The Corner

A Theory

According to the AP poll last week, Bush seemed to get a small bounce from the Edwards selection. Other polls show a tiny Kerry bounce, but Bush’s job approval rating still climbing. What’s happening here? The Edwards selection helped knock Iraq off the front pages, and anything that de-emphasizes Iraq helps Bush, since it has been the main thing dragging him down. This means that any big Kerry campaign events that dominate the news–no matter how well rolled out, like the Edwards announcement–work in some sense in Bush’s strategtic favor, since they serve to overshadow Iraq. Now, of course, part of what is going on here is that Iraq has simmered down a bit over the last two weeks, and there are no longer daily CPA breifings to provide the cable channels with easy video. But there is still news in Iraq. Last week, five of our guys were killed in a mortar attack and almost no one knows about it, because it ran on page A-20. The biggest threat to Bush’s presidency was that bad news out of Iraq was making people feel sour about everything. When instead of seeing bombings in Iraq, they see pictures of an all-American Edwards family posing for the cameras, they feel a little better, which marginally helps the incumbent, George Bush. At least that’s my theory….

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