August 13, 2002
A safe prediction

Mark Evanier makes a safe prediction about 2004:

I have only one prediction, which I've made here before. I think, in '04, the question will be, "Do you feel safer now than you did on September 11?" If most voters feel that, as a result of the actions of the current administration, they're less afraid of annihilation, Bush could get caught humping a sheep and still win a second term. If they feel not enough has been done and/or that "the war" (whatever its scope at the time) has been bungled, almost anyone will be able to beat him. The other stuff may matter in terms of Congress because the less the country trusts Bush on the economy, the more likely they are to want Democratic representatives to stop him from running amok. But none of it has anything to do with who'll win the presidential election of 2004 or even who'll be on the ballots.

UPDATE: Craig Biggerstaff expands on this.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 13, 2002 to Other punditry

Which is another reason why the Democrats should be criticizing Bush on issues of national security where they think he has made mistakes. If the fact that they have an obligation to protect their constituents to the best of their ability is not enough, then simple political calculation should keep them from cowering every time Bush says "terrorism".

Posted by: kevin on August 13, 2002 7:35 PM

Hey, Charles! How you doing? I agree and think you've nailed The Big Issue of 2004: "Do you feel safer now than you did on September 11?" That's going to be the question of the day.

I also think that it will be a triple issue campaign. I think that "It's the economy, stupid!" Redux is likely to be a familiar rallying cry and finally, I believe that the incestuous relationship between corporations and politicians (which encompasses so many issues like labor and insurance and health care ans social security and prescription drugs, etc. etc.) is likely to make those strange bedfellows particular targets by campaigners who can distinguish themselves as having not whored to the traditional financing pimps. I think this is the area where the Greens are likely to gain votes and cause havoc for Dems and Reps...probably Dems mostly.

Whatever the case, the sure bet is that it will not be business as usual on the pages and airtime allocated to election news.

Posted by: Lisa English on August 13, 2002 7:44 PM

Only if he's using protection with the sheep.

Let's face it, calling elections this far in advance is almost impossible.

Remember, at this time 12 years ago, who outside of Arkansas had ever heard of Bill Clinton?

Posted by: Frankenstein on August 13, 2002 10:05 PM

I commented a bit about this on my own site.

If Dubya gets the war right, then he gets to suffer the slings and arrows of economic discontent. Otherwise Jacksonian America (which constitutes a probable majority of Bush's home turf) will tar and feather him.

Posted by: Craig on August 14, 2002 1:02 PM