Bush Plans Legal Action on Anti-Kerry Ads

“The White House said Bush made the commitment to McCain in a telephone call from Air Force One, hoping to head off a public confrontation with the Arizona Republican and Vietnam veteran when he campaigns with the president next week.

And in an interview with the New York Times, Bush said he thought Sen. Kerry should be proud of his record. ‘No, I don’t think he lied,’ Bush said.” (Yahoo! News)

Are these signs of erratic desperation or part of a calculated campaign strategy, as things go from bad to worse for Bush? At this point, it is difficult ot say for which candidate, Kerry or Bush, the Swift Boat Veterans furor has done more damage, as the illegal coordination and overlap with the Bush campaign becomes more and more evident. Most likely, this announcement on Bush’s part was part of a deal Bush and McCain made to ensure McCain continues to campaign for Bush. McCain has also called for Kerry to pull the ads, to which I referred last week, in which McCain is shown taking a speechless Bush to task for smearing McCain’s war record during the 2000 primary campaign.

But (on the erratic side?) Bush also let slip an admission that he had miscalculated post-invasion conditions in Iraq (and then quickly clammed up and stonewalled additional questions attempting to get him to amplify on his admission; it would have been nice to be a fly on the wall in the interview and see the beady-eyed panic-stricken look on his face at that point). Yet this is juxtaposed with the following:

‘In an interview published on Friday in USA Today, Bush said that Americans will re-elect him to a second term even if they disagree with his decision to invade Iraq.

Bush said voters “know who I am and I believe they’re comfortable with the fact that they know I’m not going to shift principles or shift positions based upon polls and focus groups.” ‘