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LuPeRcALiO
January 20th, 2004, 09:38 AM
who woulda thunk it?? :shock:
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NYatKNIGHT
January 20th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Looks like a wide open race in New Hampshire.

ZippyTheChimp
January 20th, 2004, 12:02 PM
Dean needed to be taken down a few notches. I think the message was that he would get easily beat by Bush with just one issue.

Time to take a closer look at Edwards. He has to convince people that he's 53, not 33. He can hit Bush at his strength, the southeast.

NYatKNIGHT
January 20th, 2004, 12:31 PM
That's right, he may have the best chance to steal a few electoral votes down there.

LuPeRcALiO
January 20th, 2004, 02:13 PM
I'd really like to see Kerry pull it out. I think he lost a little momentum with his prostate problem and then getting hit with Dean's money train but it looks like he's building up another head of steam with this Vietnam ad.
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ZippyTheChimp
January 20th, 2004, 02:34 PM
Dean got nothing from attacking Kerry on the Senate war vote. The post terrorist attack political landscape was a bit different for a senator than a governor. Kerry can also negate Bush's "landing on the flight deck" persona.

Meanwhile, tonight at 9PM EST on all major networks:

Remedial Reading Class

:P

Schadenfrau
January 20th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Oh, there was celebration in my household last night. I've been rooting for Kerry since Day One.

Howard Dean shot himself in the foot with that bizarre rant he called a speech after the caucus.

TomAuch
January 20th, 2004, 05:57 PM
Congrats to Kerry on winning Iowa. Dean's "speech" was really bizzare...sounded like some freaky wild animal with that yell at the end. Personally, I'm a Clark supporter and I'd rather have him than Kerry, but I'd be glad to see Kerry get the nomination as well, same goes for Edwards.

Schadenfrau
January 20th, 2004, 06:01 PM
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

ZippyTheChimp
January 20th, 2004, 07:23 PM
The more I see the Dean speech, the less I can picture him sitting in the Oval Office, say - during the Cuban missle crisis. :shock:

DominicanoNYC
January 20th, 2004, 08:54 PM
I'm hoping that Edwards will win. If Kerry wins he should team up with Edwards and then it will be a one-two punch.

Kris
January 20th, 2004, 11:30 PM
Anything to beat Bush.

LuPeRcALiO
January 21st, 2004, 08:01 PM
Kerry and Edwards on the same ticket would give Bush a run for his money, no question ... Kerry could use a little help in the levity department so I suggest that he hire a fiddler and make "The Kerry Dance" his theme song to give whistle stop audiences something to really listen to :D
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DominicanoNYC
January 21st, 2004, 08:19 PM
Well I'd imagine that Edwards would be very popular in the South and Kerry in New England. We'd have to see how that rest of America feel during the primaries. Still I'm just to worried that Bush will win. Some people are actually into his "God Bless America". He brain washes everyone with that. By the way did anyone see the State of the Union yesterday? What else did he say about Saddam besides him having WMD?

LuPeRcALiO
January 22nd, 2004, 07:09 AM
he managed to turn capturing Saddam into a victory in the war on terror, but the rubber really hit the road when he announced that his administration plans to win the war on steroids.
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ZippyTheChimp
January 22nd, 2004, 08:20 AM
I've updated the topic title originally started as

Comeback Kerry Drubs Dean in Iowa

LuPeRcALiO
January 22nd, 2004, 09:07 AM
hey thanks Zippy :D

p.s. that was "Comeback Kerry" and he's roaring ahead of Deano 31% - 21% according to the latest NH polls:

http://news.bostonherald.com/images/national/kerry01212004.jpg
Sen. John F. Kerry has catapulted into a 10-point New Hampshire lead six days before the nation's first primary. (AP)

Presidential Polls in New Hampshire
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | The New York Times
Published: January 22, 2004, 7:02 a.m. ET

1. Boston Globe-WBZ-TV, Jan. 20-21, 400 LV, MoE plus or minus 5%:

--John Kerry, 31 percent

--Howard Dean, 21 percent

--Wesley Clark, 16 percent

--John Edwards, 11 percent

--Joe Lieberman, 4 percent

--Dennis Kucinich, 1 percent

--Al Sharpton, less than 1 percent

--Undecided, 16 percent

2. Boston Herald-RKM, Jan. 20-21, 501 LV, MoE plus or minus 4.5 percentage points (NOT a tracking poll):

--Kerry, 31 percent

--Dean, 21 percent

--Clark, 16 percent

--Edwards, 11 percent

--Joe Lieberman, 4 percent

--Dennis Kucinich, 2 percent

--Al Sharpton, less than 1 percent

--Undecided, 14 percent

3. Suffolk University-WDHD-TV, Jan. 20-21, 400 LV, MoE plus or minus 5%:

--Kerry, 27 percent

--Dean, 19 percent

--Clark, 15 percent

--Edwards, 7 percent

--Lieberman, 6 percent

--Kucinich, 1 percent

--Sharpton, less than 1 percent

--Undecided, 25 percent

Presidential polls Thursday from New Hampshire measuring the preferences of likely voters for Democratic presidential candidates. The Boston Globe-WBZ-TV poll and Suffolk surveys are tracking polls, while RKM is not. Tracking polls are taken every night with the findings of the last two or three nights rolled together to offer nightly results.

Name of the poll, dates, number of likely voters (LV) and margin of error (MoE) in percentage points are listed. If totals don't reach 100 percent, the remainder were not sure or refused to answer.
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ZippyTheChimp
January 22nd, 2004, 09:15 AM
Glad I saw your post. I was just about to paste in the Zogby poll results.

LuPeRcALiO
January 22nd, 2004, 09:41 AM
heh :D

p.s. looks like Kerry picked up the charm-challenged vote from Gephardt. I just hope he's savoring the moment because if there's one thing he's proven it's that fortune is a bitch.
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Schadenfrau
January 22nd, 2004, 11:06 AM
"but the rubber really hit the road when he announced that his administration plans to win the war on steroids."

It'll be a tough battle, but we can do it if we stand together.

There's a John Kerry meetup tonight at his NYC headquarters, if anyone is interested.

Mightyoutpouring
January 22nd, 2004, 11:35 PM
Political Ball

We vote and send to congress
Our nation’s biggest hall
They learn to do the two step
And forget to whom this call

So many fancy dinners
As we give to them a chance
They smile as they turn away
For us there is no dance

They promise us a better life
But take so many things
Rich stay rich and poor stay poor
And the middle feels the sting

Each bill we pay more taxes
They sing the same ole song
Federal cuts our taxes
States keeps taxing on

Our voice we sent now silent
The music drowns the call
They’ve learned to do the two-step
At our nations Political Ball

Roy Wayne Crouch
[pen] Mightyoutpouring

LuPeRcALiO
January 23rd, 2004, 11:21 PM
Kerry factoid: according to Douglas Brinkley who published this biography on January 6 (William Morrow) Kerry's Jewish grandfather chose the name Kerry because it sounded American.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ostaley/kerrybook.JPG

The book is about Kerry's Vietnam experiences which involved enlisting in the Navy as a Lieutenant in 1966 shortly after graduating from Yale and earning a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts.

"Later sections on his high-profile role in the antiwar movement are equally engrossing, including the Nixon White House's efforts (involving a young Armistead Maupin) to discredit veteran-turned-antiwar-activist Kerry as a 'phony.'" (from Publishers Weekly via Amazon)
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ZippyTheChimp
January 25th, 2004, 12:29 AM
January 25, 2004

OP-ED COLUMNIST

Squished Cupcakes and Polls

By MAUREEN DOWD

NASHUA, N.H.

Howard Dean's bark was missing its bite. And his socks were missing their warp. Not to mention their woof.

He was flashing his ankles, his old black socks threadbare above the heels, showing beneath the same old gray suit he wears day after day.

Speaking hoarsely to an appreciative overflow crowd at Martha's Exchange restaurant here on Friday, the doctor was doing his usual dancing on the head of the president, charging Mr. Bush with fighting the wrong war, appealing to the worst in Americans, dividing the country by fear, etc.

But he looked a bit sheepish and hangdog at his drop from larger-than-life to smaller-than-life. He seemed lost without his manic Jack Nicholson eyebrow-arching anger and devilish smile, an Oreo cookie without the filling, not sure how to proceed in a race where suddenly everyone was acting so nice, so measured, so blah.

Asked by reporters about his morph to subdued policy wonk from fire-breathing, red-meat guy, the man known on his campaign bus as "Dr. Dean and Mr. Howard" protested: "I can't talk very loud but I think the passion is still evident."

I felt a little sorry to see the declawed, de-clenched, de-Deaned Dean. Where's the delight in watching the Defiant One, who never needed anybody's advice, suddenly afraid of his own shadow, practically holding down his hands so he wouldn't seem too emotional? What's delicious about seeing the decapitated front-runner grovel, cuddle and muddle through TV appearances, striving to be self-aware and self-deprecating, but often ending up looking self-conscious?

He did his best, in the wake of his Iowa caucus cacophony, to be humble, even though he clearly did not think the problem was in himself or in his stars, but in the schadenfreude of his rivals and sensationalism of the press. Trying to be game, but looking a bit awkward, the former newsmagazine cover boy ate crow on David Letterman, finishing up a Top 10 list of "Ways I, Howard Dean, Can Turn Things Around" with "Oh, I don't know — maybe fewer crazy, red-faced rants."

The flagellation peaked with Diane Sawyer prodding the Deans and making them watch the yelping tape and the Bill-and-Hillary "stand by your man" tape until you thought he would leap at her buttery throat. Dr. Dean, who has not practiced medicine in 12 years, entwined his fingers with those of Mrs. Dean, as Dr. Steinberg said she preferred to be called when she's not at her medical office.

