Feature

An election that has a familiar ring

It’s 2004 all over again.

Jonathan ChaitNYMag.com

It’s 2004 all over again, said Jonathan Chait. Once again, the presidential race pits “a rich guy from Massachusetts with a reputation for flip-flopping” against an “incumbent president with middling approval ratings.” The parallels go further than you’d think—and it’s hilarious how the two parties have changed places. In 2012, Republicans are bitterly complaining about Obama giving campaign-style speeches on the taxpayer’s dime, but were “distinctly less outraged” when George W. Bush used Air Force One on a record number of campaign stops in 2004. Back then, the GOP funded attack ads sneering at John Kerry’s luxury yacht and Nantucket mansion. Now, when Democrats level broadsides at Romney’s wealth, it’s “vicious class warfare.” But Democrats are hypocrites, too. In 2004 they were indignant over how Bush politicized 9/11 and the war on terror. This year, they applaud Obama’s boasting that he killed Osama bin Laden. But c’mon, Democrats, show the GOP some sympathy. Remember how galling it was to watch Bush relentlessly exploit the presidency to boost his own campaign while ruthlessly tearing down his opponent? “That’s how Republicans feel now.’’

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