Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Kerry beats Dean to the punch

Looks like Kerry managed to get out ahead of Dean on one thing at least:

Six months after President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln, which sported a banner declaring "Mission Accomplished," and announced that major combat in Iraq was over, Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign is the first to try to use that photo op against the president.

Two shots, one of Mr. Bush in a Navy flight suit and one showing the banner on the Lincoln, open a new TV ad that begins airing Tuesday in Iowa and New Hampshire. The ad then goes on to tout Kerry’s candidacy.

"Who can take on George Bush and change the direction of the nation? John Kerry," the ad says.

It continues, calling Kerry "a leader on national security" and "a decorated combat veteran," and also mentions his service on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees.

Back in May, when the president landed on the Lincoln, critics complained that he had just set up the event for future campaign ads. Little did they think that events would later allow the Democrats to use it against him in their own ads.

Mr. Bush last month denied any involvement with the "Mission Accomplished" banner, saying it was the military’s idea. "(It) was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished," he said.

As for the timing of Kerry's ad, it may be due to reports that rival Howard Dean was thinking of using the footage in an ad of his own.

This is why campaigns try to keep their advertising strategies secret.


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