End of 9/11 Politics? Yeah, right

The Politico‘s Ben Smith and David Paul Kuhn say the collapse of Rudy Giuliani’s bid for the Republican nomination heralds the “end of 9/11 politics”: Giuliani’s failure reflects a broader shift in the American landscape, in which Sept. 11 has so diminished as an emotional touchstone that neither The Gallup Organization nor The Pew Research ...

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The Politico's Ben Smith and David Paul Kuhn say the collapse of Rudy Giuliani's bid for the Republican nomination heralds the "end of 9/11 politics":

Giuliani's failure reflects a broader shift in the American landscape, in which Sept. 11 has so diminished as an emotional touchstone that neither The Gallup Organization nor The Pew Research Center has even polled Americans about the attacks for a half year."

While it may be true that Americans tired of Guiliani's one-note piano, I doubt that "9/11 politics," or in the larger sense—campaigning on fear—has seen its final days.

The Politico‘s Ben Smith and David Paul Kuhn say the collapse of Rudy Giuliani’s bid for the Republican nomination heralds the “end of 9/11 politics”:

Giuliani’s failure reflects a broader shift in the American landscape, in which Sept. 11 has so diminished as an emotional touchstone that neither The Gallup Organization nor The Pew Research Center has even polled Americans about the attacks for a half year.”

While it may be true that Americans tired of Guiliani’s one-note piano, I doubt that “9/11 politics,” or in the larger sense—campaigning on fear—has seen its final days.

Just visit the Museum of the Moving Image’s online exhibit, The Living Room Candidate, a repository of scary campaign commercials by U.S. presidential hopefuls dating back to 1952, and you’ll see what I mean. Some of my favorites: Johnson’s famous “Peace Little Girl (Daisy)”;  the nuclear dialogue between Nixon and Humphrey in 1968; Reagan’s 1984 brilliantly enigmatic “Bear” ad; and, more recently, George W. Bush’s “Wolves,” a 2004 copycat version of the Reagan original.

Let’s face it: Scaring the bejeezus out of folks is a time-honored American tradition. Until something even more frightening than terrorism enters the political landscape, I’d say 9/11 campaigning is far from over.

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