The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election

July 31, 2004

Newsweek Poll Shows Small Bounce For Kerry

In an article entitled “A Baby Bounce?” Newsweek reports a new poll found only a small 4% bounce from the Democratic convention:

Coming out of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Sen. John Kerry now holds a seven-point lead over President George W. Bush in a three-way race with independent Ralph Nader, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. Three weeks ago, Kerry’s lead was three points.

[. . .]

Kerry’s four-point “bounce” is the smallest in the history of the NEWSWEEK poll.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 04:24 PM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Kerry Campaign Stops Includes Awkward Moment With Marines

John Kerry, stopping at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant, talked to a few Marines who happened to be Bush supporters:

Spotting a group of US Marines, Kerry, who has made his Vietnam War service a cornerstone of his campaign, went over to chat. The Marines, who all turned out to be staunch Bush reporters, were not impressed.

“He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands,” one of them told reporters afterwards. “I’m 100 percent against” Kerry, he said. “We support our commander-in-chief 100 percent.”

Said another:

A sergeant with 10 years of service under his belt said, “I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq,” before saying he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is “eager” to go and serve.
Posted by Jay Caruso at 12:14 PM | Comments (30) | TrackBack

Election Speeches Available On iTunes

Note to iPod users: Apple has made key speeches from the convention, including Clinton, Kerry, others, available as audio books via iTunes. The downloads are free.

Posted by Alan at 09:35 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Nader accuses Kerry of dirty tricks

AL-JAZEERA: Nader accuses Kerry of dirty tricks

Launching a tirade against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, Nader on Friday also denied charges that he was heavily supported by Republicans.

“I say to Senator John Kerry, call off your dogs,” Nader said in Los Angeles. He accused Kerry supporters of “harassing, obstructing and impeding” his efforts to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

“Stop encouraging these dirty tricks or you will be held responsible,” he added.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 08:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bush Goes After Kerry's Record

The AP’s article shows Bush questioning Kerry’s Senate record:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - President Bush attacked John Kerry’s 19-year record in the Senate on Friday, answering the Democratic convention mantra “America can do better” with a new GOP refrain: “Results matter.”

Bush repeated the slogan to crowds here and in Springfield, Mo., the first two stops on a swing through four key election states. He also is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, wrapping up his latest tour with a rally Saturday in Pittsburgh, just hours after Kerry speaks in a nearby suburb.

“After 19 years in the U.S. Senate, my opponent has had thousands of votes, but few signature achievements,” Bush told supporters who waved large blue and red cutouts of the letter “W.”

“During eight years on the Senate intelligence committee, he voted to cut the intelligence budget, yet he had no record of reforming America’s intelligence capability,” said Bush, whose advisers are combing the Sept. 11 commission’s recommendations to revamp the nation’s intelligence-gathering ability.

Posted by Jay Caruso at 01:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 30, 2004

Kerry Favors Trying Bin Laden In U.S. Court

The Associated Press reports that Kerry favors trying Osama bin Laden in U.S. courts:

“I want him tried for murder in New York City, and in Virginia and in Pennsylvania,” where planes hijacked by al-Qaida operatives crashed Sept. 11, 2001, Kerry said in his first interview as the Democratic presidential nominee.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:59 PM | Comments (30) | TrackBack

Convention Round-Up

Here’s today’s round-up of news and blogospheric reaction to the speech.

Plus: comic relief.

And if you missed them, the prior round-ups from earlier in the week:

  • The Pre-DNC Toast-O-Meter.

  • Bite-Sized Toast for Monday/Tuesday.

  • Bite-Size Toast: Recapping Wednesday in Boston

    Posted by Steven L. Taylor at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
  • Balloon "Incident" Audio

    CNN picked up audio of a panic stricken Convention Director as the balloons were slow to fall.

    Audio can be heard here.

    Posted by PoliticaObscura at 03:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    T quietly ran trains for delegates

    BOSTON GLOBE: T quietly ran trains for delegates

    The MBTA quietly provided special Orange Line trains for people exiting the FleetCenter on all four nights of the Democratic National Convention, opening the otherwise closed North Station so that some 3,200 delegates, journalists, and others with convention credentials could be whisked to Back Bay Station, free of charge.

    Five to six of the special trains were swept for bombs at a railyard and then pulled into North Station, starting at about 10:30 each night. The trains departed regularly, and each made an express run to Back Bay until about midnight, primarily as a security measure to clear the FleetCenter area quickly, said Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

    Regular trains ran in between the special trains, so there was ”no impact on service,” Pesaturo said. People on the platforms at the five stations between the FleetCenter and Back Bay ”saw a train full of people go by, but there was a train right behind it” to pick them up, he said.

    Still, word of the special service did not sit well with T riders who have had to put up with baggage inspections and forced transfers to shuttle buses.

    ”It seems like they’ve overlooked the people of Boston and regular commuters,” said Susan McLay, 23, of Billerica, who takes commuter rail and the Orange Line to the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Charlestown. North Station has been closed to everyone but the conventioneers, she said, which has caused major disruptions in daily routines.

    ”That doesn’t smell very good to me,” said Julianne Ture, an Orange Line rider who took the week off. ”The whole convention has been such a fiasco.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Bush Campaign Steps Out With New Themes

    [Via CNN]

    The president will be traveling intensively in August, and aides said it will look more like a traditional campaign, with impromptu stops and visits along the way.
    The Bush campaign has dubbed this next phase of the campaign as the “Heart and Soul Tour: Moving America Forward,” a slogan that will be displayed on his campaign bus and will be accompanied by new ads mirroring the theme that will also start Friday.

    • The first two weeks will focus on “strengthening families and the changing economy,” with a special emphasis on promoting what the president calls the “ownership society.”
    • The third week will be focused on national security, where the president will talk about the “need for success” in the war on terror, though he is not likely to unveil new policies.
    • In the last week going into the GOP convention, the president will talk about a different issue each day and discuss policy initiatives in detail.
    Posted by Michele at 02:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Kerry assures Sharon of his commitment to Israel's security

    HAARETZ: Kerry assures Sharon of his commitment to Israel’s security

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Friday assured Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of his commitment to Israel’s security, aides to Kerry said.

    Kerry made the comments during a phone call from Sharon to congratulate him on his official nomination as the Democratic candidate in November’s presidential elections.

    The Massachusetts senator also offered his condolences for the suicide attack on the Israeli embassy in Uzbekistan earlier in the day, in which two Uzbeki members of the embassy’s security team were killed.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Vote for an Iranian Voice at the Republican Convention

    MTV has a contest on called “Stand Up and Holla” - and the prize for the candidate with the most votes is a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention!

    Reza Torkzadeh is one of the 10 finalists. As his profile notes:

    “Born in 1979 in Tehran, Iran, Reza and his family had to flee the country amidst the Iranian Revolution to save their lives. While leaving the country, one of his uncles was executed by the governing regime because of his political beliefs and aspirations.”

    As things in Iran head toward a crisis point, Reza is absolutely the right choice. The RNC needs to hear an Iranian voice - and you can help, by voting for him on MTV’s site.

    Posted by Winds of Change at 10:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Posting Forecast

    I’ve just returned home after catching a very early flight out of Boston. I’m in the office today and my posting will be light (although others will post today I’m sure), but tonight I’ll be posting photos, reflections, etc.

    Posted by Alan at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 29, 2004

    Still Chaos Here

    … I’m going to try to make it back to the hotel and process some of these photos …

    Posted by Alan at 11:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: John Kerry

    Chaos here. This from the DNC:

    We are here tonight because we love our country. We are proud of what America is and what it can become.

    My fellow Americans: we are here tonight united in one simple purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

    A great American novelist wrote that you can’t go home again. He could not have imagined this evening. Tonight, I am home. Home where my public life began and those who made it possible live. Home where our nation’s history was written in blood, idealism, and hope. Home where my parents showed me the values of family, faith, and country.

    Thank you, all of you, for a welcome home I will never forget.

    I wish my parents could share this moment. They went to their rest in the last few years, but their example, their inspiration, their gift of open eyes, open mind, and endless world are bigger and more lasting than any words.

    I was born in Colorado, in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, when my dad was a pilot in World War II. Now, I’m not one to read into things, but guess which wing of the hospital the maternity ward was in? I’m not making this up. I was born in the West Wing!

    My mother was the rock of our family as so many mothers are. She stayed up late to help me do my homework. She sat by my bed when I was sick, and she answered the questions of a child who, like all children, found the world full of wonders and mysteries.

    She was my den mother when I was a Cub Scout and she was so proud of her fifty year pin as a Girl Scout leader. She gave me her passion for the environment. She taught me to see trees as the cathedrals of nature. And by the power of her example, she showed me that we can and must finish the march toward full equality for all women in our country.

    My dad did the things that a boy remembers. He gave me my first model airplane, my first baseball mitt and my first bicycle. He also taught me that we are here for something bigger than ourselves; he lived out the responsibilities and sacrifices of the greatest generation to whom we owe so much.

    When I was a young man, he was in the State Department, stationed in Berlin when it and the world were divided between democracy and communism. I have unforgettable memories of being a kid mesmerized by the British, French, and American troops, each of them guarding their own part of the city, and Russians standing guard on the stark line separating East from West. On one occasion, I rode my bike into Soviet East Berlin. And when I proudly told my dad, he promptly grounded me.

    But what I learned has stayed with me for a lifetime. I saw how different life was on different sides of the same city. I saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free. I saw the gratitude of people toward the United States for all that we had done. I felt goose bumps as I got off a military train and heard the Army band strike up “Stars and Stripes Forever.” I learned what it meant to be America at our best. I learned the pride of our freedom. And I am determined now to restore that pride to all who look to America.

    Mine were greatest generation parents. And as I thank them, we all join together to thank that whole generation for making America strong, for winning World War II, winning the Cold War, and for the great gift of service which brought America fifty years of peace and prosperity.

    My parents inspired me to serve, and when I was a junior in high school, John Kennedy called my generation to service. It was the beginning of a great journey - a time to march for civil rights, for voting rights, for the environment, for women, and for peace. We believed we could change the world. And you know what? We did.

    But we’re not finished. The journey isn’t complete. The march isn’t over. The promise isn’t perfected. Tonight, we’re setting out again. And together, we’re going to write the next great chapter of America’s story.

    We have it in our power to change the world again. But only if we’re true to our ideals - and that starts by telling the truth to the American people. That is my first pledge to you tonight. As President, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.

    I ask you to judge me by my record: As a young prosecutor, I fought for victim’s rights and made prosecuting violence against women a priority. When I came to the Senate, I broke with many in my own party to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do. I fought to put a 100,000 cops on the street.

    And then I reached across the aisle to work with John McCain, to find the truth about our POW’s and missing in action, and to finally make peace with Vietnam.

    I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war. I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws. I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders. And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.

    My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war - a global war on terror against an enemy unlike any we have ever known before. And here at home, wages are falling, health care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends; they’re working two jobs, three jobs, and they’re still not getting ahead.

    We’re told that outsourcing jobs is good for America. We’re told that new jobs that pay $9,000 less than the jobs that have been lost is the best we can do. They say this is the best economy we’ve ever had. And they say that anyone who thinks otherwise is a pessimist. Well, here is our answer: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can’t do better.

    We can do better and we will. We’re the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We’re the can do people. And let’s not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves - and we can do it again.

    So tonight, in the city where America’s freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation - here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom - on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot - for the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return - for all those who believe our best days are ahead of us - for all of you - with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

    I am proud that at my side will be a running mate whose life is the story of the American dream and who’s worked every day to make that dream real for all Americans - Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. And his wonderful wife Elizabeth and their family. This son of a mill worker is ready to lead - and next January, Americans will be proud to have a fighter for the middle class to succeed Dick Cheney as Vice President of the United States.

    And what can I say about Teresa? She has the strongest moral compass of anyone I know. She’s down to earth, nurturing, courageous, wise and smart. She speaks her mind and she speaks the truth, and I love her for that, too. And that’s why America will embrace her as the next First Lady of the United States.

    For Teresa and me, no matter what the future holds or the past has given us, nothing will ever mean as much as our children. We love them not just for who they are and what they’ve become, but for being themselves, making us laugh, holding our feet to the fire, and never letting me get away with anything. Thank you, Andre, Alex, Chris, Vanessa, and John.

    And in this journey, I am accompanied by an extraordinary band of brothers led by that American hero, a patriot named Max Cleland. Our band of brothers doesn’t march together because of who we are as veterans, but because of what we learned as soldiers. We fought for this nation because we loved it and we came back with the deep belief that every day is extra. We may be a little older now, we may be a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for our country.

    And standing with us in that fight are those who shared with me the long season of the primary campaign: Carol Moseley Braun, General Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, Bob Graham, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Lieberman and Al Sharpton.

    To all of you, I say thank you for teaching me and testing me - but mostly, we say thank you for standing up for our country and giving us the unity to move America forward.

    My fellow Americans, the world tonight is very different from the world of four years ago. But I believe the American people are more than equal to the challenge.

    Remember the hours after September 11th, when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran up the stairs and risked their lives, so that others might live. When rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon. When the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol. When flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.

    I am proud that after September 11th all our people rallied to President Bush’s call for unity to meet the danger. There were no Democrats. There were no Republicans. There were only Americans. How we wish it had stayed that way.

    Now I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities - and I do - because some issues just aren’t all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn’t make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn’t make it so.

    As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as President, I will bring back this nation’s time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

    I know what kids go through when they are carrying an M-16 in a dangerous place and they can’t tell friend from foe. I know what they go through when they’re out on patrol at night and they don’t know what’s coming around the next bend. I know what it’s like to write letters home telling your family that everything’s all right when you’re not sure that’s true.

    As President, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war. Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: “I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm’s way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent.” So lesson one, this is the only justification for going to war.

    And on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and woman in our armed forces: You will never be asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace.

    I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a President who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That’s the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.

    Here is the reality: that won’t happen until we have a president who restores America’s respect and leadership — so we don’t have to go it alone in the world.

    And we need to rebuild our alliances, so we can get the terrorists before they get us.

    I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

    We will add 40,000 active duty troops - not in Iraq, but to strengthen American forces that are now overstretched, overextended, and under pressure. We will double our special forces to conduct anti-terrorist operations. We will provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives - and win the battle. And we will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists.

    To all who serve in our armed forces today, I say, help is on the way.

    As President, I will fight a smarter, more effective war on terror. We will deploy every tool in our arsenal: our economic as well as our military might; our principles as well as our firepower.

    In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and I know the power of our ideals.

    We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared.

    We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation - to keep the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands in the world.

    We need a strong military and we need to lead strong alliances. And then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.

    And the front lines of this battle are not just far away - they’re right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city. Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As President, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn’t be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn’t be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn’t be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

    And tonight, we have an important message for those who question the patriotism of Americans who offer a better direction for our country. Before wrapping themselves in the flag and shutting their eyes and ears to the truth, they should remember what America is really all about. They should remember the great idea of freedom for which so many have given their lives. Our purpose now is to reclaim democracy itself. We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.

    You see that flag up there. We call her Old Glory. The stars and stripes forever. I fought under that flag, as did so many of you here and all across our country. That flag flew from the gun turret right behind my head. It was shot through and through and tattered, but it never ceased to wave in the wind. It draped the caskets of men I served with and friends I grew up with. For us, that flag is the most powerful symbol of who we are and what we believe in. Our strength. Our diversity. Our love of country. All that makes America both great and good.

    That flag doesn’t belong to any president. It doesn’t belong to any ideology and it doesn’t belong to any political party. It belongs to all the American people.

    My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values. In the end, it’s not just policies and programs that matter; the president who sits at that desk must be guided by principle.

    For four years, we’ve heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They’re what we live by. They’re about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.

    You don’t value families by kicking kids out of after school programs and taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break.

    We believe in the family value of caring for our children and protecting the neighborhoods where they walk and play.

    And that is the choice in this election.

    You don’t value families by denying real prescription drug coverage to seniors, so big drug companies can get another windfall.

    We believe in the family value expressed in one of the oldest Commandments: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” As President, I will not privatize Social Security. I will not cut benefits. And together, we will make sure that senior citizens never have to cut their pills in half because they can’t afford life-saving medicine.

    And that is the choice in this election.

    You don’t value families if you force them to take up a collection to buy body armor for a son or daughter in the service, if you deny veterans health care, or if you tell middle class families to wait for a tax cut, so that the wealthiest among us can get even more.

    We believe in the value of doing what’s right for everyone in the American family.

    And that is the choice in this election.

    We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America. Not narrow appeals that divide us, but shared values that unite us. Family and faith. Hard work and responsibility. Opportunity for all - so that every child, every parent, every worker has an equal shot at living up to their God-given potential.

    What does it mean in America today when Dave McCune, a steel worker I met in Canton, Ohio, saw his job sent overseas and the equipment in his factory literally unbolted, crated up, and shipped thousands of miles away along with that job? What does it mean when workers I’ve met had to train their foreign replacements?

    America can do better. So tonight we say: help is on the way.

    What does it mean when Mary Ann Knowles, a woman with breast cancer I met in New Hampshire, had to keep working day after day right through her chemotherapy, no matter how sick she felt, because she was terrified of losing her family’s health insurance.

    America can do better. And help is on the way.

    What does it mean when Deborah Kromins from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania works and saves all her life only to find out that her pension has disappeared into thin air - and the executive who looted it has bailed out on a golden parachute?

    America can do better. And help is on the way.

    What does it mean when twenty five percent of the children in Harlem have asthma because of air pollution?

    America can do better. And help is on the way.

    What does it mean when people are huddled in blankets in the cold, sleeping in Lafayette Park on the doorstep of the White House itself - and the number of families living in poverty has risen by three million in the last four years?

    America can do better. And help is on the way.

    And so we come here tonight to ask: Where is the conscience of our country?

    I’ll tell you where it is: it’s in rural and small town America; it’s in urban neighborhoods and suburban main streets; it’s alive in the people I’ve met in every part of this land. It’s bursting in the hearts of Americans who are determined to give our country back its values and its truth.

    We value jobs that pay you more not less than you earned before. We value jobs where, when you put in a week’s work, you can actually pay your bills, provide for your children, and lift up the quality of your life. We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.

    So here is our economic plan to build a stronger America:
    First, new incentives to revitalize manufacturing.

    Second, investment in technology and innovation that will create the good- paying jobs of the future.

    Third, close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas. Instead, we will reward companies that create and keep good paying jobs where they belong - in the good old U.S.A.

    We value an America that exports products, not jobs - and we believe American workers should never have to subsidize the loss of their own job.

    Next, we will trade and compete in the world. But our plan calls for a fair playing field - because if you give the American worker a fair playing field, there’s nobody in the world the American worker can’t compete against.

    And we’re going to return to fiscal responsibility because it is the foundation of our economic strength. Our plan will cut the deficit in half in four years by ending tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare - and will make government live by the rule that every family has to follow: pay as you go.

    And let me tell you what we won’t do: we won’t raise taxes on the middle class. You’ve heard a lot of false charges about this in recent months. So let me say straight out what I will do as President: I will cut middle class taxes. I will reduce the tax burden on small business. And I will roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals who make over $200,000 a year, so we can invest in job creation, health care and education.

    Our education plan for a stronger America sets high standards and demands accountability from parents, teachers, and schools. It provides for smaller class sizes and treats teachers like the professionals they are. And it gives a tax credit to families for each and every year of college.

    When I was a prosecutor, I met young kids who were in trouble, abandoned by adults. And as President, I am determined that we stop being a nation content to spend $50,000 a year to keep a young person in prison for the rest of their life - when we could invest $10,000 to give them Head Start, Early Start, Smart Start, the best possible start in life.

    And we value health care that’s affordable and accessible for all Americans.

    Since 2000, four million people have lost their health insurance. Millions more are struggling to afford it.

    You know what’s happening. Your premiums, your co-payments, your deductibles have all gone through the roof.

    Our health care plan for a stronger America cracks down on the waste, greed, and abuse in our health care system and will save families up to $1,000 a year on their premiums. You’ll get to pick your own doctor - and patients and doctors, not insurance company bureaucrats, will make medical decisions. Under our plan, Medicare will negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. And all Americans will be able to buy less expensive prescription drugs from countries like Canada.

    The story of people struggling for health care is the story of so many Americans. But you know what, it’s not the story of senators and members of Congress. Because we give ourselves great health care and you get the bill. Well, I’m here to say, your family’s health care is just as important as any politician’s in Washington, D.C.

    And when I’m President, America will stop being the only advanced nation in the world which fails to understand that health care is not a privilege for the wealthy, the connected, and the elected - it is a right for all Americans.

    We value an America that controls its own destiny because it’s finally and forever independent of Mideast oil. What does it mean for our economy and our national security when we only have three percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet we rely on foreign countries for fifty-three percent of what we consume?

    I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation - not the Saudi royal family.

    And our energy plan for a stronger America will invest in new technologies and alternative fuels and the cars of the future — so that no young American in uniform will ever be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

    I’ve told you about our plans for the economy, for education, for health care, for energy independence. I want you to know more about them. So now I’m going to say something that Franklin Roosevelt could never have said in his acceptance speech: go to johnkerry.com.

    I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let’s be optimists, not just opponents. Let’s build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let’s honor this nation’s diversity; let’s respect one another; and let’s never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

    My friends, the high road may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And that’s why Republicans and Democrats must make this election a contest of big ideas, not small-minded attacks. This is our time to reject the kind of politics calculated to divide race from race, group from group, region from region. Maybe some just see us divided into red states and blue states, but I see us as one America - red, white, and blue. And when I am President, the government I lead will enlist people of talent, Republicans as well as Democrats, to find the common ground - so that no one who has something to contribute will be left on the sidelines.

    And let me say it plainly: in that cause, and in this campaign, we welcome people of faith. America is not us and them. I think of what Ron Reagan said of his father a few weeks ago, and I want to say this to you tonight: I don’t wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don’t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God’s side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country.

    These aren’t Democratic values. These aren’t Republican values. They’re American values. We believe in them. They’re who we are. And if we honor them, if we believe in ourselves, we can build an America that’s stronger at home and respected in the world.

    So much promise stretches before us. Americans have always reached for the impossible, looked to the next horizon, and asked: What if?

    Two young bicycle mechanics from Dayton asked what if this airplane could take off at Kitty Hawk? It did that and changed the world forever. A young president asked what if we could go to the moon in ten years? And now we’re exploring the solar system and the stars themselves. A young generation of entrepreneurs asked, what if we could take all the information in a library and put it on a little chip the size of a fingernail? We did and that too changed the world forever.

    And now it’s our time to ask: What if?

    What if we find a breakthrough to cure Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and AIDs? What if we have a president who believes in science, so we can unleash the wonders of discovery like stem cell research to treat illness and save millions of lives?

    What if we do what adults should do - and make sure all our children are safe in the afternoons after school? And what if we have a leadership that’s as good as the American dream - so that bigotry and hatred never again steal the hope and future of any American?

    I learned a lot about these values on that gunboat patrolling the Mekong Delta with young Americans who came from places as different as Iowa and Oregon, Arkansas, Florida and California. No one cared where we went to school. No one cared about our race or our backgrounds. We were literally all in the same boat. We looked out, one for the other - and we still do.

    That is the kind of America I will lead as President - an America where we are all in the same boat.

    Never has there been a more urgent moment for Americans to step up and define ourselves. I will work my heart out. But, my fellow citizens, the outcome is in your hands more than mine.

    It is time to reach for the next dream. It is time to look to the next horizon. For America, the hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are still to come.

    Goodnight, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Posted by Alan at 11:09 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

    A Great Line

    This wasn’t an applause line, and it came right after the “misuse the Constitution” line, which garnered thunderous applause … but I think it was some of the best, and most simple, prose in the speech:

    My friends, the high road may be harder, but it leads to a better place.

    Of course, this was pretty good, too, and it did get thunderous applause:

    I don’t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God’s side.
    Posted by Alan at 10:51 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

    Recalling The Crisis Of Confidence Speech

    I’m making this post during John Kerry’s acceptance speech. I’m a bit of a student of American 20th century presidential rhetoric, and in hearing Kerry deliver this tonight …

    Well, here is our answer: There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can’t do better.

    We can do better and we will. We’re the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We’re the can do people. And let’s not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves - and we can do it again.

    … I was instantly reminded of this passage from Jimmy Carter’s “crisis of confidence” speech, delivered on 15 July 1979:

    We ourselves are the same Americans who just ten years ago put a man on the moon. We are the generation that dedicated our society to the pursuit of human rights and equality. And we are the generation that will win the war on the energy problem and in that process, rebuild the unity and confidence of America.

    We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

    All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path — the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our nation and ourselves.

    I’m not saying Kerry is Carter … don’t take it that way. The Kerry language just recalled the Carter language, and I wanted to put them side-by-side as a point of comparison.

    I’m going to spend the rest of the speech watching, not blogging …

    Posted by Alan at 10:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Biggest Crowd Reaction So Far

    For this line:

    I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.
    Posted by Alan at 10:20 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

    Kerry Speaks

    This speech is going well … his style is more relaxed than he often is on the stump … the crowd, of course, is rapt with attention …

    Posted by Alan at 10:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Cleland

    This was a compelling speach to see and hear. Via the DNC; full body in the extended entry.

    The Honorable Max Cleland’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Thanks so much, Jim.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to share with you my story of how I came to know and love John Kerry. In April of 1968, while I was being airlifted out of Vietnam on a stretcher, Ensign John Kerry was headed in a different direction. He was on a Navy ship in the Pacific requesting to be transferred into Vietnam — into the line of fire. He had graduated from college. There were a lot of other things he could have done with his life. But he went to serve because he had been raised to believe that service to one’s country is honorable, noble, and good.

    While John Kerry was earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, I was being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. I was 25 years old. My body was broken and my faith was shattered. One day, on leave from the hospital, a friend was pushing me around the city, in my new wheelchair. In front of the White House, it hit a curb. I fell forward out of the wheelchair. There were cigarette butts and trash all around me. I remember trying to lift myself up off the street. I was angry at the war. Saddened that veterans weren’t getting good care. And frustrated that people in power weren’t listening. Those were difficult days for me.

    But, I ultimately realized that although I had lost a lot, I still had a lot left, and I resolved to make something of my life. I decided to run for the State Senate in Georgia. I won, but when I got there, in 1971, I was a lone voice.

    Then I heard this young veteran on TV speaking about the war. It was John Kerry. He put everything I was feeling into words.

    Tonight, I’d like to let you know, that even before I met John Kerry, he was my brother. Even before I knew John Kerry, he was my friend. Even before I spoke with John Kerry, he gave me hope.

    The Bible tells me that no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends. John Kerry’s fellow crewmates — the men I am honored to share the stage with — are living testimony to his leadership, his courage under fire, and his willingness to risk his life for his fellow Americans. There is no greater act of patriotism than that.

    As I look back over the last 36 years, I now realize John Kerry’s service to his country didn’t end in Vietnam. It began there. Since Vietnam, John Kerry’s life has become an object lesson in what was once described as the true definition of patriotism — “the long and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

    When we make John Kerry our next president, he will put America back on the long and steady road toward the vision of the country we fought for — a vision of the country we can become once again. A country that doesn’t alienate our allies, but works with them. A country that doesn’t lose jobs, but creates them. A country that doesn’t limit educational opportunity, but expands it. A country that doesn’t make health care less available, but more affordable. A country that doesn’t spoil our environment, but protects it. A country that is strong a country that is respected, a country that is worthy of generations of sacrifice, and our children’s highest hopes.

    That is the America John Kerry volunteered to fight for. That is the America John Kerry will lead.

    When John Kerry declared he was a candidate for the presidency of the United States, on a hot, steamy day in Charleston, South Carolina, a little less than a year ago, I joined the band of brothers at his side. After the ceremony, I grabbed his arm and pressed a Bible into his hand. It was the Bible I once read from as a child. I knew that he would need its strength, its guidance and its comfort in the days ahead. At first, he said he was afraid he might lose it, he refused to take it. I insisted. I told him: “Hold on to this… You’ll need it like your country needs you now.” He took the Bible, and said softly, “I won’t let you down.”

    My fellow Americans — John Kerry has never let me down. He’ll never let you down. He is an authentic American hero. He is the next captain of our ship of state. And he will be the next president of the United States.

    In every hour of challenge — in every hour of danger — American heroes have answered their country’s call. Just blocks from where we are tonight, some 230 years ago, a group called the Sons of Liberty assembled to demand democracy, and a voice in their future. Mere steps from where we are, a former slave named Crispus Attucks gave his life for freedom. And around the corner from where we are, a beacon of light from the old North Church set Paul Revere on a mission to save this country’s people from danger.

    Those were fateful hours for our young nation. Tonight I am honored to introduce to you another son of liberty, a brother in arms, a man called by destiny at this fateful hour in our nation’s history.

    He is my brother. He is my friend. He is my hero. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, John Kerry answers the call.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Cleland Scores ...

    … with this passage:

    When we make John Kerry our next president, he will put America back on the long and steady road toward the vision of the country we fought for — a vision of the country we can become once again. A country that doesn’t alienate our allies, but works with them. A country that doesn’t lose jobs, but creates them. A country that doesn’t limit educational opportunity, but expands it. A country that doesn’t make health care less available, but more affordable. A country that doesn’t spoil our environment, but protects it. A country that is strong a country that is respected, a country that is worthy of generations of sacrifice, and our children’s highest hopes.

    That is the America John Kerry volunteered to fight for. That is the America John Kerry will lead.

    Had ‘em in the palm of his hand.

    Posted by Alan at 10:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Countering Swiftvets.com

    The right has made much of Swift Boat Veternas For Truth, a website in which veterans who knew Kerry during the Vietnam war take a stance against his candidacy. The Dems are taking their own stance tonight, with 12 or 13 Swift Boat veterans on stage, and about 40,000 Veterans for Kerry/Edwards signs in the crowd. And Max Cleland comes next.

    Posted by Alan at 09:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    But Seriously

    The production values were very high … Teresa’s segment received a huge round of applause, and as the lights came up near the end the night’s first chant of “Kerry! Kerry!” filled the air.

    Then, a brief intermission, and another video begins. This video at first,= seems to focus on first responders, telling the story of a firefighter, Thomas Spencer, killed in the line of duty (read about him here). It then turns to Kerry, who reached out to the family in a personal way.

    No link online yet, but I’ll keep looking for one.

    Posted by Alan at 09:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Shawshank Flashback

    The pre-acceptance speech video is now playing, which if I understand correctly was “supervised” by Steven Spielberg. It’s narrated by Morgan Freeman, though, and as the opening sequence rolled and Freeman’s voice filled the hall I thought for a moment: “Huh. I didn’t know Kerry was in Shawshank …”

    Posted by Alan at 09:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Speech Text: Alexandra Kerry

    Full text in the extended entry, via DNC. Alexandra, too, gave a light but sincere speech … and quite heartfelt at the end. This section drew laughs:

    We were standing on a dock waiting for a boat to take us on a summer trip. Vanessa, the scientist, had packed all her animals including her favorite hamster. Our over-zealous golden retriever got tangled in his leash and knocked the hamster cage off the dock. We watched as Licorice, the unlucky hamster bubbled down to a watery doom. That might have been the end of the story. But my dad jumped in, grabbed an oar, fished the cage from the water, hunched over the soggy hamster and began to administer CPR. There were some reports of mouth-to-mouth, but, I admit that’s probably a trick of memory. He was never quite right after that, but Licorice lived. Like I said, it may sound silly. We still laugh about it today. But, to us it was serious and that’s what mattered to my father.

    Alexandra Kerry’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, July 29, 2004

    It’s great to be here tonight. It hasn’t been easy to sift through years of memories about my father and find those few that might best tell you who John Kerry really is. Let me just begin with one July day when Vanessa and I were kids. It’s a silly story, but it’s true, and it’s one of my favorite memories of my father.

    We were standing on a dock waiting for a boat to take us on a summer trip. Vanessa, the scientist, had packed all her animals including her favorite hamster. Our over-zealous golden retriever got tangled in his leash and knocked the hamster cage off the dock. We watched as Licorice, the unlucky hamster bubbled down to a watery doom. That might have been the end of the story. But my dad jumped in, grabbed an oar, fished the cage from the water, hunched over the soggy hamster and began to administer CPR. There were some reports of mouth-to-mouth, but, I admit that’s probably a trick of memory. He was never quite right after that, but Licorice lived. Like I said, it may sound silly. We still laugh about it today. But, to us it was serious and that’s what mattered to my father.

    Years later, when I was driving back to college with him, brooding as only a nineteen-year-old can, my father told me to look outside. He said, “Ali, this is a beautiful day. Feel the sun. Look at the country you live in.” The passion of his words makes me remember them, still, ten years later. He said: “I know men your exact age, who thought they had the same future you have. Whose families were never born, who never again walked on American soil. They don’t feel this sun. Ali,” he said. “If there’s something you don’t like, something that needs to be changed, change it. But never, ever give up. Remember that you are alive. And that you are an American. Those two things make you the luckiest girl in the world.”

    Even now, I look back at that and think about what my dad’s been through in his life. Because he’s quiet about those things, my sister and I had to sneak upstairs, when we were kids, to read his letters from Vietnam. Who knew a 23 year-old could have seen so much, so young?

    To every little girl her father is a hero. It’s taken some getting used to, that my father actually is one. And not just in the obvious ways. Because he likes to listen as much as he likes to talk; because he’s studious in the way someone is when everything in the whole world interests them; because he leads by example; because he trusts people with the truth and doesn’t pander or play to our baser instincts.

    And let me tell you this, when he loves you — as he loves me and my sister and his family, as he loves the men who fought beside him — there is no sacrifice too great. When he cares for you, as he cares for this country, there are no surer hands, and no wiser heart.

    And so when he teaches you, by the life he has led, as he has taught me and my sister all of our lives, there is no better lesson: That the future of this country is not only his life’s work. It’s mine and yours. It is all of our life’s work, all of us.

    And if we want our children to breathe clean air and drink clean water, if we want them to control their own bodies, if we want them to protect the liberties and opportunities that are our birthrights, we must be involved in the struggle. Because on that day, my father was right, we are the luckiest people in the world. We walk on this soil. We feel this sun. And we are Americans. And now, we’d like to present, our dad, John Kerry!

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 09:37 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    Speech Text: Vanessa Kerry

    Vanessa Kerry, as predicted, delivered a sincere and humorous speech meant to present her father in a familiar and human light. And from this seat, it seems the crowd believes she did just that. Take, for example, her first line:

    Thank you. As someone who knows all 6 foot 4 inches of my dad best — 6 foot 6 if you count the hair — I’m here to share some secrets.

    Full text in the extended entry.

    Vanessa Kerry’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Thank you. As someone who knows all 6 foot 4 inches of my dad best — 6 foot 6 if you count the hair — I’m here to share some secrets.

    Over the years, I’ve come to know him in many ways — through the silly moments, when he laughs with his head thrown back and his shoulders rocking, and through sad moments such as when my grandmother lay dying and also through warm moments when he enveloped me in that Dad hug that overwhelmed me with a feeling of safety.

    People ask why Alex and I are so close to our dad — especially since he loved to mortify us when we were little by showing up to our sports games in a bright orange hunting hat and cheered what seemed just a tad too loudly. As I’ve thought about it, I realize it is because he and our mother have given us great gifts: a willing ear, unwavering respect for our choices, and unconditional love.

    During the course of this campaign, I’ve heard people talk about John Kerry the father and John Kerry the public servant as if they were two people divided. But, I can assure you all they are truly one and the same. I know his values-revealed in quiet 11 p.m. phone calls of frustration from what he’s seen at work, or the simple reminder that we never turn our backs on those in need. What drives my father to serve is exactly what has made this public servant the father I’m proud of, look up to, and love.

    I would like to give you all an inside scoop on this past December. I traveled with my father almost every day of that long, cold month. And I promise you there was not one moment where he doubted his ability to win. Not one week when he lost his fight. He was convinced when others were not. He had the courage to take risks and to fight for his beliefs when others may have given up. He never wavered, he never faltered and he stayed the course.

    In that snowy month at a Derry, N.H., chili feed, my father looked to the packed crowd and said, “I want you to look at my heart, my mind and my gut and ask yourself, what kind of president will I be?” It is an important question. What will guide the conscience of a man in his toughest hours, amid the hardest decisions?

    Here’s my answer. My father loves this country and is ready to lead it. He believes in challenging oneself to dream and to follow. He believes that fear is limiting, while determination, innovation and optimism will allow us to surpass our own best hopes. And at my father’s core is integrity.

    I was reminded of this one fall day two years ago. My grandmother was ailing, and no longer able to leave her bed. She loved autumn, and my father wanted to find a way to bring the foliage to her. Together, we devised a plan that involved copper wire, collected leaves and a little imagination. I watched my 6’4” father hunch over a tiny 8” copper tree. And I watched the focus and the love with which he twisted the wire into a trunk, teasing out the branches and finally weaving the foliage into a rounded tree top. And I noticed the gleam in my grandmother’s eye as her son brought a little bit of autumn to her bedside.

    A little while later, he told her his plan to run for president. With a sigh of relief, she said “It’s about time.” And then she smiled, and said, “Johnny, remember integrity.” But it was not so much a reminder as a value she knew her son shared. A statement of need for the times we face today.

    We are in a season of great possibility and great hope. And for me that possibility is marked by a tree now on my father’s desk. The leaves are a little worn but the message is still strong. It is one of promise, and hope, of a willing ear and unconditional love, of unwavering respect, and the most important quality which makes all else possible (and I assure you is in his gut) — integrity. And now I’d like to introduce my sister, Alexandra Kerry.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    FLASH: DNC STEALS FROM APPLE!!

    For some time, Apple has had a section of their web site, called “Switch,” devoted to PC owners who have seen the light.

    The Democratic Party has appropriated the concept.

    Last night and this, during intermissions and between speakers, the DNC has projected a photo of some citizen with a tag line like this (an actual example from tonight):

    REGISTERED REPUBLICAN

    Wants her grandchildren to grow up in a safe and secure world.

    This hangs over the crowd for a moment, before a line strikes through the “Registered Republican” and these words appear:

    Voting Kerry/Edwards in 2004.

    And each time, the crowd goes wild. We in the Roost are all quite interested to see the response at the RNC.

    Posted by Alan at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The John Kerry Sing-Along

    As an intermission to get the crowd moving, the DNC is now playing a version of Rollin’ on the River with modified words that adulate John Kerry. See pic below (and click to enlarge).

    The immediate reaction from Blogger’s Roots: “Wow. This is bad.” In the end, though, and cheesy as it was, much of the crowd got into it.

    Posted by Alan at 09:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Rhetorical Flourishes: Barbara Jordan

    They’re playing the “great Dem leader quotes” flourishes in a series. They followed the JFK quote below with this from Barbara Jordan:

    Earlier today we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, We the people. It is a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed, on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that We, the people. I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision I have finally been included in We, the people.

    They’re interesting moments … the hall darkens, and the sound of the speaker’s voice over the PA can actually be quite haunting.

    Posted by Alan at 09:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    JFK Moment

    The hall just darkened, and the DNC put a photo of JFK on-screen with this quote (which they also played over the PA) from his inagural address:

    Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoings of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
    Posted by Alan at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Blog Spotting: Nate Knows Nada

    I’ve spent nearly the entire night next to Nate of Nate Knows Nada. Like everybody else I’ve come to read here, Nate writes a damn fine blog, and my affinity is amplified by his being a genuinely nice guy.

    Posted by Alan at 08:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Nancy Pelosi

    From the DNC, in the extended entry.

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Good evening Democrats! Hello California! I am honored to stand before you as the Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives, and I am proud of my Democratic colleagues for bringing our nation closer to the ideal of equality that is both our heritage and our hope!

    Centuries ago, the first settlers came here to realize their dreams for their families, their faith, and their freedom. This week, Democrats come to renew that dream, to reclaim a better future for our families! To express our faith in God and country! And to preserve the freedom we cherish!

    Tonight, we will hear from the next president of the United States! John Kerry is an exceptional leader. And he will make an outstanding president! John Kerry has brought Democrats together with optimism! With strength! And with determination to restore the values that have always made America strong at home and respected in the world! But let us be very clear: Our work will not be complete until we give president Kerry and the American people a Democratic Congress!

    When I was elected House Democratic leader, I pledged that never again would Democrats go into an election without telling the American people who we are, what we stand for, and what we are willing to fight for! Now here this: every day, in every debate in every vote, House Democrats are standing up and fighting to bring prosperity, opportunity, and security to every corner of America.

    First and foremost, we are fighting for those who are wearing America’s uniform so that our military, including our National Guard and Reserves is second to none! Republicans have sent our troops into battle in Iraq without a plan and have cut veterans’ benefits without remorse. Democrats have it right protect our troops and honor our veterans!

    Democrats have put forth a positive agenda to grow the economy, create millions of good jobs here at home, and promote small businesses! Republicans offer tax loopholes to outsource American jobs. Democrats have it right! Invest in America and in our people.

    Democrats are dedicated to expanding access to quality affordable health care! Republicans stood by while millions lost their health insurance, and they put the interests of HMOs and big drug companies ahead of everyday Americans. Democrats have it right. Health care is a right, not a privilege!

    Democrats will keep our promise to our children for safe, fully funded, and accountable schools, with highly-skilled and well-paid teachers. And we will provide every child the opportunity to go to college without going deeply into debt! Republicans have broken their promises on education — from pre- school to college. Democrats have it right. Every student deserves a world class education.

    Democrats honor our historic commitment to seniors so they can retire with security and dignity. Republicans raided the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for tax cuts for the richest Americans and created the biggest deficits in our history. Democrats have it right: Protect Social Security with responsible budgets that pay as you go.

    And Democrats are committed to a healthy environment to strengthen and enforce the laws that keep our air clean and our water safe. Republicans continue their assault on bipartisan environmental protection. Democrats have it right: Polluters should pay for the messes they make!

    My friends, you are the people we work for! These are the values we stand for! These are the priorities we fight for! Prosperity! Opportunity! And security for all Americans! With our clear message, Democrats in the House are more united than at any time in the last 40 years! With our clear message, we have already taken two House seats from the Republicans in special elections this year, in Kentucky and in South Dakota. With our third straight win last week in North Carolina, House Democrats are leading the way in turning red states into blue!

    And with our clear message, Democrats will win the House of Representatives in November! We will win because ours is the Party that embodies the values and hopes of our great country. Democrats do not exploit fear to divide and distract the nation. The American people have wisely rejected those cynical tactics in time of war, in time of economic downturn, and in the ongoing struggle against all forms of discrimination.

    We are confident that the American people will choose hope and unity in November. In our fight for the American people and the future of our country, we are fortunate to be led by John Kerry, a patriot of vision and courage. John Kerry loves America. He was willing to sacrifice his life for our country.

    As president, he will build a future worthy of the vision of our Founding Fathers, worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and worthy of the aspirations of our children.

    John Kerry has already shown great judgment in choosing John Edwards - a tireless fighter who gives voice to the hopes and dreams of America’s families. John Edwards understands the value of hard work, opportunity, and service. His is the story of the American Dream. With John Kerry as president, John Edwards as vice president, and a democratic majority in Congress - America will be stronger at home and respected in the world!

    My friends, we can win for the American people. We can do it. And on November 2, we will do it! Working together, we will win the House of Representatives and elect the first woman speaker of the House!

    We can do it! Working together, we will win the Senate and make Tom Daschle the majority leader once again! We can do it! And working together, we will win the White House by electing John Kerry and John Edwards the next president and vice president of the United States!

    We can do it!! We can do it! And, working together, we will do it!

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 08:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Nancy Pelosi

    Lot’s of folks talking over Nancy Pelosi, which surprises me some. I expected her to have the rapt attention due a darling of the party.

    Posted by Alan at 08:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Not Everyone Can Hit A Home Run

    Not everyone here can be the strongest speaker of the night, and Joe Lieberman didn’t exactly knock ‘em dead. Indeed, David Sifry just asked the bloggers to send him “stuff on Lieberman” (that CNN can use as pull quotes) and my reply was “Has he been on yet?”

    Good thing they followed him with “Jump” as the musical bumper.

    Posted by Alan at 08:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Lieberman

    From the DNC, and in the extended entry. You’ll notice that “Hope is on the way” continues as the refrain.

    The Honorable Joseph Lieberman’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 29, 2004

    It is great to be standing before this Democratic National Convention where four years ago I had the high honor of accepting your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America. I shall forever be grateful to Al Gore and the members of this great party for that barrier-breaking opportunity. You proved that the American Dream is alive and well - which is what the Democratic Party has always been all about.

    That was a heck of a campaign in 2000, wasn’t it? And when it was all over, Al and I won, didn’t we? But campaigns are about the future - not the past. And I am proud to stand before you tonight and say that America’s future will be a lot brighter with John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House. They’re not only going to win the popular vote, as Al and I did — they’re actually going to get to take office, and then they’re going to lead an America that is strong at home, strong abroad, and respected the world over.

    America looks very different today than it did four years ago. People are worried about their jobs, their rising health care bills, their kids’ education, their retirement, and their environment. John Kerry and John Edwards have practical, sensible plans to relieve those worries. But all of these plans won’t mean much unless we can restore Americans’ sense of personal security; unless we can free the American people from the fear of terrorism. On September 11, 2001, we were brutally attacked by Islamist terrorists who hate us more than they love their own lives; fanatics who are as great a threat to our security and freedom as the Nazis and Communists we defeated in the last century. Make no mistake: this war, like those earlier conflicts, is a war of values.

    Our enemies reject our founding faith that every child on earth is endowed by our Creator with the right to life, liberty, and opportunity. To make America safe again, we need strong leaders who know when to use American power to destroy these Islamist terrorists. But we also need wise leaders who also know when and how to build bridges with Islamic people throughout the world; bridges that are built on the faith we share in one God, and the dreams we share of a better future for all of our children. In other words, we need the strong and balanced leadership of John Kerry and John Edwards. To make America safe again, we must keep our military strong. We must support our brave and brilliant troops - the new greatest generation - who have liberated Afghanistan and Iraq from murderous tyrannies, and who are fighting tonight in both nations to defeat terrorists and allow free and stable governments to grow there.

