Surfing the razor's edge
John Kerry responds to the bin Laden tape:
In response to this tape from Osama bin Laden, let me make it clear, crystal clear. As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. They are barbarians. And I will stop at absolutely nothing to hunt down, capture or kill the terrorists wherever they are, whatever it takes. Period.
Kerry did the smart thing to avoid making any kind of political hay out of this statement (note that he doesn't even mention Bush). Instead he responded to it as if he was already the president.
Let the other side be the first to use this politically.
Then hammer them for it!
Bush responds (no link):
I was informed of tape that is now being analyzed ... let me make this clear Americans will not be influenced or intimidated. I am sure Kerry would agree with this. We are at war and will defeat them.
Both of them avoided politics in their canned responses. But I've heard that Kerry went on to make an additional comment about Bush failing to capture bin Laden at Tora Bora. He's right, of course. But its a statement that conflicts with his call for being "absolutely united" and it means that he was the first to "go political" on this event.