I watched Bush’s speech tonight, then I swirled thru the blogosphere to see reactions. Apparently I saw something nobody else did. Forget the tie, forget the jackass reporters. (that last one will be hard)
The most important long term thing Bush did tonight was frame the debate in the upcoming election. I was not counting but I think it was 3 or maybe 4 times he said he looks forward to the debate with Kerry over the war on terror. (look for that line in the future)
He even went so far as to say that this election was about the war on terror.
Bush in effect claimed home field advantage!
No matter how people feel about Iraq, or WMD or even if they think he did not do enough before 9/11, the American people will NOT vote for a President whose idea of a foreign policy is to do what France tells us to do. And like it not, that is the perception of John Kerry and with cause. (mostly because he keeps saying it.)
The Democrats attempts at politicizing the deaths of 3000 people has failed. People (real people) don’t believe Bush was ignoring it nor do they believe Clinton was paying rabid attention to it. That means the two issues are the GWOT and the economy.
Bush can make a very credible case on the economy, but he is a 10-20 point favorite in the polls when people are asked about the war on terror.
Making the election about the war on terror is the biggest thing he could do to help his reelection right now. He just spend an hour and 15(ish) minutes talking about nothing else.