    John Kerry and John Edwards are committed to finishing that work, to honoring the service of our soldiers, and to supporting them and their families when they come home. We owe them our support in this noble cause. To make America safe again, we must strengthen our defenses here at home. I am proud that we Democrats led the way in creating the Department of Homeland Security after September 11th, and I know that John Kerry and John Edwards will keep us united in the common defense of America’s homeland.

    In this campaign, we will vigorously disagree with the other side. But we should not resort to personally demonizing them to win the election. Such tactics are wrong, regardless of who practices them, because they divide and diminish America at a time when we must stand united and strong. Instead, we will support John Kerry and John Edwards’ vision for a positive, hopeful future for the American people.

    Look at this week’s convention: we have set the standard. And if we keep it up, we will win the voters whose support we need - Americans yearning to cast a vote, not of protest, but of promise. And when we do that, we will send John Kerry and John Edwards to the White House. These two leaders are guided by the values and commitments that Democratic presidents have put into action over the decades: Woodrow Wilson’s commitment to make the world safe for democracy; FDR’s commitment to end isolationism and defeat fascism; Harry Truman’s commitment to stop communism with the swords of America’s military and the plowshares of the Marshall Plan; John F. Kennedy’s commitment to muscular and idealistic internationalism; and Bill Clinton’s commitment to strengthen our alliances throughout the world.

    John Kerry and John Edwards are on the right side of this proud history. They are heirs to this legacy of leadership, and they will carry it forward as our next President and Vice President. We know that to some generations much is given, and from others, much is asked. Ours is a unique generation that has both been given much, and asked much. I have known John Kerry for four decades since we met at college, and I can tell you that throughout his life, he has cared about his community and answered his country’s call to duty with patriotism and purpose. He is ready now to be the leader this generation of Americans needs. So let us go forward from this convention to give him and our country that great opportunity for a better tomorrow. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 08:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Full Text Of Clark's Home Run

    From the DNC, his speech is in the extended entry.

    General Wesley Clark’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Thursday, July 29, 2004 Final Text as Prepared for Delivery

    Thank you, my fellow Democrats. I am an American soldier.

    Our country was attacked. We are at war. Our nation is at risk, engaged in a life-or- death struggle against terrorists who are seeking nuclear and biological weapons. And as I speak tonight, our armed forces are in combat.

    Our freedoms were won in war, and protected by generation after generation of selfless service and sacrifice. From Bunker Hill to Bastogne, from the frozen hills of Korea to the jungles of Vietnam, from Kabul to Baghdad, American men and women in uniform have served with honor; they’ve given us so much, and they’ve asked for so little.

    Tonight we honor them: our soldiers, our veterans, their families. I want to thank my wife, Gert, my son Wesley, his wife and son and all the military families who stand behind those who serve. Now I ask you to observe with me a moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could have the freedom we exercise tonight.

    War. I’ve been there. Heard the thump of enemy mortars. Seen the tracers fly. Bled on the battlefield. Recovered in hospitals. Received and obeyed orders. Sent men and women into battle. Awarded medals, comforted families, attended funerals. And this soldier has news for you: Anyone who tells you that one political party has a monopoly on the best defense of our nation is committing a fraud on the American people. Franklin Roosevelt said it best: “Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

    This hall and this party are filled with veterans who have served under this flag - our flag. We rose and stood reveille to this flag. We saluted this flag. We fought for this flag. And we’ve seen brave men and women buried under this flag. This flag is ours! And nobody will take it away from us.

    The safety of our country demands urgent and innovative measures to strengthen our armed forces. The safety of our country demands credible intelligence. The safety of our country demands cooperation with our allies. The safety of our country demands making more friends and fewer enemies. The safety of our country demands an end to the doctrinaire, ineffective policies that currently grip Washington.

    Enough is enough! A safe America - a just America - that’s what we want, that’s what we need. And with John Kerry and John Edwards, that’s what we will achieve.

    John Kerry has lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a Senator. He proved his physical courage under fire. He’s proved his moral courage, too. John Kerry fought a war and came home to fight for peace - his combination of physical courage and moral values is my definition of what we need in a Commander-in-Chief.

    And John Edwards, with his leadership and competence, will be a great member of this command team. John Kerry is a man who - in times of war - can lead as a warrior, and who - in times of peace - will heed the call of scripture to beat swords into plowshares. John Kerry will lead America with strength and wisdom. He has the will to fight, and the moral courage born in battle to pursue and secure a strong peace.

    Under John Kerry we will attack and destroy the terrorist threat to America. He’ll join the pantheon of great wartime Democrats.

    Great Democrats like Woodrow Wilson, who led us to victory in World War I. Great Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, who turned back the tide of fascism to win World War II. Great Democrats like John Kennedy, who stood firm and steered us safely through the Cuban Missile Crisis. And great Democrats like Bill Clinton, who confronted ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, and with diplomacy - backed by force - brought peace to a shattered land.

    My fellow Americans, Democrats are leaders. Democrats are fighters. John Kerry is a leader and fighter and he will be a great Commander-in-Chief.

    John Kerry knows that the power of America is our values and ideals. John Kerry knows that our soldiers embody the best of America’s values: Service. Sacrifice. Courage. Compassion.

    They’re serving to build something greater than themselves. They’re serving to build something worth fighting for. They’re serving to build something worth dying for. They are a company of heroes. Everyone who fights for the best in American life is also a hero: Firefighters. Police officers. Teachers, and so many others.

    John Kerry’s time to lead this company of heroes has arrived. Right here. Right now. In this town. Tonight, from this place, we set out together to put our country back on track to security, freedom and opportunity. America: Hear this soldier.

    Choose a leader whose physical courage, moral values and sound judgment will - with the grace of God and our determined commitment - strengthen our country, protect our liberty, renew our spirit and secure a future for our children that is worthy of our heritage.

    Make John Kerry the next president of the United States.

    Thank you, and God bless America.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 08:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    But Ö

    I was surprised that this line received applause, but tepid applause:

    Under John Kerry we will attack and destroy the terrorist threat to America.

    That’s from the text (which I’ll post next) … I thought he used the word “kill” when he delivered … If he did indeed say “kill,” he ad libbed it.

    Posted by Alan at 08:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wes Clark, In Command

    Wes Clark is working the crowd into an absolute lather, and each applause line is more robust than the rest. First it was for this:

    War. I’ve been there. Heard the thump of enemy mortars. Seen the tracers fly. Bled on the battlefield. Recovered in hospitals. Received and obeyed orders. Sent men and women into battle. Awarded medals, comforted families, attended funerals. And this soldier has news for you: Anyone who tells you that one political party has a monopoly on the best defense of our nation is committing a fraud on the American people.

    Then it was for this:

    This hall and this party are filled with veterans who have served under this flag - our flag. We rose and stood reveille to this flag. We saluted this flag. We fought for this flag. And we’ve seen brave men and women buried under this flag. This flag is ours! And nobody will take it away from us.

    His style: in command but very relaxed. Clearly knows his speech extremely well, and not at all wedded to the TelePrompTer. If the point is for the Hero General to anoint a Commander In Chief, Clark’s doing it. Whatever you may say of the content, he’s nailing the delivery. Unless he falls of the dais, it’s a home run.

    Posted by Alan at 08:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Running Early?

    I noticed in the DNC email that the Biden speech was embargoed (meaning I can’t post it) until delivery, scheduled for 8:11 PM. He wrapped about 8:03, by my watch … is it possibille that the Dems are actually running early?

    If they can finish this thing ahead of schedule, maybe they should run the government …

    Posted by Alan at 08:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Joe Biden

    Via the DNC, posted in the extended entry. From the reaction here, this was the key line:

    Just as Joshua’s trumpets brought down the walls of Jericho — just as American values brought down the Berlin Wall — so will radical fundamentalism fall to the terrible, swift power of our ideas as well as our swords.

    The Honorable Joseph Biden’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Nearly 100 years ago, the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats told us the world has “changed utterly … A terrible beauty has been born.” Tonight, our country stands at the hinge of history. America’s destiny is at stake. But we can shape that destiny, if we seize the opportunities before us.

    The overwhelming obligation of our next President is clear. Make America stronger. Make America safer. And win the death-struggle between freedom and radical fundamentalism. That struggle breached our shores on September 11th, 2001, and delivered this generation of Americans to this moment of awesome responsibility.

    After 9/11, I believed — and still do — that if we exercised the full measure of our power — including our ideas and our ideals — we could unite this nation and other nations in common cause. 9/11 was a moment of profound pain, but also enormous opportunity. Americans stood in blood lines for hours — even though no more blood was needed. The French ran a headline that said: “We Are All Americans Now.”

    Imagine how Franklin Roosevelt or John Kennedy would have seized that moment. Imagine if this president had spoken to the nation and the world and summoned that sense of solidarity. Imagine if he had said: “It’s time for all who are able to do something for America. I’m calling for a new program of national service and an energy policy that will liberate us from the suffocating grip of Middle East oil. And I call on our allies to join us in a compact for freedom, because we are always stronger — safer — better — more secure together than we are alone.”

    Just imagine.

    I do not question the motives of this administration. But I profoundly disagree with their judgments. History will judge them harshly not for the mistakes made — we all make mistakes — but for the opportunities squandered. Today, we are rightly confident in the example of our power. But we have forgotten the power of our example.

    And for all of America’s great might, we are more alone in the world than ever before. As a result, we are less secure than we could or should be. Our allies and friends, the international organizations we have built over the past half-century do not hold America down. They help us share the burdens of leadership.

    We were told we would pay no price for going it alone. That was wrong. Because we waged the war in Iraq virtually alone, we are responsible for the aftermath virtually alone. The price is clear. Nearly 90 percent of the troops and the casualties are American. And because intelligence was hyped to justify going to war, America’s credibility and security have suffered a terrible blow.

    Forty years ago, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy sent former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to Europe to seek support. Acheson explained the situation to French President de Gaulle. Then, he offered to show classified intelligence information as proof. De Gaulle said, “That’s not necessary. I know President Kennedy. I know he would never mislead me on a question of war and peace.” Would a single foreign leader react the same way today?

    My friends, it doesn’t have to be this way. America and the world deserve a president whose judgment they can trust. Americans are bigger and better than the past four years have led the world to believe. Americans know our military is the strongest on earth, but we are not arrogant.

    Americans are proud, not petty. Instead of dividing the world, we must unite it. Instead of bullying, we must build. Instead of walking alone, we must lead. It’s only leadership if others follow.

    But let no enemy mistake our basic decency for lack of resolve. Americans will fight with every fiber of our being to protect our country and our people. When John Kerry is commander-in-chief, he will not hesitate to unleash the unparalleled power of our military, on any nation or group that does us harm — without asking anyone’s permission.

    This is man tested in combat, who will never send our sons and daughters into harm’s way before exhausting every other option — and giving them every tool they need. When John Kerry is president, military preemption will remain — as it has always been — an option, when we face a genuine, imminent threat.

    But John Kerry will build a true prevention strategy — to defuse dangers long before the only choice is war. When John Kerry is president, our friends and allies will have no excuse to sit on the sidelines. And above all, when John Kerry is president, he will level with the American people. For he will inherit a nation and a world that will require him to ask much of us and our allies.

    I have no doubt this generation of Americans — like every generation that has come before it — will rise to the moment, for it longs to do great things. John Kerry is a student of history. He understands why we prevailed when our nation faced grave peril in the past. He understands that the terrorists may be beyond the reach of reason. We must defeat them. But hundreds of millions of hearts and minds are open to our ideas and our ideals. We must reach them.

    Just as Joshua’s trumpets brought down the walls of Jericho — just as American values brought down the Berlin Wall — so will radical fundamentalism fall to the terrible, swift power of our ideas as well as our swords.

    It is time to recapture the totality of America’s strength. It is time to restore our nation to the respect it once had. It is time to reclaim America’s soul. It is time to elect John Kerry the next president of the United States.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 08:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Anarchists And Open Source Protesting

    Earlier I promised a post about the anarchists I came across today in Copley Square. Let’s simply say it was a motley group.

    One thing that struck me was the number of participants who had their faces covered, ala Hamas and the evil doers in Iraq. Seemed I bold move, I thought, visually associating yourself with terrorists, so I decided to interview one of the covered.

    I didn’t bother to ask for a name.

    He was 18, from New Jersey, and a self-proclaimed “anarchist.” And a quick one, too … when I asked who their candidate was he replied “We don’t have one … we’re anarchists.” So at least he’s got that figured out.

    When I asked him why he covered his face and head, he said, in essence, that he was afraid for his personal security. “There’s always undercover police in the crowd,” he said, “taking pictures. I don’t want to end up in some FBI file.”

    Uh huh. And then they’ll follow you home, I’m sure.

    Say what you will about the Patriot Act … it’s had a chilling effect on the anarchists.

    “I’m surprised you’d do something that is visually reminiscient of the folks in Iraq who are cutting off peoples’ heads,” I said. He was quick to disavow any terrorist leanings, though. Wanted me to make it clear to everyone that he’s not a terrorist. Just an anarchist.

    Here’s something else I found interesting: the protest was not organized … it just emerged from the morning ether. Seems there’s a local organization that was giving out free breakfast and dinner to people in from out of town to protest, and it was at this breakfast that the assorted anarchists, Greens, and Radical Cheerleading Squad members ginned up their event.

    So there you go: Open-source protesting.

    Posted by Alan at 08:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The View

    Before the hall filled today I went down to the media gallery (just behind and to the left and right of the podium) and took this panoramic shot of the Fleet Center. It stiched together quite well, and all bloggers (and anyone else) who wants it is welcome to download it. (Click to enlarge.)

    Posted by Alan at 07:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    More Official Business

    Bill Richardson has now called the convention to order, to great applause, and the strains of America the Beautiful are filling the hall.

    Posted by Alan at 07:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    More On The Scene

    Dave Pell also nicely describes the scene:

    The place is packed. It’s hot. We’re crammed in, sweaty shoulder to shoulder. It’s like being bumped around in an issues-oriented mosh pit. And the buzz is remarkable. At least inside the arena, even a phone book reading by Kerry will completely dwarf the rest of the week’s events.

    The video montages are getting ovations.

    Posted by Alan at 07:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Don't Stand So Close To Me

    The current source of animation in Blogger’s Roost: Not enough seats, not because the DNCC didn’t supply adequate seating in our section, but because squatters have realized the quality of the view. It’s beyond crowded up here … and getting a bit ripe, candidly. Tempers, too, are getting short.

    They should, though. My sense is that the blogging contingent isn’t flush with cash—especially some of the 20-somethings up here—and making it to Boston is a real commitment. They should at least be able to sit down.

    “When Bloggers Collide.” Film at 11.

    Posted by Alan at 07:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    P Diddy

    I’ve spent the past hour trying to secure temporary floor pass, but it seems the DNCC has rescinded that opportunity now that the prime time show has begun. While walking about, however, I stumbled upon P Diddy, who was working the convention for MTV. Indeed, I almost got to know Mr. Diddy too well: One of the MTV cameraman’s cords looped around the button on my blazer, and I was nearly dragged into the elevator with the entourage.

    Quick … ask your kids, right now: “What’s more cool … seeing John Kerry accept the nomination, or standing 6 inches from P Diddy.” Don’t let me know the answer.

    Posted by Alan at 07:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Scene, V 2.0

    We’re two hours into the first round of speeches, and the scene is already quite different from this time last night. There are more people in the hall, for one, and they’re generally more attentive to the speakers than at this time yesterday.

    There’s also a different energy in the hall tonight, both in quality and in volume. Everything is simply a bit more “amped” … the conversation a bit more loud, the press a bit more hungry (if they’re chasing other stories in the same fashion their chasing the Bloggers in The Roost), they eyes of the crowd a bit more wide. Security, too, is more keyed-up: They deployed earlier in the day and have been more rigorous about where you stand and go than yesterday.

    It is, in the end, a qualitative matter, and I suppose I’m struggling for words. But the sense one has being here is a sense of not just of building energy and anticipation, but of a building eagerness … almost a fever. The people here know that tonight they will see It. It might be their political hero, it might be their opportunity for political victory, it might be their window for policy change. Or, it might simply be history.

    But they all expect to see it, and they all know it’s just around the corner. Like kids eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, they’re awake with a nervous, excited, and building tension … except here there’s no bedtime, and they get to sit around the fireplace and watch him arrive.

    Posted by Alan at 06:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Edwards: "Aye"

    Every once in a while you look down from your perch here and realize there’s some official business going on. Just now I did just that, as the body officially nominated John Edwards as the VP candidate by unanimous proclamation (delivered with a rousing “Aye!”).

    So he is now, oficially, almost The Man.

    Posted by Alan at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Pre-released Excerpts From Kerry's Speech

    This just came from the DCN via email:

    My fellow Americans, this is the most important election of our lifetime. The stakes are high. We are a nation at war — a global war on terror against an enemy unlike any we have ever known before. And here at home, wages are falling, health care costs are rising, and our great middle class is shrinking. People are working weekends; they’re working two jobs, three jobs, and they’re still not getting ahead.

    ***

    We can do better and we will. We’re the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We’re the can do people. And let’s not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and we lifted the standard of living for the middle class. We just need to believe in ourselves — and we can do it again.

    ***

    So tonight, in the city where America’s freedom began, only a few blocks from where the sons and daughters of liberty gave birth to our nation — here tonight, on behalf of a new birth of freedom — on behalf of the middle class who deserve a champion, and those struggling to join it who deserve a fair shot —- for the brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day and the families who pray for their return - for all those who believe our best days are ahead of us - for all of you — with great faith in the American people, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

    ***

    As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system - so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics. And as president, I will bring back this nation’s time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

    ***

    I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as President. Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. And I will build a stronger American military.

    ***

    In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong. Strength is more than tough words. After decades of experience in national security, I know the reach of our power and I know the power of our ideals.

    We need to make America once again a beacon in the world. We need to be looked up to and not just feared.

    We need to lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation - to keep the most dangerous weapons in the world out of the most dangerous hands in the world.

    We need a strong military and we need to lead strong alliances. And then, with confidence and determination, we will be able to tell the terrorists: You will lose and we will win. The future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.

    ***

    And the front lines of this battle are not just far away - they’re right here on our shores, at our airports, and potentially in any town or city. Today, our national security begins with homeland security. The 9-11 Commission has given us a path to follow, endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, and the 9-11 families. As president, I will not evade or equivocate; I will immediately implement the recommendations of that commission. We shouldn’t be letting ninety-five percent of container ships come into our ports without ever being physically inspected. We shouldn’t be leaving our nuclear and chemical plants without enough protection. And we shouldn’t be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America.

    ***

    My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values. In the end, it’s not just policies and programs that matter; the president who sits at that desk must be guided by principle.

    For four years, we’ve heard a lot of talk about values. But values spoken without actions taken are just slogans. Values are not just words. They’re what we live by. They’re about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. And it is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.

    ***

    We value jobs that pay you more not less than you earned before. We value jobs where, when you put in a week’s work, you can actually pay your bills, provide for your children, and lift up the quality of your life. We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.

    Posted by Alan at 05:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dear Comrade ...

    Earlier I posted the post-speech spin email sent by the DNC to folks on their mailing list, when opens with this:

    Dear Friend,

    What a remarkable day today is going to be. You and I are going to have the great pleasure of watching John Kerry stand before America and lay out his plans for leading our country in a new, more promising direction.

    Then I see this in the comments, posted by KH:

    That’s pretty scary… it reads like something Chariman Mao would sign…

    Dear Comrade,

    What a remarkable day today is going to be. You and I are going to have the great pleasure of watching our Glorious Chairman stand before our heroic workers and lay out his plans for leading our great nation in a new, more promising direction.

    I laughed out loud . Nothing against Edwards or Kerry here, but the email does have a sort of soviet-propoganda feel, no?

    Posted by Alan at 05:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    At The Bottom?

    GWBUSH2004 contracts are trading in a tight range of 50.2 - 52.0 over at TradeSports. This pricing … which suggests that Bush winning reelection is nearly an even-money proposition … is down from a high of 75 near the turn of the year, and marginally up from a lifetime low of 49—depths that were plumbed just recently (click the pic to enlarge).

    We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I think the “bounce” has already been priced into the market given the narrow trading range today … although the first post-convention polls will have some influence.

    Posted by Alan at 05:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    My Interview With Ed Rendell

    I just completed a face-to-face interview with Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania and former chair of the Democratic National Committee. He was cordial, serious but friendly, and here are some highlights (typed verbatim from my recording of our conversation):

    Me: Looking down the road 10 or 15 years, how do you expect the [Democratic] party will change or will need to change in order to continue to broaden it’s appeal?

    ER: I actually think the most important movement historically for the DP was the DLC movement that started in the late 80s to begin to get the democrats to focus more on moderate, middle of the road issues, to change our image as being the party of big spenders, not fiscally stable, to change our image to get us involved in law enforcement and things to fight crime, and to get us back into a party that people could feel comfortable with on defense or terrorism. I think that was the sea change and I think that will continue to be the dominant strain for the democratic party for the next 10 or 15 years.

    Even Senator Kerry, who’s been … tried to be portrayed by the Republican campaign as extraordinarily liberal, isn’t. I mean he voted for welfare reform, he voted to support the crime bill, he voted for a number of balanced budgets and deficit reduction measures. So he’s by no means a garden variety 50’s or 60’s liberal. And I think that’s important for people to understand. Same thing with John Edwards, who’s for fiscal stability and who’s for a balanced budget.

    You know the world has sort of turned upside down. Here you have the Republican party running up the biggest deficit in history, and it was only 10 years ago that the Contract for America wanted a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. Where would we be today had that passed? So I think the Democratic Party has become the party of fiscal conservatism, fiscal stability, it’s become the party that’s best suited to fight crime. And I think best suited to fight wars as well.

    I think the sea change took place gradually between 88 and 2004, and I think that sea change is going to continue to dominate and control the Democratic Party for the next 10 or 15 years.

    [… later …]

    It’s a great juxtaposition. There are people on the left who think John Kerry’s too conservative, as well as the Bush administration that’s trying to paint him as a wild-spending liberal. I mean, how they can have the hubris to paint anybody as wild-spending, fiscally liberal is beyond me. I mean they are the epitome of spending money we don’t have and causing us serious problems.

    Me: Have they [the Republicans] broken the kind of unwritten rule of moratorium [on campaigning] during the convention?

    ER: I think the Vice President has to a degree. I think he has … you’re right, there was always this moratorium that the one party would step aside and let the other party have the four days, and I think to some extent they’ve broken the unwritten rule.

    Me: Have you taught the good Senator how to order a cheese steak?

    ER: Well, he won’t ever order Swiss cheese again, I can assure you of that … fortunately, Senator Kerry is a good learner.

    He was beyond gracious to give the blogosphere some of his valuable time, so “thanks” to him and his press folks.

    Posted by Alan at 05:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Observation #4: Blogger Media Savvy

    An hour or so ago I sat here watching Byron from Burnt Orange Report do an interview with ABC news, which is trolling Blogger’s Roost for on-air material. I’ve seen many of these interviews now, and I have to say that the bloggers are now officially media savvy. Byron, as an example, knows how to give the reporter his name (spelling the surname), plug his site, address the camera, smile knowingly, even work his PC so the camerman can get some good B-roll of him scrolling his blog, and most important, talk in sound bites.

    And he’s not alone … many of us up here in the Roost have acquired this skill, learning very quickly on the fly and from those around us. As Byron just told me, “Well, after a few days you get good at it.” But by day 4 it’s clear: The DNC credentialed bloggers … but they’ve created media-savvy hothouse flowers in the process.

    Posted by Alan at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Roost

    Some more photoblogging … here’s the view of Blogger’s Roost from the media gallery just to the right of the podium. That’s us … waaay up at the top there, just in front of the klieg lights.

    roost.JPG

    Posted by Alan at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The 2004 DNC, Brought To You By ...

    … beer.

    Posted by Alan at 03:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Update

    I’ve spent the past hour walking the Fleet, taking photos, and interviewing Ed Rendell. Posts on all to follow, and I haven’t forgotten about those anarchists I promised …

    Posted by Alan at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Blog Spotting

    Today I’m sitting next to Brian Montopoli of Campaigndesk.org. He’s 27, and obviously the kind of nice, smart 27-year-old that can only piss off somebody as inherently jealous of others as I. Read his latest post here.

    Posted by Alan at 01:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Spin Spam

    Each morning the K/E campaign is sending broadcast emails, “authored” by the prior night’s headline act, to their registered distribution list. Here’s today’s message from John Edwards:

    Dear Friend,

    What a remarkable day today is going to be. You and I are going to have the great pleasure of watching John Kerry stand before America and lay out his plans for leading our country in a new, more promising direction.

    And then, we’re going to have the awesome responsibility of carrying his vision of a stronger America to the White House.

    Last night in my speech at the convention, I tried to make it clear how much is at stake in this election. I talked about the values you and I share, the principles we cherish, and the belief we have that our optimism and energy can not only carry us to victory in November, but — far more importantly — carry America forward over the next four years.

    At the heart of our campaign, there are literally millions of people who are pouring their hearts and souls into winning this election. If ever there were a day for you to give voice to the depth of this support for John Kerry, this is it.

    This is John Kerry’s big day. But it’s your big day too. I urge you to use it to make a strong personal statement of your support for John Kerry. Attend a house party tonight. Ask your friends to sign up on JohnKerry.com. Commit to registering a friend to vote. Make a contribution. How you participate is up to you. But whatever you do, don’t sit on the sidelines.

    There are only 14 weeks until November 2 — the day America chooses between Kerry-Edwards and Bush-Cheney. We’ve got to make every one of those days count. But most important right now, we’ve got to make this day count. Today is the day that John Kerry sets forth his vision for America’s future — and the day we need you and others like you all across America to help spread that vision.

    That’s the path to victory in November and to a stronger America. Let’s start our journey together right now.

    Sincerely,

    John Edwards

    Somehow, I don’t think he sat down and pecked this one out himself. But I could be wrong.

    Posted by Alan at 01:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    System Shockers

    It’s not every day that you come across a squad of radical cheerleaders. Today, however, is one of those days.


    As I left Copley Square with today’s credential, I came across a demonstration of many colors … greens, anarchists in black (who I’ll get to in a moment), and these folks in pink (click to enlarge).

    They are a squad of radical cheerleaders: the Syracuse System Shakers (no website as yet). They’re part of an international national network of “Radical Cheerleading Squads” that like to demonstrate with a twist. The basic premise: offer a political message in a manner this manner—pink and fishnets with politically-themed cheers—a bit more palatable than the typical point-and-shout demonstration

    I spent some time talking with Kate Cooper, a System Shaker and Radical Cheerleader from Syracuse who’s been here since Monday night. The outfits were pink (“We just wear it ‘cause it’s hot.”), and the message was anti-Kerry.

    “We’re here to kind of deescalate the situation,” she said. “We’re very effective in getting our message across to people in a way that’s not too confrontational … we’re here specifically to tell people about John Kerry’s record, and that it’s not that much different than Bush’s.”

    While she’s voting for Nader, the group hasn’t issued an endorsement. I particularly enjoyed this guy (again, click to enlarge). Where does a man find fishnets like that, anyway?

    Posted by Alan at 12:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Latino Focus

    The Boston Globe notes that only two prominent Latinos—Bob Menendez and Bill Richardson—had prime-time podium spots this week, despite the party’s heavy focus on the latino vote.

    Posted by Alan at 09:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    The Kerry Speechwriting Process

    USATODAY has a profile of the Kerry speechwriting process, and tells us that he alone wrote the first draft, longhand, before turning it over two his four-person speechwriting team. Snippet:

    John Kerry could call upon a four-person campaign speechwriting team. He was paying Bob Shrum and other strategists with reputations for crafting sparkling lines. Family members and leading Democrats were eager to advise him on what to say.

    But the nomination acceptance speech that Kerry delivers here Thursday night started with a draft that was all his own. He wrote it in his own hand on a legal pad, mostly in the comfort of his Massachusetts homes in Boston and Nantucket.

    After three months of thinking sporadically about the vital speech, the senator sat down in earnest to write about three weeks ago, according to interviews with Kerry confidants familiar with how the speech evolved. They asked not to be identified, citing a campaign policy of staff anonymity except for designated spokespersons.

    When his first try was on paper, Kerry still didn’t turn the process over to a committee. He reached out for suggestions through a hub-and-spoke system. He was the hub. Friends, consultants and others whose opinions he respected spoke directly with him. He didn’t ask them for polished lines or complete sections.

    Posted by Alan at 09:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Preview: Kerrys' Speech

    I’ve not yet been sent a copy of Kerry’s speech (which will be “embargoed” until he’s delivered it) or excerpts of his remarks (which I can post as soon as I get them), but the print media is already forecasting its content.

    The Boston Globe notes a heavy national security focus, while USATODAY writes:

    History also will infuse Kerry’s address. He has reread speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and other orators. He has thought about people and moments in Massachusetts history, including John Adams and the battles of Lexington and Concord.

    Kerry says he’ll talk in broad terms about what he wants to do. That’s the part political analysts say Americans most want to hear. “He doesn’t have to have a very detailed program,” presidential biographer Robert Dallek says. “He needs something that convinces the public it will get something fresh. He needs to talk about the new direction he’s going to take.”

    Posted by Alan at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    More On Ohio

    I noticed last night that Minesota’s delgation yielded to Ohio, which then put Kerry over the top and secured his nomination. This, according to the Toledo Blade, is reflective of Ohio’s importance as a battleground state.

    Posted by Alan at 09:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Robert Kennedy Speech Text

    Good morning. Everybody up and at ‘em.

    I noted yesterday the Robert Kennedy, Jr. was the first yesterday to use his convention speech to turn up the level of partisan rhetoric, especially regarding the environment. The DNC has now sent me the speech, which you may read in the extended entry.

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. President, Waterkeeper Alliance and Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Riverkeeper

    In 20 years as an environmental advocate, I’ve been disciplined about being non-partisan in my approach to the environment. If you talk to the CEOs of almost any environmental organization, they’ll say that the worst thing that could happen to the environment would be if it became a partisan issue, the province of a single political party. Five years ago, if you asked experts what they thought was the gravest threat to our environment, they’d mention a whole range of issues, from over-population to global warming, to toxins in our food and air. But today, they’ll give you just one answer: It’s George W. Bush.

    You simply cannot talk honestly about the environment today without speaking critically about this administration. This administration has promoted 400 major rollbacks that threaten to eviscerate 30 years of environmental progress. They’ve put polluters in charge of the very agencies that are supposed to regulate them. The second in command of the EPA is a former Monsanto lobbyist. The second in command of the Forest Service is a former timber industry lobbyist.

    This administration says that we have to choose between environmental protection on one hand and economic prosperity on the other. But that is a false choice. Good environmental policy and good economic policy are identical. If we treat this earth as a business, converting our natural resources to cash as fast as possible, we might have a few years of pollution- based prosperity. But our children would have to pay for it - pay for it with a barren landscape, poor health, and astronomical clean up costs.

    Environmental injury is deficit spending - putting the cost of our generation’s prosperity on the backs of our children. This entire Administration is about deficit spending. They’ve squandered a $5 trillion surplus. And they’ve squandered the goodwill of the world.

    When I was a little boy, I went to Europe with my uncle and my father. Thousands of people came out to welcome us. They were proud to name their streets after American presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt and JFK. But in just three and half years, the international goodwill that took America more than 200 years to earn has been squandered.

    John Kerry understands that we’ve got to protect our environment not just for the sake of the fishes and the birds, but for our own sake. John Kerry understands that we’ve got to protect our environment because it enriches us - not just economically, but historically, culturally and spiritually.

    When we destroy nature, we diminish ourselves. John Kerry understands that.

    And that’s why we need to join John Kerry in protecting our environment - in standing up to polluters, preserving our environmental monuments, and keeping our air and water safe for our children.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 28, 2004

    Full Speech Text: John Edwards

    From the DNC, and I’ve posted it in the extended entry (given the length of the speech).

    Remarks of Senator John Edwards (As Prepared for Delivery) 2004 Democratic National Convention Wednesday, July 28, 2004 Fleet Center Boston, Massachusetts

    Thank you. Now, you know why Elizabeth is so amazing.

    I am a lucky man: to have the love of my life at my side. We have been blessed with four beautiful children: Wade, Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack.

    My mother and father, Wallace and Bobbie Edwards are here tonight. You taught me the values that I carry with me in my heart: faith, family, responsibility, and opportunity for everyone. You taught me that there’s dignity and honor in a hard days work. You taught me that you look out for your neighbors, you never look down on anybody, and you treat everyone with respect.

    Those are the values John Kerry and I believe in, and nothing makes me prouder than standing with him in this campaign. I am so humbled to be your candidate for Vice President of the United States.

    I want to talk about our next president. For those who want to know what kind of leader he’ll be, I want to take you back about thirty years. When John Kerry graduated college, he volunteered for military service. He volunteered to go to Vietnam and to captain a swift boat, one of the most dangerous duties you could have. And as a result he was wounded and honored for his valor.

    If you have any question about what he’s made of, you need to spend three minutes with the men who served with him then and stand by him today.

    They saw up close what he’s made of. They saw him reach down and pull one of his men from the river and save his life. And in the heat of battle, they saw him decide in an instant to turn his boat around, drive it straight through an enemy position, and chase down the enemy to save his crew.

    Decisive. Strong. Aren’t these the traits you want in a Commander in Chief?

    We hear a lot of talk about values. Where I come from, you don’t judge someone’s values based on how they use that word in a political ad. You judge their values based upon what they’ve spent their life doing.

    So when a man volunteers to serve his country, and puts his life on the line for others — that’s a man who represents real American values.

    This is a man who is prepared to keep the American people safe and to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

    John is a man who knows the difference between what is right and what is wrong. He wants to serve you — your cause is his cause. And that is why we must and we will elect John Kerry as our next president.

    For the last few months, John has been talking about his positive, optimistic vision for the country — talking about his plan to move this country in the right direction.

    But we’ve seen relentless negative attacks against John. So in the weeks ahead, we know what’s coming — don’t we — more negative attacks.

    Aren’t you sick of it?

    They are doing all they can to take this campaign for the highest office in the land down the lowest possible road.

    This is where you come in. Between now and November-you, the American people-you can reject the tired, old, hateful, negative, politics of the past. And instead you can embrace the politics of hope, the politics of what’s possible because this is America, where everything is possible.

    I am here tonight because I love my country. And I have every reason to love my country because I have grown up in the bright light of America.

    I grew up in a small town in rural North Carolina. My father worked in a mill all his life, and I will never forget the men and women who worked with him. They had lint in their hair and grease on their faces. They worked hard and tried to put a little something away every week so their kids and their grandkids could have a better life. They are just like the auto workers, office workers, teachers, and shop keepers on Main Streets all across America.

    My mother had a number of jobs. Her last job was working at the post office so my parents could have health care. And she owned her own small business — refinishing furniture to help pay for me go to college.

    I have had such incredible opportunities in my life, and I was blessed to be the first person in my family to go to college. I worked my way through, and I have had opportunities way beyond what I could have ever imagined.

    And the heart of this campaign — your campaign — is to make sure that everyone has those same opportunities that I had growing up-no matter where you live, who your family is, or what the color of your skin is. This is the America we believe in.

    I have spent my life fighting for the kind of people I grew up with. For two decades, I stood with families and children against big HMOs and big insurance companies. And as a Senator, I fought those same fights against the Washington lobbyists and for causes like the Patients’ Bill of Rights.

    I stand here tonight ready to work with you and John to make America strong again.

    And we have so much work to do. Because the truth is, we still live in two different Americas: one for people who have lived the American Dream and don’t have to worry, and another for most Americans who work hard and still struggle to make ends meet.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. We can build one America

    We can build one America where we no longer have two healthcare systems. One for people who get the best healthcare money can buy and then one for everybody else, rationed out by insurance companies, drug companies, and HMOs- millions of Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all.

    It doesn’t have to be that way.

    We have a plan that will offer everyone the same health care your Senator has. We can give tax breaks to help pay for your health care. And we will sign into law a real Patients’ Bill of Rights so you can make your own health care decisions.

    We shouldn’t have two public school systems in this country: one for the most affluent communities, and one for everybody else.

    None of us believe that the quality of a child’s education should be controlled by where they live or the affluence of their community.

    It doesn’t have to be that way.

    We can build one public school system that works for all our children. Our plan will reform our schools and raise our standards. We can give our schools the resources they need. We can provide incentives to put quality teachers in the places and the subjects where we need them the most. And we can ensure that three million kids with a safe place to go after school. This is what we can do together.

    We shouldn’t have two different economies in America: one for people who are set for life, their kids and grandkids will be just fine, and then one for most Americans who live paycheck to paycheck.

    And you know what I’m saying. You don’t need me to explain it to you, you know — you can’t save any money, can you? Takes every dime you make just to pay your bills, and you know what happens if something goes wrong — a child gets sick, somebody gets laid off, or there’s a financial problem, you go right off the cliff.

    And what’s the first thing to go. Your dreams.
    It doesn’t have to be that way.

    We can strengthen and lift up your families. Your agenda is our agenda-so let me give you some specifics.

    First, we can create good paying jobs in America again. Our plan will stop giving tax breaks to companies that outsource your jobs. Instead, we will give tax breaks to American companies that keep jobs here in America. And we will invest in the jobs of the future — in the technologies and innovation to ensure that America stays ahead of the competition.

    We will do this because for us a job is about more than a paycheck — it’s about dignity and self respect. Hard work should be valued in this country and we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.

    We don’t want people to just get by; we want people to get ahead. So let me give you some specifics about how we’re going to do that.

    To help you pay for health care, a tax break and health care reform to lower your premiums up to $1,000. To help you cover the rising costs of child care, a tax credit up to $1,000 to cover those costs so your kids have a safe place to go while you work. And to help your child have the same chance I had and be the first person in your family to go to college, a tax break on up to $4,000 in tuition.

    So now you ask how are we going to pay for this? Well, here’s how we’re going to pay for it. Let me be very clear, for 98 percent of Americans, you will keep your tax cut-that’s 98 percent. But we’ll roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, close corporate loopholes, and cut government contractors and wasteful spending. We can move our country forward without passing the bill and the burden on to our children and grandchildren.

    We can also do something about 35 million Americans who live in poverty every day. Here’s the reason we should not just talk about it, but do something about millions of Americans who still live in poverty, because it is wrong. We have a moral responsibility to lift those families up.

    I mean the very idea that in a country of our wealth and our prosperity, we have children going to bed hungry. We have children who don’t have the clothes to keep them warm. We have millions of Americans who work full-time every day for minimum wage to support their family and still live in poverty — it’s wrong.

    These are men and women who are living up to their part of the bargain: working hard and taking care of their families. Those families are doing their part; it’s time we did ours.

    We will do that when John is in the White House. We will raise the minimum wage, finish the job on Welfare Reform, and bring good paying jobs to the places that need them. And we will say no forever to any American working full-time and living in poverty-not in our America, not in our America.

    Let me talk about why we need to build one America. I saw up close what having two Americas does to our country.

    >From the time I was very young, I saw the ugly face of segregation and
    >discrimination. I saw young African-American kids sent upstairs in
    >movie theaters. I saw white only signs on restaurant doors and luncheon
    >counters. I feel such an enormous responsibility when it comes to
    >issues of race and equality and civil rights.

    I have heard some discussions and debates about where, and in front of what audiences we should talk about race, equality, and civil rights. Well, I have an answer to that question. Everywhere.

    This is not an African-American issue, not a Latino issue, not an Asian- American issue, this is an American issue. It’s about who we are, what our values are, what kind of country we want to live in.

    What John and I want — what we all want — is for our children and our grandchildren to be the first generations to grow up in an America that’s no longer divided by race.

    We must build one America. We must be one America, strong and united for another very important reason — because we are at war.

    None of us will ever forget where we were on September 11th. We share the same terrible images: the Towers falling, the Pentagon in flames, and the smoldering field in Pennsylvania. And we share the profound sadness for the nearly three thousand lives lost.

    As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I know that we have to do more to fight terrorism and protect our country. And we can do that. We are approaching the third anniversary of September 11th, and I can tell you that when we’re in office, it won’t take us three years to get the reforms in our intelligence we need to protect our country. We will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to make sure that never happens again, not to our America.

    When John is president, we will listen to the wisdom of the September 11th Commission. We will build and lead strong alliances and safeguard and secure weapons of mass destruction. We will strengthen our homeland security and protect our ports, safeguard our chemical plants, and support our firefighters, police officers and EMT’s. We will always use our military might to keep the American people safe.

    And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaida and the rest of these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you.

    John understands personally about fighting in a war. And he knows what our brave men and women are going through in another war — the war in Iraq.

    The human cost and extraordinary heroism of this war, it surrounds us. It surrounds us in our cities and towns. And we will win this war because of the strength and courage of our own people.

    Some of our friends and neighbors saw their last images in Baghdad. Some took their last steps outside of Fallujah. And some buttoned their uniform for the final time before they went out to save their unit.

    Men and women who used to take care of themselves, they now count on others to see them through the day. They need their mother to tie their shoe. Their husband to brush their hair. And their wife’s arm to help them across the room.

    The stars and stripes wave for them. The word hero was made for them. They are the best and the bravest. They will never be left behind. You understand that. And they deserve a president who understands that on the most personal level what they have gone through — what they have given and what they have given up for their country.

    To us, the real test of patriotism is how we treat the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to defend our values. And let me tell you, the 26 million veterans in this country won’t have to wonder if they’ll have health care next week or next year — they will have it always because they took care of us and we will take care of them.

    But today, our great United States military is stretched thin. More than 140,000 are in Iraq. Nearly 20,000 are serving in Afghanistan. And I visited the men and women there and we’re praying for them as they keep working to give that country hope.

    Like all of those brave men and women, John put his life on the line for our country. He knows that when authority is given to the president, much is expected in return. That’s why we will strengthen and modernize our military.

    We will double our Special Forces, and invest in the new equipment and technologies so that our military remains the best equipped and best trained in the world. This will make our military stronger so we’re able to defeat every enemy in this new world.

    But we can’t do this alone. We have to restore our respect in the world to bring our allies to us and with us. It’s how we won the World Wars and the Cold War and it is how we will build a stable Iraq.

    With a new president who strengthens and leads our alliances, we can get NATO to help secure Iraq. We can ensure that Iraq’s neighbors like Syria and Iran, don’t stand in the way of a democratic Iraq. We can help Iraq’s economy by getting other countries to forgive their enormous debt and participate in the reconstruction. We can do this for the Iraqi people and our soldiers. And we will get this done right.

    A new president will bring the world to our side, and with it — a stable Iraq and a real chance for peace and freedom in the Middle East, including a safe and secure Israel. And John and I will bring the world together to face our most dangerous threat: the possibility of terrorists getting their hands on a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon.

    With our credibility restored, we can work with other nations to secure stockpiles of the worlds most dangerous weapons and safeguard this dangerous material. We can finish the job and secure all loose nukes in Russia. And we can close the loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that allows rogue nations access to the tools they need to develop these weapons.

    That’s how we can address the new threats we face. That’s how we can keep you safe. That’s how we can restore America’s respect around the world.

    And together, we will ensure that the image of America — the image all of us love — America this great shining light, this beacon of freedom, democracy, and human rights that the world looks up to-that that beacon is always lit.

    The truth is every child, every family in America will be safer and more secure if you grow up in a world where America is once again looked up to and respected. That’s the world we can create together.

    Tonight, as we celebrate in this hall, somewhere in America, a mother sits at the kitchen table. She can’t sleep. She’s worried because she can’t pay her bills. She’s working hard to pay the rent and feed her kids. She’s doing everything right, but she still can’t get ahead.

    It didn’t use to be that way in her house. Her husband was called up in the Guard and he’s been serving in Iraq for more than a year. She thought he’d be home last month, but now he’s got to stay longer.

    She thinks she’s alone. But tonight in this hall and in your homes — you know what? She’s got a lot of friends. We want her to know that we hear her. And it’s time to bring opportunity and an equal chance to her door.

    We’re here to make America stronger at home so she can get ahead. And we’re here to make America respected in the world so that we can bring him home and American soldiers don’t have to fight the war in Iraq and the war on terror alone.

    So when you return home, you might pass a mother on her way to work the late-shift-you tell her … … hope is on the way.

    When your brother calls and says that he’s working all the time at the office and still can’t get ahead-you tell him … … hope is on the way.

    When your parents call and tell you their medical bills are through the roof-you tell them … …hope is on the way.

    When your neighbor calls you and says that her daughter has worked hard and wants to go to college-you tell her … … hope is on the way.

    When you talk to your son or daughter who is serving this country and protecting our freedoms in Iraq-you tell them … … hope is on the way.

    And when you wake up and sit with your kids at the kitchen table, talking to them about the great possibilities in America, you make sure that they know that John and I believe at our core that tomorrow can be better than today.

    Like all of us, I have learned a lot of lessons in my life. Two of the most important are that first, there will always be heartache and struggle — you can’t make it go away. But the other is that people of good and strong will, can make a difference. One lesson is a sad lesson and the other’s inspiring. We are Americans and we choose to be inspired.

    We choose hope over despair; possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism. We choose to do what’s right even when those around us say “You can’t do that.” We choose to be inspired because we know that we can do better — because this is America where everything is still possible.

    What we believe — what John Kerry and I believe — is that you should never look down on anybody, that we should lift people up. We don’t believe in tearing people apart. We believe in bringing people together. What we believe — what I believe — is that the family you’re born into and the color of your skin in our America should never control your destiny.

    Join us in this cause. Let’s make America stronger at home and respected in the world. Let’s ensure that once again, in our one America — our one America — tomorrow will always be better than today.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 11:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Thank God He Didnít Dance

    Another thing about Edwards: He didn’t try to do that stupid little on-stage dance that white politicians always try to do. To his great credit, he played the part of a dignified but humble leader, held his son’s hand, and waved to the crowd.

    Boy, the quality of the news here is stunning …

    Posted by Alan at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Rock Star, Continued

    The fanfare for Edwards is genuine adulation … the star appeal is palpable, and the crowd won’t let him go. Whatever happens in this election cycle … the next time Edwards runs in the Democratic primaries, he’s not finishing second.

    Posted by Alan at 10:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    The Money Shot

    The image of Edwards on stage, after the speech, with his youngest daughter in his arms … that’s on the cover of every paper in America tomorrow morning.

