The new Gallup poll shows Bush pulling way ahead of Kerry, beyond the margin of error. Former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile puts the best (horse) face on it: "Sen. Kerry is like Seabiscuit: He runs better from behind."
But it is Bush and not Kerry who looks energized by campaigning lately. Kerry seemed to be dragging himself through the motions yesterday. It didn't help that he was speaking to a cold, stone-faced National Guard audience. Bush, on the other hand, seemed charged up, having a grand time skewering Kerry about his most recent statements about Iraq: "The fellow I'm running against has had about eight positions on Iraq. Yesterday, in a radio interview, he tried to clear things up."
Here's the transcript of that radio interview, conducted by Don Imus. Key lines:"Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq -- any?" "Not under the current circumstances, no, there are none that I see." This, of course, blatantly contradicted many earlier statements about Iraq.
Today, Imus started off his show talking about that Kerry interview and whining, "I tried to help him." Imus and his assistants then went on about how Kerry needs to start fighting hard, which is the advice everyone offers poor Kerry. But that line about Iraq from the show is an example of trying to fight hard. The problem is to fight hard one has to take specific, strong positions, and Kerry can't do that without contradicting earlier statements and exposing himself to the kind of ridicule George Bush gleefully dished out yesterday.