It's impossible to know how her style of being a style agnostic would wear during a campaign, and some reporters thought that thrust into her first national television interview, Judy Dean seemed as fragile as Laura in "The Glass Menagerie."

At moments on ABC, the couple seemed so far from mainstream American life and so disconnected from each other's careers, they were like characters who had walked into the wrong play.

Howard Dean suddenly talking about "leading with my heart" and being "a dad and a human being" was a bit much. But I found Judy Dean, gussied up with unfamiliar lipstick and blush, charming. She seemed as antithetical as possible to the notion of a first lady — and that ain't all bad.

I'm not sure I believed her assertion that her high-spirited husband doesn't ever blow his top at home. And it still seems strange that she is so oblivious to the major moments of his campaign: She told Diane Sawyer that she had not seen The Scream the night it happened, which means she wasn't watching his big speech on election night in Iowa. But in a culture of Botox and conspicuous consumption, where everyone is panting to get on TV, it was refreshing to hear Mrs. Dean talk about not caring what she wears and confessing, to Diane Sawyer no less, that she hardly ever watches TV and doesn't want her kids to be too drawn to it.

She said she doesn't care about presents, but would rather take a family bike ride "with squished cupcakes in a knapsack. . . . I'm not a very `thing' person."

When he was chairman of the National Governors Association, Dr. Dean got what he called a "surrogate spouse" for the social events his wife shunned, escorting Evan Bayh's wife, Susan. Maybe he could do the same if he wins the White House. Let Dr. Judy open an East Wing medical clinic, and give Martha Stewart a pardon if she'd do all the ceremonial folderol. Keep Martha away from those squished cupcakes, though. She might lose her famous temper and utter the second scream heard round the world.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
January 25th, 2004, 06:01 AM
the funny thing about Dean's "I have a scream" is that the real story is not the speech but the fact that he finished a distant third (18%) in a race he was projected to win and that Kerry more than doubled that (38%). So at least he gets to make the rounds apologizing for his wild and crazy personality and not for his dismal showing, which would be more humiliating.

BrooklynRider
January 25th, 2004, 10:57 PM
I have to say I was a very strong supporter of Howard Dean (most importantly with campaign contributions). Frankly, I think the "meltdown" in Iowa as it is being portrayed in the media is a total fabrication and an example of media creating news. I've always liked Dean because he seemed to be speaking about issues and stances from the heart. That fact that he doesn't filter and parse each statement before talking is incredibly refreshing to me. I was definitely disappointed in his placing in Iowa, but he was a victim of a "McCain-ing". He suffered the same level of nasty attacks from the democratic mchine that McCain suffered at hands of Republican in 2000.

I actually sat through the entire NH Democratic Party Fundraiser, televised on C-Span last night. I watched speeches by each of the candidates.

I view Kerry as a Democratic Party hack, although not to the same degree that Gephardt was. Everything he says seems gleaned from stump speeches and contrived by his P.R. people, who have their fingers in the air trying to determine which way the wind is blowing.

Clark has a certain "presence" that a lot of people seem attracted to, but beyond his "general" background, he is unconvincing as a Democrat and, I think, he would be best served by not using phrases like "we democrats" and "what 'we' stand for", because he just has no credible history as a "Democrat". (For the record, I am an Independent who has no party loyalty - but I support fiscal responsibility and social progress).

Lieberman is just uninspiring - boring, boring, boring.

Kucinich and Sharpton are not a factor, but I think they are injecting important progressive messages into the campaign.

I was surprised by the strength of Edwards' speech last night. He had the crowd standing and cheering and, I have to admit, was very motivating. I think he speaks with a genuine honesty comparable to Dean and he has hammered away on some themes I appreciate and which I am looking for in a candidate. One specifically, is that he is shining a light on the shift of taxation from wealth to work. It was the first time I heard him speak outside of sound bites and I would have no problem voting for him or financially supporting him.

I despise Bush and his neo-conservative, fascist party. But, I have to say, although I think I'm likely to support anyone opposing Bush, I could solidly support, volunteer for and contribute to only Dean or Edwards without compromising my own core values.

ZippyTheChimp
January 27th, 2004, 07:41 AM
Newsday:

It Comes Down to Electability

This story was reported by Ken Fireman, Craig Gordon, Anne Q. Hoy and Michael Rothfeld and was written by Fireman.

January 26, 2004, 9:17 PM EST

Portsmouth, N.H. -- On a frantic final day of campaigning before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, the Democratic presidential contenders Monday sought to showcase their electability in an effort to sway the state's famously skeptical and late-deciding voters.

Most polls showed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) holding a substantial lead over former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean with the other five candidates trailing. Dante Scala, a political scientist at St. Anselm College, said he believed Dean's slide after his defeat in Iowa last week had bottomed out but said that, in order to win, Dean needed not only to win back his liberal supporters but for another contender to cut into Kerry's backing among moderate voters.

"The problem for Dean is, he could do all he could and still lose without help from somebody else," Scala said. "Kerry doesn't need anybody's help to win."