    Posted by Alan at 10:52 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    More On Edwards

    Biggest applause line of the night:

    I have heard some discussions and debates about where, and in front of what audiences we should talk about race, equality, and civil rights. Well, I have an answer to that question. Everywhere.

    This, too, is from the primary stump speech (almost verbatim, if memory serves). Nothing wrong with that, of course … I simply thought they would chart larger tracts of new water …

    … which he’s doing now with the national security section.

    Posted by Alan at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    If You Spent Any Time Watching CSPAN ...

    … you realize that Edwards is delivering large portions of his stump speech from the primaries.

    Posted by Alan at 10:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Candidate Web Site Content Analyses

    I was tipped to this today, and it’s pretty cool: NextStage Analytics’ demographic analysis of the Bush, Kerry and Nader web site home pages. The analysis compares how well the sites are communicating to different age, gender and personality-type demographic groups. From the site:

    Curiosity got the better of us here at NextStage, and we turned our language engines loose on the homepages of the presidential candidates. We wanted to know who these sites are appealing to and how well they’re communicating their messages.
    We did this once before - during the recent democratic primaries - with stunning results.

    While national polls had Governor Dean as a 20-point front-runner before the Iowa caucuses and NH Primaries, our research pointed to a much different result - that Dean had effectively stopped communicating with 2/3 of all voters, and Kerry and Edwards were heads and shoulders above everyone in projecting winning campaign messages.

    And so, to once again showcase the predictive capabilities of our Media Content Analysis( MCA) and Message Projection Analysis (MPA) behavioral analytics tools, we are presenting this free Demographic Analysis of the Bush, Kerry, and Nader home pages everyday for the rest of this election season.

    You can visit the main page for the analyses here, and visit the most recent analyses here. They show, for example, that all the major candidate’s home pages skew strongly in their appeal toward male audiences, and that the Bush site has generally greater message comprehension across all age groups except 25-34, where they all run roughly equal.

    Posted by Alan at 10:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    John Edwards ...

    … rock star. Seriously. The crowd is delirious. I hope someone is timing the ovation.

    Posted by Alan at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Cate Edwards

    21 years old and at Princeton. And she’s doing a fine job. Read her bio here.

    Posted by Alan at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The General

    Wes Clark just took the stage … didn’t say a word … but his mere presence brought the crowd to its feet, and then the crowd broke into a change of “USA! USA!” as he left the stage.

    Posted by Alan at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    So THAT'S How It's Done

    I’ve been wondering all night how the delegates get all that crap they hold up at just the right time … flags, signs … even shirts to wear.

    As if they’re reading my mind, the DNCC tells us how, and it’s called the Visibility Team.

    Brian Mason and Matt Burton manage a team of 70 or so of the world’s hardest working volunteers. They spend their days backstage stapling and their nights running around the FleetCenter in fluorescent vests, lugging huge bags and boxes of posters, and delivering them to every section building. And they do so without a second to spare. Tonight, for instance, in just the last of their many assignments, they will be handing out 10,000 “Edwards” signs.

    It is not easy. For the week, our Floor Manager Shelly Loos estimates that the volunteers will have moved almost 150,000 signs into the bowl of the Fleet.

    Tip to Winer’s kick ass aggregator.

    Posted by Alan at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I Donít Feel The Vibe

    We’ve seen a number of instances of the “I repeat the line or question and then you repeat / chant in unison” cliché today. The most recent example is Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who has asked the crowd several times “Who will stand up?” and such, to which the crowd responds “John Kerry will!”

    But here’s the issue: in each instance, people have played the game, but the vibe hasn’t really been there. Some of that might be that we’re all wise to the game … that it really has become cliché. It might also be that people are simply in the middle of the convention and the energy level isn’t yet fully tweaked. But I don’t think either of those elements are the whole of the matter. Sharpton had people chanting vigorously when he wished, and sometimes when he didn’t, and the vibe of the crowd was beyond enthusiastic when doing so.

    I’m left to wonder: Is it the timing, or the speaker and his or her ability to motivate, or is it the subject? Is the crowd really that passionate about Kerry?

    I have to tell you, I’m not feeling it. Now, let’s be clear: the crowd is VERY passionate. And they are VERY passionate about winning the election, and I get lots of “we love the party” vibe and lots of “we love certain party stars” vibe and lots of “boot Bush” vibe. But I haven’t picked up any widespread “we love Kerry vibe.” I don’t hear anyone talking about how excited they are to hear him speak, or how electrified they expect to be when he takes the floor (although, with the continued building of anticipation, I imagine electrified they will be). If anything, the discursive expectations are built around Edwards tonight, who everyone expects to knock it out of the park.

    It’s like the woman I interviewed the other night, the dyed-in-the-wool Massachusetts democrat who described Kerry as the “lesser of two evils.” I’ve only been here one day, and it’s too early to say this with any certainty—after all, tomorrow the vibe may be very different—but right now, this feels to me very much a convention for the party and for the upsetting of the incumbent, but not a convention to anoint a favorite leader.

    And in the end, it may be that it’s not important … that the point is to motivate the faithful and move the message. But it’s not what I expected to see.

    Posted by Alan at 09:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sharpton For Six Minutes? I Think Not.

    The word up at Blogger’s Roost is that Al Sharpton was to have 6 minutes … he took 20. Looking at his speech copy (943 words), and assuming a speech rate a bit faster than average, it’s probably closer to 7 or 8 … but still not anywhere close to 20.

    Posted by Alan at 09:16 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    John Mellencamp

    None shall call him Cougar. Here’s a snap of the scene (click to enlarge).

    Posted by Alan at 09:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Ed Rendell

    In the extended entry …

    The Honorable Governor Edward Rendell’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    My fellow Americans, my Democrats, my fellow Pennsylvanians — thank you for that warm welcome. The greatness of the American people is that we are at our best in times of crisis.

    In 1945, America faced a Europe with a shattered infrastructure, a decimated economy, and threatened by an encroaching Soviet Union. To meet that challenge, we launched the Marshall Plan, formed NATO, and changed the course of history.

    Today, the crisis is on our shores. The challenge before us is here at home. The price of gas at the pump is at record levels. The cost of energy to run our factories is wreaking havoc on our industrial competitiveness. And families are finding it harder and harder to afford to heat their homes.

    Instead of responding with big ideas that put Americans to work, we are exporting jobs, exporting dollars, and we are exporting opportunity — the opportunity to strengthen our economy by becoming the world’s leader in new environmental technologies: the clean cars, efficient appliances, and alternative fuels that are the wave of the future.

    And more than that: because we lack a sound energy policy, we are forced to deal with tyrants who fund terrorists in order to keep the lights on in our homes and fuel in our cars.

    Our foreign policy is skewed. Our values are compromised. And we are paying a price. John Kerry said it best, “No young American solider should fight and die because of our dependence on foreign oil.”

    My friends, we are losing jobs. Our economy is hurting. And middle-class families are feeling the squeeze all because America is dependent on foreign oil, oil that flows at the whim of world events … and too often from the wells of dictators.

    John Kerry knows that to build a stronger America, we must do better. We can no longer rely on foreign oil fields to power our economy. We can no longer compromise the interests of our security just to make sure that the pipelines from faraway kingdoms flow freely.

    That is why, tonight - here in the birthplace of the American revolution - - we must declare our independence - our energy independence. We must elect a President to lead us toward a safer, stronger America free from the tyranny of foreign oil. We must elect John Kerry.

    John Kerry has a plan to move America away from its dependence on Mideast oil. First, to bring down our fuel costs, he will do what it takes to deliver clean natural gas to our factory doors in abundant supply — and at a reasonable price.

    And John Kerry will roll up his sleeves to work with coal companies to scrub their plants and create new technologies to generate clean coal energy to heat our homes.

    In Pennsylvania, we are already using waste coal to generate electricity and coal mine gas is being converted into energy. And when John Kerry is President, we will become a world leader in the clean coal economy.

    Second, John Kerry knows that moving toward energy independence means creating more jobs. There are thousands of people who are choosing to drive new hybrid cars that get great gas mileage. Yet, the waiting lists stretch for six months — with spots on those list being auctioned on e-bay for $500 or more. Yet where are these cars being made? In Korea and Japan.

    To make sure those jobs are created here, John Kerry will invest $10 billion in tax incentives for American car manufacturers to convert factories to build these cars of the future right here in the United States and tax credits for consumers to purchase those vehicles.

    Third, John Kerry will put America ahead of the rest of the world by boosting demand for alternative sources of energy to 20 percent — and to meet that demand and to put more Americans to work, he intends to make America the world’s largest producer of alternative fuels.

    Now, I don’t have a PhD in energy policy. But I do know this: if I use less energy in my house, my electric bill goes down. It’s commonsense - commonsense for me, commonsense for America.

    That’s why John Kerry will cut the federal energy bill by $14 billion — freeing up resources for us to invest in education and the economy. And he will help every American family and business to do the same, driving down their energy bills too.

    Two hundred and twenty eight years ago — in my hometown of Philadelphia - - a native son of Boston — John Hancock — signed his name to the Declaration of Independence knowing full well the risk of taking this action.

    There is only one candidate for president who will courageously offer his signature to American’s new declaration of energy independence because he knows full well the risk of not doing so — that person is the next President of the United States of America, John Kerry.

    Thank you, and good night.

    Source: Democratic National Convention Committee

    Posted by Alan at 09:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Yes, Virginia ...

    … reporters wear tennis shoes with their suits.

    Posted by Alan at 09:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Bob Graham

    In case you didn’t get enough the first time ‘round, here’s the full copy of Graham’s speech (via the DNC):

    Fellow Democrats, thank you. And most especially, fellow Floridians, thank you for granting me the honor and privilege of serving you for nearly four decades. My family and I are so grateful to all of you for the wonderful adventure of public service you have made possible. Florida, you’ve made the difference for me; I know you’re going to make the difference for John Kerry and John Edwards. And this time, when the votes are counted, fellow Floridians, we are going to make a huge difference for America.

    My fellow Americans, I want to tell you why I am casting my vote for John Kerry and John Edwards. The preamble to the Constitution tells us that one of the most important responsibilities of the government is to “provide for the common defense.” It has now been over one thousand days since the September 11th terrorist attacks changed our nation. One thousand days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, America had already landed on the beaches of Normandy and was rolling to victory in World War II. In that same amount of time in this new war on terror, we have not yet secured the beachhead. John Kerry and John Edwards will.

    In this new century, we have seen the rise of perilous new threats. And yet we have not stopped them; we haven’t even stood up to them. John Kerry and John Edwards will. At a time when all freedom-loving people are looking for leadership to unite the world in a war against terrorism, America has not provided it. My friends, John Kerry and John Edwards will.

    As Governor of Florida, I learned how little the FBI and CIA communicate with the state and local law enforcement agencies that are our first line of defense against terrorist attack. As Florida’s senator, I saw seaports where the greatest security was often little more than a chain-link fence. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I have seen the places in the world where the worst biological weapons were manufactured, where nuclear materials go unprotected, and where the next generation of terrorists is being recruited. And as chairman of that committee, I investigated the September 11th attacks and saw how they should have been prevented.

    From all of my service, I’ve come to this conclusion: Yes, there are real threats. But there are also real solutions.

    Just last week, the September 11th commission was the latest to recommend major changes in the way we fight the war on terror. Few of these are new. Most are obvious. Sadly, over one thousand days after September 11th, none of them are in place. The ideas are there. It’s the leadership that has been missing.

    We know that North Korea and Iran have nuclear aspirations, if not nuclear weapons. And yet only John Kerry and John Edwards have a plan to keep the world’s deadliest weapons from falling into the world’s most dangerous hands. We know that money is the terrorists’ lifeline, and yet it was John Kerry, long before September 11th, who had a plan to cut off the sources of terrorist funding.

    We know that our bridges, tunnels, trains, buses, chemical plants, food and water supplies, are still vulnerable to attack, and yet only John Kerry and John Edwards are willing to make the investments we need to truly be safe. And we know that Iraq didn’t attack the United States on September 11th; Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda did.

    And that is why John Kerry and John Edwards will not only win the peace in Iraq, but will fight the war on terror wherever it needs to be fought: the palaces of the Middle East, the banks of Europe, the ports in Florida, the firehouses of Boston. John Kerry recognizes that victory in the war on terror requires all of the resources of the United States-diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military.

    Today, “recruiting billboards” for al Qaeda are being erected on the main streets of the Middle East. We need to work with our allies and like-minded people of the Islamic world to tear down those billboards and drain the swamp of terror. Providing for the common defense is not a piece of rhetoric from a founding document - it is the most solemn responsibility we entrust to our leaders. This is a war that demands new resources and new ideas. But most of all, it is a war that demands new leadership.

    And when Americans ask, “Who will provide that leadership?” I can tell you, John Kerry and John Edwards will. For our children and grandchildren, for our security, for our country, we must elect John Kerry the next president of the United States.

    Posted by Alan at 08:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Seriously: Graham's Getting Ignored

    Now I really feel sorry for the guy. Nobody in Blogger’s Roost is listening. Nobody in the upper deck is listening. He’s getting applause of about the same volume that we heard during the 4:00 speeches. The Florida delegation is doing their best to give the crowd CPR … but I think I see EMT’s checking the Utah delegation for a pulse.

    No kidding: the crowd didn’t realize he’d finished until the post-speech bumper music started. They picked “Jump,” thank God, and the crowd’s coming back to life.

    It’s too bad for him, really.

    Posted by Alan at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    I Feel Sorry For Bob Graham

    Going from Al Sharpton to Bob Graham is like going from, well, Al Sharpton to Bob Graham. Not an easy slot for anybody … but right now in the hall, Graham’s speech feels like the post-climax afterglow, and everyone’s gone out for a smoke.

    Oh … hey … he’s still talking …

    Posted by Alan at 08:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text (At Least What He Didn't Ad Lib): Al Sharpton

    The Reverend Al Sharpton’s Speech Before the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, July 28, 2004 (via DNC):

    Good evening, Mr. Chairman, Assembled Delegates, Honored Guests and Friends: Throughout the history of this nation, Americans have fought to protect our freedoms at home and to secure our nation against foreign and domestic threat.

    We gather tonight in Boston where 228 years ago, people fought to establish American freedom. At that time, the first person to die in the Revolutionary War was a Black man from Barbados, Crispus Attucks, who is buried not far from this Fleet Center. Forty years ago, in 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party stood at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City fighting to preserve voting rights for all Americans and all Democrats, regardless of race or gender. Hamer’s stand led to Dr. King marching in Selma, which inspired the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Twenty years ago, Rev. Jesse Jackson stood at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, again, appealing to the preservation of those freedoms.

    Tonight, we stand with those freedoms at risk and our security as citizens in question. I have come here tonight to say, that the only choice we have to protect and preserve our freedoms at this point in history is the election of John Kerry as the president of the United States.

    I stood with both John Kerry and John Edwards on over 30 occasions during the primary season. I debated them. I watched them. I observed their deeds. I am convinced that they are men who say what they mean and mean what they say.

    I am also convinced that at a time, when there is a vicious spirit in the body politic of this country that attempts to undermine America’s freedoms - our civil rights, and civil liberties - we must leave this city and go forth and organize this nation toward victory for John Kerry and John Edwards in November. This is not just about winning an election, it’s about preserving the principles upon which this nation was founded.

    Look at the current view of our nation worldwide and the results of our unilateral foreign policy. We went from unprecedented international support and solidarity on September 12, 2001, to hostility and hatred as we stand here tonight. How did we squander the opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to a global fight against hunger and disease? We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going into Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We’ve lost hundreds of soldiers. We’ve expended over 200 billion dollars at a time when we face record state deficits. And when it became clear, that the weapons were not there, the president sought to shift the purpose of the war and to challenge our patriotism.

    We are also faced with the prospect, in the next four years, that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year, as we celebrated the anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education, this court voted 5 to 4 on critical issues of women’s rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of the civil and women’s rights movements of the last century could be reversed if this administration sits in the White House for four more years.

    This is not about a party. It is about living up to the promise of America.

    The promise of America says that we will guarantee quality education for all children, and not spend more for metal detectors than computers in our schools.

    The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens, and does not force seniors to travel to Canada to buy prescription drugs they cannot afford here.

    The promise of America provides that those who work in our health care system can afford to be hospitalized in the very beds that they clean everyday.

    The promise of America is government that does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen.

    The promise of America is that we stand for human rights - whether it’s fighting slavery in Sudan, AIDS in Lesotho, or police brutality in this country.

    The promise of America is one immigration policy for all who seek to enter our shores, whether they come from Mexico, Haiti, or Canada.

    The promise of America is that every citizen’s vote is counted and protected, and election schemes do not decide elections.

    I often hear the Republican party preach about family values, but I can tell them something about family values. Family values don’t just exist for those with two-car garages and retirement plans. Family values exist in homes with only one parent in the household making a way against the odds.

    I stand here tonight, the product of a single parent home, from the depths of Brooklyn, New York. My mother was a domestic worker who scrubbed floors in other people’s homes for me. And because she scrubbed those floors, I was proud to stand as a presidential candidate.

    Those are family values.

    I recall that a few days after the September 11 terrorist attacks I was in a radio station that played “America the Beautiful,” as sung by Ray Charles.

    As you know, we lost Ray several weeks ago, but I can still hear him singing: “Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plain.”

    We must leave here committed to making Ray Charles’ song a reality and to making America beautiful for everyone.

    Good night, God bless you all, and God bless America!

    Posted by Alan at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Is Al Riffing? I Think So ...

    FYI, the content on Lincoln and the emancipation proclamation, which produced by far the largest reaction of the speech to that point, was not in the version of the speech pre-released to journalists. I don’t know if he was riffing or if it was a late change … but it sure worked.

    Update: This, too wasn’t in the pre-released speech: “With all due respect, Mr. president, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.” He is riffing large parts of this speech, I believe, including much of the alliteration in the close. There’s simply too much new content for these to be late changes.

    Amazing stuff …

    Posted by Alan at 08:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Al's Raising The Roof

    The largest applause line for Al Sharpton so far:

    We are also faced with the prospect, in the next four years, that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year, as we celebrated the anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education, this court voted 5 to 4 on critical issues of women’s rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of the civil and women’s rights movements of the last century could be reversed if this administration sits in the White House for four more years.
    Posted by Alan at 08:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Interview With Melissa Fitzgerald

    The celebrities are stumping the blogs.

    Melissa Fitzgerald, who plays Carol, EA to CJ Craig on the West Wing, just spent a few minutes in Blogger’s Roost pitching for her favorite cause: Environment2004.

    Rather than ask about her views on the environment, though, I asked what she thought of those who suggest celebrities should be less outspoken regarding political matters. Her response was immediate and strident:

    Everyone has a right to speak and an obligation to speak … [those people] should get involved in the debate.”

    Her bottom-line: she has just as much a right to make her voice heard as anyone else, and rather that critique, those who disagree should speak out as well.

    I thought this was the most interesting exchange, though:

    Me: “When are you starting your own blog?”

    Melissa: “I just heard this word for the first time yesterday.”

    Ahhh … but your PR agency … they know the word quite well, it appears.

    Posted by Alan at 08:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Huge Applause For Kucinich

    He comes on stage to the strands of “Power to the People,” and you’d have thought it was Elvis. Close, but no. His voice, high and narrow in range, measured in its meter, has a nearly hypnotic quality in the hall, especially as it echoes through the chamber and off the rafters. In fact, it reminds me of the recordings of Hitler (JUST the voice, trust me … no emails saying I compared DK to AH, please) in its tenor, timber, and pacing. Very surreal …

    Posted by Alan at 07:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Jesse Jackson

    Via the DNC:

    Tonight the pendulum swings from pain to possibilities. From hurt to hope. Darkness to light. The line of progress is unbroken:

    1944: My father’s generation served in the war - duty without honor.

    1954: 335 years of legal race supremacy was ended. Brown versus Board of
    Education.

    1964: Dr. King. The Public Accommodations bill. Fannie Lou Hamer knocking
    on the door at Atlantic City.

    1984: The first Rainbow presidential campaign in San Francisco.

    2004: Barak Obama symbolizes the line of progress and growth.

    These movements enabled Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton to be great.

    In 1984 a generation of youth - Mayor Kilpatrick of Detroit, Congressman Harold Ford, Congressman Jackson, Junior, Congressman Lee, Congressman Meeks, Alicia Reece, and Reverend Al Sharpton, Congressman Bobby Rush, and Senator Tony Hill of Florida. Senator Paul Wellstone. Seeds sown are now bearing fruit. The pendulum swings, the morning cometh.

    In the darkness of 2000, the winners lost and the losers won. Jewish voters in West Palm Beach, immigrants stopped at the polls, a million black votes cast, but not counted. Pain.

    In the dark, our nation’s record budget surplus turned into a $500 billion deficit. In the dark, a net loss of jobs in every state. The ignored genocide in the Sudan, and the induced coup in Haiti. And yet, as the darkness abounds, hope abounds even more. For the 44 million people without health care insurance, help is on the way. For parents too afraid to call a doctor for their children because they do not know how to pay the bills, help is on the way. For our seniors, whose Social Security is at risk and who must choose between paying their rent or paying for the soaring costs of their prescription drugs, help is on the way.

    This president speaks of leaving no child behind, but leaves 2 million children behind to protect the tax cut for the top 1%. Millions of youth today cannot afford college tuition and cannot find a job. Every child in America deserves a Constitutional Right to an Equal High Quality Education. Yes: Hope cometh in the morning.

    In the dark, a president chooses tax cuts for millionaires but job cuts for steel and auto workers, firefighters and police. A president who talks of homeland security but wants to let AK-47’s and Uzi’s back on the street.

    Hope cometh in the morning for the children of Appalachia, for coal miners dying of black lung disease every six hours.

    Hope cometh in the morning, for our children who were sent to war in Iraq with bad intelligence and worse leadership. Sent to fight for a foreign policy that is foreign to our values and leaves us weaker and less secure. Sent to war in Iraq where words of mass deception are more apparent than weapons of mass destruction. It’s a moral disgrace, I tell you. A moral disgrace. A moral disgrace. America, we deserve better. Hope, cometh in the morning.

    But a new day is dawning. A new America turning pain into power. Beyond the extreme right wing is a beautiful rainbow of all of God’s children. Out of the darkness of the bushes, we see the soaring of an authentic American eagle on the horizon. Hope cometh in the morning.

    When I campaigned for John Kerry’s Senate campaign in 1996, he was resolved in his convictions, cool under fire. Dr. King said you measure the character of leaders in the fire of crisis. John Kerry stood in the valleys and the shadow of death in the Mekong Delta. Though wounded, he got away. A lesser man might say, “I’m lucky,” and speed away. When he heard comrades had fallen, he led his men back through the Delta to save them. When courage and duty called, he said, “Send me.” John Kerry had the faith and knew God had the power.

    In the exalted realm of valor under fire, in this campaign of courage and faith and leadership and honor, John Kerry stands alone, a beacon of hope who will make America stronger, safer, and a more secure America, who will restore the values that make America great. John Kerry sees a new America through a door, not a key hole.

    With studied intellect and keen insight, he saw talent and strength in John Edwards — a man whose journey is the best of American folklore. He inherited little, but worked hard and earned much, embodying hope and inspiration. He dares to stand in the gap between rich and poor, black and white, urban and rural — a vision of a new America.

    The Bible speaks of the difficulties of rich young rulers getting into the Kingdom. It’s because they are intoxicated by the rarified air of privilege. John Edwards understands using wallpaper for a windbreaker. Peanut butter sandwiches and Kool-Aid. The fear of winter without heat. He grew up on the edge but now stands at the middle of reconciling the breach in our nation.

    John Kerry and John Edwards will reinvest in America and put America back to work. They represent hope and healing for a new America. John Kerry and John Edwards will fight for health care for all. John Kerry and John Edwards will fight for our environment and civil rights.

    Hope cometh in the morning. In 96 days dark clouds roll away. Children can rejoice. Lady Liberty will be unmasked and unshackled. We can sing again: My country ‘tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died. Land of the Pilgrim’s pride. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. She can sing that song again. The shackles will leave her arms. She can stretch forth in all of her splendor, free of crippling civil rights and liberties. She can proclaim again, “Give me your tired, give me your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to breathe free,” come November.

    Let eagles fly to Washington. It’s time to bring our troops home from Iraq and send Bush home to Texas. And it’s time to send John Kerry and John Edwards to the White House this November.

    Keep Hope Alive.

    Thank you very much.

    Posted by Alan at 07:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Blog Spotting: Eschaton

    This from Atrios:

    One thing that I really want to stress is just how much this event is not a canned television event. It’s one of those things you always hear about conventions, that they’re just a canned event, that they’re a show put on for the audiences at home. It’s shocking how not true that is. Sure, they’re timing the event to fit in with the hour or so of network coverage that they’ve been granted, because while a football game can cut into the Sunday night lineup, something stupid like this can’t. But, otherwise this is a show for the people who are here. And, if the media don’t like the “canned” version, they’re free to cover it any way they want, which appears to involve interviewing people in funny hats.

    Atrios (who’s sitting right behind me) on Command Post. Conservative readers of this page will now say we’ve jumped the shark.

    Posted by Alan at 07:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Overdelivery 101

    Don’t know if you can see it on your TV, but here in the hall Martin O’Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, is over-delivering his speech. Reminds me of Spinal Tap, “This goes to 11.” Definitely striving for Kennedy-esque … falling well short.

    Posted by Alan at 07:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Audioblog Post

    “Keep hope alive!”

    Posted by Alan at 07:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Jesse Jackson Takes The Stage

    You can see the speech on TV, so I won’t post about the speech just now. Instead, I’ll remark on the sudden feeling of gratitude that has just washed over me, like a cascade of warm, soft water from above, as I heard the crowd react to this hero of the Democratic party.

    It is a very fortunate thing, to watch history as we are. And it is an even more fortunate thing to be party to it. Never in my life did I think I would sit here. This, the blog, the readers … it’s all a very remarkable thing. And while it can ultimately happen in many places on this earth, it could only first happen here, in the United States, and I’m glad to be a part.

    So: thank you for reading, and for giving me this front row seat to this small part of our history.

    Posted by Alan at 07:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Chill Moment

    In an interlude between speakers, the DNC placed a photograph of Geraldine Ferraro on-screen, with this quote, while they played the audio live over the PA.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the convention: My name is Geraldine Ferraro. I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us …. I proudly accept your nomination for vice president of the United States.

    The hall drew more quiet, people looked up from their screens, many of the delegates rose to their feet, and an unexpected chill ran throughout the crowd.

    These things you can plan, but the reaction you cannot. And this time, it worked, whether you like GF or not. Wish you were here.

    Posted by Alan at 07:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Actually ...

    … we’re all playing Quake.

    Posted by Alan at 06:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Blog Spotting: TalkLeft

    Given that we don’t really opine here on the CP news pages, I’m going to occasionally link to other credentialed bloggers who do opine … especially when I see something tasty. In this case, I’m sitting next to Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft, one of my cohorts up here in Blogger’s Roost. She’s a little … well … liberal would be the word. REALLY liberal. So liberal that she goes after Dianne Feinstein. Witness:

    Dianne Feinstein just finished. We missed her speech but don’t mind because we think she is the least liberal Democrat in the Senate. She co-sponsored the ill-advised gang bill. She co-sponsored the unnecessary federal Victim’s Rights Amendment. She loves joining up with that paragon of democracy, Orrin Hatch. Spare us. If we were watching on tv, we’d mute her.
    Posted by Alan at 06:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Asses In Action

    While making my way through the Fleet I passed a woman, Julie Brickman, selling t-shirts that read “Donkeys In The Desert” on the front and “Asses In Action” on the back. I stopped to chat and explore the shtick, and as it turns out, she’s selling the shirts to raise money for the Iraq chapter of Democrats Abroad. DA organizes absentee ballot collection for expat registered Democrats worldwide.

    Nice conversation, nice shirt … but here’s what I found interesting: by her account there is significantly greater activity in registering and organizing Dem absentee balloting than in 2000. “Significant?” I asked. “No question … it’s huge,” she said, with 20 new committees formed in recent months.

    Given the razor-thin electoral margin many are predicting, this element of the Get Out The Vote effort is likely worth watching.

    Visit Democrats Abroad here, and the Iraq chapter, Donkeys In The Desert here. There’s also some blogging about DITD here and here. Also see this New Yorker article.

    Posted by Alan at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What?

    Dianne Feinstein: A warm welcome, but from up here, completely unintelligible. Somebody let me know if she said something insightful.

    Posted by Alan at 06:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    It Officially Begins

    Over the PA: “Ladies and gentlemen, we will now begin the presidential nomination process.”

    Then, Dianne Feinstein:

    “I am pleased to place the name of John Kerry into nomination to become the 44th president of the United States.”
    Posted by Alan at 06:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    An Increase In Partisanship

    To this point, one of the minor stories at the convention has been the limited number of direct references to president Bush during the speeches. The directness of attack was increased today, though, by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President, Waterkeeper Alliance and Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Riverkeeper. I’ll try to find the speech and post it, but it was quite aggressive, especially regarding environmental policy.

    Posted by Alan at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What To Expect From Shalikashvili

    Via the DNC, an excerpt from the speech General John Shalikashvili will deliver before the Democratic National Convention:

    “As a young man, he heeded his country’s call to service when it needed him. He commanded in combat and did so with bravery and distinction. He knows from experience a commander’s responsibility to his troops. He stands with our troops and with their families and that is why I stand with John Kerry.”
    Posted by Alan at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Excerpts Of Elizabeth Edwards' Convention Speech

    Via the DNC, here are excerpts of the speech Elizabeth Edwards will deliver later tonight:

    John Kerry was in the Navy, and so was my father. I grew up traveling around the world, living on Navy bases, but I always knew I was home when I saw the American flag. Like John Kerry, my father fought for this country; like John Kerry, he was decorated risking his life in her service. My father has another thing in common with John Kerry and with so many of our uniformed men and women across this country and around the world: he has the right stuff

    ***

    I married the smartest, toughest, sweetest man I know … But none of the things I have mentioned are the reason I married John Edwards. I married him because he was the single most optimistic person I have ever known. He knew there was a brighter day ahead even as he swept the floors in the cotton mill as a high school student. He knew, if he worked hard enough, he could be the first in his family to go to college. He knew that he could outwork and any battalion of lawyers to find justice, and he continued that fight in Washington. Courageously, eloquently, with one over-arching and simple goal: to make the great opportunities of America available to all Americans.

    We deserve leaders who allow their faith and moral core — our faiths and moral core — to draw us closer together, not drive us farther apart. We deserve leaders who believe in each of us.

    Posted by Alan at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Exceprts Of Edwards' Speech

    Some of what you can expect to hear tonight from John Edwards’ (via DNC email):

    These are the values John Kerry and I believe in, and nothing makes me prouder than standing with him in this campaign. I am so humbled to be your candidate for Vice President of the United States.

    ***

    [John Kerry’s crewmates] saw up close what he’s made of. They saw him reach down and pull one of his men from the river and save his life. And in the heat of battle, they saw him decide in an instant to turn his boat around, drive it straight through an enemy position, and chase down the enemy to save his crew.

    Decisive. Strong. Aren’t these the traits you want in a Commander in Chief?

    ***

    The Republicans are doing all they can to take this campaign for the highest office in the land down the lowest possible road.

    This is where you come in. Between now and November-you, the American people-you can reject the tired, old, hateful, negative, politics of the past. And instead you can embrace the politics of hope, the politics of what’s possible because this is America, where everything is possible.

    ***

    Some of our friends and neighbors saw their last images in Baghdad. Some took their last steps outside of Fallujah. And some buttoned their uniform for the final time before they went off and saved their unit.

    Men and women who used to take care of themselves, they now count on others to see them through the day. They need their mother to tie their shoe, their husband to brush their hair, and their wife’s arm to help them across the room.

    The stars and stripes wave for them. The word hero was made for them. They are the best and the bravest. They will never be left behind, and you understand that. And they deserve a president who understands that on the most personal level what they have gone through — what they have given and what they have given up for their country.

    Posted by Alan at 05:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Scene

    Wednesday’s convention is under way. There’s not really any “news” here at the moment, but perhaps I can offer a sense of what it’s like being here. First, the hall is perhaps a quarter full on the floor, and nearly empty in the bowl. Although the speakers have begun, the media seats are vacant, and it’s clearly a time in which delegates are making their way here from sightseeing, late caucus meetings, and other mid-day activities.

    The delegates that are here are in full-on “mill mode,” making their way across the floor, visiting with each other and talking in small groups.

    The early speeches are very brief … perhaps five minutes. The people who are seated appear generally attentive, but the listening audience is much smaller than the number of people in the hall. It’s also clear that the people who are here are skewed to the delegates of the speakers … the entire Washington delegation just rose and cheered for the latest speaker, a member of their elected representatives.

    The delegation is very much the cast of characters you see in TV cut shots. From my perch (and we are on a perch, nearly at the top of the Fleet Center), a number of colorful floppy top hats are in view, as are a number of Statue of Liberty hats, American Flag hats, and the old convention standard: the Uncle Sam hat. Hats, it seems, are very much the thing, and I suppose the discerning delegate carefully considers their choice of hat.

    My favorite delegate, though, is this gentleman, whom I’ve been calling “Orange Guy.” (Click the pic to see it full-sized.) He’s actually Michael J. “Orange Mike” Lowrey, a Dean delegate from Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District in Milwaukee. He’s sort of a Hagrid in hunter’s-orange pants, shirt, and hat.

    It takes a certain amount of courage to walk about the city of Boston in hunger-orange regalia. A certain level of confidence … and panache. Gotta admire a guy like Orange Mike. From now on, whenever I see the DNC, or hunter orange, I’ll think: Orange Mike … he’s the man.

    Posted by Alan at 04:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Lieberman Or Cleland: What Would You Ask?

    I’ve signed on to try and interview Joe Lieberman and Max Cleland tomorrow. No guarantees, but who knows … it might work out. So my question is: what’s your question? If there’s anything you’d like me to ask either gentleman, post it in the comments. I’m more than happy to say, “One of my readers wants to know.” BUT … keep it civil, respectful, and serious. Don’t make me sort through snarky questions, please.

    Posted by Alan at 04:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Bloggerís Roost Visit: The K/E Campaign

    Some of the folks from the Kerry / Edwards campaign just stopped by Blogger’s Roost to say hello. One in particular, Kerry advisor Peter Daou, blogs for the campaign himself … read his posts here.

    Like everyone else I’m seeing up here: friendly, earnest, and frighteningly smart. I suspect he was part of the powers-that-be that got us here, and for that he (and the entire K/E camp) has my thanks.

    Posted by Alan at 03:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Only Via Blogs

    Just came across this in a convention blog post at Democracy for Vancouver:

    Before I begin, I want to mention that Madeleine Albright fell on me and I didn’t recognize her. I said to the guy next to me, “some random old lady just fell on me” and he responded, “That was Madeleine Albright.”

    Love it.

    Posted by Alan at 02:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Non-Story Story: Violence & Disruption Go To The Cape

    I had breakfast with Dan Rubin this morning, and one of the things we talked about was what may be THE key story out of Boston so far:

    There’s no story in Boston so far.

    We expected the convention itself to be a “non-news” convention … the ticket’s wrapped up, it’s a party production (the DNC even hired an Emmy-winning TV award show producer to do the creative production), etc.

    What I didn’t expect was the extreme lack of news outside the convention.

    I have not seen protesters (the protester pen notwithstanding), save some friendly Lyndon LaRouche and Billionaires for Bush folks passing out literature. I have not seen any evidence of discord. I have not heard a police officer raise his or her voice. I have not even, truthfully, seen any people. Boston is empty (any locals with any sense abandoned the core of the city days ago). I expect my rush-hour ride in this morning took less time that it would on a Sunday morning.

    And how’s this for a statistic: this morning I heard that as of last night there has not been a single convention-related arrest (something I’ll try to confirm).

    And in my mind that’s a hell of a story … this convention is so far from 1968, it almost seems like it was 36 years ago. Let’s hope it stays that way …

    Posted by Alan at 02:41 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    WEC: Dems contesting Nader on S.C. ballot

    Nader off S.C. ballot?

     Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will not be on South Carolina’s Election Day ballots, state Democratic Chairman Joe Erwin predicted at a breakfast Wednesday for the state’s convention delegates.

    Former U.S. Rep. John Jenrette, D-S.C., (pictured) was among those attending.

    While Nader’s Web site reports more than 11,000 signatures have been collected in South Carolina, Erwin said the petitions do not have enough valid names. State Election Commission spokeswoman Hannah Majewski said the Nader campgain met the July 15 deadline and turned in about 800 signatures more than the 10,000 required to get on November’s ballot.

    Posted by Bryan M at 02:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Thursday Schedule Of Events

    This via the DNC (email). I plan to at least attend the National Security Advisors briefing.

    11 am BRIEFING: EAST/MIDWEST POLITICAL BRIEFING

    • LOCATION: Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • State directors and top political leaders from Pennsylvania,
    • Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, and New Hampshire will brief media on John Kerry and John Edward’s messages and update reporters on the Kerry-Edwards fast-growing grassroots operation in the field.

    11:30 am KERRY ARRIVES BOSTON LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

    • Location: Signature Flight Support, 240 Prescott Street, East Boston
    • Event: Kerry will be met by his crewmates from Vietnam before they board a boat to cross Boston Harbor for an arrival ceremony at Charlestown Navy Yard, Pier 4

    12 pm KERRY COMPLETE JOURNEY ON AMERICA’S FREEDOM TRAIL WITH AN ARRIVAL CELEBRATION IN BOSTON

    • LOCATION: Charlestown Navy Yard, Pier 4, 197 8th Street, Flagship Wharf, Charlestown

    12:30 pm BRIEFING: KERRY CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISORS

    • LOCATION; Back Bay A Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • EXPECTED SPEAKERS: General Wesley Clark, General Tony McPeak (former chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force), Rand Beers (Kerry senior advisor on national security), Dr. Susan Rice, and Admiral Gunn

    2:30 pm BRIEFING: DEMOCRATIC HISPANIC CANDIDATES DISCUSS HOW THE KERRY-EDWARDS PLAN WILL IMPACT THEIR LIVES

    • LOCATION: Back Bay A Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • SPEAKERS: Carissa Romero (college student, Ohio), Mark Haro (veteran, Florida), Dr. Laura Elias de la Torre (family practice physician, Arizona), Richardo Hernandez (educator, Arizona)

    5 pm MAX CLELAND AND VETERANS VISIT HOMELESS SHELTERS

    Posted by Alan at 02:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Observations 1 & 2: Youth & Beauty

    It was early in my evening last night that I stumbled across my first two observations about the DNC: a disproportionate percentage of the people in attendance are (1) young and (2) very attractive. Seriously … many, many young, lean, well-dressed, attractive folks walking about. Four morphologies are dominant:

    • Blue-Suited Young Staffer Guy: The Blue-Suited Young Staffer Guy, in his natural environment, tends to cluster in small groups. Mean age is 27; mean body fat is 5 percent. Likely is a Legislative Affairs staffer, or perhaps a media staffer. If left to roam in his preferred environment, he will make a self-important sounding call on his cell phone.
    • Trim Skirt-Wearing Staffer Girl: The Trim Skirt-Wearing Staffer Girl walks always in pairs. Mean age is a bit older than Blue-Suited Young Staffer Guy … possibly 31, body fat percentage is even lower. Professionally, skews toward media. Often pursued by Blue-Suited Young Staffer Guy, but if left to roam in her preferred environment, will walk rapidly toward a location of presumed importance, but can be easily distracted by people of fame and import.
    • Delegate: Delegates look much more like you and I, if you and I were to wear red, white, and blue Cat In The Hat hats. Delegates, if left to roam in their preferred environment, will gather together in large groups and seek the nearest source of complementary food and drink.
    • Blogger: The least attractive people here … avoid the Blogger at all cost. (Candidly, the blogger contingent here is very impressive. I just listed to David Sifry describe Technorati’s thinking on power curves and media link distribution. The guy is incredibly smart, and the people up here in Blogger’s Roost impress me with their brains and diligence—present company excluded, of course).

    So there was very much a “fraternity party” feel around the parts of the city I frequented last night. Not that there’s anything wrong with that … but the level of partying done by young, attractive people here isn’t something of which I had heard (or expected). Tonight we’ll see if it’s any different in the hall itself.

    Posted by Alan at 02:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    New Book: Kerry Acted-Out Vietnam Footage For His Own Camera



    Naval Officer John E. O‘Neill reveals in his new book, “Unfit for Command,” that John Kerry acted-out footage of himself in Vietnam, after the underlying events were over, for the benefit of his own Super 8 video camera

    In “Unfit for Command,” Naval Officer John E. O‘Neill reveals that John Kerry acted-out footage of himself in Vietnam, after the underlying events were over, for the benefit of his own Super 8 video camera and his anticipated political career.

    Similar reports have been made by New York Times bestselling author Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, author of “Reckless Disregard.”

    - - - - - - -

    A bombshell new book written by the man who took over John Kerry’s Swift Boat charges: Kerry reenacted combat scenes for film while in Vietnam!

    The footage is at the center of a growing controversy in Boston.

    The official convention video introducing Kerry is directed by Steven Spielberg protégé James Smoll.

    - - - - - - -

    Smoll was given hours of Kerry’s homemade 8 millimeter film to incorporate into the convention short, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

    “Kerry carried a home movie camera to record his exploits for later viewing,” charges a naval officer in the upcoming book UNFIT FOR COMMAND.

    “Kerry would revisit ambush locations for reenacting combat scenes where he would portray the hero, catching it all on film. Kerry would take movies of himself walking around in combat gear, sometimes dressed as an infantryman walking resolutely through the terrain. He even filmed mock interviews of himself narrating his exploits. A joke circulated among Swiftees was that Kerry left Vietnam early not because he received three Purple Hearts, but because he had recorded enough film of himself to take home for his planned political campaigns.”

    UNFIT FOR COMMAND will be unleashed next month by REGNERY. [It ranked #1,318 on the AMAZON hitparade Wednesday morning.]

    The films shot by Kerry’s own Super 8 millimeter hand-held movie camera have the grainy quality of home movies.

    - - - - - - -

    “John was thinking Camelot when he shot that film, absolutely,” says Thomas Vallely, a fellow veteran and one of Kerry’s closest political advisers and friends.

    NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson in his new book RECKLESS DISREGARD, details one of the claimed Kerry reenactments for film:

    “On February 28, 1969, now in charge of PCF 94, Kerry came under fire from an enemy location on the shore. The crew’s gunner returned fire, hitting and wounding the lone gunman. Kerry directed the boat to charge the enemy position. Beaching his boat, Kerry jumped off, chased the wounded insurgent behind a thatched hutch, and killed him. Kerry and his crew returned within days, armed with a Super 8 video camera he had purchased at the post exchange at Cam Ranh Bay, and reenacted the skirmish on film.”

    - - - - - - -

    Via the Drudge Report.

    The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.

    Posted by nikita demosthenes at 01:51 PM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

    Small Town

    Time for a color post: John Mellencamp is rehearsing at the moment, and a small crowd had gathered to watch and listen. Here’s a pic, and click here to listen to a clip I’ve recorded.

    Posted by Alan at 01:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    In The Roost

    IMG_4498.JPGI post this from Blogger’s Roost at the Fleet Center … I’ve uploaded a pic from the main / print media section of today’s setup. I’m sitting next to Hugh Hewitt, who’s every bit as pleasurable as he seems. Apologies for starting so late … it took some time to get credentials and make my way here. Forward …

    Posted by Alan at 12:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Convention Coverage

    Covering the DNC like butter on bread: it’s the a supplement to this week’s Toast-O-Meter.

    Posted by Steven L. Taylor at 11:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The 11 Minute RNC Kerry on Iraq Video

    The link to the 11 minute RNC video detailing John Kerry’s shifting positions on the subject of Iraq may be found here. It’s available in streaming Real Player and Windows Media format.

    The video tracks, with video of interviews, various statements made by Senator Kerry, on the various positions he’s expressed on the subject of Iraq and Saddam Hussein over the years. It also highlights Senator Kerry’s apparent shift in position against the timeline of the Howard Dean phenomena leading up to the Democratic Primaries.

    An interesting subject that will certainly be the fodder of debate in the coming months.

    Posted by Windrider at 10:33 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    Wednesday at the DNC

    Today’s theme is “A Stronger More Secure America”

    The speaker lineup is:

    • Steve Brozak, Ret. Lt. Col., USMC, Candidate for U.S.
      Representative from New Jersey
    • Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative from Maryland
    • Cate Edwards, Daughter of John Edwards
    • Elizabeth Edwards, Wife of John Edwards
    • John Edwards, Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
    • Bob Graham, U.S. Senator from Florida, 2004 Presidential
      Candidate
    • Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan
    • Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Greg Meeks, U.S. Representative from New York
    • Martin O’Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland
    • Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from Nevada
    • Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania
    • Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
    • Al Sharpton, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    Posted by Michele at 10:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Bush Campaign: Tuesday Night Speakers "Centrist Democrats"

    I received a rather unusual email this morning from the Bush campaign, signed by Jeb Bush; the opening lines caught my attention:

    The extreme makeover of John Kerry continued last night in Boston.

    Centrist Democrats paraded across your television screen to praise the most liberal Senator in Washington and his running mate - the 4th most liberal member of the Senate.

    As this is the news page and not the op-ed, I’ll just note the oddity of describing a prime time lineup whose three elected Democrats were Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean and Barack Obama (see the full day’s speaker list here) as “Centrist Democrats.”

    Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    NASA Denies Dirty Trick

    NASA denies the Kerry campaign’s dirty tricks charge. The Washington Times reports that NASA told Fox News that the Kerry team saw the “bunny suit” photos before publication and passed on the release of the photos:

    A NASA spokesman told the top-rated cable network that the images were given to the Kerry campaign to review before several were posted on the Kennedy Space Center Web site.

    In no way were photographs “leaked,” the spokesman said.

    [. . .]

    According to the Fox News Web site (www.foxnews.com), the NASA spokesman said the space agency provided a photographer to document Mr. Kerry’s tour, but said NASA released no images directly to the press.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:55 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    Speech Text: THK

    Courtesy the DNC (via email), here are tonight’s comments from Teresa Heinz Kerry:

    Thank you, Christopher. Your father would be proud of you and your brothers. I love you and all our family.

    My name is Teresa Heinz Kerry. And by now I hope it will come as no surprise to anyone that I have something to say.

    And tonight, as I have done throughout this campaign I would like to speak to you from my heart. Y a todos los Hispanos, los Latinos; a tous les Americains, Francais et Canadiens; a tutti Italiani; a toda a familia Portugesa e Brazileria; to all my continental African family living in this country, and to all new Americans: I invite you to join our conversation, and together with us work towards the noblest purpose of all: a free, good, and democratic society.

    I am grateful for the opportunity to stand before you and say a few words about my husband, John Kerry, and why I firmly believe he should be the next president of the United States.

    This is such a powerful moment for me. Like many other Americans, like many of you, and like even more of your parents and grandparents, I was not born in this country. As you have seen, I grew up in East Africa, in Mozambique, in a land that was then under a dictatorship. My father-a wonderful, caring man who practiced medicine for 43 years, and taught me how to understand disease and wellness-only got the right to vote for the first time when he was 71 years old. That’s what happens in dictatorships.

    As a young woman, I attended Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was then not segregated. But I witnessed the weight of apartheid everywhere around me. And so, with my fellow students we marched against its extension into higher education. This was the late 50’s, the dawn of the civil rights marches in America. As history records, our efforts in South Africa failed and the Higher Education Apartheid Act was passed. Apartheid tightened its ugly grip, the Sharpsville riots followed, and a short while later Nelson Mandela was arrested and sent to Robin Island.

    I learned something then, and I believe it still. There is a value in taking a stand whether or not anyone may be noticing and whether or not it is a risky thing to do. And if even those who are in danger can raise their lonely voices, isn’t more required of all of us, in this land where liberty had her birth?

    I have a very personal feeling about how special America is, and I know how precious freedom is. It is a sacred gift, sanctified by those who have lived it and those who have died defending it. My right to speak my mind, to have a voice, to be what some have called “opinionated,” is a right I deeply and profoundly cherish. My only hope is that, one day soon, women-who have all

    earned the right to their opinions-instead of being labeled opinionated, will be called smart or well-informed, just as men are.

    Tonight I want to remember my mother’s warmth, generosity, wisdom, and hopefulness, and thank her for all the sacrifices she made on our behalf, like so many other mothers. This evening, I want to acknowledge and honor the women of this world, whose wise voices for much too long have been excluded and discounted. It is time for the world to hear women’s voices, in full and at last.

    In the past year, I have been privileged to meet with Americans all across this land. They voiced many different concerns, but one they all seemed to share was about America’s role in the world-what we want this great country of ours to stand for.

    To me, one of the best faces America has ever projected is the face of a Peace Corps volunteer. That face symbolizes this country: young, curious, brimming with idealism and hope-and a real honest compassion. Those young people convey an idea of America that is all about heart and creativity, generosity and confidence-a practical, can-do sense and a big, big smile. For many generations of people around the globe, that is what America has represented. A symbol of hope, a beacon brightly lit by the optimism of its people-people coming from all over the world.

    Americans believed they could know all there is to know, build all there is to build, break down any barrier, tear down any wall. We sent men to the moon, and when that was not far enough, we sent Galileo to Jupiter, we sent Cassini to Saturn, and Hubble to touch the very edges of the universe at the very dawn of time. Americans showed the world what can happen when people believe in amazing possibilities.

    And, that, for me, is the spirit of America-the America you and I are working for in this election. It is the America that people all across this nation want to restore-from Iowa to California, from Florida to Michigan, from Washington State to my home state of Pennsylvania. It is the America the world wants to see, shining, hopeful, and bright once again. And that is the America that my husband John Kerry wants to lead.

    John believes in a bright future. He believes we can, and we will, invent the technologies, new materials, and conservation methods of the future. He believes that alternative fuels will guarantee that not only will no American boy or girl go to war because of our dependence on foreign oil, but also that our economy will forever become independent of this need. We can, and we will, create good, competitive, and sustainable jobs while still protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our children, because good environmental policy is good economics.

    John believes that we can, and we will, give every family and every child access to affordable health care, a good education, and the tools to become self-reliant. John Kerry believes we must, and we should, recognize the immense value of the caregivers in our country-those women and men who nurture and care for children, for elderly parents, for family members in need. These are the people who build and support our most valuable assets-our families. Isn’t it time we began working to give parents more opportunity to be with their children, and to afford to have a family life?

    With John Kerry as president, we can, and we will, protect our nation’s security without sacrificing our civil liberties. In short, John believes we can, and we must, lead in the world-as America, unique among nations, always should-by showing the face, not of our fears, but of our hopes.

    John is a fighter. He earned his medals the old-fashioned way, by putting his life on the line for his country. No one will defend this nation more vigorously than he will-and he will always be first in the line of fire.

    But he also knows the importance of getting it right. For him, the names of too many friends inscribed in the cold stone of the Vietnam Memorial testify to the awful toll exacted by leaders who mistake stubbornness for strength. That is why, as president, my husband will not fear disagreement or dissent. He believes that our voices-yours and mine-must be the voices of freedom. And if we do not speak, neither does she.

    In America, the true patriots are those who dare speak truth to power. The truth we must speak now is that America has responsibilities that it is time for us to accept again.

    With John Kerry as president, global climate change and other threats to the health of our planet will begin to be reversed. With John Kerry as president, the alliances that bind the community of nations and that truly make our country and the world a safer place, will be strengthened once more.

    The Americans John and I have met in the course of this campaign all want America to provide hopeful leadership again. They want America to return to its moral bearings. It is not a moralistic America they seek, but a moral nation that understands and willingly shoulders its obligations; a moral nation that rejects thoughtless and greedy choices in favor of thoughtful and generous actions; a moral nation that leads through the power of its ideas and the power of its example. We can and we should join together to make the most of this great gift we have been given, this gift of freedom, this gift of America.

    In his first inaugural, speaking to a nation on the eve of war, Abraham Lincoln said, “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth- stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

    Today, the better angels of our nature are just waiting to be summoned. We only require a leader who is willing to call on them, a leader willing to draw again on the mystic chords of our national memory and remind us of all that we, as a people, everyday leaders, can do; of all that we as a nation stand for and of all the immense possibility that still lies ahead.

    I think I’ve found just the guy. I’m married to him.

    John Kerry will give us back our faith in America. He will restore our faith in ourselves and in the sense of limitless opportunity that has always been America’s gift to the world.

    Together we will lift everyone up. We have to. It’s possible. And you know what? It’s the American thing to do. Goodnight and God bless.

    Posted by Alan at 01:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Speech Text: Ron Reagan

    Here’s the full text of Ron Reagan’s Democratic National Convention comments, via the DNCC (email):

    Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

    A few of you may be surprised to see someone with my last name showing up to speak at a Democratic convention. Let me assure you, I am not here to make a political speech, and the topic at hand should not — must not — have anything to do with partisanship.

    I am here tonight to talk about the issue of research into what may be the greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime: the use of embryonic stem cells — cells created using the material of our own bodies — to cure a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses: Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries, and much more. Millions are afflicted. Every year, every day, tragedy is visited upon families across the country, around the world.

    Now, we may be able to put an end to this suffering. We only need to try. Some of you already know what I’m talking about when I say “embryonic stem cell research.” Others of you are probably thinking, hmm, that’s quite a mouthful, what is this all about?

    Let me try and paint as simple a picture as I can while still doing justice to the incredible science involved. Let’s say that ten or so years from now you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. There is currently no cure and drug therapy, with its attendant side-effects, can only temporarily relieve the symptoms.

    Now, imagine going to a doctor who, instead of prescribing drugs, takes a few skin cells from your arm. The nucleus of one of your cells is placed into a donor egg whose own nucleus has been removed. A bit of chemical or electrical stimulation will encourage your cell’s nucleus to begin dividing, creating new cells which will then be placed into a tissue culture. Those cells will generate embryonic stem cells containing only your DNA, thereby eliminating the risk of tissue rejection. These stem cells are then driven to become the very neural cells that are defective in Parkinson’s patients. And finally, those cells — with your DNA — are injected into your brain where they will replace the faulty cells whose failure to produce adequate dopamine led to the Parkinson’s disease in the first place.

    In other words, you’re cured. And another thing, these embryonic stem cells, they could continue to replicate indefinitely and, theoretically, can be induced to recreate virtually any tissue in your body. How’d you like to have your own personal biological repair kit standing by at the hospital? Sound like magic? Welcome to the future of medicine.

    By the way, no fetal tissue is involved in this process. No fetuses are created, none destroyed. This all happens in the laboratory at the cellular level.

    Now, there are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future, who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research. They argue that interfering with the development of even the earliest stage embryo, even one that will never be implanted in a womb and will never develop into an actual fetus, is tantamount to murder. A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe and they should be ashamed of themselves. But many are well-meaning and sincere. Their belief is just that, an article of faith, and they are entitled to it.

    But it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and well-being of the many. And how can we affirm life if we abandon those whose own lives are so desperately at risk?

    It is a hallmark of human intelligence that we are able to make distinctions. Yes, these cells could theoretically have the potential, under very different circumstances, to develop into human beings — that potential is where their magic lies. But they are not, in and of themselves, human beings. They have no fingers and toes, no brain or spinal cord. They have no thoughts, no fears. They feel no pain. Surely we can distinguish between these undifferentiated cells multiplying in a tissue culture and a living, breathing person-a parent, a spouse, a child.

    I know a child — well, she must be 13 now — I’d better call her a young woman. She has fingers and toes. She has a mind. She has memories. She has hopes. And she has juvenile diabetes.

    Like so many kids with this disease, she has adjusted amazingly well. The insulin pump she wears — she’s decorated hers with rhinestones. She can insert her own catheter needle. She has learned to sleep through the blood drawings in the wee hours of the morning. She’s very brave. She is also quite bright and understands full well the progress of her disease and what that might ultimately mean: blindness, amputation, diabetic coma. Every day, she fights to have a future.

    What excuse will we offer this young woman should we fail her now? What might we tell her children? Or the millions of others who suffer? That when given an opportunity to help, we turned away? That facing political opposition, we lost our nerve? That even though we knew better, we did nothing?

    And, should we fail, how will we feel if, a few years from now, a more enlightened generation should fulfill the promise of embryonic stem cell therapy? Imagine what they would say of us who lacked the will.

    No, we owe this young woman and all those who suffer — we owe ourselves - - better than that. We are better than that. A wiser people, a finer nation. And for all of us in this fight, let me say: we will prevail.

    The tide of history is with us. Like all generations who have come before ours, we are motivated by a thirst for knowledge and compelled to see others in need as fellow angels on an often difficult path, deserving of our compassion.

    In a few months, we will face a choice. Yes, between two candidates and two parties, but more than that. We have a chance to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity. We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter.

    Whatever else you do come November 2nd, I urge you, please, cast a vote for embryonic stem cell research. Thank you for your time.

    Posted by Alan at 12:56 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    Speech Text: Barack Obama

    From the DNCC via email, the full text of Barack Obama’s convention speech:

    On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let’s face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant.

    But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place; America which stood as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before. While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor he signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army and marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA, and moved west in search of opportunity.

    And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren’t rich, because in a generous America you don’t have to be rich to achieve your potential. They are both passed away now. Yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with pride.

    I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody’s son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted — or at least, most of the time.

    This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. And fellow Americans — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

    Don’t get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or the Pentagon. Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. No, people don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

    In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. That man is John Kerry. John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and sacrifice, because they’ve defined his life. From his heroic service in Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

    John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he’ll offer them to companies creating jobs here at home. John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us. And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option, but it should never be the first option.

    A while back, I met a young man named Shamus at the VFW Hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, six-two or six-three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he’d joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week. As I listened to him explain why he’d enlisted, his absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he was serving us? I thought of more than 900 service men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who will not be returning to their hometowns. I thought of families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or with nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were reservists. When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

    Now let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure. John Kerry believes in America. And he knows it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga.

    A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

    Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America — there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

    In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism here — the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!

    In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; the belief in things not seen; the belief that there are better days ahead. I believe we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. America!

    Tonight, if you feel the same energy I do, the same urgency I do, the same passion I do, the same hopefulness I do — if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come. Thank you and God bless you.

    Posted by Alan at 12:53 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Dean Speech

    From the DNCC via email, Howard Dean’s convention remarks:

    I was hoping for a reception like this. I was just hoping that it would be on Thursday night, instead of on Tuesday night.

    I may not be the nominee, but I can tell you this: For the next hundred days, I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure that John Kerry and John Edwards take our country back for the people who built it. Because tonight, we’re all here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.

    I’m proud of John Kerry’s leadership, and I intend to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as we fight for the things Harry Truman promised in 1948: health insurance for every American, a real jobs plan to create jobs instead of destroy them. Standing up for middle class and working Americans who got a tax increase, not a tax cut. And a foreign policy that relies on telling the truth to the American people before we send our brave American soldiers to fight in foreign lands. I’d like a commander-in-chief who supports our soldiers and our veterans, instead of cutting their hardship pay when they’re abroad, and their health benefits when they get home.

    I’m Howard Dean. And I’m voting for John Kerry.

    I’m voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I’m tired of seeing hard-working Americans struggling with jobs that pay less than they did four years ago. I’m voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I want a president and vice president as good and as strong as the American people. And I’m voting for John Kerry and John Edwards because I want to see America restored as the moral leader of the world.

    America’s greatness rests on far more than the power of our arms. Our greatness is also measured by our goodness. It is in the capacity of our minds, the size of our hearts, and the strength of our democracy.

    As I’ve traveled America, I’ve seen that strength. I’ve seen it in the people I’ve met and their desire to take our country back for the American people. I saw it in a college student in Pennsylvania who sold her bicycle and sent us a check for $100 with a note that said, “I sold my bicycle for democracy.” I saw it in a woman from Iowa who handed me $50-all in quarters. She saved it from her monthly disability check, because she wanted to make America well again. And I saw it in the 19-year-old from Alabama who had never been involved in politics before he got in his car and drove up to Vermont, because he didn’t feel like he was being heard in Washington.

    He was just one of so many. They learned that politics was too important to be left to the politicians. They didn’t just pack their bags-they backed their hopes that we can take our country back. And you know what? We will.

    We’re not going to be afraid to stand up for what we believe. We’re not going to let those who disagree with us shout us down under a banner of false patriotism. And we’re not going to give up a single voter, or a single state. We’re going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats, not just here in Boston. We’re going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Mississippi, proud to call ourselves Democrats in Utah and Idaho. And we’re going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Texas.

    Never again will we be ashamed to call ourselves Democrats. Never. Never. Never. We’re not just going to change presidents, we’re going to change this country and reclaim the American dream.

    To everyone who supported me — you’ve given me so much, and I can’t thank you enough. But this was never about me. It was about us. It was about giving new life to our party, new energy to our democracy, and providing hope again for the greatest nation on earth.

    And so, today, even though you have already given so much-I want to ask you to give one more thing: Give America President John Kerry. Together, we can take our country back. And only you have the power to make it happen.

    Posted by Alan at 12:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Lines of the Night 1 & 2

    I spent most of the night in The Purple Shamrock, a local haunt that for the first part of the night was party to the Captain Morgan party, and after that was simply a party party. As the night wore on the place was primarily haunted by locals. So I asked the question, “Tell me about Ted Kennedy.”

    Here was the answer, verbatim: “Ted Kennedy could blow up the universe, and I’d still vote for him … he’s the best advocate Massachusetts has ever had.”

    So then I ask: “Tell me about John Kerry.” The answer: “He’s the lesser of two evils. Bush is bad, but Kerry isn’t as bad.”

    So I’m like, “What? Isn’t this your favorite son? What’s the deal?? Is Kerry a waffler?”

    To which this Massachusetts self-proclaimed-liberal replies (and I quote): “Well, for the most part … yes.”

    Huh? The local folks proclaiming their own senator a waffler and the lesser of two evils? True, it’s casual random sampling, N of like, 3. But still … it’s gonna’ be a long campaign.

    Posted by Alan at 12:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 27, 2004

    Billionaires for Bush

    Still at The Purple Shamrock (but not drinking … it is, after all, a weeknight). One of my interesting encounters tonight was with Billionaires for Bush, a sardonic parody organization that poses as rich people (think the little guy on Monopoly rich), walking the streets in finery (top hats, cigars, evening dresses) saying “Billionaires for Bush!” and handing out anti-Bush literature.

    It was odd, seeing all these (primarily young) people, walking down the street as the faithful headed to the Fleet, wearing pearls and sequins, chanting “No billionaire left behind!” I spent some time talking with the person who seemed the leader to me, a more mature woman, trailing the main group in a smashing dress and crystal tiara. Here’s what I learned:

    • They had just marched to the RNC office, but received no reaction from the RNC faithful.
    • There are several hundred of them here. You know them when you see them. Again, think Monopoly guy.
    • Billionaires for Bush has chapters in multiple states.
    • Reaction has been very positive, and they’ve passed out “lots of literature.”
    • They will soon launch a “limo tour,” which will pass through all 50 states before arriving at the RNC in NYC this August.

    Visit Billionaires for Bush here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:59 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    Hardball

    I blog this from The Purple Shamrock, which has WiFi access. The Captain Morgan party just concluded, but the bar is still and open bar. Free WiFi, free booze … this must be heaven.

    My first convention “encounter” was the live broadcast of Chris Mathews’ Hardball, taking place in Faneuil Square (see the pic). Guests were David Gergen and Dee Dee Meyers, followed by Teamster’s chief Hoffa Jr. What was more interesting was how the Hardball producer kept haranguing the pro-Kerry crowd as they went to and returned from breaks (see pic 2). ”Come on Democrats … act indignant!!” Whatever. All TV is staged, but we knew that. All in all it was a cool scene … freedom of press and freedom of speech side-by-side. Hamilton, Jefferson, and the rest of the boys would be proud (as long as they don’t see the Protester Cage, that is).

    More to follow …

    Posted by Alan at 08:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Sen. Ted Kennedy Speech

    Here is Ted Kennedy’s speech from Tuesday night:

    Thank you. Thank you, Bob Caro, for that generous introduction. With the continuing support of the people of Massachusetts, I intend to stay in this job until I get the hang of it.

    To my fellow delegates and my fellow Democrats — I’ve waited a very, very long time to say this — welcome to my hometown!

    To Americans everywhere — whose aspirations have been kindled anew by this campaign — we, who convene here tonight in liberty’s cradle, say: Welcome home!

    Welcome home — for the ideals born in Boston and strengthened by centuries of service and sacrifice. Ideals like freedom and equality and opportunity and fairness and common decency for all - ideals that all Americans yearn to reclaim.

    And make no mistake: Come November, reclaim them we shall — by making John Kerry President of the United States.

    These fundamental ideals light the fire in each of us to do all we can, and then more, to see that next January, John Kerry has a nice new home — at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    It fills me with pride to have our Democratic Convention in this city, this hallowed ground that gave birth to these enduring American ideals. Like my grandfather and my brother before me, I have been privileged to serve this place where every street is history’s home: The Old North Church, where lanterns signaled Paul Revere; The Old State House, where John Adams said independence was born; The Golden Steps, where waves of new immigrants entered this new land of liberty and opportunity, including all eight of my own great-grandparents from Ireland.

    Here in New England, we love our history, and like all Americans, we learn from it. We breathe it deep, because it sustains us, it guides us, it inspires us.

    It was no accident that Massachusetts was founded as a commonwealth, a place where authority belongs not to a single ruler, but to the people themselves, joined together for the common good.

    The old system was based on inequality. Loyalty was demanded, never earned. Leaders ruled by fear, by force, by special favors for the few.

    Under that old, unequal system, the quality of your connections mattered more than the content of your character. Your voices were not heard. Your concerns did not matter. Your votes did not count.

    The colonists knew they could do better, just as we know we can do better today — but only if we all work together, only if we all reach out together, only if we all come together for the common good.

    Now, it is for us, the patriots of this new century to do that, to shape our own better future and make it worthy of our past, to choose a leader worthy of our country — and that leader is John Kerry.

    Today, more than two centuries after the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard “round the world,” the ideals of our founders still resonate across the globe. Young people in other lands — inspired by the liberty we cherish — linked arms and sang “We Shall Overcome” when the Berlin Wall fell, when apartheid ended in South Africa, and when the courageous protests took place in Tiananmen Square.

    The goals of the American people are every bit as high as they were more than 200 years ago. If America is failing to reach them today, it’s not because our ideals need replacing, it’s because our President needs replacing.

    We bear no ill will toward our opponents. In fact, we’d be happy to have them over for a polite little tea party. I know just the place: right down the road at Boston Harbor.

    For today, like the brave and visionary men and women before us, we are determined to change our government.

    I’ve served for many years in the Senate and have seen many elections. But there have been none more urgent or more important than this one. Never before have I seen a contrast so sharp or consequences so profound as in the choice we will make for President in 2004.

    So much of the progress we once achieved has been turned back. So much of the goodwill America once enjoyed in the world has been lost. But we are a hopeful nation, and our values and our optimism are still burning bright.

    Those same values and optimism are what brought our forebears across a harsh ocean and sustained them through many brutal winters — that inspired patriots from John Adams to John Kennedy to John Kerry, and their strong belief that America’s best days are still ahead.

    There’s a reason why this land was called “the American experiment.” If dedication to the common good were hardwired into human nature, we would never have needed a revolution. If each of us cared about the public interest, we wouldn’t have the excesses of Enron. We wouldn’t have the abuses of Halliburton. And Vice President Cheney would be retired to an undisclosed location.

    Soon, thanks to John Kerry and John Edwards, he’ll have ample time to do just that.

    Our country demands a great deal from us, and we rightly demand a great deal from our leaders. America is a compact, a bargain, a contract. It says that all of us are connected. Our fates are intertwined. Fifty states, one nation. Our Constitution binds us together.

    Yet in our own time, there are those who seek to divide us. One community against another. Urban against rural. City against suburb. Whites against blacks. Men against women. Straights against gays. Americans against Americans.

    In these challenging times for our country, in these fateful times for the world, America needs a genuine uniter - not a divider who only claims to be a uniter.

    We have seen how they rule-they divide and try to conquer. They know the power of the people is weakened when our house is divided. They believe they can’t win, unless the rest of us lose. We reject that shameful view.

    The Democratic Party has a different idea. We believe that all of us can win. We believe we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And when we say all, we mean all.

    Today in this global age, our goal of the common good extends far beyond America’s borders.

    As President Kennedy said in 1963 in his quest for restraint in nuclear arms: “We can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

    Interdependence defines our world. For all our might, for all our wealth, we know we are only as strong as the bonds we share with others. The dangers of terrorism and nuclear proliferation-our greatest challenges - are shared by all nations. And our greatest opportunities-from achieving lasting peace and security, to building a more prosperous society, to ending the ravages of disease and the despairs of poverty-can all be seized. But only if the world works together, and only if America helps to lead in the right direction. And John Kerry has the skill and the judgment and the experience to lead us on that great journey.

    The eyes of the world were on us and the hearts of the world were with us after September 11th - until this administration broke that trust. We should have honored, not ignored, the pledges we made. We should have strengthened, not scorned, the alliances that won two World Wars and the Cold War.

    Most of all, we should have honored the principle so fundamental that our nation’s founders placed it in the very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence — that America must give “a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind.”

    We failed to do that in Iraq. More than 900 of our servicemen and women have already paid the ultimate price. Nearly 6,000 have been wounded in this misguided war. The administration has alienated long-time allies. Instead of making America more secure, they have made us less so. They have made it harder to win the real war on terrorism, the war against Al Qaeda. None of this had to happen.

    How could any President have possibly squandered the enormous goodwill that flowed to America from across the world after September 11th?

    Most of the world still knows what we can be — what only we can be — and they want us to be that nation again.

    America must be a light to the world, and under John Kerry and John Edwards, that’s what America will be.

    We need a President who will bind up the nation’s wounds. We need a President who will be a symbol of respect in a world yearning to be at peace again. We need John Kerry as our President.

    Time and again in America’s history, we as Democrats have offered new hope — of a stronger, fairer, more prosperous future for all our people, a society that feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, and cares for the sick — so that none must walk alone.

    When the elderly faced poverty and sickness that threatened their golden years, we created Social Security and Medicare.

    When the voices of many citizens went unheard and their lives were blighted by bigotry, we fought for equality and justice, for civil rights and voting rights and the rights of women, for the cause of Americans with disabilities.

    When higher education was beyond the reach of veterans returning home from war, we created the GI Bill of Rights — and we have continued ever since to make college more affordable for millions more Americans.

    When men and women needed protection in the workplace, we demanded safe conditions for their jobs. We insisted on the right to higher pay for working overtime. We guaranteed the right to form a union. We pledged a fair minimum wage, so that no one in America who works for a living should have to live in poverty.

    Only leaders who know this history — and abide by the ideals that shaped it — deserve to be trusted with our nation’s future. Sometimes, as in recent years, they have fooled us with their rhetoric. But we will not let them fool us twice.

    In the White House, inscribed on a plaque above the fireplace in the State Dining Room, is a prayer — a simple but powerful prayer of John Adams, the first president to live in that great house. It reads: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but [the] honest and wise ever rule under this roof.” In November, we will make those words ring true again.

    All of us who know John Kerry know that he is a fitting heir to these ideals. I have known John Kerry for three decades. I have known him as a soldier, as a peacemaker, as a prosecutor, as a Senator, and as a friend. And in every role he has shown his strengths. He was the right man for every tough task and he is the right leader for this time in history.

    John is a war hero who understands that America’s strength comes from many sources — especially the power of our ideas. He knows that a true leader inspires hope and vanquishes fear.

    This administration does neither. Instead it brings fear. Fear of rising costs for health care and for college. Fear of higher unemployment and lesser pay. Fear for the future of Social Security and Medicare. Fear of greater bigotry. Fear of pollution’s stain on our magnificent natural heritage. Fear of four more years of dreams denied and promises unfulfilled and progressed rolled back.

    In the depths of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt inspired the nation when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Today, we say the only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush.

    John Kerry offers hope, not fear. The hope of real victory against terrorism and true security at home. Of good health care for all Americans. Of Social Security that is always there for the elderly. Of schools that open golden doors of opportunity for all our children. Of an economy that works for everyone. That’s the kind of America we’ll have with John Kerry in the White House.

    The roots of that America are planted deep in the New England soil. Across this region are burial grounds - many so humble you find them without intending to. You’re in a town like Concord, Massachusetts, or Hancock, New Hampshire. You’re visiting the old church there, and behind the chapel you find a small plot. Simple stones bearing simple markers. The markers say “War of 1776.”

    They do not ask for attention. But they command it all the same. These are the patriots who won our freedom. These are the first Americans, who enlisted in a fight for something larger than themselves-for a shared faith in the future-for a nation that was alive in their hearts but not yet a part of their world.

    They and their fellow patriots won their battle. But the larger battle for freedom, justice, equality and opportunity is our battle too, and it is never fully won. Each new generation has to take up the cause. Sometimes with weapons in hand; sometimes armed only with faith and hope, like the marchers in Birmingham or Selma four decades ago.

    Sometimes the fight is waged in Congress or the courts; sometimes on foreign shores, like the battle that called one of my brothers to war in the Pacific, and another to die in Europe.

    Now it is our turn to take up the cause. Our struggle is not with some monarch named George who inherited the crown.

    Although it often seems that way.

    Our struggle is with the politics of fear and favoritism in our own time, in our own country. Our struggle-like so many others before-is with those who put their own narrow interest ahead of the public interest.

    We hear echoes of past battles in the quiet whisper of the sweetheart deal, in the hushed promise of a better break for the better connected. We hear them in the cries of the false patriots who bully dissenters into silence and submission. These are familiar fights. We’ve fought and won them before. And with John Kerry and John Edwards leading us, we will win them again and make America stronger at home and respected once more in the world.

    For centuries, kings ruled by what they claimed was divine right. They could not be questioned. They could not be challenged. The people’s fate was not their own. But today, because of the surpassing wisdom of our founders, the constant courage of the patriots of the past, and the shared sacrifice of generations of Americans who kept the faith, the power of America still rests securely in citizens’ hands. In our hands.

    True to our highest and noblest ideals, we intend to use that power. We will use it wisely and well. We will use it, in the poet’s words my brothers loved, “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” We will use it to heal, to build, to hope, and to dream again. And in doing so, we will truly make our country once more America the Beautiful.

    Thank you very much.

    Posted by Jeff M at 08:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Fahrenheit 9/11 and Moore feted this morning

    Before the convention began today, Michael Moore screened Fahrenheit 9/11 to a packed house. He also received a key to the city of Cambridge, Mass. Photos and coverage available at the Wireless Election Connection student journalists’ moblog:
    Moore: Bush a ‘hateriot’,
    Moore reserved
    Just in time for Moore
    and Moore honored

    Posted by Bryan M at 06:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Speech Excerpts: Teresa Heinz Kerry

    The following are excerpts from remarks prepared for delivery by Teresa Heinz Kerry (via DNCC email):

    I have a very personal feeling about how special America is, and I know how precious freedom is. It is a sacred gift, sanctified by those who have lived it and by those who have died defending it.

    Tonight I want to remember my mother’s warmth, generosity, wisdom, and hopefulness, and thank her for all the sacrifices she made on our behalf — like so many other mothers.

    This evening, I want to acknowledge and honor the women of this world, whose wise voices for much too long have been excluded and discounted.

    It is time for the world to hear women’s voices — in full and at last.

    John believes in a bright future.

    He believes we can, and will, invent the technologies, new materials and conservation methods of the future. He believes that alternative fuels will guarantee that not only will no American boy or girl go to war because of our dependency on foreign oil. But also that our economic security will forever become independent of this need.

    We can, and we will, create good, competitive, and sustainable jobs while still protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our children, because good environmental policy is good economics.

    John believes that we can, and we will, give every family and every child access to affordable health care, a good education, and the tools to become self-reliant.

    John Kerry believes we must, and we should, recognize the immense value of the caregivers in our country - those women and men who nurture and care for children, for elderly parents, for family members in need. These are the people who build and support our most valuable assets—our families.

    Isn’t it time we began working to give parents more opportunity to be with their children and to afford to have a family life?

    With John Kerry as President, we can, and we will, protect our nation’s security without sacrificing our civil liberties.

    In short, John believes we can, and we must, lead in the world as America, unique among nations, always should-by showing the face, not of our fears, but of our hopes.

    John is a fighter.

    He earned his medals the old-fashioned way, by putting his life on the line for his country.

    No one will defend this nation more vigorously than he will-and he will always be first in the line of fire.

    But he also knows the importance of getting it right.

    For him, the names of too many friends inscribed in the cold stone of the Vietnam Memorial testify to the awful toll exacted by leaders who mistake stubbornness for strength.

    That is why, as President, my husband will not fear disagreement or dissent.

    He believes that our voices - yours and mine - must be the voices of freedom.

    And if we do not speak, neither does she.

    In America, the true patriots are those who dare speak truth to power.

    The truth we must speak now is that America has responsibilities that it is time for us to accept again.

    With John Kerry as President, global climate change and other threats to the health of our planet will begin to be reversed.

    With John Kerry as President, the alliances that bind the community of nations and that truly make our country and the world a safer place, will be strengthened once more.

    Posted by Alan at 06:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Boots On The Ground

    IMG_4484.JPG

    I have finally arrived in Boston, a few hours early thanks to scheduling and luck. The most striking thing so far: the complete absence of visible security at Logan Airport (at least, the part I transited). But the haughty air of self-important people penetrates the sea air … all you need to do is watch the out-of-towners push around the hotel desk clerks to appreciate the hubris about … and I’ll leave shortly to test my wares among the convention crowd.

    It seems I’ve arrived too late to secure my credentials for today, so I’ll likely be on the outside looking in … that said, there should still be plenty to blog, and I hope do so shortly from downtown.

    Posted by Alan at 06:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Nader to Crash Dems' Party?

    CBS NEWS: Nader to Crash Dems’ Party?

    For the 30,000 Democrats gathering in Boston, Ralph Nader remains public enemy number two, behind only President Bush. Beneath the convention speeches, the delegate banter, the concern persists that the independent candidate will once again stand between a Democrat and the Oval Office.

    Nader plans on coming to Boston Wednesday, if not to calm their concerns, then to crash a party he sees as celebrating the wrong ideals. If he can get credentialed, Nader said in a phone interview from his home in Washington, D.C, he hopes to shock Democrats inside the FleetCenter. And if he does, the highly scripted convention will face the one curveball it hoped to avoid.

    “I would like to see the bazaar. I’d like to see the alcoholic-musical-political payoff bazaar of accounts receivable,” Nader said. “I would like to be there at the convention to watch. I will try to get credentials… I may try as a syndicated columnist, which I’ve been for 35 years. Let’s see if they are against reporters.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 06:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Convention Dems not takin' Whoopi

    NY DAILY NEWS: Convention Dems not takin’ Whoopi

    Don’t look for Whoopi Goldberg at the Democratic National Convention: We hear the Kerry-Edwards campaign thinks the comic is still radioactive after her controversial Bush-bashing jokes at a recent Radio City fund-raiser.

    Democratic strategists have asked far-left celebs and pundits to hold their tongues this week because “they don’t want the chattering class clouding their message,” says a well-placed source.

    Whoopi, who didn’t let the Kerry camp preview her jokes prior to the Radio City gig, won’t be among the sanctioned message-bearers at the convention.

    Director Rob Reiner is among those who think her blue-tinged routine was a gift to Republican Kerry-baiters.

    “When you’re representing a candidate, you have to be more careful about what you say,” Reiner tells us. “There’s plenty to say about Bush without resorting to name-calling.”

    Reiner thinks Billy Crystal did a better job as emcee of a major Kerry fund-raiser in Los Angeles.

    “Billy’s a brilliant comedian,” says Reiner, “because he knows how to walk up to the line and not cross it.”

    (FYI: Crystal and Goldberg were co-hosts of the Comic Relief fundraising comedy concerts along with Robin Williams.)

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:21 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    USA Today Dumps Coulter as Correspondent

    USA TODAY’s plan to have conservative columnist and author Ann Coulter write a daily opinion column from the Democratic convention was scrapped Monday after a dispute involving the first piece she submitted.
    Coulter was replaced by Jonah Goldberg, another conservative columnist and frequent CNN commentator. The newspaper still plans to have filmmaker Michael Moore, a vociferous critic of President Bush, write an opinion column during the Republican national convention in a month.

    Coulter


    Brian Gallagher, editor of USA TODAY’s editorial page, said of Coulter: “We had a disagreement over editing. We worked diligently to resolve the differences and couldn’t, so we decided to part ways.” He said the column had “basic weaknesses in clarity and readability that we found unacceptable.”

    Coulter told the online edition of Editor & Publisher magazine that “USA TODAY doesn’t like my ‘tone,’ humor, sarcasm, etc., which raises the intriguing question of why they hired me to write for them.”

    You can read Coulter’s nixed column here.

    Posted by Michele at 09:52 AM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

    Today at the DNC

    Today’s theme is “A Lifetime of Strength & Service.”

    The speakers for day two are:

    • Tom Daschle, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Democratic
      Leader
    • Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont,
      2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois
    • James Forbes, Senior Minister at Riverside Church,
      New York City
    • Richard Gephardt, U.S. Representative from Missouri, 2004
      Presidential Candidate
    • Chris Heinz, Stepson of John Kerry
    • Teresa Heinz Kerry, Wife of John Kerry
    • Mike Honda, U.S. Representative from California
    • Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
    • Jim Langevin, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island
    • Carol Moseley-Braun, Former U.S. Senator from Illinois,
      2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona
    • Barack Obama, State Senator from Illinois,
      U.S. Senate Candidate
    • Ron Reagan, Son of former President Ronald Reagan
    • Christie Vilsack, First Lady of Iowa
    • Ilana Wexler, 13-Year-Old Founder of Kids for Kerry
    Posted by Michele at 09:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    National Journal's Hotline Wake-Up Call! Gossip Buffet

    You may read NJ’s Hotline Wake-Up Call! for free during the conventions here. It’s a great summary of news with a splash of irreverent fun, a sample of which I post below (today’s “Gossip Buffet”).

    • Speaking to the Hispanic caucus, Al Sharpton tried to say “Yes, we can” in Spanish. But what he said means “Yes, we door” (Houston Chronicle).
    • Teen daughter to her father in the security line yesterday eve: “I’ve never seen you wait in line before.” Father: “This is bigger than me, sweetie” (Wake-Up Call! sources).
    • Richard Kind of “Spin City” fame was spotted on the 5th Floor concourse and then again wandering the streets of Boston outside “The Castle”, talking loudly, at 1:30 am (Wake-Up Call! sources).
    • “I’ve been scared shi-less for the last 4 years” — Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Reznick to lobbyists at “The Castle” (Wake-Up Call! sources).
    • “Michael Moore is sitting next to Rosalynn Carter. Now what the hell is she talking to him about?” — an unidentified woman re: the fact that Moore was a guest in Carter’s suite at the Fleet Center, sitting between the Carters (Wake-Up Call! sources).
    • KY Gov. Ernie Fletcher ® plans to appear on the “Tonight Show,” where Jay Leno suggested this state motto: “Kentucky: Got Teeth?” (Louisville Courier-Journal).
    • “Because of the dark world of the Internet, I’m told there are now entire Web pages dedicated to my breasts” — Alexandra Kerry, in Harper’s Bazaar (AP).
    • “1. Toilet paper, Kleenex 2. Cream and sugar, stir sticks 3. Wide variety of pop: (Diet Mt. Dew, please)” — wish list of donations in an email to supporters from the MN Kerry-Edwards camp (Wake-Up Call! sources).
    • “If this keeps up, maybe they’ll start calling it Robertcbyrd.com instead of Amazon” — Charleston Daily Mail, on reviews of Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-WV) new book.
    • Monica Lewinsky “ordered a foot-long hot dog and gasped, ‘Oh my God!’ when the waiter placed the giant tube steak in front of her” (New York Post).
    • Jay Leno: “At first Democratic Party officials were reluctant to allow Al-Jazeera in because they thought the coverage would be biased and hostile. And then they realized it couldn’t be any worse than Fox News” (“Tonight Show”).
    Posted by Alan at 09:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Complaint Filed Against Falwell Website

    The New York Times reports that the Campaign Legal Center has “filed a complaint with election regulators accusing a lobbying organization controlled by the Rev. Jerry Falwell of violating campaign finance laws by using its Web site to urge the re-election of President Bush and to solicit money for a political action committee.”

    Posted by Alan at 08:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Club For Growth To Launch $1 Million Anti-Kerry Ad Campaign

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer / AP:

    A conservative anti-tax group unveiled a $1 million advertising campaign Monday that paints Democrat John Kerry as a waffler, picking up where President Bush left off last week when his campaign pulled down its ads.

    The Club for Growth’s launch is much smaller than what Bush had been spending. However, the group’s ads will give Republicans somewhat of a presence on the air in certain areas during a week in which Kerry news dominates the airwaves.

    Bush’s campaign went dark this week, with the campaign opting to save money for an expected multimillion-dollar advertising offensive in August.

    The Club for Growth’s new 30-second ad is to start running this week in pricey Boston, where Democrats are holding their national convention, before expanding to several Midwestern states.

    The ad shows Kerry’s head, torso and arm as a spinning weather vane to claim that the Democrat makes decisions depending on which way the wind blows.

    “In 1996 he opposed the death penalty for terrorists. Now he claims to support it,” the ad says. “Sometimes he’s for welfare reform, sometimes he’s against it. For a 50-cent gas tax hike, then maybe not. Kerry voted for higher taxes 350 times, but now says he’d cut taxes.”

    Who is Club for Growth? From the “about” section of their website:

    Founded in 1999 by Steve Moore, National Review president Dusty Rhodes, Cato Institute president Ed Crane, Richard Gilder, economist and CNBC Kudlow & Cramer co-host Larry Kudlow and other like-minded pro-growth conservatives, the Club for Growth sends campaign contributions from our members to the most free-market oriented candidates in tight, but winnable races.

    Members of the Club are economic conservatives, like-minded political contributors who are frustrated with the ideological drift of both parties today. Club members have a shared goal of contributing to and electing more Reaganites to Congress who are willing to stand for the issues that they as members care about most, issues like: cutting taxes, controlling federal spending, personal accounts for Social Security, ending the death tax, eliminating the capital gains tax, fundamental tax reform, providing true school choice and minimizing government’s role in our daily lives.

    Some of the people who are already Club for Growth members include:

    Larry Kudlow, economist and CEO of Kudlow & Co. Larry is co-host of the the primetime CNBC show “Kudlow & Cramer.”

    Milton Friedman, economist, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics.

    Thomas L. Rhodes, President, National Review magazine.

    Bret Schundler, former mayor of Jersey City and 2001 New Jersey GOP gubernatorial nominee.

    Bill Simon, 2002 California GOP gubernatorial nominee.

    These people—and over 17,000 others—have already seen the value of joining the Club for Growth.

    Posted by Alan at 08:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Meanwhile, In Other News ...

    Dick Cheney … you remember the Republicans, yes? … spent yesterday on the attack / counterattack (depending on your perspective), stopping in Oregon and Washington, and today heads to California and Camp Pendleton.

    At an appearance Monday afternoon in Kennewick, Wash., Cheney mentioned the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, by name only once — assailing him and his Senate Democratic colleagues for “obstructionist tactics” blocking a number of Bush’s judicial nominees.

    He cited a recent Democratic-led filibuster that blocked a confirmation vote on Bush’s nomination of William G. Myers III to the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — the same court, Cheney noted, that ruled that requiring the Pledge of Allegiance in schools was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because of the words “under God.”

    “Looks to me like the 9th Circuit could use some new judges,” Cheney told about 400 supporters gathered for a $250-per-plate fundraiser in Kennewick for Dino Rossi, a former state senator seeking to become the state’s first Republican governor since 1984.

    More at the LA Times.

    Posted by Alan at 08:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Tonight: Stem Cells

    The WSJ reports that tonight’s Dem podium agenda will place the “spotlight” on stem cell research:

    A high point will be a speech by Ron Reagan, son of the late President Reagan. The younger Mr. Reagan’s presence at a Democratic convention is seen as a coup by the party. Mr. Reagan is expected to repeat recent remarks calling for the government to launch an “Apollo style” program to investigate embryonic stem-cell research for its potential to “revolutionize medicine.”
    Posted by Alan at 08:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dean Releases Delegates

    Dean also released his 201 delegates yesterday and urged them to vote for Kerry (via Washington Times / AP). I’ll be interested to see how many delegates refuse to let go …

    Posted by Alan at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Understatement Of The Year?

    Headlines Of The Painfully Obvious, brought to you by the BBC: Conventions More Show Than Substance.

    Posted by Alan at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    THK: "The Fiesty Lady"

    Australia’s The Age (1) calls Teresa Heinz Kerry “fiesty,” and (2) wonders if she’s a “secret weapon” or a “loose cannon.”

    Posted by Alan at 08:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dean: "We are going to do what the Christian conservatives did 20 years ago"

    The Guardian reports on Howard Dean’s reception yesterday in Boston (“greeted like a star by party delegates”). More important, Dean is calling for a ground-up resurgance in Dem politics:

    “We cannot, as Democrats, decide we are only going to work hard in the places we can win,” he said. “The only way we can win is to run.”

    Mr Dean, whose rhetorical skills set the Democratic base on fire last autumn, is touting a long-term strategy to reverse the conservative right’s dominance of American public life. “We are going to do what the Christian conservatives did 20 years ago,” he told a meeting of delegates from Washington DC. “It is not enough to vote. You have got to run for office, you have got to run for the local council, you have got to run for the school board.”

    Posted by Alan at 08:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Covering The Coverage Of The Coverage

    Lisa Stone is covering the blog coverage here at the LA Times Convention Blog Watch. Let’s see … I think that’s at least meta-meta, right?

    Posted by Alan at 12:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Full Speech Text: Bill Clinton

    I’ve posted Bill Clinton’s convention speech in the extended entry (source, DNCC email). It begins with:

    Thank you. I am honored to share the podium with my Senator, though I think I should be introducing her. I’m proud of her and so grateful to the people of New York that the best public servant in our family is still on the job and grateful to all of you, especially my friends from Arkansas, for the chance you gave us to serve our country in the White House.

    I am also honored to share this night with President Carter, who has inspired the world with his work for peace, democracy, and human rights. And with Al Gore, my friend and partner for eight years, who played such a large role in building the prosperity and progress that brought America into the 21st century, who showed incredible grace and patriotism under pressure, and who is the living embodiment that every vote counts — and must be counted in every state in America.

    Tonight I speak as a citizen, returning to the role I have played for most of my life as a foot soldier in the fight for our future, as we nominate a true New England patriot for president. The state that gave us John Adams and John Kennedy has now given us John Kerry, a good man, a great senator, a visionary leader. We are constantly told America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom, faith, and family. We all honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

    The following is a transcript of a speech by William J. Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, July 26, 2004:

    Thank you. I am honored to share the podium with my Senator, though I think I should be introducing her. I’m proud of her and so grateful to the people of New York that the best public servant in our family is still on the job and grateful to all of you, especially my friends from Arkansas, for the chance you gave us to serve our country in the White House.

    I am also honored to share this night with President Carter, who has inspired the world with his work for peace, democracy, and human rights. And with Al Gore, my friend and partner for eight years, who played such a large role in building the prosperity and progress that brought America into the 21st century, who showed incredible grace and patriotism under pressure, and who is the living embodiment that every vote counts — and must be counted in every state in America.

    Tonight I speak as a citizen, returning to the role I have played for most of my life as a foot soldier in the fight for our future, as we nominate a true New England patriot for president. The state that gave us John Adams and John Kennedy has now given us John Kerry, a good man, a great senator, a visionary leader. We are constantly told America is deeply divided. But all Americans value freedom, faith, and family. We all honor the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

    We all want good jobs, good schools, health care, safe streets, a clean environment. We all want our children to grow up in a secure America leading the world toward a peaceful future. Our differences are in how we can best achieve these things, in a time of unprecedented change. Therefore, we Democrats will bring the American people a positive campaign, arguing not who’s good and who’s bad, but what is the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve.

    The 21st century is marked by serious security threats, serious economic challenges, and serious problems like global warming and the AIDS epidemic. But it is also full of enormous opportunities-to create millions of high paying jobs in clean energy, and biotechnology; to restore the manufacturing base and reap the benefits of the global economy through our diversity and our commitment to decent labor and environmental standards everywhere; and to create a world where we can celebrate our religious and racial differences, because our common humanity matters more.

