Items like this have me starting to believe that the President is well on his way to adding a chapter to his father's book "How to Blow an Election as an Incumbent President That You Really Should Win Going Away."
It should be perfectly acceptable for the Bush team to reference the success that the administration has had in the "war on terror." It is and should be an issue in the election because sitting Presidents are expected to run on their record, and Bush's response to 9/11 is without a doubt the highlight of his time in office. However, it's not necessary to use any images of 9/11. To do so hurts him in my opinion because it treats all of us like idiots. If Bush airs advertisements that say that the country is safer from terrorism without shoing us 9/11, does he think that we won't remember it, that we won't know what he is talking about unless he shows us images of bent steel and flag covered stretchers? I can't see anyone who plans to vote in November not being able to recall that time in our history. It's still so fresh in our memory.
I've seen the ad mentioned in the CNN article, and it's not a big deal to me. I think it's a mistake to show the 9/11 images, but I also know that it won't make a bit of difference in my decision for whom to cast my vote. But I do think it has the potential to hurt the President, because it will definitely upset some undecided voters. Yet because the Bush team has shown a tendency to not back down from any decisions they have made, I expect to see those images in ads thrughout the election.
And on an added note, remember that new campaign laws require a candidate to either appear or lend his voice to an end infoming viewers that they approve of the message contained in the ad. Up until this ad, I had not seen one where the candidate gave this disclaimer at the beginning, but Bush does in this one. I have mentioned before that I cannot wait to see truly vicious negative ads where the candidate has to say that they approved of the ad right after portraying their opponent as a poisonous snake. Obviously, the spin doctors have fretted about this, and I bet the front running approval message becomes the rage from this point forward.