The Sweet Spot

· 2004 Election

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a very big deal by any standard. “Steven Spielberg has said the film could reap $100 million.” (article) But the specific electoral impact is going to be enormously magnified, because it is soo perfectly aligned with the sweet-spot of Bush’s popular support.
The Alignment
This scene is already famous:
NYT, 6/20/04 “[T]he most devastating segment of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ may be the video of a befuddled-looking President Bush staying put for nearly seven minutes… continuing to read a copy of ‘My Pet Goat’ to schoolchildren even after an aide has told him that a second plane has struck the twin towers. Mr. Bush’s slow, hesitant reaction to the disastrous news has never been a secret. But seeing the actual footage, with the minutes ticking by, may prove more damaging to the White House than all the statistics in the world.”
The Sweet-Spot
In the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, people rated the two candidates on eight key characteristics, Bush leads on four and Kerrey leads on four. But the four where Bush has the edge are precisely the ones that won’t survive seven endless minutes of My Pet Goat.
Kerry Leads on Four:
He is honest and trustworthy Bush 39-Kerrey 52
He understands the problems of people like you 36-56
He shares your values 46-48
He stands up to special interest groups 43-45
Bush Leads on Four:
He can be trusted in a crisis Bush 53-Kerrey 41
He is a strong leader 51-43
He takes a position and sticks with it 57-36
He will make the country safer and more secure 54-40