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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, September 17, 2004

 
Undersell and overperform
A key rule of marketing is that you should always, always "undersell and overperform." Looking at the fallout from John Kerry's insistence on making Vietnam a campaign topic, we can see the wisdom of that.

Kerry talked up his whopping four months in Vietnam as if he had spent years there, single-handedly saving the country from the Red Menace. Vietnam was his bread and butter all the way up to August, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth began pointing out that Kerry was very clearly overselling his experience.

On the other side, Bush has never said anything more about his National Guard experience than that he fulfilled his obligations and that he was proud of his service. In a misguided attempt to "get back" at Bush for the Swift Boat Vets, Kerry and Co. have taken to attacking him regarding his Guard service. Even without Rathergate, this was unlikely to work, because Bush has hardly mentioned that experience. And in focusing on it, Dems draw out people like Walter Staudt, who suggest that Bush has been underselling his guard time:
During his time in charge of the unit, Staudt decided whether to accept those who applied for pilot training. He recalled Bush as a standout candidate.

"He was highly qualified," he said. "He passed all the scrutiny and tests he was given." ...

He added that Bush more than met the requirements for pilot training. "He presented himself well. I'd say he was in the upper 10 percent or 5 percent or whatever we ever talked to about going to pilot training. We were pretty particular because when he came back [from training], we had to fly with him."
So, even though Kerry's Vietnam experience is obviously more impressive than Bush's, Bush's has become more valuable, because Kerry oversold his, whereas Bush did not. Bush and his team have always shown a propensity for wisely husbanding their political resources, and this is another example.
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!
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