Selective Memory Syndrome?
Matt Bai, in an otherwise reasonable
Why do some political missteps haunt their candidates forever, while others are easily put to rest? John Kerry saying he voted for the war before he voted against it, or Howard Dean screeching on a stage in Iowa, instantly becomes the stuff of political history, but when George W. Bush admits that he was once arrested for driving under the influence, it immediately fades into obscurity.
Say what? In fact, the news of Bush's DUI arrest almost ended up making Al Gore the president. In the last week or so before the election, virtually every poll showed Bush winning fairly easily
, by five points or so in the popular vote:
More important, both polls show the same snapshot of the current state of the presidential campaign: a solid advantage for Bush.
And after the DUI story hit, Bush nearly lost (in fact, he did lose the popular vote, if not the electoral college).