Projection as a campaign strategy works!
WASHINGTON — As Howard Dean evolves from small-state governor to presidential contender, he is making off-the-cuff statements that could undercut his claim to be the straight talker in the Democratic nomination race, as well as his party's argument that President Bush has a credibility problem.
Some Democrats fret privately that Dean's missteps could undercut their argument that Bush is not credible on the war or the economy. If he is the nominee and "continues to make comments and then backtrack," independent political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said, "it would be harder to accuse the president of flip-flopping or misstating facts."
Two things to note here:
Once again we have a bunch of unnamed Democrats wringing their hands about how much trouble they might have in the coming election. As I have said before, if these people can't provide positive input to the campaign then I wish they would just shut up! They are not helping out at all.
We are seeing the implementation of the same strategy that was used in 2000 to discredit Gore. First the Republican's identify the weaknesses of their own candidate and then they spread around the meme that it is actually their opponent who has those weaknesses. Bush has a casual relationship with the truth? Well, make it look like Gore is a serial exaggerator and liar!
It doesn't really matter if the allegations against the Democratic candidate are true or not. If they can convince the media that there is something to it than the press will greet with skepticism any attack on Bush by said candidate. "He's going after Bush for XXX? But what about when the candidate did YYY?"
The brilliance of Karl Rove really comes down to this simple idea: you can always win if you can make the other guy look bad.