. And it's off-topic anyway, since it has nothing to do with Kerry's strategy.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19

    natternatternatter...

    'Rat, I though we had this worked out already, and you were not that impressed with so called 'hypocrisy' or 'flip-flopping'. Are you yourself flip-flopping now, and saying it's ok to get all worked up over a candidates changes in position?

    If you'd like, I can supply you with plenty of Bush hypocrisy. Does that carry the same weight with you as a Kerry flip-flop?
     

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