The lede of this AP article reads: "Democrat John Kerry accused President Bush on Monday of sending U.S. troops to the âwrong war in the wrong place at the wrong timeâ and said heâd try to bring them all home in four years. Bush rebuked him for taking âyet another new positionâ on the war."
Simple advice for the Kerry campaign: keep the fire concentrated and tightly focused. The Democrats message on this is simple: the president lied the country into the war and then he screwed it up.
One, two. Two points. Simple as that. Everything else obscures the message. Both on principle and for tactical reasons, I don't think one presidential candidate should call the other a liar (call me old-fashioned). But the point can be made with appropriate language and surrogates can be more direct.
And as long as the president keeps misrepresenting Kerry's position on the war, starting him on flipflops. Which ones? Wanting to make Chalabi president of Iraq, now accusing him of being an Iranian spy. Wanting to have Halliburton run Iraq, now pulling their contracts. The list is truly endless.
These are sweeteners to be added for variety and entertainment. The two points above are the keys -- to be hit on again and again and again. They're effective because they're true and any look at the polls shows the public knows it.