Spending Money With Little Return …

That’s something at which this administration is pretty good. Based on this NYT story, not only can they spend a lot yet end up with little to show for it in Iraq, on a Medicare prescription drug benefit, or on protectionism, they can do it with campaign spending, too:

The Republican spring offensive — unusual in its early timing, its toughness and the decision of Mr. Bush to personally engage his opponent so far before November — effectively ends on Sunday, as the Bush campaign suspends its broadcast television advertising until next month.

Three months and $85 million after Mr. Bush began, pollsters and independent analysts said that while Mr. Bush had raised doubts about Mr. Kerry, he had not scored as much damage as some Democrats had feared — or some Republicans had anticipated — with this unusually expensive and early assault, particularly given the size of the investment and the use of Mr. Bush.

Mr. Kerry is viewed more negatively by voters than he was on the morning of March 3, and Mr. Bush appears to have succeeded in planting doubts about the firmness of Mr. Kerry’s convictions, according to a variety of polls.

But polls also show Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry tied, while Mr. Kerry continues to be viewed more favorably than not.