Bush’s Ads Beget Tidal Wave of Bloviation

With the benefit of a few additional hours to ponder the president’s first wave of campaign ads on TV, bloggers are back on their soapboxes.

It strikes Campaign Desk as treacherous ground for a blogger (or anyone else) to suggest what should or should not offend the sensibilities of those who lost loved ones on 9/11… but that’s not stopping some blogiators for even a split second. (Hey - did we just invent a word?)

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner deems complaints about the Bush ads “nonsense squared,” complaining that “a lot more people died during Vietnam than on 9/11 and John Kerry has been running ads with footage from there for months.” Goldberg’s Corner cohort, Tim Graham, is ticked off at the press for “exploit[ing] and profit[ing]” from 9/11 with “special editions of Time magazine, the hours of specials” and then “throw[ing] this spitball at [Bush].” (We’re not entirely sure what Graham means here but we seem to recall that just the other day he was advocating throwing things at the press). It is Instapundit’s instapinion that “it’s fine for Bush to remind voters what this is all about,” and James Lileks concurs, noting: “…it’s called running on one’s record. They get to do that.”

On the other side of the sandbox stands Suburban Guerilla who grumbles that “the least [Bush] could do is show up at the 9/11 commission hearings and testify. If he can find the time, I mean.” At daily kos, kos chimes in with this: “Bush is showing so much leadership, so much concern about 9-11 that he has refused to meet with the 9-11commission for longer than an hour.” Oliver Willis objects to “the idea of using the smoldering ground as a backdrop to a political ad” although he “felt that [9/11] was a shining moment of sincerity for [Bush] that we didn’t see before and haven’t seen since.” Pandagon’s take is that the ads are “tastefully done, as far as shameless exploitation of grievous tragedy for partisan political purposes goes.”

Taegen Goddard gives Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, something he is accustomed to having: the first and last word on the matter. Said Giuliani: “It’s part of history. [Bush] did such a good job it would almost be false advertising not to include images of 9/11.”

Liz Cox Barrett

Correction: An incorrect statement about Kerry’s campaign footage has been removed from this post.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.