It's the war, stupid

By Geraldine Sealey

Published May 27, 2004 8:25PM (EDT)

Remember when, not too long ago, George W. Bush sold himself as a "war president"? And his campaign tour bore the dangerously optimistic slogan "Winning the War on Terror Tour"? Well, with the Iraq mess disintegrating more each day, evidence that we're actually not winning the war on terror thanks to his failed policies, and as his poll numbers plunge to their worst ever, Bush's team is changing justifications for his re-election as swiftly as it made shifting justifications for war in Iraq.

Now, conveniently, the election isn't about the war so much as it's about the economy, they tell us. Today, Commerce Secretary Don Evans appeared on CNN's Inside Politics trumpeting the latest news that the economy grew faster than expected last quarter (even though job growth lagged.) And Bush's father, who knows a thing or two about losing an election after waging war against Saddam Hussein, says everyone knows Americans vote on the economy, stupid. While it's true that the economy will play a major role in voters' decisions in November, BC'04 cannot wish the Iraq factor away. Voters will judge Bush on this war he chose to wage whether he likes it or not.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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