"Mr. Bush's political aides - speaking only on background, because no one dissects terror on the record - argue that the crazier the world
gets, the more it plays to the theme of the campaign: Now more than ever, the country needs a president who has proved to be strong on terror. A
worsening scene in Iraq, they believe, plays into the same instinct."
This is the picture that the Bush team envisions when they consider people going to the polls in November:
It's also the same visual that the Kerry team is preparing for. Despite there being an ample amount of issues to draw favorable comparision with Bush
on, Team Kerry is nothing if not students of politcal history. They know & studied how Jimmy Carter got an "October Suprise"
from the then
CIA Chief Spook-promised-a-VP-slot-on-the-Reagan-ticket, with the brokered delay release of the Iranian hostages.
They have ample tape/print/records of how Al Gore was "Gored" in 2000, with the definition of his ideals & vision being painted for him. They've
tried that on Kerry already with this whole non-issue on his military service.
The speculation is high on how an event will calculate politically.
"'The message the terrorists learned in Madrid is that attacks can change elections and change policy,'' a senior administration official said,
talking about the new Spanish government's decision to pull its troops out of Iraq - exactly the goal some believe the train bombers had in mind.
''It's a very dangerous precedent to have out there.''
THAT, of course, is false
. The Spanish Right Wing government consistently went against the will of their people & would have been voted out
regardless, though it is critical for team Bush to present this narrative since the analogy with the USA is symmetrical.
“There is discussion of what are the unexpected, unanticipated [events],” said Rand Beers, Kerry’s top foreign-policy guru and a former Bush
National Security Council adviser, who is a member of a loose group of advisers that the Democratic challenger is putting together. “It would be a
surprise if we were not going to talk about it.”
So, given the lack of comparative strength in side by side comparisions, the trailing or equal running in the polls and the "all in" marketing of
being a 'war president', can it be speculated that a terror event will be allowed to happen?
"The talk of a terror attack on the eve of the November elections is not new. In December 2003, New York Times columnist William Safire made the
prediction that “a major terror attack in the US” could be the “October surprise” for this year’s election. Shortly before Safire’s column appeared,
General Tommy Franks—the former head of the US military’s Central Command who led the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—predicted that another terror
attack on the scale of September 11 would result in the abrogation of the Constitution and the beginning of military rule in the US."
There has already been consistent foreshadowing from administration officials:
"Last month, US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice gave an interview in which she warned, “I think we also have to take seriously that
[terrorists] might try during the cycle leading up to the election to do something.” Rice continued, “In some ways, it seems like it would be too good
to pass up for them, and so we are actively looking at that possibility, actively trying to make certain that we are responding appropriately.”
Hinting that preparations to defend against a terror attack may not be successful, she added, “The hard thing about terrorism is that they only have
to be right once, and we have to be right 100 percent of the time. And nobody can be certain there won’t be another attack.”
There will always be people who vote my party "right or wrong". The post 9/11 dynamic has given rise to voters who believe the inverted logic of
preemptive warfare making us safer, instead of what it actually does, as evidenced in Iraq: recruiting leagues intent on our demise.
So the Analysts prognosticating how an event will flavor the election are only sure of two things: Some will be duped & believe it was unavoidable AND
some will seek their pound of flesh from the Administration who failed on their watch a second time
Let's hope it's staved off by those who are guilty from the first time around on 9/11 and if not, let's then hope that the accountability is swift
Washington weighs terror’s impact on presidential vote: A warning to the American
Calculating the Politics of Catastrophe
Kerry gathers doomsday team