The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election: Kerry

November 25, 2004

Friends of John Kerry

The Boston Globe reports that John Kerry plans to set up a federal campaign committee, Friends of John Kerry, which would allow him to seek a fifth term in the US Senate in 2008 while not precluding another run for president that year.

The Committee will be a vehicle for fund-raising for either campaign.

According to the Globe, Kerry transferred all the money from his previous committee to his presidential campaign committee after retaining his Senate seat in 2002 and Kerry could do the same should he decide against seeking reelection in favor of a second bid for the presidency.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 09:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 17, 2004

Kerry Campaign Slammed On Hispanic Outreach

The Associated Press reports that Simon Rosenberg, founder and president of the centrist New Democrat Network says, “John Kerry did not compete adequately for Hispanic votes, period. If we don’t reverse the gains that President Bush made, we can forget our hope of being a majority party again.”

Rosenberg also complained that “the Kerry campaign and the DNC lacked a national strategy for Hispanics and did not spend enough money on advertising or enough time campaigning in Hispanic communities and did not employ enough people on the get-out-the-vote effort.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 10:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

Clinton Blames Gay Marriage For Kerry's Loss

The Utica Observer Dispatch reports that former president Clinton put much of the blame for Kerry’s loss on gay marriage:

“Gay marriage was an overwhelming factor in the defeat of John Kerry,” Clinton told the audience at the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.

[. . .]

“There was astonishing turnout among evangelical Christians who were voting on the basis of moral values,” he said. “I do not believe either party has a monopoly on morality or truth.”

Clinton said Democrats had a story to tell about abortion and gay marriage. They didn’t tell it. Abortions declined during his terms in office, he said, because of policies encouraging adoption and rewarding mothers.

Democrats should have emphasized that gay marriage should be up to the states — and that state sovereignty is a traditionally Republican value.

“Gay marriage was an overwhelming factor in the defeat of John Kerry,” Clinton said. “With one decision of one Supreme Court, all of the sudden we have a constitutional amendment designed, I think, to whip people up, to inflame them, make them stop thinking about other issues.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:51 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

Ted Kennedy Arrives at Beacon Hill

Fox News is reporting that Ted Kennedy just arrived (at 10 past 2am) at Kerry’s posh Beacon Hill home in MA. Reporters spied Kerry’s daughter Vaness being consoled in the doorway…
Reporters are speculating that a serious discussion is underway either about how to handle Ohio or how to deliver a possible concession speech…

UPDATE: John Edwards: “We’ve waited four years, we can wait one more night…we will fight for every vote.”

Posted by Catalyst at 02:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

People Leaving "Victory" Party In Boston

CNN’s talking head in Boston reports that the crowd that had gathered in Boston to celebrate Kerry’s victory is starting to thin, and that certain Kerry aides she’s been callling throughout the night are no longer answering their cell phones …

Posted by Alan at 01:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 02, 2004

Zogby: Kerry with 311 Electoral Votes

At 5:00pm today, Zogby International made its final Presidential Election prediction.

Electoral Votes:

Bush 213
Kerry 311

Zogby International’s 2004 Predictions

Posted by outragedmoderates at 05:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why You Should Vote For Me Today : Kerry

From USA Today :

For the past two years, people across this nation have welcomed me into their homes and communities and shared their hopes and dreams. They’ve told me they want nothing more than a better life for their children, but caught between rising costs and falling incomes, they always come up short. They’ve told me that they pray every night for our troops in Iraq, but they worry as things get worse, and when they pick up the newspaper, they feel less safe here at home. They fly the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and love this country with all their hearts — but they worry that right now, the country they love is headed in the wrong direction.
So today, in voting booths across this nation, Americans face a fundamental choice: Do we want four more years of the same failed course, or a fresh start for America?

Unfortunately, for the past four years, George W. Bush has made the wrong choices for America. Nowhere is this more clear than in his catastrophic misjudgments in Iraq, where he pushed away our allies and rushed to war without a plan to win the peace, and his mistakes in the war on terror.

Today in Iraq, we’re seeing more chaos, more killings and more kidnappings, and more than 1,100 brave Americans have lost their lives. The Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee describes the reconstruction as “incompetence.” Recently, we learned that 760,000 pounds of explosives had disappeared. It took just one pound of these explosives to blow up Pan Am Flight 103.

But the Bush administration still calls Iraq “a remarkable success story.” Vice President Cheney says the war has been “brilliant.” And yet the president says that whether America can be “fully safe” is “up in the air.”

We deserve better. We must succeed in Iraq. I defended my country as a young man, and I’ll defend it as president. I will fight a smarter, tougher, more effective war on terror. I will strengthen the military and add 40,000 troops to its ranks. I will stop at nothing to hunt down, capture and kill the terrorists. I will never give any nation or organization a veto over our national security.

And like Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, I will build and lead strong alliances so that America doesn’t have to go it alone.

But we need a president who can do more than one thing at a time. And the truth is that George Bush’s record is no better here at home. He has taken care of the special interests, but failed the middle class and those struggling to join it.

George Bush is the first president to lose jobs in 70 years, and 4 million more Americans have fallen into poverty on his watch — 1.3 million of them children.

College tuition and health care costs are through the roof, and gas prices are up over $2 a gallon — all while family incomes have fallen $1,500 and veterans are being denied health care.

But President Bush seems to think everything is just fine and that we shouldn’t hope for anything better. I disagree, and I ask you to join with me and give me your vote, so that together, we can give America a fresh start. Here’s what we’ll do:

First, we’ll create good-paying jobs and lower taxes for hardworking Americans. We’ll stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding ones that keep and create them here in America. And we’ll give families tax credits to help pay for college, health care and child care. We’ll cut the deficit in half and restore fiscal responsibility.

Second, we’ll ensure that health care is a right — not a privilege — for all Americans, affordable and accessible. That means covering all of our children and giving families access to the same private health insurance as members of Congress. It means allowing our seniors to import safe, FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada. And it means lifting the ban on federal funding for stem cell research so that our scientists can pursue cures and treatments for Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Third, we’ll fight to save Social Security, because when you work hard and pay in for a lifetime, America owes you what you’ve earned. I will not privatize Social Security, I will not cut benefits, and I will not raise the retirement age.

Finally, we’ll make America independent of Middle East oil within 10 years. We’ll invest in alternative energy sources and in cars and SUVs you have to fill up only once a month, not every week. It’s high time America relied on its own ingenuity and innovation instead of the Saudi royal family.

If you join with me today, together we will protect our country and fight for America’s middle-class families. We will unite Democrats and Republicans to succeed in Iraq and restore America’s leadership in the world. We will once again stand up for the middle class and all of those struggling to join it. And together, we will lift up the nation we love with the confidence that our best days are still ahead.

Posted by Alan Brain at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Zogby: Young Mobile Voters Prefer Kerry

One of the complaints about telephone surveys in the age of cell phones and PDA’s has been the lack of consideration given to young, mobile types who don’t have a landline. A new survey from Zogby tries to bridge that gap.

Polling firm Zogby International and partner Rock the Vote found Massachusetts Senator John Kerry leading President Bush 55% to 40% among 18-29 year-old likely voters in their first joint Rock the Vote Mobile political poll, conducted exclusively on mobile phones October 27 through 30, 2004. Independent Ralph Nader received 1.6%, while 4% remain undecided in the survey of 6,039 likely voters. The poll is centered on subscribers to the Rock the Vote Mobile (RTVMO) platform, a joint initiative of Rock the Vote and Motorola Inc. (for more information: The poll has margin of error of +/-1.2 percentage points.
Posted by Solonor at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2004

Did Kerry take direction from North Vietnamese Communists?

On October 22, 2004, Swift Veterans and POWs for Truth researchers Troy Jenkins and Tom Wyld located two Vietnamese communist documents in the archives of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, in the Douglas Pike Collection. Douglas Pike was a leading authority on the Vietnam War who collected over 2 million pages of original documents now archived at the Vietnam Center. James Reckner, Ph.D., Director of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech, verifies that the documents in the Pike collection are original and authentic. The Circular and the Directive are listed as items numbered 2150901039b and 2150901041 respectively.

The fifth paragraph of this document makes clear that the Vietnamese communists were utilizing for their propaganda purposes the activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The protest described as occurring from April 19 through April 22, 1971 coincides directly with the dates of Dewey Canyon III, the Washington, DC, protest led by John Kerry, during which John Kerry’s testimony before Senator Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee was a televised centerpiece. The description of the protest activities in the Directive even include the “return their medals” ceremony in which John Kerry and other VVAW members threw their medals and/or ribbons toward the steps of the US Capitol, with several shouting threats of violence against their government as they did so.


Another key discussion in the documents reveals the degree to which the Vietnamese communists were working with and through the PCPJ (People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice. The Circular, immediately after disclosing how the communist delegations to the Paris Peace talks were being used to guide the US antiwar movement, stresses the importance of the PCPJ to these efforts:

Of the US antiwar movements, the two most important ones are: The PCPJ ((the People’s Committee for Peace and Justice)) and the NPAC ((National Peace Action Committee)). These two movements have gathered much strength and staged many demonstrations. The PCPJ is the most important. It maintains relations with us.

(emphasis in original)

Further reporting of this research is available in this New York Sun article.

::Update:: As pointed out by Digger, InTheBullpen has an interview with Troy Jenkins on this topic (permalink busted, scroll down).

Posted by Windrider at 07:10 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 30, 2004

Kerry Has One-Point Lead In Reuters/Zogby Daily Tracking Poll

Reuters reports that Kerry moved into a one-point lead over President Bush in the latest Reuters/Zogby poll released on Saturday.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2004

Kerry already making Cabinet selections

TIMES ONLINE: Kerry to opt for the senator who copied Kinnock

THE man whose presidential ambitions were destroyed when he plagiarised Neil Kinnock is set to become America’s chief foreign policymaker if John Kerry is elected President next Tuesday.
Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware has been asked by Mr Kerry to become Secretary of State in a Democratic administration, according to Kerry campaign aides. Mr Biden, the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the past four years, ran for President in 1988. His campaign ended abruptly when it was revealed that a key element of his stump speech had been lifted directly from Mr Kinnock’s general election speeches in 1987.

But Mr Biden has since emerged as a leading foreign policy figure in the Democratic party and is expected to take the job offered by Mr Kerry unless political factors intervene. Were the Democrats to retake control of the Senate, he might prefer to remain as a lawmaker, but those who know him think that unlikely.

Mr Biden’s possible elevation is one of the thousands of permutations circulating in Washington in the final days before the presidential election. If Mr Biden does go to the State Department it will be a disappointment for Richard Holbrooke, the UN Ambassador during the Clinton Administration and the architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian war in 1995. Mr Holbrooke has lobbied hard for the Secretary of State ’s job. But in what will be seen as both an effort to conciliate the famously self-confident Mr Holbrooke, and as a signal change from Bush administration policy, Mr Kerry is likely to offer him the job of special Middle East peace co-ordinator, senior Democrats say.

Mr Kerry plans to announce both appointments soon after the election as a sign of the urgency he assigns to mending diplomatic fences.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2004

Kerry Takes Lead In ABC/Washington Post Tracking Poll

Bloomberg reports that Kerry has taken the lead in the Washington Post tracking poll 50 percent to 48 percent.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 12:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 25, 2004

Kerry Regains Lead In Rasmussen Tracking Poll

Rasmussen Reports Presidential Tracking Poll
Bush 46%
Kerry 48%
The poll was conducted October 22-24 and has a margin of error is plus or minus 2 percent.

This is the first time the Rasmussen tracking poll found Kerry leading since August 23.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 12:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence

From the AP via Yahoo! News:

President Bush, presenting himself as the best candidate to keep America safe, was accused by John Kerry on Monday of “unbelievable incompetence” in the disappearance of hundreds of tons of powerful explosives in Iraq.

“Every step of the way, this administration has miscalculated,” Kerry said in Dover, N.H. He spoke shortly before traveling to Philadelphia for a rally with former President Clinton, who was making his first political appearance since heart surgery nearly seven weeks ago.

Kerry said the Bush administration had “miscalculated about how to go to war, miscalculated about the numbers of troops that we would need, miscalculated about sending young Americans to war without the armor they needed, without the Humvees they needed that were armored.”

“And the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and put this country at greater risk than we ought to be,” Kerry said.

Running mate John Edwards, campaigning in Ohio, added, “After today, it’s hard to imagine that even they’ll continue believing things are going well.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency said about 350 tons of highly explosive material had disappeared in Iraq, apparently stolen because of a lack of security at governmental installations.

The central argument of Bush’s re-election campaign is that he can do a better job protecting America than Kerry, and polls show that voters trust Bush more on this issue. The Bush campaign dismissed Kerry’s criticism of the missing explosives without responding to the allegations.

“John Kerry has no vision for fighting and winning the war on terror, so he is basing his attacks on the headlines he wakes up to each day,” Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. “If John Kerry wants to spend the next eight days trying to explain his positions again, we welcome that debate.”

Read the rest here.

The New York Times is reporting “Kerry Calls Missing Explosives One of Bush’s ‘Great Blunders’”

Posted by Todd Castleton at 11:42 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 24, 2004

Security Council Members Deny Meeting Kerry

The Washington Times reports that U.N. ambassadors from several nations are disputing assertions by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry that he met for hours with all members of the U.N. Security Council just a week before voting in October 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:53 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Orlando Sentinel Endorses John Kerry

The normally Republican Orlando Sentinel has endorsed John Kerry for President.

Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound.

This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush.

Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat — Lyndon Johnson — for president.

Posted by Solonor at 12:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2004


The LA Times wonders if John Kerry is too intelligent to be president of the United States.

Posted by Alan at 09:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sinclair Aires “A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media”

Sinclair Broadcast Group aired “A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media” on 40 television stations around the country last night.

The Associated Press reports that the program contained a few minutes from the documentary, “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” as well as excerpts from a pro-Kerry documentary, interviews with veterans who support and oppose Kerry, and a segment on the impact of new media such as the Internet on politics.

A history of the controversy that erupted following reports of the upcoming program was also given, including assessments such as “before anything had been decided, spin alley had become a superhighway.”

Kerry did not appear in the program, but comments he made on the issue on the campaign trail were presented.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

New York Times Review Of "Stolen Honor" - It Should Be Shown Everywhere

The New York Times review of “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal” states that the documentary should be shown in its entirety on all the networks, cable stations and on public television.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 06:04 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Christopher Reeve's Widow Endorses Kerry

AP: Christopher Reeve’s Widow Endorses Kerry

Sen. John Kerry on Thursday accused President Bush of slowing scientific advancement after earning a special endorsement from the widow of Senator actor Paul Wellstone’s Christopher Reeve, a proponent of the embryonic stem cell research on which the president has placed limits.

“The American people deserve a president who understands that when America invests in science and technology, we can build a stronger economy and create jobs for the 21st century,” Kerry said during a campaign rally. “But George Bush has literally … turned his back on the spirit of exploration and discovery.”

Wellstone’s Reeve’s widow, Dana, said her family has been grieving privately since her husband died Oct. 10. “My inclination would be to remain private for a good long while,” she said. “But I came here today in support of John Kerry because this is so important. This is what Paul Chris wanted.”

(Okay, okay… unfair… Paul Wellstone’s wife died in the plane crash with him, leaving his son and Ted Kennedy to use his coffin as a pulpit to thump while campaigning.)

Posted by Laurence Simon at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 19, 2004

Democrats seek "Sex and the City" Women

Agence France Presse reports Democrat strategists are trying to get “Sex and the City” women to vote for Kerry.

The “Sex and the City” women are single women from 18 to 88 who did not vote in 2000. The group includes whites, Afro-Americans, Latinos and numbers about 22 million.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Franks Denies Hunt For Bin Laden Was "Outsourced"

Agence France-Presse reports that Retied General Tommy Franks, the former commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has denied Kerry’s claim that we “outsourced” the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora:

“As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora and I can tell you that the senator’s understanding of events doesn’t square with reality,” retired general Tommy Franks wrote in The New York Times.

[. . .]

According to Franks, the US military relied heavily on Afghan forces in that battle because they knew Tora Bora after fighting there for years against the Soviet occupation.

“Third, the Afghans weren’t left to do the job alone,” the retired general continued. “Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 02:04 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

Palestinian Authority expresses support for Kerry

JERUSALEM POST: Palestinian Authority expresses support for Kerry

The Palestinian Authority made its first open statement Monday expressing support for US democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

PA Foreign Minister Nabil Sha’ath said that the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is unsure if George W. Bush is re-elected to office.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 05:25 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 17, 2004

Kerry - Illegal ballot collection in Florida?

Early news from Drudge:

As early voting begins Monday in the sunburn State of Florida controversy has already developed around a Democratic National Committee/Kerry-Edwards election manual.

The election manual titled — “FLORIDA VICTORY 2004” -obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT, advocates an apparent unlawful “BALLOT PICKUP” drive by campaign volunteers.

The DNC Kerry/Edwards manual states:

“In Florida, it is legal to handle ballots. This means it is possible for the campaign to canvass base neighborhoods, pick up completed ballots and deliver them to Early Vote locations. We will incorporate these deliveries into our Early Vote canvassing program.”

But Florida State election law is in sharp contrast and conflicts with the Dem plan.

“A designee may pick up an absentee ballot for a voter on election day or 4 days before election day. A designee may only pick up two absentee ballots per election, other than his or her own ballot or ballots for members of his or her immediate family. Designees must have written authorization from the voter, present a picture I.D. and sign an affidavit. Candidates may pick up absentee ballots only for members of their immediate family.”

Posted by Laurence Simon at 08:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Florida Papers Endorse Kerry

South Florida Sun-Sentinel - “President Bush has failed the test of leadership. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board recommends voters on Nov. 2 replace him with John Kerry.”

Miami Herald - “On the basis of experience, a strong campaign and command of the issues that make this such a crucial election, The Herald recommends JOHN F. KERRY.

St. Petersburg Times - “President Bush hasn’t lived up to his promise to be a uniter at home and in world affairs, and he shows no evidence of having recognized, much less learned from, the mistakes that have left this country less united and less secure. John Kerry isn’t a perfect candidate. No one is. But he is an intelligent, principled leader who has demonstrated his commitment to his country on the battlefield and in public service. The Times recommends Kerry as the candidate best equipped to fulfill the promises George W. Bush made four years ago and failed to keep.”

Palm Beach Post - “There are many reasons to declare George W. Bush a failed president. We frame the election in terms of why people should vote for Sen. John Kerry.”

Daytona News-Journal - “America’s prosperity doesn’t entirely depend on a great president. America’s future does. John Kerry’s distinguished service has prepared him to be the leader this country needs. The world, as much as America, would benefit by his intelligence, integrity, courage and compassion in the Oval Office. It especially needs his perceptive restraint.”

Bradenton Herald - “It comes down to this simple question famously asked by Ronald Reagan in 1980: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? The answer, clearly, is no. Ultimately, that is why we recommend John Kerry as president of the United States in the Nov. 2 election.”

Florida Today - “America needs new leadership, and John Kerry can bring it to the White House.”

Posted by Solonor at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2004

Kerry: Potential Great for Return Of Draft

Kerry, in an interview The Des Moines Register published Friday:

There is “a great potential” for a military draft in the United States should President Bush win re-election in November

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:07 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 15, 2004

Most Condemn Kerry Debate Comment About Cheney's Daughter

ABC News reports that its latest tracking poll found that likely voters, by 2-1, call it inappropriate for Kerry to have noted that Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter is a lesbian.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 06:13 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

DRUDGE: Charge voter intimidation, even if none exists

Matt Drudge in a WORLD EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS has posted a page out of the DNC Election Manual that suggests that operatives launch “pre-emptive strikes” charging voter intimidation where none has been reported…

2. If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a “pre-emtive strike” (particularly well-suited tio states in which there [sic] techniques have been tried in the past).

Issue a press release
i. Reviewing Republican tactic used in the past in your area or state
ii. Quoting party/minority/civil rights leadership as denouncing tactics that discourage people from voting

Prime minority leadership to discuss the issue in the media; provide talking pints.

Place stories in which minority leadership expresses concern about the threat of intimidation tactics.

Warn local newspapers not to accept advertising that is not properly disclaimed or that contains false warnings about voting requirements and/or about what will happen at the polls.

Who’s the Fear Campaigner now?

Posted by Laurence Simon at 12:17 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

What ... No Blogs?

This K/E campaign email came through just after last night’s debate:

Dear Supporter,

A few minutes ago, the third and final presidential debate came to a close. Once again, I am about to head over to the “spin room,” and once again I am going to have the chance to talk about a victory for John Kerry.

During these debates, John Kerry has left no doubt that he has the strength and character we need in a commander in chief. He has shown the American people his command of the facts, steady demeanor, and well reasoned arguments. He offered hope and optimism, and showed that he will fight for middle class families.

The Bush campaign has tried to lower the bar for each debate. But the bar can only go so low.

The bottom line is, when it comes to the concerns of the middle class, George Bush just doesn’t get it — doesn’t know how to talk about it — and has no way to fix it. While he offered nothing but more of the same tired rhetoric — John Kerry presented real solutions to real problems. That’s the reason why John Kerry won and George Bush lost — lowered expectations and spin from the Bush campaign will not change this.

Tonight George Bush’s denials further damaged his credibility. He denied we have problems with immigration, No Child Left Behind, equal pay for women and the minimum wage. Bush pretends our problems don’t exist, and he won’t level with the American people.

Again, we need your help to keep the Republican spin machine in check. After three debates you know what you need to do — let’s go out there and do it.

1) Vote in online polls



ABC News


Fox News

Also check your local newspaper and TV station’s websites for online polls.

2) Call into talk radio
3) Write local newspapers

Joe Lockhart
Senior Advisor

What … no call to troll the blogs?

Posted by Alan at 08:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clinton: Off The Bench

The Guardian reports that Bill’s back in the game, recording radio advertisements for Kerry / Edwards.

Posted by Alan at 07:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Lynn Cheney Upset With Kerry

The Associated Press reports that Lynn Cheney accused Kerry of pulling a “cheap and tawdry political trick,” for invoking her daughter’s sexuality in his debate with President Bush:

“Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man,” she said.

“Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”

From Caslifornia Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 07:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 13, 2004

Mystery Surrounds Kerry's Navy Discharge

The New York Sun reports that Kerry’s discharge is surrounded in mystery:

An official Navy document on Senator Kerry’s campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry’s “Honorable Discharge from the Reserves” opens a door on a well kept secret about his military service.

The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration’s secretary of the Navy, W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry’s discharge as being subsequent to the review of “a board of officers.” This in it self is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.

According to the secretary of the Navy’s document, the “authority of reference” this board was using in considering Mr. Kerry’s record was “Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163. “This section refers to the grounds for involuntary separation from the service. What was being reviewed, then, was Mr. Kerry’s involuntary separation from the service. And it couldn’t have been an honorable discharge, or there would have been no point in any review at all. The review was likely held to improve Mr. Kerry’s status of discharge from a less than honorable discharge to an honorable discharge.

A Kerry campaign spokesman, David Wade, was asked whether Mr. Kerry had ever been a victim of an attempt to deny him an honorable discharge. There has been no response to that inquiry.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 02:51 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

October 11, 2004

"Terrorism ... a nuisance?"

CNN reports that President Bush’s campaign plans a new ad based on what Kerry is quoted as saying in a New York Times Magazine article about “what it would take for Americans to feel safe again:”

“We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance,” the article states as the Massachusetts senator’s reply.

“As a former law enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:51 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

October 07, 2004

AP Poll: Kerry Regains Lead

A new Associated Press poll finds that Kerry leads President Bush by 4%.

Likely Voters
Bush 46%
Kerry 50%

The poll was taken October 4-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 04:39 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

NRA Targets Kerry

The Los Angeles Times reports that the National Rifle Association is launching television commercials and newspaper ads criticizing Kerry as an opponent of gun-owner rights:

The latest ad shows an NRA lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, walking through a field with a shotgun slung over his shoulder.

[. . .]

“Remember, John Kerry’s not a hunter,” Cox says in the ad. “He just plays one on TV.

The Associated Press reports that the National Rifle Association also uses a sweater-wearing poodle with a pink bow mocking Kerry’s attempts to portray himself as friendly to gun sports and saying:

“That dog don’t hunt.”

“John Kerry says he supports sportsmen’s rights. But his record says something else,” the ads say.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 04, 2004

Did Kerry Violate Debate Rules?

The Drudge Report is carrying this video clip that seems to show John Kerry taking notes from his breast pocket.

The debate rules read: No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by either candidate…. Each candidate must submit to the staff of the Commission prior to the debate all such paper and any pens or pencils with which a candidate may wish to take notes during the debate, and the staff or commission will place such paper, pens and pencils on the podium…

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 09:24 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 02, 2004

Newsweek Poll: Kerry Leads

MSNBC reports that in the first national telephone poll using a fresh sample, Newsweek found the presidential race statistically tied among all registered voters, in a three-way race.

Registered Voters
Bush 45%
Kerry 47%
Nader 2%

The poll was conducted among registered voters between September 30 and October 2 and has a margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 07:52 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 29, 2004

Kerry Acknowledges "Inarticulate Moment"

The Associated Press reports that Kerry acknowledges an inarticulate moment when he tried to explain his vote against the $87 billion for the war in Afghanistan and Iraq by saying:

“I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:59 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Kerrry Says We Should Not Have Gone To War In Iraq has posted a transcript of an excerpt from Diane Sawyer’s interview with Kerry, which is being broadcast on ABC’s “Good Morning America:”

DIANE SAWYER: Was the war in Iraq worth it?

