I was thinking about this Washington Post story by Dana Milbank about the fact that Bush has referred to his opponent by name much earlier then has occurred in past presidential re-election contests (Reagan didn't even talk about Mondale, unbidden, until October) and how this indicates that Bush is much more on the defensive then he expected to be. What I was thinking is that this is going to be a long and ugly campaign season in which the negatives for both candidates will probably be driven through the stratosphere and the eventual winner may come down to which side can best get their people out to vote despite the ugliness.
The fence-sitters may end up staying on the fence this year, decline to participate and curse Kerry and Bush with a pox on both their houses. This year could see a record low for participation of independent voters along with an historically high partisan turnout.
What I wonder is how some in the Democratic party will react once this possibility becomes more real. Will they balk at the ugliness and call on Kerry to soften the attacks in order to win back the disgusted middle? Or will they understand that Kerry really has little choice in the matter considering the assured ugliness of the attacks that will come from the Bush camp and how the failure to respond to them appropriately will convince voters that Kerry is just another in a long line of milquetoast Democrats?
I confess: I haven't a clue what is going to happen.
Interesting times indeed!