Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Campaign Teams

There is an AP story about the two campaign teams of Bush and Kerry, one led by the redoubtable Karl Rove, and the other by Mary Beth Cahill. The article lists various other functionaries in either camp (Cahill, Rove lead Presidential Campaigns).

The impression one gets is that the Kerry campaign is in response mode, not in active mode. And as long as Bush can keep them there, he wins. One of my favorite political stories is from Pakistan (recounted in MJ Akbar's India - The Siege Within). That Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Prime Minister of Pakistan) smoked and drank, was an open secret. But his opponents in the Islamic wing kept nipping at his heels by taunting him at every public appearance. After putting up with this for a while and dodging the question, Bhutto decided he had had enough. Finally, at one public meeting, when they heckled him about his drinking, he took them on directly. "It is true that I drink alcohol", he declared, and added, "But unlike the mullahs, I do not drink the blood of the people". The whole crowd roared, "Peevae, Peevae, Bhutto Peevae. Jeevae, Jeevae, Bhutto Jeevae" (meaning: "Drink, Bhutto, Drink. Live, Bhutto, Live). The mullahs slunk away.

The theme is an old one, dating at least to that classic, High Noon. Kerry needs to turn and take on these miserable cowards.

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