SEN. JOHN KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information we know today.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 27, 2004

No European Help For Kerry

The Financial Times reports that French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if Kerry wins the election.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 10:23 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 19, 2004

The Local Stump: Moblogging Edwards

Hi everyone. Apologies for my sparse participation over the past week … my high level of activity during the conventions resulted in a nearly non-stop set of work since.

But I’m back, and today will be posting something a bit different. The Kerry campaign is making stop today in my locale as John Edwards hosts a “block party” in the next town over. I was sent tickets (from the DNC connection, I assume), and I’ll be attending and moblogging from my Palm Treo 600 during the event.

I’ll start around 11:30 AM EDT.

Posted by Alan at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2004

Kerry After Action Reports Now Posted Here

The Fox Baltimore servers are getting hammered, so I’m posting copies of the reports here. To reduce load time under a heavy server load, I’ll posted each page seperately. Each is a .jpg file.

Incidentally, the Kerry campaign has had his “spot reports” detailing his injuries in action online for a while … you may see them here.

Posted by Alan at 07:49 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 08, 2004

Text of Kerry Speech on Iraq War

Senator Kerry spoke this morning in Cincinnati, Ohio, seeking to commemorate the 1,000th American death in Iraq by laying out his position on the war there. I’ve excerpted the text of his foreign policy remarks, which his website captions Remarks on Bush’s Wrong Choices in Iraq That Have Left Us Without the Resources We Need at Home:

Yesterday in Iraq, we marked the most incalculable loss of all. Yesterday, we reached a tragic milestone. More than 1,000 of America’s sons and daughters gave their lives in service to our country. More than 1,000 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters who will never come home to live the lives they dreamed of. We honor them, we pray for them and for their families, and we owe it to their memory and all our troops to do what’s right in Iraq.

I also want to speak directly to the more than 150,000 troops currently risking their lives as far away as Iraq and Afghanistan. Your country is proud of you. You are the most dedicated, capable military we’ve ever had. We are united as a nation in our support for you. We pledge to stand with your families as you stand on the front lines for ours. You are the best of America. And you perform magnificently every day. We thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Twenty-three months ago, President Bush came here to ask the American people for our support. And he promised then to make the right choices when it came to sending young Americans to Iraq.

Here in Cincinnati, he said that if Congress approved the resolution giving him the authority to use force, it did not mean that military action would be “unavoidable”. But he chose not to give the weapons inspectors the time they needed to get the job done and give meaning to the words, going to war as a last resort.

Here in Cincinnati, he promised “to lead a coalition.” But he failed to build a broad, strong coalition of allies and he rushed to war without a plan to win the peace.

Here in Cincinnati, from this hall, on that night, he spoke to the nation, and promised: “If we have to act, we will take every precaution that is possible. We will plan carefully. We will act with the full power of the United States military. We will act with allies at our side and we will prevail.”

But then, George W. Bush made the wrong choices. He himself now admits he miscalculated in Iraq. In truth, his miscalculation was ignoring the advice that was given to him, including the best advice of America’s own military. When he didn’t like what he was hearing, he even fired the Army Chief of Staff. His miscalculation was going to war without taking every precaution and without giving the inspectors time. His miscalculation was going to war without planning carefully and without the allies we should have had. As a result, America has paid nearly 90% of the bill in Iraq. Contrast that with the Gulf War, where our allies paid 95% of the costs.

George W. Bush’s wrong choices have led America in the wrong direction in Iraq and left America without the resources we need here at home. The cost of the President’s go-it-alone policy in Iraq is now $200 billion and counting. $200 billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford after-school programs for our children. $200 billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford health care for our veterans. $200 billion for Iraq, but they tell us we can’t afford to keep the 100,000 new police we put on the streets during the 1990s.

Well we’re here today to tell them: they’re wrong. And it’s time to lead America in a new direction.

When it comes to Iraq, it’s not that I would have done one thing differently from the President, I would’ve done almost everything differently. I would have given the inspectors the time they needed before rushing to war. I would have built a genuine coalition of our allies around the world. I would’ve made sure that every soldier put in harm’s way had the equipment and body armor they needed. I would’ve listened to the senior military leaders of this country and the bipartisan advice of Congress. And, if there’s one thing I learned from my own service, I would never have gone to war without a plan to win the peace.

I would not have made the wrong choices that are forcing us to pay nearly the entire cost of this war – $200 billion that we’re not investing in education, health care, and job creation here at home.

$200 billion for going-it-alone in Iraq. That’s the wrong choice; that’s the wrong direction; and that’s the wrong leadership for America.

While we’re spending that $200 billion in Iraq, 8 million Americans are looking for work – 2 million more than when George W. Bush took office – and we’re told that we can’t afford to invest in job training and job creation here at home.

[I’m skipping the domestic-policy sections, but you can read the whole thing at Kerry’s site]

Because of this President’s wrong choices, we’re spending $200 billion in Iraq while the costs of health care have gone through the roof and we’re told we don’t have the resources to make health care affordable and available for all Americans . . .

. . . They’re charging 17% more for Medicare while making America pay $200 billion for a go-it-alone policy in Iraq. That’s the wrong choice; that’s the wrong direction; and that’s the wrong leadership for America.


Because of George W. Bush’s wrong choices, we’re spending $200 billion in Iraq while we’re running up deficits that threaten Social Security. In fact, they’re raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for their mistakes in Iraq. . . .


And because of this President’s wrong choices, we’re spending $200 billion in Iraq instead of investing in making America energy independent. George W. Bush’s energy policy is to trust the big oil companies and the Saudis. In fact, a national news magazine just reported that a senior member of the Saudi Royal family said that as far as they’re concerned, in the U.S. Presidential election, “It’s Bush all the way.” I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation, not the Saudi Royal Family.

We’re going to invest in technology and the vehicles of the future, so that no young American will ever be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East. That’s the right choice; that’s the right direction; and that’s the right leadership for America.

Because of this President’s wrong choices, we’re spending $200 billion in Iraq while we’re told that we can’t afford to do everything that we should for homeland security. I believe it’s wrong to be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America. It’s wrong to cut money for our first responders. It’s wrong to let 95% of the cargo that comes into this country get by without ever being physically inspected. That’s the wrong choice; that’s the wrong direction; and that’s the wrong leadership for America.

As President, I will set a new direction. We’re going to defend this country here at home. We’re going to do all we possibly can to protect it from another terrorist attack. And we’re going to make homeland security a priority, not a political slogan.

My friends, today we are bearing the cost of the war in Iraq almost alone – $200 billion and counting.

Nearly two years after George W. Bush spoke to the nation from this very place, we know how wrong his choices were. He says he “miscalculated.” He calls Iraq a “catastrophic success.” But a glance at the front pages or a look at the nightly news shows the hard reality: Rising instability. Spreading violence. Growing extremism. Havens for terrorists that weren’t there before. And today, even the Pentagon admits, Entire regions of Iraq are controlled by insurgents and terrorists.

I call this course a catastrophic choice that has cost us $200 billion because we went it alone, and we’ve paid an even more unbearable price in young American lives.

We need a new direction. I know what we need to do in Iraq. We need to bring our allies to our side, share the burdens, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. We need to train Iraqi military and police – we need to train them more rapidly, more effectively, and in greater numbers to take over the job of protecting their own country. That’s what I’ll do as Commander-in-Chief – because that’s the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.


Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:50 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Zogby: "Kerry On The Ropes"

John Zogby, explaining that it isn’t an 11 point race, says: “Mr. Kerry is on the ropes.”

I have Mr. Bush leading by 2 points in the simple head-to-head match up - 46% to 44%. Add in the other minor candidates and it becomes a 3 point advantage for the President - 46% to 43%. This is no small achievement. The President was behind 50% to 43% in my mid-August poll and he essentially turned the race around by jumping 3 points as Mr. Kerry lost 7 points. Impressive by any standards.

For the first time in my polling this year, Mr. Bush lined up his Republican ducks in a row by receiving 90% support of his own party, went ahead among Independents, and now leads by double-digits among key groups like investors. Also for the first time the President now leads among Catholics. Mr. Kerry is on the ropes.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 09:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 06, 2004

Kerry: Iraq "the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Kerry at a Labor Day rally in West Virginia:

The Massachusetts senator, who has said he would have voted to give Bush the authority to use force if necessary against Saddam Hussein even if he had known at the time that the Iraqi leader had no weapons of mass destruction, has struggled to draw clear contrasts with the president.

“I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq,” Kerry said.

He denied that he was “Monday morning quarterbacking.” The Bush campaign said Kerry had “demonstrated nothing but indecision and vacillation” on Iraq.”

“I said this from the beginning of the debate to the walk up to the war,” Kerry told supporters. “I said, Mr. President don’t rush to war, take the time to build a legitimate coalition and have a plan to win the peace.”

He said Bush had failed on all three counts. He called the president’s talk about a coalition fighting alongside about 125,000 U.S. troops “the phoniest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“You’ve about 500 troops here, 500 troops there and it’s American troops that are 90 percent of the combat casualties and it’s American taxpayers that are paying 90 percent of the cost of the war,” he said. “It’s the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Posted by Baseball Crank at 05:17 PM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

Clinton Tells Kerry To Stop Talking About Vietnam

The New York Times reports that former President Clinton advised Kerry to stop talking about Vietnam:

In an expansive conversation, Mr. Clinton, who is awaiting heart surgery, told Mr. Kerry that he should move away from talking about Vietnam, which had been the central theme of his candidacy, and focus instead on drawing contrasts with President Bush on job creation and health care policies, officials with knowledge of the conversation said.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:24 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 05, 2004

Campaign Finance Reform: 60-day window is here

In case y’all hadn’t noticed, we’re now within 60 days of the election, which means that in theory, 527 groups are now prohibited from running television and radio ads:

Restrictions on “Phony Issue Ads” Run by Corporations and Unions (The Snowe-Jeffords Amendment). First adopted as part of McCain-Feingold during the Senate’s February 1998 campaign finance debate, the Snowe-Jeffords amendment addresses the explosion of thinly-veiled campaign advertising funded by corporate and union treasuries. These ads skirt federal election law by avoiding the use of direct entreaties to “vote for” or “vote against” a particular candidate. Under the bill, labor unions and corporations would be prohibited from spending their treasury funds on “electioneering communications.” “Electioneering communications” are defined as radio or TV ads that refer to a clearly identified candidate or candidates and appear within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. This definition does not include any printed communication, direct mail, voter guides, or the Internet. It would also not cover issue advertising that does not identify a specific candidate or appears outside of the 30/60 day pre-election window.

The Snowe-Jeffords amendment applies to 501©(4) non-profit corporations and incorporated 527 organizations…

Update 9/6: Note that this restriction doesn’t apply to all 527’s, only those that are incorporated or take corporate/union money. If anyone knows a definitive source to identify which 527’s fall into this category and which don’t, please chime in.

So the question becomes: what the hell are the 527’s going to do with any money that they’ve amassed but haven’t spent yet?

One interesting theory is that 527’s may channel advertising dollars online. And hey, I’m all for that. Bring that dirty, filthy campaign lucre right on!

But does anybody have any money left anyway? Easy enough to check, thanks to the invaluable I pulled down the expenditures and receipts for the top 50 527’s, added columns to show the percentage of their funds that has been spent and their funds remaining, and put it back in a chart again:

CommitteeReceiptsExpenditures% SpentRemaining
Service Employees International Union $16,652,296 $8,808,017 52.9%$7,844,279
Joint Victory Campaign 2004 *$41,685,706 $35,780,404 85.8%$5,905,302
America Coming Together$26,905,450 $24,196,532 89.9%$2,708,918
Sierra Club$3,440,782 $830,871 24.1%$2,609,911
League of Conservation Voters$2,804,000 $541,882 19.3%$2,262,118
Progress for America$2,266,810 $689,560 30.4%$1,577,250
Coalition to Defend the American Dream$1,425,381 $101,507 7.1%$1,323,874
Democratic Victory 2004$1,302,600 $0 0.0%$1,302,600
Voices For Working Families$3,668,280 $2,396,272 65.3%$1,272,008
Media Fund$28,127,488 $27,208,905 96.7%$918,583
America Votes$1,937,036 $1,176,590 60.7%$760,446
Democrats 2000$705,145 $56,342 8.0%$648,803
Floridians Uniting for a Stronger Tmrw$606,049 $28,683 4.7%$577,366
United Auto Workers $1,050,469 $542,182 51.6%$508,287
Natural Resources Defense Council$782,500 $277,897 35.5%$504,603
Democratic Attorneys General Assn$1,000,009 $527,827 52.8%$472,182
Music for America$1,550,200 $1,096,671 70.7%$453,529
United Food & Commercial Workers Union $780,518 $370,306 47.4%$410,212
American Dental Assn $730,499 $335,732 46.0%$394,767
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees $13,658,207 $13,274,331 97.2%$383,876
Democratic Legislative Campaign Cmte$3,544,667 $3,205,115 90.4%$339,552
Communications Workers of America $2,263,913 $1,926,066 85.1%$337,847
Grassroots Democrats$1,445,528 $1,137,544 78.7%$307,984
American Federation of Teachers $606,299 $322,945 53.3%$283,354
Partnership for America’s Families$3,071,211 $2,855,110 93.0%$216,101
New Democrat Network$7,172,693 $6,970,070 97.2%$202,623
Ironworkers Union $695,742 $511,631 73.5%$184,111
National Assn of Realtors$1,450,000 $1,306,711 90.1%$143,289
AFL-CIO $4,109,799 $4,002,600 97.4%$107,199
EMILY’s List$4,162,226 $4,070,369 97.8%$91,857
Florida House Victory$666,550 $585,434 87.8%$81,116
Environment 2004$645,921 $629,190 97.4%$16,731
Americans for Jobs, Healthcare & Values$1,000,000 $994,137 99.4%$5,863
Americans for Progress & Opportunity$1,306,092 $1,305,667 100.0%$425
Arkansans for the 21st Century$1,023,949 $1,024,812 100.1%($863)
Alliance for Florida’s Future$647,443 $648,493 100.2%($1,050)
Conservation Strategies$500,010 $513,096 102.6%($13,086)
Republican Leadership Council$743,303 $765,596 103.0%($22,293)
Hotel/Restaurant Employees Intl Union$1,403,387 $1,493,772 106.4%($90,385)
Sheet Metal Workers Union $995,305 $1,288,677 129.5%($293,372)
Laborers Union $2,163,448 $2,459,716 113.7%($296,268)
GOPAC$841,849 $1,243,622 147.7%($401,773)
College Republican National Cmte$3,647,093 $4,789,820 131.3%($1,142,727)
Carpenters & Joiners Union $738,718 $1,917,054 259.5%($1,178,336)
Club for Growth$5,538,847 $6,755,054 122.0%($1,216,207)
National Federation of Republican Women$558,019 $1,848,856 331.3%($1,290,837)
National Education Assn $821,831 $3,505,627 426.6%($2,683,796)
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $723,121 $3,613,709 499.7%($2,890,588)$9,086,102 $17,435,782 191.9%($8,349,680)
* Joint Victory Campaign 2004 is a joint fund-raising committee run by America Coming Together and the Media Fund. Money raised by JVC is divided between these two beneficiaries. Combining receipts for these three groups would result in double-counting.

So there’s a few interesting observations to be had from this data. First, it’s clear that —- assuming the reporting data is up-to-date —- there’s still decent piles of cash lying in the coffers of some of the major 527’s, including the Democrats’ mega-fund, the Joint Victory Fund, as well as others.

But then there’s the bottom end of the table, which is somewhat odd. Many 527’s have actually spent more than they are reporting as receipts. I would think that there are two explanations for this: first, that the group is in fact spending ahead of donations on credit or debt, or second, that the reporting is simply behind on receipts while it is up-to-date on spending. This makes a certain kind of sense; I presume it is a much less burdensome process to list expenditures than it is to report on all the tiny donations received.

But some of the numbers are wildly out of wack, including those for everyone’s favorite, They’ve spent $17M with receipts of only $9M, apparently —- a gap of $8 million. Now that is some fairly shoddy reporting, if you ask me.

But back to the funds that are left. At his current rates, $4,000 will get you an add that runs from here until Election Day over at Instapundit —- and you can even get the top slot for a mere $6,000. Glenn’s current traffic suggests that it’s a safe bet that he’ll get around 10 million visits between now and election day, so his rates are a bargain if there ever was one.

Further down the traffic, over at TTLB, you can run an ad until the end of the campaign for $70. Yes, $70. I mean, that’s less than the price of a power lunch. And while I can’t guarantee Glenn’s mega-visitage, my own traffic hasn’t been too shabby lately (especially in Great Britain, though they don’t vote, I’m told). And somewhere inbetween, here at The Command Post, you can run an add site-wide until Election Day for $300. Cheap, cheap, cheap!

Other blogs are priced similarly, generally with a pretty direct relation between traffic and cost. So it sure seems logical to expect that there might be a flood of political dollars headed our way sometime soon. So to use language that I know both Republicans and Democrats now understand:

Bring. It. On!

PS: Bonus 60-day tidbit: Another odd part of campaign finance regulations is that, believe it or not, Senators are prohibited from updating their own websites within 60 days of an election. Here’s the relevant rule:

During the 60 day period immediately preceding the date of any primary or general election (whether regular, special, or runoff) for any national, state, or local office in which the Senator is a candidate, no Member may place, update or transmit information using a Senate Internet Server (“FTP Server, Gopher, and World Wide Web), unless the candidacy of the Senator in such election is uncontested. Exceptions to this moratorium include the following: posting of press releases, posting of official statements of the member appearing in the Congressional Record, and technical corrections to the website.

Kind of odd, really, but if you can post press releases, I can’t see how it is very much of a restriction.

Originally posted at The Truth Laid Bear

Posted by N.Z. Bear at 12:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 01, 2004

Give 'em ZELL!

[Admin note: This should have gone in OpEd but, because it has so many comments, we won’t be moving it over. So, just pretend you’re in the OpEd section while reading it! ]

“This is Mr. Kerry. Have a Bellhop Bring me Some Powerful Butt Ointment.”

I just watched Zell Miller’s speech at the RNC. To put it bluntly, he ripped Kerry a new ass you could drive Michael Moore through.

He articulated the single most compelling reason we need to reject John Kerry, and he managed to do it in a new, extremely effective way. Listing the weapons Kerry voted against and the conflicts in which they have since been used…that was genius. I can think of no better way to make people understand that John Kerry should not be trusted with national security.

I think this speech will prove to be extremely effective in bringing new bodies into the Bush fold. The country is full of fairly conservative people—this is especially true in the South—who only think they’re Democrats. They can’t relate to the safety-pin-perforated, vegetarian, tree-loving, America-hating freaks who have come to dominate the Democrat Party. If a guy like Zell Miller gives them permission to cross over and vote with their minds instead of relying on the herd instinct, maybe they’ll wake up and do the right thing in November.

I hope people watched, because I think this speech was one of the most powerful weapons we could have unleashed at this convention. I’d go so far as to call it a history-making speech. Who on the Democrat side—the mainstream Democrat side—can match Miller’s eloquence and fire?

Yeah, right. Bring out Walter Mondale and a crate of No-Doz. Prop me up with a stick and wake me when he’s done. If you can tell.

Karl Rove has to be the one bringing out all these double agents. He has to be the one who booked Miller and Ron Silver and Arnold. It had to be his idea to attack Kerry almost from within, using people liberals like and respect. A Democrat Senator and two movie stars, one of them a Jew. If they can feel good about backing George Bush, anyone can. It’s too brilliant not to be Rove. Unless it was Bush himself. He’s smart enough, whether he mispronounces things or not.

Very good. If this doesn’t give us the bounce we need, let’s all move to France, because Americans deserve John Kerry, and this country is no longer worth living in.

Posted by Steve H. at 11:02 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

August 29, 2004

Kerry On Foreign Policy, In His Own Words

Foreign Policy has a piece by John Kerry titled If I Were President-Addressing the Democratic Deficit:

Democrats must resist a new orthodoxy within our party—a politically stagnating shift that does a disservice to more than 75 years of history. That is the new conventional wisdom of consultants, pollsters, and strategists who argue that Democrats should be the party of domestic issues alone.

They are wrong. As a party, Democrats need to talk about all the things that strengthen and protect the United States. We need to have a vision that extends to the world around us, and we should remember that this vision is as old as our party. Woodrow Wilson was elected president during a time of peace, but he led during a time of war. Franklin Roosevelt was elected to tackle the Great Depression, create Social Security, and put the United States back to work. But no one should forget that he did those things even as he responded to Pearl Harbor and marshaled the nation’s troops from Normandy to Iwo Jima. And John F. Kennedy didn’t try to change the subject of the debate when Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president brought up foreign policy. Kennedy challenged the United States globally, insisting that the country do more and better, not because these things are easy but because they are hard.

Posted by Alan at 03:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

McCain Says Kerry's Anti-War Protests Open for Debate

Senator John McCain said Kerry’s anti-war activities after he returned from Vietnam are an appropriate subject for political debate. Bloomberg reports:

McCain, 68, of Arizona, said on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” that he disagreed with Kerry throwing his ribbons from his medals on the steps of the U.S. Capitol when he returned from the war.

“Every American is entitled to protest,” McCain said. “Whether he did that appropriately” is a legitimate subject for debate, he said.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 01:36 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 27, 2004

Kerry Campaign To Pull Ad Featuring McCain

Bloomberg reports that the Kerry campaign is pulling an ad featuring footage of Senator McCain rebuking President Bush during the 2000 primary campaign:

McCain said in an interview with the New York Times that he would ask the Kerry campaign to stop running the ad.

[. . .]

“John McCain asked us to take down the ad,” Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told reporters on a conference call. “We respected those wishes.”

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Seattle Times Endorses Kerry

The Seattle Times, the largest paper in Washington State, endorsed Kerry over President Bush, whom the paper endorsed in 2000:

Four years ago, this page endorsed George W. Bush for president. We cannot do so again — because of an ill-conceived war and its aftermath, undisciplined spending, a shrinkage of constitutional rights and an intrusive social agenda.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 02:51 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

A Marine In Iraq's Opinion

For those who have not seen it before, Brian Palmer has been with the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit for about seven weeks and has documented the time with a weekly digital diary including prose and photos. The final installment of the six week project is now online. For a good insight on what our Marines in the 24th have been going through over the past couple of months, you can read the whole thing.

Although anecdotal, here’s a taste of what U.S. Marines in Iraq are feeling about the 2004 Presidential election.

…plenty of rah-rah triumphalism and USA-first hyperpatriotism but found only a little, not a lot. There were a few folks who hooted at John Kerry when he appeared on the chow hall’s TV screen, and then cheered when Bush came on. “John Kerry is a f—-ing communist” for tossing his Vietnam War ribbons, asserted a cocky young Marine from Arkansas, Corporal Michael Euler, a soon-to-be father who knows what he knows and will tell you so in a heartbeat.

Yes, I confess, Mike and his wife are close friends of mine. Whether you agree with his sentiments or not, please keep them in your prayers.

Cross posted at SSG and in the Iraq section.

Posted by Adam Harris at 06:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 25, 2004

10 Nobel Laureates Endorse Kerry

According to Reuters (vi Yahoo!News) 10 Nobel Laureates have signed a letter of support for John Kerry.

George Akerlof and Daniel McFadden of the University of California at Berkeley, Kenneth Arrow and William Sharpe of Stanford University, Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University, Lawrence Klein of the University of Pennsylvania, Douglass North of Washington University, Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow of MIT and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 01:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Kerry on Daily Show

Kerrywatch: John Kerry will be appearing on Comedy Central - Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

AP: Stewart Probes Kerry on Military Service

After weeks of charge and countercharge in the presidential campaign, comedian Jon Stewart tried Tuesday to get to the bottom of the debate over Democrat John Kerry’s military service in Vietnam.

“I watch a lot of the cable news shows, so I understand that you were never in Vietnam,” asked Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

“That’s what I understand, too, but I’m trying to find out what happened,” Kerry joked.

Check your local listings for dates and times.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 07:51 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 23, 2004

Judicial Watch Files Formal Complaint against Kerry

According to their website,

Judicial Watch, Inc. (hereinafter “Judicial Watch”) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption. Judicial Watch, in the interests of the American public, hereby files this formal complaint and request for investigation, determination and final disposition of awards granted to Lieutenant (junior grade) John Forbes Kerry, U.S. Naval Reserve, (hereinafter “Senator Kerry”) under the provision of Paragraph 116 (Requirement for Honorable Service), SECNAV Instruction 1650.1G (Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual) dated 7 January 2002.

Amongst the complaints are controversial accusations about Senator Kerry’s medals, an issue that has (finally) gotten into the press. But there is a rather less controversial issue, more serious and not reliant on subjective eyewitness accounts. The allegations continue :

According to publicly available records, Senator Kerry was released from Active Duty and transferred to the Naval Reserve (inactive) on 3 January 1970. On 1 July 1972 he was transferred to the Standby Reserve (inactive). While a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve, Senator Kerry traveled to Paris, France and met with official delegations from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Provisional Revolutionary Government (the Viet Cong). The Vietnamese Communists eagerly met Senator Kerry and benefited directly from the obvious propaganda victory (See Exhibit 2, page 126 - 129).

These acts are clear violations of the legal prohibitions on individual citizens negotiating with foreign powers (18 U.S.C. ’ 953) and the constitutional prohibition against giving support to our nation’s enemies in wartime (Article III, Section 3). Additionally, as a commissioned officer of the Naval Reserve, Senator Kerry was subject to the UCMJ, and likely violated Article 104 (“Aiding the Enemy”) through his actions with the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong delegation.

