Well, his sorry butt is fried right now.
My take on this is that Rathergate WAS to be the October surprise, in conjunction with Kitty Kelley's book making charges of cocaine use.
The DNC talking point to accompany this obviously was "Why didn't he take the physical?" repeated ad nauseum. Even poor old Juan Williams was still reciting this talking point the other night.
Another talking point to be used seems to have been that TANG instituted drug testing in the early '70's. Susan Ostrich was reciting this one a few nights ago.
The obvious conclusion that was to be drawn by the hoi polloi was that he didn't take the physical because he was doing drugs.
The damage done to Kerry's poll numbers by the Swift Boat Vets probably caused the October surprise to be hastily moved into September to try to stop the hemmorraging.
Imagine the effect if this had been rolled out at the last minute like the DUI last time. There would be little time to answer.
And certainly CBS didn't expect the forgery to be unraveled in a few hours.
I agree with you a hundred percent. Around the time of Reagan's funeral it became obvious that the press was going to take the summer off and only do the usual minor Bush-bashing. I said at the time that they were certain to start the major orchestrated campaigns against Bush right after Labor Day.
Sure enough. They had a whole eight-weeks timeline laid out, with various people breaking various aspects of it as if by coincidence, and it would, as you speculate, have led up to that old charge they used in 2000, that Bush was a druggie. Maybe they would have forged a copy of that photograph they never quite managed to find and publish back then, of a drugged-out Animal-House Bush dancing naked on the top of a bar.
Too bad. The wheels are coming off their carefully designed campaign and kerry is undergoing meltdown.