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DRUDGE: BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY...
http://drudgereport.com/flash3wsa.htm ^

Posted on 02/27/2006 3:16:50 PM PST by lauriehelds

Edited on 02/27/2006 3:36:11 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]



XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FEB 27, 2006 18:01:23 ET XXXXX

BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY

**Exclusive**

President Bush now says his 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, who is mulling a comeback in 2008, was inadvertently aided by al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

And Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, who steadfastly refused to defend Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth when he ran Bush’s campaign, now calls them “heroes” who played a crucial role in vanquishing Kerry.

Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent for the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, scores another exclusive for Tuesday editions with explosive excerpts from his new book, STRATEGERY.

For the first time, the president says he was helped by bin Laden, who put out a videotaped diatribe against Bush the Friday before the 2004 election.

Bush said there were “enormous amounts of discussion” inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called “an interesting entry by our enemy” into the presidential race.

“What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt?” he said in an exclusive interview for the new book STRATEGERY. “Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you’re not sure of the effect.

“I thought it was going to help,” he decided. “I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”

Mehlman agreed, citing polls that show Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on matters of national security.

“It reminded people of the stakes,” he said in an interview for STRATEGERY. “It reinforced an issue on which Bush had a big lead over Kerry.”

Even the mainstream media fretted about the tape’s potential to help Bush. Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite told CNN that White House strategist Karl Rove “probably set up bin Laden to this thing.”

The bin Laden tape was not the only curveball thrown at Bush in the closing days of the campaign. The NEW YORK TIMES published a story faulting the administration for failing to safeguard a cache of weapons in Iraq that went missing around the time of the U.S. invasion more than eighteen months earlier.

Some Republicans regarded the story as a political “stink bomb,” much like the revelation just before the 2000 election that Bush had once been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bush said the weapons flap “was different from the DUI story, which defined me personally—as opposed to my policies. And there’s a difference.”

The Times quoted Kerry accusing the president of “incredible incompetence” and calling the missing explosives “one of the great blunders of Iraq.”

Bush responded by turning Kerry’s newfound concern over weapons against him.

“After repeatedly calling Iraq the wrong war, and a diversion, Senator Kerry this week seemed shocked to learn that Iraq was a dangerous place, full of dangerous weapons,” Bush deadpanned, drawing laughter from an audience in Pennsylvania.

Mehlman was similarly incredulous that Kerry would deviate from his long-held position that Bush had exaggerated the weapons threat in Iraq.

“I was stunned that he brought it up,” the campaign manager said. “He was essentially saying it was wrong to remove Saddam Hussein, even though we’ve just discovered all these dangerous weapons in the country.

“Politics is like a chess game,” he added. “If you don’t think a few moves ahead, then you always end up like Homer Simpson going, ‘Doh!’”

Even more helpful to the Bush campaign was the flap over Kerry’s Vietnam service. For the first time, Mehlman is now defending the Swift Boat veterans, who questioned Kerry’s Vietnam record and savaged his claim that U.S. soldiers were war criminals.

“These are people who are incredible,” Mehlman said of the “Swifties.” “You may disagree with what they’re saying. But these are heroes. These are people that suffered in prison camps for America.

“And to respond and say, ‘These are bums who don’t have a right to speak. But other veterans who agree with us do,’ is responding with a hammer and not a scalpel,” he added. “The Kerry campaign seemed unable to use a scalpel. Instead, they had to use a hammer for everything.”

After the election, Rove and other Bush officials initially downplayed any role the Swift Boat Veterans might have played in the campaign. But now there is widespread acknowledgment in the White House that the veterans were pivotal in vanquishing Kerry.

“I felt they had a very big impact,” Mehlman said.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said in an interview that the Swift Boat Veterans “had an impact to Kerry’s detriment. I think they tended to put him on the defensive.”

But that impact would not have been possible if Kerry had not spent so much time emphasizing his Vietnam record, Mehlman said.

“I think the mistake that Kerry made was making the entire essence of his campaign that he served in Vietnam,” he said. “Ultimately, it wasn’t that relevant of an issue.”

