Here’s a scary proposition: President Bush takes a page out of Gray Davis’s playbook in the spring.
Anyone else remember what Davis did in the Republican primary season last year? Sensing that Dick Riordan was his real threat, Davis spent millions on a negative campaign — while Riordan was campaigning against Bill Simon. So before the Republican voters had picked a candidate, Davis did all he could to ensure they’d pick the candidate he thought he could beat. Result? Simon unexpectedly beat Riordan in the primary, and Davis cruised to a victory in November. (Lot of good it did him, by the way…)
What made it possible was Davis’s war chest and the lack of any real opposition from the Democrats.
It would seem to me that if Dean continues this pace, we could start seeing a coordinated attack from the Republicans — well ahead of the primaries.
And perhaps this is why the Dean campaign shifted tactics last month. By taking the fight directly to Bush early on, anything coming from Bush & Rove ends up looking like a response to Dean’s critiques. That is much easier to dismiss than a preemptive attack.