The blitz begins


Stephen W. Stromberg
August 4, 2004 2:51AM (UTC)

The Democratic National Committee is beginning its August advertising blitz with an ad touting John Kerry's well-received acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. The spot, titled "Strength," focuses on a particularly forceful excerpt from the almost hour-long oratory -- a conveniently soundbitable section that covers his Vietnam service and the candidate's rhetoric on fighting terrorism and bolstering the armed forces.

The new ad fits right in with the Kerry campaign's all-out assault on President Bush's war-time credentials during the convention, and it underscores the presidents shifting numbers on the war on terror. But can a Democrat -- and one from Massachusetts no less -- keep gaining on Bush the Decisive on his own turf? The president still polls better when it comes to the war on terror, even if he isn't as strong as before. And hitting Bush hard on foreign affairs also leaves less time to advertise the Democrats' domestic agenda. Is the era of "it's the economy, stupid" really over?

Advertisement:

Perhaps 9/11 did change presidential politics that much. But the last time a Democratic presidential campaign was this concerned with foreign affairs was in 1972, when Richard Nixon smashed George McGovern. So it's definitely a risky strategy for the Democrats, even in 2004. Of course, with the nation in the middle of an increasingly unpopular war and no clear exit strategy, Kerry might be able to win where McGovern got trounced.


Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

MORE FROM Stephen W. Stromberg

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••





Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •