The Republicans used their convention to reminded us about 9/11 and focus our attention on the President’s leadership in the war on terror while giving scant mention to the economy in comparison. But they missed an important opportunity to fuse the two issues together in the minds of voters.
The President often cites "the lessons learned from September the eleventh." One lesson should be that our economy and our national security our not unrelated issues. Al Qaeda went after the twin towers for a reason, the same reason they were casing financial buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington: they wanted to--and continue to want to--hit us in our proverbial wallet. And the terrorist attacks on September 11th – and the anthrax scare that followed – were devastating blows to our economy.
The convention illustrated that the Bush team intends to make this a campaign about national security. But they would also be well served to remind Americans that in a post-9/11 world, perhaps the President's most important contribution to the economy--yes, even more important than his tax cuts--is keeping America safe from attack. Because by defending the nation, the President is also protecting our jobs and economy. The GOP missed an opportunity to make that case.