Congressional reporter Carl Hulse's "Democrats See Security As Key Issue for Fall" portrays the Democratic Party as eager to turn the terrorism issue back on Bush.
The online version includes a helpful direct link toa newcampaign video at the website of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,noticed Nathan Goulding at National Review Online. The link is even embedded in the story teaser on the Times' home page. Why should Democrats bother advertising when the Times will link fromits home page for free?
Hulse's actual article approaches the headline topic from a pro-Democrat point of view: "After being outmaneuvered in the politics of national security in the last two elections, Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation's safety.
"'They are not Swift boating us on security,' said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader in the House."
The Times liked that quote so much it made it the text box.
"Republicans said they believed that the Democratic efforts would fizzle and that voters would ultimately choose to trust Republicans on the issue of security. And Mr. Bush, in remarks at the State Department on Monday, disputed the notion that his policies had contributed to a more dangerous world.
"'Some say that America caused the current instability in the Middle East by pursuing a forward strategy of freedom, yet history shows otherwise,' Mr. Bush said, ticking off terror attacks that occurred in the United States, Africa and elsewhere long before he took office.
"Democrats say that such comments may have had power in the past, but that Republicans are no longer getting the benefit of the doubt. They were heartened this past weekend when leaders of the Sept. 11 commission said the war in Iraq was draining resources that could be put to domestic defense."
Hulse concludes with optimism from a prominent Democrat campaigner: "Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said such findings reinforced his view that Mr. Bush had failed to blend the Iraq war and antiterrorism in the public's mind. Mr. Emanuel said that Mr. Bush's public standing was cemented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and that Republican efforts to improve the president's image by emphasizing terror could not overcome the damage done by the bungled response to the storm.
"'Katrina equals competency,' he said." That's where the article ends - enough said.
So, how are the Republicans doing? Not so well, if you take Hulse (and Emanuel's) word. Last month Hulse also quoted Emanuel, but back then the DCCC chairman was laying into the GOP's fall strategy in a story with the rather discouraging (for Republicans) headline: "G.O.P. Agenda in House Has Moderates Unhappy - Party Centrists Worry About Elections."