Besides, by focusing on Vietnam, Kerry invited criticism of his 1971 congressional testimony that fellow Vietnam veterans were war criminals, Mehlman said.

“No one’s taking away his service,” he emphasized. “The question was his judgment when he came back.”

Ultimately, Kerry’s emphasis on Vietnam proved self-defeating.

“It reinforced something about him,” Mehlman said. “By the end of the campaign, from a character perspective, he came across as a guy who is just ambition over everything.”

He contrasted Kerry unfavorably with former Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, who was severely wounded in World War II, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: issues; kerrydefeat; nationalsecurity; strategery
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1 posted on 02/27/2006 3:16:52 PM PST by lauriehelds
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To: lauriehelds

Stupid statement, out of context, I'm sure.


2 posted on 02/27/2006 3:17:31 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: lauriehelds

This could be interesting.


3 posted on 02/27/2006 3:17:51 PM PST by Michael Goldsberry (Lt. Bruce C. Fryar USN 01-02-70 Laos)
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To: lauriehelds

BUSH IN LEAGUE WITH BIN LADEN! THIS PROVES IT! /tinfoil


4 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:01 PM PST by xrp (Fox News Channel: MISSING WHITE GIRL NETWORK)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Amen. That is so cheap of Drudge.


5 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:01 PM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghanistan Honor Roll students.)
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To: lauriehelds

Drudge is scraping the bottom of the barrel for news....


6 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:06 PM PST by CheneyChick
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To: lauriehelds

This is the second off in la la land thing Drudge has had today.


7 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:06 PM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: lauriehelds

Doug Thompson I'll bet......


8 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:22 PM PST by cmsgop ( Yeah. Let's go get sushi and not pay !!)
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To: armymarinemom

....and yet so in character.


9 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:40 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: lauriehelds
Bin Laden helped by reminding people what a dork Kerry was.

This isn't really news.
10 posted on 02/27/2006 3:18:52 PM PST by horse_doc
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To: mtbopfuyn

The jihadists have hacked drudge maybe...??


11 posted on 02/27/2006 3:19:05 PM PST by voletti (Awareness and Equanimity.)
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To: lauriehelds

Of COURSE it's taken out of context... BUT....

Kerry kept on his laughable path, while Binnie kept popping his head up to remind us all of exactly how WRONG kerry and the Liberals are on this issue!!

Kerry bouncing between "The World Supports Me!!" and "I can Kill more ragheads than you can" didn't help.....


12 posted on 02/27/2006 3:19:31 PM PST by tcrlaf
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To: lauriehelds

Bin Laden's campaign commercial for Kerry DID help Bush. It certainly didn't hurt him.


13 posted on 02/27/2006 3:19:42 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: mtbopfuyn

somedays I think drunken pranksters hacked Drudge's website...but then again, who can tell anymore?


14 posted on 02/27/2006 3:19:50 PM PST by Will_Zurmacht
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To: lauriehelds

Some days I wonder about Drudge.


15 posted on 02/27/2006 3:19:59 PM PST by conservativebabe
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To: lauriehelds
A better title would be...

NOW OFFICIAL, KERRY LOST ELECTION DUE TO HIS IDEOLOGICAL POSITIONS SEEN AS HELPING AL QUIDA

16 posted on 02/27/2006 3:20:34 PM PST by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: lauriehelds

This has been self evident for a while...not much news.


17 posted on 02/27/2006 3:20:56 PM PST by AZRepublican ("The degree in which a measure is necessary can never be a test of the legal right to adopt it.")
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To: armymarinemom
Drudge has been cheap for quite awhile now. Any cheap shot will do, as long as it brings attention to his site.
18 posted on 02/27/2006 3:21:14 PM PST by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: lauriehelds

It's excerpts from "Strategery"


Kinda good.


19 posted on 02/27/2006 3:21:18 PM PST by digger48
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To: conservativebabe

actually this is from Bill Sammon's new book based on his interviews with Pres Bush. he was interviewed by Sean Hannity today and will be on H & C tonight to talk about it.


