The Reasons for the AWOL Focus.
At this point, precious weeks have been wasted by the Kerry campaing to regain his lead in an attack that few if any care about and that has weakened key allies of his campaing (Dan Rather). The big question is why? Lorie Byrd at Polipundit has some good analysis, but her basic point is the following:
From all the evidence I am seeing, it looks like Kerry is ready to give up on trying to attract the moderate, swing voters and is trying to fire up his base to make sure they turn out the vote. Giving up on swing voters this early sounds like a crazy thing to even suggest, but continuing to run on this AWOL National Guard stuff is just that -- crazy.
It may not be all that crazy of a strategy. Remember back to July when this was said in the Washington Post?
Some Bush allies say it is more efficient to boost turnout among partisans than to sway the fence-sitters, who the campaign believes may be 10 percent of the electorate or less. "How much time and energy do you give to picking up the 10 percent, who are disengaged from politics, and how do you communicate with them even if you want to?" asked Grover G. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "You can go to the 45 percent [who already support Bush] and ask them to bring a brother or a sister or a friend to the polls."
A key difference between the two is Bush's efforts to shore up his base occurred in July. We are now in mid-September. There is very little time left until elections and the swing voters are leaning, but not solid, in Bush's direction. So why is Kerry trying to shore his base up now? One possibility is that it is not solid for him, a possiblity that a quick conversation with any democrat will make one discount. The other possibility is that Kerry is doing this because his advisors will think it will work. I think that this is evidence of them being so far removed from how average people think and so blinded by their hatred of Bush that they are unable to detachedly to do the most important thing - their job.
For as my Grandpa Jerome Fladen liked to say, lose your cool, lose your argument.