With as many as 40 percent telling pollsters they were still open to persuasion and most searching for the strongest candidate to take on President George W. Bush in November, the most promising line of argument was obvious. Kerry seemed to speak simultaneously to New Hampshire voters and those in upcoming primary states, saying he was ready to take his record "anywhere in the country" to face down expected Republican attacks that he is out of step with mainstream America.

"If the worst thing they can say about me is that I'm, quote, a liberal or something -- let's go, bring it on," Kerry told a crowd of about 150 at a Portsmouth restaurant. "If the worst they can do is call me names, they've got a problem in this election, and we're going to win, because the American people want real answers."

Kerry won over one undecided voter, Mark Klein, who arose during a question-and-answer session to express his fears that Kerry would be vulnerable to Republican criticisms. After Kerry forcefully pledged to counter such attacks, Klein, 69, a small business owner from New Castle, told him, "You got me."

Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) also addressed the electability issue, telling an overflow crowd of about 500 in a Portsmouth church that his optimistic campaign style, outsider persona and southern roots would serve him well. "I can beat George Bush in the North, in the West, in the Midwest -- and talkin' like this, in the South," he said. "You give me a shot at George Bush and I'll give you the White House."

One undecided voter, Ken Edwards, no relation, said he liked the senator's ability to "connect with people" but also was attracted to Kerry's greater political experience. "I'm torn between them," said Edwards, 58, a retired school principal from Rye.

After listening to the senator speak, Edwards was on his feet applauding. He praised the candidate's "strong togetherness message" but said he wasn't prepared to commit yet. "I'll sleep on it," he said.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who has been sliding in most New Hampshire polls, showed some signs of looking past Tuesday's primary to the southern and southwestern states that vote next week. Clark grew up in Arkansas.

"If he finishes behind those New England guys, it's no shame on him," said Rep. Bill Jefferson (D-La.), a Clark backer. "But he's got to go South and we've got to win the South, and that is what this is all about."

Clark embarked at daybreak on a 17-hour bus tour across the state, ending in tiny Dixville Notch, whose 10 voters traditionally gather at midnight to cast their ballots. But his crowds were sparse, and he betrayed some frustration as he sniped at the affluent backgrounds of Kerry and Dean.

"Unlike all the rest of the people in this race, I did grow up poor," Clark said. "I didn't go to Yale. My parents couldn't have afforded to send me there ... And I'm running in this race because I want to help ordinary Americans like me."

Reminded later by reporters that Edwards was the son of a mill worker, Clark said, "I know that and I overstated that and I apologize if I overstated that. I was thinking of the major candidates who are up there, the top two candidates," referring to Kerry and Dean, who both attended Yale.

Another former Yalie, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), shrugged off polls predicting a weak finish and said he was beginning to win over independent voters, who will comprise as much as 40 percent of the electorate according to some surveys.

Dean campaigned with his wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, for the second straight day. He again criticized Kerry's 2002 Senate vote to authorize war in Iraq and dismissed Kerry's Senate experience as irrelevant.

The Iraq vote has proved troublesome for Kerry in the past, and he encountered criticism over it at a rally in Keene from a Vietnam War veteran who said he was "horrified" that Kerry, who also fought in Vietnam, could ever vote for war.

"I voted not specifically to go to war," Kerry replied. "I voted for a process promised by the president of the United States" to build a coalition and seek international support. "He broke every one of those promises."

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

LuPeRcALiO
January 27th, 2004, 08:19 PM
as of 8:00 pm New Hampshire time it's looking like the comeback kid came on strong -- Kerry is leading with around 36%, Dean around 30%, with Clark and Edwards fighting for fourth (12% each). On to South Carolina and a whole new ballgame.
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ZippyTheChimp
January 28th, 2004, 10:11 AM
Reports last night from Missouri stated that there has yet to be any campaign activity in the state. With 74 delegates, it's the plum next Tuesday. I wonder if Dean will bypass South Carolina.

Schadenfrau
January 28th, 2004, 11:28 AM
I think campaigning in South Carolina would put a quick nail in Dean's coffin. Sharpton and Clark are beating him in the polls there, and it would be completely humiliating to have that on the voting record.

NYatKNIGHT
January 28th, 2004, 12:55 PM
269 delegates at stake next Tuesday, February 2

Pledged Delegates per State, and the last year the states electoral votes went to the Democratic candidate in the general election:
Arizona - 55 (1996)
Delaware - 15 (2000)
Missouri - 74 (1996)
New Mexico - 26 (2000)
North Dakota - 14 (1964)
Oklahoma - 40 (1964)
South Carolina - 45 (1976)

Interactive: The Race for the Nomination (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/politics/20040127_px_RESULTS/)

Kris
January 29th, 2004, 03:48 AM
January 29, 2004

In Open Race, State's Primary Gains Import for Democrats

By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

Scott Stringer is suddenly a winner. As a state assemblyman from Manhattan, Mr. Stringer is not normally one of the state's higher-profile politicians. But he happens to be the first elected official in the state to endorse Senator John Kerry. Which makes him look very smart. Today.

