GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party's decline
A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."
The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”
The memo says such a reversal in the President's fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections.
GOP insiders who have seen the memo admit it’s a risky strategy and point out that such scenarios are “blue sky thinking” that often occurs in political planning sessions.
“The President’s popularity was at an all-time high following the 9/11 attacks,” admits one aide. “Americans band together at a time of crisis.”
Other Republicans, however, worry that such a scenario carries high risk, pointing out that an attack might suggest the President has not done enough to protect the country.
“We also have to face the fact that many Americans no longer trust the President,” says a longtime GOP strategist. “That makes it harder for him to become a rallying point.”
The memo outlines other scenarios, including:
--Capture of Osama bin Laden (or proof that he is dead);
--A drastic turnaround in the economy;
--A "successful resolution" of the Iraq war.
GOP memos no longer talk of “victory” in Iraq but use the term “successful resolution.”
“A successful resolution would be us getting out intact and civil war not breaking out until after the midterm elections,” says one insider.