Bob Weiner Media Points, September 14, 2004
I THINK FRAMING THE POINTS THESE WAYS WILL HELP US REGAIN THE INITIATIVE:
* One point NOT being made clearly is that voting to AUTHORIZE war was not saying to GO to war -- it created the tool to negotiate for international support, more inspectors, etc., as Kerry said. But we are not making clear the difference between authorizing and going to war, and Bush says Kerry "voted for the war" -- NOT TRUE. And when Kerry says he'd vote the same way again, he means to authorize -- to give the tools -- NOT to go to war -- THAT was the President's own doing.
* We are also losing ground on "flip flops". When asked about flip-flops, we must point out (as did the LA Times this week) the serious flip flops were BUSH'S -- on reason for Iraq war (and creating NEW flashpoint for terrorists), Medicare premium increases partially because of unchallenged drug prices and refusal to allow imports and federal negotiating, and education funding, deficit, and more -- and those all just since President. Concede that Democrats have to do better job of getting that message out.
* In response to the attack on Kerry service/new documents debate, whatever the debate over documents, the now irrefutable facts are that Kerry served honorably in Vietnam while Bush never served and missed huge portions of obligated National Guard, and the document debate itself is Republican strategy to pre-empt the truth and media coverage of Bush's missed service. In any case, Rather said CBS stands on the docs after finding WH released similar fonts from other documents same years, and the font in question has been used since the 1920's. Rather says all this "shouts that they are true" and that the font debate is a diversion -- in fact the spacing and superscript were used in the 70's and the "1" and "l" identical match used then are not used NOW. Rather last night said official records as even released by WH show Bush suspended from flying. Rather points out White House refuses to answer direct questions on Bush's getting into Guard by influence, refusing order to take physical, being suspended, and completing commitment, only saying "honorably discharged" -- and the Guard director's old secretary has now stated that these questions were all joked about concerning Bush at the time. Moreover, General McPeak, at the DNC's news conference, said he's taken 37 military physicals and you just don't miss one especially to be grounded if you don't take it. Rather concluded the guts of the 60 minute story is true and the questions remain unanswered about Bush's failed and absent National Guard service.
* Personally, as former spokesman for the White House drug czar's office, I also kind of like the fact that Bush has never denied the allegations of coke use 30 years ago and Kitty Kelly re-ups those -- Bush just says won't talk about anything 30 years ago (except apparently lies about Kerry's service record and testimony...!).
* It is important to bring up, if possible, Bush's assault on Medicare and Social Security, overall lost jobs (and amount paid in those jobs) despite slight interim job tweaks upward. BECAUSE THE BASE HE CREATED GOT SO LOW, there had to be some upward tweaks DESPITE -- not because of -- his economic policies; and deficit from our surplus. Bush's taking credit for the economy is UNDESERVED.