Not long ago, Mr. Stringer endured the snickers and condolences of his friends and colleagues for having put his early money on what surely seemed like the wrong horse. But now Mr. Stringer is riding a wave that has not only turned the national campaign for the Democratic nomination for president on its head, but has also transformed presidential politics in New York.

Suddenly, many of those dozens of politicians who wagered on Howard Dean are sounding a bit defensive. Those who threw their support to Mr. Kerry of Massachusetts and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina are sounding a bit more assured. And suddenly many people contend that the New York primary, on March 2, might well matter in the race to select a Democratic candidate to run against President Bush in November.

"Look, the signs get more and more clear that the New York primary could make a real difference,'' said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who has not endorsed any of the candidates. "It looks like there is not going to be a quick victory - next Tuesday could prove me wrong - but it looks like this is going to go on for a while. That means that New York should play a prominent role.''

The change in the campaign profile, with each of the top-tier candidates insisting he is still viable, means that New York voters can count on seeing more campaigning here than had been expected. Aides to some of the candidates are saying that Super Tuesday, the day of the New York primary, will be the dividing line between life and death in the quest for the Democratic nomination.

"I think New York will become a very big battleground,'' said Ethan Geto, New York State director for Dr. Dean's campaign. "No one is going to run the table. It's going to be a contest for delegates.''

New York's primary is on the same day Democratic voters caucus in Minnesota and go to the polls in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont. In all of the races before that day, candidates will have divvied up 895 delegates. Then, on that one day, 1,151 delegates are at stake, with California having the most, 370, and New York the second-most, 236. A candidate needs 2,162 delegates to win the nomination.

But even with its huge number of delegates, Super Tuesday - with New York in tow - appears to be losing some power this election season.

During the last primary season, in 2000, there were no Democratic contests between New Hampshire and Super Tuesday. But this year, hoping that a consensus candidate would emerge sooner, Democratic leaders moved 19 state contests into the gap. The new calendar, combined with what initially looked like an unstoppable Dean express, had many people thinking that, at best, New York would be a rubber stamp for a pre-ordained front-runner.

But now struggling Democratic candidates may look to New York and California for salvation, and Mr. Kerry may hope for confirmation.

While Dr. Dean hopes to get a boost from the 70,000 volunteers Mr. Geto says the campaign has recruited in New York, Mr. Kerry and his relatively small band of New York followers are planning a more aggressive effort than they had earlier.

Mr. Edwards's supporters say he is planning a number of personal appearances, while Gen. Wesley K. Clark and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman may to try to hang on, hoping that the support they have in New York will help rejuvenate their prospects.

"I think it's evident now that March 2 is the most likely date for everything to be sorted out,'' said Councilman Bill DeBlasio of Brooklyn, one of the first to back Mr. Edwards' candidacy and one of the few elected officials from New York City to do so. "I think it will become very competitive,'' he said. "We are going have a huge Edwards effort in New York."

Whether New Yorkers can expect a barrage of television and radio commercials and direct mail depends on how much money the candidates have coming into that round of the race. The Dean camp plans to have its volunteer troops go door-to-door to promote him and get out the vote, a technique that will also be important to the other campaigns.Local officials who threw their support behind a candidate will also be out front pressing their case.

In addition to making New York a potentially important primary state, the changing dynamic has highlighted some of the more parochial realities of presidential politicking.

Many officials have lined up behind presidential contenders, and while each said the choice was based on a sincere feeling that a particular candidate was the best, the choice often was as much about the official's own political needs, strategists and elected officials said.

Thomas Manton, for example, chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, threw his support behind Dr. Dean and brought along many city, state and federal officials, despite some grumbling among some rank-and-file party members in his area. But even if Dr. Dean does not win the nomination, Mr. Manton and his colleagues still have won the gratitude of some powerful labor unions, a key calculation in their decision, political observers said.

"Certainly the labor piece came into play," said Michael Reich, spokesman for the Queens party. But, he added: "Tom was impressed with Dr. Dean, bringing new blood in, using the Internet. We looked at it as he was showing the passion needed to win. That is what we were looking for."

For officials like Mr. Stringer, it could also mean the difference between attending the Democratic National Convention in Boston this summer as a delegate or having to jockey for a free pass..

When voters go to the polls in New York, they will not only be asked to choose their candidate, but will also to help select some of the individual delegates who will go to the convention. Ultimately, however, what matters most in terms of picking a candidate is the vote total at the top of the ticket. Although only Dr. Dean and Mr. Edwards collected enough signatures to get delegate candidates on the ballot in every Congressional district, the state party will eventually assign delegates to candidates based on their vote totals.

New York serves another purpose as well: with its diverse population, multiple media outlets, deep pockets for contributions and passion for politics, New York provides the ultimate political proving ground for Democrats.

