Friday, March 26, 2004

Kerry 3, Bush 1

Smackdown week 4

  • Former counter-terrorism chief Richard A. Clarke charges that the Bush administration ignored the al-Qaida threat before 9/11 and pushed for a "bomb Iraq" strategy in the immediate aftermath of those attacks (CBS, Washington Post, WSJ)
  • White House rebuts ex-adviser claim (AP)
  • Condoleezza Rice response to allegations (Washington Post)
  • Republican Senator Chuck Hagel says that Clarke's charges are "obviously serious" and they come from a "serious professional". (London Telegraph)
  • Condoleeza Rice will not testify before 9/11 panel (
  • Kerry's negatives climb from 27% to 36% in just one month (the left coaster)
  • 9/11 panel cites both Clinton and Bush administration inaction on terrorism (AP)
  • Former weapons inspector David Kay implores US to admit mistakes in Iraq (Reuters)
  • Rasmussen tracking poll shows eight point swing in Kerry's favor in the last week (Rasmussen)
  • Richard Clarke warned of "hundreds dead" in memo to Rice before 9/11 (Reuters)
  • Bush's national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times prior to 9/11 yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions (AP)
  • Howard Dean endorses Kerry (BfA)

This has been a week pretty much dominated by the Clarke story, which means John Kerry, for the most part, dropped off the media radar. The fact that he went on vacation probably accounts for a good part of that. It's arguable whether it helped or not. This week may have been a perfect example of just stepping out of the way and letting your opponent dig the hole he is in.

I've been trying to think of a consistent methodology for deciding who should be declared the "winner" each week. Last week wasn't really all that good for either Kerry or Bush, but I gave it to Bush because his week was less bad than Kerry's. This week, however, Kerry hasn't really done all that much so there isn't that much to judge on.

That is why I've come up with the following standard: I will give the week to the candidates whose shoes I would most want to be in at that moment. So, Bush won last week because, while his week wasn't great, it wasn't as bad as Kerry's. And this week I give the nod to Kerry because, while he didn't make much news, I would rather be in his shoes than Bush's.


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