Claremont College Professor (and Claremont Review of Books editor) Charles Kesler has a characteristically acute editorial in the new issue of the Review that captures the ambiguity of President Bush’s political situation: “The war president.” Kesler writes:
The polls suggest that as Americans feel more secure, or at least as they notice the war less, they regard President Bush less favorably. This has led a few critics to wonder if victory is his electoral nemesis, as it was for Churchill in 1945. But Bush doesn’t claim to have won the war on terrorism; indeed, he emphasizes that it’s a new kind of war that will go on for a long, long time.
Perhaps, then, what the voters really wonder is whether this is war or only a new kind of protracted, indecisive police action, better fought now by airport screeners and international organizations than by the military. In that case, Americans may be tempted to elect a candidate who will declare victory