For those who think that George W. Bush will be unbeatable in 2004 - here is some interesting reading from the Washington Post's David Broder.
If President Bush is not reelected, we may look back on last Thursday, July 10, 2003, as the day the shadow of defeat first crossed his political horizon. To be sure, Bush looks strong. The CBS News poll released that evening had his approval rating at 60 percent, with solid support from his own party, a 26-point lead among independents and a near-even split among Democrats. Two-thirds of those surveyed could not name a single one of the nine Democrats vying for the right to oppose him.
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But "The CBS Evening News" that night was like Karl Rove's worst nightmare, and the other network newscasts -- still the main source of information for a large number of Americans -- were not much better.
The headlines announced by John Roberts, substituting for Dan Rather on CBS, were: "President Bush's false claim about Iraqi weapons; he made it despite a CIA warning the intelligence was bad. More Americans say U.S. is losing control of Iraq. Also tonight, food lines in America; they're back and getting longer."
Brian Williams, filling in for Tom Brokaw on NBC, began: "War zone. Two more Americans dead in Iraq, and now the general who led the war says the troops could be there four more years."
And the most troubling pictures on any of the three broadcasts were those of a line of cars, stretching out of sight down a flat two-lane road in Logan, Ohio -- jobless and struggling families waiting for the twice-a-month distribution of free food by the local office of America's Second Harvest. The head of the agency said, "We are seeing a new phenomenon: Last year's food bank donors are now this year's food bank clients." Said CBS reporter Cynthia Bowers, "You could call it a line of the times, because in a growing number of American communities these days, making ends meet means waiting for a handout."
Some may say, "Well, it's one day's news," or dismiss it all as media bias. But that does not dissolve the shadow that now hangs over Bush's bright hopes for a second term.