Pre-emptive campaign strategy

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In her November 23, 2003 New York Times Op-Ed "Scaring Up Votes," Maureen Dowd writes "First came the pre-emptive military policy. Now comes the pre-emptive campaign strategy. ... Before the president even knows his opponent, his first political ad is blanketing Iowa today: 'It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known'."

Dowd comments, "Well, that's a comforting message from our commander in chief. Do we really need his cold, clammy hand on our spine at a time when we're already rattled by fresh terror threats at home and abroad? When we're chilled by the metastasizing Al Qaeda, the resurgent Taliban and Baathist thugs armed with deadly booby traps; the countless, nameless terror groups emerging in Turkey, Morocco, Indonesia and elsewhere; the vicious attacks on Americans, Brits, aid workers and their supporters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey?"[1]

She continues: "Yet the Bush crowd is seizing the moment to scare us even more. ... Flashing the words 'terrorists' and 'self-defense' in crimson, the Republican National Committee spot urges Americans 'to support the president's policy of pre-emptive self-defense' -- a policy Colin L. Powell claimed was overblown by the press. ... 'Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?' Mr. Bush says.

"With this ad, [Dowd says] Republicans have announced their intention: to scare us stupid, hoping we won't remember that this was the same State of the Union in which Mr. Bush made a misleading statement about the Iraq-Niger uranium connection, or remark that the imperial idyll in Iraq has created more terrorists."[2]

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