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Political Calculations

Reported by Eleanor - August 25, 2004 -

Twenty minutes of Special Report with Brit Hume (Aug. 25, 6:00 p.m.) were devoted to the smear vets story. Hume had an exclusive interview with Karl Rove who claimed no coordination between the Bush campaign and the Swift Boat ads. Rove also cited Bush's approval numbers at 51%, which is in line with Clinton at 52% and Reagan at 54%, who were re-elected. The convention is supposed to help.

During a panel discussion about Rove's predictions, Mort Kondracke said that new poll numbers are coming out tomorrow, and Rove bases his assessment on Gallup's number of 51%. He also noted that Kerry is ahead in states with 320 electoral votes. At this point, Fred Barnes interrupted to say that Kerry's lead is within the margin of error, and that polls are misleading. Hume stated that the president is behind.

Ceci Connolly mentioned some positives and negatives for Bush. The convention is the positive. But the negatives are Iraq with 1,000 deaths, 6,000 injuries, and poor economic data. Kondracke added that people must have a rationale to vote for Bush for four more years. He stated that everything depends on his speeches, and the networks aren't covering McCain and Giuliani. Barnes came back with a reminder of Miller and Schwartzenegger.

Comment: None of the people mentioned, to help Bush, are extreme like Bush himself, except maybe Zell Miller, who's there simply to hurt the democrats. It's pitiful that Bush has to hide his far right agenda behind moderate republicans, rather than the Tom Delays and Bill Frists of his party being out front, who really do share Bush's views. Bush can't stand on his record, his political philosophy, or his ability to communicate the direction of the party. Maybe he's depending on the attention given to the protestors to save him.