Senator Kerry returned from his private negotiations with the Vietnamese Communists to Washington, DC and held a press conference. At that press event, Senator Kerry advocated a Vietnamese Communist “peace proposal” calling for a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and payment of war damage reparations to the Communist government. Senator Kerry engaged in this advocacy on behalf of a foreign power with who we were at war while continuing to hold a commission as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Posted by Alan Brain at 01:22 AM | Comments (40) | TrackBack

August 21, 2004

Kerry Campaign Contributions Lack Disclosure shows that the Kerry-Edwards campaign has a 76% compliance rate with FEC disclosure provisions for campaign contributions, compared to 91% on average for congressional campaigns, and 93% for the Bush-Cheney campaign. The OpenSecrets folks track the “quality of disclosure” associated with campaign contributions, described as follows:

“BEST EFFORTS” RULES: When making solicitations, candidates, PACs and party committees must make “best efforts” to obtain and report the name, address, occupation and employer of each contributor who gives more than $200 in a calendar year. In order to show that the committee has made “best efforts,” solicitations must specifically request that information and inform contributors that the committee is required by law to use its best efforts to collect and report it.

Most members of Congress fully identify the great majority of their donors’ occupations and employers — an important point, if voters are to see the economic interests giving to their representative’s campaign.

In the 2000 elections, the average member of Congress fully identified 91% of their contributors’ occupations and employers. Seven percent of the occupations were left blank, and the rest were incomplete.

According to the current OpenSecrets data, Bush’s stats are:

Full Disclosure: $156,147,934 (93.0%)
Incomplete: $2,378,738 (1.4%)
No Disclosure: $9,309,250(5.5%)

Kerry’s, on the other hand, are:

Full Disclosure: $85,533,842 (76.4%)
Incomplete: $762,427 (0.7%)
No Disclosure: $25,619,547 (22.9%)

Bush’s 93% compliance seems quite in line with OpenSecrets’ 91% average from past Congressional campaigns, but Kerry’s number, at 76%, is wildly out of wack.

Here are the ‘Full Disclosure’ stats for the other candidates in this year’s race:

Dennis Kucinich: 91.2 %
Lyndon H. Larouche Jr: 91.0 %
Ralph Nader: 90.3 %
Al Sharpton: 91.2 %
Carol Moseley Braun: 92.5 %
Wesley Clark: 70.8 %
Howard Dean: 92.6 %
John Edwards: 87.8 %
Dick Gephardt: 89.2 %
Bob Graham: 87.1 %
Joe Lieberman: 92.5 %

(You can see a single page which compares each candidate’s disclosure statistics here.)

So other than Wes Clark, Kerry’s campaign is significantly below (by over 10%) any other candidate (even the less-than-serious-ones) in this year’s race.

I’m not a campaign finance expert, so I don’t really know what to make of this. Since the data comes from contributors themselves it isn’t clear to me whether you can really fault the Kerry campaign for the deficiency —- unless they are supposed to refuse contributions that don’t provide adequate disclosure. Campaign finance experts, please chime in here anytime…

Originally posted at The Truth Laid Bear.

Posted by N.Z. Bear at 02:27 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 20, 2004

Swift Boat, The Sequel

CNN reports that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth released a new TV ad:

If you liked the original, you’ll love “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth 2,” the new TV ad released this morning that responds to enemy fire the anti-Kerry group has drawn this week.

The ad will go up in “selected states” next week, presumably in the same three battleground states where they launched their first 30-second spot August 5 — Wisconsin, Ohio and West Virginia.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:02 PM | Comments (45) | TrackBack

Vets To Stage Anti-Kerry Protest

United Press International reports that Vietnam Vets for the Truth is planning a Capitol Hill protest next month focusing on Kerry’s allegations that U.S. forces committed atrocities in Vietnam:

Former Capt. Larry Boyle, a Navy Seal in Vietnam, said the demonstration was “to force the media to address the issue of those lies. We aren’t even going to utter the name Bush or tell people not to vote for Kerry, just purely focus on the eight or nine lies he told about the baby killers, the torturers, etc.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 09:32 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

Kerry To Bush: "Bring it on!"

Kerry, via CNN:

“Of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on!”
Posted by Alan at 06:33 PM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

Critic's own military record casts doubts on claims

In making the case against John Kerry’s record in Vietnam, Swift boat vet John Thurlow has claimed that Kerry’s Bronze Star citation as “totally fabricated,” saying “I never heard a shot.” However, the AP is reporting in the Boston Globe and elsewhere that Thurlow’s own Bronze Star citation came in the same engagement and that he came under “constant small arms fire.”

Thurlow, also like Kerry, commanded a Navy Swift boat during the war. Thurlow swore in an affidavit last month that Kerry was “not under fire” when he rescued Lt. James Rassmann from the Bay Hap River.

Thurlow’s records, obtained by the Post under the Freedom of Information Act, include references to “enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire” directed at all five boats in the flotilla that day. In his Bronze Star citation, Thurlow is praised for helping a damaged Swift boat “despite enemy bullets flying about him.”

Posted by Solonor at 08:15 AM | Comments (35) | TrackBack

August 18, 2004

Kerry Wins Off Script?

The Washington Post reports that Kerry’s been increasingly going “off-script” during his stump speeches, and that it’s proof that he’s making progress in connecting to voters.

Posted by Alan at 02:18 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Kerry Disputes Cambodian Allegations

The Boston Globe, reports that “Kerry is disputing an allegation made by a group of veterans opposed to his presidential candidacy that he never operated inside Cambodia during the Vietnam War:”

“During John Kerry’s service in Vietnam, many times he was on or near the Cambodian border and on one occasion crossed into Cambodia at the request of members of a special operations group operating out of Ha Tien,” Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said in a statement. The statement did not say when the cross-border mission took place.

[. . .]

James Wasser, who accompanied Kerry on that mission aboard patrol boat No. 44 and who supports Kerry’s candidacy, said that while he believes they were “very, very close” to Cambodia, he did not think they entered Cambodia on that mission. Yet he added: “It is very hard to tell. There are no signs.”

Another crewmate who said he was with Kerry on Christmas Eve, Steven Gardner — who is a member of the veterans group opposing Kerry’s candidacy — said Kerry was 50 miles from Cambodia at the time. He accused Kerry of lying about being in Cambodia or by the border. “Never happened,” Gardner said.

Separately, according to Meehan’s statement, Kerry crossed into Cambodia on a covert mission to drop off special operations forces. In an interview, Meehan said there was no paperwork for such missions and he could not supply a date. That makes it hard to ascertain or confirm what happened. Kerry served on two swift boats, the No. 44 in December 1968 and January 1969, and the No. 94, from February to March 1969.

Michael Medeiros, who served aboard the No. 94 with Kerry and appeared with him at the Democratic National Convention, vividly recalled an occasion on which Kerry and the crew chased an enemy to the Cambodian border but did not go beyond the border. Yet Medeiros said he could not recall dropping off special forces in Cambodia or going inside Cambodia with Kerry.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:36 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

Poll: 75 percent of U.S. Jews say will vote for Kerry

HAARETZ: Poll: 75 percent of U.S. Jews say will vote for Kerry

75 percent of Jewish American voters will vote for Democratic candidate John Kerry in the upcoming November elections, a survey revealed on Monday.

According to the study summoned by the National Jewish Democratic Council and published on Monday, 75 percent of Jews polled said they would vote for Kerry while only 22 percent said they would re-elect President George W. Bush.

The results contradict Republicans’ claims that American Jewry is facing an historic change in voting habits, leading to mass support of Bush in the upcoming elections.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:44 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack

Mass. Republicans Eye Kerry's Senate Seat

AP: Mass. Republicans Eye Kerry’s Senate Seat

Massachusetts Republicans, while supportive of President Bush (news - web sites)’s re-election, are mindful of the opportunity created should John Kerry (news - web sites) beat him in November’s election: the state’s first Senate vacancy in two decades and a chance to break the Democratic monopoly on its 12-member delegation in Congress.

“We don’t think there’s going to be a race because we all feel that President Bush has the right agenda and the right message and he’s going to win in November,” said Timothy O’Brien, executive director of the state Republican Party.

Still, “in the case there is a race, we’re going to recruit the best candidate,” he said.

In the small universe of Massachusetts Republicans, the options are limited but strong, GOP insiders say.

Among the names mentioned are: Gov. Mitt Romney and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey; White House chief of staff Andy Card, a former state lawmaker; former U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd; former Suffolk County District Attorney Ralph Martin; Bush fund-raiser Chris Egan, and GOP activist and attorney Gloria Larson.

Reports that former Gov. William Weld, who nearly unseated Kerry in 1996, is house-hunting in the state has fueled speculation that he’s interested in running again. Weld, who lives in New York City, did not return calls for comment.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 12:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 13, 2004

Kerry Gains In Several Polls

The LA Times also summarizes a series of polls which suggest Kerry has slight leads in a number of purple states, even as the Bush campaign becomes increasingly aggressive.

Posted by Alan at 10:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2004

London Telegraph Picks Up "Christmas in Cambodia" Story

Following a by-now familiar pattern, charges that John Kerry has for years been repeating a false story about spending Christmas of 1968 on an illegal mission inside Cambodia (at a time when the United States was officially denying having troops inside Cambodia) have now spread from the blogosphere, the Drudge Report, conservative opinion sites and the New York Post and FOX News to the London Telegraph. The Telegraph also picks up the broader story of the charges made by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” It remains to be seen if the U.S. print media will follow suit, although the broader “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” story has already been covered on TV by Nightline and The Daily Show.

Developing . . .

Posted by Baseball Crank at 08:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Kerry: "I Have Been Consistent All Along"

Bloomberg reports that Kerry, responding to criticism from President Bush that Kerry has changed position on Iraq, told supporters he’s been “consistent:”

“The Bush folks are trying to say that we’ve changed positions, this and that,” Kerry told a rally at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas yesterday. “I have been consistent all along, ladies and gentlemen.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 04:47 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Shipmates: Kerry's Cambodia "Mission" Never Happened

The New York Post reports on the charge, in “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” that Kerry’s claim that he was ordered to conduct an illegal combat mission in Cambodia on Christmas Day in 1968 never happened.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 06:54 AM | Comments (56) | TrackBack

August 09, 2004

Kerry’s NH story lacks key details

The Manchester Union Leader reports:

Sen. John Kerry often tells a story about John and Mary Ann Knowles. The Democratic Presidential nominee points to this local couple’s difficulties as evidence of the failure of the Bush administration’s health care policies.

According to the Massachusetts senator, it’s the story of a man who lost his job, and a woman undergoing debilitating cancer treatments who feared she would lose their health insurance if she did not work every day.

But while the Knowles couple, by any measure, has had a rough go of it lately, John Knowles told the New Hampshire Sunday News a different story last week.

He said Mary Ann could have taken disability leave without losing health insurance, although her pay would have been cut somewhat. She did not take time off, he said, but that was to conserve her sick days, not to protect her insurance. They both say she has good health coverage.

Mary Ann’s employer suggests that Kerry misstated the situation.

The Kerry campaign yesterday defended the candidate’s statements, but said that Mary Ann did take time off during chemotherapy.

Kerry gave the story big play throughout the primary and caucus races in New Hampshire and Iowa, the influential early states that launched him to the Democratic nomination. At the time, the Hudson couple appeared in Kerry campaign commercials, and their names cropped up often in the candidate’s speeches.

Continue Reading

Posted by hideandseek at 04:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Allies Not in Formation on Kerry's Troops Plan

LA Times reports that Kerry’s plan for bringing foreign troops to replace American troops in Iraq is unrealistic:

…Kerry’s plan, which promises to effectively shift much of the Iraq war burden from America to its allies, so far is failing to receive the international support the proposal must have to succeed.

Kerry in recent appearances and interviews has been intensifying his effort to spotlight what he sees as the Bush administration’s mistakes in Iraq — especially the failure to broaden international involvement — as a fundamental difference between the two candidates. But Kerry’s proposals depend on changing the minds of foreign leaders who do not want to defy their electorates by sending forces into what many consider to be a U.S.-made mess.

“I understand why John Kerry is making proposals of this kind, but there is a lack of realism in them,” Menzies Campbell, a British lawmaker who is a spokesman on defense issues for the Liberal Democratic Party, said in a typical comment.

… In the last several days, Kerry has begun arguing that he could substantially reduce the number of U.S. troops within the first six months of a Kerry administration. In an interview with National Public Radio on Friday, Kerry said: “I believe that within a year from now, we could significantly reduce American forces in Iraq, and that’s my plan.”

The proposal could be accomplished by increasing the number of foreign troops and boosting the size of the Iraqi security force, Kerry aides say.

Yet some key countries have already ruled out providing troops, and others are badly strained from the deployments they have already made.

The French and German governments have made clear that sending troops is out of the question. British officials have made no such categorical statement, but they have expressed concern that their troops are overstretched.

Although Japan has supplied a 550-member noncombat force as a symbol of its international commitment, analysts there see little chance the nation would agree to send more.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Andrei Denisov, ruled out a commitment of troops. “We are not going to send anybody there, and that’s all there is to say,” Denisov said.

“From the major European countries, there’s simply not a lot of available troops out there, for both practical and political reasons,” said Christopher Makins, president of the Atlantic Council of the United States, which supports U.S. engagement abroad.

Many allied countries have a limited number of troops suitable for the Iraq mission, and most of those are already deployed on other missions, including in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Africa, Makins said.

… Senior Iraqi officials told U.S. officials this summer that they opposed the idea of bringing in additional troops from any foreign country.

… Kerry has proposed two other measures he has said would help draw support — convening an international conference on Iraq and naming through international consultations a “high commissioner,” with U.N. backing, to give other countries more say.

Several diplomats said allies would probably welcome signals of new interest in consultation. But they said that, with sovereignty now assumed by an interim Iraqi government, there was no longer a demand for an international authority that could give the occupation a legitimacy that was missing under U.S. military control.

“Nine months or a year ago, this could have made a difference,” said the senior European diplomat. “Now, it’s too late.”

At this point, he said, many of the allies think it would be better to concentrate on providing help directly to the new Iraqi government to improve its chances of creating a stable democracy.

Posted by hideandseek at 03:57 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 07, 2004

Kerry's Goal of Independence From Middle East Oil Divides Advisers

The New York Times reports that Kerry’s goal of independence from middle east oil has divided his most experienced energy advisers:

Some advisers say they worry that Mr. Kerry’s focus on freeing the United States from reliance on oil from the Persian Gulf, the linchpin of the energy plan he released on Thursday, is unrealistic and misleading and that hammering away at it would erode Mr. Kerry’s credibility with business, the news media and other countries.

The advisers, who include independent analysts, former staff members from Congress and the Clinton administration, and a few industry executives, contend that Mr. Kerry’s regular jabs at Saudi Arabia in particular could be construed by many in the Middle East as anti-Arab, at a time when the United States may need the help of other Arab nations to improve the situation in Iraq.

“It goes down well in Omaha, so they use it,” said one expert from the oil sector who advises the campaign and who, like other advisers, spoke on condition of anonymity. “Though there are people who say that this is irresponsible, asinine so don’t use it.”

Posted by Dan Spencer at 02:31 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Democrats' Religious Coordinator Resigns

The Associated Press reports that “the director of religious outreach for the Democratic Party says she resigned this week because of criticism over her support for removing the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.”

According to the Washington Times “the Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson is the second Democratic official to resign under pressure from the New York-based Catholic League.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 07:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2004

Veteran retracts criticism of Kerry

The Boston Globe is reporting:

A week after Senator John F. Kerry heralded his wartime experience by surrounding himself at the Democratic convention with his Vietnam ”Band of Brothers,” a separate group of veterans has launched a television ad campaign and a book that questions the basis for some of Kerry’s combat medals.

But yesterday, a key figure in the anti-Kerry campaign, Kerry’s former commanding officer, backed off one of the key contentions. Lieutenant Commander George Elliott said in an interview that he had made a ”terrible mistake” in signing an affidavit that suggests Kerry did not deserve the Silver Star — one of the main allegations in the book. The affidavit was given to The Boston Globe by the anti-Kerry group to justify assertions in their ad and book.

Elliott is quoted as saying that Kerry ”lied about what occurred in Vietnam . . . for example, in connection with his Silver Star, I was never informed that he had simply shot a wounded, fleeing Viet Cong in the back.”

The statement refers to an episode in which Kerry killed a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher, part of a chain of events that formed the basis of his Silver Star. Over time, some Kerry critics have questioned whether the soldier posed a danger to Kerry’s crew. Crew members have said Kerry’s actions saved their lives.
Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star.
“I still don’t think he shot the guy in the back,” Elliott said. “It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I’m the one in trouble here.”

Elliott said he was no under personal or political pressure to sign the statement, but he did feel “time pressure” from those involved in the book. “That’s no excuse,” Elliott said. “I knew it was wrong . . . In a hurry I signed it and faxed it back. That was a mistake.”
The affidavit also contradicted earlier statements by Elliott, who came to Boston during Kerry’s 1996 Senate campaign to defend Kerry on similar charges, saying that Kerry acted properly and deserved the Silver Star.

The book, “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,” is to be published next week. Yesterday it reached number one on the bestseller list on, based on advance orders, in part because of publicity about it on the Drudge Report.

UPDATE : [AEBrain] The “retraction” is now reported as being bogus. See succeeding post for details.

UPDATE 2: [TCP Alan] I’ve removed the emphases from the story segment above as they were not in the original.

UPDATE 3: I object to AEBrain editorializing my post. Yes, some have reported that the retraction is “bogus.” However, the original source of this article, the Boston Globe, states the following:

Globe Editor Martin Baron released a statement saying “the Globe stands by the article. The quotes attributed to Mr. Elliott were on the record and absolutely accurate.”
In 1996, when Kerry was running for Senate reelection and faced questions about the circumstances in which he shot the Viet Cong fighter, Elliott came to Boston and defended Kerry, saying he deserved the Silver Star.

If I were to post a statement on someone else’s post, saying that a different source was reporting something differently, I would be attacked to no end. And rightfully so. I don’t think the proper form here is to cross post editorials on other poster’s sites. Make a post showing that someone else has come out on the other side. I’m sure this is not the last time this will happen before the election.

BTW, I wish to point out that AE Brain was completely upfront and sent me an email saying that he would be adding something to my post. I just think it is a bad precedent.

Posted by Todd Castleton at 02:46 PM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

August 05, 2004

Kerry 's Naval Career (By those who served with him)

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Vietnam Vets some of whom actually served with John Kerry, have just released a damning indictment of him in the form of a Political Ad.

Louis Letson: “I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury.”

Van O’Dell: “John Kerry lied to get his bronze star … I know, I was there, I saw what happened.”

The website has it in Quicktime format and others.

A Streaming Windows media version is also available here.

A critical look at some of the SwiftVet’s sponsors is at the Disinfopedia, but even it notes :

The Swift Boat Vets for Truth include the entire chain of command above Kerry: Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard, Lt. Commander George Elliott, Captain Charles Plumly, Captain Adrian Lonsdale USCG (retired) and Rear Admiral Hoffmann (retired), as well as enlisted men, officers, men who served with Mr. Kerry, men who served in the same group of Swift boats and men intimately familiar with the operations and conduct of Swift boat operations during the war.

Another view of Kerry’s Naval Career is to be found on page 16 of the July 2004 dead-tree edition of the US Naval Institute Proceedings, which I have a subscription to for professional reasons.

From Captain James F. Kelly, USN (retired) :

John Kerry and I were shipmates in the guided-missile cruiser USS Gridley (CG-21) in 1967 and 1968. He served as first lieutenant, the officer in charge of the deck division, and I was executive officer. [ie the 2nd in command of the ship - AEB] I remember him as a serious and intelligent young ensign, seemingly mature beyond his years. The skipper and I were mightiliy impressed with him despite his inexperience.
..John Kerry’s performance in all aspects of his duty was outstanding. Drafting his fitness report was an exercise in superlatives. In fact, of the 30 or so officers, I counted him in the top half dozen, no mean feat for an ensign.

I tried to interest him in a naval career. Silly me! It was obvious that he had bigger fish to fry. I drafted a favourable endorsement to his request for swift boat duty on the rivers of Vietnam, where he distinguished himself in combat. Before he left, he gave me his bridge coat and several other uniform items, saying that he wouldn’t be needing them in the “brown water” Navy. Aside from a Christmas card and an aborted telephone call, I didn’t hear further from John until I read about his antiwar antics, including his appearance with Jane Fonda and the famous episode of throwing medals onto the steps of the Capitol during a protest. While he was protesting agaisnt the war, many of us were still fighting it. Many of us feel betrayed that one of our own, a decorated hero, would give comfort to the enemy by his actions.

UPDATE : the actual Quicktime File (3.4 MB) address of the SwiftVets Ad is if you have any difficulty playing it in your browser - just save, then open it.

UPDATE : More damning comments from naval personnel about Kerry. On the other hand, from the same source there’s also an analysis debunking some of the claims about Kerry’s war medals being bogus. (Hat Tip : Reader Lakhim )

Posted by Alan Brain at 10:08 AM | Comments (39) | TrackBack

August 03, 2004

Kerry better qualified to be commander in chief, poll says

Buried later down in one of the articles about Kerry’s lack of a bounce.

The Massachusetts senator gained five to eight points among registered voters on issues and attributes alike, while Bush lost about as many. And after a convention that focused heavily on his military experience in Vietnam, Kerry leads Bush as “better qualified to be commander-in-chief,” by 52 percent to 44 percent.

Perhaps most critically, Kerry solidified more of his support. He sharply boosted the level of enthusiasm among his supporters; made some progress on being more than “not Bush” (but needs more); and produced a solid increase in his “strong” support, up 13 points to 85 percent, now on par with Bush.

While Kerry won some ground on Iraq, his gains occurred disproportionately among people who say the economy is the most important issue in their vote — making the economy look increasingly likely to be the tipping point in this election.

Posted by Nate at 01:22 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

John Kerry On The Democratic Deficit

During the Democratic convention Ed Rendell described to me how the Democratic party has worked since the late 1980s to become the party of strong foriegn policy. In this March, 2003 by-lined Foreign Policy article John Kerry tried to drive the point home.

Democrats must resist a new orthodoxy within our party—a politically stagnating shift that does a disservice to more than 75 years of history. That is the new conventional wisdom of consultants, pollsters, and strategists who argue that Democrats should be the party of domestic issues alone.

They are wrong. As a party, Democrats need to talk about all the things that strengthen and protect the United States. We need to have a vision that extends to the world around us, and we should remember that this vision is as old as our party. Woodrow Wilson was elected president during a time of peace, but he led during a time of war. Franklin Roosevelt was elected to tackle the Great Depression, create Social Security, and put the United States back to work. But no one should forget that he did those things even as he responded to Pearl Harbor and marshaled the nation’s troops from Normandy to Iwo Jima. And John F. Kennedy didn’t try to change the subject of the debate when Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president brought up foreign policy. Kennedy challenged the United States globally, insisting that the country do more and better, not because these things are easy but because they are hard.

It’s our turn again to talk about things that are hard.

Read the rest.

Posted by Alan at 12:53 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

Heinz Kerry: 4 More Years of Bush = "Four More Years Of Hell"

This from India’s Deepikaglobal / Reuters:

Discussing the war in Iraq, Heinz Kerry subtly questioned Republican President George W. Bush’s intellect, saying: “It’s vital for anyone with intelligence to acknowledge mistakes and change positions — hello.” When a Bush supporter with a bullhorn shouted “four more years” from the back of a large crowd packed into a downtown Milwaukee park, Heinz Kerry, who was introducing her husband, responded: “They want four more years of hell.” “Three more months!,” she declared, referring to the Nov. 2 presidential election.

Yeah … shove it!

Posted by Alan at 12:05 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 02, 2004

Kerry Pledges Iraq Troop Cut Within 4 Years

The Washington Post reports that Kerry pledged Sunday to substantially reduce U.S. troop strength in Iraq by the end of his first term in office. He declined to offer details, however. Reports the Post:

In interviews on television talk shows, the Democratic presidential nominee said that he saw no reason to send more troops to Iraq and that he would seek allied support to draw down U.S. forces there. “I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Kerry accused President Bush of misleading the country before the war in Iraq, burning bridges with U.S. allies and having no plan to win peace. But when questioned about saying Thursday in his acceptance speech, “I know what we have to do in Iraq,” he would not tip his hand.

“I’ve been involved in this for a long time, longer than George Bush,” he said. “I’ve spent 20 years negotiating, working, fighting for different kinds of treaties and different relationships around the world. I know that as president there’s huge leverage that will be available to me, enormous cards to play, and I’m not going to play them in public. I’m not going to play them before I’m president.”

There’s also this:

Reminded that he sounded like Richard M. Nixon, who campaigned in 1968 by saying he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam, Kerry responded: “I don’t care what it sounds like. The fact is that I’m not going to negotiate in public today without the presidency, without the power.”
Posted by Alan at 11:47 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

The Greatest Form Of Flattery

The Christian Science Monitor notes the Kerry team is approaching the post-convention push using plays oddly similar to those from the 2000 Bush campaign playbook.

Crossing the country on a two-week “Believe in America” tour through key battleground states, he’s bypassing most major cities for smaller towns, where Bush tends to have more support. He’s stressing Republican themes like values, trying to shift the definition away from things like abortion and gay marriage toward economic justice and personal conduct.

Kerry is even emulating aspects of Bush’s 2000 race against Vice President Al Gore, adopting variations of Bush’s own slogans. His promise to restore “trust and credibility” to the White House echoes Bush’s promise to restore “honor and dignity” in the wake of the Lewinsky scandals, and his refrain of “help is on the way” was formerly used by Vice President Dick Cheney. Sen. John Edwards’s variation, “hope is on the way,” is a close echo.

Posted by Alan at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jewish supporters aim at key states

A Massachusetts group of leading Jewish supporters of John Kerry’s candidacy will spread out across the country in the next three months, targeting presidential campaign battleground states to challenge President Bush’s perceived gains among a critical Democratic constituency.

