Bush's greatest asset is that he is perceived as very likeable by those viewing him on TV--a potent phenomenon, indeed, just as Clinton's sheepish, boyish manner was a potent phenomenon with many women. If Rove was playing with a full deck, he would have had a half hour in prime time reserved on all networks for an election eve, fireside type chat for Bush. That is just basic common sense. Had he had such an arrangement, the breaking of the DUI story, the weekend before, would have built the Bush audience to near Super Bowl levels.
The opportunity would have been one of the great breaks in American political history. Everyone would have tuned in to see Bush on the spot over the DUI story. But the astute way to handle that would have been with a one sentence acknowledgement that he had made a mistake a generation before. Then with the bulk of those planning to vote the next day watching, he could have talked with sincerity of his vision for America--hopefully without any of Rove's moronic PC ideas;--contrasting that vision with the lying approach of his opponent (not a generation before, but week by week in the year 2000).
I could go on, but you will get the idea. It was a natural opportunity. But where your political adviser lacks even the remotest inkling of common sense, it was wholly missed. I had many problems with Richard Nixon's repeated compromises with the wrong people; but even with a far less appealing personality, Nixon would have anihilated Al Gore with such an opportunity.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
Agreed. I keep hearing about what a political genius Rove is supposed to be, but there have been many times I've been puzzled as to what he is thinking. One thing that really bothered me was how Bush basically took off the final two days before the election. Meanwhile, while Bush is taking it easy, you had Al Gore working his a*s off on a 48-hour whirlwind tour of several swing states. Rove got complacent at the end, and it nearly cost them.