Tuesday | July 15, 2003
By Steve Gilliard
Washington Post columnist David Broder, regarded as the Dean of the
If President Bush is not reelected, we may look back on last Thursday, July 10, 2003, as the day the shadow of defeat first crossed his political horizon. To be sure, Bush looks strong. The CBS News poll released that evening had his approval rating at 60 percent, with solid support from his own party, a 26-point lead among independents and a near-even split among Democrats. Two-thirds of those surveyed could not name a single one of the nine Democrats vying for the right to oppose him.
But "The CBS Evening News" that night was like Karl Rove's worst nightmare, and the other network newscasts -- still the main source of information for a large number of Americans -- were not much better
All of them -- and cable news -- cited the dissonant voices from within the administration blaming one another for Bush's use of a report, which the CIA had long since discredited, claiming that Iraq tried to buy uranium for a nuclear weapons program from the African country of Niger.
And the most troubling pictures on any of the three broadcasts were those of a line of cars, stretching out of sight down a flat two-lane road in Logan, Ohio -- jobless and struggling families waiting for the twice-a-month distribution of free food by the local office of America's Second Harvest. The head of the agency said, "We are seeing a new phenomenon: Last year's food bank donors are now this year's food bank clients." Said CBS reporter Cynthia Bowers, "You could call it a line of the times, because in a growing number of American communities these days, making ends meet means waiting for a handout."
Some may say, "Well, it's one day's news," or dismiss it all as media bias. But that does not dissolve the shadow that now hangs over Bush's bright hopes for a second term.
The war and the economy are looking worse and worse for Bush, that irresponsible tax cut, the war without end, the totally inept fumbling. But for Broder, who gave Bush a pass before, after that dastardly, oral sex loving Clinton, to say the Dauphin is screwing up is remarkable.
What's next, concluding that we're losing the war?