A dozen or more Jewish civic and political officials — led by Steve Grossman, former chairman of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Alan Solomont, Kerry’s New England finance chairman — will campaign in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where Jewish voters could well tip the balance and decide the presidential election.

Full story here

Posted by Nate at 10:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

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.

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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

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

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

July 29, 2004

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

July 28, 2004

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

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

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.”

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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Via the Drudge Report.

The link to the nikita demosthenes post is here.

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

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 (, 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

July 27, 2004

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

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

July 26, 2004

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

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

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

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

July 25, 2004

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 (

Posted by Brian Usher at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 21, 2004

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

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

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:

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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.

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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 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

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 15, 2004

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

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

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.


“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

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

July 12, 2004

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

“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 09, 2004

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

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

July 08, 2004

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

July 07, 2004

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

July 06, 2004

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

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

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

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

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

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, 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

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. ”I guarantee you that as president, I’m not going to be president of New England, or president of Massachusetts; I’m running to be president of the United States of America. And I’m going to stand up for farmers in Wisconsin and Minnesota and Iowa and other parts of the country just as hard as I did before.”

The Northeast Dairy Compact provided financial support to New England dairy farmers, was strongly opposed in Wisconsin and dairy states elsewhere in the country.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:01 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

July 03, 2004

Kerry Hopes to Sway Voters in Rural U.S.

AP: Kerry Hopes to Sway Voters in Rural U.S.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, hoping to narrow President Bush’s strong advantage in rural America, is highlighting agriculture policies he says will help family farmers and ranchers.

Kerry is in the middle of a three-day, 546-mile Fourth of July weekend bus tour through rural Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, just over three weeks before he accepts his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention.

He planned to meet Saturday with family farmers and ranchers in nearby Independence, Wis., before heading to Dubuque, Iowa, to watch fireworks along the Mississippi River.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 02:35 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Kerry Returns Second Donor Check

AP: Kerry Returns Second Donor Check

John Kerry’s presidential campaign has returned a second $2,000 donation because of uneasiness about its source, and a fund-raiser who solicited both checks among Korean-Americans has resigned.

Rick Yi, a former Clinton White House military attache who led Kerry’s fund-raising from Korean-Americans, resigned for personal reasons, campaign spokesman Michael Meehan said Friday.

A $2,000 check from Sang Ah Park was being returned because the campaign could not immediately verify whether she had permanent U.S. residency, as required to donate legally.

Park’s donation was collected by Yi on Aug. 11, 2003, the same day Yi received a similar donation from Chun Jae-yong, the recently arrested son of South Korea’s disgraced former president.

The Kerry campaign said it did not know about Chun’s background until informed by The Associated Press and decided to return the money to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:08 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Boston Officials Question Kerry's Boston Pops Concert

The Boston Globe reports that Boston officials are saying Kerry’s plans for a Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade during the Democratic convention could violate rules prohibiting political events at the Hatch Shell:

”Some of us are saying, enough already,” said the high-level Democrat involved in the convention planning.

The questions could escalate the public spat between Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Menino said he was ”extremely disappointed” last weekend when Kerry decided to forgo a speech at the US Conference of Mayors meeting here, rather than cross a Boston police union picket line.

The Hatch Shell is owned by a state trust, and some convention planners interpret the rules governing the property as prohibiting the use of the shell for political purposes. Kerry aides say the event is a top priority for the hometown nominee, but they insist that the concert is devoid of politics and is instead a celebration of Boston and Massachusetts.

”This will be a free event, open to people of all political stripes or none,” said Jack Corrigan, Kerry’s convention coordinator. ”There is no fund-raising, no political speech-making, just a celebration of Boston.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 02, 2004

Kerry to Announce Running Mate Via E-Mail

Kerry plans to announce his vice presidential running mate in an e-mail to the 1 million subscribers to his campaign Web site. The Associated Press reports that Kerry told KSTP, an ABC affiliate in Minneapolis:

“The folks who are going to learn first about my choice are going to be the people on,” Kerry said. “They’re the people who’ve helped carry this campaign. They’re the folks who’ve been part of our effort across the nation. And they’ll be the first to know what my decision is.”

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Boston's Mayor Menino Angry With Kerry

The Boston Globe reports there is a growing rift between Kerry Boston’s Mayor Menino:

Menino has repeatedly expressed his anger about Kerry in recent weeks, first over Kerry’s brief consideration of a plan to delay acceptance of the party’s nomination until after the convention and then over Kerry’s decision to cancel a scheduled speech Monday to the US Conference of Mayors because he didn’t want to cross a police union picket line.

In an unusual rebuke of his party’s nominee, Menino told the Boston Herald that he found the Kerry campaign small-minded and incompetent, and expressed frustration over a report that he had hung up on Kerry during a phone conversation about the canceled speech.

Menino told the Globe over the weekend that he was ”extremely disappointed” by Kerry’s decision to cancel the speech, and he denied yesterday that he had hung up on Kerry.

He suggested that Kerry’s aides were spreading that rumor. ”Someone on his staff made an error,” Menino said.

Yesterday, as Democrats around the country buzzed about the feud, a top aide to Kennedy said the senior senator was making calls trying to smooth over differences between Kerry and Menino.

[. . .]

Menino assured party officials that union negotiations would be resolved long before the convention started, but a contract deal with Boston police hasn’t emerged.

The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association protests delayed construction at the Fleet Center for three days and then embarrassed Menino before the US Conference of Mayors over the weekend.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 03:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Kerry: No licenses for illegal immigrants

AP: Kerry: No licenses for illegal immigrants

Democrat John Kerry said he opposes state laws that give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, a position that puts him at odds with the Hispanic activists he is courting in the presidential race.

Immigrant advocates have been pushing for the laws, saying they help undocumented workers get around safely. Licensed drivers know the rules of the road and can buy insurance, making streets safer for everyone, they say.

Shortly after Kerry told the National Council of La Raza on Tuesday that he would make immigration reform a top priority to ease the path to citizenship for working immigrants, he took a tougher stance on the issue of driver’s licenses in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo.

“I think that driver’s licenses are part of the legality of being here and if you’ve been here a period of time we may work something out as part of that immigration process, but I wouldn’t give somebody who is automatically one year in here illegally all the rights and privileges of being here legally,” Kerry said in the interview.

“I think that’s wrong. That defeats the purposes of the law,” he said.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

Kerry Takes a Break As Convention Nears

AP: Kerry Takes a Break As Convention Nears

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is taking a two-day break from campaigning and will spend the time at his wife’s country estate preparing for his party’s national convention next month.

Just four weeks remain before the July 26-29 convention in Boston, during which Kerry is expected to accept the Democratic nomination for president, and his choice for a running mate is much anticipated. He crossed paths with two potential candidates while campaigning Tuesday, though aides said he did not meet with either one.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 11:00 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

June 29, 2004

CBS/NYT Poll: Statistical Dead Heat

The latest CBS News/New York Times poll indicates that the presidential race has really tightened up recently, with the two leading candidates just one percentage point apart.

Despite concerns about his handling of Iraq, and an overall approval rating of 42%, George W. Bush is still running neck and neck with Democrat John Kerry as the choice of registered voters. Growing public optimism about the nation’s economy has helped lift support for the President.

Kerry is the choice of 45% of registered voters, Bush the choice of 44%. This is a sharp turnaround for the Bush campaign in the span of just one month; in May, Kerry had opened up a wide 8-point lead over Bush. The race has been close since April.

(Registered voters)

John Kerry 45%
George Bush 44%

John Kerry 49%
George Bush 41%

John Kerry 46%
George Bush 44%

Note: Poll results did not account for “third-party” candidates.

Posted by Jeff M at 01:31 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack

Kerry Announces Education Goals for Low-income, Minority Students

Today, John Kerry announced his pledge of assisting low income and minority students, with a fivefold increase in money encouraging students to study math, science and technology. The total would be increased from the current $20 million per year to $100 million per year.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says if he’s elected president, 1 million more students will graduate from college during his first five years in office and he will bring a special focus to boosting opportunities for low-income and minority students.

Kerry’s campaign says nearly half the hike in graduation rates will come from population increases, and he’ll achieve the other half by bringing down the cost of education and creating other incentives to bring students to college and keep them there.

“We need to move toward the day when four years of college is as universal and affordable as a high school education is today,” Kerry told the Rainbow-PUSH Coalitio. He said although college graduates will earn $900,000 more over their careers, less than a third of all Americans and less than a fifth of black Americans have a four-year degree.

Kerry has also proposed $10 billion in assistance to states, to keep tuition rate increases at or below inflation rates.

Posted by Jeff M at 01:15 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 28, 2004

Kabul Garden Party for Kerry

With 7-8 million expats overseas, and the importance of overseas ballots in Florida in 2000, the 2004 campaign has spread to any country where Americans live. In Kabul, US expats held a party for Kerry.

In a handsome Kabul garden Franklin the Democrat Donkey gamely posed with the aid workers, UN staff and business people who had gathered to explain why they were backing the Massachusetts senator.

The Kabul event is one of many taking place outside the United States.

Iraq and Cambodia are amongst more than 70 countries where expat Democratic party supporters are organising to help Mr Kerry reach the White House.

Posted by Nathan Hamm at 07:22 PM | Comments (31) | TrackBack

Kerry Cancels Meeting Because of Picket Line

REUTERS: Kerry Cancels Meeting Because of Picket Line

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry canceled plans on Sunday to address a U.S. mayors conference this week at a hotel that is likely to be ringed by picketing police officers.

“I don’t cross picket lines. I never have,” Kerry said at Our Lady of Good Voyage church in South Boston, where he attended Mass on Sunday evening.

Asked if Kerry and representatives of the U.S. Conference of Mayors would meet somewhere that police were not picketing, Kerry spokesman David Wade said: “We don’t have any information on that yet.”

Kerry had been scheduled to speak on Monday morning at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, where police officers — who have been working without a contract for two years — had a picket line on Saturday. Kerry would upset unions across the country if he crossed a picket line.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 03:35 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 24, 2004

‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ runs afoul of McCain-Feingold?

Ads for Michael Moore’s ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ may violate McCain-Feingold campaign-finance laws, The Hill reports:

Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore’s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC’s agenda for today’s meeting, the agency’s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.

Posted by Martin at 01:19 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

Nader's Pick For Kerry Veep Candidate

John Kerry is giving advice and everyone, but this one is probably the least expected.

In an open letter sent Wednesday, the independent presidential candidate urged Kerry to choose John Edwards (search) as his running mate, saying the North Carolina senator and former trial lawyer has been thoroughly vetted and is committed to protecting the right of consumers to sue corporations that harm them.

“(Edwards) has already gone through a primary campaign and has his rhythm and oratory (the two Americas speech) all well-honed,” Nader wrote to Kerry. “After a slow start, Sen. Edwards closed fast and has won praise from the media.”

Edwards, the last Democrat to bow out after Kerry’s series of primary wins, won several large verdicts before he was elected to the Senate. Nader said Edwards is committed to preserving a civil justice system that is under attack by “corporate supremacists.”

Posted by Jeff M at 08:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kerry with Slight Lead Over Bush in NJ

A new poll has Kerry leading Bush, only slightly, in the Democratic leaning state of New Jersey.

Democratic challenger John Kerry has a slight lead over President Bush in New Jersey, a state Al Gore won by 16 percentage points in 2000, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Kerry had 46 percent and Bush 40 percent, while independent candidate Ralph Nader had 7 percent in the Quinnipiac University poll. In May, Kerry was at 46 percent and Bush at 43 percent.

Posted by Jeff M at 03:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

NYT: 865 South Figueroa vs. 146 Central Park West

Glen Justice of the New York Times has pinpointed the exact location of the fundraising battle between Bush and Kerry:

The office building at 865 South Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles is a fairly typical high-rise, but inside the plain reddish-brown tower is the headquarters of an investment management firm that handles roughly $90 billion in assets.

By contrast, the San Remo, at 146 Central Park West in New York, is a dazzling two-tower building with captivating views of the park that has been home — or at least one home — to people like Steve Martin, Steven Spielberg, Demi Moore and Steve Jobs.

These two disparate buildings across the country from each other may not seem to have much in common. But more donations to President Bush and Senator John Kerry and their parties, respectively, have come from the two buildings than from any others in the United States through April, according to an examination of Federal Election Commission records by The New York Times.

In these days of sophisticated databases it is possible to crunch numbers and find out not only who gives how much, but where they live, in what ZIP codes — even in what buildings. And after scouring the nation for the two most generous addresses for presidential donations, what turn up are 865 South Figueroa and 146 Central Park West.

Posted by Martin at 11:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

FEC complaint filed against " America Coming Together"

AP’s Sharon Theimer reports that three groups have filed a complaint with the FEC against “America Coming Together,” the 527 run by former Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan:

A pro-Democratic group that opposes President Bush in its fund-raising solicitations is the target of a complaint by campaign finance watchdogs who argue the organization is spending illegally on its mailings.

America Coming Together should be using limited “hard money” donations, not unlimited contributions known as soft money, to pay for the fund-raising letters, the three groups said in the complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

The groups are Democracy 21, the Center for Responsive Politics and the Campaign Legal Center.

ACT has financed the mailings - possibly up to $1 million worth through March - with soft money, the groups say. Such unlimited donations can come from any source, including unions and corporations, but aren’t supposed to be used for federal election activities.

Posted by Martin at 11:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kerry to return donation from son of former S Korean president

According to John Solomon and Sharon Theimer of the Associated Press:

John Kerry’s campaign collected a maximum $2,000 check from the recently arrested son of South Korea’s disgraced former president, and some of its fund-raisers met several times with a South Korean government official who was trying to organize a Korean-American political group.

The Kerry campaign said it did not know about the $2,000 donation from Chun Jae-yong or his background until informed by The Associated Press and has decided to return the money to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

“We are sending the check back,” spokesman Michael Meehan said.

South Korean government officials told the AP that a top official in its Los Angeles consulate office returned home last month amid “speculation” he had engaged in Democratic politics, but they do not believe any laws were broken.

Chun Jae-yong was arrested in February by South Korean authorities on charges of evading taxes on $14 million in inheritance money. His father, former president Chun Dooh-hwan, was convicted in 1997 on bribery charges.

Chun Jae-yong was business partners last year with Rick Yi, one of Kerry’s major fund-raisers in the Asian-American community. Yi acknowledged soliciting the donation from Chun last summer before learning of his legal problems.

Posted by Martin at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

Kerry Won't Fight Clinton's Press Appeal

Top Democrats have for months been discussing the wisdom in the timing of the Clinton book release. The Trib is reporting that Kerry is willing to take a few days off if the attemtion on the former president becomes too much.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 09:03 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 14, 2004

Clinton Explores How To Use Book Tour To Aid Kerry

The NY Times also reports that:

As former President Bill Clinton prepares for a barrage of publicity and a cross-country tour to promote his memoirs, his political advisers are consulting with the Democratic Party and Senator John Kerry’s campaign about ways that Mr. Clinton can lend a political hand in the process.
Posted by Alan at 09:45 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

But The Senate Likes Edwards

Vilsack not withstanding, here the NY Times reports that members of the US Senate are pressing John Kerry to name John Edwards to the VP slot, primarily because they believe doing so would help Dem Senators in five tight races in the South this fall.

Posted by Alan at 09:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Vilsack For Veep?

The LA Times reports that Tom Vilsack, Governor of Iowa, is on Kerry’s short list for running mate.

Posted by Alan at 09:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Still Not Good Enough?

WaPo reports that even though Kerry has shattered fundraising targets and is leading in several polls, some Democratic supporters—and even members of his staff—still express ambivalence, and even “angst,” about their candidate.

Posted by Alan at 09:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Kerry Pushes Bush On Stem Cell Research

WaPo reports that:

John Kerry endorsed Nancy Reagan’s efforts to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and yesterday challenged the Bush administration to relax restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research to pursue potential cures for that and other illnesses.
Posted by Alan at 09:35 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Kerry Jokes About VP Choice

The Associated Press reports that Kerry was just joking when he told a Detroit radio station on Friday that he’d name his running mate “in a matter of days:”

In an interview with WJR in Detroit, Kerry was asked who he was considering for vice president.

“Yeah, we’ll have that done very, very shortly. We’ve really got most of them in place and we’re on the short list and we’ll have it done in a matter of days,” Kerry replied.

Asked if he would announce the choice on he show, the senator said sarcastically: “Yeah, absolutely. That was my plan, and let me see now, I’ll run through the list.”

Kerry Spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter explained:

Senator Kerry was just making a joke after the radio host asked if he’d make his announcement on the radio show.

There is no announcement imminent. And we won’t have more to say on the subject until Senator Kerry makes a decision on who is the best possible running mate.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 07:56 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Kerry's Vets

Reuters reports that Kerry launched his effort to seek support of veterans by suggesting that many in the U.S. military would prefer him as commander in chief over President Bush:

“You’d be amazed at the number of active duty personnel who are coming up at events around the country, greeting me in ropelines or coming to rallies and telling me how important it is for us to stand up and fight for those who are not able to speak out for themselves right now for obvious reasons,” Kerry said.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee added: “But the numbers of active duty people quietly coming and saying we need a change, we need to build a modern military, we need to do the things necessary to protect our troops, we need to have all our allies on the ground in Iraq … that’s what this race is about.”

[. . .]

There are more than 26 million veterans in the United States and their vote usually goes Republican. In a CBS poll released on Friday, Bush got 54 percent, of the veterans’ vote while Kerry had the support of 40 percent.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:09 PM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

Kerry Seeks Veteran Vote

Kerry seeks the traditionally conservative-leaning veterans’ vote. The Associated Press reports:

Kerry was to announce volunteer veterans coordinators in all 50 states who will try to recruit current and former soldiers to his campaign. The goal is to sign up 1 million veterans to help get out the vote for Kerry in what they say would be an unprecedented veterans organization in a presidential campaign.

John Hurley, the national director of Veterans for Kerry, says veterans will be motivated to vote for Kerry because of his war experience and their anger at diminished services from the Veterans Administration and Bush’s handling of Iraq.

[. . .]

The Bush campaign also has a band of volunteers to seek out veterans. Retired Lt. Col. Joe Repya said veterans are concerned about Kerry’s votes to cut military pay, weapons systems and funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during his nearly 20-year Senate career.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:38 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

June 03, 2004

Events Forcing Abortion Issue on Kerry

WaPo reports that recent court actions, church politics, and party pressures are increasingly pulling Kerry into the national debate over abortion … a debate into which he’s been at times reluctant to enter.

Posted by Alan at 01:32 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

Kerry Uses Big Word ... Bioterror

In a wise foreign policy shift Kerry seems to be leaving Iraq behind for the moment. His new argument? Bush hasn’t done enough on Bioterror and nuclear proliferation. In Florida (perhaps the key state again this year) today, Kerry reportedly argued that:

Hospitals are overburdened, Kerry said, and essential drugs and vaccines have not been adequately developed. He said his plan to make health insurance more affordable and accessible will reduce lines in emergency rooms, relieve pressure on state budges, and sharpen the focus on bioterrorism and other health issues.

This is probably the first politically sagacious move the Kerry camp has made in a while. The rhetoric shift presents Kerry as an alternative to Bush in that he will fight terrorism at home rather than abroad. The problem with attacking Bush on Iraq is that there was really no way for Kerry to put forth a coherent alternative.

Full Story at Yahoo!News

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:21 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Kerry: U.S. As Optimists

The / AP report that a new flight of Kerry campaign ads “deliver the upbeat message that the United States is ‘a country of optimists,’” and that this is a contrast to Bush’s ads that primarily criticize Kerry.

Reading this reminded me of something I posted several weeks ago, and which I’ll repost below.


The Narrative Form

Mother Jones asks, “Stories make the world go around. So how come liberals can’t tell one?” Well, that’s a bit strong. But consider this:

It’s plain why this [the Bush] story works as well as it does. It presents a classic hero and a journey that reaches down through the brain into the gut. And Republicans can translate it into simple, clear lines of action: Wage war and don’t stop. Cut taxes. Put bad guys in jail, or to death.

Many on the left harbor the delusion that Republicans can be dislodged by criticism of this story. There are two main styles of critique. The first is ironic and humorous (see Al Franken). The second style is serious and raging, bordering on caustic (see Tim Robbins’ “Embedded.”)

But, by definition, critics are at the margins. However loud they shout from the sidelines, they’ll never get in the game. The game is for those who can tell a story.

Rush Limbaugh knows this. He’s no critic. Sure, he rips into Democrats and liberals, but his point is always to describe the enemy — cowardly and pessimistic — in order clarify the attributes of his hero — courageous and optimistic. Every anecdote, every opinion, feeds into his story. That’s why he convinces so many people and that’s why he makes so much money. And that’s why he has helped engineer a profound change in the culture of the country’s government.

On the other hand, the advent of “Air America” illustrates the left’s deluded love affair with criticism. The debut ad campaign features photographs of right-wing bugaboos, with smart-ass lines plastered over their faces (“We Pump Irony” over Schwarzenegger and “All the Caffeine and None of the Oxycontin” over Limbaugh). These are clever, but 100% content-free. The most revealing of the ads is a picture of Ralph Nader. “Mocking the Far Right and When We’re Tired of that The Far Left.”

The network is all criticism, all the time. Franken’s show is hilarious and brilliant. But it’s one thing to convince me that the right is full of big fat idiot liars. It’s quite another task to articulate the character of a movement, which can show itself in times of opposition, and in times of leadership.

The essence of the narrative form: setting, sympathetic hero, unsympathetic antagonist, conflict, resolution (one in which, typically, the hero changes in a fundamental way). You’ll notice that critique is not mentioned … and when you’re criticizing the other guy’s story, you’re not telling your own.

Posted by Alan at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 01, 2004

Cease And Desist

A group of Vietnam veterans opposed to John Kerry’s presidential campaign demand Kerry remove a photograph that appears in one of his television advertisements. CNN reports:

In Tuesday’s “cease and desist” letter, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth called on Kerry’s campaign to stop what it said was the unauthorized use of the images of some of them in a 60-second biographical spot titled “Lifetime.” The ad began running nationwide in early May.

The U.S. Navy photo in question depicts 20 officers, including Kerry, and was taken January 22, 1969, on the island of An Thoi in Vietnam. The ad shows only a portion of the picture — not all of the men are visible — and is displayed for two seconds.

But even the men who are not in the ad have a right to demand the picture not be used, said Alvin A. Horne, a Houston attorney who served on a swift boat in Vietnam in 1969-1970. He is giving legal advice to the group. Eleven of the 20 men in the picture oppose their images being used in the campaign ad, he said.

“The use of the 11 images in this political campaign wrongfully and incorrectly suggests their present endorsement of his candidacy for president of the United States of America,” said the letter, which Horne wrote.

[. . .]

The letter, sent to campaign general counsel Marc Elias, says the campaign neither sought nor obtained consent from the fellow veterans to use their images in the ad. It asked them to stop using the picture within 10 days.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Kerry "gives the finger" to a Vietnam Veteran on Memorial Day

How very Presidential: John F. Kerry “gives the finger” to a Vietnam Veteran on Memorial Day … in front of a group of school children.

- - - - - - -

Ted Sampley, a former Green Beret who served two full tours in Vietnam, spotted Kerry and his Secret Service detail at about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Wall. Sampley walked up to Kerry, extended his hand and said, “Senator, I am Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, and I am here to escort you away from the Wall because you do not belong here.”

At that point a Secret Service officer told Sampley to back away from Kerry. Sampley moved about 6 feet away and opened his jacket to reveal a HANOI JOHN T-shirt.

Kerry then began talking to a group of schoolchildren. Sampley then showed the T-shirt to the children and said, “Kerry does not belong at the Wall because he betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam.”

Just then Kerry - in front of the school children, other visitors and Secret Service agents - brazenly ‘flashed the bird’ at Sampley and then yelled out to everyone, “Sampley is a felon!”

- - - - - - -

And he wants to be President? He doesn’t deserve to be dog-catcher. What a jerk.

Via Little Green Footballs and NewsMax.

Um - where’s the outrage in the mainstream press? Oh right - I forgot…

Ted Sampley, a former Green Beret who served two full tours in Vietnam, runs the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry organization.

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 11:18 AM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

Stranger In The South?

The Star Tribune reports that even though the campaign has been intense to date, John Kerry is still a stranger in much of the south. Can anyone say “Edwards on the ticket?” I knew you could!

Posted by Alan at 09:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kerry Leads In Minnesota reports that Kerry holds a three-point lead in the land of a thousand lakes.

Posted by Alan at 09:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 27, 2004

Kerry Feeling Squeeze On Iraq Policy

That’s the LA Times headline, and their lead offers the gist better than can I:

Sen. John F. Kerry faces a stark new challenge in the campaign skirmishing over Iraq: As President Bush has moved toward his position, the Democratic Party is moving away from it.

CNN had a similar discussion with talking heads this morning … that Bush is moving closer to Kerry’s view on Iraq, while Kerry’s own party sees that same position as increasingly unattractive.

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

Kerry: 11 Day Focus On Foriegn Policy

WaPo reports that Kerry is launching an 11-day focus on foriegn policy and his differences with the Bush approach. (Why 11 days? I’ll leave the speculation to you. It wouldn’t be because it’s a subtle reminder of 9/11, would it? Enough of my conspiracy theories.)

Posted by Alan at 09:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

One Source Of Legs: Dick Gephardt

I wondered earlier about where the legs for the Kerry / McCain ticket rumor are coming from … the New York Times offers one source: Dick Gephardt.

Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the Missouri Democrat who has often been mentioned as a running mate for Senator John Kerry, is talking kindly about another choice: Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.

