Bhutto and the US elections

(NOTE FROM AJ: I said in my post earlier that I was skeptical about any impact this would have on the primaries, but I’ve been very impressed by how well the Edwards camp has responded to the unfolding events. In his initial statement, along with the appropriate and requisite lamentations, he reminded voters that he had dealt “firsthand” with Pakistan and had “meetings with” Bhutto and Musharraf. Bringing it to an entirely new level, though, Musharraf called him today, demonstrating a level of connection between Musharraf and Edwards that I, for one, was certainly unaware of. There’s occasionally criticism of Edwards for having a thin resume on foreign affairs, but this reminds people that he’s player on the world stage, which can only be a plus for him.)

Chris Cillizza of the Wash Post weighs in on how Bhutto’s death may impact the US election:

While it’s too soon to fully gauge the effects here of Bhutto’s assassination, it could well work most to Giuliani’s benefit by enabling him to thrust himself back into the daily political conversation after steadily losing ground to McCain and Huckabee. With his decision to all but skip Iowa and play only at the margins in the New Hampshire primary, Giuliani has watched as the campaign in its final stages has largely passed him by.

But, with the Bhutto’s death and the broader implications of the fight against terrorism worldwide likely to dominate the coverage for the next day or two (at a minimum), Giuliani immediately becomes relevant again.

The assassination coincides with Giuliani’s decision to directly invoke the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in a new commercial that is running on broadcast channels in New Hampshire and Florida as well on cable nationally.

The key line? “Islamic terrorists would make a terrible mistake if they would confuse our democracy with weakness.”

Giuliani must hope that the Bhutto assassination will remind voters that terrorists can strike anywhere, any time, and that with his experience as mayor of New York at the time of the 9-11 attack, he would be best qualified among all the presidential candidates to navigate those dangerous waters.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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