In a burst of less-than-charming arrogance, Junior, the strain starting to tell, got nasty in North Carolina.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Claiming the home state of the new Democratic vice presidential candidate as his own turf, President Bush on Wednesday brushed aside the political threat posed by Sen. John Edwards and asserted that he would again sweep the South because he shares the region’s values.Bush, abandoning the cordial tone he struck when Edwards was named to the Democratic ticket a day earlier, suggested the one-term North Carolina senator could not measure up to the stature of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Asked to compare Edwards with his own No. 2, Bush said: “Dick Cheney can be president.” He then called for the next question, indicating that he considered his case closed.
Bush’s pointed response highlighted a primary line of attack Republicans intend to use against Edwards: that he is too inexperienced to become commander in chief, if necessary.
But Sen. John F. Kerry had a quick retort for Bush’s implicit criticism of Edwards. Referring to Cheney’s image as one of the most powerful vice presidents in U.S. history, the Democratic presidential candidate told a rally in Dayton, Ohio, that Bush “was right that Dick Cheney was ready to take over on Day One, and he did, and he has been ever since, and that’s what we’ve got to change.”
This is yet another mistake. Another mistake artising out of arrogance, pique, and the Ef U state of mind brought into the open by Cheney on the Senate floor last week when he told one of the longest-serving and most respected Senators we have to go Ef himself for daring to question the propriety of Dick’s deal with Halliburton and then, adding insult to injury, went on tv and crowed about how much better he felt and how his ‘colleagues’ thought it was about time somebody did it. Of course, one has to remember that Dick Cheney surrounds himself with sycophants, not ‘colleagues’. As a standard corporate CEO, he keeps his yes-men close at hand in case he needs propping up.
The thing is, once the virus was unleashed, it spread. The gloves are off; they don’t seem to think they have to hide any more. So the Nice Guy was replaced in NC by the Frat Boy bragging about how popular he is. Out of touch? These guys live in outer space. Arrogant? Not just arrogant, mean arrogant. They act like the election is all sewn up, like they can do anything, say anything they want and it won’t affect them. Is this more of their standard blind hubris? Or do they know something we don’t know?
Is the fix already in?