Asked after a speech in California on Monday what he thought of Mr. McCain’s potential for the Democratic presidential ticket, Mr. Gephardt described him as a “very attractive figure in American politics” who “would be accepted by the Democratic Party,” according to CNN.

Mr. McCain is “someone a lot of Democrats could get interested in,” Mr. Gephardt said at the Leon Panetta Center in Monterrey.

Posted by Alan at 09:50 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Cautious Best For Kerry?

The New York Times reports on growing debate in the Democratic party over the best way—cautious or aggressive—to take advantage of what is percieved to be growing vulnerability in the Bush camp.

Posted by Alan at 09:47 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Kerry-McCain: The Story That Will Not Die

The Australian reports on continued Washington rumors of a Kerry / McCain ticket. Frankly, a story with legs like these gets its strength from somewhere. Curiouser and curiouser …

Posted by Alan at 09:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 26, 2004

Kerry To Accept At Convention

Bloomberg is reporting that Kerry will in fact accept his party’s nomination at the Dem Convention in Boston.

Posted by Alan at 11:24 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Call On The Delay This Week?

More today from WaPo on Kerry possibly delaying his acceptance of the nomination so he can raise more money, reporting that his campaign hopes to make a decision about doing so sometime this week.

They also report some Democrats fear doing so could “disrupt the party’s national convention and hand Republicans a public relations bonanza.” Of note, George McGovern agrees.

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

Kerry's New Ride

The money must be coming in: USA TODAY reports on Kerry’s new campaign plane, a “star-spangled, customized campaign plane that will serve as an airborne office and occasional bar until Election Day.”

Posted by Alan at 08:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 22, 2004

Kerry considers postponing acceptance of nomination

CNN: Kerry considers postponing acceptance of nomination

Sen. John Kerry may postpone accepting his party’s presidential nomination at the July Democratic convention — a tactic aimed at reserving his campaign war chest for the fight against President Bush.

Under federal campaign rules, once a candidate accepts the party nomination, the campaign is limited to spending around $75 million.

The Republican convention is five weeks later than the Democratic convention, meaning Kerry’s $75 million would start being drained more than a month earlier than Bush’s.

By postponing the acceptance of the nomination, Kerry could continue to spend the private money he’s raised during the primary season, and those funds would not be counted against the $75 million limit.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 09:08 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

NC poll show Edwards Could Be the Right One

The AP is reporting (via Yahoo!News) that a poll of 625 potential North Carolina voters showed that while only 41% would vote for Kerry alone, 48% would vote for Kerry were Edwards on the ticket, making the race a dead heat. Of course, this isn’t really all that surprising seeing as Edwards is a North Carolinian.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 02:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Kerry, Nader to Meet to Discuss Issues

AP: Kerry, Nader to Meet to Discuss Issues

When Democratic presidential candidate John Kerrymeets with independent rival Ralph Nader on Wednesday, Kerry isn’t likely to ask him to leave the race. And it’s even less likely that Nader will offer to bow out.

Kerry probably will point out that the two rivals share a goal — ousting President Bush — and contend that a joint effort is the best way to achieve it, aides to the Massachusetts senator said. Nader told The Associated Press that he looks forward to discussing “certain common policies” with Kerry.

“I think that’s for the good of our country and for the benefit of the American people that are being ignored or repudiated by the Bush regime,” Nader said in an interview.

Still, Kerry aides hope Nader eventually comes around to Kerry’s view — if not after the meeting, then following what senior Democrats say will be a weeks-long campaign by party operatives to pressure Nader publicly and privately. That effort, being formulated by Democrats not aligned with the Kerry campaign, may include challenging Nader’s efforts to get on state ballots, the Democrats said on condition of anonymity.

Posted by Laurence Simon at 10:09 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 18, 2004

Vets Plan Rally: Kerry lied while good men died"

From WorldNetDaily:

Kerry lied while good men died

Vietnam Vets for Truth plan D.C. rally to combat candidate’s claims

Using the battle cry “Kerry lied while good men died,” the organization Vietnam Vets for Truth is planning a September rally in the nation’s capital to combat what it considers untruths the Democratic presidential candidate has spread about those who fought in the Vietnam War.

The new organization will host what they expect to be a “giant rally” of veterans and their families at the west side of the Capitol on Sept. 12. In a statement announcing the event, organizers said those who assume Vietnam vets are behind Kerry’s candidacy are “dead wrong.”

Terry Garlock of Peachtree City, Ga., and Larry Bailey of Alexandria, Va, lead the organization, Garlock as CEO and Bailey as president.

Garlock, an Army Cobra helicopter pilot in Vietnam, proposed the idea, and Bailey, one of the first to sign up for the effort, is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL captain with service in Vietnam.

“More than any other person, John Kerry is responsible for the false image of Vietnam veterans as dysfunctional misfits,” Bailey said in a statement. “Kerry betrayed all of us when he returned from Vietnam.

“A lot of good people opposed the war, but some, like John Kerry, went too far. He joined the radical left wing of the anti-war movement and shared the microphone with Jane Fonda and other radicals. He promoted himself by telling unforgivable lies about Vietnam servicemen and women, and he did this under oath.”

Kerry testified before U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee 1971, making horrific claims about alleged atrocities committed by American service members.

What about Kerry’s claim he helped end the war?

Responded Bailey: “What unmitigated chutzpah! The truth is that the actions he took gave aid and comfort to those who were killing America’s sons and daughters. He encouraged our enemies to rebuild and hang on when they were near defeat, as they were after the Tet Offensive in 1968. Did you know our POWs had John Kerry’s words quoted to them by their interrogators?”

Bailey says Kerry helped to spread a “negative stereotype” of Vietnam veterans that was exploited in movies and on TV.

“The truth long ago was that we fought with honor and courage, and we won every significant battle,” Bailey said. “The truth now is that we are doctors, lawyers, factory workers, nurses, small-business owners, corporate executives, carpenters and pretty much your neighbor or your friend at church, and very patriotic. We are not and never have been the crazed killers we have been portrayed to be for so many years in movies and on TV, in part, because of Kerry’s lies.”

Bailey says the event is not partisan and that all Vietnam vets are welcome: “We just want the country to know that America’s sons and daughters served honorably and well in Vietnam, and the bad things John Kerry said about them have never been true.”

[the rest of the article can be found at the link shown above]

Posted by John Moore at 03:12 PM | Comments (47) | TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Kerry Picks Up Edwards' Theme

Kerry, speaking at a ceremony clebrating Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, highlighted the disparity in public education between rich and poor saying “Today, more than ever, we need to renew our commitment to one America.” Do I hear an Edwards Encore coming on? Remember Edwards’ theme was “Two America’s” and it worked quite well in the primaries but it is probably a little too populist to be persuasive to general election voters.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:27 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Kerry/McCain: The Story That Will Not Die

It has legs, that’s for certain. Here’s the latest step down the path, this time from Joe Biden and Reuters (via Yahoo!):

Sen. Joseph Biden, a senior Democrat, on Sunday urged Republican Sen. John McCain to run for vice president with the Democratic hopeful, Sen. John Kerry, in order to heal the “vicious rift” dividing America.

McCain, of Arizona, “categorically” ruled out standing with Kerry, but Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had no second choice.

“I’m sticking with McCain,” Biden said.

Posted by Alan at 07:41 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

Vet: Officers told Kerry to leave Vietnam

From The American Thinker via World Net Daily (excerpt):
Thomas Wright was one of John F. Kerry’s fellow Swift boat officers in Vietnam. Since Wright outranked Kerry, he was Kerry’s sometime boat group Officer-in-Charge, so Wright had occasion to observe Kerry’s behavior and attitudes, .

When John Kerry radioed another Swift boat, he used the call sign, “Boston Strangler …

Working with call sign “Boston Strangler” became problematical. “I had a lot of trouble getting him to follow orders,” recalls Wright. “He had a different view of leadership and operations. Those of us with direct experience working with Kerry found him difficult and oriented towards his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives. I believed that overall responsibility rested squarely on the shoulders of the OIC or OTC in a free-fire zone. You had to be right (before opening fire). Kerry seemed to believe there were no rules in a free-fire zone and you were supposed to kill anyone. I didn’t see it that way.” …

Then Wright and like-minded boat officers took matters into their own hands. “When he got his third Purple Heart, three of us told him to leave. We knew how the system worked and we didn’t want him in Coastal Division 11. Kerry didn’t manipulate the system, we did.”

Posted by John Moore at 12:07 AM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

Kerry Calls Iraq War A Failure

The Associated Press reports:

Presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday the war in Iraq is a failure and that a shake-up is needed to end the Bush administration’s mistakes and incompetence, a sharp critique that sparked more Republican criticism that the Democrat is making the war a political issue.

President Bush’s campaign faulted Kerry for politicizing the war:

Marc Racicot, Bush’s general campaign chairman, accused Kerry of dragging politics into the war on terror and warned that domestic criticism undermines military morale.

“Political attacks come at a price for the military,” Racicot told reporters in a conference call. “If there was ever a time to refrain from partisan politics, this is it. But all we see from the Kerry campaign and from John Kerry is political exploitation for political gain.”

[. . .]

“To blame the abuse on Bush and the armed forces is to blame all of America for the disgusting actions of a few. It’s striking to see the ease with which John Kerry thrusts an important moment into the campaign’s daily spin cycle, compared to the president’s steady leadership and focus on doing what he believes is right.”

From California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at 01:33 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack

May 12, 2004

One Shy of Sixty

In a reminder of the perils of running for President while one is still an active Senator, a measure that would extend unemployment benefits failed to pass the Senate by one vote. Who didn’t vote you ask? John Kerry of course, who is out on the campaign trail.

Full Story

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kerry Wants Rummy Out, McCain In

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that John Kerry has suggested that John McCain might be a good fit for Rummy’s job.

Full Story

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:19 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Sticking To His Script

John Kerry was in Louisville yesterday; read the Boston take here at the Globe. The slant’s in the headline: Kerry camp strives for a consistent message.

Posted by Alan at 08:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Maybe He Should Play The Sax?

The AP/Dallas News is reporting that (1) John Kerry believes his wife is an asset (would he call her a liability otherwise?) and (2) that he “scoffs” at the idea he is aloof. I know … he should ride a Harley onto the Tonight Show! What? Oh …

Posted by Alan at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Heinz Kerry Reports Her Income at $5.1 Million

That’s a lot of ketchup, but less than many people expected. Read more at the LA Times.

Posted by Alan at 08:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

Flashback: John Kerry admits he "committed atrocities" in Vietnam


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On the April 18 [2004] Meet the Press, Tim Russert played a clip from Kerry’s April 18, 1971 appearance on the show. Kerry had asserted:

“There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare. All of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free-fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.”

- - - - - - -

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 04:03 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

Military Doctor Letson: Kerry's first Purple Heart injury was minor and possibly self-inflicted

Per Dr. Louis Letson:

- - - - - - -

I have a very clear memory of an incident which occurred while I was the Medical Officer at Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay.
John Kerry was a (jg), the OinC or skipper of a Swift boat, newly arrived in Vietnam. On the night of December 2, he was on patrol north of Cam Ranh, up near Nha Trang area. The next day he came to sick bay, the medical facility, for treatment of a wound that had occurred that night.

The story he told was different from what his crewmen had to say about that night. According to Kerry, they had been engaged in a fire fight, receiving small arms fire from on shore. He said that his injury resulted from this enemy action.

Some of his crew confided that they did not receive any fire from shore, but that Kerry had fired a mortar round at close range to some rocks on shore. The crewman thought that the injury was caused by a fragment ricocheting from that mortar round when it struck the rocks.

That seemed to fit the injury which I treated.

What I saw was a small piece of metal sticking very superficially in the skin of Kerry’s arm. The metal fragment measured about 1 cm. in length and was about 2 or 3 mm in diameter. It certainly did not look like a round from a rifle.

I simply removed the piece of metal by lifting it out of the skin with forceps. I doubt that it penetrated more than 3 or 4 mm. It did not require probing to find it, did not require any anesthesia to remove it, and did not require any sutures to close the wound.

The wound was covered with a bandaid.

Not [sic] other injuries were reported and I do not recall that there was any reported damage to the boat.

- - - - - - -

Via National Review and the Drudge Report.

This is a copy of the original post at the nikita demosthenes website.


It looks like the flood of criticism of Kerry by Vietnam veterans is turning into a tidal wave: see here and here.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 10:41 AM | Comments (170) | TrackBack

May 04, 2004

Vets Say Kerry Unfit for Presidency


Kerry ‘loose cannon’ says ex-commander

Vets line up to describe former colleague as ‘vain’ opportunist unfit for presidency

During his time in the Vietnam war, John Kerry was seen by colleagues as a self-serving, “loose canon” who came only to launch a political career, said the commander over his swift boat division, who spoke at a press conference in Washington with 17 other veterans.

Retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffmann, who headed Coastal Division 11, is one of more than 200 veterans who have signed a letter asking Kerry to authorize the Department of the Navy to release all of his military records, including health documents.

Hoffman said Kerry “arrived in country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for his political future.”

“He was aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard to specific tactical assignments,” Hoffman said. “He was a loose cannon.”

Full Letter Text

Kerry’s Senate Testimony with Commentary and Links

Posted by John Moore at 06:59 PM | Comments (66) | TrackBack

May 03, 2004

Kerry 'Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief', Say Former Military Colleagues


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Hundreds of former commanders and military colleagues of presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry are set to declare in a signed letter that he is “unfit to be commander-in-chief.” They will do so at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.

“What is going to happen on Tuesday is an event that is really historical in dimension,” John O’Neill, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Navy as a PCF (Patrol Craft Fast) boat commander, told . The event, which is expected to draw about 25 of the letter-signers, is being organized by a newly formed group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

“We have 19 of 23 officers who served with [Kerry]. We have every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam. They all signed a letter that says he is unfit to be commander-in-chief,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill, currently a Houston, Texas, based attorney, is no stranger to Kerry. O’Neill served in the same naval unit as Kerry and commanded Kerry’s swift boat after Kerry returned to the United States. Kerry’s command of the PCF boat lasted four months and ended shortly after he received his third Purple Heart. According to naval regulations at the time, any sailor who received three Purple Hearts could request a transfer out of the combat zone.

Kerry and O’Neill engaged in a nationally televised debate in 1971 on The Dick Cavett Show over Kerry’s allegations that many Vietnam soldiers had routinely engaged in atrocities such as raping and cutting off ears and heads of Vietnamese soldiers and citizens. Kerry was the then spokesman for the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

“We are going to be presenting a letter that deals with Kerry’s unfitness to be commander and chief that has been signed by hundreds of swift boat sailors, including most of those who served with Kerry,” O’Neill explained.

“The ranks of the people signing [the letter] range from admiral down to seaman, and they run across the entire spectrum of politics, specialties, and political feelings about the Vietnam War,” he added.

Among those scheduled to attend the event at the National Press Club and declare Kerry unfit for the role of commander-in-chief are retired Naval Rear Admiral Roy Hoffman, who was the commander of the Navy Coastal Surveillance Force, which included the swift boats on which Kerry served.

Also scheduled to be present at the event is Kerry’s former commanding officer, Lt. Commander Grant Hibbard. Hibbard recently questioned whether Kerry deserved the first of his three Purple Hearts that he received in Vietnam. Hibbard doubted both the severity of the wound and whether it resulted from enemy fire.

“I’ve had thorns from a rose that were worse” than Kerry’s wound for which he received a Purple Heart, Hibbard told the Boston Globe in April.

Organizers are confident that Tuesday’s event and the letter with hundreds of signatures will educate people about Kerry.

“It is one of the largest outpourings of concern about him being commander-in-chief that anybody could have in a presidential campaign and it is by the people who know him best,” O’Neill said.

- - - - - - -

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 11:23 AM | Comments (57) | TrackBack

April 29, 2004

Kerry Campaign's Diversity Questioned

The Associated Press reports that some black officials and independent analysts are concerned that there is a lack of minority representation in the Kerry campaign.

According to the Associated Press:

A lack of minority representation at the upper levels of John Kerry’s presidential campaign threatens to weaken enthusiasm among black and Hispanic voters, two core constituencies, some Democrats and advocacy groups say.

Kerry’s inner circle - the dozen or so advisers who participate in the campaign’s most important decisions - is mostly white.

[. . .]

Some black officials and independent analysts expressed concerned about the campaign’s lack of racial diversity. Campaign officials and the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus said the criticism was unfounded.

“I am concerned about diversity, but more importantly I am concerned about the experience in that diversity - senior policy people who know people from one end of the country to the other,” said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., a caucus member.

He said the issue may dampen voter enthusiasm. “The senator should remedy this very quickly,” Jackson said.

Added Ron Walters, who worked on the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson Sr. and runs the African-American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland: “There is a sense that Kerry’s people don’t get it.”

Campaign officials dispute the criticism, saying too much of the focus has been on the influence of Shrum, Devine and other consultants.

Excerpted from California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:36 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Democrats Concerned About Kerry Message

Some Democrats are concerned about John Kerry’s slow development of a coherent message. Reuters reports:

At a time when he could be laying out the grand themes for his November battle with President Bush, the presumptive Democratic nominee has been fighting skirmishes with Republican surrogates over his service in Vietnam, his votes on taxes and national security and his claims of support from foreign leaders.

Critics say Kerry, who sometimes focuses on nuance in a medium that values broad strokes and easy to digest labels, has fumbled early opportunities to define his vision for the future and make the case for his campaign.

“I have no idea what the Kerry message is. He has no positive message at this point,” said Democratic consultant Doug Schoen, a former pollster for President Bill Clinton. “I know what his critique is of George Bush, but there has been a virtual absence of a Kerry message.”

There is also concern about how easily Kerry gets thrown off message and lets the Republicans get under his skin:

And in the eight weeks since he clinched the nomination, Kerry has often been thrown off his daily message by aggressive Republican attacks on his 20-year voting record as a Massachusetts senator or on his decorated stint in Vietnam and later opposition to the war.

A three-day bus tour of battleground states to talk about jobs earlier this week turned into a running fight over whether he claimed in 1971 to have thrown back his five medals from Vietnam in protest of the war, or just his ribbons.

Last week Kerry was forced to release his military and medical records after Republicans accused him of double-talk on whether they were available for public view and a former commander questioned if he deserved his first of three Purple Hearts.

Cross-Posted from California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:00 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

April 26, 2004

"I gave back ... six, seven, eight, nine medals," Kerry said on WRC-TV in 1971

Yet Kerry now says he did not throw away - or “give back” - any of his medals.

In a videotape from 1971, obtained exclusively by ABCNEWS, Vietnam veteran John Kerry said he gave back his medals in order to “wake the country.”

ABC News reports on Kerry’s contradictions regarding his medals in this report:

- - - - - - -

“I gave back, I can’t remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals,” Kerry said in an interview on a Washington, D.C., news program on WRC-TV called Viewpoints on Nov. 6, 1971, according to a tape obtained by ABCNEWS.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Kerry has denied that he threw away any of his medals during an anti-war protest in April 1971.

Calling it a “phony controversy” instigated by the Republican party, Kerry said on Good Morning America today that he has always accurately said what took place. “I threw my ribbons. I didn’t have my medals. It is very simple.”

He also said he — and the military — didn’t make a distinction between medals and ribbons. “We threw away the symbols of what our country gave us for what we had gone through,” he said.

And in an interview with ABCNEWS’ Peter Jennings last December, he said it was a “myth.”

But Kerry told a much different story on Viewpoints. Asked about the anti-war veterans who threw their medals away, Kerry said “they decided to give them back to their country.”

Kerry was asked if he gave back the Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat duty as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. “Well, and above that, [I] gave back the others,” he said.

The statement directly contradicts Kerry’s most recent claims on the disputed subject to the Los Angeles Times last Friday. “I never ever implied that I did it, ” Kerry told the newspaper, responding to the question of whether he threw away his medals in protest.

- - - - - - -

The disputed incident happened 33 years ago this past weekend, on April 23, 1971, when Kerry led the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War in a protest against the war they fought.

Many veterans were seen throwing their medals and ribbons over the fence in front of the U.S. Capitol. The Boston Globe and other newspapers reported that Kerry was among these veterans.

“In a real sense, this administration forced us to return our medals because beyond the perversion of the war, these leaders themselves denied us the integrity those symbols supposedly gave our lives,” Kerry said the following day.

But in 1984, when he first ran for the U.S. Senate, Kerry revealed he still had his medals. According to a Boston Globe report on April 15, 1984, union officials had expressed uneasiness with Kerry’s candidacy because he had thrown his medals away. Kerry acknowledged the medals he threw away were, in fact, another soldier’s medals. He reportedly invited a union official home to personally inspect his Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, awarded for his combat duty as a Navy lieutenant.

In the 1971 Viewpoints interview, he made no mention of the ribbons or the medals belonging to another veteran.

- - - - - - -

Kerry’s explanation to Charlie Gibson of ABC’s “Good Morning America” only made things worse.

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.


CNN is running a poll: “Is Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam War medals controversy a relevant campaign issue?” (Scroll down).

Meanwhile, Eschaton thinks the issue is “bogus.” And Instapundit thinks Kerry didn’t help himself in the “Good Morning America” interview with Charlie Gibson.


Wonkette: Not to worry. Kerry’s not a hypocrite. He’s a Zen master.

Give the guy a break. Maybe Kerry left his medals in his family’s SUV.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 12:47 PM | Comments (77) | TrackBack

April 25, 2004

Kerry's Tour Of Duty

The Washington Post has an article that provides the most detailed overview of John Kerry’s military service I’ve seen to date … read it here. It helps clear up much of the confusion about his time of service … including the question I hear all the time, “How long was he in Vietnam, anyway?”

Answer: He was in the Navy from 1966 to 1970, but some of that time was served in the US, and some off-shore of Vietnam. He spent four months “in country,” during which he received his much acclaimed accommodations.

Of note—the article also links to this site:

Posted by Alan at 07:37 PM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

April 23, 2004

Kerry's Shift From Officer To Activist

The LA Times has a review of how Kerry went from officer to antiwar activist in 1971 here.

Posted by Alan at 08:02 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Kerry Travels With Four Potential VPs

The Boston Globe is reporting that John Kerry has hit the campaign trail with four potential running mates:

  • Max Cleland
  • John Edwards
  • Bob Graham (!)
  • Bill Nelson

Place your wagers now, and remember that you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

Posted by Alan at 07:44 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

What's He Saying?

The UPI has an analysis piece by Martin Seiff arguing that Kerry has money (indeed, recent fundraising has exceeded expectations), but lacks a message as Bush still leads on a number of key voter perceptions.

Posted by Alan at 07:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2004

Reno and Clarke praise the USA Patriot Act

Praise for the USA Patriot Act - and its effect in breaking down Jamie Gorelick’s “wall” preventing the sharing of intelligence between U.S. agenices - is coming from some unusual additions to the “vast right wing conspiracy.”

- - - - - - -

The 9/11 Commission has revealed another zealot who supports the dreaded USA Patriot Act, insisting that “everything that’s been done in the Patriot Act has been helpful.” Not a few things. Not even most things. “Everything.” Who is this thoughtless pawn of John Ashcroft? None other than former Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno.

Not generally known for her taste for aggressive law enforcement, even Reno was chafing under aspects of the pre-Patriot Act legal regime. She told the commission of her frustration about not securing an expansion of so-called “pen register” authority so the feds could obtain phone records of suspected terrorists. “We were not able to get [it] passed during my tenure,” she complained, “but that ultimately became a part of the Patriot Act.”

Just another reason to be grateful for the much-maligned act. If there has been a hero of the 9/11 Commission hearings, it isn’t Richard Clarke or Condoleezza Rice so much as the Patriot Act. However compelling their respective performances, Clarke and Rice both have partisan detractors. The new law, in contrast, has been a bipartisan hit, credited with updating federal surveillance powers to deal with the terrorist threat and tearing down “the wall” that hampered the work of the FBI and CIA by forbidding cooperation between intelligence and law-enforcement officials.

President Bush critic Richard Clarke refers in his book to “the needed reforms of the Patriot Act.” The commission has heard this message from everyone. As its chairman Thomas Kean, a Republican, has said, “We did have witness after witness tell us that the Patriot Act has been very, very helpful, and if the Patriot Act, or portions of it, had been in place before 9/11, that would have been very helpful.”

What the Patriot Act fixed were the effects of three decades of liberal hostility to federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Although it is heartwarming that Reno now recognizes the need for the act, her Justice Department often acted as if it were a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Her deputy, Jamie Gorelick, currently a deeply conflicted member of the 9/11 Commission, famously wrote a 1995 memo augmenting “the wall” that has become the most unpopular structure since a certain concrete barrier collapsed in Berlin in 1989. Reno wanted to avoid even the appearance of improper cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement, lest civil libertarians have an excuse to howl about police-state tactics.

- - - - - - -

During the primaries, Kerry blasted it [the USA Patriot Act] as a violation of our fundamental rights: “We have learned from the … Patriot Act that the last thing we need is John Ashcroft rewriting the Bill of Rights.” A Kerry spokesman just the other day criticized Bush for “playing election-year politics with the Patriot Act.” This is rich coming from the Kerry camp, when their candidate voted for the act and then viciously turned against it after seeing Howard Dean get political traction by trashing it.

Bush’s alleged election-year gambit is calling for the renewal of roughly a dozen provisions that will expire at the end of 2005, including those that tore down “the wall.” There has been much debate about whether the war on terror is really a war, or just a law-enforcement action. As it happens, liberals not only oppose the war paradigm, they criticize the Patriot Act, the primary tool of law enforcement in the fight against terror too. They need to tune in to the work of the 9/11 Commission.

