Why Bush's Security Pitch May Not Work This Time

His argument that only the G.O.P. can keep the country safe gets a third, tough test

Thirty-five minutes after President Bush finished his surprise East Room announcement last week about plans for prosecuting some of the world's most prominent terrorists, White House and Republican officials convened a conference call of conservative TV pundits and other allies, and later of state party leaders around the country. A participant said listeners were urged to spread the word about the aggressive speech "by talking about it in the context of the election." The message: Republicans are strong, and Democrats are weak. The White House strategy isn't subtle. With Republicans worried about losing the House and conceivably even the Senate in...

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