Voices of Mexico no. 69

Our Voice

It is still early to definitively predict who will win the United States November elections. It should be said, however, that in the last six weeks, from around mid-August, electoral trends clearly and steadily favor President George W. Bush. Senator Kerry’s campaign lost momentum when he declared August 9, when the final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (commonly known as the 9/11 Commission) came out, that he, too, would have given the order to attack Iraq. If we consider his attacks in the early stages of his campaign and his current criticisms of the war, this contradiction is paradoxical, and it is even more surprising that Kerry has hurt himself in this way without his advisors taking any preventive action, bringing into question his campaign platform.

On the other hand, we should also recognize that the unjust attacks on Kerry by the Swift Boats Veterans for Truth were a decisive factor in his drop in the ratings. The last important event that contributed to weakening the Democratic senator was the attack against him by Bush himself, Rudolph Giuliani, Richard Cheney and other speakers at the Republican Convention, as well as the Republican strategy of turning the Iraq war and the war against terror into their main campaign weapon. All this has left John Forbes Kerry very badly placed. In such a polarized political environment, with a messianic, warlike discourse firmly entrenched in the White House, and after deciding to turn himself, like Bush, into a war candidate —even if a pacifist one— by placing the accent on his virtues as a Vietnam-decorated war hero, Senator Kerry has suffered from the impact of negative publicity about this central aspect of his candidacy, which has substantially affected Democratic rank-and-file morale. The damage was done. And after managing to maintain an average four-point advantage for a few months, which, though fragile, was important, Kerry seems to have been left behind by Bush, perhaps irreparably.




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