John McIntyre has some thoughts on why Clarke isn’t hurting Bush:
In regard to the hearings and Clarke’s charges, there are two main factors that will make this issue a positive for the President in the long run. First, like I said last week, the more the public and the press is talking about al Qaeda, bin Laden, terrorism, 9/11, etc.. that is a major positive for the President. Second, Democrats are going to regret making this such a huge issue. By attacking the President’s conduct before 9/11 they have opened the door for the Bush campaign to hammer back later this year and vigorously defend President Bush’s record on fighting terrorism.
It is not hard to imagine potential commercials showing the 1993 WTC bombing, the Khobar Towers attack, the African embassies, the attack on the USS Cole and the feeble response by the Clinton administration. This stands in stark contrast to the attack on 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, destruction of the Taliban, invasion of Iraq and capture of Saddam Hussein.
All this past week has done is highlight the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans on the approach to terrorism. Kerry and the Democrats argue for an approach that centers around law enforcement, money for first responders and cooperation with the “international community.”
It’s conceivable that we could call this period in Bush’s Presidency “the Clarke bounce.”