July 14, 2003

Like Father Like Son? There

Like Father Like Son?

There will doubtless be many Dubya doomsayers, during the coming presidential election season, drawing an analogy to Bush pere's inglorious '92 defeat. Interestingly enough, former Reagan aide Clyde Prestowitz provides an early example of this genre in the conservative Spectator:

"The first signs of BushÕs potential vulnerability are becoming apparent. If the situation in Iraq continues, with a steady stream of US casualties, no apparent end in sight and no good explanation of why we are there, and if the US economy remains sluggish with rising unemployment, Bush could be in deep trouble. Indeed, the parallels with his fatherÕs situation in 1992 are striking. Then the senior Bush appeared unbeatable, so much so that the major Democratic candidates stayed out of the race. But a little known Arkansas governor sensed the feet of clay and went for the gold. This time a little-known Vermont governor, Howard Dean, also sees possible feet of clay and is running for the gold. He has charisma on the stump and a powerful fundraising machine. More importantly, unlike the other Democratic candidates who have supported Bush on the war or kept silent, he has clearly defined himself as the anti-unilateralist and the anti-pre-emptive war candidate. Few give him a chance at the moment. But then, no one thought Bill Clinton could win either."

Missing in this analysis is the 800-pound guerrilla of 9/11. What matters most to voters, barring some economic calamity, is stemming attacks on the American homeland and continuing to aggressively prosecute the war on terror. Bush is earning high marks on both despite the yellowcake imbroglio.

UPDATE: David Broder gives the economy bigger billing as a detrimental factor to Dubya's reelection prospects.

Posted by Gregory at July 14, 2003 11:05 PM
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