20 posted on 02/27/2006 3:21:36 PM PST by avital2
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To: CheneyChick

Drudge really hasn't had any inside info or scoops for who knows how long... he was definitely a lot more interesting in the days before he hit it big. I'm talking pre-Monica. He had scoops and original reporting all the time back then.


21 posted on 02/27/2006 3:22:06 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
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To: lauriehelds
...BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY...

Not nearly as much as John Kerry helped him.

22 posted on 02/27/2006 3:22:14 PM PST by FreePaul
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To: lauriehelds
Like the ones clintooon got lots of illegal foreign campaign contribution, wouldn't it be doubtful to think that President Bush got money from OBL???
23 posted on 02/27/2006 3:22:22 PM PST by danamco
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To: lauriehelds

"President Bush now says his 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, who is mulling a comeback in 2008, was inadvertently aided by al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. And Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, who steadfastly refused to defend Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth when he ran Bush’s campaign, now calls them “heroes” who played a crucial role in vanquishing Kerry. Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent for the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, scores another exclusive for Tuesday editions with explosive excerpts from his new book, STRATEGERY"


24 posted on 02/27/2006 3:22:24 PM PST by digger48
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To: avital2

Even so, it's not particularly newsworthy. Seems there is no question that this was in part the case.


25 posted on 02/27/2006 3:23:20 PM PST by conservativebabe
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To: lauriehelds
This was mentioned on Sean Hannity's show today. I think it's in Bill Sammons new book if I understood correctly.
26 posted on 02/27/2006 3:23:24 PM PST by kcvl
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To: iPod Shuffle
"He had scoops and original reporting all the time back then."

...or did it just seem that way due to the almost total lack of alternative media back in those days? Thinking back, even when I thought he had an interesting site, it wasn't so great compared to some of the sites now.

27 posted on 02/27/2006 3:24:05 PM PST by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: lauriehelds

A sinister Rovian plot!


28 posted on 02/27/2006 3:24:14 PM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: Dog Gone
Exactly. There is no question that W was helped by bin Laden's endorsement of Kerry. We all knew this the moment binny did it.
29 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:12 PM PST by cdrw (Freedom and responsibility are inseparable)
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To: lauriehelds

Drudge is becoming more like "World Weekly News" these days. He will soon be posting photos of Bat Boy and the Alien.


30 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:27 PM PST by BulletBobCo
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To: lauriehelds

Why not.... How strong has Kerry been on the WOT?... Thus Bin Laden helped him win via the way Kerry approached the WOT. I bet President Bush feels that Kerry's position on several things helped him win.


31 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:32 PM PST by deport
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To: avital2
actually this is from Bill Sammon's new book based on his interviews with Pres Bush. he was interviewed by Sean Hannity today and will be on H & C tonight to talk about it.

Thank you for clearing that up for the ones that didn't hear the interview. Actually Pres. Bush was right in many ways. CBS really helped with the memogate story along with OBL coming out of hiding which reminded the country that he was still around.

32 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:38 PM PST by engrpat
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To: horse_doc
Bin Laden helped by reminding people what a dork Kerry was. This isn't really news.

Agreed. Bin Laden reminded me why I don't want the Dems in charge of national security.

33 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:43 PM PST by Unkosified (Patiently waiting for Ted Kennedy's manslaughter trial for 36 years now.)
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To: lauriehelds

Well, Kerry has said he thought the Beslan massacre helped Bush.


34 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:45 PM PST by Shermy
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To: lauriehelds

I'm glad to see the Swiftvets are getting the credit they deserve in defeating that ahole Kerry. My donations to them was the best money I ever spent.


35 posted on 02/27/2006 3:25:50 PM PST by bannedfromdu
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To: lauriehelds
DRUDGE: BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY...

.....by personally escorting dead voters to the polls on his camel.

36 posted on 02/27/2006 3:26:04 PM PST by COUNTrecount
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To: lauriehelds
BUSH NOW ADMITS BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY

**Exclusive**

President Bush now says his 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, who is mulling a comeback in 2008, was inadvertently aided by al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

And Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, who steadfastly refused to defend Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth when he ran Bush’s campaign, now calls them “heroes” who played a crucial role in vanquishing Kerry.

Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent for the WASHINGTON EXAMINER, scores another exclusive for Tuesday editions with explosive excerpts from his new book, STRATEGERY.

For the first time, the president says he was helped by bin Laden, who put out a videotaped diatribe against Bush the Friday before the 2004 election.

Bush said there were “enormous amounts of discussion” inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called “an interesting entry by our enemy” into the presidential race.

“What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt?” he said in an exclusive interview for the new book STRATEGERY. “Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you’re not sure of the effect.

“I thought it was going to help,” he decided. “I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”

Mehlman agreed, citing polls that show Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on matters of national security.

“It reminded people of the stakes,” he said in an interview for STRATEGERY. “It reinforced an issue on which Bush had a big lead over Kerry.”

Even the mainstream media fretted about the tape’s potential to help Bush. Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite told CNN that White House strategist Karl Rove “probably set up bin Laden to this thing.”

The bin Laden tape was not the only curveball thrown at Bush in the closing days of the campaign. The NEW YORK TIMES published a story faulting the administration for failing to safeguard a cache of weapons in Iraq that went missing around the time of the U.S. invasion more than eighteen months earlier.

Some Republicans regarded the story as a political “stink bomb,” much like the revelation just before the 2000 election that Bush had once been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bush said the weapons flap “was different from the DUI story, which defined me personally—as opposed to my policies. And there’s a difference.”

The Times quoted Kerry accusing the president of “incredible incompetence” and calling the missing explosives “one of the great blunders of Iraq.”

Bush responded by turning Kerry’s newfound concern over weapons against him.

“After repeatedly calling Iraq the wrong war, and a diversion, Senator Kerry this week seemed shocked to learn that Iraq was a dangerous place, full of dangerous weapons,” Bush deadpanned, drawing laughter from an audience in Pennsylvania.

Mehlman was similarly incredulous that Kerry would deviate from his long-held position that Bush had exaggerated the weapons threat in Iraq.

“I was stunned that he brought it up,” the campaign manager said. “He was essentially saying it was wrong to remove Saddam Hussein, even though we’ve just discovered all these dangerous weapons in the country.

“Politics is like a chess game,” he added. “If you don’t think a few moves ahead, then you always end up like Homer Simpson going, ‘Doh!’”

Even more helpful to the Bush campaign was the flap over Kerry’s Vietnam service. For the first time, Mehlman is now defending the Swift Boat veterans, who questioned Kerry’s Vietnam record and savaged his claim that U.S. soldiers were war criminals.

“These are people who are incredible,” Mehlman said of the “Swifties.” “You may disagree with what they’re saying. But these are heroes. These are people that suffered in prison camps for America.

“And to respond and say, ‘These are bums who don’t have a right to speak. But other veterans who agree with us do,’ is responding with a hammer and not a scalpel,” he added. “The Kerry campaign seemed unable to use a scalpel. Instead, they had to use a hammer for everything.”

After the election, Rove and other Bush officials initially downplayed any role the Swift Boat Veterans might have played in the campaign. But now there is widespread acknowledgment in the White House that the veterans were pivotal in vanquishing Kerry.

“I felt they had a very big impact,” Mehlman said.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said in an interview that the Swift Boat Veterans “had an impact to Kerry’s detriment. I think they tended to put him on the defensive.”

But that impact would not have been possible if Kerry had not spent so much time emphasizing his Vietnam record, Mehlman said.

“I think the mistake that Kerry made was making the entire essence of his campaign that he served in Vietnam,” he said. “Ultimately, it wasn’t that relevant of an issue.”

Besides, by focusing on Vietnam, Kerry invited criticism of his 1971 congressional testimony that fellow Vietnam veterans were war criminals, Mehlman said.

“No one’s taking away his service,” he emphasized. “The question was his judgment when he came back.”

Ultimately, Kerry’s emphasis on Vietnam proved self-defeating.

“It reinforced something about him,” Mehlman said. “By the end of the campaign, from a character perspective, he came across as a guy who is just ambition over everything.”

