Today marked Day 2 of the G.O.P’s national convention in New York City. Madison Square Garden is under the tighest security you can possibly imagine over the next few days; it’s not surprising, given the fact that President George W. Bush and his loyal band of delegates all happen to be in New York City, are heading into September and MSG is right on top of a subway station – all relatively dangerous factors for a convention of this size.

President Bush made a major blunder earlier today when he commented on the War on Terror in a pre-taped interview with NBC News: “I don’t think you can win it,” he said. Bush then added on, “I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.”

Oops. Not even the most die-hard Republican would be pleased with that omission of vulnerability.

Tonight’s the big night for the G.O.P. with the appearance of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Laura Bush. It’s all very interesting (although not particularly exciting; the Republicans’ celebrity endorsements peaks with LeeAnn Wolmack and other country music sensations like Brooks & Dunn – no big names here).

Outside, however… things are a little bit different.

The anti-Republican and anti-Bush protestors outside of MSG are involved in one of the largest public demonstrations of dissent in U.S. history. Yet Republicans will no doubt benefit from the optics of “Barbarians At The Gate” in shoring up support in their key regions like the Mid-West. The New York tactic works because liberal New York City is viewed by many Middle Americans as inherently different than the rest of the country. Having New York protestors on TV only makes the Republicans stronger in the core areas of support.

It’s a premise that only Karl Rove could love.

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