    To build that kind of world we must make the right choices; and we must have a president who will lead the way. Democrats and Republicans have very different and honestly held ideas on that choices we should make, rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our role in the world. Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities and more global cooperation, acting alone only when we must.

    We think the role of government is to give people the tools and conditions to make the most of their lives. Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people, in a world in which we act unilaterally when we can, and cooperate when we have to.

    They think the role of government is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of those who embrace their political, economic, and social views, leaving ordinary citizens to fend for themselves on matters like health care and retirement security. Since most Americans are not that far to the right, they have to portray us Democrats as unacceptable, lacking in strength and values. In other words, they need a divided America. But Americans long to be united. After 9/11, we all wanted to be one nation, strong in the fight against terror. The president had a great opportunity to bring us together under his slogan of compassionate conservatism and to unite the world in common cause against terror.

    Instead, he and his congressional allies made a very different choice: to use the moment of unity to push America too far to the right and to walk away from our allies, not only in attacking Iraq before the weapons inspectors finished their jobs, but in withdrawing American support for the Climate Change Treaty, the International Court for war criminals, the ABM treaty, and even the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

    Now they are working to develop two new nuclear weapons which they say we might use first. At home, the President and the Republican Congress have made equally fateful choices indeed. For the first time ever when America was on a war footing, there were two huge tax cuts, nearly half of which went to the top one percent. I’m in that group now for the first time in my life.

    When I was in office, the Republicans were pretty mean to me. When I left and made money, I became part of the most important group in the world to them. At first I thought I should send them a thank you note — until I realized they were sending you the bill.

    They protected my tax cuts while:
    — Withholding promised funding for the Leave No Child Behind Act, leaving
    over 2 million children behind
    — Cutting 140,000 unemployed workers out of job training
    — 100,000 working families out of child care assistance
    — 300,000 poor children out of after school programs
    — Raising out of pocket healthcare costs to veterans
    — Weakening or reversing important environmental advances for clean air
    and the preservation of our forests.

    Everyone had to sacrifice except the wealthiest Americans, who wanted to do their part but were asked only to expend the energy necessary to open the envelopes containing our tax cuts. If you agree with these choices, you should vote to return them to the White House and Congress. If not, take a look at John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats.

    In this year’s budget, the White House wants to cut off federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police, including more than 700 on the New York City police force who put their lives on the line on 9/11. As gang violence is rising and we look for terrorists in our midst, Congress and the President are also about to allow the ten-year-old ban on assault weapons to expire. Our crime policy was to put more police on the streets and take assault weapons off the streets. It brought eight years of declining crime and violence. Their policy is the reverse, they’re taking police off the streets and putting assault weapons back on the streets. If you agree with their choices, vote to continue them. If not, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter, and stronger.

    On Homeland Security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for Weapons of Mass Destruction. The one billion dollar cost would have been paid for by reducing the tax cut of 200,000 millionaires by five thousand dollars each. Almost all 200,000 of us would have been glad to pay 5,000 dollars to make the nearly 300 million Americans safer-but the measure failed because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House decided my tax cut was more important — If you agree with that choice, re-elect them. If not, give John Kerry and John Edwards a chance.

    These policies have turned the projected 5.8 trillion dollar surplus we left-enough to pay for the baby boomers retirement-into a projected debt of nearly 5 trillion dollars, with a 400 plus billion dollar deficit this year and for years to come. How do they pay for it? First by taking the monthly surplus in Social Security payments and endorsing the checks of working people over to me to cover my tax cut. But it’s not enough. They are borrowing the rest from foreign governments, mostly Japan and China. Sure, they’re competing with us for good jobs but how can we enforce our trade laws against our bankers? If you think it’s good policy to pay for my tax cut with the Social Security checks of working men and women, and borrowed money from China, vote for them. If not, John Kerry’s your man.

    We Americans must choose for President one of two strong men who both love our country, but who have very different worldviews: Democrats favor shared responsibility, shared opportunity, and more global cooperation. Republicans favor concentrated wealth and power, leaving people to fend for themselves and more unilateral action. I think we’re right for two reasons: First, America works better when all people have a chance to live their dreams. Second, we live in an interdependent world in which we can’t kill, jail, or occupy all our potential adversaries, so we have to both fight terror and build a world with more partners and fewer terrorists. We tried it their way for twelve years, our way for eight, and then their way for four more.

    By the only test that matters, whether people were better off when we finished than when we started, our way works better-it produced over 22 million good jobs, rising incomes, and 100 times as many people moving out of poverty into the middle class. It produced more health care, the largest increase in college aid in 50 years, record home ownership, a cleaner environment, three surpluses in a row, a modernized defense force, strong efforts against terror, and an America respected as a world leader for peace, security and prosperity.

    More importantly, we have great new champions in John Kerry and John Edwards. Two good men with wonderful wives-Teresa a generous and wise woman who understands the world we are trying to shape. And Elizabeth, a lawyer and mother who understands the lives we are all trying to lift. Here is what I know about John Kerry. During the Vietnam War, many young men — including the current president, the vice president and me-could have gone to Vietnam but didn’t. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too. Instead he said, send me.

    When they sent those swift-boats up the river in Vietnam, and told them their job was to draw hostile fire-to show the American flag and bait the enemy to come out and fight-John Kerry said, send me. When it was time to heal the wounds of war and normalize relations with Vietnam-and to demand an accounting of the POWs and MIAs we lost there-John Kerry said, send me.

    When we needed someone to push the cause of inner-city kids struggling to avoid a life of crime, or to bring the benefits of high technology to ordinary Americans, or to clean the environment in a way that creates jobs, or to give small businesses a better chance to make it, John Kerry said send me.

    Tonight my friends, I ask you to join me for the next 100 days in telling John Kerry’s story and promoting his plans. Let every person in this hall and all across America say to him what he has always said to America: Send Me. The bravery that the men who fought by his side saw in battle I’ve seen in the political arena. When I was President, John Kerry showed courage and conviction on crime, on welfare reform, on balancing the budget at a time when those priorities were not exactly a way to win a popularity contest in our party.

    He took tough positions on tough problems. John Kerry knows who he is and where he’s going. He has the experience, the character, the ideas and the values to be a great President. In a time of change he has two other important qualities: his insatiable curiosity to understand the forces shaping our lives, and a willingness to hear the views even of those who disagree with him. Therefore his choices will be full of both conviction and common sense.

    He proved that when he picked a tremendous partner in John Edwards. Everybody talks about John Edwards’ energy, intellect, and charisma. The important thing is how he has used his talents to improve the lives of people who — like John himself — had to work hard for all they’ve got. He has always championed the cause of people too often left out or left behind. And that’s what he’ll do as our Vice President.

    Their opponents will tell you to be afraid of John Kerry and John Edwards, because they won’t stand up to the terrorists — don’t you believe it. Strength and wisdom are not conflicting values — they go hand in hand. John Kerry has both. His first priority will be keeping America safe. Remember the scripture: Be Not Afraid.

    John Kerry and John Edwards, have good ideas:
    — To make this economy work again for middle-class Americans;
    — To restore fiscal responsibility;
    — To save Social Security; to make healthcare more affordable and college
    more available;
    — To free us from dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs in clean
    energy;
    — To rally the world to win the war on terror and to make more friends
    and fewer terrorists.

    At every turning point in our history we the people have chosen unity over division, heeding our founders’ call to America’s eternal mission: to form a more perfect union, to widen the circle of opportunity, deepen the reach of freedom, and strengthen the bonds of community.

    It happened because we made the right choices. In the early days of the republic, America was at a crossroads much like it is today, deeply divided over whether or not to build a real nation with a national economy, and a national legal system. We chose a more perfect union.

    In the Civil War, America was at a crossroads, divided over whether to save the union and end slavery — we chose a more perfect union. In the 1960s, America was at a crossroads, divided again over civil rights and women’s rights. Again, we chose a more perfect union. As I said in 1992, we’re all in this together; we have an obligation both to work hard and to help our fellow citizens, both to fight terror and to build a world with more cooperation and less terror. Now again, it is time to choose.

    Since we’re all in the same boat, let us chose as the captain of our ship a brave good man who knows how to steer a vessel though troubled waters to the calm seas and clear skies of our more perfect union. We know our mission. Let us join as one and say in a loud, clear voice: Send John Kerry.

    Posted by Alan at 12:04 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    July 26, 2004

    The Inside Story

    Want to know what’s really going on behind the scenes in Boston? Read Ninja Stu, who’s spending his night tonight helping make certain I’ll be able to enjoy a WiFi connection tomorrow night.

    Thank you, Ninja Stu … the beer’s on me this week.

    Posted by Alan at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Text Of Hillary Clinton's Speech

    The Minnneapolis Star Tribune has posted Hillary Clinton’s convention remarks … I’ve posted them in the extended entry as well. They begin:

    Twelve years ago, when our country needed new leadership, Americans elected a Democrat who gave us eight years of peace, prosperity, and promise. Tonight I have the pleasure of introducing the next great Democratic president, John Kerry.

    We meet at a moment of great peril, but also of great hope. Together we can widen the circle of opportunity for all Americans, transcend our differences and divisions, and give our children a safer and more secure future. That’s the promise of America, and John Kerry will renew that promise. He will lead the world, not alienate it. Lower the deficit, not raise it. Create good jobs, not lose them. Solve a health care crisis, not ignore it. I know a thing or two about health care. And the problems have only gotten worse in the past four years.

    Twelve years ago, when our country needed new leadership, Americans elected a Democrat who gave us eight years of peace, prosperity, and promise. Tonight I have the pleasure of introducing the next great Democratic president, John Kerry.

    We meet at a moment of great peril, but also of great hope. Together we can widen the circle of opportunity for all Americans, transcend our differences and divisions, and give our children a safer and more secure future. That’s the promise of America, and John Kerry will renew that promise. He will lead the world, not alienate it. Lower the deficit, not raise it. Create good jobs, not lose them. Solve a health care crisis, not ignore it. I know a thing or two about health care. And the problems have only gotten worse in the past four years.

    We need to rededicate ourselves to the task of providing coverage for 44 million Americans who are uninsured and the millions of others who face rising costs. We need to lift the ban on stem cell research and find cures that will help millions of Americans.

    Health care is a serious issue that requires serious solutions, and that’s what John Kerry will give us. John Kerry will give America something else, a great vice president. I’ve served with John Edwards. He’s smart, he’s energetic, he’s empathetic, and he understands the challenges that hardworking Americans face in their daily lives. Americans will be proud to have the Kerry-Edwards team in the White House, and they’ll be proud to have their extraordinary partners, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards, there as well.

    We’ve been through our share of challenges as Americans, from a Civil War to a Great Depression to world wars and more. Today we face a new threat. Being a senator from New York, I saw firsthand the devastation of 9-11. I visited Ground Zero right after we were attacked. I felt like I was standing at the gates of hell. I hope no American ever has to witness a sight like that again. That tragedy changed all of us. I know it changed me. And every day now, as a mother, as a senator, and as an American, I worry about whether we are acting as wisely as we can to protect our country and our people.

    Last week, the bipartisan 9-11 commission issued its report. It was a sober call to action that we ignore at our peril. John Kerry understands what’s at stake. We need to fully equip and train our firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians - our first responders in the event of a terrorist attack.

    We need to secure our borders and our ports, as well as our chemical and nuclear plants. We need to reorganize our federal government to meet the new threats of these times. We need to make sure that homeland security is properly funded and that resources go to areas at greatest risk. We need to take care of our men and women in uniform who risked their lives for our country. These brave Americans deserve better. We need to increase our troop strength, raise their pay, and provide veterans, the National Guard, and Reserve with the benefits they’re entitled to.

    Do you know what we need to meet those challenges? We need John Kerry. John Kerry is a serious man for a serious job. So let’s work our hearts out and send him to the White House in 2004. And I’m optimistic we will because I know a great leader when I see one. And so does America.

    In 1992 and 1996, Americans chose a president who left our country in far better shape than when he took office. He still spends his days working to empower the powerless, promote racial, religious, and ethnic reconciliation, inspire young people to citizen service, and bring life-saving medicines to people living with HIV/AIDS around the world. He showed Democrats how to win again. And so will John Kerry. Please welcome the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

    Posted by Alan at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    MTV Dem Essay Contest Winner

    Michael Negron won the MTV Democratic National Convention Essay Contest with this entry (source, DNCC email):

    Elections are about the future. Yet my generation too often opts out and sits on the sidelines as politicians make decisions that affect our lives.

    It’s not that we are apathetic. Sixty-one percent of us volunteer regularly. We tutor children, paint schools, work at soup kitchens, and give our time and energy to help communities across the nation. The problem is that many of us have lost faith in the political process. We don’t see the connection between policies made in city halls and state capitols and what happens in our daily lives.

    What’s most tragic about our political disenchantment is that our generation has the most to lose. Today, thousands of young soldiers are in Iraq, fighting a war sold under false pretenses. Our young soldiers are bearing the huge burden of this war, yet the current administration tried to cut combat pay for the troops while doling out tax breaks to the richest Americans.

    At home, over one-third of the nation’s working poor are in our age group, and we make up the majority of those without health insurance. College tuitions costs are rising faster than our parents’ income. It’s getting harder and harder to believe in the American dream, and our faith won’t be restored through volunteerism alone.

    Meanwhile, the current administration’s blustering foreign policy risks alienating an entire generation of young people throughout the world. They’re watching us and forming the opinions of our country they will hold for the rest of their lives. We must show them that we are a beacon of freedom and human rights around the world.

    Young Americans have clear incentives to become more involved in the political process. My generation will fight the wars to defend our country. We will also bear the burden of debt racked up by this administration. America is the most powerful country in history, and it is our generation’s duty to use this power for good, at home and abroad.

    In the next few years, our leaders will make decisions on war and peace, social security and health care. If we don’t participate, if we sit on the sidelines, then we surrender any say over our own futures. But if we go to the polls in November, if we make our voices heard, then our leaders will listen and our future will truly be our own.

    Posted by Alan at 10:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Full Text Of Carter's Speech

    I’ve posted the full text of Carter’s speech in the extended entry (source, DNCC).

    The Honorable Jimmy Carter Democratic National Convention Monday, July 26, 2004

    My name is Jimmy Carter, and I’m not running for president. But here’s what I will be doing: everything I can to put John Kerry in the White House with John Edwards right there beside him.

    Twenty-eight years ago I was running for president, and I said then, “I want a government as good and as honest and as decent and as competent and as compassionate as are the American people.” I say this again tonight, and that is exactly what we will have next January with John Kerry as president of the United States.

    As many of you know, my first chosen career was in the United States Navy, where I served as a submarine officer. At that time, my shipmates and I were ready for combat and prepared to give our lives to defend our nation and its principles.

    At the same time, we always prayed that our readiness would preserve the peace. I served under two presidents, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, men who represented different political parties. Both of whom had faced their active military responsibilities with honor.

    They knew the horrors of war, and later, as commanders-in-chief, they exercised restraint and judgment and had a clear sense of mission. We had confidence that our leaders, military and civilian, would not put our soldiers and sailors in harm’s way by initiating “wars of choice” unless America’s vital interests were endangered.

    We also were sure that these presidents would not mislead us when it came to issues involving our nation’s security. Today, our Democratic party is led by another former naval officer — one who volunteered for military service. He showed up when assigned to duty, and he served with honor and distinction.

    He also knows the horrors of war and the responsibilities of leadership, and I am confident that next January he will restore the judgment and maturity to our government that is sorely lacking today. I am proud to call Lieutenant John Kerry my shipmate, and I am ready to follow him to victory in November.

    As you know, our country faces many challenges at home involving energy, taxation, the environment, education, and health. To meet these challenges, we need new leaders in Washington whose policies are shaped by working American families instead of the super-rich and their armies of lobbyists. But the biggest reason to make John Kerry president is even more important. It is to safeguard the security of our nation.

    Today, our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America — based on telling the truth, a commitment to peace, and respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world. Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth — without trust — America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between the president and the people.

    When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken. After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world. But in just 34 months, we have watched with deep concern as all this goodwill has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations we need to join us in combating terrorism.

    Let us not forget that the Soviets lost the Cold War because the American people combined the exercise of power with adherence to basic principles, based on sustained bipartisan support. We understood the positive link between the defense of our own freedom and the promotion of human rights. Recent policies have cost our nation its reputation as the world’s most admired champion of freedom and justice. What a difference these few months of extremism have made!

    The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of “preemptive” war. With our allies disunited, the world resenting us, and the Middle East ablaze, we need John Kerry to restore life to the global war against terrorism.

    In the meantime, the Middle East peace process has come to a screeching halt for the first time since Israel became a nation. All former presidents, Democratic and Republican, have attempted to secure a comprehensive peace for Israel with hope and justice for the Palestinians. The achievements of Camp David a quarter century ago and the more recent progress made by President Bill Clinton are now in peril.

    Instead, violence has gripped the Holy Land, with the region increasingly swept by anti-American passions. Elsewhere, North Korea’s nuclear menace — a threat far more real and immediate than any posed by Saddam Hussein — has been allowed to advance unheeded, with potentially ominous consequences for peace and stability in Northeast Asia. These are some of the prices of our government’s radical departure from the basic American principles and values espoused by John Kerry!

    In repudiating extremism we need to recommit ourselves to a few common- sense principles that should transcend partisan differences. First, we cannot enhance our own security if we place in jeopardy what is most precious to us, namely, the centrality of human rights in our daily lives and in global affairs. Second, we cannot maintain our historic self-confidence as a people if we generate public panic. Third, we cannot do our duty as citizens and patriots if we pursue an agenda that polarizes and divides our country. Next, we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others. And finally, in the world at large we cannot lead if our leaders mislead.

    You can’t be a war president one day and claim to be a peace president the next, depending on the latest political polls. When our national security requires military action, John Kerry has already proven in Vietnam that he will not hesitate to act. And as a proven defender of our national security, John Kerry will strengthen the global alliance against terrorism while avoiding unnecessary wars.

    Ultimately, the issue is whether America will provide global leadership that springs from the unity and integrity of the American people or whether extremist doctrines and the manipulation of truth will define America’s role in the world.

    At stake is nothing less than our nation’s soul. In a few months, I will, God willing, enter my 81st year of my life, and in many ways the last few months have been some of the most disturbing of all. But I am not discouraged. I do not despair for our country. I believe tonight, as I always have, that the essential decency, compassion and common sense of the American people will prevail.

    And so I say to you and to others around the world, whether they wish us well or ill: do not underestimate us Americans. We lack neither strength nor wisdom. There is a road that leads to a bright and hopeful future. What America needs is leadership. Our job, my fellow Americans, is to ensure that the leaders of this great country will be John Kerry and John Edwards. Thank you and God bless America!

    Posted by Alan at 10:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    2004 Page Added To The Library Of Congress

    First the RNC credential came through, then I see this:

    The United States Library of Congress preserves the Nation’s cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library’s traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and to the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including Web sites. The Library has selected your site for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the Election 2004, and we request your permission to collect and display your Web site.

    We will, of course, grant said permission. This makes the 2004 page the third Command Post page added to the MINERVA collection (following Iraq and GWOT). We’re extremely proud, and thank all the readers and bloggers who make it possible.

    Posted by Alan at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    What To Expect: Excerpts Of Clinton's Speech

    This via email from the DNCC:

    BOSTON, July 26 /PRNewswire/ — The following are excerpts from President Bill Clinton’s Speech at the Democratic National Convention:

    “Tonight I speak as a citizen, eager to join you here in Boston as a foot soldier in the fight for our future, as we nominate a true New England patriot for President. The state that gave us John Adams and John Kennedy has now given us John Kerry, a good man, a great Senator, a visionary leader.”

    ***

    “We Democrats will bring the American people a positive campaign, arguing not who’s good and who’s bad, but what is the best way to build the safe, prosperous world our children deserve.”

    ***

    “Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas on what choices we should make, rooted in fundamentally different views of how we should meet our common challenges at home and how we should play our roll in the world. Democrats want to build an America of shared responsibilities and shared opportunities … .Republicans believe in an America run by the right people, their people.”

    Posted by Alan at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    WaPo: Best Blogs, Politics & Elections

    A new blog contest: The The Washington Post is accepting nominations for “Best Blogs - Politics and Elections” here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A Very Complete List Of Official & Unofficial DNC Blogs

    Drew Clark, senior writer for National Journal’s Tech Daily, and publisher of the blog TELL ME TECH has here a very complete list of official (credentialed) and unofficial bloggers at the DNC, including a useful breakdown of delegate bloggers by state.

    Posted by Alan at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    We've Got Creds For The RNC

    We’ve been issued credentials to the RNC in NYC:

    July 26, 2004

    Dear Michele Catalano,

    The Committee on Arrangements (COA) for the 2004 Republican National Convention invites you to cover this year’s convention from August 30 through September 2 in Madison Square Garden.

    For the first time, bloggers will hold an on-site presence at the Republican National Convention called “Bloggers Corner.” Positioned near Radio Row, credentialed bloggers will have the opportunity to connect with delegates, guests and other surrogates for interviews, and to provide original content, including multimedia, to their audiences. Through this behind-the-scenes look at the convention’s proceedings and events, bloggers will play an important role in telling the story of the 2004 Republican Convention.

    Bloggers Corner will be located in Madison Square Garden’s Theater Lobby in the corridor adjacent to Radio Row. Electrical outlets, tabled work stations and necessary hook-ups for laptop and other portable computers will be available for high-speed Internet and Intranet access. Main TV monitors will also be accessible in all convention common areas including Bloggers Corner and will carry closed circuit coverage of all floor activities.

    Bloggers will be credentialed to move about all media areas with access to the Media Center and the news conference center for briefings.

    Notification of attendance must be received by July 29, 2004. Please reserve your place by completing the attached form to Megan Mollmann ([email removed]).

    Signage demarcating Bloggers Corner will be provided. Each blogger may bring, but is limited to one sign or placard to place at their individual stations. You will be notified on specific credential procedures as well as the dates and hours when credentials will be issued. No credentials will be mailed.

    A copy of our Spring Media Walk-Through Handbook will be mailed to you upon the completion of your form. In the meantime, please feel free to contact our Communications Office at [number removed] with any additional questions.

    We are very excited about your participation in the 2004 Republican National Convention.

    Mark Pfeifle
    Communications Director
    2004 Republican National Convention

    Posted by Alan at 09:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Text of Gore's Speech

    Friends, fellow Democrats, fellow Americans, I’ll be candid with you. I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election.

    But you know the old saying: You win some, you lose some. And then there’s that little-known third category.

    I didn’t come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don’t want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep.

    I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.

    In all seriousness, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve America. I want to to thank you as Democrats for the honor of being your nominee for president four years ago. And I want to thank the American people for the privilege of serving as vice president.

    And most of all, I want to thank my family with all my heart my children and grandchildren, and especially my beloved partner in life, Tipper.

    I love this country deeply, and even though I always look to the future with optimism and hope I do think it is worth pausing for just a moment as we begin this year’s convention, to take note of two very important lessons from four years ago.

    The first lesson is this: Take it from me — every vote counts.

    In our democracy, every vote has power. And never forget: that power is yours. Don’t let anyone take it away or talk you into throwing it away.

    And let’s make sure that this time every vote is counted. Let’s make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, but also that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.

    The second lesson from 2000 is this: What happens in a presidential election matters. A lot.

    The outcome profoundly affects the lives of all 293 million Americans and people in the rest of the world too. The choice of who is president affects your life and your family’s future.

    And never has this been more true than in 2004, because — let’s face it — our country faces deep challenges.

    These challenges we now confront are not Democratic or Republican challenges; they are American challenges — that we all must overcome together.

    It is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for?

    Is our country more united today?

    Or more divided?

    Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled?

    Or do those words now ring hollow?

    For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all?

    Did you expect, for example, the largest deficits in history? One after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?

    By the way, I know about the bad economy. I was the first one laid off. And while it’s true that new jobs are being created, they’re just not as good as the jobs people have lost. And incidentally, that’s been true for me too.

    Unfortunately, this is no joke for millions of Americans. And the real solutions require us to transcend partisanship.

    So that’s one reason why, even though we meet here as Democrats, we believe this is a time to reach beyond our party lines to Republicans as well.

    I also ask tonight for the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?

    Are you troubled by the erosion of some of America’s most basic civil liberties?

    Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis?

    No matter how you voted in the last election, these are profound problems that all voters must take into account this November 2.

    And of course, no challenge is more critical than the situation we confront in Iraq. Regardless of your opinion at the beginning of this war, isn’t it now obvious that the way the war has been managed by the Administration has gotten us into very serious trouble?

    Wouldn’t we be better off with a new president who hasn’t burned his bridges to our allies, and who could rebuild respect for America in the world?

    Isn’t cooperation with other nations crucial to solving our dilemma in Iraq? Isn’t it also critical to defeating the terrorists?

    We have to be crystal clear about the threat we face from terrorism. It is deadly. It is real. It is imminent.

    But in order to protect our people, shouldn’t we focus on the real source of this threat: The group that attacked us and is trying to attack us again — Al Qaeda, headed by Usama Bin Laden?

    Wouldn’t we be safer with a president who didn’t insist on confusing Al Qaeda with Iraq? Doesn’t that divert too much of our attention away from the principal danger?

    I want to say to all Americans this evening that whether it is the threat to the global environment or the erosion of America’s leadership in the world, whether it is the challenge to our economy from new competitors or the challenge to our security from new enemies, I believe that we need new leadership that is both strong and wise.

    And we can have new leadership, because one of our greatest strengths as a democracy is that when we are headed in the wrong direction, we can correct our course.

    When policies are clearly not working, we can change them. If our leaders make mistakes, we can hold them accountable even if they never admit their mistakes.

    I firmly believe America needs new leadership that will make us stronger at home and respected in the world.

    We are here this week to present to the nation the man who should be our new president: John Kerry.

    John and I were elected to the US Senate on the same day 20 years ago and I have worked closely with him for all that time. So I want to say a personal word about John Kerry the man.

    He is a friend who will stand by you. His word is his bond. He has a deep patriotism that goes far beyond words. He has devoted his life to making America a better place for all of us.

    He showed uncommon heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam. I watched him show that same courage on the Senate floor. He had the best record of protecting the environment against polluters of any of my colleagues bar none.

    He never shied away from a fight, no matter how powerful the foe. He was never afraid to take on difficult and thankless issues that few others wanted to touch — like exposing the threat of narcoterrorism and tracing the sources of terrorist financing.

    He was one of the very first in our party to take on the issue of drastic deficit reduction. He has developed a tough and thoughtful plan to restore our economic strength and fiscal discipline.

    To put it simply, those of us who have worked with John know that he has the courage, integrity and leadership to be a truly great President of the United States.

    And he showed wisdom in his very first decision as the leader of our party when he picked as his running mate an inspiring fighter for middle class families and families struggling to reach the middle class: John Edwards.

    John Kerry and John Edwards are fighting for us and for all Americans, so after we nominate them here in Boston and return to our home states across this land, we have to fight for them.

    Talk to your friends and neighbors, go to “JohnKerry.com”, raise money, register voters and get them to the polls, volunteer your time, and above all: Make your vote count.

    To those of you who felt disappointed or angry with the outcome in 2000, I want you to remember all of those feelings. But then I want you to do with them what I have done: focus them fully and completely on putting John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House.

    Fellow Democrats, when I look out and see so many friends who have meant so much to me in my own public service, my heart is full tonight. I thank you for all the love you’ve shown Tipper and me. You will forever be in our hearts.

    There’s someone else I’d like to thank, and that’s the man who asked me to join him on the ticket at our convention 12 years ago, my friend — and my partner for eight years — President Bill Clinton.

    I’ll never forget that convention or that campaign the way we barnstormed the country, carrying a message of hope and change, believing with our whole hearts that America could be made new again.

    And so it was. And with your help, and with the leadership of John Kerry and John Edwards, so it shall be again.

    Thank you God bless you and your families and may God bless the United States of America.

    Posted by Michele at 09:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Kerrying Tashkent

    AP: Kerry supporters from the small American expat community in Uzbekistan recently held a fundraiser.

    Seeking to “Kerry Tashkent,” dozens of expatriates and locals gathered in the Uzbek capital on Saturday for a fundraising party to support Senator John Kerry in this year’s U.S. presidential election.

    Staged at a private home, about 100 attendees gave suggested $10 donations and bought drinks and T-shirts, the proceeds for which were to be forwarded to the Democrat’s campaign.

    Organizers also offered information on absentee voting and voter registration.

    Among the items for sale were a T-shirt featuring a locally available detergent named “Barf” with U.S. President George W. Bush’s picture on the box, beneath the slogan, “Another Four Years?”

    “Barf” means “snow” in Persian languages.

    Many of the expatriates at the event said they felt the world had taken an increasingly negative view of the United States during Bush’s presidency, something especially poignant for Americans living abroad.

    Though I didn’t live there for very much of his presidency, I never experienced any change in the generally positive Uzbek attitude towards Americans after Bush’s election. (Hat tip: Alisher Mirzabaev for The Argus)

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Gore Convention Speech Being Rewritten

    According to NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, the DNC speech vetting process has had its first “casualty:” Al Gore.

    … [T]he word is out: the liberal wing of the party is being told to avoid any harsh rhetoric. That could already be affecting tonight’s headliners: last night, Al Gore’s speech was basically torn up, according to two sources, and is now being rewritten, presumably to fit more closely with the party line.

    Posted by Jeff M at 05:03 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    USC Newsplex moblogging from convention

    As a follow-up to its February SC Primary coverage, the Newsplex at the University of South Carolina has a team of undergraduate students providing mobile phone blogging from the Democratic National Convention.

    Plenty of photos already from various protests, as well as coverage around the city. See the results here.

    Cingular Wireless sponsors USC student journalists to cover Democratic convention

    Posted by Bryan M at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Rasmussen: Kerry, Bush Dead Even

    On the opening day of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, polling outfit Rasmussen Reports finds that President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, are locked in a tie. Both have the support of 46 percent of Americans polled, Rasmussen said. The survey also breaks down the Bush-Kerry race on the top issues:

    Voters are evenly divided between Bush and Kerry when it comes to the economy. They still retain a slight preference for Bush on national defense issues, but the President’s advantage on that issue is now the smallest it has been all year.

    Gallup, in its own polling, says it has found Kerry leads in Ohio, Bush leads in Florida and the two seem tied in Missouri.

    Posted by latefinal at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Oppo Squad

    While the Democrats will undoubtedly hold the spotlight this week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that GOP oppo researchers will “swim upstream” in an effort to define Kerry,

    The duel to define Kerry’s image is critically important, because this election may be determined by a small percentage of voters who don’t care much about politics and who, at this point, know only that Kerry is a tall guy with good hair. The Republican megaphone is small this week, but the staffers believe in the tyranny of the 24/7 news cycle, and with Bush imperiled in the polls (although they’d never acknowledge that), they don’t intend to let Kerry leave town on a pedestal.
    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Monday Podium Schedule

    This via email from the DNC.

    PODIUM SCHEDULE - MONDAY, JULY 26TH, 4:00 pm to 7:00 p.m.

    4:00 pm Call to Order

    • Terry McAuliffe, Chairman, Democratic National Committee
    • Invocation, Reverend Stephen Ayres, Old North Church, Boston
    • Presentation of Colors
    • Pledge of Allegiance, The Honorable Jake Wheatley, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    • National Anthem
    • Credentials Committee
    • The Honorable Shirley Jackson, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
    • The Honorable Debbie Stabenow, United States Senate, Michigan
    • Representative Robert Menendez, U.S. House of Representatives, New Jersey
    • Rules Committee
    • Representative Robert Matsui, U.S. House of Representatives, California
    • Representative Gregory Meeks, U.S. House of Representatives, New York
    • The Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan
    • The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip; U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland, Parliamentarian, Democratic National Convention
    • Andrew Tobias, Treasurer, Democratic National Committee
    • Maureen White, National Finance Chair, Democratic National Committee
    • Alice Germond, Secretary, Democratic National Committee
    • Roll Call
    • Linda Chavez-Thompson, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
    • Lottie Shackelford, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
    • Gloria Molina, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
    • Mark Brewer, Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee
    • Presentation of the Platform
    • The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, U.S. House of Representatives, Connecticut
    • A Strong and Respected America
    • The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Governor of Iowa
    • The Honorable William Perry, Former Secretary of Defense
    • The Honorable Hilda Solis, U.S. House of Representatives, California
    • A Strong, Growing Economy and Healthy Families
    • The Honorable Anotonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Council
    • The Honorable William Garcia, Former Secretary of Economic Development, New Mexico
    • The Honorable Patty Judge, Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa
    • A Strong American Community
    • Bill Lann Lee, Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General
    • Roberta Achtenberg, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
    • The Honorable John Marks, Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida
    • Rod O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, Democratic National Convention Committee
    • Alice Huffman, Chairwoman, Democratic National Convention Committee
    • Edward McElroy, President, American Federation of Teachers
    • Gloria Feldt, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
    • The Honorable Phil Angelides, Treasurer of California
    • Marca Bristo, President and CEO, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

    PODIUM SCHEDULE - MONDAY, JULY 26TH, 7:00 pm to 9:00 p.m.

    7:00 pm The Honorable Kendrick Meek, U.S. House of Representatives, Florida

    • MTV Essay Contest Winner Michael Negron, Memphis, Tennessee
    • The Honorable Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston
    • The Honorable James Turner, U.S. House of Representatives, Texas
    • The Honorable Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip; U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland
    • Terry McAuliffe, Chairman, Democratic National Committee
    • Gavel to Order
    • The Honorable Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention
    • National Anthem - Bebe Winans
    • The Honorable Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States
    • Satellite Feed from Canton, Ohio
    • Salute to Women Senators, Glenn Close
    • The Honorable Barbara Mikulski, United States Senate, Maryland
    • Children’s Choir
    • Satellite Feed from Little Rock, Arkansas

    PODIUM SCHEDULE - MONDAY, JULY 26TH, 9:00 pm to 11:00 p.m.

    9:00 pm The Honorable Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States

    • Satellite Feed from Los Angeles, California
    • The Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones, U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio
    • The Honorable Tammy Baldwin, U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin
    • Satellite Feed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • The Honorable Robert Menendez, U.S. House of Representatives, New Jersey
    • Remembrance of 9/11
    • The Reverend David Alston, Columbia, South Carolina, Vietnam Swiftboat Crewmate of John Kerry
    • The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Senate, New York
    • The Honorable Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States
    • Finale
    • Patti LaBelle
    • Benediction
    • The Reverend Roberta Hestenes, Minister-at-Large, World Vision International, Eastern, Pennsylvania
    • Adjournment
    Posted by Alan at 10:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Italian Parliamentarians Call For Nader Withdrawal

    AFP: Italian deputies call for Nader to withdraw, Kerry victory.

    “Dear Ralph Nader, we are a group of Italian politicians who appreciate your battles on behalf of US consumers and citizens since the 1970’s”, said the letter.

    “Despite your intentions, which are no doubt the best possible … your candidacy could mean defeat for John Kerry, who we are following with much hope,” it went on.

    “Precisely because, as Europeans, we are also committed to the United States … we ask you today not to give George W. Bush a second chance, which would be costly for your country and the whole international community,” the letter said.

    “In a world which is ever more interdependent, the choice that will guide the most powerful country on Earth will have deep and durable repercussions,” it said.

    “Which is why we ask you to withdraw your candidacy for the White House and give your support, even with reservations, to John F. Kerry.”

    The letter was signed by many of the top leaders of Italy’s centre-left opposition, and notably by Francesco Rutelli, Luciano Violante, Paolo Cento and Pietro Folena.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 10:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Clinton Can't Eclipse Kerry

    That’s the headline at 11Alive Georgia. But which Clinton? Oh … Bill.

    Posted by Alan at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    One Of My "Tip Sheets"

    I get many of my morning post ideas from reading the National Journal’s Early Bird. It’s usually a pay service, but for the period of the conventions it’s open to everyone … and you should definitely give it, and the entire NJ site, a read while you can.

    Posted by Alan at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Best Big Media Blog Out There

    The best-written “Big Media” funded blog that I’ve read coming from Boston is Dan Rubin’s Election 2004. We in Philadelphia are lucky to count Rubin among our local Inquirer writers. His blog prose is wonderful, and he’s capturing exactly the type of “micro-stories” and local flavor I presume we all hope to convey.

    Posted by Alan at 09:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Heinz-Kerry Tells Reporter to "Shove It"

    After giving a speech to the Pennsylvania Democratic National Convention delegation about the importance of civility in politics, Theresa Heinz-Kerry told a reporter to “shove it.” (video)

    The exchange occured when a reporter questioned Heinz-Kerry regarding a statement in her speech to the Pennsylvania delegation. Heinz-Kerry told the delegation “We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics… .” When Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, asked Heinz-Kerry about what she meant by “un-American,” she denied having used the word, and walked away from the reporter. Later, she cut back to the reporter, asked him which newspaper he was with, accused him of putting words in her mouth, and told him to “shove it.”

    Two weeks ago, Heinz-Kerry accused President Bush of being “phased by complexity” and said “We need … [a] president who likes to read. A president who loves history.” In May, she accused Vice President Cheney of being “unpatriotic.”

    Posted by hideandseek at 09:08 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

    Forecasting The Bounce

    The National Journal has a nice historical overview of the post-convention “bounce,” and a brief account of how the Dems and Republicans are already trying to spin 2004 expectations for same.

    Posted by Alan at 09:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Edwards Returns $44K In Campaign Funds

    The New York Times is reporting that John Edwards has returned $44,000 in campaign contributions “after learning that the prominent corporate lawyer in Los Angeles who raised the money is facing misdemeanor campaign-finance charges in California.”

    Posted by Alan at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Live By The War Room ...

    USATODAY:

    Tucked away on the fifth and sixth floors of an old brick office building on a narrow street two blocks from the FleetCenter, site of the Democratic National Convention, Republicans are running a rapid-response operation to make sure nothing the Democrats say this week goes unchallenged.

    About 30 staffers of the Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney campaign have relocated to Boston this week. They’re using computers, printers, TV and radio satellite dishes, cell phones and every tool they have to comb through everything said by Democrats on the air, in print and in speeches almost instantaneously.

    “Thanks to e-mail and BlackBerrys, we can respond in seconds,” RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson says.

    Posted by Alan at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A Transformed Al Gore Returns to the Spotlight at a Risky Moment

    That’s the headline of this New York Times article, which offers analysis of Gore’s role in the 2004 convention and greater campaign. Sample:

    Carter Eskew, a top strategist for Mr. Gore in 2000, said that the former vice president would use his time in the spotlight to reinforce the now well-understood concept that “every vote counts.”

    “He feels his election in 2000 is an opportunity to make that very obvious but very powerful point,” Mr. Eskew said. “That cliché has suddenly come into very stark relief in this election, and he’s a good messenger for it. He’s the embodiment of the moment at which the country took a different path.”

    But Mr. Eskew acknowledged that Mr. Gore, 56, would have to “walk a fine line between exciting the base of the Democratic Party and reaching out to people in the television audience who are unaffiliated and don’t go in for a lot of rally and pep talk.”

    Other analysts said Mr. Gore might have difficulty reaching beyond that base because of the harshness of his critiques of Mr. Bush’s policies, particularly regarding Iraq.

    “There are some Democrats who quietly appreciate him for his growl, but they don’t want to embrace him for it,” said Ferrel Guillory, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Posted by Alan at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Kerry Makes Surprise Visit To Fenway

    The Boston Herald has the local take on Kerry’s surprise visit last night to Fenway to toss the first pitch at the Sox/Yankees game:

    Sen. John F. Kerry turned his campaign plane around and headed to Boston under a cloak of secrecy. The secret mission: Catching the Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

    Or actually, throwing. The Bay State senator threw out the first ball to a Massachusetts veteran who recently returned from serving in Iraq. Massachusetts National Guardsman Will Pumyea, 23, of North Chelmsford had also previously served in Afghanistan.

    Posted by Alan at 08:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Kerry's War Letters

    The Boston Globe has an interesting view on Kerry’s Vietnam-era letters home:

    The glimpses into Kerry’s thinking provide at least a partial portrait of a young man wrestling with matters of war, duty, and sacrifice, and slowly changing his mind — an aspect of Kerry that would be part of his Senate career and that would become fodder in the presidential race for Republican critics who accuse him of not adhering to positions and principles.

    “I too have no regard whatsoever for this war but I do see that as a member of the armed service and as a responsible person I have an obligation to take on the most interesting and challenging thing there is,” Kerry wrote to Thorne in September 1968.

    Read the rest.

    Posted by Alan at 08:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Why Are We Here?

    The CSM asks “What are conventions for, anyway?” Did you know that “the first party convention in United States history was held in 1831 in Baltimore by the Anti-Masons, a tiny movement dedicated to the notion that the benign fraternity of Freemasonry was in fact an insidious political cabal?”

    Bet you didn’t.

    Posted by Alan at 08:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Hillary Clinton As "Understudy"

    That’s the term the Financial Times uses, noting that this year she’s “waiting in the wings,” and that:

    when Hillary Rodham Clinton steps to the stage in Boston’s FleetCenter on Monday night, convention organisers will have little control over how many delegates use the occasion to boost the party star, not as a sitting senator or a former first lady but as a future presidential candidate herself.

    For while the gathering is officially and overwhelmingly about trying to send John Kerry to the White House, it is unofficially and unavoidably also about the future of the Democratic party. And any discussion about future presidents among Democrats inevitably turns to Mrs Clinton, who was elected to the Senate from New York in 2000.

    An interesting take on a somewhat tired story … read the rest here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Private Ambition of a Very Public Man

    That’s the headline of this LA Times Kerry profile, which leads:

    From his boarding school days to the grind of the campaign trail, John F. Kerry has worn his ambition like a badge - almost always on display, yet rarely acknowledged. Over the course of a carefully crafted public life brimming with accomplishment and wrenched by war and loss, he has discreetly kept his distant prize, the presidency, in clear sight.
    Posted by Alan at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Are Voters Ignoring Fahrenheit 9/11?

    Swiss Info / Reuters claims voters are ingoring Fahrenheit 9/11

    A Los Angeles Times poll of likely voters published on Friday showed that “Fahrenheit” is drawing an overwhelmingly Democratic audience and that few Republicans who have seen the movie appear to have been swayed.

    The findings support the contention of conservative critics that in terms of its political influence, “Fahrenheit 9/11” is unlikely to go beyond preaching to the Democratic faithful.

    Just 9 percent of 1,529 registered voters surveyed nationwide July 17-21 had seen the film, which lambastes President George W. Bush for his response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on America and his reasons for going to war in Iraq, the Times said.

    Of those who had seen the movie, 78 percent identified themselves as Democrats, 9 percent as political independents and 6 percent as Republicans, the Times said. Ninety seven percent said they were planning to vote for presumed Democratic nominee John Kerry.

    In addition, 79 percent of those who had seen Moore’s film said it would not change how they vote in November, though 18 percent said it made them more likely to vote against Bush and 3 percent said it bolstered their resolve to vote for the president, the newspaper said.

    Posted by Alan at 07:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Ralph's Nadir

    That’s also an awfully good headline, and it comes from The Age, which writes:Long hailed as a champion of the regular guy, Ralph Nader seems determined to trash his reputation with a tilt at the US Presidency that can only harm his supposed allies in the Democratic Party

    Posted by Alan at 07:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Headline Of The Day

    Republicans See Red As Ketchup War Turns Saucy (the Independent).

    It’s a good day when you blog the word “saucy” before 6:50 a.m. Read the article for the British take on Heinz v. W.

    Posted by Alan at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Could It Get Even Worse Than 2000?

    Peter M. Shane of Pittsburgh Live notes of Bush v. Gore:

    “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the president of the United States,” the court said, “unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.”

    Imagine, now, a state in which the same party controls both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office. There would presumably be no partisan impediment to the state Legislature, with the governor’s approval, deciding that the majority party in state government shall control the state’s electoral vote, regardless of any popular vote in the state. If the Supreme Court’s declaration is an accurate statement of the law, there would not be any legal impediment either.

    He goes on to wonder:

    What are the potential practical implications in 2004? One-party rule exists in 19 states, including four of the 10 states that the independent and well-respected political analyst Charlie Cook rates as “dead even.” Republican state governments in Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio, and Democrats in New Mexico, could spare us all some electoral suspense and simply decide their respective states’ electoral votes on their own. Such a move would give Democrats five of these contested votes and Republicans 51.

    Of course, no state legislature would acutally DO it … right?

    Posted by Alan at 07:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 25, 2004

    WSJ Online: Meet The Bloggers

    WSJ.com has posted their “Meet The Bloggers” feature, which profiles the bloggers accredited for the DNC in Boston.

    Posted by Alan at 11:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    George McGovern: Cheney Is "A Menace"

    In an interview with conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg Sunday, George McGovern noted:

    “With regard to Cheney - and I say this thoughtfully, I think he’s the worst vice president in American history and a great menace to the security and well-being of this country.” …

    … “Based on his role in getting us into this mistaken war in the first place, I think the man is a menace.”

    You may check the source in two places: the conservative news site NewsMax, and you may listen to the interview itself here.