He contrasted Kerry unfavorably with former Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, who was severely wounded in World War II, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
37 posted on 02/27/2006 3:26:51 PM PST by Bommer (Have you insulted a prophet today? http://pages.sbcglobal.net/bommer/mofactor.html)
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To: lauriehelds

38 posted on 02/27/2006 3:27:09 PM PST by My2Cents ("The essence of American journalism is vulgarity divested of truth." -- Winston Churchill)
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To: lauriehelds
So did Saddam Hussein.

Bush Took My Job, Killed My Sons

39 posted on 02/27/2006 3:27:29 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: lauriehelds

40 posted on 02/27/2006 3:28:12 PM PST by txroadkill
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To: afraidfortherepublic

No, it's not out of context, it's from Bill Sammons' new book "Strategery," which came out today and is favorable to Bush. Sammons interviewed the President (and Rove, and Cheney, and lots of others) who stated the obvious: that bin Laden's rants the weekend before the election just made Bush seem tougher.

Sammons was on Hannity's radio show this afternoon discussing the book and is to be on the TV show tonight.

I wish Freepers would overreact less and consider more.


41 posted on 02/27/2006 3:29:45 PM PST by Jedidah
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To: xrp
BUSH IN LEAGUE WITH BIN LADEN! THIS PROVES IT! /tinfoil


42 posted on 02/27/2006 3:31:26 PM PST by proud_yank (Liberalism - The 'Culture of Ignorance'.)
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To: Dog Gone
When Bin Laden supposedly said that blue states would be spared attacks, the common american voter reacted like national patriots...and voted for the man who was trying to kill him.

I'm talking about the "undecided" voter.

43 posted on 02/27/2006 3:33:41 PM PST by DCPatriot ("It aint what you don't know that kills you. It's what you know that aint so" Theodore Sturgeon)
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To: Jedidah

Sorry if you think I over reacted. I don't agree.

I still maintain that the headline is out of context. It was meant to titillate the reader and to imply that Bin Ladin actively and intentionally influenced in the election. That is a far different thing than the reality -- passive help from a scheme that backfired on bin Ladin.

This is the kind of wild accusation that the dum Dems take literally. My sister in law will be ranting about this for the next 5 years.


44 posted on 02/27/2006 3:33:45 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: bannedfromdu

If the Bush Campaign would have gotten behind, or at least stopped 'denouncing' the Swiftboat Vets, the could have probably added 5% at the Polls.

These guys had a lot to say, and should have had a bigger audience. In a real world, Lawrence O'donnell would be forever banned from public life for his ridiculous and childish attack on John O'Neill


45 posted on 02/27/2006 3:35:31 PM PST by digger48
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To: lauriehelds

LOL! Drudge's site stats must be down...


46 posted on 02/27/2006 3:37:34 PM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON!)
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To: digger48


This is true but in the final analysis, I have no doubt the Swiftvets put the nail in his coffin.

As a Nam vet and contributor to the Swiftvets, I take pride in that fact.


47 posted on 02/27/2006 3:39:51 PM PST by bannedfromdu
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To: FreePaul
...BIN LADEN HELPED HIM BEAT JOHN KERRY...

Not nearly as much as John Kerry helped him.

Have to disagree with the first statement - Kerry needed no help losing. Tho I doubt any politician here as much influence over what OBL does..

48 posted on 02/27/2006 3:42:19 PM PST by ziggygrey
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To: lauriehelds

I think John Kerry helped beat John Kerry more than anyone.


49 posted on 02/27/2006 3:44:35 PM PST by MikeA (New York owes America an apology for Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer)
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To: digger48
If the Bush Campaign would have gotten behind, or at least stopped 'denouncing' the Swiftboat Vets, the could have probably added 5% at the Polls.

Kerry lost completely on his own merits. The problem with the Swifters is that in questioning JFK, they were also calling into question the service of all the men on those boats during the particular operation in question. That wouldn't have made Bush look good, no matter what the real story was. And the temptation to question anybody's military service in the future will be too great - I'm uncomfortable going down that road (that tactic backfired somewhat with Paul Hackett).

50 posted on 02/27/2006 3:50:17 PM PST by ziggygrey
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