- - - - - - -

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 12:26 PM | Comments (68) | TrackBack

Kerry Reneges on Promise to Make All Military Records Public

The Boston Globe reports this morning that Kerry has backed off his pledge release all of his military records:

Kerry, in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” was asked whether he would follow President Bush’s example and release all of his military records. “I have,” Kerry said. “I’ve shown them — they’re available for you to come and look at.” He added that “people can come and see them at headquarters.”

But when a reporter showed up yesterday morning to review the documents, the campaign staff declined, saying all requests must go through the press spokesman, Michael Meehan. Late yesterday, Meehan said the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.

“He is releasing all military records he has released to The Boston Globe,” Meehan said in a telephone interview. In a follow-up e-mail, Meehan said it was those particular records to which Kerry was referring on “Meet the Press.”

Kerry has not released the formal evaluations from superior officers, although his campaign has given a letter from a commanding officer that recommended him for service aboard Navy patrol boats and also reports for the Silver and Bronze stars that laud Kerry’s actions in combat. By comparison, retired Army General Wesley K. Clark released hundreds of pages of his records during the Democratic primary campaign, including all evaluations of him by his superiors.

Posted by hideandseek at 08:25 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

April 16, 2004

Kerry Pressured to Release Tax Returns

Campaign finance reform activists and Republicans are pressuring John Kerry and his wife, ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry. The New York Sun reports (subscription req’d):

The returns released by Mr. Kerry’s presidential campaign show that the couple chose the “married filing separately” option. Mrs. Heinz Kerry’s returns were not disclosed.

“I think the public has a right to know,” said William Allison, the managing editor of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit that examines the influence of money in politics.

He said failure to release Mrs. Heinz Kerry’s returns “could set a dangerous precedent for the future of politicians hiding behind the skirts of their wives to keep their financial dealings secret.”

“Over the course of his career, John Kerry has indicated that he would tap into his wife’s wealth if he needed to for political purposes,” Mr. Allison asserted.

A former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, Lawrence Noble, said he would also urge Mrs. Heinz Kerry to release the tax data.

“With independent spouses making independent money, these are difficult questions,” said Mr. Noble. “There is a public interest,” he added.

“Anytime you have some running for president or vice president, the public really wants to take a look at the people and any potential conflicts that exist, and the source of their income,” said Mr. Noble, who runs a Washington watchdog group, the Center for Responsive Politics. He said of Mr. Kerry, “There have been questions about how much he benefits from her assets.”

The New York Post also reports:

There was new GOP pressure on Democrat John Kerry to release the tax returns of his mega-rich $525 million wife Teresa yesterday after it was learned that Kerry once said a politician who refuses to release tax returns can’t be trusted.

When his wealthy GOP Senate challenger balked at releasing tax returns in 1990, Kerry demanded that he “come clean” and made it a central campaign issue, repeatedly asking: “What is he hiding?”

At that time Kerry claimed a wealthy candidate must release returns to prove he pays a fair share in “a tax system that isn’t fair and lets the super-rich get off.”

So far, Heinz Kerry seems unlikely to release the returns, according to this article in The Boston Herald:

“As she is not a candidate for any office, she will not be making additional disclosures,” said Jeff Lewis, Heinz Kerry’s chief of staff.

… She gave the legal limit, $2,000, to his campaign and legally can’t use shared assets to assist him. But she has noted several times that, if fired upon, she might fire back in so-called ”issue ads” to help - which is legal as long as the ads aren’t coordinated with the campaign.

Posted by hideandseek at 10:51 AM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

April 12, 2004

Kerry Courts Young Voters With "Misery Index"

Kerry is using the soaring costs of a college education to appeal to young voters.

According to the Associated Press:

The Massachusetts senator is releasing a “misery index” suggesting that working families have been hammered by stagnant incomes at a time college and health insurance costs have soared.

In his college swing, Kerry is expected to focus on the college cost issue, even while his campaign is broadening its economic criticism of Bush.

The study by his campaign said tuition costs at public colleges and universities have soared by 13 percent in the last three years, “the largest increase on record” and reflecting the budget pressures facing cash-strapped states. Private-college costs have grown by 5 percent over the same stretch, it said.

[. . .]

Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt dismissed the index as a political stunt.

“John Kerry has made a calculation that if he talks down the economy, it will benefit him politically,” he said.

Schmidt also said the economy is growing “at its fastest rate in 20 years,” and pointed to a Labor Department report that some 308,000 new jobs were created last month. Nearly 2 million jobs have been lost during Bush’s tenure.

Sounds more like an appeal to the parents of young voters.

Cross-posted from California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at 06:20 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

April 08, 2004

Kerry Says He Would Cap Federal Spending

That’s the campaign promise, at least. Several stories on the item:

  • The Guardian picks up the AP wire story here.
  • USA TODAY reports the “vow of fiscal discipline” here.
  • Bloomberg offers its take here.

All via ED.

Posted by Alan at 11:09 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

April 07, 2004

Kerry Camp Picks Up MoveOn Staffer

Amid suspicion of improper relations between the Kerry Campaign and the Democratic grass roots giant, the Kerry campaign has employed Nick Exley, former MoveOn Special Projects director, to run their online efforts. The Kerry camp claims to have taken precautions to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 01:54 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Tiangulation at its Best (or most absurd)

According to this report from Yahoo!News John Kerry is attempting to run to the right of Bush. In a speech today at Georgetown he pledged to cap federal spending (outside of security and education) even if it requires the delay or sacrifice of some of his campaign promises. His budgetary principles are:

_ cutting taxes that benefit the middle class, such as cuts for health care and education.

_ restoring “pay as you go” budget rules that require spending and tax cuts to be offset by cuts in other programs or tax increases. Kerry said he will pay for much of his spending by repealing the Bush tax cuts for Americans who make more than $200,000 a year.

_ requiring that spending, other than education and security, does not grow faster than inflation.

_ cutting corporate welfare and using the savings to reduce the deficit.

Full Story.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 01:31 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 30, 2004

It's About The Oil

John Kerry has a plan to reduce your gasoline prices … read more at Reuters. (Via ED)

Posted by Alan at 08:23 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Its About The P-Op

It’s all about the background, actually, and the Reagan administration understood the art of the photo op image better than anyone. Now the LA Times (via ED) tells us that Kerry, too, has “learned the fine art of the photo op.”

But can anyone forget him on the Harley?

Posted by Alan at 08:18 AM | Comments (74) | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

Kerry and Local Donations

I live in a small community. I have yet to meet one strong John Kerry fan. I have met many people who may vote for him, but they will do so because they dislike President Bush, not out of respect for Senator Kerry.

Boots & Sabers found a tool that allowed me to see how well my experience represents my community. By simply entering my address, the Fundrace 2004 robot looks up the public donation records of everyone near me. If you check on your own neighbors, and I know you will, be patient. Even in the wee hours of the night, it took a few minutes for a response.

I was surprised by the results. There were many more donations for Bush than for the Democrats. This was not that surprising, most Republican money comes from small donations while the majority of Democratic funding comes from special interest groups (e.g., unions) and liberal millionaires. In addition, there were quite a few donations for various Democratic nominees (Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, and Dick Gephardt to be precise).

The surprise was that the nearest person who donated to John Kerry lived over 75 miles away from my house. I live in a battleground state. If the lack of local enthusiasm for Kerry’s campaign continues through November, he will have an uproad battle to win this state.

Posted by Admiral Quixote at 03:39 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

March 18, 2004

John Kerry Endorsed by Zapatero, Mohamad, and Kim Jong-il

John Kerry has received endorsements from:

1. Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero, leader of the Spanish Socialist Party. Via the ShortNews website:

- - - - - - -

Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero, leader of the Spanish Socialist Party and victor in the recent national elections, has given his endorsement to John Kerry’s US leadership bid, saying “I think Kerry will win. I want Kerry to win.”

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2. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Via the Little Green Footballs website:

- - - - - - -

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad endorsed Democratic contender John Kerry in the U.S. presidential race Thursday, saying he would keep the world safer than President Bush.

“I think Kerry would be much more willing to listen to the voices of people and of the rest of the world,” Mahathir, who retired in October after 22 years in power, told The Associated Press in an interview.

“But in the U.S., the Jewish lobby is very strong, and any American who wants to become president cannot change the policy toward Palestine radically,” he said.

- - - - - - -

3. Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s dictatorial “Dear Leader.” Via Tacitus:

- - - - - - -

“North Korea is waiting for its own regime change — in D.C.,” said Pang Zhongying, professor of international relations at China’s Nankai University.

In return for shutting down its weapons program, the North wants to get the most generous possible trade terms, aid and security guarantees. Pyongyang is betting that by stalling, it can achieve a better deal with a new administration, analysts say. Nor does it want to grace President Bush with a diplomatic victory that might help re-elect him.

“I expect North Korea to make certain compromises in the six-party talks to keep them going,” said Li Dunqiu, a North Korea expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “But don’t expect any real progress before the U.S. elections.”

- - - - - - -

Not surprisingly, Kerry has asked that foreign leaders STOP endorsing him, per the Drudge Report:

- - - - - - -

KERRY: NO FOREIGN ENDORSEMENTS, PLEASE… Kerry Foreign Policy Advisor Rand Beers issued the following statement today: ‘…It is simply not appropriate for any foreign leader to endorse a candidate in America’s presidential election. John Kerry does not seek, and will not accept, any such endorsements’…

- - - - - - -

This is a duplicate of the original post from the nikita demosthenes website.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 07:38 PM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

March 15, 2004

Sharpton Endorses Kerry

The Associated Press reports that Sharpton endorsed Kerry, but promised to continue his own “urban agenda campaign:”

“It would be misleading and futile to campaign for the nomination, but it continues for the platform and direction of the party,” Sharpton told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “My campaign continues now to pick up delegates so that we can go to the convention to coalesce with other delegates.”

[. . .]

In welcoming the endorsement, Kerry praised Sharpton’s “ability to cut through the double-talk we see coming from this administration,” and pledged to work for Sharpton’s oft-stated goal of a new “urban agenda.”

Posted by Dan Spencer at 05:32 PM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

SuperChad Tuesday

In a no-interest no-contest, John Kerry has won the Florida Primary. Read the details at FOX.

Posted by Alan at 08:35 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Kerry's Wife Finances Anti-WOT Group That Protested Bush Ads

This morning’s NY Post editorial exposes the financial link between John Kerry’s wife and Peaceful Tomorrows, a small group of anti-war relatives of September 11 victims. Members of Peaceful Tomorrows were recently represented in the media as average September 11 families who objected to the Bush campaign’s brief use of September 11 images in one of the President’s first campaign ads:

Leading the rhetorical charge has been an outfit called September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows - which, the group admits, has only a few dozen members and represents relatives of no more than 1 percent of the 9/11 victims.

More to the point, the group was formed specifically to oppose the entire War on Terror: Not just the campaign against Saddam Hussein, but also the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

…Peaceful Tomorrows’ parent group, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, has received millions from foundations controlled by Kerry’s heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

A spokesman for Kerry insists that her donations to Tides were earmarked specifically for environmental charities based in Pennsylvania. But money is fungible - and the Tides Foundation has a lot more than greening the earth on its plate.

It has given millions to anti-war groups since 9/11 - particularly the extremist

…Tides gets much of its funds from philanthropists like Mrs. Kerry and billionaire George Soros - who has made defeating President Bush his top personal priority.

As Richard Berman, director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, told Congress in 2002: “The Tides Foundation distributes other foundations’ money, while shielding the identity of the actual donors.”

Posted by hideandseek at 09:21 AM | Comments (74) | TrackBack

March 07, 2004

Kerry Vs. Kerry

The Republican National Committee today unveiled Kerry Vs. Kerry, an interactive Internet game designed to highlight Kerry’s history of changing his position on thirty different issues:

“If voters are interested in finding out about Senator Kerry’s multiple positions on multiple issues they can inform themselves by going a few rounds with Kerry Vs. Kerry. We think they’ll find the only thing consistent about Senator Kerry’s record is its inconsistency,” said RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke.

“Voters will be enlightened and entertained as they click to flip and then flop with Senator Kerry on all the important issues of the day. From taxes to national security to education, if you have a position, chances are good Senator Kerry has shared that position, and also opposed it, at some point in his Senate career. We invite voters to take a closer look, and have a little fun at the same time,” Dyke said.

You can read Kerry’s multiple positions without playing the game here.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 11:52 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Election Update – Two Surprises

As expected, John Kerry won virtually every primary yesterday. Edwards has unofficially withdrawn (registration required) from the race and is expected to make an official announcement this afternoon. The biggest surprise was that Howard Dean won his first primary two weeks after he withdrew from the race. Dean won his home state of Vermont, but it also helped that Edwards was not on the ballot (Edwards’ campaign didn’t bother with the paperwork back in January when Dean looked unstoppable).

The other surprise, although much less of one, was that Kerry most likely won Georgia. With 95% of precincts reporting as of this post, Kerry had 46.7% of the vote compared to 41.5% for Edwards. The exit polling in Georgia was interesting too.

Edwards fared well among voters who cared more about the issues than defeating Bush. This is consistent with polls in other states. Kerry seems to have locked up the Democratic nomination because his party thinks he is most likely to beat Bush, not because they like his stances.

More black voters backed Kerry than Edwards, but the majority of white voters supported Edwards.This is also consistent with other Southern polls. Given recent trends, Kerry can expect to receive over 80% of the black vote. However, Kerry has an uphill battle to win the votes of non-black Southerners.

After Edwards makes it official today, expect to see both President Bush and Senator Kerry spending more time focused on each other and (hopefully) their own issues.

Posted by Admiral Quixote at 07:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

Quotes from Kerry's speech

[Cross-posted at]

“Thank you to voters from coast to coast who have truly made this a Super Tuesday.”

“A remarkably gracious… powerful statement by John Edwards tonight. There is no question that John Edwards bring a compelling voice to our party, great eloquence to the cause of working men and women all across our nation, and great promise for leadership in the years to come, and we thank him for what he has done over the course of this race.”

“In 2004, one united Democratic party, we can and we will win this election — and we will build one America.” (emphasis added)

Edwards a rival in recent months, but first and foremost, a friend. “He is a valiant champion of the values for which our party stands.”

Now praising and thanking Dean for bringing people into the process.

“Tonight the message could not be clearer, all across our country: change is coming to America.”

“I know that together, we are equal to this task. I am a fighter.” Blah blah, “battlefield” allusions. Did you know he served in Vietnam?

“In 2004, I pledge we will tell the truth about what has happened in our country, and we will fight to give America back its future and its hope.” Good line.

“The Bush Administration has run the most inept, arrogant, and ideological foreign policy in the history of our country, and we will reverse that course.” (I think I missed one adjective.)

“Bring it on! Bring it on! Bring it on!”

“George Bush, who promised to be a uniter, has become a great divider. Just last week, he proposed to amend the Constitution of the United States for political purpose. We say that he has no right to misuse the most precious document in our history to divide this nation and distract us from our goals. We resoundingly reject the politics of fear and distortion. We will instead, all across this nation throughout these next months, keep trust with Lincoln’s ideals of America as the last, best hope on Earth.”

Today, like in Vietnam era, “Americans are once again wondering if they can trust and believe the leadership of this country. Our campaign is about restoring that belief, and speaking honestly and straightforwardly to the American people … [and] building an America that is again a great light to all the world.”

Posted by Brendan at 09:43 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

It's A Hard Road for Senators

Under the Headline GOP Plans Votes to Put Democrats on the Spot, the Washington Post Reports on the vicissitudes of running for President while still working in the Senate. The Leading paragraph:

Republicans plan to use Congress to pull Sen. John F. Kerry and vulnerable Democrats into the cultural wars over gay rights, abortion and guns, envisioning a series of debates and votes that will highlight the candidates’ positions on divisive issues, according to congressional aides and GOP officials.

Though much later in the article the authors note:

GOP leaders are not specifically scheduling votes to influence the election, he said [congressional staffer Eric Ueland], but they are aware of the political calendar and the potential impact of congressional votes. “We’ve got a lot of things to get done,” Ueland said. “If they have resonance with the campaign, that’s an added benefit.”

Anyone see a contradiction here?

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 03:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mr. Kerry Goes to Washington

The Hill is reporting that John Kerry will return to Washington today to vote on critical gun control amendments. At issue, maintaining the assault weapons band and closing the “gun-show” loop hole. Get the Full Story.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Massachussetts Governor Predicts Kerry Win, Loss

Governor Mitt Romney predicts that John Kerry will win today, but lose in November, that he will meet the same fate in November as former Massachussetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Posted by Dean Esmay at 11:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

Kennedy Blesses Kerry

Ted Kennedy:

“I respect John Edwards and I’ve worked with him. But this is John Kerry’s time.”

From an interview with R News in Rochester, NY.

Posted by Chuck Simmins at 12:50 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 29, 2004

Kerry's Discussion With The Daily News

The Daily News reports about a “wide-ranging discussion” between the Daily News Editorial Board and John Kerry.

According to the Daily News:

Kerry (D-Mass.) said he would have sent troops to Haiti even without international support to quell the revolt against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

“President Kerry would never have allowed that to get where it is,” Kerry said, though he added he’s not “a big Aristide fan.”

But he insisted the White House “has empowered the insurgents, and they’ve done it quite purposely out of their dislike … for Aristide.”

A Kerry administration would have given the rebels a 48-hour ultimatum to come up with a peaceful agreement - “otherwise, we’re coming in,” he said.

“I would intervene with the international community, and absent an international force, I’d do it unilaterally,” he said, adding the most important thing was to protect democracy.

Kerry also suggested Bush sat on December’s deal to have Khadafy renounce weapons programs to get a political boost. “Khadafy’s been trying to get back into the mainstream for several years now,” Kerry said. “There’s evidence that we could have had that deal some time ago.”

As proof, he said he’d heard “from friends in the British government that the deal was in a slow lock,” although he declined to give specifics to back it up.

The Daily News also reported that Kerry seemed to flip-flop on his opinion of Israel’s controversial security fence, insisting that a past comment questioning the fence was “a not very artfully drawn paragraph” that reflected “the rush of the campaign.” He insisted he “completely supports” the fence and only questioned where it’s built.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 12:38 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 24, 2004

Kerry on Bush and Haiti

Senator John Kerry blamed the Bush administration today for helping foster the political instability in Haiti that has given rise to the armed insurgency that now controls nearly half of the country and threatens to overthrow the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

“I think the administration has missed a lot of opportunities, in fact, has exacerbated the situation over the last two years with its cutoff of humanitarian assistance and its attitude towards the Aristide administration,” Mr. Kerry said. “So they sort of created the environment within which the insurgency could grow and take root, and now they’re trying to manage it, I think.”

Senator Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, made his comments during a wide-ranging discussion today with editors and reporters of The New York Times in advance of next Tuesday’s New York presidential primary.

He said that if he were president, he would be pressing Haitian rebels to back off their goal of toppling Mr. Aristide, perhaps by threatening the deployment of an international peacekeeping force.

“I think you’ve got to be real and threatening,” he said. His message to the rebels, he said, would be: “You’re not going to take over, you’re not kicking him out, this democracy is going to be sustained, we’re willing to put in a new government, new prime minister, we’re willing to work with you, but you’re not going to succeed in your goal of exiling” Mr. Aristide. “And unless that’s clear, you can’t necessarily stop it in its tracks.”

Read the rest.

Posted by Richard T at 06:26 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 20, 2004

Kerry Leads in NY and Calif.

A new poll shows John Kerry well in the lead in Super Tuesday states New York and California, with John Edwards a distant second.

The New York poll, by Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion, found Kerry leading 66 percent to 14 percent among likely voters. Al Sharpton and Rep. Dennis Kucinich were in single digits.

A Public Policy Institute of California survey released Friday found Kerry had 55 percent support among Democrats in that state, and Edwards just 10 percent. The poll was conducted before Edwards finished second in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary and Howard Dean dropped out of the race. Dean garnered 11 percent in the poll.

Both states account for 606 delegates (2,162 are required for the Democratic nomination).

Posted by Jeff M at 01:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 17, 2004

Kerry Picks Up Union Endorsement

John Kerry has received the endorsement of the Alliance for Economic Justice, which had previously endorsed Rep. Dick Gephardt prior to dropping out. Gephardt was present at the endorsement announcement.

Posted by Jeff M at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 16, 2004

Dean's Campaign Chairman To Back Kerry

The New York Times reports:

The chairman of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign said on Sunday that he would leave and shift his support to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts if Dr. Dean lost the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday, an outcome he sees as all but inevitable.

“If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first,” said the chairman, Steven Grossman, who was chairman of Mr. Kerry’s 1996 Senate race. “I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization.”

Dean is facing growing pressure from aides and outside backers to quit the race.

Dean maintains he will continue the campaign:

“We’re not dropping out after Tuesday, period,” Dr. Dean said in a television interview with the Fox affiliate here Sunday.

According to the Times:

After the news of Grossman’s decision to leave the campaign became public Sunday night, Dr. Dean, through his spokesman, Jay Carson, said Mr. Grossman had “meant a lot to this campaign.”

“We’ll miss him and we wish him well,” Dr. Dean said through his spokesman.

Cross-posted from California Yankee

Posted by Dan Spencer at 08:15 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 15, 2004

New Kerry Ad

The Kerry campaign launched a counter-ad against Bush today, titled “More Than Anyone.” The ad (according to a Kerry press release)

outlines the huge contributions Bush has taken from big oil and gas companies, big banks and investment firms and even Enron, and reveals the favors he gave these powerful special interests in return.

You may watch the ad here.

Posted by Alan at 07:44 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

Kerry Spurs Ambitious Fundraising

John Kerry is beginning his campaign to raise enough money to keep up with President Bush’s more than $100 million campaign war chest.

Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) is setting in motion one of the most ambitious fundraising plans in Democratic Party history, fearful that without tens of millions of dollars’ worth of television advertising this spring, his candidacy will be overpowered by the $100 million-plus bank account of President Bush.

Expecting to lock up the Democratic nomination shortly, Kerry plans to spend much of next month traveling coast-to-coast, aggressively wooing the donors who sat on the sidelines in 2003 or who bankrolled Democratic rivals Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, aides said. The courtship is well underway — at least a dozen major fundraisers from other camps say they have agreed to work for Kerry — and the campaign collected $6.5 million in the 23 days after his Iowa victory.

Avoiding federal funding, Kerry is still limited to only $2000 donations from individuals, making it more difficult.

Posted by Jeff M at 12:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Kerry Has Huge Lead In Wisconsin Poll

The latest American Research Group Wisconsin poll shows Kerry with a 37% lead over his Democratic rivals:

Kerry 53%
Edwards 16%
Dean 11%
Kucinich 2%
Sharpton 2%
Undecided 16%
Clark NI

Kerry also leads in favorability, with 65% of likely Democratic primary voters saying they have a favorable opinion of Kerry. Kerry’s favorable rating is up from 53% on February 6.

The poll was conducted February 11 and 12. The results are based 600 completed telephone interviews among a statewide random sample of registered voters in Wisconsin saying they will definitely vote in the Democratic presidential preference primary on February 17, 2004. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4%.

Posted by Dan Spencer at 10:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 13, 2004

AFL-CIO To Endorse Kerry

So reports the AP / Miami Herald, here, although nothing is certain in this world:

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney scheduled a meeting of the federation’s general board for next Thursday “to officially endorse” Kerry, according to the memo obtained by The Associated Press.

AFL-CIO spokeswoman Lane Windham confirmed that Sweeney will recommend the move. “But we’re a democratic organization and it is ultimately up to the general board to decide who they will endorse,” said spokeswoman Lane Windham.

Don’t expect the general board to run counter to Sweeney.

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

Kerry Says He's Ready for GOP Onslaught

And an onslaught it will be. All the more reason for Kerry to begin setting expectations for the attacks (as he’s doing here). This via ABC News:

John Kerry, attacked by President Bush’s campaign as a pretend foe of the special interests, said Friday he is “ready to fight back” in the battle for the White House. Former candidate Wesley Clark offered to help the front-runner oust the Republican incumbent.

“These guys will want to try to do everything to change the subject,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said in an interview on the Don Imus radio program.

“But the subject is 3 million jobs lost in the last few years, it’s health care that’s completely unaffordable and unreachable for tens of millions of Americans, it’s kids who are not getting a decent education all across America.”

Posted by Alan at 06:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

UK Sun Story: Kerry "chased" 24-year-old Alex Polier for his campaign

This is a duplicate of a post from the nikita demosthenes website.

From today’s UK Sun:

- - - - - - -

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful John Kerry was branded a “sleazeball” last night by the parents of a young woman he allegedly tried to woo.

Alex Polier, 24, was named as the woman at the centre of a scandal that threatens to damage Democrat Kerry’s bid for the White House.

Her mother Donna claims Kerry, 60 — dubbed the new JFK — once chased Alex to be on his campaign team and was “after her”.

There is no evidence the pair had an affair, but her father Terry, 56, said: “I think he’s a sleazeball. I did kind of wonder if my daughter didn’t get that kind of feeling herself.

- - - - - - -

Journalist Alex was in Kenya last night refusing to comment.

- - - - - - -

Via the Drudge Report.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 06:53 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack

Clark To Officially Endorse Kerry Today In WI

… and he will do so in Madison (via The Milwaukee Channel).

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

Bush Hits Kerry With "Email Attack Video"

Or so say the New York Post in this story: PREZ E-BLITZ TAKES 1ST BYTE OUT OF KERRY.

President Bush’s campaign last night fired its opening shot against Democratic front-runner John Kerry — an e-mail attack video that paints him as an “unprincipled” toady to special interests.

The video — sent to 6 million Bush fans and posted on Bush’s campaign Web site — shows Kerry’s name being typed into an Internet search engine and goes to what looks like Kerry’s own campaign Web site.