    Posted by Alan at 10:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Schedule of Daily Public Events Open To Press

    This from the DNC (and I’ll attend as many as I can), and I’ve posted the bulk of the schedule in the extended entry:

    DAILY (MONDAY, July 26th - THURSDAY, July 29th)

    7:30-9:30 am: STATE DELEGATION MEETINGS, ALL DAYS

    Locations -

    • Alabama: Hyatt Downtown, One Avenue de Lafayette
    • Alaska: Seaport Boston, One Seaport Lane
    • American Samoa: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • Arizona: Boston Marriott Hotel Long Wharf, 296 State Street
    • Arkansas: Royal Sonesta Hotel, 5 Cambridge Parkway
    • California: Westin Copley Place, 10 Huntington Avenue
    • Colorado: Wyndham Downtown, 89 Broad Street
    • Connecticut: Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter Street
    • Delaware: Boston Park Plaza, 64 Arlington Street
    • Democrats Abroad: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • District of Columbia: Boston Marriot Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • Florida: Boston Marriott Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • Georgia: Wyndham Downtown, 89 Broad Street
    • Guam: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • Hawaii: Boston Marriott Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • Idaho: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • Illinois: Hilton Back Bay Boston, 40 Dalton Street
    • Indiana: Hotel at MIT, 20 Sidney Street
    • Iowa: Boston Marriott Hotel Long Wharf, 296 State Street
    • Kansas: Boston Marriott Hotel Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center
    • Kentucky: Boston Marriott Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • Louisiana: Tremont Boston, 275 Tremont Street
    • Maine: The Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue
    • Maryland: Seaport Hotel, One Seaport Lane
    • Massachusetts: Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, 138 St. James Avenue
    • Michigan: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • Minnesota: Radisson Cambridge Hotel, 777 Memorial Drive
    • Mississippi: Hyatt Downtown, One Avenue de Lafayette
    • Missouri: Boston Marriott Hotel Long Wharf, 296 State Street
    • Montana: 4 Speare Hall, Northeaster University
    • Nebraska: Tremont Boston, 275 Tremont Street
    • Nevada: Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter Street at Boylston
    • New Hampshire: Seaport Boston, One Seaport Lane
    • New Jersey: Omni Parker House, 60 School Street
    • New Mexico: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • New York: Boston Park Plaza, 64 Arlington Street
    • North Carolina: Hyatt Downtown, One Avenue de Lafayette
    • North Dakota: Boston Marriott Hotel Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center
    • Ohio: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • Oklahoma: Royal Sonesta Hotel, 5 Cambridge Parkway
    • Oregon: Royal Sonesta Hotel, 5 Cambridge Parkway
    • Pennsylvania: Omni Parker House, 60 School Street
    • Puerto Rico: Inn at Harvard, 1201 Massachusetts Avenue
    • Rhode Island: Boston Marriott Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • South Carolina: Boston Marriott Hotel Copley, 110 Huntington Avenue
    • South Dakota: Wyndham Downtown, 89 Broad Street
    • Tennessee: Boston Marriott Hotel Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center
    • Texas: Hilton Boston Logan Airport, 85 Terminal Road
    • Utah: Boston Marriott Hotel Cambridge, 2 Cambridge Center
    • Vermont: Hilton Back Bay Boston, 40 Dalton Street
    • Virgin Islands: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • Virginia: Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Avenue
    • Washington: Radisson Hotel Boston, 200 Stuart Street
    • West Virginia: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street
    • Wisconsin: Colonnade Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue
    • Wyoming: Hyatt Regency Boston, One Avenue de Lafayette

    MONDAY, July 26th

    9:30 am: DAILY CONVENTION PRESS BRIEFING

    • Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street in the Back Bay, Back Bay A Ballroom

    (See the extended entry for the rest …)

    10 - 11:50 am: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • African American Caucus: Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Latino Caucus: Constitution A&B Ballrooms, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Asian Pacific Islander Caucus: Republic Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Native American Caucus: Back Bay D Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Ethnic American Caucus: Back Bay B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    12 - 1:50 pm: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus: Constitution B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Disabled Caucus: Republic Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Veterans Caucus: Room TDB, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    12 pm: “SALUTE TO VETERANS” — THE FIRST EVER VETERANS CAUCUS

    • James Carville will emcee the First Ever Veterans Caucus. Speakers and guests will include: General Wesley Clark (ret.), Senator Max Cleland, Senator Bob Kerrey, General Tony McPeak, and John Kerry’s crewmates from Vietnam.
    • Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel Grand Ballroom West, Prudential Center, 39 Dalton Street

    11:30 pm: DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS’ “ROCK THE HARBOR” PARTY

    • The program will include brief remarks from Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, a photo-op with all Democratic Governors, and fireworks over the Harbor
    • Media are asked to cover the event from marked media riser
    • Location: Rowe’s Wharf at the Boston Harbor; press entrance: Main entrance of the hotel

    2:30 pm: “KEEPING THE BONDS OF VETERANS

    • Kerry Veteran Supporters Visit Veterans’ Benefit
    • Clearinghouse, crewmates and other vets to attend.
    • Location: Veterans’ Benefit Clearinghouse, 38 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA

    5 pm: “VETERANS OF COLOR RECEPTION

    • Crewmates and other veterans gather at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists
    • Location: 300 Walnut Avenue, Boston

    TUESDAY, July 27th

    9:30 am: DAILY CONVENTION PRESS BRIEFING

    • Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street in the Back Bay, Back Bay A Ballroom

    10 - 11:50 am: WOMEN’S CAUCUS MEETING

    • Location: Grand-Liberty-Independence Ballrooms, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    10:30 am: “A SALUTE TO THOSE WHO SERVED AND SACRIFICED

    • Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader, Tom Daschle, Senate Democratic Leader and Air Force Veteran, Tom Menino, Mayor, City of Boston, Wesley Clark, Retired General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Max Cleland, Former Senator and Vietnam Veteran, Daniel Inouye, Senator and WWII Veteran, Charlie Rangel, Congressman and Korean War Veteran, Peter Gomes, Pusey Professor of Divinity of Harvard and best-selling author, Jack Valenti, WWII Veteran, Retired President of the Motion Picture Association of America, Phillip Cooper, Vietnam Veteran and Boston Homeless Veterans Activist, Virginia Hurley, Korean War widow and New England Director of America’s Gold Star Wives, Veterans (including local veterans and Convention delegates who are veterans), Other Members of Congress
    • Location: Bunker Hill Monument, Monument Square on Breed’s Hill, Charlestown

    12 - 1:50 pm: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • Youth Caucus: Hynes Center, Veterans Auditorium
    • Seniors Caucus: Constitution B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    11:45 am: MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOLLOWING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS NATIONAL POLICY FORUM

    • Focus on nation’s economy and job creation Note: Policy meeting is closed to media.
    • Location: UMass McCormack Institute of Politics, Harbor
    • Walk, on the Harbor side of campus, facing the rotary and the Campus Center Rain site: Inside the Campus Center Building, 2nd Floor, Faculty and Staff Dining Room

    WEDNESDAY, July 28th

    9:30 am: DAILY CONVENTION PRESS BRIEFING

    • Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street in the Back Bay, Back Bay A Ballroom

    10 - 11:50 am: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • African American Caucus: Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Latino Caucus: Constitution A&B Ballrooms, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Asian Pacific Islander Caucus: Republic Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Native American Caucus: Back Bay D Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Ethnic American Caucus: Back Bay B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    12 - 1:50 pm: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus: Constitution B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Disabled Caucus: Republic Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel
    • Veterans Caucus: Room TDB, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    1 - 3 pm: People of Faith Caucus Luncheon

    • Location: Republic Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    2 - 4 pm: Rural Caucus

    • Location: Constitution A Ballroom, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    THURSDAY, July 28th

    9:30 am: DAILY CONVENTION PRESS BRIEFING

    • Location: Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street in the Back Bay, Back Bay A Ballroom

    10 - 11:50 am: WOMEN’S CAUCUS MEETING

    • Location: Grand-Liberty-Independence Ballrooms, Sheraton Boston Hotel

    12 - 1:50 pm: CAUCUS MEETINGS

    • Youth Caucus: Hynes Center, Veterans Auditorium
    • Seniors Caucus: Constitution B Ballroom, Sheraton Boston
    Posted by Alan at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Good News, Bad News

    Tonight, at this very moment and on the eve of the DNC, bloggers are gathering in Boston for what Winer calls “An informal gathering of bloggers covering the DNC at The Field in Central Square Cambridge.” Tomorrow at 10 AM, Terry McAulliffe is hosting the “Blogger Breakfast” at the Fenway Ballroom, Hilton Boston Back Bay.

    In both cases, I will be blogging the entire thing from … my hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    The good news / bad news of our credentials is that we got them (good news), but were notified so late that I was unable to reschedule a necessary business trip (good news for business, bad news for blogging). But I will arrive in Boston Tuesday evening with plenty of time for first hand coverage, and I promise to deliver.

    Still, to the rest of the crew, know this: Wish I were there.

    Posted by Alan at 09:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Al-Jazeera sign removed from broastcast booth at DNC

    PALM BEACH POST: Berlin-like security bars wall of apathy

    The feeling of apprehension has seeped inside the convention hall where the theme “A stronger America” has been expressed in a strange new way: a fear of association.

    Like other TV networks, Al-Jazeera, the Arab cable network, sought to have a banner advertising its presence in the upper levels of the convention hall.

    Nader Abed, operations head for the network, said Saturday that the sign went up last week.

    “They approved the sign,” he said. “And then I came back, and it was taken down.”

    The Al-Jazeera network sign had been hung in the sight lines of the podium, next to one of the Democratic National Committee banners.

    “We didn’t ask for that location,” Abed said. “They put it there.”

    The DNC responded that the Al-Jazeera sign wasn’t the only one removed from the hall. But it was the only media organization’s.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 01:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Kerry at Ground Zero OhiO

    Senator John Kerry got up up this morning at Ground Zero and saw his profile opposite President Bush’s on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch.

    The graphic headline: NECK and NECK. The Dispatch Ohio poll numbers: Bush 47 percent. Kerry 44 percent. Nader 2 percent. Undecided 7 percent.

    It reflects other polls in Ohio this week that show Bush and Kerry virtually tied with Bush up a little in the Strategic Vision Poll and Kerry up in the American Research Group poll.

    Kerry doesn’t need the polls to realize Ohio is Ground Zero. He is also meeting with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and discussing a nomination speech for the Fleet Center in Boston.

    At this hour Kerry is attending church in Columbus and will soon go to a north side swing ward that Bush won by 12 votes in 2000.

    Next weekend, Kerry and Bush will be campaigning within 25 miles of each other at the same time — just down the road from Ohio’s capital in Zanesville and Cambridge.

    Cross posted at Blue Dog Rising (www.ohiodems.org)

    Posted by Brian Usher at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The DNC, The RNC, And The False Choice

    The 1964 RNC in San Francisco was an interesting convention for the Republicans. Barry Goldwater and William Miller were the ticket, Goldwater gave a convention speech that is regarded as one of the 100 best American political speeches of that century, and pandemonium repeatedly broke out on the convention floor.

    convention.jpgOne of the people reporting this pandemonium was legendary journalist John Chancellor, who, in a moment made instantly famous by the images of television, said as he was physically removed from the floor, “Here we go down the middle aisle … I’ve been promised bail, ladies and gentlemen, by my office. This is John Chancellor, somewhere in custody.”

    It was an important moment in journalism: a staid institution, the RNC, was attempting to control a new medium and was quickly learning it could not … that ultimately, they had to embrace a medium they could no longer control. It was a stark contrast to the DNC just four years later, when TV openly captured every hostile and shocking moment in Chicago, and conventions (and the world for that matter) changed for forever.

    I think of that moment, John Chancellor being lifted from his feet, radio on his back, wires dangling, as I consider the invitation of bloggers by the DNC (a path the RNC, we presume, we follow). We’re quite the story this year, we few credentialed bloggers. I’ve had two reporters tell me that they believe we’re the story in Boston, the “hot house flowers” in an otherwise “news-less convention,” as one said, forecasting “about a billion cameras” at the blogger breakfast tomorrow morning (sorry I’ll miss it … I’ll explain later).

    My response, though, was that we’re NOT the real story here. The real story is not that the Political Machine decided to officially extend access to citizen journalists by extending a select few press credentials … the real story is that they already, although unknowingly, had.

    At last count, there are 11 DNC delegates or DNC officials, with full access to the convention, who also happen to blog:

    One would expect that these bloggers, especially the mainstream delegates, will blog the convention. And it’s here that we find the main point: the decision to extend press credentials to select bloggers was a false choice … the convention in Boston was going to be blogged, from the floor and by citizens with no editorial board, whether I or any other blogger received credentials or not. I presume the same will be true in New York this August.

    I’m not saying the credentialing decision wasn’t significant … it did give a small group of non-professional, non-party-official citizens a window into a forum not otherwise available, and it does indicate that blogs have achieved a form of legitimacy among the media. But the REAL sign of the medium’s legitimacy isn’t that we were given the opportunity … it’s that the opportunity is purely symbolic in its importance.

    In 1964, the Republicans learned that, try as they might, the time in which they could choose their level of TV news inclusion had long passed. The same is true for the DNC and RNC for blogs forty years later. It doesn’t matter if I or Dave Winer or anybody else is there … blogger delegates already will be, and will be with greater access than any of us.

    To me, this false choice is the real indication that blogging has “arrived.” We’re becoming pervasive. In time, no forum of significance will be a forum without a blogger, and the result will be even greater transparency, openness, and democratization of information. And the convention committees aren’t the only ones facing the consequences: all staid institutions face the same false choice … we saw it in Iraq, and we’ll increasingly see it in China, Iran, Microsoft, and the Pentagon.

    The printing press made us readers, the personal computer made us writers, and now, with weblogs, the Internet is making us reporters. The conventions will be blogged … of course they will … whether the DNC and RNC wish it or not, and they can never again remove the reporters from the floor.

    (Cross-posted here.)

    Posted by Alan at 10:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Coulter In Boston, Moore In NY, USATODAY Paying The Way?

    John Tabin has passid a tip … not yet verified … that USATODAY is sending Ann Coulter to cover Op/Ed in Boston and Michael Moore to cover Op/Ed in New York. If true … well, as they say in the comics, “It’s so crazy, it just might work!”

    I can confirm, via a very reliable source, that conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter will be writing from the Democratic Convention for USA Today’s op-ed page. For the Republican convention, they’re sending none other than— yup, some of you have already guessed it— Michael Moore.

    Posted by Alan at 09:44 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    The Meta Curator

    This today from Dave Winer:

    Aside from adding a few more blogs to the Convention Bloggers site this morning, I also added a weather feed for Boston, and have added the NPR top stories feed, and one for WBUR, the local Boston public radio station. I am so pleased I can’t possibly explain. So this is not only a software exercise, it’s an act of curatorship. While this is the first time I’ve published an aggregated site, it’s not an original idea. Jim Moore has been talking about this for a long time, and Taegan Goddard at Political Wire has been doing it. The cool thing about curatorship in RSS now is that there’s critical mass. There are enough different feeds, different points of view, that it’s possible to be artistic.

    Dave hits the nail on the head with curatorship. The Convention Bloggers site is working as an RSS aggregator not because of the RSS itself, but because it reflects two levels of effective editing: the bloggers in selecting what to post, and Dave in selecting who to feed. But rather than having an (informal) editorial policy based in part on what’s socially appropriate, at both levels it’s based only on what’s relevant to the audience.

    It’s a principle that’s been at the center of our success since the start: Don’t worry about scanning the web looking for what’s relevant news in Iraq or for the election or GWOT … we’ll do that for you. The Convention Blogger site does that to a degree of two, and it works.

    Oh … and if you find this post irrelevant to 2004, my apologies. I posted it here because I think it’s relevant to the “blogging the election” story, and because I want it to appear in the RSS feed.

    Posted by Alan at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Wonkette On Today

    Ana Marie Cox, who publishes Wonkette, just had a few minutes on screen with the Today show from Boston. It was a short segment, but here are some verbatims:

    • I am a blogger, and I play Wonkette on the internet.
    • Q: What is a blogger? A: Someone who doesn’t get up before noon, usually.
    • I talk a lot about sex in politics, which is one of the ways to make it interesting.
    • If they’re trying to get news from me, they’re not succeeding.

    OK, then. I guess she was trying to be cute and pithy, and I’m not going to lay claim to taking myself or Command Post too seriously. But I do know two things: (1) the last time I got up after noon was in 1982, and (2) I don’t need an infusion of sex to make hard news or great blogs interesting.

    Posted by Alan at 08:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Bush Leading Kerry in Electoral Votes

    AP:

    John Kerry narrowly trails President Bush in the battle for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House, as he makes his case at the Democratic National Convention this week to topple the Republican incumbent.

    With three months remaining in a volatile campaign, Kerry has 14 states and the District of Columbia in his column for 193 electoral votes. Bush has 25 states for 217 votes, according to an Associated Press analysis of state polls as well as interviews with strategists across the country.

    Posted by Michele at 06:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 24, 2004

    Prostitutes Join Police Converging on DNC Boston

    REUTERS: Prostitutes Join Police Converging on DNC Boston

    Security officers won’t be the only professionals coming to Boston in unprecedented numbers for the Democratic National Convention.

    Practitioners of the world’s oldest profession are seeking reinforcements to help service some of the 35,000 visitors — plus untold numbers of police reinforcements — expected in the coming week when Democrats name Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) their presidential candidate.

    “Every convention brings in more people, and women fly in from all over the country to work it,” said Robyn Few, a prostitute on probation who runs the Sex Workers Outreach Project, an advocacy group.

    “There will be girls from California and from the South in Boston this week,” she said. “I hope a lot of women make a lot of money and make a lot of men really happy.”

    Good luck, Alan!

    (Now would be a good time to promote your PayPal link, Alan, if you catch my drift. winkwinknudgenudge)

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:35 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Porta What?

    Oh my:

    Media members, already perturbed by long security lines, may find themselves waiting in line for something nearly as important. As the majority of the print reporters arrived Saturday at the FleetCenter for the Democratic National Convention, tongues clucked when they saw the restroom facilities that they will be using for the next week.

    Twenty portable restrooms, like those used on construction sites, are lined up in front of the media pavilion to service nearly 1,200 members of the print media who will be working around the clock. That’s about 60 serious coffee-drinkers per toilet.

    Source is the Guardian. Hat tip to the prolific and impressive Betsy Newmark. Note to self: avoid fluids in Boston.

    Posted by Alan at 10:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Dispossessed But Determined

    Addie is one of the bloggers who had credentials to the DNC, then didn’t. But to her credit, she’s going anyway. So check out her blog … who knows, the view from the outside may very likely be more compelling than the view from within.

    Posted by Alan at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Media Upset With DNC Restroom Facilities

    AP: Media Upset With DNC Restroom Facilities

    Media members, already perturbed by long security lines, may find themselves waiting in line for something nearly as important. As the majority of the print reporters arrived Saturday at the FleetCenter for the Democratic National Convention, tongues clucked when they saw the restroom facilities that they will be using for the next week.

    Twenty portable restrooms, like those used on construction sites, are lined up in front of the media pavilion to service nearly 1,200 members of the print media who will be working around the clock. That’s about 60 serious coffee-drinkers per toilet.

    “That’s absurd,” said Jim Drinkard, a political reporter for USA Today, when he heard of the ratio of toilets per media member. “This is not the type of planning you’d expect out of someone trying to be a good host.”

    Good luck, Alan!

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Kerry criticizes UN's anti-fence decision

    JERUSALEM POST: Kerry criticizes UN’s anti-fence decision

    US Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, criticized the UN General Assembly’s resolution passed last week urging Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s ruling that it should dismantle the security fence.

    He said as president he would “stand up for Israel’s security in the UN or any international organization.”

    “I want to express my deep disappointment at the resolution passed Tuesday by the UN General Assembly. Let us remember: Israel’s fence is a legitimate response to terror that only exists in response to the wave of terror attacks against Israel. The fence has proven to be an important tool in Israel’s fight against terrorism,” Kerry said in a statement.

    Kerry, like the Bush administration, said he did not believe the ICJ had the jurisdiction to consider the issue of the fence’s legality.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 07:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush or Kerry? In Baghdad, Political Passions Run High

    CSM has an interesting article on views of the candidates among Baghdad residents. A sample:

    Thousands of miles from Boston and New York, the American horse race plays out in Iraqi terms: strongmen and wimps, doers and talkers, rulers and technocrats. Kerry has the advantage: He didn’t invade their country, which counts for a lot. But while Bush is generally hated, his tough-guy image plays well on the street. “John Kerry has a good heart; he was against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” says Haidar Abdullah, a young electrician. “But the truth is, I’m a George W. Bush supporter.”
    Posted by Alan at 09:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Pentagon Finds And Releases Bush's Records

    The Dominion Post reports today that the Pentagon on Friday released payroll records from President Bush’s 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard. The Pentagon said the prior claim that the records were destroyed was an “inadvertent oversight.”

    Posted by Alan at 09:48 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

    Texas' Youngest Delegate

    Another in my series of posts spotlighting DNC delegate bloggers … this time, Karl-Thomas Musselman, the youngest delegate from Texas. Visit his blog, Musselman For America, here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Mother Of All DNC Feeds

    Dave Winer, who created a blog for credentialed DNC bloggers a few weeks ago, has converted it into an aggregator for all bloggers who will be at the convention—including delegates who publish blogs. Visit it here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    45% say Kerry should quit seat, poll indicates

    BOSTON GLOBE: 45% say Kerry should quit seat, poll indicates

    The Democratic National Convention hasn’t started yet, but the partisan gamesmanship is already underway in Boston. The Republican National Committee yesterday released a poll it commissioned that says nearly half of Massachusetts voters believe John F. Kerry should resign from the Senate as he runs for president.

    In a survey of 500 Bay State voters conducted last Sunday and Monday, 59 percent said they ”are concerned” that Kerry ”missed 70 percent of the votes in the Senate over the last two years” and 45 percent say he should resign his Senate seat, according to an RNC spokeswoman, Christine Iverson.

    Kerry’s spokesman shrugged it off, saying that the poll was conducted by the Republicans.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 07:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    July 23, 2004

    Everybody's Doing It!

    Whaddayaknow: MSNBC’s Hardball has a convention blog, Hardblogger Who’s manning the keys? Ron Reagan, Willie Brown, Dee Dee Myers, Chris Matthews, and others. They promise to make it the “Mother of all weblogs.”

    And all this time, I thought it was her. Nonetheless, “Welcome, more traditional media types.”

    Now … is it really a blog? You be the judge, and visit the site to see Big Media’s take on the medium.

    Posted by Alan at 11:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Dems Bar Nader From Convention

    CNN reports that the Democratic party has barred Ralph Nader from attending the Boston convention.

    “Given that Nader is running on the Pat Buchanan Reform Party ticket and is openly accepting both financial and organizational help from Republicans and their allies, the answer is no,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera said.

    Yup. Those would be good reasons. But will Ralph show up anyway? Even money he does …

    Posted by Alan at 11:33 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    From George To George

    SMU asks:

    How did leisure suits affect political campaigns? Why was the rooster once the symbol of the Democratic Party? What feminine freebies did Eisenhower lure women voters with? To find out, take a walk down 250 years of American campaign trails with the exhibit, “From George to George: Presidential Elections in the United States from 1789 to the Present.”

    It’s a museum exhibit, but the online presence is cool, too. If you’re a political junkie, you need to check it out … it’s quite a walk down memory lane, and there’s a fine lot of ancillary material (trivia, etc.). Visit it here.

    Posted by Alan at 11:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dem Nightly Themes

    The Dem Convention themes for each night are fixed … this today from the DNCC:

    The convention will open on Monday afternoon. The first night’s focus will be the Kerry-Edwards plan for America’s future. Tuesday night’s theme will be John Kerry’s lifetime of strength and service. Wednesday night’s focus will be on creating a stronger, more secure America. Thursday night’s message will be “stronger at home, respected in the world.” John Kerry’s running mate John Edwards will speak on Wednesday night, and John Kerry will give his acceptance speech on Thursday night.
    Posted by Alan at 11:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dem Convention Entertainment Lineup

    I just received a press release from the DNCC previewing the convention entertainment:

    Monday night will feature performances by Patti LaBelle, Gerald Levert and BeBe Winans. Wyclef Jean, Brian McKnight, John Mellencamp, and the Black Eyed Peas will all perform on Wednesday. Thursday night will feature performances by Carole King, Willie Nelson, and Mavis Staples, the DNCC announced today …

    … The 2004 Democratic Convention will also showcase the talent and spirit of Massachusetts youth. In May, the DNCC and FleetBoston Celebrity Series announced Student Performances at the 2004 DNC — a collaborative effort to select young performers ages 5 to 18 from around Massachusetts to perform at the FleetCenter during the Democratic Convention. The four local youth performance groups selected to perform are: the Middlesex County 4-H Fife and Drum Corps, Children’s Voices of Greater Boston, City Youth Dance Ensemble, and Kwong Kow Chinese School Drum Ensemble.

    Willie … cool.

    Posted by Alan at 04:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Berger Reprise

    It was only a few days before the Berger story broke that we linked here to a Bisnow interview with Sandy Berger regarding Kerry’s foriegn policy leanings. With the perspective of hindsight, it’s worth listening to again.

    Posted by Alan at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    President Bush Appeals To African-Americans

    Speaking to the Urban League’s annual convention, President Bush questioned black voters support for Democrats. The Associated Press reports:

    “Does the Democrat Party take African-American voters for granted? It’s a fair question,” Bush told the Urban League’s annual convention. “I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But did they earn it, and do they deserve it?”

    Bush drew applause each time he ticked off one of his questions to the group: “Is it a good thing for the African-American community to be represented mainly by one political party?”

    “Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat Party truly served the African-American people?”

    “There is an alternative this year,” Bush said. “Take a look at my agenda.”

    The transcript of President Bush’s address to the Urban League is available here.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 01:39 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    Group May Attack Media at Democrats Convention-FBI

    REUTERS: Group May Attack Media at Democrats Convention-FBI

    The FBI said on Friday it was investigating “unconfirmed information” of a possible attack on media vehicles during the Democratic National Convention, which begins on Monday in Boston.

    “The FBI has received unconfirmed information that a domestic group is planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention by attacking media vehicles with explosives or incendiary devices,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston field office said in a statement.

    The FBI said members of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating, and that it would provide more details if there is “any credible information.”

    A spokeswoman for the Boston FBI told Reuters that the bureau had notified media organizations of the probe because they were potential targets.

    Boston police declined immediate comment.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 01:24 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Kerry: I can do better than Bush on fighting terrorism

    HAARETZ: Kerry: I can do better than Bush on fighting terrorism

    Putative Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told Haaretz that he believes it is up to Israel to negotiate peace, and that at this point there is no partner on the Palestinian side with whom to negotiate.

    On his plane on the way from West Virginia to Washington last week, Kerry told Haaretz that he would deal with terror by working against Arab countries that support it. “I can be more effective with the accountability of the Saudis and other Arab countries,” Kerry said. “I’ll do a better job of reducing the threat to Israel and the rest of the world.”

    Kerry has adopted a strongly pro-Israeli stand in recent months, which states that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is not a negotiating partner for Israel.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:15 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    NYTimes: White House Knew Of Berger Investigation Months Ago

    This from the New York Times:

    The White House said Wednesday that senior officials in its counsel’s office were told by the Justice Department months ago that a criminal investigation was under way to determine if Samuel R. Berger, the national security adviser under President Bill Clinton, removed classified documents about Al Qaeda from the National Archives.

    The White House declined to say who beyond the counsel’s office knew about the investigation, but some administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believed that several top aides to Mr. Bush were informed of the investigation. President Bush himself declined to answer a question Wednesday about whether he had been told, saying: “I’m not going to comment on this matter. This is a serious matter, and it will be fully investigated by the Justice Department.”

    The disclosure of the investigation forced Mr. Berger to step down as an informal, unpaid adviser to Senator John Kerry’s campaign on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the campaign accused the White House of deliberately leaking news of the investigation and said that Vice President Dick Cheney was involved in strategies to divert attention from the Sept. 11 report to be issued Thursday.

    “The timing of this leak suggests that the White House is more concerned about protecting its political hide than hearing what the commission has to say about strengthening our security,” a statement issued by Mr. Kerry’s campaign said.

    Posted by Alan at 09:24 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

    Bush Hints at What He'd Do in Another Term

    And according to the LA Times, the hint suggests healthcare and retirement programs.

    Posted by Alan at 09:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Kucinich Endorses Kerry

    USATODAY reports that Dennnis Kucinich has endorsed John Kerry. This should be old news to readers of this page … a careful read of the slate of DNC speakers, posted here two days ago, shows Kucinich among the Wednesday speakers.

    Posted by Alan at 09:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Kerry Stumps In Detroit

    While Bush was in Chicago, Kerry was at the National Urban League Conference in Detroit. Read the local Detroit News coverage here. Bush will speak to the conference today.

    Posted by Alan at 09:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    GOP Seeks Catholic Parish Directories

    This from the Las Vegas SUN:

    The Republican National Committee has asked Bush-backing Roman Catholics to provide copies of their parish directories to help register Catholics to vote in the November election, a use of personal information not necessarily condoned by dioceses around the country.

    In a story posted Thursday on its Web site, the National Catholic Reporter said a GOP official had urged people who attended a Catholic outreach event in January to provide parish directories and membership lists to the political party.

    “Access to these directories is critical as it allows us to identify and contact those Catholics who are likely to be supportive of President Bush’s compassionate conservative agenda,” wrote Martin J. Gillespie, director of Catholic Outreach at the RNC. “Please forward any directories you are able to collect to my attention.”

    The RNC is using the information from parish directories only for its nonpartisan voter registration drive, RNC spokeswoman Christine Iverson told The Associated Press on Thursday. Those efforts target members of other faiths as well as people who belong to nonreligious organizations, she said.

    Posted by Alan at 09:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Bush Stumps In Chicago

    The president was making whistle-stops in Chicago yesterday … read the local take here at the Sun Times.

    Posted by Alan at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    LA Times Poll: Neck And Neck

    The LA Times poll also shows the race neck-and-neck, and has Kerry with a 2 point lead among registered voters.

    Posted by Alan at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    USATODAY/Gallup: Kerry Leads By A Hair

    USATODAY has the latest USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll numbers up:

    It finds that voters’ faith in President Bush when it comes to combating terrorism is bolstering his standing in a presidential contest that remains essentially tied. Boosting Bush’s prospects: The belief by most Americans that a terrorist attack on U.S. soil will occur in the next few weeks or months.

    Kerry is at 47% among likely voters, Bush at 46% and independent candidate Ralph Nader at 4%. Among the larger group of registered voters, Kerry is at 47%, Bush at 43% and Nader at 5%.

    Posted by Alan at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Delegate Blog: DAJ

    Another delegate blog, with an interesting twist: Democrats Abroad Japan (expat delegates from Japan).

    Posted by Alan at 08:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oregon Delegate Bloggers

    Two more DNC delegate bloggers, both from Oregon:

    Posted by Alan at 08:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Delegate Blog: CPA John

    As you know, the DNCC credentialed roughly 35 bloggers—us included—as press for Boston. What’s cool, though, is that blogging is now sufficeintly popular that there are a number of DNC delegates who are bloggers as well. As I learn of them I’ll be linking them here so you can check out their sites and read their perspectives. The first is Cpajohn’s blog, Democracy For Vancouver.

    Posted by Alan at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    White Powder Update

    News 24 Houston reports that the white powder mailed to the Kerry DC HQ was “harmless.”

    Posted by Alan at 12:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Dumb And Dumber

    Joshua Green of The Atlantic asks Why are campaign commercials so bad?

    “There’s a stifling sameness to what we do,” Brabender laments. Unlike consumer-ad makers, political campaigns are inherently cautious. Brabender faults the consultant culture that has infected modern campaigning, wherein pollsters, campaign managers, and very often the candidates themselves demand to have creative input. “Everybody wants to play Siskel and Ebert,” he told me. “Candidates ride around all day coming up with ads in their heads.” He cited the tale of the former New York senator Alfonse D’Amato’s last stand: “D’Amato once said to me, ‘Where’s my line-item-veto ad?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Don’t you understand? People all over this country are sitting at their dinner tables at night wondering why we don’t have a line-item veto.’” Even now Brabender looked incredulous.
    Posted by Alan at 12:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 22, 2004

    Scare at Kerry Headquarters

    Police sealed off the office building that houses Sen. John Kerry’s headquarters on Thursday after a package with white powder was opened by campaign staff.

    Kerry, D-Mass., and his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., were hundreds of miles away, campaigning their way toward next week’s Democratic National Convention.

    “An envelope was opened and white powder fell out,” said campaign spokeswoman Debra DeShong. “On the recommendation of the Secret Service, we contacted the local police who are here investigating.”

    The discovery of the package prompted authorities to order a fleet of emergency vehicles to converge on the location, and personnel in biohazard suits entered the building.

    Posted by Michele at 09:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Nader sues to get on ballot in Texas

    HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Nader sues to get on ballot in Texas

    Ralph Nader’s independent presidential campaign went to federal court Thursday in a fight to get the consumer activist on the Texas ballot for the November general election.

    Nader’s campaign says Texas ballot access requirements for independent candidates are the toughest in the nation and unconstitutional, noting they are more stringent than those faced by third-party candidates.

    “This involves First Amendment rights and fundamental freedoms,” attorney James C. Linger told U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel. The judge did not immediately rule on the case and suggested it would be a matter of days.

    Nader was scheduled to be in Alaska and did not attend the hearing.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    al Jazeera to Cover Conventions

    Or, as the New York Post headline says: ALL THAT JAZEERA AT CONVENTIONS

    Al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, will cover both the Republican and Democratic national conventions alongside other major TV networks for the first time.
    “They will be treated the same as all other media,” RNC spokesman Lenny Alcivar told The Post yesterday, adding the Qatar-based satellite channel will be issued press credentials and a skybox just like CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and CNN for the late August convention at Madison Square Garden.

    Al-Jazeera will have similar access in Boston next week at the Democratic convention, according to the Boston Herald.

    I think a good angle for the bloggers going to the conventions (including Alan and myself) will be to cover the people covering the stories. It might be more interesting than the speeches.

    [source: Power Line]

    Posted by Michele at 09:21 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Lawyers' Group Tired of Political Slams

    Everyone back off: The American Bar Association is asking Republicans and Democrats to stop using lawyers and judges as “convenient scapegoats to scare the public.” Via PhillyBurbs / the AP. (Odd, given that 142 attorneys are members of Congress.)

    Posted by Alan at 09:02 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    A Telegenic Democratic Convention

    The LA Times reports on Don Mischer, the television producer hired by the DNC to produce the Democratic National Convention. He’s won Emmys for his work and produced the opening and closing ceremonies at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall.

    The story notes:

    Mischer’s most obvious departures are architectural. Instead of one podium there will be two, meaning that while a senator is speaking on one podium, the roadies can load a band on the other. And behind one of the podiums stands a 90-by-18-foot video screen, allowing for live feeds from satellite crews around the nation.

    Unlike awards shows Mischer has produced, the convention has to have a credible reason to trot out every one of its dozen or so performers. Mischer has locked in Willie Nelson, Carole King and Wyclef Jean. Mavis Staples will sing “America the Beautiful” on the convention’s closing night.

    Total budget: $9.1 million.

    To learn more about Don Mischer, visit DonMischer.com (which was loading very slowly when I visited) and his IMDB profile.

    Posted by Alan at 08:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Boston Will Soon See if It's Ready for the Party

    The LA Times has an update on Boston’s pre-convention machinations … efforts the Times describes as “if a monstrous, four-day snowstorm was about to hit in July.” (A four-day snowstorm of silly hats and red, white, and blue baloons, perhaps.) Focus is on security-specific interruptions to daily life … read it here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 21, 2004

    Bush Tells Republican Faithful He Is Victory-Bound

    REUTERS: Bush Tells Republican Faithful He Is Victory-Bound

    President Bush, down in the polls and facing a tough election-year fight, assured the Republican Party faithful on Wednesday he was treading a confident path to a second term in office.

    But in a speech the White House had billed as a glimpse at his themes for a second-term presidency, the Republican incumbent offered few details about how he would lead America to a wealthier and safer future.

    “In the weeks ahead, I will lay out an agenda worthy of this advancing and confident country,” Bush told a fund-raising gala that raised $23 million for Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    “This nation is on a rising path. And with four more years, we will achieve more growth, new and higher paying jobs and greater opportunity for all of our citizens.”

    He promised new steps to expand access to private health care and a shift in the focus of public school reform policies from elementary grades to high school.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    New LOWV Report On "Safeguarding The Vote"

    The League of Women Voters has issued a new report titled Helping America Vote: Safeguarding the Vote. The report “outlines a set of recommended operational and management practices for state and local election officials to enhance voting system security, protect eligible voters and ensure that valid votes are counted.” Policy and practice wonks may see the report here (PDF file).

    Posted by Alan at 09:33 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    Poll: Kerry Leading 2-1 Among Registered Latinos

    WaPo reports a new poll that has Kerry leading Bush among Hispanic registered voters 2-1. They also note that:

    The findings suggest that, at this point in the campaign, Bush is falling short of his goal of notably improving on the 35 percent share of the Hispanic vote he received four years ago, although his advisers said they believe he is still on track to do so. Kerry advisers, in contrast, said they are determined to keep Bush from winning as much of the Hispanic vote as he did in 2000.

    The details: The survey of 1,605 registered Latino voters was sponsored by The Post, the Univision Spanish language television network, and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI), an independent think tank affiliated with the University of Southern California.

    Posted by Alan at 09:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Schedule Of Primetime Speakers for Dem. 2004 Convention

    The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) has released a preliminary list of primetime speakers for the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The theme for the four days: “Stronger at Home, Respected in the World.” The following speakers — listed alphabetically by day — will all address the Convention between 7 pm and 11 pm EDT:

    Monday, July 26: The Kerry-Edwards Plan for America’s Future

    • David Alston, Vietnam Swift Boat Crewmate of John Kerry
    • Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
    • Jimmy Carter, Former President of the United States
    • Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States
    • Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York
    • Al Gore, Former Vice-President of the United States
    • Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative from Maryland, Democratic Whip
    • Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic Party
    • Kendrick Meek, U.S. Representative from Florida
    • Robert Menendez, U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    • Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston
    • Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Senator from Maryland (joined by all Women Senators)
    • Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, U.S. Representative from Ohio
    • Jim Turner, U.S. Representative from Texas

    Tuesday, July 27: A Lifetime of Strength & Service

    • Tom Daschle, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Democratic Leader
    • Howard Dean, Former Governor of Vermont, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Richard Durbin, U.S. Senator from Illinois
    • James Forbes, Senior Minister at Riverside Church, New York City
    • Richard Gephardt, U.S. Representative from Missouri, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Chris Heinz, Stepson of John Kerry
    • Teresa Heinz Kerry, Wife of John Kerry
    • Mike Honda, U.S. Representative from California
    • Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
    • Jim Langevin, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island
    • Carol Moseley-Braun, Former U.S. Senator from Illinois, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona
    • Barack Obama, State Senator from Illinois, U.S. Senate Candidate
    • Ron Reagan, Son of former President Ronald Reagan
    • Christie Vilsack, First Lady of Iowa
    • Ilana Wexler, 13-Year-Old Founder of Kids for Kerry

    Wednesday, July 28: A Stronger More Secure America

    • Steve Brozak, Ret. Lt. Col., USMC, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Jersey
    • Elijah Cummings, U.S. Representative from Maryland
    • Cate Edwards, Daughter of John Edwards
    • Elizabeth Edwards, Wife of John Edwards
    • John Edwards, Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
    • Bob Graham, U.S. Senator from Florida, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan
    • Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Greg Meeks, U.S. Representative from New York
    • Martin O’Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland
    • Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from Nevada
    • Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania
    • Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
    • Al Sharpton, 2004 Presidential Candidate

    Thursday, July 29: Stronger at Home, Respected in the World

    • Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State
    • Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware
    • Wesley Clark, Four Star General, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Max Cleland, Former U.S. Senator from Georgia
    • James Clyburn, U.S. Representative from South Carolina
    • Alexandra Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    • John Kerry, 2004 Democratic Presidential Nominee
    • Vanessa Kerry, Daughter of John Kerry
    • Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 2004 Presidential Candidate
    • Ed Markey, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts
    • Juanita Millender-McDonald, U.S. Representative from California
    • Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Representative from the District of Columbia
    • Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative from California, Democratic Leader
    • Jim Rassman, Green Beret rescued by John Kerry in Vietnam
    • Louise Slaughter, U.S. Representative from New York (joined by Congressional Women)
    • John Sweeney, President of AFL-CIO
    • Mark Warner, Governor of Virginia
    Posted by Alan at 09:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Historical Bush Approval Ratings

    Interesting graph here.

    Posted by Michele at 02:11 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    Edwards gives Democrats charm, but can he bring votes?

    AFP: Edwards gives Democrats charm, but can he bring votes?

    Senator John Edwards, a smooth-talking millionaire trial lawyer, brings southern charm and populist fire to the Democratic ticket but also an untested capacity to draw crucial votes nationwide.

    Edwards, 51, will accept the party’s nomination for vice president next week, capping a meteoric public career launched only six years ago with a successful long-shot run for a Senate seat from North Carolina.

    If the freshman lawmaker is short on political experience, he makes up for it with an infectious optimism and almost messianic confidence in his calling for higher office after a strong run for the presidency this year.

    “I’ve grown up in the bright light of America. That’s the truth,” says the self-described son of a textile mill worker. “And I want to make sure others get that same chance.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:54 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    Bush Waiting to Lay Out 2nd-Term Agenda

    AP: Bush Waiting to Lay Out 2nd-Term Agenda

    President Bush’s supporters shout “Four more years!” but for now, it’s unclear what a second term would bring.

    The president has been offering broad-brush descriptions of what he’d do if he were re-elected — “win the war on terror,” “extend peace and freedom throughout the world” and “continue to create jobs.”

    Yet, with just over 100 days until the election, Bush is keeping the details of his plans private.

    Bush’s advisers say that the run-up to next week’s Democratic National Convention in Boston is hardly a good time to outline second-term goals. At a speech Wednesday night at the Washington convention center, Bush is expected to take a stab at it.

    “I think the president will begin to touch more on some of the broad themes of his vision for the next four years,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. “It would be fair to say, I think, that as we move beyond the Democratic convention and into our convention that we will be talking more about the president’s agenda going forward.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 20, 2004

    Kerry-Bin Laden Bumper Stickers

    In Kentucky, a bumper sticker reading: “Kerry is bin Laden’s Man. Bush is Mine” is creating a ruckus. The Associated Press reports:

    Jefferson County GOP chairman Jack Richardson IV said the stickers were so popular that GOP headquarters ran out Friday. He won’t distribute more, but is trying to locate their source for those who want them. “I believe in the question this bumper sticker raises,” Richardson said.

    Bill Garmer, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said the sticker equates a decorated Vietnam veteran with Osama bin Laden - “one of the greatest enemies of the United States.”

    “It goes way over the line,” he said.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 06:09 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    Berger Steps Down From Kerry Campaign

    FoxNews is reporting that Sandy Berger is stepping down from his position as advisor to the Kerry campaign.

    Updated 5:00pm: AP confirms:

    Former national security adviser Sandy Berger, the subject of a criminal investigation over the disappearance of terrorism documents, stepped aside on Tuesday as an informal adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

    “Mr. Berger does not want any issue surrounding the 9/11 commission to be used for partisan purposes. With that in mind he has decided to step aside as an informal adviser to the Kerry campaign until this matter is resolved,” said Lanny Breuer, Berger’s attorney.

    The investigation had threatened to become a political problem for Kerry a week before his nominating convention in Boston in which he hopes to persuade voters that he is ready to be commander in chief. The cornerstone of Kerry’s argument against Bush is that he used faulty intelligence and poor judgment in waging war against Iraq.

    Posted by hideandseek at 04:57 PM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

    DNC Plans Post-Convention Ad Blitz

    The Associated Press reports the DNC is planning a massive post-convention ad blitz, timed to coincided with Kerry pulling his ads from the air in August:

    The Democratic Party, with $63 million in the bank, plans to launch a massive ad campaign against President Bush as John Kerry crosses the United States by bus, train and boat after next week’s nominating convention. …The Democratic National Committee’s ad blitz is expected as Kerry pulls his television commercials in August, saving millions of dollars in a tight general election budget.

    … [DNC Chairman] McAuliffe said he has $63 million of DNC money set aside and has promised the Kerry campaign he will raise another $100 million. Of that money, McAuliffe must pay for his overhead and roughly $40 million for grass-roots organizing. In addition, he can spend about $18 million in coordination with the Kerry campaign on advertising.

    If he raises $100 million this fall with Kerry’s help, McAuliffe would still have tens of millions to spend on independent expenditure ads. Under campaign spending laws, those spots cannot be coordinated with the Kerry team, but they can be negative, a contrast to Kerry’s mostly positive ad campaign strategy.

    Kerry’s campaign plans to pull its advertising in August, according to campaign aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Separately, the DNC’s independent expenditure office plans to air its first ads shortly after the convention, especially if Kerry doesn’t advertise in August, according to two Democrats who are not connected with the Kerry campaign. They also spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Posted by hideandseek at 12:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Kerry Biographical Series

    The Boston Herald has an interesting multi-part biographical series on John Kerry, with a more personal look at the senator:

    How He Found the American Dream in Millis: “I kept reading `rootless’ (in profiles about himself),” Kerry said last fall. “I could not disagree more. I have spectacular roots, a spectacular sense of family and place.”

    Complex Character Formed Early On: Sent by his American parents to a posh Swiss boarding school in the foothills of the Alps, an 11-year-old John F. Kerry did what most any other kid would do - he learned to curse in Italian.

    First Wife `Suffocated’ Under Political Spotlight: Friends say the union of John Kerry and Julia Thorne was a rousing love affair when they met at Yale - he a dashing 19-year-old, she a bikini-clad babe and twin sister to Kerry’s best friend.

    Marriage Hits Rocks as Career Blossoms: Without his wife’s family fortune to help pay the bills, Kerry’s personal finances were strained. Relying largely on his $89,500 Senate salary, he struggled to keep up with tuitions, child support and other bills for his two young daughters, Vanessa and Alexandra.

    All the Senator’s Women: The woman, given the assumed name of Nora Flax, talked about the opportunistic, ego-driven pol who went to Washington and quickly developed a love for the television cameras and Hollywood actresses. “When these guys are elevated to a public position - every day of their life, they have women throwing themselves at them,” she was quoted as saying. “It served his ego, this movie-star thing.” Most everyone in the reading public assumed the woman was Boston attorney Roanne Sragow and the senator was John F. Kerry.

    Posted by hideandseek at 11:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    The Power of the Database

    The Washington Post reports at length on the growing power of databases in political campaigns.

    For several years, largely out of public view, the two major parties have been assembling their infobanks, each with the same daunting goal. By tracking the electorate, and employing ever more sophisticated statistical models through the field called “data mining,” the parties and their candidates hope to zero in on who will vote, how they might vote, and how to persuade them to vote for Republicans or Democrats.

    “You could ask me about any city block in America, and I could tell you how many on that block are likely to be health care voters, or who’s most concerned about education or job creation,” said DNC Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe. “And I could press a button and six seconds later you’d have a name, an address and a phone number for each of them. We can then begin a conversation with these people that is much more sophisticated and personal than we ever could before.”

