I know some high-level Republican strategists read this site religiously for that special Rampage take on the issues, so I thought I'd offer them a bit of bonus advice: lay off the attack ads, guys.
Not that Kerry doesn't deserve to be attacked, he does. Not that there isn't still plenty of material to attack him with, there is. Not that Americans react against people who run attack ads, if the attacks are true, Americans are glad to know it.
No, the reason to stop the attack ads is because they aren't what you need right now. People already don't like John Kerry. You've hit the point of diminishing returns in that area. What is far more important is to spend your money in contradicting the last four years of attacks that have been leveled against Bush by the mainstream media.
The only reason --the ONLY reason-- that Kerry isn't fifteen points behind in this race is because the leftists that control the press have convinced everyone that Bush is an out of control religious nut bent on conquering the world for Christ, Halliburton, Israel and Saudi Arabia. They are convinced that the war in Iraq was an obvious mistake and an obvious disaster and that Bush "lied us" into it.
There are far too many people who don't even realize that these points are in dispute. I think if the president would make an effort to tell his side then there would be easily a ten-percent turn around. I think he could even make a credible threat in California. Don't forget that California voted huge for Arnie.
Is this wishful thinking? Maybe, but I know several people in California that believe all the above and were shocked to learn that I didn't. They think those ideas are all just simply facts and the question in this election is whether to vote for Bush in spite of those things.
All you have to do is let people know that there is another side to the story. You don't even have to convince them that you are right: just convince them that the facts aren't as one-sided as they were led to believe. It would make a tremendous difference.