Good Cop, Bad Cop
by Chris Bowers, Wed Aug 18, 2004 at 08:01:47 AM EDT
In the latest twist in an ongoing debate about military credentials, Kerry condemned the new ad by the MoveOn political action committee, even though it was produced in response to an ad questioning Kerry's Vietnam War record.
"This should be a campaign of issues, not insults," Kerry said in a written statement.
Kerry called the ad "inappropriate" after McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam prisoner of war, criticized the MoveOn commercial. The 30-second ad accuses Bush of using family connections to avoid the Vietnam War.Kerry's "condemnation" of the ad (he does not actually ask MoveOn to pull the ad), in combination with the existence of the ad, is a perfect example of how the Kerry campaign and 527's can play "good cop, bad cop" to Kerry's benefit. 527's release attacks, thereby raising Bush's negatives. Kerry condemns the attacks, thereby raising his own positives. Further, Kerry's denunciation not only gets the ad more play, but also gets more play of McCain's slam of the SBVFT ad. Further, Bush fails to condemn the attacks run by SBVFT, and it looks like Bush is running a dirty, negative campaign. Overall, the entire SBVFT saga seems like it is going to play out well for Kerry.