    “This doesn’t improve [a candidate’s] message one bit,” said Malchow, a direct-mail expert who has been a pioneer in such targeting techniques. “It doesn’t change the way a candidate looks or his personality or where he started in the polls. . . . But it can be a very, very powerful tool. In the end, it’s about having knowledge that allows you to use your resources in the smartest and most efficient way.”

    So, what exactly is in their databases?

    Exactly what the parties have in their databases on Ohio’s 4.7 million voters is closely guarded (DNC officials spoke in general about their files; the RNC declined to comment). But for starters, according to several sources, each file duplicates what is already available through state voter-registration rolls: name, gender, date of birth, address, county, state and federal congressional district, date of registration, party of registration (if any), and number of elections voted in.

    This information has been abetted by block-level census data and lists sold by commercial brokers that give the parties a general fix on marital status, ethnicity, educational level, the number of people living in each house, estimated home value, the length of residency, and whether a person rents or owns the residence.

    Through their record-keeping, plus list swaps with other organizations, the parties know who has made political contributions or charitable donations. Lists of club and organization memberships, plus self-identifying groups organized by the campaign, fill out to the picture. The Bush campaign has about 30 “affinity” groups it communicates with periodically, including African Americans for Bush, stock-car racing fans and snowmobile enthusiasts.

    What the parties do not keep, officials in both parties said, is information on consumer behavior, such as credit reports, automobile ownership or magazine subscriptions. “There’s a lot of information that’s useless in a political context,” one operative said. “We don’t really care who bought shoes at the Gap.”

    Both parties agree that the DNC is playing catch-up to the Republicans.

    Republicans and Democrats alike agree that the RNC, which began assembling its database several years before the DNC did, has been more effective in using its information. The party’s 72-Hour Task Force — a voter-registration and get-out-the-vote program — relied on block-by-block data during the 2002 congressional elections and in successful gubernatorial races in 2003 in Kentucky and Mississippi. Spooked by those efforts, and formerly dependent on state party lists alone, the DNC has hustled to catch up and is “almost at parity now,” said Michael Cornfield of George Washington University, an expert in online politics.

    Some express discomfort at where a heavy reliance on this data could lead.

    “It doesn’t bode particularly well for democracy if everyone isn’t hearing the same message,” said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in San Diego. For example, she said, it would be deceptive if a candidate sent a highly inflammatory message to people identified as strongly anti-immigrant while appealing to the mainstream with more moderate rhetoric.

    Another potential shortcoming: As databases enable candidates to refine their get-out-the-vote programs to people identified as their most likely supporters, indifferent or less committed voters may be bypassed. Why bother trying to persuade someone whom a computer has tagged as a lousy prospect?

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 11:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    The Kerry Test for Withdrawal

    In a Wall Street Journal interview (via Red State), Kerry has offered a three point test for withdrawal from Iraq.

    The three conditions, Mr. Kerry said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, are “to measure the level of stability” in Iraq, “to measure the outlook for the stability to hold” and “to measure the ability … of their security forces” to defend Iraq. Until each condition is satisfied, he added, “I will provide for the world’s need not to have a failed state in Iraq.”

    “At the end of my first term I would consider it a failure of my diplomacy if we haven’t reduced the number significantly,” Mr. Kerry said. But “I certainly can’t tell you numbers. … The key at this point is to have a stable, nonfailed state that is moving toward democracy and has security sufficient for the government to stand on its own.”

    Kerry senior foreign-policy adviser James P. Rubin said the three-part test the candidate articulated was more specific than his previous admonitions that American troops couldn’t leave until Iraq had become more stable and secure. Mr. Rubin noted that some portion of the U.S. troop deployment might be able to return home as Iraq moves closer to meeting Mr. Kerry’s conditions. But Mr. Kerry declined to spell out the benchmarks that he would use to measure conditions in Iraq, or specify any incremental troop reductions along the way.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 11:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    July 19, 2004

    Kerry Advisor, Sandy Berger, Under Investigation For Removing Classified Documents



    Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger is seen Sunday, Feb. 22, 1998, in Washington. Berger, is the focus of a criminal investigation after admitting he removed highly classified terrorism documents from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Brian K. Diggs, ile)

    Via Associated Press-Yahoo News:

    - - - - - - -

    WASHINGTON - President Clinton (news - web sites)’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a Justice Department (news - web sites) investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, The Associated Press has learned.

    Berger’s home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI (news - web sites) agents armed with warrants after he voluntarily returned documents to the National Archives. However, still missing are some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration’s handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration.

    Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed handwritten notes he had made while reading classified anti-terror documents at the archives by sticking them in his jacket and pants. He also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio, they said.


    “I deeply regret the sloppiness involved, but I had no intention of withholding documents from the commission, and to the contrary, to my knowledge, every document requested by the commission from the Clinton administration was produced,” Berger said in a statement to the AP.

    - - - - - - -

    Berger served as Clinton’s national security adviser for all of the president’s second term and most recently has been informally advising Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites). Clinton asked Berger last year to review and select the administration documents that would be turned over to the commission.

    The FBI searches of Berger’s home and office occurred after National Archives employees told agents they believed they saw Berger place documents in his clothing while reading sensitive Clinton administration papers and that some documents were then noticed missing, officials said.

    When asked, Berger said he returned some classified documents that he found in his office and all of the handwritten notes he had taken from the secure room, but could not locate two or three copies of the highly classified millennium terror report.

    “In the course of reviewing over several days thousands of pages of documents on behalf of the Clinton administration in connection with requests by the Sept. 11 commission, I inadvertently took a few documents from the Archives,” Berger said.

    “When I was informed by the Archives that there were documents missing, I immediately returned everything I had except for a few documents that I apparently had accidentally discarded,” he said.

    - - - - - - -

    Government and congressional officials familiar with the investigation, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the probe involves classified materials, said the investigation remains active and no decision has been made on whether Berger should face criminal charges.

    The officials said the missing documents were highly classified, and included critical assessments about the Clinton administration’s handling of the millennium terror threats as well as identification of America’s terror vulnerabilities at airports and seaports.

    - - - - - - -

    In the FBI search of his office, Berger also was found in possession of a small number of classified note cards containing his handwritten notes from the Middle East peace talks during the 1990s, but those are not a focus of the current criminal probe, officials and lawyers said.

    Breuer said the Archives staff first raised concerns with Berger during an Oct. 2 review of documents that at least one copy of the post-millennium report he had reviewed earlier was missing. Berger was given a second copy that day, Breuer said.

    Officials familiar with the investigation said Archives staff specially marked the documents and when the new copy and others disappeared, Archives officials called Clinton attorney Bruce Lindsey to report the disappearance.

    - - - - - - -

    Berger is the second high-level Clinton-era official to face controversy over taking classified information home.

    Former CIA (news - web sites) Director John Deutch was pardoned by Clinton just hours before Clinton left office in 2001 for taking home classified information and keeping it on unsecured computers at his home during his time at the CIA and Pentagon (news - web sites). Deutch was about to enter into a plea agreement for a misdemeanor charge of mishandling government secrets when the pardon was granted.

    - - - - - - -

    The above emphasis is mine.

    See the separate posting under The Command Post Global War on Terror page.

    Via Little Green Footballs. See, also, Instapundit and the Drudge Report.

    The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.

    Posted by nikita demosthenes at 11:15 PM | Comments (50) | TrackBack

    "This Land Is Your Land..." Election Parody

    Regular reader SBD of dotnetnukehosting.com sends us to this hilarious Bush-Kerry singalong that had me laughing too. It’s in Flash animation, and may take a while to load on a dial-up connection. But it’s worth it… almost as funny as the brilliant Bush-Blair “Gay Bar” music video. Love the Ah-nold and Clinton cameos.

    The semi-frightening thing is, once you’ve seen Bush & Kerry slag each other in the parody video, you have a reasonable facsimile of America’s 2004 election debate in a sound-bite age.

    Anyway, pay extra-special attention to the part right at the end. It’s important.

    P.S. We asked for help… and our readers responded with the lyrics.

    Posted by Winds of Change at 12:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    CA Democrats Squeal After Gov. Schwarzenegger Calls Them "Girlie Men"



    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at a ‘Citizens Rally’ at the Ontario Mills Shopping Center in Ontario, Calif., Saturday, July 17, 2004. With partisan disputes having stalled negotiations over the already late state budget, Schwarzenegger again went directly to voters, reusing a tactic that has helped break previous legislative deadlocks. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

    Via Associated Press-Yahoo News:

    - - - - - - -

    “If they [Democratic State legislators] don’t have the guts to come up here in front of you and say, ‘I don’t want to represent you, I want to represent those special interests, the unions, the trial lawyers … if they don’t have the guts, I call them girlie men,” Schwarzenegger said to the cheering crowd at a mall food court in Ontario.

    - - - - - - -

    Democrats said Schwarzenegger’s remarks were insulting to women and gays and distracted from budget negotiations. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to “blatant homophobia.”

    “It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult. That’s very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership,” said Kuehl, one of five members of the Legislature’s five-member Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

    “It’s ironic that the governor would try to find a metaphor for weakness when his real problem is that we’re being too strong,” she added.

    Schwarzenegger’s criticism of Democrats stems in part from their support of one bill prohibiting schools from contracting services with private companies, and another giving workers authority to sue their employers to enforce labor laws. Each side accuses the other of caving in to special interests.

    - - - - - - -

    “It’s a forceful way of making the point to regular Californians that legislators are wimps when they let special interests push them around,” [Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Rob] Stutzman said. “If they complain too much about this, I guess they’re making the governor’s point.”

    - - - - - - -

    With a forceful, popular, Republican Governor in California, the Kerry-Edwards team may have to focus more resources there in their campaign for the White House.

    The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.

    Posted by nikita demosthenes at 12:08 AM | Comments (39) | TrackBack

    July 18, 2004

    DNC Organizers Encourage Delegates To Cross Picket Lines

    The Boston Globe reports that convention organizers have begun attacking the legitimacy of threatened union picket lines at Democratic National Convention welcoming festivities in an attempt to stem the tide of delegates pledging boycotts:

    The convention host committee, led by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, is sending letters to all delegation heads today, encouraging them to attend the welcoming parties, despite threatened demonstrations by Boston’s police and fire unions. The host committee’s letter stresses that the unions’ pickets will be “informational,” meaning the unions aren’t on strike. Menino has tried to undercut Democrats’ reluctance to cross picket lines by arguing that the city’s police and firefighter demonstrations are not true picket lines.

    The chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Philip W. Johnston, has begun calling Democratic leaders from other states, asking them not to embarrass Senator John F. Kerry during the convention where he’ll receive the Democratic nomination for president.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:45 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Kerry Gambling On Negative Perception Of Economy

    Kerry is gambling that his negative message about a struggling economy and loss of jobs will resonate despite rising public optimism. The Associated Press reports:

    Kerry and Edwards have a bigger selling job than Reagan had in 1980 when he defeated President Carter or Clinton had in 1992 when he beat the first President Bush.

    In June 1980, three-fourths of Americans disapproved of Carter’s handling of the economy at a time of rising inflation and little growth.

    In June 1992, three-fourths disapproved of the elder Bush’s economic performance when the economy was just starting to revive.

    An AP-Ipsos poll this month found that voters were about evenly divided about the current president’s handling of the economy, with 49 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving. Also, consumer confidence has been on the rise.

    In a twist on the old Reagan question, those in the AP poll were asked: “Compared to four years ago, is your family’s financial situation better today, worse today or about the same?”

    Four in 10 respondents said better, 34 percent said the same and 26 percent said worse.

    In July 1992, only one-quarter of Americans said they were doing better than four years earlier.

    “By far, Kerry and Edwards have a harder case to make,” said Marlin Fitzwater, a spokesman for Reagan and the elder Bush.

    “In 1980, it was a successful argument for President Reagan because everybody in the country felt the weight of the failing economy on a daily basis. It was a truly fearsome reality to see how inflation was taking hold,” Fitzwater said.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 09:44 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2004

    Nevada To Use Electronic Voting Machines With Printers

    Reuters reports that Nevada will use voting machines that will leave a paper trail.

    Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller said he hoped his state would set an example by using touch-screen voting machines equipped with printers and avoid a repeat of the 2000 presidential election debacle.

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 04:40 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    July 15, 2004

    Note to Libertarians

    Dear Libertarians:

    We have received your emails and we regret leaving your candidates off of the presidential poll.

    We’ll be taking the poll down momentarily and a new one including the Libertarian candidates will be forthcoming.

    We apologize for the oversight.

    TCP Admin

    Posted by Michele at 07:56 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack

    Kerry Didn't Read NIE Before Voting For War

    An article at the NYTimes this morning entitled “Kerry Campaign’s Attack Backfires” states that after attacking President Bush for allegedly not reading the full 90-page National Intelligence Estimate before going to war in Iraq, Kerry aides admitted Kerry had not read the assessment either before voting to go to war.

    Posted by hideandseek at 12:28 PM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

    Nader Lacks Signatures in N.C.

    It is looking increasingly likely that consumer advocate Ralph Nader will not be on North Carolina’s ballot as a presidential candidate in November.
    The deadline is noon Tuesday for submitting the 100,000 signatures needed for unaffiliated candidates to get the ballot.

    “We are anticipating we may fall short,” said Mike Richardson of Boston, Nader’s national coordinator for ballot access. “North Carolina is a very difficult state to get on the ballot.”

    In the event that he doesn’t qualify, Nader’s campaign plans to submit the 500 signatures needed to make sure its write-in votes are counted. In 2000, when Nader also failed to get on the ballot, his campaign neglected to do that.

    Posted by Michele at 08:50 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

    July 14, 2004

    Kerry Upsets 9/11 Families

    Kerry upset some families of 9/11 victims yesterday by turning a private memorial dedication into a campaign event. The Boston Herald reports:

    Press were kept away but several family members, speaking privately, said they were miffed that Kerry arrived after most other pols - such as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Rep. Martin T. Meehan, and Attorney General Tom Reilly - had all left.

    And Kerry stayed much longer than the other leaders, shaking hands, posing for photos before he left with just as much commotion.

    [. . .]

    Others said they were disturbed that the Kerry campaign allowed television crews to film over the Public Garden fence - capturing video of Kerry with grieving family members in the midst of his presidential campaign.

    [. . .]

    Kerry’s aides said the event was non-political.

    “As a senator from this state, and as an American, Sen. Kerry came to pay his private respects to families and friends who suffered a great loss on 9/11,” spokesman David Wade said.

    “This isn’t a day for politics, and John Kerry [related, bio] attended the ceremony quietly and respectfully without staff in tow, keeping the media at a distance,” Wade said. “John Kerry remembers what it was like to lose friends on that terrible day, and it’s seared in him as an American why we must do whatever it takes to keep Americans safe and destroy the terrorists.”

    From California Yankee.

    Posted by Dan Spencer at 12:53 PM | Comments (52) | TrackBack

    Laura Bush Happy Daughters Are Campaigning

    (AP)—The First Lady is thrilled to have her daughters on the campaign trail.

    The time had come for Jenna and Barbara Bush to participate, Mrs. Bush said, even though the first couple sometimes has chafed at press attention given to the 22-year-olds.

    “I think our children are finding this race very tough when they’re watching from the sidelines,” she said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show.

    “They grew up,” she said, saying the time had come for them to play an active role.

    Jenna made a trip with her father last week and Barbara is traveling with him this week on his tour through midwestern states.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 10:46 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

    Kerry Takes Slight Lead in PA

    (AP)—Kerry has taken a slight lead over Bush in the latest Quinnipiac Pennsylvania poll.

    The Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found Kerry was backed by 46 percent of voters, President Bush by 41 percent and independent Ralph Nader by 5 percent.

    Quinnipiac University Polling Institute assistant director Clay F. Richards said Edwards, who has a blue-collar background, is helping Kerry in the central and southwest parts of the state, which are struggling economically.
    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 10:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Kerry Proposes Forest Corps

    (AP)—Kerry is proposing $100 million in forestry industry subsidies to fund a new Forest Restoration Corps.

    Shifting spending from commercial logging operations on federal lands would create jobs while restoring forests, streams and rangelands that have been mismanaged or severely damaged by wildfires, campaign aides said.

    The program — reminiscent of the Civilian Conservation Corps that President Franklin D. Roosevelt established during the Great Depression — is one of the highlights in a three-page plan unveiled Tuesday near the site of a wildfire that burned 1,200 acres on the western edge of Reno two weeks ago.

    A Kerry administration would pledge to budget annually to cover all federal firefighting costs, make necessary additions to aerial firefighting fleets, and focus reduction of fuels in overstocked forests on those areas posing the most immediate threats to communities, according to the plan.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 10:36 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    DNC Creds: Now We're In The Hall

    Another DNC update: we received a call from the DNC and they’ve switched our credentials from location credentials to hall credentials. This is great … being inside the building and media facility is what we’d hoped for all along … and I’m a bit surprised given that we didn’t petition them in any way. So, thanks, DNCC.

    Now the challenge is making arrangements to actually attend, given that the convention is 11 days away. But we’ll deal with that, and you can presume that one way or another, Command Post will continue it’s 2004 coverage directly from Boston.

    And finally, thanks to those of you who said you thought we deserved credentials when we didn’t have them.

    Posted by Alan at 10:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    July 13, 2004

    Kerry seeks gain from Bush rift with rights group

    REUTERS: Kerry seeks gain from Bush rift with rights group

    Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has tried to capitalise on growing rancour between the White House and civil rights leaders by accusing President George W. Bush of ignoring racial and economic inequalities in the United States.

    At a fund-raiser in his home state of Massachusetts, Kerry put a spotlight on Bush’s decision last week not address the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and presented himself as a long-time civil-rights supporter inspired by John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

    “My friends, I will be a president who meets with the leadership of the Civil Rights Congress, who meets with the NAACP,” he told a predominantly black audience on Monday.

    However…

    “We’ve got more African Americans in jail than we do in college. That’s unacceptable,” he added.

    As pointed out by Shark Blog and My Aisling before Shark Blog, the statement is incorrect.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 12:14 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    President Bush's Remarks at Oak Ridge

    As a service not provided by several Major News Organizations -

    Full Text of President Bush’s Remarks at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 12 July 2004

    Complete text also provided in the Extended Entry.

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for the warm welcome. I realize the Y-12 National Security Complex doesn’t get a lot of visitors — (laughter) — so thanks for the special arrangements. I’m also glad to have the opportunity to thank each one of you for the vital work you do here. And please pass the word to your fellow employees, many of whom were waving, I want you to know, as we drove in, for which I’m thankful. The nation counts on your great expertise and your professionalism in producing, protecting, and maintaining material that is critical to our security. America is safer because of your service at Oak Ridge. You need to know our nation is grateful for that service. (Applause.)

    I appreciate our Secretary of Energy Spence Abraham. He traveled with me today. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for your service. I want to thank Jeffrey Wadsworth, who’s the Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It’s not the first time I’ve met Jeffrey. I appreciate Jon Kreykes. I want to thank all the people who helped make this visit a successful visit. I want to thank Senator Lamar Alexander, the other members of the United States Congress who are traveling with us today — strong supporters, by the way, of Oak Ridge. I appreciate the Mayor being here, David Bradshaw. Mr. Mayor, appreciate you taking time to come. I want to thank my fellow citizens for giving me a chance to come and visit.

    I’ve just had a close look at some of the dangerous equipment secured in this place. Eight months ago, the centrifuge parts and processing equipment for uranium were 5,000 miles away in the nation of Libya. They were part of a secret nuclear weapons program. Today, Libya, America and the world are better off because these components are safely in your care.

    These materials are the sobering evidence of a great danger. Certain regimes, often with ties to terrorist groups, seek the ultimate weapons as a shortcut to influence. These materials, voluntarily turned over by the Libyan government, are also encouraging evidence that nations can abandon those ambitions and choose a better way.

    Libya is dismantling its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile programs. This progress came about through quiet diplomacy between America, Britain and the Libyan government. This progress was set in motion, however, by policies declared in public to all the world. The United States, Great Britain, and many other nations are determined to expose the threats of terrorism and proliferation — and to oppose those threats with all our power. (Applause.) We have sent this message in the strongest diplomatic terms, and we have acted where action was required.

    Every potential adversary now knows that terrorism and proliferation carry serious consequences, and that the wise course is to abandon those pursuits. By choosing that course, the Libyan government is serving the interests of its own people and adding to the security of all nations.

    America’s determination to actively oppose the threats of our time was formed and fixed on September the 11th, 2001. On that day we saw the cruelty of the terrorists, and we glimpsed the future they intend for us. They intend to strike the United States to the limits of their power. They seek weapons of mass destruction to kill Americans on an even greater scale. And this danger is increased when outlaw regimes build or acquire weapons of mass destruction and maintain ties to terrorist groups.

    This is our danger, but not our fate. America has the resources and the strength and the resolve to overcome this threat. We are waging a broad and unrelenting war against terror, and an active campaign against proliferation. We refuse to live in fear. We are making steady progress.

    To protect our people, we’re staying on the offensive against threats within our own country. We are using the Patriot Act to track terrorist activity and to break up terror cells. Intelligence and law enforcement officials are sharing information as never before. We’ve transformed the mission of the FBI to focus on preventing terrorism. Every element of our homeland security plan is critical, because the terrorists are ruthless and resourceful — and we know they’re preparing to attack us again. It’s not possible to guarantee perfect security in our vast, free nation. But I can assure our fellow Americans, many fine professionals in intelligence and national security and homeland security and law enforcement are working around the clock doing everything they can to protect the country. And we’re grateful to them all. (Applause.)

    To overcome the dangers of our time, America is also taking a new approach in the world. We’re determined to challenge new threats, not ignore them, or simply wait for future tragedy. We’re helping to build a hopeful future in hopeless places, instead of allowing troubled regions to remain in despair and explode in violence. Our goal is a lasting, democratic peace, in which free nations are free from the threat of sudden terror. Our strategy for peace has three commitments: First, we are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy. We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home. (Applause.) We are destroying the leadership of terrorist networks in sudden raids, disrupting their planning and financing, and keeping them on the run. Month by month, we are shrinking the space in which they can freely operate, by denying them territory and the support of governments.

    Second, we’re protecting the peace by working with friends and allies and international institutions to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw regimes. America is leading a broad coalition of nations to disrupt proliferation. We’re working with the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international organizations to take action in our common security. The global threat of terrorism requires a global response. To be effective, that global response requires leadership — and America will lead. (Applause.)

    Third, we are extending the peace by supporting the rise of democracy, and the hope and progress that democracy brings, as the alternative to hatred and terror in the broader Middle East. In democratic and successful societies, men and women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn their hearts and labor to building better lives. And democratic governments do not shelter terrorist camps or attack their neighbors. When justice and democracy advance, so does the hope of lasting peace.

    We have followed this strategy — defending the peace, protecting the peace and extending the peace — for nearly three years. We have been focused and patient, firm and consistent. And the results are all now clear to see.

    Three years ago, the nation of Afghanistan was the home base of al Qaeda, a country ruled by the Taliban, one of the most backward and brutal regimes of modern history. Schooling was denied girls. Women were whipped in the streets and executed in a sports stadium. Millions lived in fear. With protection from the Taliban, al Qaeda and its associates trained, indoctrinated, and sent forth thousands of killers to set up terror cells in dozens of countries, including our own.

    Today, Afghanistan is a world away from the nightmare of the Taliban. That country has a good and just President. Boys and girls are being educated. Many refugees have returned home to rebuild their country, and a presidential election is scheduled for this fall. The terror camps are closed and the Afghan government is helping us to hunt the Taliban and terrorists in remote regions. Today, because we acted to liberate Afghanistan, a threat has been removed, and the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime. Al Qaeda was active and recruiting in Pakistan, and was not seriously opposed. Pakistan served as a transit point for al Qaeda terrorists leaving Afghanistan on missions of murder. Yet the United States was not on good terms with Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders — the very people we would need to help shut down al Qaeda operations in that part of the world.

    Today, the governments of the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror. President Musharraf is a friend of our country, who helped us capture Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the operational planner behind the September the 11th attacks. And Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along their nation’s western border. Today, because we’re working with the Pakistani leaders, Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror, and the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Three years ago, terrorists were well-established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators gave al Qaeda financial and logistical help, with little scrutiny or opposition. Today, after the attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that al Qaeda is its enemy. Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism. The government has captured or killed many first-tier leaders of the al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia — including one last week. Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger and has joined the war on terror, the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn enemy of America, who provided safe haven for terrorists, used weapons of mass destruction, and turned his nation into a prison. Saddam Hussein was not just a dictator; he was a proven mass murderer who refused to account for weapons of mass murder. Every responsible nation recognized this threat, and knew it could not go on forever.

    America must remember the lessons of September the 11th. We must confront serious dangers before they fully materialize. And so my administration looked at the intelligence on Iraq, and we saw a threat. Members of the United States Congress from both political parties looked at the same intelligence, and they saw a threat. The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence, and it saw a threat. The previous administration and the Congress looked at the intelligence and made regime change in Iraq the policy of our country.

    In 2002, the United Nations Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply. In fact, according to former weapons inspector David Kay, Iraq’s weapons programs were elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. So I had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or defend America. Given that choice, I will defend America every time. (Applause.)

    Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq. We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them. In the world after September the 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take.

    Today, the dictator who caused decades of death and turmoil, who twice invaded his neighbors, who harbored terrorist leaders, who used chemical weapons on innocent men, women, and children, is finally before the bar of justice. (Applause.) Iraq, which once had the worst government in the Middle East, is now becoming an example of reform to the region. And Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat the terrorists and foreign fighters who threaten their nation and the world. Today, because America and our coalition helped to end the violent regime of Saddam Hussein, and because we’re helping to raise a peaceful democracy in its place, the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Three years ago, the nation of Libya, a longtime supporter of terror, was spending millions to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons. Today, thousands of Libya’s chemical munitions have been destroyed. And nuclear processing equipment that could ultimately have threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands is stored away right here in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Today, because the Libyan government saw the seriousness of the civilized world, and correctly judged its own interests, the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Three years ago, a private weapons proliferation network was doing business around the world. This network, operated by the Pakistani nuclear scientist, A. Q. Khan, was selling nuclear plans and equipment to the highest bidder, and found willing buyers in places like Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Today, the A. Q. Khan network is out of business. We have ended one of the most dangerous sources of proliferation in the world, and the American people are safer. (Applause.)

    Breaking this proliferation network was possible because of the outstanding work done by the CIA. Dedicated intelligence officers were tireless in obtaining vital information, sometimes at great personal risk. Our intelligence services do an essential job for America. I thank them for their dedication and hard work. (Applause.) The Senate Intelligence Committee has identified some shortcomings in our intelligence capabilities; the Committee’s report will help us in the work of reform. Our nation needs more intelligence agents — what is called human intelligence — to cover the globe. We must have the best, cutting-edge technology to listen and look for dangers. We must have better coordination among intelligence services. I need, and the Congress needs, the best possible intelligence in order to protect the American people. We’re determined to make sure we get it.

    Three years ago, the world was very different. Terrorists planned attacks, with little fear of discovery or reckoning. Outlaw regimes supported terrorists and defied the civilized world, without shame and with few consequences. Weapons proliferators sent their deadly shipments and grew wealthy, encountering few obstacles to their trade.

    The world changed on September the 11th, and since that day, we have changed the world. (Applause.) We are leading a steady, confident, systematic campaign against the dangers of our time. There are still terrorists who plot against us, but the ranks of their leaders are thinning, and they know what fate awaits them. There are still regimes actively supporting the terrorists, but fewer than there used to be. There are still outlaw regimes pursuing weapons of mass destruction, but the world no longer looks the other way. Today, because America has acted, and because America has led, the forces of terror and tyranny have suffered defeat after defeat, and America and the world are safer. (Applause.)

    All this progress has been achieved with the help of other responsible nations. The case of Libya’s nuclear disarmament is a good example. In the fall of 2003, American and British intelligence were tracking a large shipment of nuclear equipment bound for Tripoli aboard a German-registered cargo ship. We alerted German and Italian authorities, who diverted the ship to an Italian port where the cargo was confiscated. We worked together. These events helped encourage Libya to reconsider its nuclear ambitions. That was a dramatic breakthrough, achieved by allies working together. And the cooperation of America’s allies in the war on terror is very, very strong.

    We’re grateful to the more than 60 nations that are supporting the Proliferation Security Initiative to intercept illegal weapons and equipment by sea, land, and air. We’re grateful to the more than 30 nations with forces serving in Iraq, and the nearly 40 nations with forces in Afghanistan. In the fight against terror, we’ve asked our allies to do hard things. They’ve risen to their responsibilities. We’re proud to call them friends. (Applause.)

    We have duties and there will be difficulties ahead. We’re working with responsible governments and international institutions to convince the leaders of North Korea and Iran that their nuclear weapons ambitions are deeply contrary to their own interests. We’re helping governments fight poverty and disease, so they do not become failed states and future havens for terror. We’ve launched our Broader Middle East Initiative, to encourage reform and democracy throughout the region, a project that will shape the history of our times for the better. We’re working to build a free and democratic Palestinian state, which lives in peace with Israel and adds to the peace of the region. We’re keeping our commitments to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, who are building the world’s newest democracies. They’re counting on us to help. We will not abandon them. (Applause.) Delivering these nations from tyranny has required sacrifice and loss. We will honor that sacrifice by finishing the great work we have begun. (Applause.)

    In this challenging period of our history, Americans fully understand the dangers to our country. We remain a nation at risk, directly threatened by an enemy that plots in secret to cause terrible harm and grief. We remain a nation at war, fighting for our security, our freedom, and our way of life. We also see our advantages clearly. Americans have a history of rising to every test; our generation is no exception. We’ve not forgotten September the 11th, 2001. We will not allow our enemies to forget it, either. (Applause.)

    We have strong allies, including millions of people in the Middle East who want to live in freedom. And the ideals we stand for have a power of their own. The appeal of justice and liberty, in the end, is greater than the appeal of hatred and tyranny in any form. The war on terror will not end in a draw, it will end in a victory, and you and I will see that victory of human freedom. (Applause.)

    I want to thank you all for coming. Thank you for your dedication. May God bless you and your families, and may God continue to bless our great country. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

    Posted by Windrider at 11:53 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

    NAACP Vows Big GOTV Push

    The NAACP Annual Convention is happening here in my home town (Philadelphia), and as part of its convention coverage the Star-Ledger reports:

    Calling the November presidential election the most important race in decades, leaders of the nation’s largest civil rights organization are vowing an unprecedented three-pronged plan to register new voters, get them to the polls and make sure votes are counted accurately.

    As a local City Councilman said at the convention yesterday (paraphrased), “George Bush may not have heard from us today, but he’ll hear from us the first Tuesday in November.”

    Posted by Alan at 07:12 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Conventions To Get 3 Hours Of Prime Time

    The NY Times is reporting that ABC and CBS will match NBC in broadcasting (only) three hours of the DNC and RNC in primetime.

    (Maybe that’s why they want bloggers to attend …”

    Posted by Alan at 07:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Terrorists Can't Halt Vote, Experts Say

    The LA Times is citing terrorism experts and lawmakers in reporting that even a terrorist attack on election day would be unlikely to halt the voting process.

    (Not something I would have thought of typing 10 years ago, BTW … but of course, I never thought about blogging 10 years ago, either.)

    Posted by Alan at 07:06 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Initiatives to Ban Gay Marriage Could Help Bush in Key States

    That’s the headline at the LA Times, who report that the presence of anti-gay-marriage initiatives on the ballots of several swing states (like Michigan and Oregon) may boost conservative turnout this year.

    Update: More here at IHT.

    Posted by Alan at 07:02 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

    Sandy Berger On Kerry ForPol

    The Hill has released portions of a Bisnow interview with key Kerry policy advisor and former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. Here’s the plug:

    In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with Bisnow on Business, former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, now a chief foreign policy adviser to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, says, in answer to a question about how long he can imagine a “substantial U.S. force presence” in Iraq: “I can certainly imagine us having a force there in three years. I hope it will be a smaller force.”

    Berger answers what Kerry would do differently from what the Bush administration is doing in Iraq today; whether the premises for invading Iraq were valid; whether Berger thinks the U.S. is better off for having invaded Iraq; whether Iraq is winnable or whether the U.S. should just cut its losses; who is to blame for inaccurate information about the presence of weapons of mass destruction and the hope U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators; whether Saddam was really a threat to the U.S.; what diversion the war has caused of foreign policy attention and assets elsewhere; whether the U.S. is currently making progress in Iraq; how many additional troops may be needed; whether we need a draft; whether he would use the term “incompetence” in describing execution of post-war planning; and whether he thinks John Edwards has adequate national security experience.

    Read it here.

    Posted by Alan at 06:59 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    The Saga Continues, But We've Got DNC Creds

    Well, whereas it first seemed we were not credentialed to cover the DNCC in Boston (bloggers began receiving credentials the first week in July), now it seems we were. But as you can read from Michele’s description here, they are “perimeter” credentials, meaning we can fly to Boston, get hotel rooms, take busses or cabs to the Fleet Center, pass through security, and then have no access to the building or the standard media center.

    Ummm … no thanks. Besides, as Lileks noted, the real action is in the local bars anyway.

    For some reason, the ability to stand outside the Fleet Center is not the “same access as the traditional media” promised on the original DNCC 2004 application and information pages (none of which, by the way, exist online anymore, either at the DNCC site or as cached pages, so I can’t send you there for the proof n’ pudding).

    So, while it was nice to be invited, without the ability to experience the convention inside-out, it’s likely neither Michele nor I will travel to Boston (on two-weeks notice), although we do have the ability to send “colleagues,” so we will likely try to extend our passes to other members of the Command Post family.

    We’ll keep you posted.

    One last question: Did anybody else get site-only credentials a week after everyone else?

    Posted by Alan at 06:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 12, 2004

    Fringe Elements Seek to Hamper Law Enforcement at GOP Convention



    Rosamilio NEWS. “Where is the legitimate protest in trying to endanger the public?” an angry ­Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told The New York Daily News.

    As reported by Patrice O’Shaughnessy in the July 11, 2004, edition of the New York Daily News:

    - - - - - - -

    Fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions at the Republican National Convention with a series of sneaky tricks - including fooling bomb-sniffing dogs on trains bound for Penn Station, the Daily News has learned.

    Internet-using anarchists are telling would-be troublemakers to decoy specially trained Labrador retrievers with gunpowder or ammonium nitrate-laced tablets in a bid to halt trains or even spur the evacuation of Madison Square Garden.

    Top cops are girding against the attempt to foil strong anti-terrorist strategies aimed at protecting conventiongoers - including President Bush - as well as peaceful protesters during the Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 GOP fete.

    “Where is the legitimate protest in trying to endanger the public?” an angry ­Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told The News.

    - - - - - - -


    So in addition to guarding against the most vile, organized and destructive of terrorists, Kelly and company have to combat a shadowy, loose-knit band of traveling troublemakers who spread their guides to disruption over the Internet.

    The dog decoy ploy is the among most insidious in the fringe groups’ bag of tricks - which includes throwing marbles under the hooves of police horses and using slingshots to pelt the animals.

    “They’re trying to use up our resources with false alarms. … The sensitive dogs would become burned out with too many alerts,” said a police source.

    - - - - - - -

    The NYPD also is preparing for possible “Black Bloc” tactics by small groups of anarchists, in which demonstrators wear black clothing and bandannas over their faces - and wield pipes, bottles and commit acts of vandalism against corporate “enemies” such as the Gap, Starbucks and McDonald’s.

    Cops have been trained to isolate violent individuals among peaceful protesters, and will employ an 1845 law that prohibits people from wearing masks in street gatherings, except for masquerades.

    The NYPD has sent cops to Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami, sites of previous political conventions, and to Boston, which will host the Democratic convention this month, to collect intelligence.

    - - - - - - -

    Via Little Green Footballs. The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.

    Posted by nikita demosthenes at 02:30 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

    Social Conservatives Feel Cut Out of GOP Convention (NYT)

    The New York Times reports that socially conservative members of the Republican Party want more time on stage at the Party Convention.

    Conservatives said they were surprised to see former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Senator John McCain of Arizona - all moderate Republicans who oppose the proposed constitutional amendment blocking same-sex marriage - given high-profile roles at the convention, with few conservative Republicans on the list.

    “I hate to say it, but the conservatives, for the most part, are not excited about re-electing the president,” warned Paul Weyrich, the longtime Christian conservative organizer, in an e-mail newsletter on Friday. “If the president is embarrassed to be seen with conservatives at the convention, maybe conservatives will be embarrassed to be seen with the president on Election Day.”



    The speakers’ roster makes room for many moderate Republicans, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki of New York, as well as Education Secretary Rod Paige, Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne Cheney. But conservatives have noted with alarm that so far, aside from Mr. Bush, the only like-minded social conservative with a featured speaking role is Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat from Georgia.

    “When the only Reagan Republican to enjoy a prominent supporting role at the party’s convention is a Democrat, the G.O.P. has a serious identity problem,” Kate O’Beirne, the Washington editor of the conservative National Review, wrote in a column posted on its Web site last Wednesday. The list, she wrote, “is not the mark of a self-confident party establishment,” adding, “if the lineup is intended to make an overwhelmingly conservative party attractive to swing voters, it does so by pretending to be something it’s not.”

    Yesterday, Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush campaign, said: “The Republican Party is a national party, and the convention lineup will reflect the broad national appeal of the Republican Party. When the speaker lineup is complete, it will reflect that.”

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Ron Reagan to Address Democratic Convention

    Reagan will address the Democratic Convention, criticizing Bush and promoting stem-cell research.

    Reagan and an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, will be at the podium on July 27, the second night of the four-day event in Boston, in support of stem-cell research, he said yesterday in an interview here.

    David Wade, a spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, confirmed Reagan’s appearance, but sources said the date had not been determined. Scott Stanzel, press secretary for President Bush’s campaign, declined to comment.

    Reagan, a Seattle resident with his wife, Doria, a clinical psychologist, said he was contacted about two weeks ago by the Democratic National Committee. He said he “had a nice chat” on the phone with Kerry, “but he wasn’t pushing me. I had already decided.”

    A registered independent who has long been an outspoken political liberal, Reagan said he would not campaign for Kerry or any other candidate. He said he would vote for Kerry, however, “as a way to defeat Bush.”

    Reagan, 46, said he also did not vote for Bush in 2000, despite the fact that Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, was vice president during Ronald Reagan’s two terms in the White House.

    President Bush “has made some terrible mistakes,” most notably, attacking Iraq, Ron Reagan said.

    Reagan also opposes Bush’s stand on stem-cell research. That is the only reason Reagan accepted the Democrats’ invitation, he said.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:21 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    A Future President's Rebirth

    That is the title of this LA Times article profiling how G.W. Bush reshaped his conservatism and his personal style during his father’s 1988 campaign … a period of time that clearly shaped his approach to the presidency and campaigning (Lee Atwater lives on, it appears). Not much has been written about this period and its formative effects; the article is worth a full read. A sample:

    “Jesus Christ is my personal savior,” Bush said when asked about his faith. By the end, the message was clear to the conservatives: George W. Bush was one of them.

    With that encounter, Bush was already showing the kind of ideological clarity, personal passion and sense of mission that his father often lacked — and that would become the hallmark of his own presidency 12 years later.

    The episode was one small part of a rich political education that Bush gained from working on his father’s 1988 presidential campaign. That experience gave “Junior,” as he was then known, exposure to two forces that would prove enormously important to his own political rise: the evangelical movement, which has become a core part of his political base; and an emerging style of hardball campaigning, which he used to defeat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2000 Republican primaries and has unfurled against his presumed 2004 Democratic opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

    Read it all.

    Posted by Alan at 07:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Game Time In Florida

    The Orlando Sentinel reports on Florida’s efforts to have its voting infrastructure ready for the 2004 election. And they are … well … maybe ready. Here’s the lead:

    Glenda Hood’s main mission when she became Florida’s secretary of state last year was to take control of a flawed election system that became a national joke in the 2000 presidential race.

    The former Orlando mayor was charged with fixing the mess and preparing Florida for Election Day 2004.

    For months, Hood has insisted everything is fine. But Saturday, that rosy outlook ran headlong into a fiasco.

    Hood’s critics say her retreat after steadfastly defending the “potential felons” voter list is only one of many warning signs that Florida may not be ready, after all. The state also faces lawsuits challenging new touch-screen voting machines, general distrust among black voters who fear disenfranchisement, and polls suggesting Florida may again be the scene of a presidential election too close to call.

    One issue: Hood’s own level of optimism and confidence, which some critics are describing as a “bunker mentality.” There is a lot of detail in this article, and the local reporting is as close as you can get to the source without being in the same room. You should read it all.

    Posted by Alan at 07:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    One Way Edwards May Help ...

    … campaign donations. At least that’s the analysis of the LA Times / ContraCosta Times, which notes that having Edwards on the ticket will have trial attorneys (and some others) “jumping over the moon” to donate to the Dem cause.

    Posted by Alan at 07:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Does The VP Selection Matter?

    The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette asks: “Do Running Mates Matter?” (A peek at the answer: It depends. Is it a close election? Then it matters.)

    Posted by Alan at 07:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Red, Blue, And Other

    The Houston Chronicle has the latest in a string of articles in the press regarding the coveted “swing” voter—those who register as “unaffiliated.” From the article:

    Since 1987, the Democratic share in the 27 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have registered voters by party throughout this period has plummeted 8 percentage points, from 51 percent to 43 percent. The Republican share has stayed steady at 33 percent. But the proportion of voters who have not identified themselves with either of the major parties has jumped 8 percentage points, from 16 percent to 24 percent. What’s impressive about these numbers isn’t the phenomenon itself, but its staying power. Myriad polls over the past two decades have shown that voters, when asked to identify themselves politically, divide about one-third Democratic, one-third Republican and one-third independent. But in terms of registration, most have opted for one major party or the other — perhaps because, in some states, that was the only way they could vote in a party primary. Only recently have registration figures begun to reflect the poll numbers.

    What’s so significant about the rise of the unaffiliated? Well, it’s one thing to tell a pollster that you consider yourself “independent.” No particular consequence arises from that self-identification. But to register as unaffiliated is a stronger statement of preference (or lack of one). Political parties talk about the “base,” and how to energize it. These numbers suggest the base is eroding, or at least is harder to identify and rely on. If that’s true, we can see a change in how the major parties conduct their campaigns, particularly in states such as Florida, where the number of registered “others” has quadrupled since 1987 and is now 20 percent (1.8 million voters).

    Posted by Alan at 06:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Kerry Attacks Bush On Iraq

    With the release of the Senate report on Iraq, Kerry/Edwards used the weekend to attack the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq, accusing the president of misleading the nation. They also defended their votes supporting the action in Iraq by saying they were similarly misled. From Boston.com:

    “The president went back on his word,” Kerry said. “I take that personally.”

    He added: “Evidence is mounting significantly that they made a decision, then framed an argument to support it. I think there are very serious questions about that that remain to be answered.”

    Nonetheless, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his choice for vice president defended their vote in favor of the war, saying that they had been guided by the evidence laid before them at the time.

    “I’m not second-guessing my vote one iota,” Kerry said. “The vote was the right vote at that moment in time, and we don’t deal with hypotheticals. We deal with the realities.”

    Utusan (Malaysia / AFP) has a similar story here (worth reading for an overseas angle):

    “He certainly misled America about nuclear involvement,” said the candidate, commenting on Bush’s statement about alleged attempts by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to reconstitute Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme.

    “And he misled America about the types of weapons that were there, and he misled America about how he would go about using the authority he was given,” Kerry continued.

    Posted by Alan at 06:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    July 11, 2004

    In Case of Terror: Election Postponement Plans

    U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda, Newsweek reported on Sunday.

    ***

    The magazine cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department last week to review what legal steps would be needed to delay the election if an attack occurred on the day before or the day of the election.

    The department was asked to review a letter to Ridge from DeForest Soaries, who is the chairman of the new U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the magazine said.

    More on this at CNN.

    Posted by Michele at 07:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Edwards Does Little for Polls

    ABC/AP: Edwards Does Little for Polls

    John Kerry’s choice of John Edwards as his running mate was received favorably by the public, polls suggest, but it has made little difference so far in the race with President Bush.

    Kerry strategists are trying to lower expectations for a “bounce” in the polls that presidential candidates sometimes get after choosing a running mate or attending a convention. Bush strategists were quick to raise expectations of a double-digit “bounce” for the Kerry-Edwards team by the end of the Democratic National Convention.

    An AP-Ipsos poll released Thursday offered an early hint there would not be a post-Edwards bounce for Kerry.

    Bush had a slight lead over Kerry as voters expressed increasing confidence about the economy. Bush was at 49 percent, Kerry at 45 percent and independent Ralph Nader at 3 percent, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs.

    Other polls in the next few days showed Bush and Kerry essentially tied in a three-way contest. Kerry had a slight edge in a two-way race with Bush in some polls.

    Also, Newsweek ran a poll this past week…

    Although the John Kerry campaign enjoyed a rush of positive media coverage after announcing that John Edwards would be the Democratic candidate’s running mate, it is still locked in a dead heat with the Republican ticket, according to the first NEWSWEEK poll conducted since Edwards was tapped. Nearly 70 percent of all voters believe the selection of Edwards won’t make much difference in the outcome of the election, according to the poll. The survey also found that more voters think President George W. Bush will be re-elected than think Kerry will take the White House.
    Posted by Laurence Simon at 05:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack

    REUTERS: U.S. Mulling How to Delay Nov. Vote in Case of Attack

    U.S. counterterrorism officials are looking at an emergency proposal on the legal steps needed to postpone the November presidential election in case of an attack by al Qaeda, Newsweek reported on Sunday.

    Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned last week that Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)’s al Qaeda network may attack within the United States to try to disrupt the election.

    The magazine cited unnamed sources who told it that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Justice Department (news - web sites) last week to review what legal steps would be needed to delay the election if an attack occurred on the day before or the day of the election.

    The department was asked to review a letter to Ridge from DeForest Soaries, who is the chairman of the new U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the magazine said.

    The commission was created in 2002 to provide funds to the states to the replace punch card voting systems and provide other assistance in conducting federal elections.

