Susan Estrich -- Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign manager in 1988 -- has some ideas for how Senator Kerry's campaign can be meaner to President Bush, but I don't think they'd be that effective.

Will it be the three, or is it four or five, drunken driving arrests that Bush and Cheney, the two most powerful men in the world, managed to rack up? (Bush's Texas record has been sealed. Now why would that be? Who seals a perfect driving record?)

I'm pretty sure that's pure speculation. As far as I know Bush had one DUI, and that came out in the last election. I don't think this sort of revelation would hit as hard the second time around, particularly since the President has been dry for quite a while.

After Vietnam, nothing is ancient history, and Cheney is still drinking. What their records suggest is not only a serious problem with alcoholism, which Bush but not Cheney has acknowledged, but also an even more serious problem of judgment. Could Dick Cheney get a license to drive a school bus with his record of drunken driving? (I can see the ad now.) A job at a nuclear power plant? Is any alcoholic ever really cured? So why put him in the most stressful job in the world, with a war going south, a thousand Americans already dead and control of weapons capable of destroying the world at his fingertips.

That's a reasonable question I suppose, but generally a VP can only help a ticket, not hurt it. Cheney's two DUIs were in the early 1960s, when the eventual VP was ages 21 and 22. Two plus one equals three, not four or five. Also, the difference between Kerry's Vietnam/Cambodia problem and the President's DUI problem is that Bush has stopped drinking and renounced his former lifestyle whereas Kerry has made his stories about his military service the centerpiece of his campaign.

It has been said that in the worst of times, Kissinger gave orders to the military not to obey Nixon if he ordered a first strike. What if Bush were to fall off the wagon? Then what? Has America really faced the fact that we have an alcoholic as our president?

Right, that would certainly be a first.

The rest of her ideas are even less substantial.

Or maybe it will be Texas National Guardsmen for Truth, who can explain exactly what George W. Bush was doing while John Kerry was putting his life on the line. So far, all W. can do is come up with dental records to prove that he met his obligations.

All he can do is prove he met his obligations? Well gosh, that's incriminating. This attack is pretty stale by now, and the Democrats have hardly been "too nice" to drag it out over and over.

Or could it be George Bush's Former Female Friends for Truth. A forthcoming book by Kitty Kelly raises questions about whether the president has practiced what he preaches on the issue of abortion.

I'd love to hear some stories from the girlfriends John Kerry had in the 1980s before he even bothered to divorce his first wife.

Are you shocked? Not fair? Who said anything about fair? Remember President Dukakis? He was very fair. Now he teaches at Northeastern University.

Who? I remember a Governor Dukakis.

The arrogant little Republican boys who have been strutting around New York this week, claiming that they have this one won, would do well to take a step back. It could be a long and ugly road to November.

Oh brother. "Little Republican boys"? Gee, that's so demeaning. Last I checked there are plenty of "little Republican girls" who support the President as well, but maybe Ms. Estrich doesn't think they're important?

It must be sad and frustrating to constantly fall onto the wrong side of history, but throwing a temper tantrum isn't going to make it better.



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