by Scoobie Davis
I Hope Kerry's People are Reading This
Josh Marshall on the OBL tape:
Let's look at what is happening right now.
The Bush campaign is trying to use the OBL tape to slap the Kerry campaign around, knock them off their stride, and argue that for Kerry now even to mention anything about the president's failure to bag bin Laden is the height of shamefullness.
The president's communications director even told reporters that the only acceptable thing would be for John Kerry to observe a twelve or more hour moratorium on attacks on the president, even though the president should be allowed to continue attacking John Kerry.
That is what they're playing for. (That's also the reason the Bush campaign didn't allow the Kerry campaign to be briefed on the soon-to-be-released tape until late in the day. The president knew about it early in the morning.)
If the Kerry campaign falls for this it would be the height of foolishness. In itself the bin Laden video is not a matter of controversy. What the president's campaign is trying to do is either goad the Kerry campaign into three days of passivity in the run-up to the election or fuss up a debate about the supposed outrageousness of Kerry's faulting the president for allowing bin Laden to remain at large. The Kerry folks should not play into that trap. The answer is to keep to the game-plan and remain on the offensive.
The foreign policy focus of the Kerry campaign has long been the president's failure to maintain the focus on al Qaida, as evidenced by his failure to capture bin Laden and dismantle his network. To abandon that message now would be insanity.
If you're a Democrat and you notice your fellow Democrats dipping into these spasms of fecklessness and weak-kneedism, as I've described above, I strongly encourage to slap them around a few times and tell them to get a hold of themselves. If you're experiencing such spasms, by all means, slap yourself a few times and tell yourself the same thing.
More than 95% of the electorate has already made up its mind. This is all about how those last few percentage points of the electorate break. And that will be determined by which campaign holds the initiative, stays on the offensive for the next three days and who can mobilize their forces to win this on the ground.
Read the whole piece and pass it on.