By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

Reading reports of John Kerry's superior performance to George W. Bush at debate one, some Republicans expressed shock that Kerry could perform like he did. That made me wonder: Had Karl Rove's vicious plan of attack on Kerry been too effective?

Before the debate, both sides tried to lower expectations of their candidate's performance in order to make us expect more of the other side and less of their side. Still, the Bush team was described as cocky about the debate.

The surprise at Kerry's performance expressed by some Republicans made me wonder if Karl Rove's overwhelming plan of attack on Kerry has been too effective, ending up being an antidote to his team's attempt to lower expectations of Bush and increase them of Kerry.

If you were a party faithful watching all the attack ads on Kerry, you wouldn't get a true picture of him. Yet, many people -- including some undecideds -- when asked their opinions about Kerry simply repeat refrains from the negative ads against Kerry such as that he's a flip-flopper or that he's weak. Thus, they expected a wildly weak Kerry at the debate against a wildly strong Bush.

Over-achieving to your detriment -- Oh the problems of being a genius political consultant.


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