Yesterday, from his Crawford ranch, George W. Bush denounced the first ad run by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Or did he? He went on to denounce all 527 ads. But, by day's end the New York Times was reporting that Bush spokesman Scott McLellan was spinning the story that Bush had not meant to single out the swift boat ad, but had intended only to denounce all 527 ads.
Five twenty-sevens are the ads that cannot directly support the election of one candidate over another, and the groups running them can get unlimited money. Bush has more hard money for ads and the Democrats are having to rely on 527s to make up the difference.
However, the 527 ad that's stirred all the controversy and eroded John Kerry's support among veterans is the first swift boat ad. Evidence of the links between the neurotically angry swift boat guys and the Republican party are growing which is against the claims by both. Another Swiftee ad is on the Web and will be televised soon in three states.
Newspaper headlines shouted that Bush had denounced the first swift boat ad. Democrats, apparently worried about their own 527 ads, didn't embrace this but essentially said it was too little too late. I think the Dems should have aggressively grabbed Bush's seeming denouncement and spread the word that even Bush thinks the ad was lying about Kerry. I wonder if Karl Rove agrees. 08.24.04