"New Yorkers detect a phony better than anyone," said Josh Wachs, chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
January 29th, 2004, 07:15 PM
here's an interesting analysis of Kerry's revised campaign strategy written the day before the NH primary (Safire is a conservative New York Times op-ed columnist):

The Kennedy Comeback
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
Published: January 26, 2004

WASHINGTON -- Unpenitent pollsters are now confident that John Kerry and John Edwards (sure we voted for the war, but who knew?) will repeat their one-two performance in New Hampshire. And that Howard Dean (I knew, that's who knew, and they didn't) will run ahead of Clinton stand-in Wesley Clark, thereby staying in contention. And that Joe Lieberman may do well with independents, though they are mostly November Republicans.

These assumptions, to be tested soon enough, have Democratic soothsayers predicting a Kerry-Edwards ticket at the Boston convention. What delicious diversity: North and South, with Kerry's fatal Massachusettsism ameliorated by Edwards's Carolina charm; the experience of craggy Kerry enlivened by the passionate optimism of the boyish Edwards.

But the political philosophy these two men have embraced is lopsidedly leftist: In this campaign, they have clawed their way up the greasy pole of politics with a pitch that is pure populism. Both men have risen high in Democratic polls with a brand of class resentment and soak-the-rich rhetoric rooted in the old-fashioned liberalism of Ted Kennedy.

I used to think that the battle within the Democratic Party would pit the centrist Clinton Restoration, using Clark as its sacrificial lamb this time around, against the maverick antiwar, antiestablishment legion that Dean had excited. Though Dean also railed against the rich, his signature attraction was his antiwar anger.

As Dean machine-gunned himself in the foot ? in gaffes that dismayed Iowans weeks before his primal pep talk ? his support did not switch to Clark, the inept amateur handled and financed by the Clintonites. Instead, many disillusioned Deaniacs went to a third faction that has long been lying in the Democratic weeds: the proponents of class warfare propounded for a generation by Ted Kennedy.

Not by John F. Kennedy, the president who cut taxes and would "bear any burden" in the defense of liberty. But by the Old Left led by his brother Teddy, scourge of conservative judges and free-market medicine, whose aging acolytes have tried to keep the not-so-hot liberal flame burning under the rich and powerful.

The resuscitation of this long-dormant faction among Democrats surprised me. But with his campaign in the doldrums as Dean's restorative rage invigorated both the new Netties and the Old Left, John Kerry turned to his Senate senior and Massachusetts mentor for succor.

Teddy dispatched his chief of staff, Mary Beth Cahill, to take control of the demoralized campaign from Jim Jordan, Kerry's insufficiently ideological longtime manager. Kennedy's Charles River Gang gave the previously independent-minded Kerry (his initials happily J.F.K.) a stridently populist economic line: that average, hard-working, patriotic Americans are being ripped off by a plundering bunch of robber barons represented by George W. Bush, who has sold out to the predatory "special interests."

This sounds a little outdated at a time when the very rich pay most federal income taxes and the poor pay none. But envy still sells to a leftist constituency, especially to Democrats worried at the way Republicans were slavering for a Dean nomination. Kerry caught the spirit as his health recovered. He combined Old Left oratory with memories of his Vietnam valor and subsequent antiwar activism. While Dean started to self-destruct and Clark turned out to be a slow study, there stood Kerry, a tall, serious man with the leonine Ted Kennedy posing proudly at his side.

To buttress my theory of the rebirth of the Old Left, consider the way Kerry's surprise runner-up in Iowa, John Edwards, has broken out of single digits in New Hampshire polls. Though the Southerner's success is attributed to his counter-programmed sunniness, at its heart is the identical Ted Kennedy class message:

"Those Washington lobbyists are takin' your democracy away from you," says the Suthrin-talkin' former trial lawyer (avidly supported by the trial lawyers' lobby, which has driven up the price of health insurance). Edwards, though a freshman senator, has decades of experience in appealing to a jury's resentments against corporations, and has honed his "two Americas" theme into the smoothest call for enforced leveling since Huey Long's "every man a king."

Class warfare may work in primaries but tends to backfire in the general election. Would it work for Kerry-Edwards? Ask Al Gore.
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Kris
January 30th, 2004, 07:29 AM
January 30, 2004

POLITICAL MEMO

Whoever Is Chosen, Democrats Spoil for a Fight

By ROBIN TONER

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — The struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination is not just about personalities and programs, but also about the direction — maybe even the soul — of the party. While still very much a work in progress, the Democratic Party emerging from Iowa and New Hampshire is different from the careful centrism of the Clinton era.

Howard Dean may not have won a primary or caucus yet, a circumstance that led to a major shake-up of his campaign on Wednesday, but his mark on the party is unmistakable. His defeats are less a victory for the Democratic establishment than a sign of the other leading candidates' ability to adjust, and harness the energy originally tapped by Dr. Dean's insurgent campaign: the anger at President Bush, the opposition to the war with Iraq, the demand for a different direction in domestic policy.

This is a Democratic Party spoiling for a fight. Dr. Dean's rallying cry was, and is, "It's time to take our country back!" Senator John Kerry throws Mr. Bush a defiant challenge that becomes an empowering group chant: "Bring it on!" Senator John Edwards cites his long legal career fighting big corporate lawyers and declares, "I am so ready for this fight!"

