According to The Washington Post:
"Just before Ridge went on television, Homeland Security officials offered Kerry a classified briefing detailing the intelligence, and the briefing was being scheduled yesterday afternoon, according to the Kerry campaign.
Kerry's senior adviser for national security, Susan Rice, said in a statement yesterday that the heightened alert indicates 'we are not as safe as we could or should be' and underscores the need to implement the Sept. 11 panel's recommendations.
'John Kerry and John Edwards will bring all aspects of our nation's power to crush al Qaeda and destroy terrorist networks,' Rice said. "
If Susan Rice is Kerry's national security expert, his campaign is in excellent hands. I attended a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington during the early Dean campaign boom, featuring a panel of Democratic advisors. The most intelligent and perceptive analysis came from Susan Rice, discussing Somalia, where she defended the Bush administration's decision to enter the conflict, while suggesting that the endgame might have been better handled. Rice was hawkish, persuasive, and did not back down under critical questions from the press.
It is quite possible that Bush's strategy of terror alerts, like Carter's "Rose Garden strategy" during the Iran hostage crisis, might backfire. They remind the public that the problem has not been solved, and the public might choose a stronger candidate to deal with it, as they did in the Reagan landslide. After all, Bush was supposed to end the terror threat, not elevate it, after 9/11.
So, it looks like this could be an interesting election campaign after all. If Kerry keeps hitting Bush from the right on his failures in the global war on terror, he might win by a comfortable margin.