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Why can't John Kerry capitalize on Bush's losses?

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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:21 PM
Original message
Why can't John Kerry capitalize on Bush's losses?
I am very concerned about Kerry's inability to build on Bush's mistakes. I do think this will be altered somewhat by the convention and by his choice for VP but it is surprising me.

Any thoughts?
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:25 PM
Original message
Cuz he's already suffering because of them.
You get a lot of mileage out of looking like the good guy.
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movonne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well I'm behind Kerry buttttttt if he picks McCain for v.p. I will stay
home.
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lancdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. That's not going to happen
Don't worry.
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RafterMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Your thoughts are two weeks out of date
Recently he's gone from being tied w/ Bush in the mid forties to being over fifty. Maybe it's Bush's further failings, maybe it's Kerry's ad buy, maybe it's that the media has begun to suspect that Bush is driving us *all* over a cliff.

But it has definitely been happening.
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lancdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. I agree
Kerry has played it smart by keeping kind of a low profile while Bush has been sinking like a stone.
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coloradodem2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. If you give them enough rope, they will hang themselves.
Kerry has been benefitting from Bush's losses. It is appearent in the polls. But he needs to save up for later. Right now Bush is going down.
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sallyseven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe he is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Let bush get in over his head. The people are seeing gw bush for what he is. Kerry is not like bush. he takes a higher road and reacts to the over all picture. People don't like being negative and his being positive is starting to sink in. bush's numbers are falling.
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fairfaxvadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. chill out on Kerry...
Right now the public is in information overload. Let them take it out on Bush's numbers right now.

Kerry will strike when it's right, he doesn't want to suffer from "kerry fatigue" along with "bush fatigue".

So, again, chill on the Kerry thing.
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WLKjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well here's my thought
I don't think that it is that he can't, but he is choosing not to. Could be he wants to make his OWN way....this may not make since to some. I also think he realizes that * is digging his own hole and kerry is just not going to give him a hand.

Also by him not comming out and running his mouth right now much, he isn't giving the RWgers any ammo against him but the same old shit, and that would be the phrases FLIP FLOP, and MILITARY RECORD. If they keep going like that, they start to sound like whiny babies and repeating historical information and that is when people start to get sick of them. If anyone is familar with the Dukakis campaign, repugs did the same to him early on like they are doing to kerry now and he realizes it and isnt going to make the same mistake. The thing to pay attention to is the tone and content of his first few ads. They have not been negative as much as I can tell. Bush, on the other hand, has had nothing but attack ads and not one positive one. Bush is also spending more money than he is making if you make a graph of it over time, than kerry. I also believe kerry is saving his money and letting bush spend spend spend on commercials and other ads becuase it is subliminaly showing people how bush views money too.

I could go on with more thoughts of mine, but I am getting typing cramps LOL :)
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. he isn't giving the RWgers any ammo
I think this is exactly it. Bush is doing a great job running himself into the ground. Kerry can talk about domestic issues and build up a following on that. The Repubs have to concentrate on making Bush look good and they can't do that by bashing Kerry on the war if he stays above the fray.

I hear pundits say that Kerry is a closer. In the last part of the campaign he will be the one people turn to as they turn away from Bush.

Bush has no domestic policy. He can't get any support from the EU or UN. His only trump card is the war and that is a duce not an ace.

Kerry is doing just as well as he has to right now.

The other repub mantra I have been hearing is "what is Kerry going to do about the war" They are trying to turn the heat away from Bush and put it on Kerry but as long as Kerry stays above the fray it is only wingnuts arguing with wingnuts.

The right must be shitting in they drawers constantly right now.
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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. seems to me that he is...
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's a proven political rule that-
you don't interfere with your opponent while he is self destructing. It is very dangerous to Kerry to be seen at this time attacking. Also, you don't want to peak to soon. It just like preparing for an atheletic event. You want to be at peak during the real competition not in practice. Kerry is playing this smart, or at least that's my hope.
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MikeG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. Reagan was behind Carter at this time in 1980.
The challenger makes the sale at the convention and after.
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. The reason bush is losing support is Iraq
How can Kerry capitalize on that issue? He can't, or he isn't adacious enough to try. If we had a candidate who hadn't voted for Iraq this would be a whole different story right now. Naders numbers would be nowhere and the democratic party nominee would be ahead by 10 points.
Kerry is going to have to admit Iraq was a mistake and try and salvage this issue for the democrats.
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lancdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Hey, he might be ahead by 10 points
wait till that Zogby poll comes out tomorrow. :)
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I doubt it, but if he is
any other democratic candidate would have been ahead by 15... :7
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searchingforlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
15. Actually, I agree with the concensus here but I wanted to throw it out
without my own colorization.