At Thursday night's debate in South Carolina, Dr. Dean brushed aside the talk of turmoil in his campaign and declared: "Everybody on this stage, or a lot of people on this stage, have now embraced my message. They all talk about change. They all talk about bringing people into the party. The truth is I stood up for that message when nobody else would."

In contrast to Bill Clinton, today's leading Democratic candidates are not much interested, at least so far, in critiquing liberal orthodoxy and apologizing for past Democratic sins. The Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, an adviser to Mr. Clinton in 1992, noted that these candidates must appeal to a far more polarized, us-against-them electorate than existed when Mr. Clinton first ran. Theirs is a party that is utterly shut out of power in Washington — the Democrats of 1992 had big majorities in both the House and the Senate — and that feels its powerlessness acutely.

Forty-six percent of those who voted in the New Hampshire Democratic primary described their feelings toward the Bush administration as angry, according to exit polling; an additional 37 percent described themselves as dissatisfied.

Dr. Dean drew on that sentiment early on, around the war with Iraq and, to a lesser extent, the Bush administration's tax cuts. His declaration that "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" thrilled Democrats outside Washington who felt that their Congressional leaders had been far too accommodating to the administration on the war. Many of these Democrats argued that the party establishment had repeatedly compromised with Mr. Bush and, essentially, been rolled — not just legislatively, on issues like Medicare and education, but also at the polls in the 2002 midterm elections.

The other leading candidates soon began sharpening their own attacks on Mr. Bush and his conduct of the war with Iraq, even if they had voted to authorize the war, as Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards had. Like Dr. Dean, "they recognized the dynamic that this was about who was going to stand up to President Bush," Mr. Greenberg said. "Dean thought he had a lock on it, and he thought that Iraq was the sole component."

In fact, the war itself was not the most important concern by the time Democrats went to vote in Iowa and New Hampshire; domestic issues like health care and the economy were, judging from the exit polls. When the race moved to New Hampshire, Dr. Dean took credit for causing his rivals to oppose the war, and said this shift would now let him return to the bread-and-butter domestic issues that got him into the race at the start.

But several Democratic strategists said Dr. Dean had failed to adjust to this new focus on the domestic agenda, as well as the rising concern among primary voters with each candidate's ability to defeat Mr. Bush, not just confront him.

Dean allies complain bitterly that the other candidates have borrowed heavily from their message, as often happens in a long election race. The other major campaigns assert that their messages flow naturally from their candidates' biographies and public careers, and the political times they are running in.

In mid-November, after a shake-up in his own campaign, Mr. Kerry began delivering a sharper stump speech, including the climactic line "Bring it on," which hits the same rebellious chord as Dr. Dean's rallying cries. His speech also emphasized what he characterized as special interests' grip on Washington.

That is another major feature of the Democratic message these days: an unabashed populist critique against Mr. Bush's Washington, the "special interests" and "corporate cronies" that the Democrats assert now dominate the government.

Mr. Edwards talks about "two Americas — one for the privileged few, and another for everybody else." Mr. Kerry, in spite of his patrician style, sounds like an avenging populist street fighter: "I have a message for the influence peddlers, for the polluters, the H.M.O.'s, the big drug companies that get in the way, the big oil and the special interests who now call the White House their home: We're coming. You're going. And don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Bill Clinton slipped comfortably into populism at times. But there is a razor's edge to the Democrats' attacks on powerful special interests these days that has everything to do with the current Bush administration, many Democratic strategists say.

"One of the great weaknesses that Bush has is that people see him as beholden to special interests," said Mark Mellman, Democratic pollster and adviser to the Kerry campaign. "They believe these interests are preventing us from dealing with issues like health care, drug costs, environmental issues and the like."

David Axelrod, adviser to Mr. Edwards, said, "Nobody's done more for populism than George Bush."

Al Gore ran a populist campaign in 2000, of course, casting his message as "the people versus the powerful." The Democratic Leadership Council, the incubator of Clinton Democrats, was critical of that message after the election, arguing that Mr. Gore had run as an old-style populist instead of a "new-economy Democrat." But these are different times, officials of the leadership council say.

"There's nothing wrong with sticking up for the little guy against this administration," said Bruce Reed, the group's president. "Bush has relentlessly shifted the tax burden off of wealth and onto work." Council officials assert that Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards are advancing a more "positive populism" aimed at protecting the broad middle class and all who "play by the rules."

In the end, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards often sound more like populist outsiders and agents of change than like incumbent senators, a source of considerable frustration to the Dean camp.

As the race for the nomination moves on, to the South, the West and the industrial Midwest, the Democratic message will no doubt change. And it will change again for the general election. For now, though, the populists prevail. The man whose supporters believe he started it all was carrying the banner high on Thursday night.

