The wimp label
“If the ascendant Democrats can projectnational-securitystrengthover thenext18months,theycanwinback the White House in 2008. But if they can’t do that — if they fail to convince swingvotersthattheyhavethesmarts andthemoxietokeepAmericasafe— they will surely lose yet again,” PhiladelphiaInquirerpoliticalanalyst Dick Polman writes.
“It’s that simple. The Democrats’ biggest challenge, as they prepare to take power on Capitol Hill, is to eradicatethewimplabelthat,fairlyornot, hasdoggedthemsincethe‘70s.They have to show they can protect us better than the GOP. They have to make themselves impervious to Republican ridicule, the kind that George W. Bush’sfatheremployedin1988,when hesaidofMichaelDukakis,“Iwouldn’t be surprised if he thought a ‘naval exercise’ was something you find in Jane Fonda’s workout book.”
“Democrats do have an unparalleled opportunity to effectuate this image overhaul. Swing voters are clearly prepared to listen, having just decisively rebuked President Bush andtheGOPfortheirdisastrousmismanagement of the Iraq war. These voters did not endorse a Democratic nationalsecurityvisionbecausenone was offered. But they essentially invited the Democrats to explain how they would better handle Iraq, Iran, North Korea, the crisis of an overstretchedmilitaryandthewaronterrorism in general.”