I get the feeling that we are looking at an ugly campaign this year. Bush and Kerry are already attacking each other publicly, with Bush airing ads saying “‘John Kerry: Wrong on taxes, wrong on defense.'” Kerry continues to defend his remarks that Republicans are a “‘crooked, lying group,'” by saing that “‘There is a Republican attack squad that specializes in trying to destroy people and be negative,'” and “‘I think the president needs to talk about the real priorities of our country.'” Remember, it’s only March! We still have eight months of campaigning!
One interesting point about this is the difference in the messages. Bush’s ads echo the Bush administrations reliance on keeping the general public afraid of terrorists. The ads feature images of a person in a gas mask and a person running in the dark. On the other hand, Kerry’s attacks are exactly true. This administration has set a precedent for attacking and attempting to discredit anyone who disagrees with them. They’ve even turned against members of their own party at times.
The question is, which strategy will work best? Will Kerry’s strategy of telling the truth win out over Bush’s fear mongering?