I said several weeks ago that Kerry should sit back and not try to oversell himself too early. I think he is playing it just right. I would like him to maintain a steady gait up to the convention and then come out strong and energized in the final run for the finishline.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. Let the Chimpy Cartel continue with the circular firing squad
It's best to let your enemy flog themselves in the head and let them grow tired from their own mistakes.

Kerry's keeping the powder dry for now. The formation is getting ready for attack.

Relax. Enjoy the show.
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59millionmorons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. Exactly what do you want Kerry to do?
Edited on Sat May-15-04 09:48 PM by demdem
You people and your whining about Kerry. Do you realize that "why isnt Kerry capitlizing on Bush's troubles is a republican talking point. Why do you think every rw pundit keeps asking it. The reason they are asking it is so people aren't asking why an incumbent is losing to a challenger.
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Doomsayer13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
19. the media is more focused on Bush than Kerry
All this talk about prisoner abuse scandals and beheadings have put the light on Bush, not Kerry. There was a great piece in the NY Times a couple days ago explaining why Bush's numbers are falling and Kerry's are staying the same. That is becuase the American people haven't really been given the opprotunity to evaluate him as a candidate yet. Wait until the convention and afterwards, you should see his numbers go up.
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Bleacher Creature Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Exactly
This election has been and will continue to be a referendum on the "incumbent." Kerry's decision to be fairly low-key right now is absolutely the correct one because what he is doing is giving the Bush team enough rope to hang themselves. The point now is to sit back, let the GOP become more and more vulnerable, and then present our candidate as a more than capable replacement.
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Demoin04 Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
20. explain yourself
How are you measuring this "inability to build"?

Take it from someone who was entrenched in OP, editorials, polls, and letters to the editor. You need a different perspective. The media (and hugely the internet) can feed you as many different opinions as there are computers connected (assuming one person/computer). Nothing is right or wrong, it's always someones perspective, even most articles in the paper are written as such.

Stand back, stop looking at poll numbers. Start by looking at what the two are saying. Everyone is crying because Kerry has not been able to run away with this. Here's a newsflash, 50% and you're crying? Not to get tied up into why I think polls have no basis, but I still know people who theoretically might be used in a poll and they don't know who rummy is. The more focus people pay to polls the less they will change because the numbers aren't telling you who stands where on what issue, who stands for your issue, why you might vote for one and not the other!

While everything I read about Kerry was telling me that he should be jumping on this or that to tear up bush. I started to only listen to the candidate. I found him to be well studied, he isn't floundering, he's thinking it through. This race will not be won by an electrical charge of AntiBush attitude, that would probably come off as arrogant or ignorant. The sense of urgency all the hyped up media tells you is faux, yes we are very frustrated but in a match of wits Kerry will win this and we are on our way. Yeah he's not jamming the war down bushes throught because it's not really going to get anywhere. The facts are we are screwed for quite some time to come. He's chosen to acknowledge the fact and underline that a lot of the failures have been due to the way this is being run. He is not spending any amount of time into why bush was wrong, because whether or not he was wrong (try proving it) there's still the issue of Iraq. So he's focused his comments in a cool collective, intelligent manner, talking of how we could be doing this better.. an area that will gain him some ground. Telling everyone and their mom that bush was wrong isn't going to win new votes... that's smart.
For this election, I see more moderate republicans starting to get fed up with this administrations treatment of congress, that it's their B90tch to be utterly clear. In 2000 the country was split, today you see the country is still split, there is deep distaste of the other side that is keeping it that way. But there are reasonable people on both sides, I seriously doubt bush is going to pull from the demo side (except maybe lieberman), so if Kerry can show that he is reasonable, a collected source of moderation there might be some switching sides. I think this will be true in november as well, but everyone needs to open discussion with people on it. But a reasonable one, if you show anger, hostility towards alternate views nobody will listen to you.

We will do this..
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Excellent points!
And welcome to the DU!
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
22. Slow and steady will win the race. He's making gains everyday.
I think other posters have explained it, but I'll throw out another idea.

Kerry probably has thought about the state of the country when he wins in November. He will inherit a bankrupt treasury, an unpopular war, and our international reputation in the crapper. Sure, he could be clubbing Bush without mercy, but he'll end up with a divided country...a sure recipe, particularly if the Republicans retain legislative control, to stalemate change.

Kerry seems to be playing up his positives and letting Bush maximize his negatives. Kerry may end up with the mandate he wants and that will help drive drive in the Congressional agenda. But if he was to go negative and squeek in, we'd be at war with Republicans for the next 4 years.
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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
24. It isn't time yet
Bush has started campaiging very early -- he has emptiedd close to 100,000,000 from his war chest and the traditional campaign season has yet to begin.

If Bush spending money yields him less votes than Kerry not spending nearly as much, this is a good thing.

Right now, an agressive Kerry would do little more than politicize non-political issues.
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