    In his letter, Soaries pointed out that while New York’s Board of Elections suspended primary elections in New York on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, “the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:10 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    July 10, 2004

    The DNCC Side Of The Story

    Read the DNCC’s account of the blogger credentialing process (“we screwed up”) here. Of note, they account for the preponderance of left-leaning blogger credentials as a function of response distribution: more left-leaning bloggers applied, so more were credentialed. OK, but frankly, /BEGIN SOUR GRAPES/ we still felt we had the lineage to attend, especially given that we’ve had a page devoted to the election since June, 2003, and our significant readership among and credibility with mainstream journalists and govt. opinion leaders. /END SOUR GRAPES/

    Posted by Alan at 11:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Bush to Skip NAACP Meeting Due to Hostile Comments

    REUTERS: Bush to Skip NAACP Meeting Due to Hostile Comments

    President Bush has decided not to speak to the country’s largest civil rights group, the White House said on Friday, citing openly hostile comments by its leaders about the president.

    The White House initially attributed Bush’s decision not to accept the invitation to speak at the NAACP annual convention to a scheduling conflict. The convention opens on Saturday in Philadelphia.

    But White House spokesman Scott McClellan, traveling with Bush on a campaign bus trip through Pennsylvania cited “hostile political rhetoric about the president” from the group’s leaders.

    “It’s disappointing to hear,” McClellan said.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 08:49 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

    July 09, 2004

    Dems Credential Bloggers; GOP Will, Too

    AP: Dems Credential Bloggers; GOP Will, Too

    More than 30 independent Web journalists have been accredited to cover the Democratic convention, and the Republicans said Friday they’ll also credential so-called bloggers.

    It’s the first time bloggers will be joining the thousands of newspaper, magazine and broadcast journalists at the quadrennial presidential-nomination events.

    The Democrats initially invited an additional 20 bloggers to their July 26-29 party in Boston, but later rescinded those approvals and blamed a computer gaffe. That prompted complaints of unprofessionalism and favoritism.

    Convention spokeswoman Peggy Wilhide said the approval letters that went to the disinvited had been generated by mistake.

    Anticipating criticisms that decisions were ideologically based, Wilhide said only two of the 20 credentials rescinded were for “right-leaning” blogs. She pointed to the approval of at least one “right-leaning” blog, Oxblog, though the co-founder who applied, Patrick Belton, is a registered Democrat who considers himself centrist.

    Meanwhile, Republican convention spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said Friday that the GOP, too, will credential bloggers — likely 10 to 20. He said Republicans still were crafting the procedures and guidelines for their Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering in New York City, but won’t reject bloggers based on viewpoint alone.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 07:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    2004 Reader Comment Of The Day

    From the Bush Military Records thread:

    Well, speaking as someone who spends part of his work day dealing with angry bosses who wonder why their new employee doesn’t have a new computer, because the paperwork requesting such was lost or destroyed in a massive Federal bureaucracy, the idea that another massive Federal bureaucracy would lose or destroy records is not very surprising.

    Posted by: Dave T. at July 9, 2004 04:07 PM

    I laughed out loud. Thanks Dave T., whoever you are.

    Posted by Alan at 06:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Pentagon: Bush Military Records Destroyed

    AP: Pentagon: Bush Military Records Destroyed

    Military payroll records that could more fully document President Bush’s whereabouts during his service in the Texas Air National Guard were inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.

    In a letter responding to a freedom of information request by The Associated Press, the Defense Department said that microfilm containing the pertinent National Guard payroll records was damaged and could not be salvaged. The damaged material included payroll records for the first quarter of 1969 and the third quarter of 1972.

    “President Bush’s payroll records for those two quarters were among the records destroyed,” wrote C.Y. Talbott, of the Pentagon’s Freedom of Information and Security Review section. “Searches for back-up paper copies of the missing records were unsuccessful.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:07 AM | Comments (31) | TrackBack

    Kerry Passes Up Terror Briefing: 'I just haven't had time.'

    DRUDGE REPORT: Kerry Passes Up Terror Briefing: ‘I just haven’t had time.’

    Just hours before attending an all-star celebrity fundraising concert in New York, Dem presidential candidate John Kerry revealed how has been too busy for a real-time national security briefing.

    “I just haven’t had time,” Kerry explained in an interview.

    Kerry made the startling comments on CNN’s LARRY KING LIVE Thursday night.

    KING: News of the day, Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States. Didn’t increase the — you see any politics in this? What’s your reaction?

    KERRY: Well, I haven’t been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me. I just haven’t had time.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:57 AM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

    Boston Credentialling SNAFU

    How to introduce this one :

    Never attribute to Malice what is adequately explained by Incompetence
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    Perhaps? Or possibly :

    I belong to no organized party : I am a Democrat.
    Will Rogers

    Not-exactly-Left-of-Centre Bloggers John Tabin and Bill/INDC Journal are now reporting that their previously confirmed press credentials have been cancelled.

    Spoiling what promised to be a rattling good conspiracy theory, not-exactly-right-wing-blogger Justin Nawrocki also reports he was credentialled before he wasn’t credentialled.

    I know commentary is reserved for the Op-Ed page, but there’s one good Aussie saying that inevitably comes to mind when viewing this situation from here in far-off Australia:

    “They couldn’t organise a piss-up in a Brewery.”

    More details at The American Spectator. And the ‘SNAFU’ description is not mine, it’s the DNCC’s own words. But that often happens when you have the courage to do something for the first time.

    Posted by Alan Brain at 10:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Kerry-Edwards Sticking with Public Funds

    Campaigns & Elections is reporting that the Kerry-Edwards campaign will stay with public funds in 2004. This means they will have to stop accepting private donations once JK accepts the nomination. At their current pace, they would have raised roughly $108 million between the nomination and the election; with the public funding, they’ll get $75 million.

    Buch/Cheney is expected to do the same.

    Posted by Alan at 10:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Role Of Oppo

    Now that the tickets are set, the Bush and Kerry camps can turn to the real work of the campaign: Opposition Research (or “Oppo” in the trade). What is Oppo? The art of finding (and then using) dirt on your opponents. The best primer on Oppo I’ve found is this Joshua Green article in the Atlantic Monthly. A snippet:

    A decade ago opposition research was largely the domain of college kids. Today it is a profession run by seasoned investigators, most of whom learned their craft on one side or another of the Clinton scandals (Comstock, Griffin, and David Bossie for the Republicans; Lehane, his partner Mark Fabiani, and Kerry’s research director Mike Gehrke for the Democrats). The elite purveyors of “personal destruction”—whom Clinton both feared and employed—have become the leading lights in the low-lit world of opposition research. The prosecutorial tactics and general savagery honed during the Clinton years are the hallmarks of their work. Instead of at high-profile congressional hearings, these battles are conducted from the shadows and waged mostly through the media. As the 2000 election showed, Republicans are particularly adept combatants. Moreover, in John Kerry they have the advantage of an opponent who is largely undefined in the public’s thinking. And as in 2000, the election will depend a great deal on how successful Republicans are at the dark art of opposition research.

    Democrats may not have been successful using research against Bush, but they have fared much better deploying it against each other. One prominent Democrat has already fallen victim this year—though the attack was orchestrated within his own party. By last fall Howard Dean had achieved the unlikely status of front-runner in the crowded race for the Democratic nomination. Yet for all his popularity, the public knew little about him. He had built a following almost overnight, mainly because of his strident opposition to the Iraq War and a visceral anger toward the Bush Administration that other candidates were thought to lack. By the time Gore endorsed him, on December 9, Dean’s victory in the upcoming primaries seemed assured.

    That same week Ben Holzer, the research director for General Wesley Clark’s campaign, arrived with Lehane, who was then working for Clark, in Washington, D.C., for a series of visits to the major television networks, newspapers, and newsmagazines. They toted a three-ring binder that contributed as much as anything else to Dean’s rapid demise. The Clark campaign had classified the stories in it as singles, doubles, triples, or home runs, based on the damage they were expected to inflict. Holzer and Lehane offered producers and reporters exclusives on many of these stories with the proviso that if they were not used quickly, they would be handed to a rival. In the hypercompetitive world of political journalism this pretty much guaranteed swift airing or publication.

    The article also references a BBC documentary on Oppo from the 2000 campaign, Digging in the Dirt, a profile of which you may see here.

    And never let the press suggest they’re not complicit. For them, “Oppo” translates into “Opportunity,” as they regularly accept “tips” from the campaign Oppo teams that ultimately become headlines.

    Read it all.

    Posted by Alan at 09:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Bloggers Come Of Age

    Hey, blogs are all grown up … at least according to Meredith Mandell in this piece at SMH (Australia) … since the parties are passing out credentials. She notes:It started as a way to have a cyber-rant or just share a personal thought, but the blogger has become cutting edge media with a role to play even in the US presidential election race.Kos is quoted, and others are noted, and there’s a fair bit of observation about the campaign blogs (for which we have RSS feeds right over there in the right-hand column of the 2004 page). (Now, if she only knew that the “cutting edge role” is apparently to amplify spin, well …)

    Posted by Alan at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Michigan GOP Gathering Names For Nader

    Michigan Republicans are collecting signatures for Nader to appear on the ballot in November.

    “It’s another example of state Republicans willing to try every unethical trick in the book to hold power,” Democratic Executive Chairman Mark Brewer said Thursday. “This clearly shows that a vote for Ralph Nader is a vote to re-elect George Bush. The Republicans know that, and that’s why they are desperate to have Nader on the Michigan ballot.”

    Greg McNeilly of the state Republican Party said the GOP is doing nothing wrong and hopes Nader will draw votes from the Democratic candidate. Republicans will make sure Nader has more than the 30,000 valid signatures he needs by July 15 to qualify for the Michigan ballot, McNeilly said.

    “Unlike the Democratic Party, where ‘D’ stands for disenfranchisement, we want voters to have choices,” he said.

    Brewer sent a letter to Nader on Thursday asking that he refuse the GOP’s assistance and any petition signatures collected by the Republican Party, its staff or volunteers.

    “We’re not out there focusing on getting Libertarians on the ballot,” Brewer said. “If the Republicans refuse to stop their efforts and Nader accepts their help, we will have no choice but to oppose his petition effort, review every signature and challenge his petitions if they are insufficient in any way.”

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:32 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Bush Campaigning in Small-Town Pennsylvania

    Playing to his strength, President Bush is campaigning in the small-town Republican heart of Pennsylvania.

    His campaigning is aimed at turning out supporters from the heavily Republican center of the state to offset Democratic votes in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

    In his first stop Friday, Bush addresses the war on terrorism and the economy in remarks to 2,800 supporters on a college campus in Kutztown, Pa., before heading by bus to the small cities of Lancaster and York.

    Stopping in Kutztown is a smart political move for Bush because it is in three media markets including Philadelphia, and Bush must do well in November in four counties outside Philadelphia in order to win the state, said G. Terry Madonna, who runs the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

    Pennsylvania has lost more than 150,000 manufacturing jobs since Bush took office and his bus tour far from problem-plagued industrial regions will focus on the party faithful. A poll by the Pennsylvania Economy League says concern over the economy is a major issue in the state.

    Jenna Bush will also be joining the President for her first campaign trip.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 08, 2004

    Nader Accuses Dems of 'Mini-Watergate'

    “They’re hiring lawyers to go up to technicalities in places like Arizona, they infiltrated our political convention,” Nader, an independent candidate for president, told FOX News on Thursday. “I spoke to John Kerry and said ‘you’d better look into it because it could be a mini-Watergate, possibly.”

    Nader said he hasn’t yet heard back from the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who is hoping to oust President Bush from the White House in the November elections.

    “This is pretty serious, when you try to lock the civil liberties of American just to get on the ballot so people can vote for the candidate of their choice,” Nader continued.

    Nader was denied a spot on the Arizona ballot and last Friday again accused the Democrats and Kerry of engaging in political “dirty tricks.”

    Full story….

    Posted by Michele at 02:36 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Bush declines NAACP invitation

    AP: Bush declines NAACP invitation

    President Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP’s annual convention, the group said.

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expects more than 8,000 people to attend the convention, which opens on Saturday.

    Democratic challenger John Kerry accepted an invitation to speak next Thursday on the final day of the convention, the NAACP said.

    Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was running for president.

    NAACP spokesman John White said Wednesday that Bush has declined invitations in each year of his presidency — becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention.

    The NAACP received a letter from the White House three weeks ago declining the invitation because of scheduling conflicts and thanking them for understanding.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 12:07 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

    Dems To Highlight Diversity

    FoxNews is reporting that the Democratic convention will feature record numbers of minority delegates. I would bet that we’ll here this refrain repeated again … and again … and again.

    Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    DNCC Blogger Credentials--And It Seems We're Not On The List

    Jeff Jarvis reports that the DNCC appears to have notified those bloggers accredited for the convention … and unless the invite is late in coming, it seems Command Post isn’t on the list.

    I’ll reiterate here what I posted in the comments at Buzzmachine: I’ll be disappointed if we’re not accredited (and I’m presuming we won’t be), as we’re likely the only non-opinion / news-wire oriented site to apply (and given our pedigree of extensive credibility and contact with the mainstream press).

    Hell, due to other commitments Michele and I both turned down the same CNBC appearance on blogs at the convention that Kos and Eric Schnure (who runs the DNCC blog) ultimately accepted. So it’s not like we’re not equally legitimate in the eyes of the press.

    We’re probably the only ones who wouldn’t spin the story … left or right. If we’re not credentialed, maybe that’s the reason?

    So far, no list from the DNCC re: who did and did not receive credentials, and no post about the process on the DNCC’s own blog. Personally, I’d very much like to see one.

    Here’s who’s been credentialed so far (and I’ll keep updating the list):

    Posted by Alan at 11:39 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    What Edwards Brings To The Ticket

    The print media … which was largely left holding the bag when the Edwards announcement didn’t coordinate well with their publication schedule … took their crack at the story yesterday with a number of “what does Edwards bring to the ticket” stories.

    The Christian Science Monitor made the case in two ways: here that Edwards will help the Democrats frame the debate on the economy, rather than national security, and here that it will help Kerry’s appeal in the Midwest.

    Posted by Alan at 10:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    In North Carolina, Bush Takes a Swipe at Edwards

    Bush was in North Carolina yesterday, a plot of land the GOP is working very hard to keep in their column … in part by taking on the local boy, John Edwards. The NY Times has more detailed report of the Bush visit than the earlier Reuters story here.

    When a questioner in Raleigh noted that Mr. Edwards had been described as charming and a “nimble campaigner” and asked Mr. Bush to compare the one-term senator to Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Bush snapped back: “Dick Cheney can be president. Next?”
    Posted by Alan at 09:52 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    July 07, 2004

    Another Partisan Online Game

    We have a tradition of posting links to the often silly games the Democrats and Republicans put online as a means of trashing their opposition. Here’s the latest: Republican Survivor, courtesy the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

    If you’re scoring at home, Ashcroft and DeLay have already been voted off the island, and Bush, Cheney, Katherine Harris, and Ann Coulter remain.

    Posted by Alan at 05:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    "Edwards Clouds Hillaryís White House Dreams"

    That’s the title of this Alexander Bolton piece at The Hill, where he opines that the Edwards VP selection has “swelled the budding rivalry between him and Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), who is believed by many to be eyeing the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.” Lots of insider quotes and perspectives; well worth the read.

    Posted by Alan at 05:15 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    Joe Trippi On The Revolution (Via Web)

    Joe Trippi has a piece on MSNBC discussing the power of the web in political activism and fundraising:

    Is this a revolution? You bet. And like the Boston Tea Party that launched a democratic revolt more than two centuries ago, it started small— in this case it began sixteen months ago with 432 supporters of Howard Dean each pledging to find one more person to contribute whatever they could to his nascent campaign. Nine months later, the Dean campaign had 650,000 supporters and had raised more than $50 million, in average contributions of $77. More important, when the time came to decide whether Howard Dean should forego public financing— and the restrictive fundraising and spending limits that go with it— those same small donors voted overwhelmingly in an online referendum to opt-out of the system.

    What few remember now was that it was that decision—the first time a presidential campaign ever put its strategy to an online vote—that not only triggered Dean’s action, but led to John Kerry’s decision to opt-out of public financing as well. I am convinced that when the story of the 2004 election is written, that moment will be seen as the turning point of the entire campaign. By freeing himself from the restrictions of public funding, John Kerry put his trust in the people to sustain his campaign. What’s truly revolutionary is not merely that Kerry’s faith in his supporters was rewarded by their financial support, but that any candidate would let his campaign’s fundamental strategy be dictated, even indirectly, by a online plebescite.

    Of note: he also preducts Kerry will out-raise Bush, primarily due to the power of the “small donor.” Time, as they say, will tell.

    Posted by Alan at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Bush Raises Issue of Edwards' Experience to Be VP

    REUTERS: Bush Raises Issue of Edwards’ Experience to Be VP

    President Bush criticized Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards in his own home state on Wednesday by questioning whether Edwards has sufficient experience to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    A day after Edwards was picked by Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry as his running mate, Bush raised the experience issue when asked how Edwards stacked up against his own vice president, Dick Cheney.

    “Dick Cheney can be president,” Bush said briskly. “Cheney is a seasoned Washington insider with an impressive resume as a former defense secretary and member of Congress, while Edwards is a freshman senator from North Carolina.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:33 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

    Alfonse D'Amato: "Dump Cheney"

    Former GOP New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato is calling on Bush to dump Cheney. From D’Amato’s released statement:

    “Let me note that Vice President Cheney is a decent, honorable, and patriotic American, a man of great intellect, who has served the president and the nation with dedication,” D’Amato said in a statement released by his office. “But we should make no mistake, we are a nation at war with a vicious terrorist foe, and in war hard decisions must be made.”

    “As an observer of politics, I believe the president can guarantee his essential re-election by looking to several other notable individuals who would add a great dimension to his ticket as a running mate,” the New York Republican added.

    Placing Powell “first and foremost” on his wish list to replace Cheney, D’Amato said the retired general “would help galvanize the nation and offer a truly historic opportunity for American unity and pride.”

    McCain, said D’Amato, is “a genuine American hero who would also help bridge the political divide in our nation and assure the president’s re-election by a wide margin.”

    “While I believe George Bush will win re-election even without this bold stroke, he will insure a broader, deeper, more resonant reaffirmation of his leadership if he places his duty to continue as president above any one individual,” D’Amato said.

    “The president deserves more than simple re-election,” the former senator added. “He deserves a mandate to continue to lead this nation to peace and prosperity.”

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 02:08 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

    Hispanic Vote Key In Election

    HispanicBusiness.com has posted an article examining the key role of the hispanic vote (7 million strong) in the coming election:

    Latino voters will play a critical role in the upcoming presidential election. An estimated 7 million Latinos, who comprise 5 percent of the U.S. electorate, are expected to vote in the presidential election.

    But, the Hispanic vote is increasing complicated because of the diversity of constituencies within the Hispanic population. According to a nationwide poll commissioned by the Miami Herald, a number of Hispanics deviated from stereotypes, saying that they were abortion-rights advocates, born-again Christians that supported the death penalty and speak more English than Spanish at home.

    Posted by Alan at 01:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Bush Economy "Best In Twenty Years"

    Ed. Note: I have modified this post. The original did not identify the original source, and the blockquote was followed by commentary that was clearly editorialzing (fine for the Op-Ed page, not fine here).

    ~ Alan

    —————————

    All Americans (and, because of that, President Bush) received some highly encouraging news on the economic front (via the Indy Star):

    The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates.

    In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

    There were strong 4.5 percent growth rates in 1997 and 1999, when Bill Clinton was president and the country was in the midst of a record 10-year expansion.

    But if this year’s growth ends up a bit faster than that, it will be the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president — Ronald Reagan — was running for re-election.

    “We are moving into a sweet spot for the economy with interest rates not too high, jobs coming back and business investment providing strength,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Bank One in Chicago, who is predicting GDP growth of 4.8 percent.
    Posted by hideandseek at 01:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Registered Comments Now Active On 2004

    We’ve now activated TypeKey comment authentication for the 2004 page. Comments are now on for new posts on this page, but commentators must register with TypeKey to comment (just click on the comment link as usual and follow the prompts from there).

    We’re going to give it a shot and see how it works. As we play with the variety of options (no pre-verification vs. pre-verification by Michele and I, etc.) we’ll work out the bugs as we go. If you want to first play with a testing area for registration, etc., please go here.

    Also, note that the comment template now lists this comment policy:

    As you post your comment, please mind our simple comment policy: we welcome all perspectives, but require that comments be both civil and respectful. We also ask that you avoid the extensive use of profanity, racist terms (neither of which we consider civil or respectful), and other boorish language.

    We reserve the right to delete any comment, and to prohibit you from commenting on this site, if we feel you have broached this policy. As a courtesy, we will first send you an email noting a violation so you understand the boundaries. This will occur only once, however, and should we ban you from our comment forums we expect that ban to be permanent.

    We also will frown upon those who suggest that we ban other individuals for voicing unpopular opinions, should those opinions be voiced in a civil and respectful manner. The point of our comment threads is to provide a forum for spirited though civil and respectful discourse … it is not to provide a forum in which everyone will agree with your point of view.

    If you can live by these rules, welcome aboard. If not, then we’re sorry it didn’t work out, and thanks for visiting The Command Post.

    If the system works, we’ll continue to migrate it to other news pages and see how it influences the discourse and our ability to manage the comments (while still having fun).

    Posted by Alan at 09:46 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

    Democratic Fundraisers Against the Clock

    Democratic fundraisers are in a race against time:

    They now have 23 days to capitalize on Edwards’ popularity with financial backers. The new vice presidential candidate’s former patrons were frantically plotting Tuesday to find and convince those who gave to Edwards’ presidential primary run to open their wallets again for the new Kerry-Edwards ticket.

    According to Federal Elections Commission rules, presidential campaigns that opt to use the federal grant of $75 million in the general election - as both Kerry and President Bush are expected to do - must not spend any of their own campaign funds after they have been officially nominated.

    In practical terms, the FEC rules mean competitive fund raising for the Democrats will end on July 29, when Kerry and Edwards are officially anointed as the Democratic presidential ticket.

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:18 AM | TrackBack

    PA Gov. Rendell Changes Tune on Edwards

    Rendell changes tune on Edwards’ credentials:

    Asked Monday to size up John Edwards as a vice presidential candidate, Rendell declared the first-term senator from North Carolina not ready. Edwards, he said, was handicapped by youthful good looks and a lack of foreign policy experience. In a word, Rendell said, he lacked “gravitas.”

    Hours after John Kerry tapped Edwards as his Democratic running mate yesterday, Rendell said this about the former trial lawyer:

    “He brings a lot of enthusiasm, passion and commitment to the ticket.”

    Rendell spoke to reporters yesterday by conference call while vacationing at his New Jersey Shore house.

    As a standing-room crowd awaited former President Bill Clinton’s talk and a book-signing Monday at the National Constitution Center, Rendell was asked about possible vice presidential candidates. He didn’t mention Edwards as a contender.

    Only after prompting by the moderator, did Rendell, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, unload his criticism.

    “There began to become this myth that John Edwards was an electrifying, dynamic campaigner,” Rendell said. “In Wisconsin, he lost by 7 points. If I lose an election by 7 points, they’ll say Rendell got clobbered.”

    Rendell concluded, though, by calling Edwards “one of the big stars” of the future and a possible presidential candidate.

    By yesterday, Rendell said Edwards was prepared for the job, and that he is better than Vice President Cheney as a candidate “by a country mile.”

    Posted by Nathan Hamm at 09:13 AM | TrackBack

    July 06, 2004

    Text of Kerry's Speech

    This morning I have talked with a number of talented and decent Americans who have been both courageous and patriotic enough to allow themselves to be considered for Vice President of the United States.

    Teresa and I are personally so grateful to them and their families for caring enough about the direction of our country to go through what is inevitably a very intrusive and frustrating process.

    Each of those individuals would make a great Vice President and indeed, in their own right, could lead our country.

    But I can only choose one as a running mate and this morning I have done so.

    I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values of America, a man who has shown courage and conviction as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class—a man who has shown guts, determination and political skill in his own race for the Presidency—- a man whose life has prepared him for leadership and whose character brings him to exercise it. I am pleased to announce that the next Vice President of the United States will be John Edwards of North Carolina.

    This campaign for the presidency really began two years ago. Throughout those two years as well as four years before that, I have worked with John Edwards side by side and sometimes head to head.

    I’ve seen John Edwards think, argue, advocate, legislate and lead for six years now. I know his skill. I know his passion. I know his strength. I know his conscience. I know his faith. He has honored the lessons of home and family learned in North Carolina, and brings those values to this struggle to shape a better future for America. He is ready for this job.

    There’s something else about John Edwards that is important to this campaign and our country at this critical time: I am determined that we reach out across party lines, that we speak the heart of America—hope and optimism. And John Edwards will join me in doing that.

    As so many of you know, throughout the campaign, John talked about the great divide in this country—the “Two Americas”—that exists between those who are doing well and those who are struggling to make it from day to day. That concern is at the center of this campaign. It is what it is all about. It has been part of my fight for 35 years. And I am so proud that together we’re going to build one America.

    As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leader in fighting bioterrorism, he shares my unshakable commitment to maintaining a military second to none, and to restoring old and building new alliances.

    There’s also a great bonus to having John on this ticket—and that’s a strong, brave woman, Elizabeth Edwards. Teresa and I and our family will be proud to stand with the Edwards family in this campaign—with their daughter Cate, who just graduated from college, and with their little ones Emma Claire and Jack.

    Anyone who knows them, knows that this is a family that loves one another and loves America.

    In the next 120 days, John Edwards and I will be fighting for the America we love.

    We’ll be fighting to make America stronger at home and more respected in the world.

    We’ll be fighting for good paying jobs that let American families actually get ahead— an America where the middle class is doing better, not being squeezed.

    We’ll be fighting to make healthcare a right for all our people.

    We’ll be fighting to make this nation energy independent.

    We’ll be fighting to build a strong military and lead strong alliances, so young Americans are never put in harm’s way because we insisted on going it alone.

    And we’re going to win this fight by standing together, not as two Americas, but as one America.

    When I was in Vietnam, I served on a small boat on the Mekong Delta with men who came from places as diverse as South Carolina and Iowa…. Arkansas and California. No one asked us our politics. No one cared where we went to school or what our race or backgrounds were. We were literally all in the same boat—and we came together as one.

    We were just a band of brothers who all fought under the same flag, and all prayed to the same God. Today, we’re a little bit older, we’re a little bit greyer. But we still know how to fight for our country. And what we’re fighting for is an America where all of us are truly in the same boat.

    So I ask for your help. Talk to your neighbors; talk to your friends. Enlist in our cause.

    In great movements for civil rights and equal rights, the environment and economic justice for all, we have come together as one America to give life to our mighty dream.

    So come together and stand up for a great purpose – to make America stronger at home and respected in the world. We’re a country of the future; we’re a country of optimists. We’re the can-do people. And we just need to believe in ourselves.

    The poet Langston Hughes put it in this way: “Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be.” – for those “whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain must bring back our mighty dream again.”

    In 2004, with your help….with John Edwards by my side…. we will bring back our mighty dream again.

    Let America be America again!

    Thank you and God Bless America!

    Posted by Michele at 02:28 PM | TrackBack

    Edwards on the Issues

    [Culled from various sources]

    • Supports affirmative action
    • Supports gay partnership benefits, but would like to leave same-sex marraige legislation up to individual states
    • Wants to cut research and development funding for oil companies
    • Supports creation of new domestic intelligence agency
    • Supports a woman’s right to an abortion
    • Supports death penalty
    • Opposes privatizing Social Security

    John Edwards on taxes:

    “I voted against the Bush tax cuts. I believe we should repeal the tax cuts for those that earn over $200,000 a year. I would not raise taxes on middle Class working families because I believe they are the engine of our economy and it would be a mistake and would inhibit long-term economic growth. I would reduce further the taxes on middle class working families by helping them make a down payment on their first home, creating incentives for them to invest and become part of the investor class and helping them save by matching savings up to dollar for dollar up to $1000 per family per year.”

    On education:

    “I think that we still have two public school systems in America, one for the haves and one for the have-nots. What I’d like to do are several things. One is lead a national initiative to provide support for teachers and teacher pay so we attract good people and keep good people. Give bonus incentive pay to good teachers who are willing to teach in schools in less-affluent areas. I think we need a national commitment to both early childhood programs to make certain that kids have the right kind of start when they begin kindergarten, they start on a relatively level playing field. And second, to after-school programs, which I have had some personal experience with.”

    Edwards, during a 2003 debate, on homeland security:

    Q: As president, what would be the least popular, most right thing you would do?

    EDWARDS: I know the American people are worried about their safety and security. But we can’t ever forget what it is we’re supposed to be fighting for. And in this effort to protect ourselves and fight our war on terrorism, we cannot allow people like John Ashcroft to take away our rights, our freedom and our liberties. Those things are under assault. After September 11th, it’s much harder to stand up for those things.

    Edwards on his policy experience, from a 2003 debate:

    First, what people are looking for in a president is someone who has the qualities of leadership: strength, character, conviction, good judgment. I’m happy to have people judge me on that basis.
    Second, they want somebody who understands their lives. I come from a family where my dad worked in a mill. My mother worked in the post office. I was the first in my family to go to college, and I spent almost 20 years after I worked my way through college and then law school fighting for the same people that I had grown up with.
    This is what I have done my entire life, fight for working people, the people I’ve known all my life. I did it first for 20 years as a lawyer and an advocate, and I’ve been doing it in the US Senate, and I will be a champion for those very same people in the White House. And the American people want somebody who will stand up for them and stand up to big corporate America.

    • His favorite song is John Cougar Mellencamp’s Small Town.
    Posted by Michele at 09:56 AM | TrackBack

    The Buying Of The Presidency

    CNN noted this morning that all four members of the presidential tickets are multi-millionaires. Curious about presidential net worth? The Center for Public Integrity has a full database here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:49 AM | TrackBack

    WaPo On Blogger Credentials

    WaPo has an article this morning profiling blogger credentials for the party conventions … read it here. We’re among the 50-60 who applied, and should hear as early as today (frankly, I don’t think we’ll get credentials, but we’ll see).

    Posted by Alan at 09:45 AM | TrackBack

    Edwards Bio

    From Fox:

    Elected 1998, 1st term up 2004
    Born: June 10, 1953, Seneca, SC
    Home: Raleigh
    Education: NC St. U., B.S. 1974, U. of NC at Chapel Hill, J.D. 1977
    Religion: Methodist
    Marital Status: married (Elizabeth)
    Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1977-98.

    BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS
    · Edwards grew up in the small North Carolina town of Robbins, where his father worked in a textile mill and his mother ran a small store.
    · Edwards was the first in his family to go to college.
    · In college, he opposed the Vietnam War and Nixon.
    · Edwards registered for the draft in 1971, received a high lottery number for induction, and was never called to serve.
    · After graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in textile sciences, he went to law school at the University of North Carolina.
    · There at the University of North Carolina he met his wife-to-be, a law student four years his senior. They pursued legal careers and had two children, Catharine and Wade.
    · Upon graduating, he moved to Tennessee to join former Republican Governor Lamar Alexander’s law firm.
    · In 1981, he returned to North Carolina, to the politically well-connected Raleigh law firm of Wade Smith, a former Democratic Party state chairman.
    · He won his first multi-million dollar verdict in 1984, which he followed the next year with a $6.5 million verdict for a 6-year-old girl who’d suffered brain damage at Pitt Memorial Hospital — at the time, the largest verdict in state history.
    · In 1990, he was the youngest member inducted into The Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the nation’s top 100 trial lawyers.
    · Edwards left in 1993 to start his own firm with David Kirby.
    · Edwards’ son Wade died in 1996 when the car he was driving flipped.
    · Setting a record for North Carolina, Edwards won a $25-million jury award in 1997.
    · Edwards accrued more than 45 million-dollar judgments or settlements during his career.
    · In 1998, at the age of 48, Elizabeth Edwards gave birth to Emma Claire; she was 50 when their son was born two years later.
    · Edwards’ 1998 Senate campaign against Republican incumbent Lauch Faircloth was his first venture into politics. Before he was elected to the Senate in 1998, he had never held office. Edwards won with 51.2% of the vote.
    · Edwards spent $6 million of their fortune to unseat Faircloth in 1998.
    · On September 7, 2003, Edwards made the most momentous decision of his presidential campaign: to drop out of his 2004 Senate reelection race.
    · Edwards comes from a swing state the Democrats haven’t carried since 1976.

    That’s just the basic goods. We’ll have more on Edwards on the issues later.

    Posted by Michele at 09:41 AM | TrackBack

    Counter Spin: Bush Campaign On Edwards

    The Bush camp took 90 minutes to go into attack mode … here’s the headline in the “Kerry Media Center” at georgebush.com:

    JOHN KERRY’S SECOND CHOICE: Kerry/Edwards ‘04: “The Ultimate Flip-Flop”

    The talking points are already up; you may read them here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:39 AM | TrackBack

    Bush/McCain Ad

    The Bush campaign has the ad with John McCain available on their website … see it here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:36 AM | TrackBack

    It's Official At Kerry Blog

    The Kerry blog has an announcement post up … see it here.

    Posted by Alan at 09:25 AM | TrackBack

    Kerry Announcement Simulblog

    • Enters to the sounds of Bruce
    • Takes the stage with Theresa, who then sits
    • This morning I’ve had the privilege of talking with a number of talented and decent Americans who have had the courage to be considered for VP of US
    • Each of those individuals would make a great VP, and in their own right could lead our country.
    • But I can choose only one running mate, and this morning I have done so. I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values of America … a man who has shown courage and conviction for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class … a man who’s life has prepared him for leadership and who’s character compels him to exercise it.
    • Announces Edwards, and the crows goes wild (to the strains of Van Halen’s “Right Now”).
    • I trust that met with your approval (cheers)
    • They’re passing out the Kerry/Edwards campaign placards
    • I’ve been on the campaign trail with John Edwards for months now, side by side, and sometimes face to face (knowing smile, laughter from audience)
    • It is important that we speak of hope and optimism, and John Edwards will help us in doing that
    • Kerry makes reference to Edwards “two Americas” campaign theme, noting it is what the campaign is all about.
    • John Edwards and I are going to fight to build one America for all Americans
    • He, like me, is blessed with a remarkable wife, Elizabeth Edwards … this is a family that loves each other and loves America
    • The two families are getting together in Pittsburgh tonight, and will speak to the nation tomorrow for the first time as a team that will lead this country in a new and better direction
    • This is about having a president who fights as hard for your job as he fights for his own job … healthcare is not a privilege for the wealthy and connected …
    • Crowd interrupts with chants of “Kerry Kerry”
    • This is also a fight for common sense, and I can pledge you this: John Edwards and I would never think of sending America’s sons and daughters into harms way anywhere in the world without telling American’s the truth.
    • Some of that common sense is pretty straight forward: God only gave the United States 3 percent of the worlds oil reserves … no American in uniform will ever be held hostage to dependency on foreign oil; we’re going to liberate ourselves.
    • Every generation in American history has had a chance to contribute to who we are as Americans … but what makes this country great is our ability to come together as we have today, in a square in a city, and build a movement that can right our future … but we have to go out and make it happen.
    • I pledge to you that while we may be older and greyer now, those of us who served, we still know how to fight for our country and we’re going to fight for our country (crowd interrupts with cheers of “Kerry”)
    • Wraps it up, takes off jacket, party starts in Pittsburgh.
    Posted by Alan at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

    Foreign Policy Tops Agenda for Democrats

    The LA Times has an article discussing the current draft of the Democratic Party Platform, and it’s heavy on Iraq and security issues … more heavy on ForPol, in fact, than any Dem platform since the early 1960’s.

    Posted by Alan at 09:00 AM | TrackBack

    Edwards Blog Still Active

    John Edwards has kept his blog alive since he dropped from the race … you may visit his blog here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:54 AM | TrackBack

    Official Kerry e-mail

    The official announcement email from the Kerry campaign to its supporters:

    Dear Friend,

    In just a few minutes, I will announce that Senator John Edwards will join me as my running-mate on the Democratic ticket as a candidate for vice president of the United States. Teresa and I could not be more excited that John and Elizabeth Edwards will be our partners in our journey to make America stronger at home and respected in the world.

    You are the heart and soul of our campaign. You’ve shattered records and expectations every step of the way. Every time someone said you couldn’t do it, you proved them wrong. Because of your incredible grassroots energy and commitment, I wanted to make the first official announcement of my decision to you — more than one million online supporters at johnkerry.com.

    I want you to know why I’m excited about running for president with John Edwards by my side. John understands and defends the values of America. He has shown courage and conviction as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class. In the Senate, he worked to reform our intelligence, to combat bioterrorism, and keep our military strong. John reaches across party lines and speaks to the heart of America — hope and optimism. Throughout his own campaign for President, John spoke about the great divide in this country — the “Two Americas” — that exist between those who are doing well today and those that are struggling to make it from day to day. And I am so proud that we’re going to build one America together.

    In the next 120 days and in the administration that follows, John Edwards and I will be fighting for the America we love. We’ll be fighting to give the middle class a voice by providing good paying jobs and affordable health care. We’ll be fighting to make America energy independent. We’ll be fighting to build a strong military and lead strong alliances, so young Americans are never put in harm’s way because we insisted on going it alone.

    I can’t tell you how proud I am to have John Edwards on my team, or how eager I am for the day this fall when he stands up for our vision and goes toe-to-toe with Dick Cheney.

    This is the most important election of our lifetime, and a defining moment in our history. With you by our side every day of this campaign, John and I will lead the most spirited presidential campaign America has ever seen and fight to lead our nation in a new and better direction.

    Thank you,

    John Kerry

    Posted by Michele at 08:52 AM | TrackBack

    Dem Theme: "A New Team For A New America"

    Just reported on CNN TV: the Democratic party has already begun circulating talking points to the press corps (nothing on their web site or blog as yet), and among the points in the campaign theme: “A New Team for a New America.”

    Posted by Alan at 08:36 AM | TrackBack

    DNCC To Announce Blogger Credentials Starting Today

    That’s the news over at the DNCC blog … we’ll let you know if we made the list.

    Posted by Alan at 08:30 AM | TrackBack

    CNN: Bush To Run Bush-McCain GOP Ad

    CNN TV is reporting that the GOP will soon unveil a campaign ad for Bush in which Bush is introduced and endorsed by John McCain.

    Posted by Alan at 08:24 AM | TrackBack

    20 Days

    CNN just noted that today’s VP announcement … 20 days before the the convention … is the earliest in recent history. Some prior Dem announcements: 7 days for Mondale, 6 days for Dukakis, and 4 days for Clinton.

    Posted by Alan at 08:22 AM | TrackBack

    Kerry Picks Gephardt ... No Wait ... Edwards


    I am sure there’s a great story behind today’s NY Post. I can almost hear Trumps’ voice echoing down the halls of The Post … “you’re FIRED!”

    Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 08:19 AM | TrackBack

    No Word Yet On Kerry Blog

    I just popped over to the Kerry blog (see the RSS feed over in the right-hand column of the 2004 page) and there’s no official word there as yet, although this was in the NY Times today:

    John Kerry’s advisers said Monday that he was planning to announce his running mate on Tuesday morning and that he was orchestrating an elaborate rollout of the Democratic ticket first on the Internet, then at a rally here and finally in a multistate tour beginning in Ohio and ending later this week in the vice-presidential candidate’s hometown.

    Does “elaborate rollout of the Democratic ticket first on the internet” = “Command Post”? Just wondering. Regardless, seems we’ve scooped them.

    Not to gloat, but we also scooped CNN’s breaking news alert, which I still have not yet received. If you want to receive breaking news alerts from Command Post, click here.

    Posted by Alan at 08:11 AM | TrackBack

    Request For Contributor Support

    If you’re a blogger in the Pittsburgh region and can be at the Kerry announcement that will take place in the next hour, we’d love to name you a “special correspondent” and post your coverage of the event. If you’re interested, email me at alan at command-post dot org.

    Posted by Alan at 08:03 AM | TrackBack

    Official: Edwards Is The VP Nominee

    Everywhere on radio / TV now … including CNN, which I’m watching at the moment.

    (And a humble “I told you so” to the folks who were in the TCP Chat Room with me on the night of the New Hampshire Primary.)

    Also, smart-ass line of the day, from a talking head on CNN:

    What are the chances Kerry will pick someone else tomorrow?

    Wow … it took only 27 seconds for the sniping to start …

    The announcement should come live around 9 a.m. in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Also, given the import of this announcement, we’ve opened comments for this post (although Michele and I will continue to keep comments closed as a general rule as we evaluate where we want to take the function).

    Posted by Alan at 07:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Official: Kerry/Edwards

    CNN is reporting that it’s official: Sen. John Kerry has chosen Sen. John Edwards as his Democratic running mate for the 2004 presidential election.

    Details as we get them.

    Posted by Michele at 07:55 AM | TrackBack

    NPR: Edwards Is Kerry VP Candidate

    NPR radio just announced Edwards as the Kerry VP candidate … more as it develops.

    Posted by Alan at 07:54 AM | TrackBack

    Fox News: Edwards is the Pick

    This could be an interesting morning.

    Fox News is citing “reliable” sources that say Sen. John Edwards will be John Kerry’s VP pick. They have it up as a breaking news story now.

    Posted by Michele at 07:43 AM | TrackBack

    NY Post Announces Gephardt as VP Pick

    nypostkerry.bmp

    That’s the cover of today’s Post. [via Michelle Malkin]

    Read more about Kerry’s plans for the big announcement here.

    Posted by Michele at 06:00 AM | TrackBack

    Veepstakes: the final hours

    The New York Times has details on Kerry’s veep-announcement plans, which should begin rolling into action less than two hours from now:

    John Kerry’s advisers said Monday that he was planning to announce his running mate on Tuesday morning and that he was orchestrating an elaborate rollout of the Democratic ticket first on the Internet, then at a rally here and finally in a multistate tour beginning in Ohio and ending later this week in the vice-presidential candidate’s hometown. …

    Mr. Kerry, said one associate familiar with the plan, intended to begin calling the major candidates in contention around 7 a.m. Tuesday to give them the news of his choice.

    The first public word of Mr. Kerry’s selection is to be conveyed after the phone calls in an e-mail message to supporters who signed up on the Web site johnkerry.com, aides said. More than 150,000 people have enrolled on the site since Friday, when Mr. Kerry first promised to release his decision this way, his spokesman, David Wade, said.

    If all goes according to plan, Mr. Kerry will appear at a big morning rally in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh and announce his choice at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, aides said, before flying to Indianapolis to address a convention of the A.M.E. Church. He will then return to his wife’s farmhouse in Fox Chapel, Pa., in the critical electoral turf of Allegheny County, to await the arrival of his new No. 2 for an overnight visit.

    At some point Tuesday afternoon Mr. Kerry and his running mate are to appear for a wave to the cameras, which would provide, in time for the evening news, the first post-selection images of the two men together.

    A few aides cautioned that given Mr. Kerry’s penchant for secrecy, he could still delay the announcement in reaction to news accounts of his deliberations. …

    Mr. Kerry’s most senior aides said he had not divulged his decision to them as of Monday evening, in keeping with what one adviser described as Mr. Kerry’s “obsession” with ensuring that the rejected candidates hear it from him personally rather than from the news media, as Mr. Kerry did when Al Gore passed him over four years ago. Some aides said Mr. Kerry could still change the plan that had been put together but described that as unlikely. …

    Speculation increasingly centered on Mr. Edwards, Mr. Kerry’s longest lasting serious rival in the Democratic primaries, because of a meeting held Thursday night between him and Mr. Kerry at the Georgetown home of Madeleine K. Albright, the former secretary of state, Democratic officials said. Mr. Edwards interrupted a family vacation in Florida for the session. Mr. Edwards’s advocates said they were increasingly hopeful on Monday. But aides to Mr. Kerry cautioned that too much should not be read into the late-night meeting, noting that the Democratic presidential contender had held similar unannounced sessions with Mr. Vilsack, Mr. Gephardt and other Democrats he has been considering over the last three months. …

    As Mr. Kerry kept his own counsel, his entire campaign was on high alert over the holiday weekend, preparing a precision operation that was being secretly planned down to the last press release and camera angle. Teams of aides were waiting to swoop into action to proclaim, promote, defend, prepare, inform, support, transport, care for and feed whomever Mr. Kerry selects - all on a moment’s notice.

    One aide said that signs designed for the losing candidates “are going to be worth a lot on eBay one day.”

    Posted by Brendan at 05:19 AM | TrackBack

    July 05, 2004

    NEA Endorses Kerry for President

    AP: NEA Endorses Kerry for President

    The National Education Association, the nation’s largest union, endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president Monday, the final touch in its campaign to drive up school spending and reshape the biggest education law in decades.

    The NEA, a 2.7-million member group composed mainly of teachers, is out to advance its agenda on everything from testing students to halting private-school vouchers. The union is mobilizing its money and forces for Kerry — targeting political staff in 15 swing states, going into schools to rally its members, and joining liberal groups to organize a massive night of political house parties.

    Kerry, who is scheduled to speak to the 9,000 delegates at the NEA convention on Tuesday, was endorsed by 86.5 percent of them. The Massachusetts senator offers many teacher-friendly promises the union likes, but he also advances ideas the NEA has long opposed, such as paying bonuses to teachers based on student test scores.

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 06:43 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    Official: Kerry has chosen VP

    CNN: Official: Kerry has chosen VP

    Sen. John Kerry is spending the day Monday on his wife’s 90-acre farm in Pennsylvania, but he has filled the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic national ticket, a party official told CNN.

    The official would not disclose which person Kerry has selected or the details surrounding the announcement.

    “It’s clear Kerry has made a decision and is committed to announcing it on his terms with discipline more typically associated with Republican campaigns of yesteryear,” the Democratic official said. “That obviously means a rapid turn-around.”

    Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:18 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

    Kerry Flip-flops On Northeast Dairy Compact

    Campaigning in the Midwest Kerry tried to distance himself from New England yesterday. The Boston Globe reports Kerry said he no longer supported the Northeast Dairy Compact a program that propped up prices for New England dairy farmers:

    ”I plead guilty. I did vote for it, because I represented Massachusetts,” Kerry said. ”I was a United States senator, and I was working in a context that we were living in a number of years ago, and that’s the way we saw the world.

    ”We don’t see the world that way now,” he told the crowd at the Dejno farm.