McCain strategist Charlie Black’s statement in a Fortune interview that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil “would be a big advantage” for McCain was certainly a boneheaded one to make publicly, but Jim Geraghty assumes that Black’s underlying assertion is obviously true. I’m not so sure. Geraghty’s correct that a terrorist attack would shift the debate back to national security, which is McCain’s strong suit. However, the debate won’t necessarily get framed in a way that’s favorable for McCain. If there were another attack, Obama could point to it as the ultimate proof that the “Bush-McCain” policies have failed to keep America safe, and it may actually feed into the change narrative. The inevitable onslaught of “what went wrong” news stories pointing to policy errors will surely reinforce Obama.
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