Oct. 20, 2004

Today’s Lessons

Two points deserve your wholehearted attention today.

First, note that the Kerry Campaign is not acting as if it were winning, or even as if it has built up some momentum. Instead, the candidate and his minions seem more hysterical each day, having already claimed that the president is personally responsible for global warming, hurricanes, oil prices, flu vaccine shortages, secret plans to reinstate the draft and pull the plug on Social Security, economy-busting tax cuts for the rich, and every known malady and misfortune short of the mass death this week in Long Beach, California of Pacific Ocean squid.

This is not how winners behave. At this point in a race, a successful challenger stops behaving like a wannabe and starts carrying himself like a victor. Sure, he continues taking the fight to the incumbent, but his message also takes on a sunnier disposition. Bill Clinton talked of a Place Called Hope; Ronald Reagan conjured images of a Shining City on a Hill. John Kerry, on the other hand, continues ranting like a chiliast with a sandwich board, warning that life as we know it is about to end.

Bill Safire of The New York Times observes that while Bill Clinton had a War Room, John Kerry is running a Fear Room. (I wish I had thought up that line.)

Meanwhile, blogger John Hawkins has lined up an impressive, albeit necessarily incomplete list of snarky and hypocritical comments by John Kerry. (via Instapundit)

The second point: Not only are Kerry operatives behaving like losers, so are Kerry backers. Bill Sammon of the Washington Times nails it in this piece, which describes a trend that has Democratic pros fretting. Here’s the key quote: “New polls by Gallup, FOX and ABC News have Mr. Bush ahead by eight, seven and five points, respectively. However, those same polls show the president leading by margins of 20, 17 and 23 on the question of who respondents expect to win the election.”

No wonder he has set up a "Fear Room."