The dynamic in this final week often comes down to shoring up vulnerable states and winning the news cycle. Ryan Lizza emphasizes how successful Kerry has been with the latter:
As for the explosives story, it shows once again how effective the Kerry campaign has been at turning the spotlight away from its candidate and back onto Bush’s failures. Granted, it’s always easier for a challenger running against a failed incumbent to do this, but it’s still surprising, given the reputation of Bush’s communications shop, that Kerry is able to win more daily news cycles in the homestretch than his opponent. Bush’s problem is that he has run out of news to make. He has been making the same case against Kerry for almost eight months, and the press corps has tired of the story. Kerry’s team, meanwhile, gets up every morning and feeds the press with a new anti-Bush angle.
Some may see MSM bias at work here. And there’s some of that. But the real problem is the Bush record. It’s vulnerable. For the first time, Kerry is making that hurt the president. And Bush’s counter-attack – dismissing Kerry as too risky, too lightweight and too inconstant – was fatally undermined in the debates, leading to the Kerry-as-liberal meme. Too late, I’d say.