Kerry is heard thundering against “special interests,” but then the video shows links to news reports of how Kerry raised $640,000 in campaign cash from lobbyists, more than any other U.S. senator.

“Oooh, for what?” asks the female narrator and the video switches to an Associated Press story on Kerry supporting nominations of donors plus criticism from watchdog groups.

Team Bush has been quietly organizing on the Internet and plans to use it as a major campaign tool — its 6 million e-mail addresses are 10 times what supposed ‘Net master Howard Dean has.

Ladies and gents, spam, courtesy the GOP.

Posted by Alan at 09:35 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack

Kerry Faces Big Test In Internet Storm About Mystery Woman

The “official” take is now hitting the wires. And no wonder it’s raining in here … we’re in the middle of an “Internet storm.” This from the Telegraph:

The campaign of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, faced its first media storm last night after a Right-wing website alleged that he had asked a woman to leave the country for personal reasons.

Mr Kerry’s campaign did not respond to the allegation on the Drudge Report, a news tipster, most famous for disclosing that Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. When contacted, the Kerry campaign had no immediate comment.

But Democratic sources blamed the allegation on Republican “dirty tricks”. They said it marked the long-expected start of a campaign from the Right to smear the frontrunner and damage his chances of fighting a strong campaign against President George W Bush.

Posted by Alan at 09:32 AM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

Kerry Fights Off Media Probe of Recent Alleged Infidelity

This is a duplicate of a post on the nikita demosthenes website.

This is a breaking news item from the Drudge Report:

- - - - - - -

A frantic behind-the-scenes drama is unfolding around Sen. John Kerry and his quest to lockup the Democratic nomination for president, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

- - - - - - -

In an off-the-record conversation with a dozen reporters earlier this week, General Wesley Clark plainly stated: “Kerry will implode over an intern issue.” [Three reporters in attendance confirm Clark made the startling comments.]

The Kerry commotion is why Howard Dean has turned increasingly aggressive against Kerry in recent days, and is the key reason why Dean reversed his decision not to drop out of the race after Wisconsin, top campaign sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

- - - - - - -

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 12:07 PM | Comments (107) | TrackBack

Kerry Fights A Two-Front War

This WaPo article offers an interesting analysis of the two-front battle Kerry now fights: keeping his primary winning streak going on one hand, while opening an offensive against the Bush campaign on the other. Link via ED.

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

Dean Criticizes Kerry Over Campaign Attack Ads

Via ED / Reuters:

Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean accused his rival John Kerry on Wednesday of backing the kind of “politically corrupt fund-raising” that the former Vermont governor said had paid for attack ads against him.
Posted by Alan at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2004

Photo of John Kerry with Jane Fonda at Anti-War Protest

This is a duplicate of the original post from the nikita demosthenes website.

This photo - apparently showing John Kerry at a 1970 anti-war protest with Jane Fonda in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania - has been posted by NewsMax:

Jane Fonda and John Kerry at an anti-war rally in Valley Forge, Pa.

NewsMax provides this background information on the photo:

- - - - - - -

A photo seemingly showing Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry protesting the Vietnam War with anti-American actress “Hanoi Jane” Fonda - the photo Dems fear most - exists, and has been obtained by

On Labor Day weekend 1970, Kerry - then a rising star with Vietnam Veteran Against the War - teamed up with Fonda as the two headlined an ugly anti-war in rally in Valley Forge, Pa., railing against U.S. policy in Southeast Asia from the back of the same flatbed truck.

The photo shows “Hanoi Jane” listening raptly as speakers denounced American soldiers for committing “genocide” in Vietnam and accusing the U.S. of “international racism.”

Three rows behind ‘Hanoi Jane” sits a man who bears a striking resemblance to the Democratic presidential front-runner.

According to Corbis Images, which owns the image, the photo was taken at the same 1970 Valley Forge protest that turned Sen. Kerry into an anti-war star.

Douglas Brinkley’s biography “Tour of Duty” chronicles Kerry’s exploits at Valley Forge, where he reportedly followed Fonda onto the back of that pick-up truck to deliver his own diatribe against the war in Vietnam.

- - - - - - -

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 05:58 PM | Comments (35) | TrackBack

Live from Fairfax...

IMG_2312.jpg Washington & Virginia Correspondent Dane Lindberg reports: “Kerry did a great job of energizing and controlling a crowd that was already full of energy. … Kerry has a terrific amount of energy and momentum heading into Super Tuesday, and you really felt that momentum and energy tonight.” He also notes the crowd was “less well-dressed” that at the Lieberman event he attended last week. Heh. Much more here.

Posted by Brendan at 10:07 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 10, 2004

Flashback: Kerry on Meet The Press 8/31/03

Last August seems like ages ago in this Democratic primary. Now that John Kerry is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and now that inaccuracies in intelligence estimates about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are likely to be a major campaign issue, it’s worth revisiting what Kerry had to say to Tim Russert last August about the issue:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, you voted for a resolution in October of 2002 authorizing the president to go to war in Iraq, but you’ve also been critical of his policy. . . . You went to New Hampshire in June, and Ron Fournier of the Associated Press was there and captured your comments, and let me share them with you and our viewers:
‘He misled every one of us,’ Kerry said. ‘That’s one reason why I’m running.’ Kerry said Bush made his case for war based on at least two pieces of U.S. intelligence that now appear to be wrong, that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africa, and that Saddam’s regime had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological material. … ‘I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America’s credibility and credibility to me because, if he lied, he lied to me personally.’”

That doesn’t sound like someone who’s supporting the war in Iraq.
SEN. KERRY: Wrong. I supported the notion that we must as a country hold Saddam Hussein accountable for what he was doing. I supported it under President Clinton. In 1998, I suggested that President Clinton should go to the United Nations and raise the issue of Saddam Hussein’s non-compliance in the international arena. It would have been inconsistent for me, with President Bush, not to suggest that the security issue of 1998, after we knew we had been finding weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological, after we knew we had been destroying them, after we knew he still had more and we left the country without inspectors for four years, it would have been irresponsible not to stand up and say, “We need to hold him accountable.”
But I warned all along, Tim . . . [i]t was right to have a threat of force because it’s only the threat of force that got Hans Blix and the inspectors back in the country. The difference is, I would have planned, I would have been patient, I would have worked with the United Nations. I would have exhausted the remedies which were available to us. . . I’m running because I’m angry at the mismanagement of how we worked with our colleagues in the world and how we, in fact, have conducted the war. . . .
MR. RUSSERT: No regret over your vote?
SEN. KERRY: My regret is that the president of the United States didn’t do what he said he would do. Look, he told us that he was going to-that we needed to do this because they had the capacity to deploy weapons in 45 minutes. Not true now. He told us that he would go as a matter of last resort. Not true. He told us that he was going to build a real international coalition. Not true. They told us that there were unmanned vehicles that were able to fly. They even showed photographs. Not true. We haven’t found them anyway.
MR. RUSSERT: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on, Senator. . . . I went back and re-read your speech on the floor of the Senate October 9, and I want to share that with you and our viewers… because you repeated many of exactly the same claims and concerns that President Bush did.
SEN. KERRY: Correct.
MR. RUSSERT: Let’s watch.

(Videotape, October 9, 2002):

SEN. KERRY: Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating agents and is capable of quickly producing weaponizing of a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery on a range of vehicles, such as bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers and covert operatives which would bring them to the United States itself.

In addition, we know they are developing unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents.

According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that they are seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop them.

In the wake of September 11, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that the weapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater, a nuclear weapon?

(End videotape)
MR. RUSSERT: Unmanned aerial vehicles…
MR. RUSSERT: …a nuclear threat. Those are exactly the things that you suggested in New Hampshire President Bush had lied to you about.
SEN. KERRY: That’s precisely the point. That is exactly the point I’m making. We were given this information by our intelligence community. Now, either it was stretched politically in the many visits of Dick Cheney to the CIA and the way in which they created a client relationship, but the information we were given, built on top of the seven and a half years of what we knew he was doing, completely justified the notion that you had to respond to give the president the right to put inspectors in. . . .
MR. RUSSERT: But you had access to the intelligence. You had access to the national intelligence estimate…
SEN. KERRY: Absolutely.
MR. RUSSERT: …which said the CIA had a low confidence in Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction or transferring the terrorists. And the State Department, which is included in the national intelligence estimate, said there was not a compelling case, that he reconstituted his nuclear program.
SEN. KERRY: I didn’t base it on the nuclear, but the most important and compelling rationale were the lack of inspections and the non-compliance of Saddam Hussein. Even Hans Blix at the United Nations said he is not in compliance.
MR. RUSSERT: Were you misled by the intelligence agencies? Were you duped?
SEN. KERRY: No, we weren’t-I don’t know whether we were lied to, I don’t know whether they had the most colossal intelligence failure in history, I don’t know if the politics of the White House drove them to exaggerate. The bottom line is that we voted on the basis of information that was given to us, that has since then been proven to be incorrect. The bottom line is also, Tim, the president had an obligation to put the United States in the strongest position possible. I warned the president in January, “Mr. President, do not rush to war. Take the time to build the coalition. Take the time to exhaust the remedies.” And when he made the decision, I said, “I would have preferred that we took further time to do further diplomacy.” I think we should have.
MR. RUSSERT: What Democrats are saying is that there’s a difference in tone from John Kerry, different emphasis. Back last fall, when the war was popular, he was for it. Now that Howard Dean is surging, he’s a little bit more ambivalent. This is what Ron Brownstein reported you saying in January, telling a questioner, “If you don’t believe Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn’t vote for me.” . . .
SEN. KERRY: I don’t wish I’d been a naysayer from the start. I did the right thing. My vote was a vote for the security of the United States of America based in the information we were given. Tim, for seven and a half years, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and we found them. We destroyed them. We knew they were there. We also knew there were some there that we hadn’t finished destroying, at which point the inspections stopped. For four years you had no inspections. During that time, we are told by our intelligence community and by the president the following things are happening: he’s reconstituting, he’s building. We were even shown photographs: “Here’s what’s happening in this building, Senator.”
MR. RUSSERT: Where are they?
SEN. KERRY: That’s exactly correct. Now, we may find them in the next months. I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know is that it was right to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, absolutely correct. And anybody who doesn’t believe it wasn’t correct ought to go dig around in those graves or even make a judgment about what would happen if you left Saddam Hussein alone to do this.

John Kerry, in his own words (emphasis added). Draw your own conclusions.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 06:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Kerry Will Likely Claim Virginia

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports on John Kerry’s likely win in Virginia’s primary.

Recent polls have found Kerry with a substantial lead in Virginia over North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who in turn has distanced himself from the remaining candidates.

The likely result is that when Virginians go to the polls today, they will not have as much of an impact on the nomination as had been hoped when state Democratic Party officials sought an early primary.

With Kerry’s early string of primary and caucus victories, Virginia and neighboring Tennessee, which also votes today, are expected to knock down one of the last uncertainties about Kerry - his ability to win in a Southern state.

However, Sen. John Edwards, General Wesley Clark and Rep. Dennis Kucinich continue campaigning in the Commonwealth. Howard Dean is not campaigning in Virginia.

Posted by Jeff M at 12:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

Kerry Focuses on Bush, Ignores Dem Rivals

John Kerry has decided to ignore his Democratic rivals, instead focusing all of his efforts on attacking President Bush and his policies.

John Kerry ignored rivals chasing him in the Democratic presidential race Monday and lambasted President Bush’s foreign policy, telling voters in Tuesday’s Southern primaries they are “choosing a leader of the free world.”

Speaking in front of a Roanoke firehouse, Kerry suggested that Bush has not provided the international leadership that the world expects from the United States.

“You are choosing tomorrow not just a president of the United States,” Kerry said. “You have the privilege of having an impact on the lives of people all over this planet because you are choosing a leader of the free world.”

Virginia, along with Tennessee, holds their primary tomorrow.

Posted by Jeff M at 08:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kerry and Edwards Take to Virginia

Washington Post reports on how John Kerry and John Edwards are trying to woo voters in Virginia.

Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner endorsed Sen. John F. Kerry for president yesterday, as Kerry and Sen. John Edwards campaigned among constituencies that could prove crucial tomorrow in the state’s first Democratic presidential primary since 1988.

The candidates made separate visits to African American churches in the Richmond area, where they appealed for the support of traditionally Democratic black voters. Edwards then traveled to Tennessee, which also holds a primary tomorrow. Kerry, a decorated military veteran, drove on to a rally in Chesapeake, a stronghold of Virginia’s large military community.

Edwards, who is from North Carolina, is looking to Virginia and Tennessee to turn the race for the party’s nomination into a one-on-one battle with Kerry, while the Massachusetts senator, coming off a sweep of the caucuses in Michigan, Washington and Maine this weekend, seeks his first victories in the South.

Wesley Clark has also been making the rounds in Virginia, as has Al Sharpton. Howard Dean was not in Virginia at all, instead focusing on Wisconsin, his “must-win” primary.

Posted by Jeff M at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2004

Kerry Leads In Maine With 25% Reporting

Via the AP:

John Kerry seized an early lead in the Maine caucuses Sunday as the Democratic front-runner sought a three-state weekend sweep to boost his daunting advantage in the primary race.

Based on early returns, the Democratic Party in Maine said the Massachusetts senator had 48 percent of the statewide vote, Howard Dean was second with 25 percent and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio was third with 14 percent. The results were based on reports from 100 of 400 municipalities.

Posted by Alan at 09:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Kerry Criticizes Bush Over Guard Service

Filed by the AP and reported widely, here at WJXX:

Accepting Warner’s endorsement in Richmond, Kerry said Bush had not fully answered questions about whether he fulfilled his National Guard service in Alabama during the Vietnam War.

“The issue here is, as I have heard it raised, is was he present and active in Alabama at the time he was supposed to be,” said Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran. “I don’t have the answer to that question and just because you get an honorable discharge does not in fact answer that question.”

Posted by Alan at 06:24 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

February 07, 2004

Kerry Maintains Big Lead in Michigan Tracking Poll


Tracking polls released Thursday showed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry stretching his already sizable lead in Michigan.

An EPIC/MRA poll of 409 people saying they planned to vote in Saturday’s Democratic caucuses showed Kerry supported by 62 percent. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was second with 13 percent, followed by North Carolina Sen. John Edwards with 11 percent …

A Mitchell Research & Communications poll conducted Tuesday through Thursday for The Detroit News showed Kerry gaining the support of 52 percent of 450 likely caucus participants. The Massachusetts senator’s closest competitors - Dean and Edwards - in single digits, with 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

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

U.S. Veterans & Vietnamese Unite To Oppose John Kerry

This is a duplicate of the original post on the nikita demosthenes website.

Via press release dated February 5, 2004, from the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry:

- - - - - - -

Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry (V.V.A.J.K.) today announced a national coalition with Vietnamese Americans for Human Rights in Vietnam.

“We represent hundreds of thousand of American veterans who do not want to see John Kerry any where near the Oval Office,” said Ted Sampley, founder of V.V.A.J.K, and a U.S. Army Green Beret and veteran of two combat tours in Vietnam.

Said Sampley, “I have personally dealt with John Kerry on the issue of US POWs left behind in Vietnam. Kerry is not truthful and is not worthy of the support of US veterans. Many Vietnam vets have been duped into thinking Kerry is their friend. He is not. To us, he is ‘Hanoi John’”

Dan Tran said speaking as a member of Vietnamese Americans Against John Kerry, “On behalf of tens of thousands of Vietnamese-Americans, we are determined to demonstrate against Senator Kerry all across this nation.

- - - - - - -

The Coalition plans nationwide demonstrations against Kerry beginning with the New York and Massachusetts primaries.

- - - - - - -

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 03:26 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

February 06, 2004

Gephardt Endorses Kerry

Former presidential candidate Dick Gephardt has officially endorsed Sen. John Kerry for the Democratic nomination.

… Kerry stood at Gephardt’s side in Michigan as the Missouri congressman told supporters, “I’m here today adding my voice to all of yours to say that we want and need this man to be the next president of the United States.”

Gephardt’s endorsement, may bring other key endorsements:

The alliance of labor groups formed by the Teamsters and more than a dozen industrial unions to support Gephardt were expected to endorse Kerry after union presidents briefed their members over the next week.
Posted by Jeff M at 01:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 05, 2004

G.O.P. Revives Line of Attack Against Kerry

Via ED / NYTimes:

Republicans and their allies have begun laying the groundwork for a familiar line of attack against Senator John Kerry: that he is “out of sync” with most voters, “culturally out of step with the rest of America,” a man who votes with “the extreme elements of his party,” as Ed Gillespie, the Republican chairman, has put it in recent days.

BTW, that’s the gracious attack … I presume the negative thrust will be, well, just a bit more pointed.

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

How Kerry turned the corner

Interesting analysis piece here at CSM about the Kerry comeback. Link via ED.

Posted by Alan at 08:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Kerry's surge gives Romney a new role

I post this for those readers who spent time in our New Hampshire Primary chat room and discussed the “Romney Factor.” Via ED / Boston Globe:

US Senator John F. Kerry’s surge toward the Democratic presidential nomination offers a unique opportunity for an ambitious Governor Mitt Romney, but also carries potential political peril, according to analysts watching the Massachusetts governor’s role in the national election.
Posted by Alan at 07:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2004

Mini-Super Tuesday Results

Kerry had a big night, winning five of the seven states. Edwards showed his Southern strength and easily won South Carolina. In a surprise showing, Wesley Clark narrowly beat out Edwards for Oklahoma with Kerry a distant third.

Chart showing results from all seven states previously shown here. The size of the chart was messing up the layout of The Command Post at smaller resolutions on some browsers. You may still see the original graph and more graphics from the elections at my roundtable.

Posted by Admiral Quixote at 01:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry

This is a duplicate of the original post from the nikita demosthenes website.

Per the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry website:

- - - - - - -

As a national leader of VVAW [Vietnam Veterans Against the War], Kerry campaigned against the effort of the United States to contain the spread of Communism. He used the blood of servicemen still in the field for his own political advancement by claiming that their blood was being shed unnecessarily or in vain.

Under Kerry’s leadership, VVAW members mocked the uniform of United States soldiers by wearing tattered fatigues marked with pro-communist graffiti. They dishonored America by marching in demonstrations under the flag of the Viet Cong enemy.

- - - - - - -

All of these photos are from the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry website.

Pictured above, April 1971, VVAW demonstration - Washington, D.C.

On April 23, 1971, Kerry led members of VVAW in a protest during which they threw their medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the U.S. Capitol.

VVAW supported demonstration, Washington Spring Offensive, April - May 1971

Via the intrepid Curmudgeonly & Skeptical.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 11:25 AM | Comments (67) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

Kerry 53%, Bush 46%

CNN is reporting that its most recent Gallup poll shows that Bush has some problems.

Incidentally a Quinnipiac University Poll shows Kerry beats Bush in a national matchup 51% to 43%.

The numbers don’t look good for Bush. These are real matchups not generic democratic candidate matchups. There’s no doubt that this dip expresses fallout from David Kay’s announcement last week that he doesn’t believe there were WMD’s in Iraq.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 08:22 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 31, 2004

Kerry Leads Senate in Special-Interest Money

The Washington Post reports that John Kerry has received the most special-interest money of any senator over the last 15 years. This while he is campaigning against special-interest influence.

Kerry, a 19-year veteran of the Senate who fought and won four expensive political campaigns, has received nearly $640,000 from lobbyists, many representing telecommunications and financial companies with business before his committee, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

For his presidential race, Kerry has raised more than $225,000 from lobbyists, better than twice as much as his nearest Democratic rival. Like President Bush, Kerry has also turned to a number of corporate officials and lobbyists to “bundle” contributions from smaller donors, often in sums of $50,000 or more, records provided by his campaign show.

The response from Kerry’s camp:

“Senator Kerry has taken individual contributions from lobbyists, but that has not stopped him from fighting against special interests on behalf of average Americans,” said Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. “If anyone thinks a contribution can buy Kerry’s vote, then they are wasting their money.”
Posted by Jeff M at 05:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not all veterans for Kerry

When listening to John Kerry tout his war record, I’ve often wondered what other Vets think of the fact that he came home to protest the war, aligning himself with the likes of Jane Fonda.

Apparently, some Vietnam vets have taken notice, and they aren’t too supportive:

Now that it serves his ambition to be president, Kerry reminds the public of his war record daily. But the dark side of that record is not being told. Many Vietnam veterans have taken notice, and many of us will vigorously oppose Kerry’s election to any office. - Vietnam stance irks veterans

Link found via Kathy Kinsley

Posted by Bryan M at 11:16 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

John Kerry, Cookie Monster

I doubt that this story has any legs, but its interesting. John Kerry’s only foray into the business world (read: real world) was as owner of a cookie store, one that he allegedly ripped off. Read the story here.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2004

FL Rep. Meek Endorses Kerry

Via ED / Miami Herald:

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will win the public support today of U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, adding a major Florida name to the list of prominent black leaders embracing the new front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination as the race heats up in the South.
Posted by Alan at 03:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Medical Experts: John Kerry Received Botox Treatments

From an article dated January 29, 2004, by Alexandra Wolfe in the New York Observer:

“He’s definitely gotten Botox,” said Dr. Michael Kane, the Manhattan-based plastic surgeon and author of The Botox Book. Sen. Kerry, the doctor explained, “has certain facial motions, characteristic expressions that he makes all the time. Like when he frowns, he tends to push the center of his eyebrows up. It’s a trademark of John Kerry’s — and he just can’t make that happen now,” said Dr. Kane. “That’s the look that’s normally plastered on his face and it never happened once on his victory speech.”

Indeed, Dr. Kane suggested that Sen. Kerry might seek a second opinion. “What he’s got isn’t Botox, it’s bad Botox,” the doctor said. “He has what I call the classic rookie mistake which is, in a man who has a lot of horizontal lines on his forehead, the botox is overdone in the person’s forehead. It changes normal emotions, facial expressions; now his eyebrows are incredibly low because someone has over-injected them. His forehead is bizarrely smooth, his eyebrows now sit right on his eyes and if you look at the Drudge Report pictures he now has classic bunny lines.” He explained that “bunny lines” happen “when so many muscles are over paralyzed” that the Botox recipient begins to rely on “the unusual muscles on the sides of his nose, making those little scrunchy lines on his nose — so he looks like a bunny.”

Surveying the “Before” and “After” shots of Mr. Kerry that were posted, along with the WRKO soundbite, on Matt Drudge’s website, New Jersey plastic surgeon Barry Citron let out a whoop and exclaimed, “That’s definitely the most effective $600 he could spend on his campaign!” That would be the cost of the 30-40 units of Botox that Dr. Citron guessed Mr. Kerry would have needed to smooth the expanse above his eyes.

“I’m willing to bet that between the beginning of Iowa and end of New Hampshire he had some Botox done,” said Dr. Michael Sachs. The Manhattan-based plastic surgeon said he could tell because Mr. Kerry looked much less haggard last Tuesday night than he did in Iowa, and because, he added: “His eyebrows didn’t move.”

Dr. Sachs, explained that Botox, which is created from the botulinum toxin type A (there are seven different types), starts working its muscle-relaxing magic in three to five days, peaks at two weeks and lasts between three to five months.

“Down the road, he may look even more relaxed and his eyebrows may droop even more,” Dr. Sachs explained. Come convention time in July, however, the candidate will need a booster shot.

One plastic surgeon, Manhattan’s Dr. Patricia Wexler, disagreed with the pack. “No, I don’t believe he has,” she said. “Much more is being made out of this than reality. It’s the vertical lines” — she called them “scowl lines” — “that are considered negative, and I don’t think he’s had those done.” Dr. Wexler then recommended that all politicans have their scowl lines removed. “It would’ve done Gore or Dole good to get rid of them,” she said. Her diagnosis of Sen. Kerry: “He’s more relaxed because he’s been winning,” she said.

Or was Mr. Kerry winning because he looked relaxed? Hamptons cosmetic surgeon Dr. Bruce Nadler opined that Mr. Kerry’s new look was responsible for his win in New Hampshire. “The issues are 50 percent, but voters are also looking for someone who is likeable, who has a calming influence. He has a more relaxed look whereas you’d expect him to look more haggard, more tired as this campaign grinds away,” said Dr. Nadler. “If Edwards is so much younger and winning votes as a result, and that’s going to sway the crowd, Kerry thinks, ‘If this other guy has a youthful look, then youthful looks are going to help me. I could win over some of his supporters if I look a little more youthful as well.’ It’s a campaign strategy. Look at poor Joe Lieberman, he’s not doing very well, maybe he looks a little too senior.”

Whatever the case, Sen. Kerry’s press secretary David Wade, sounded flabbergasted by the accusations. “John Kerry has not had botox treatments,” Mr. Wade wrote in an email. “And since when do plastic surgeons make diagnoses from Drudge Report photos? While it’s amazing how two big victories in Iowa and New Hampshire can put a smile on your face, it’s equally astounding how desperation leads our opponents to invent accusations. They can’t run against John Kerry on health care, education, or national security, so they’re attacking his looks.”

Of course, in New York, a town where plastic surgery ranks right up there with cable and psychotherapy on urbanites’ necessity lists, what’s really driving the did-he-or-didn’t-he? debate is whether Sen. Kerry lied about something as minor as a question about his physical upkeep. As Dr. Kane observed: “If it becomes an issue it goes right to his credibility.”

But New York-based political campaign consultant Hank Sheinkopf explained why a presidential candidate might not be eager to admit he’s a primper. “I don’t think this country is ready for the Botox president yet,.” said Mr. Sheinkopf, who was a member of Bill Clinton’s media team from ‘95 to ‘96 and has helped elect numerous New York politicians such as Bill Thompson and Betsy Gotbaum. “I can’t imagine the president having facial peels every month or having electrolysis. His problem is to be man enough to convince the Reagan Democrats in the Midwest, and Botox ain’t gonna help!”

