Bush Gaining Ground

There is still a long road ahead for campaign 2004, but as recent polls have shown, President Bush is gaining ground on Kerry. Peggy Noonan says today in the Wall Street Journal that Bush’s weathering of the recent storms have shown people that he stays the course and says what he believes. On the other hand:

The Democrats and their nominee say on one day that Mr. Bush ignored terrorism, and on the next that he exaggerated the threat. They say his administration didn’t give enough time to planning Iraq, then they say he was obsessed with Iraq. They say he’s dimwitted and gullible, then they say he’s evil and calculating–he cooked Iraq up in Texas, in Ted Kennedy’s phrase.

You know why they can’t define what’s wrong with Mr. Bush? Because they don’t even know what’s wrong with him beyond that he is not them, not Mr. Kerry, not a Democrat.

Can the Democrats win this way? No.

The entire article is worth the read. Elsewhere, Newsweek political analyst Howard Fineman sees the Democrats slipping as well. The American people aren’t necessarily following the liberal line of thought:

Politics is a game of context. And for now, this early in the campaign, the context isn’t Bush versus Kerry—it’s Bush versus the murderers and thugs. The first reaction of Americans wasn’t “what were those contractors doing in Fallujah in the first place?” It was “we must punish the beasts who killed and savagely mutilated them.” As a political analyst, my first thought was: All this video is bad for Bush, because it makes his Iraq policy look like a failure. I was wrong, of course. His may pay politically for Iraq at some point, but not right now. For now, it’s still rally ’round the commander-in-chief, if for no other reason than to show that we are not Spain.

It does seem that Kerry really doesn’t see Iraq as an issue, other than citing that President Bush is causing a quagmire. For Kerry to gain ground, he’ll have to come up with a plan for Iraq other than farming it out to the U.N.

The United States needs someone whose leadership in war can be trusted now—and in this war, medals won 30 years ago hold little sway.