Bush Campaign Tactics
Bush insiders are gleeful that the launching of the first round of Bush ads has created such a buzz. They knew that there would be strong backlash about the ads, but this is all well and good, because it "set the agenda" for the kickoff of the national election.
Bush's political advisers argue that the controversy will not hurt them in the long run, and some even argued that it helped them. One Bush aide, who insisted on anonymity before discussing strategy, said the controversy helped the campaign frame the race around its preferred subject.
"We have started the campaign the way we wanted to and on the issues we intended, and the conversation around the water cooler is about September 11th again," the official said. "We fundamentally need people to remember September 11th and everything it has caused in everyone's life."
Bush watchers knew that Bush and his campaign would run on 9/11 and would exploit it to the fullest extent so they could win a 2nd term for Bush. What do you bet the exploitation will just get worse? Next week, Bush will be attending the ground breaking of the Nassau County 9/11 Memorial and once again have a chance to use the real heroes of 9/11 as props in his photo ops. Between now and the election, we will be treated to numerous examples of Bush wrapping himself in the flag and the tragedy.
As Dave Johnson says, they will continue to exploit 9/11 despite the indisputably bad taste, because they know it works. It might make people who are watching the news closely sick to their stomaches, but the real targets are the masses of potential voters who will only remember the implicit message: Bush, Strong leader, 9/11. Advertising works.