Jewish World Review May 24, 2004 / 4 Sivan, 5764
If President Bush loses the election next November, it will be his own fault. For some reason the president refuses to explain the issues that are defining his administration so the folks can understand what the deuce is going on.
Mr. Bush's policy in Iraq has gone south, but it is not a lost cause. All wars have reversals, and it is the commander-in-chief's duty to rally the troops. Do you feel rallied? I don't.
Likewise on gas prices. Why have they risen so quickly, and what is the president doing about it? I don't know, and it's my job to follow this stuff. The president did tell us he would not release petroleum reserves to drive down prices, but he has not explained why the cost has gone up in the first place.
The president scored big after the 9-11 attacks because he accurately reflected the mood of the country. He was angry; we were angry. He told us exactly what he was going to do in Afghanistan and why. His popularity soared.
Now he sends his wife to defend him on the Jay Leno program. I like Laura. She's a good spokesperson for the president. But the folks want to hear from him.
The latest Newsweek poll has Mr. Bush's approval rating at 42 percent, the lowest of his tenure in office. Even his top campaign advisors admit if the president's approval numbers drop below 40 percent and stay there, he's toast. One would think Mr. Bush would change his "Cool Hand Luke" strategy of "failure to communicate."
The thing that might save President Bush is that, despite all the negatives right now, John Kerry has failed to move up significantly in the polls. That same Newsweek poll has the race tied, even with Bush's low job approval number.
The reason Kerry is languishing is that he has not put forth a clear war-on-terror strategy and many independent Americans fear the "far-left" factor that we talked about a few months ago in this space.
Historically, Americans have rejected extremists in all parties. Barry Goldwater got clobbered, and so did George McGovern. General Wesley Clark's presidential run was demolished by his embrace of Michael Moore. So John Kerry has to distance himself from the ultra-liberal wing of his party, and so far, that has not happened. Hugging Ted Kennedy in Iowa didn't help.
But Kerry has an even more serious problem on the horizon. Extremist billionaire George Soros is pouring millions into the democratic cause by funding propaganda Web sites like Move On that run anti-Bush attack ads all over the country. Soros is a scary guy. An avowed atheist, he wants an "open society" where legalized drugs and few limits on private behavior would be policy. He also loves "income redistribution" through taxation. One thing he doesn't love is how America is fighting terror.
Speaking at Columbia University last week, Soros said that the U.S. war on terror had claimed more innocent lives than the Sept. 11 attacks. He also put forth that although America claims to be a liberating country, we're really the oppressors.
That kind of view might get a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, but it's not going to get anyone elected president of the United States. Thus the Soros money could easily become a huge problem for the Candidate Kerry. Sooner or later, he will have to stand up and say how he feels about this sugar daddy Democrat.
So, ironically, the people who despise President Bush the most, leftist extremists, are actually doing him a favor. The majority of Americans may not like the way Bush is handling the job right now, but do they want a guy like Soros having access to power? Do they share the far left "vision" of America?
My guess is they do not, and that's why the president is still hanging on. So if Mr. Bush goes down to defeat in November, it will be entirely on him. You can't blame those who hate him. They've helped him out a lot.
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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
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© 2004 Creators Syndicate