- - - - - - -

Via the Drudge Report.

See, also, the related story in the January 30, 2004, edition of the Washington Times.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 01:02 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 29, 2004

RNC Chair Rips Kerry on National Security

The long knives are coming out for John Kerry now. Here’s the key portion of RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie’s speech today, which previewed what is likely to be a significant line of attack from the GOP if Kerry holds his lead in the race for the Democratic nomination - attacking Kerry’s record of votes to cut spending on the military and on intelligence:

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Kerry shared the assessment of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. He voted for the use of force in Iraq, then later tried to say it was a vote to “threaten” the use of force, and then ultimately declared himself an “anti-war” candidate.

John Kerry’s record of service in our military is honorable. But his long record in the Senate is one of advocating policies that would weaken our national security.

In 1972, when John Kerry first campaigned for Congress, he made a commitment to vote against military appropriations. After he was elected, he went one step further, actively introducing legislation to reduce funding for defense and intelligence.

In addition to his opposition to defense funding, John Kerry opposed the policies that led to victory in the Cold War.

In 1984 he called for a freeze on testing, production and deployment of nuclear warheads, missiles, and other delivery systems.

In 1985, he introduced a Comprehensive Nuclear Freeze Bill, and sponsored two amendments to freeze SDI-related nuclear development.

In 1991, he acknowledged Saddam Hussein’s possession of WMD, but voted against military action in the Gulf War.

In 1993, Sen. Kerry introduced a plan to:

cut the number of Navy submarines and their crews;
reduce the number of light infantry units in the Army down to one;
reduce Air Force tactical fighter wings;
terminate the Navy’s coastal mine-hunting ship program; and
force the retirement of no less than 60,000 members of the Armed Forces in one year.
In 1995, Sen. Kerry voted to freeze defense spending for 7 years, cutting over $34 billion from the defense budget.

His policy positions belie his assertion that his approach to national security will make us safer as a nation.

You know, after September 11, one high-ranking Al Qaeda official said the attacks were “the beginning of the end of America.” He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of Russia.

He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of France. He didn’t say September 11 was the beginning of the end of the United Nations. He said it was the beginning of the end of America.

He couldn’t have been more wrong, but it’s our prerogative to make sure he’s wrong-with or without the unanimous international consent demanded by the President’s critics.

One of these critics, Sen. John Kerry, twelve days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, said, “And the tragedy is, at the moment, the single most important weapon for the United States of America is intelligence. It’s the single most important weapon in this particular war …”

This is the same Sen. Kerry who in 1995, two years after the first World Trade Center bombing, voted to cut FBI funding by $80 million.

That same year, again, only two years after the first World Trade Center bombing, he unsuccessfully proposed legislation to slash $1.5 billion-over the next 5 years-from our intelligence budget.

That’s a $300 million cut in intelligence funding in 1995; the year before terrorists attacked the Khobar Towers.

That’s a $300 million cut in intelligence funding in 1997; the year before terrorists attacked U.S. embassies in East Africa.

That’s a $300 million cut in intelligence funding in 1999; the year before terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole.

Twelve days after September 11, after saying that America is weakest in the area of intelligence, he added, “So it’s going to take us time to be able to build up here to do this properly.”

Had Sen. Kerry’s drastic cuts in intelligence passed, it would be taking us a lot more time to do this properly.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 07:51 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Clyburn on FOX: Kerry can unite our country

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, on FOX this morning said he threw his support behind John Kerry because Kerry has the ability to “unite this country” and heal wounds that remain from the war in Vietnam. When asked why he didn’t endorse Edwards, Clyburn said he still respects Edwards, but felt Kerry was more electable.

Posted by Bryan M at 09:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

Kerry Speech Simulblog

OK … posting it as it happens … forgive the typos (we’ll see how much it varies from the stump):

  • Opens with: “I love New Hampshire … and … and I love Iowa, too. And I hope with your help, to have the blessings and the opportunity to love a lot of other states in the days to come.”
  • “I have spent my whole life fighting for what I think is right and against powerful special interests … and I have just begun to fight.”

(Bring it on chant breaks out.)

  • “I have a message for the influence peddlers … big oil … special interests that now call the White House home: We’re coming, you’re going, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
  • “This victory also belongs to the veterans who marched with us.”
  • “I depended on the same band of brothers that I depended on 30 years ago … we’re a little older, and a little grayer … but I’ll tell you this: We still know how to fight for our country … I pledge that those who wear the uniform of the United States of America will have a voice and a champion in the Oval Office.”
  • “Together we can lift our country up, up to the America that all of us know we can become. So stand with me.”

… and now FOX breaks to Edwards …

Posted by Alan at 09:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2004

Zogby Poll: Kerry Lead Shrinks to Three Points

Game on. Via Wired News / Reuters:

Democratic presidential contender John Kerry holds a shrinking three-point lead over Howard Dean on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, according to a Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby poll released Monday.

Dean shaved four points off Kerry’s advantage in the latest three-day tracking poll, as supporters who wavered after his dismal third-place Iowa finish and screaming concession speech appeared to be returning to the fold.

Kerry led Dean 31 percent to 28 percent in the new poll, with John Edwards jumping three points to narrowly trail Wesley Clark for third place, 13 percent to 12 percent. Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman remained static at 9 percent.

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

January 25, 2004

Seperated at Birth: Vol. 1

Some people say John Kerry reminds them of Lurch from the Addams family … but personally, I see Snow Miser.

John Kerry


Snow Miser


Posted by Alan at 03:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

Hollings Endorses Kerry

Senator Fritz Hollings was expected to endorse the presidential campaign of Senate colleague John Kerry at a 4 p.m. announcement today. More will be posted as it becomes available.

[Cross-posted at Backcountry Conservative]

Posted by Jeff Quinton at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kerry's Electibility

From TNR:

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry likes to say that, if he’s the Democratic nominee and President Bush wants to make the election a referendum on national security, he has just three words to say: “Bring It On!” But what if Kerry becomes the nominee and Bush wants to make the election more than a referendum on national security? What would the Republicans bring on then?

In all likelihood, they would hammer Kerry for his opposition to mandatory minimum sentences for dealers who sell drugs to children and for voting against the death penalty for terrorists. They would mock his efforts to provide cash benefits to drug addicts and alcoholics, and his onetime opposition to a modest work requirement for welfare recipients. They would trash him for supporting more than half a trillion dollars in tax increases-including hikes in gas taxes and Social Security taxes on ordinary Americans-while accepting free housing and other goodies for himself from friendly influence-peddlers. They would even point out that, when Kerry served as lieutenant governor under one Michael S. Dukakis, Massachusetts famously furloughed more than 500 murderers and sex offenders under a program Kerry later defended as tough.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 02:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 21, 2004

What You Don't Know About John Kerry

Ed Note (Alan … again): Check out the NewsMax site when you read this article to get a flavor for their viewpoint. Additionally, the nature of this article in particular borders on Op-Ed; consider it accordingly. As with prior pieces … I’m not agreeing or disagreeing … just informing.


Newsmax trys to dig up some skeletons in Kerry’s closet.

With his win in Iowa, Sen. John Kerry could be on his way to the White House. But most Americans are unaware of the real Kerry.

Here are facts and quotations that reveal the character of the new Democrat leader.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 23, 1971, Kerry claimed that U.S. soldiers had “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”

The expose goes on to include sections entitled: “Denouncing America with ‘Hanoi’ Jane”, “Those evil American soldiers”, and “We are not the best”, and leans heavily on Kerry’s anti-war protest record during the Vietnam years.

Posted by Ravenwood at 09:53 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

January 20, 2004

Arguing with Iowa: Edwards a big winner

Everyone will post thoughts about Iowa. Here are mine:

Howard Dean looked like a pro wrestler on WWE Raw during his acceptance speech. Doesn't sound like a president, and makes for lots of fresh video for Republicans. Here's the audio if you can stomach it, courtesy of Blogs for Bush. BTW, this schtick is the big thing on "Fox and Friends" this morning. Probably will play big on all the conservative talk radio today as well. I expect an SNL skit next week.

John Kerry talks about some new band he's listening to: George Bush and the Special Interests. And I agree with Instapundit, what's up with universal healthcare in his victory speech?

John Edwards had to be the biggest surprise of the evening. His biggest drawback is that he sounds like a cross between Jimmy Carter and Billy Graham. But he's got a couple of things going for him: he looks young (so did JFK), and he's preaching a "positive" message compared to The Howinator Dean and John "F'ing" Kerry. While there's no predicting his finish in New Hampshire, South Carolina is just around the corner, and he's an N.C. boy. This is a campaign to watch.

I have to wonder what Gephardt was thinking by putting all his bets on Iowa, of all places. He'd gotten some good endorsements in S.C., for instance, so why Iowa?

C-SPAN was another big winner. It was hilarious watching the Kucinish Kid and the "now the voting's over, let's break out the wine and cheese" lady. Also the ponytail guy with the cell phone trying to call in poll numbers. Now there are some strong visuals.

And nothing beats seeing Morton Kondracke in a safety orange touk freezing his butt off for FOX news.

What happens now that Lieberman and Clark are back in the mix? Good question. It will be interesting to watch from the sidelines.

Posted by Bryan M at 07:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2004

Kerry Victory Simulblog


Ted Kennedy leads off with "Thank you Iowa ... we love Iowa ... do you want to hear from the Comeback Kid ... this is the beginning of the end of the Bush administration."

(OK ... Kennedy scares me.) Now with Kerry: "Iowa ... I love you ... last night the New England Patriots won ... tonight this New Englander won, and you've set me on my way to the Super Bowl ... thank you Iowa for making me the Comeback Kerry."

"I have listened to you, and I have learned a lot ... you have made me a better candidate."

"I make this pledge ... I have only just begun to fight ... in the months and years ahead I pledge that I will be fighting for you and for Americans all across this country ... for those of you who are not yet part of this interest, I ask you to go to ... I know that was a shameless advertisement for my website ... but it works!"

"Healthcare is not a privilege for the wealthy and the powerful ... it is a right for all Americans, and we will make it available to all Americans."

"And now I have a special message for the special interests that have a home in the Bush White House ... we're coming, you're going, and don't let the door hit you on the way out."

"It is time to stop having Americans just work for the economy, and time to have an economy work for Americans."

"We will hold this president accountable for making a mockery of the words 'Leave not child behind.'"

"The one person in the United States of America who deserves to be laid off is George W. Bush, and that's what we're going to do."

"I pledge to you that we will stop the right wing attack on our rights and our civil liberties in this country ... I will appoint an Attorney General who is not John Ashcroft, because we, all of us, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, we still have a dream, and it is unfulfilled in this country ... we will finish the long, unfinished march towards civil rights in America, and that means for all Americans."

"George Bush, to put it quite simply, has run the most arrogant, inept, reckless, and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country, and we are going to turn it around by joining the community of nations, we will go back to the United Nations, and we will turn over a new chapter in America's relationship with the world.”

“Now … Karl Rove and George Bush have already announced that they intend to run this election on national security. And, you can understand why … they can’t exactly run on jobs, they can’t exactly run on healthcare for all Americans, they can’t exactly run on having left no child behind, they can’t run on the environment and advancing the cause of human kind … and I look forward to reminding them that I know something about aircraft carriers for real, ladies and gentlemen. If George Bush wants to make national security the central issue of this campaign, I have three words for him we know he understands: ‘Bring it on!’”

“Stand with me, and I will fight for you … let’s make mission accomplished a reality.”

Posted by Alan at 11:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

71% Reporting

From CNN:

Kerry 38%
Edwards 32%
Dean 18%
Gephardt (does it matter)

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 09:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kerry Bumps In NH, Too

Seems it's not just Iowa ... the latest New Hampshire poll shows a Kerry surge as well. From the NH Union Leader:

After months of struggling to get his campaign off the ground in New Hampshire, Kerry has jumped 9 percentage points in six days in an American Research Group poll that places him third, behind Dean and Wesley Clark ...

In the poll, Dean was at 28 percent, followed by Clark with 20 — just one percentage point more than Kerry. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who finished fourth at 8 percent, saw a five-point rise in the same period as Kerry.

The poll showed Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman at 6 percent, Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt at 3 percent, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich at 1 percent and the Rev. Al Sharpton at less than 1 percent. Fifteen percent were undecided.

The latest telephone poll of 425 Democrats and 185 undeclared voters was taken Jan. 15-17 and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

He's also grabbed endorsements from the Concord Monitor and The Telegraph.

Posted by Alan at 12:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2004

John Kerry's Secret Weapon: Michael Whouley

Per the New Republic and RealClearPolitics :

* * *

But there might be another, more hidden story--a secret weapon Kerry unleashed in Iowa several weeks ago. His name is Michael Whouley.

Michael who? Unless you're a hard-core political junkie, you've probably never even heard the name. But within the Democratic political world, Whouley is an almost-mythical figure. Revered as one of the party's fiercest and most talented ground-level organizers, Whouley is widely credited with saving Al Gore's foundering campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in the 2000 primaries against Bill Bradley. Now this old Kerry ally may be working his magic one more time.

Whouley often seems like a kind of Keyser Soze figure--his fearsome powers are the stuff of legend, but the man himself is rarely seen. Unlike other top campaign operatives, Whouley shuns attention. He avoids shows like "Hardball" and "Crossfire," and you can't find a picture of him on the Web. Whouley is so secretive that in 2000 he wouldn't even walk in front of a C-SPAN camera so his mother-in-law could see him on television. On the phone, Whouley sounds like a 300-pound truck driver--he has a grumbly, profane voice, heavily inflected with the accent he acquired growing up in Boston's working-class Dorchester neighborhood. (In fact, he is short, "balding," and "whip thin," according to The New York Times.) Whouley also hates to be written about. Gore's former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, confided to me yesterday that she'd just gotten off the phone with Whouley. He'd told her "to stop bragging about him" to reporters.

But Whouley's track record makes him hard to ignore. Numerous veterans of the 2000 Gore campaign, including Gore himself, give Whouley vast credit for saving Gore's hide from Bill Bradley's primary challenge that year. At the time, Whouley was a fortyish ground operative who had been field director for Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign and, briefly, patronage chief in the White House. He was first dispatched to New Hampshire after a poll showing Bradley with a lead in New Hampshire rocked the complacent Gore campaign. Whouley quickly identified the problem: Gore had been too regal and distant from the voters. He ended Gore's endless endorsement events and forced him to bang on more doors and make himself accessible through long town-hall meetings with undecided voters. They proved highly popular and crucially humanized the stiff vice president.

* * *

Michael Whouley was smack in the middle of the Bush-Gore drama that unfolded on election night in November 2000, per the Washington Post's story from that time:

* * *

After Gore made the call to Bush – brief, gracious, to the point – the candidate and his wife climbed into a limousine for the motorcade to the War Memorial, where a large but subdued crowd stood waiting in the pouring rain.

In the boiler room, the cramped space at campaign headquarters nearby where the Gore field operations were based, Michael Whouley, who had pushed Gore to make a fight in Florida and focused on it with single-minded purpose, was shouting urgently across a phone line to his lieutenants in the state. None of them had any idea why the networks were saying Bush had won Florida. The race was too close to call, they insisted.

Whouley sent an urgent page to Gore aide Michael Feldman in the motorcade. When Feldman called back, he patched in Daley, who crouched low in his seat with his head in his hands, straining to hear. "What's up, Mike?" he asked.

"This thing's going to automatic recount."

"Oh, [expletive]," Daley said.

He listened as Whouley spelled out the details – the ever-shifting numbers, the tight margin. The motorcade was now pulling into a basement garage near the rally site. Daley said he would call back.

"Don't let him go out. Grab him!" Daley barked when he reached the garage a few moments behind Gore. The candidate stayed put.

* * *

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 12:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 14, 2004

Kerry Could Win Iowa; Latest Numbers (1/14/04)

To give you an idea of just how up in the air this whole thing is, just take a gander at today's Iowa poll numbers. (The parentheses represent the change from yesterday's numbers)

Howard Dean 24 % (-4)
Dick Gephardt 21 % (-2)
John Kerry 21 % (+3)
John Edwards 15 % (+1)
Wesley Clark 3 % (+1)
Dennis Kucinich 2 % (-1)
Joe Lieberman 1 % (no change)
Carol Moseley Braun 1 % (no change)
Al Sharpton - % (no change)
Other/Undecided 13 % (+1)

Note that Kerry has pulled even with Gephardt so that both Gephardt and Kerry are statistically tied with the "front-runner" Dean. Kerry certainly has momentum; he's gained six percentage points in just fouur days. Organization will be key and keep in mind that Dean's supporters might be passionate, but that doesn't necessarily translate into success. All this with 13% undecided (I would bet that less than half the undecided actually turn out)

Source: Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby Poll. Three-day rolling sample. N=approx. 500 likely Democratic caucus voters statewide. MoE ± 4.5 (Courtesy of

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 02:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 06, 2003

Kerry goes Presidential: uses f*** word.

December 6, 2003 -- Struggling 2004 Democratic wannabe John Kerry fires an X-rated attack at President Bush over Iraq and uses the f-word - highly unusual language for a presidential contender - in a stunning new interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Sen. Kerry (Mass.) used the undeleted expletive to express his frustration and anger over how the Iraq issue has hurt him because he voted for the war resolution while Democratic front-runner Howard Dean has soared by opposing it.

"I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything'? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to f - - - it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did," Kerry told the youth-oriented magazine.

Brookings Institution presidential scholar Stephen Hess said he can't recall another candidate attacking a president with X-rated language in a public interview.

"It's so unnecessary," Hess said. "In a way it's a kind of pandering [by Kerry] to a group he sees as hip . . . I think John Kerry is going to regret saying this."

* * *

Ok. Kerry's toast. Dean's next. Game over.

Posted by nikita demosthenes at 09:04 PM | Comments (30) | TrackBack

October 09, 2003

Bad Organization Equals Bad Campaign least according to Paul Farhi. Farhi argues in this WaPo article that there are structural problems within the Kerry camp that have lead to the presidential hopeful's underperformance. Funny usually they wait til after a campaign is over to start tearing it it over for Kerry?

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 08:51 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 22, 2003

Election 2004 ... and Baseball?

The Kerry/Dean battle has spilled onto holy ground. Kerry recently accused Dean of being a Yankee's fan. New Hampshire (the first and very important primary state) is Rex Sox country and Dean wisely declared his defection from pinstripes to red socks. But the Kerry camp jumped on this remarking that "Of all the flip flops, this is the most inexplicable and indefensible ... It’s like switching from the Redskins to the Cowboys or from Carolina to Duke." I keep waiting to hear "INFINITY!".

(Source: Foster's Online)

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 05:59 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 10, 2003

Dems' Favorite Songs

Fox News has a list of the Democratic candidates' favorite songs. The list is quite telling I think:

Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun-- "You Gotta Be," Des'ree.

Al Sharpton-- "Talking Loud, Saying Nothing," James Brown. He called it "James Brown's song about the Republican Party."

Sen. John Edwards-- "Small Town," John Mellencamp.

Sen. John Kerry -- "No Surrender," Bruce Springsteen.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean -- "Jaspora," Wyclef Jean.

Sen. Joe Lieberman --"Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow," Fleetwood Mac; "My Way," Frank Sinatra.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich -- "Imagine," John Lennon.

Rep. Dick Gephardt -- "Born in the USA," Bruce Springsteen.

Sen. Bob Graham -- "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," Jimmy Buffett.

I always knew Bobby Graham was a parrothead.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 07:43 AM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

August 12, 2003

Candidates Argue Taxes

The 2004 Democratic hopefuls spent Monday night discussing how much of Bush's tax cuts should be repealed. Kerry, Kucinich, Mosley-Braun and Lieberman all agreed to repeal only those cuts effecting the rich, while Howard Dean lined up with Dick Gephardt and Al Sharpton to advocate reversing the Bush cuts across the board.

"I think it's very important that Democrats not promise more than we can deliver," Dean said. "We can deliver health care for every American, or we can have the tax cuts."
Are Dean's supporters still trying to convince the public and the pundits that he's a moderate?

Source: NH Primary Monitor

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 02:09 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 10, 2003

As Campaign Tightens, Kerry Sharpens Message

And to at least some extent, it's about dealing with Howard Dean. From Yahoo / NY Times:

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had just finished a walking tour through Littleton, a small town near here in the White Mountains, when he paused to take questions from local reporters outside a candy store. There was one subject this day: Howard Dean.

Again and again, Mr. Kerry was asked his views of Dr. Dean. Again and again, Mr. Kerry, who had passed a half-dozen Dean placards on his walk, demurred. When a television reporter taunted Mr. Kerry to at least utter Dr. Dean's name, Mr. Kerry, who is rarely at a loss for words, grinned and pinched his mouth shut.

This is Mr. Kerry's world these days. Three months after many Democrats and Mr. Kerry himself thought he was rolling to the Democratic presidential nomination, he is frequently stuck in the shadow of an opponent who has moved from small-bore annoyance to potential threat. By all appearances, the changed atmosphere in the early battlegrounds of Iowa and New Hampshire has forced Mr. Kerry to recalibrate his approach to the crowded race for the nomination.

Posted by Alan at 10:41 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 30, 2003

Kerry's Problem

With Dean's popularity rising the other candidates are feeling more pressure to be Dean-like. Chris Suellentrop writes at

At the two Kerry events I attended this past weekend, voters kept encouraging the Massachusetts senator, in effect, to be more like Howard Dean. After Friday's Kerry speech, a voter walked up to him and told him the Democrats must quit being passive. "Oh, I'm not passive," Kerry soothed. Today, he does something similar when an angry voter complains about the Leave No Child Behind bill. "Oh, I am so furious about it," Kerry says matter-of-factly. These are questions Dean wouldn't even be asked.
While there are surely virtues in trying to take on the strengths of your opponent, there are also risks. No one wants to be an Al Gore.

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 08:03 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

July 28, 2003

Kerry Playing It Safe on WMD

Trying to avoid the high risk of criticizing the President on Iraq and WMD, presidential hopeful John Kerry is straddling the fence quite well, first by claiming that the existence of WMD was his primary motivation for supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, second by withholding judgment as to whether or not he was deceived. The Des Moines Register quotes Kerry:

"Colin Powell told our committee the only reason we should go to war was weapons of mass destruction," said Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Evidently they changed those parameters afterward, and we were certainly misled with respect to that component of the walk-up to the war."


"I don't know what I'll say until I know what the circumstances are, whether it was intentional, not intentional," Kerry said last week campaigning in eastern Iowa. "They may find weapons of mass destruction in a few weeks, they may find it tomorrow, today. I don't know."

(this link from MSNBC's First Read, an excellent Election 2004 resource)

Posted by Mike Van Winkle at 11:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 05, 2003

Kerry's Camp In A Battle For Buzz

The Baltimore Sun has a piece covering how Kerry is fighting off the "dark horses" (read the web-enabled Dean). A snippet:

The latest obstacle in Kerry's path was a flood of online donations to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, which suddenly made Dean look less like a long shot and more like a serious threat. Last spring, it was another dark-horse rival, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who popped a surprise and beat Kerry in the initial fund-raising competition.

Kerry's public response to Dean's surge has been to shrug it off and soldier on. Privately, his campaign advisers acknowledge that they cannot predict how big a wave Dean might end up riding into New Hampshire, which is regarded as a must-win primary for Kerry.

Posted by Alan at 05:29 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 04, 2003

Presidential Hopefuls Parade in N.H.


AMHERST, N.H. - While people across the country celebrated Fourth of July with barbecues, baseball games and parades, residents of the first-in-the-nation primary state sized up possible presidents.

Four presidential hopefuls made their pitch to voters while marching with kids on bikes, Revolutionary War re-enactors, scouts, unicyclists and bands. New Hampshire's primary is scheduled for Jan. 27, 2004.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had the most supporters — and noisemakers — while marching in Amherst and then Merrimack, both within 15 miles of the Massachusetts state line. Kerry has ranked first in New Hampshire's latest polls and Dean has come in second.

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and Florida Sen. Bob Graham had fewer supporters present, but both shook as many hands and kissed as many babies as the regional candidates.


Posted by Venomous Kate at 06:45 PM | Comments (8)

Kerry Campaign Continues

From the Hampton Union (NH):

The John Kerry campaign returned to Hampton this week, three months and a week after last visiting town, on its hopeful road to the White House.

This time around the candidate spoke at Fisher Scientific on Liberty Lane, addressing jobs, health care, and the economy.

Posted by Alan at 03:55 PM | Comments (9)


PBS has posted the transcript of Wednesday's interview with Kerry about healthcare.

My plan is the first plan ever offered that actually reduces health-care costs for all Americans. You have 163 million Americans who get their health care today through the workplace. And their premiums are going up, they're skyrocketing, double digits every year for both the business and the employee. So what I do is, I create this relief of the burden where the federal government will pay 75 percent of the cost of the most expensive cases. That automatically reduces premiums for every American. I think, Margaret, if the choice to Americans is we can make sense out of our health-care system, we can bring all of the uninsured in over time, and we can lower the cost for every American, or have a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. That's the choice. I think Americans will choose the health care.

Posted by Alan at 03:54 PM | Comments (10)

The Buzzwords Of John Kerry

From Slate:

When I came back from Vietnam
Example: "I have been a leader in the environment since I first came back from Vietnam and became a part of Earth Day 1970" (EMILY's List forum, May 20, 2003).
What it means: On the environment, I'm a war hero. On campaign reform, I'm a war hero. On affirmative action, I'm a war hero.
What it hides: What does Vietnam have to do with any of these issues?
Subtext: Did I mention I'm a war hero?

Posted by Alan at 03:52 PM | Comments (11)