"When you go to elect a president, you want somebody who's going to stand up for you," Dr. Dean said at the debate, reciting the tough stands he had taken against Mr. Bush. "How do you know anybody else is going to stand up for you if they wouldn't do it when it really counted and when it wasn't popular?"

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
February 1st, 2004, 02:42 AM
latest horserace -- Zogby Tracking Poll, 01-31-04:

.................AZ....MO.........OK........SC
Kerry........36.....46..........22.........22
Edwards....6.....13...........16.........26
Dean.......12........8.............8...........9
Clark.......20........4...........25...........8
Lieberman: 7 .. 4 .. 6 .. 4
Kucinich: 3 .. 1 .. 1 .. 0.1
Sharpton: 0.1.. 2 .. 1 .. 6
Undecided: 15 .. 21 .. 21 .. 22
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Freedom Tower
February 1st, 2004, 11:09 AM
Personally I think the primaries may as well be over. Kerry has such a huge lead he cannot be overtaken at this point. Kerry is the definite choice for Democratic nominee for President.

ZippyTheChimp
February 3rd, 2004, 11:35 PM
Kerry wins Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Edwards wins South Carolina, Kerry 2nd with 29.7%.

Clark wins Oklahoma in a tight race: 30%, Edwards 29.5%, Kerry 26.8%.

Lieberman drops out.



Pundits Boost Edwards

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 3, 2004; 10:08 PM


The suspense was over in seconds.

As soon as the South Carolina polls closed at 7 p.m., the networks declared John Edwards a comfortable winner in his home state.

But the real suspense was whether the prognosticators would portray the senator's backyard boost as shaking up the race or just spitting in the face of the Kerry hurricane.

The answer was that they cast their votes, figuratively speaking, for Edwards as a growing political force.

The "final dynamic," Howard Fineman said on MSNBC, is "Kerry in the lead and Edwards challenging him."

CNN's Judy Woodruff called Edwards "the chief challenger to John Kerry for the nomination," although she questioned whether the Southerner would be able to raise enough money.

"John Edwards is now credible," ex-Gore aide Donna Brazile said.

Bob Novak was less impressed, declaring that "John Edwards has established himself as the overwhelming favorite to be John Kerry's running mate."

As a mathematical proposition, of course, it was clear even early in the evening of Junior Tuesday that this was a big night for Kerry. So you might say that journalists are just trying to prevent a premature end to the campaign. In fact, that's what National Review's Michael Graham said:

"I KNOW WE'RE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE KEEPING THE HORSE RACE GOING, BUT . . . why isn't the headline going to be 'Kerry Beats Edwards 6-1?' (assuming that Kerry wins Oklahoma)."

But after Iowa and New Hampshire, "Kerry Wins" is becoming old news. So journalists naturally gravitate not just to the Edwards story line, but also to such questions as "Can the Massachusetts senator win in the South?"

The spin began almost immediately. "The Kerry camp, obviously trying to downplay the significance of the Edwards win in South Carolina," said Fox's Carl Cameron.

Roy Neel, Howard Dean's new campaign chief, had a different take on CNN: "John Edwards's win in South Carolina show it's way too early for a coronation in this race."

Joe Trippi, recast as an MSNBC election analyst, said that "Howard Dean has the heart and he'll stay in."

But no one outside the Dean orbit had anything good to say about the doctor's prospects.

"He has to go through several phases until he's resigned to the fact he can't be the nominee," Tim Russert said on CNBC.

"It's entirely possible . . . he'll get absolutely no delegates," Cameron said. "Hard to understand how that could be a rationale for an ongoing campaign."

Edwards then displayed some unfortunate timing. He wanted to come out early and declare victory, since he was the only winner in the only contest the networks had called. But he walked out at 7:58, just as the networks would be projecting results in the states whose polls would close at 8.

CNN, for example, missed the first part of Edwards's remarks while forecasting Kerry wins in Missouri and Delaware, and a three-way tie in Oklahoma between Edwards, Clark and Kerry.

Edwards wowed the pundits with a short, passionate "two Americas" speech in which he talked about fighting for people in poverty and kids who go to bed hungry. "A very powerful speech," said CNN's Jeff Greenfield. "There's nobody his equal in this campaign on the stump."

Later on, Greenfield cited the networks' exit poll numbers for Oklahoma -- "crack cocaine," he called them, since they're often wrong. The figures: Edwards 30.6 percent, Kerry 29.7 percent, Clark 28.7 percent.

At 8:57, the AP reported, to no one's surprise, that Joe Lieberman had decided to drop out. He had pinned his hopes on Delaware and gotten only a quarter of Kerry's vote there. The guy started with big advantages but could never catch on, perhaps because his pro-Iraq war centrism just didn't appeal to Democratic primary voters.

Three minutes later, the polls closed in Arizona and Kerry was projected the winner across the dial, giving him three states under his belt.

Larry King asked Dean what went wrong. "There's an enormous amount of resistance to institutional change in this country. . . . The establishment in Washington realized I really might be the nominee. The media folks didn't like it."

MSNBC missed the opening of Lieberman's swan song as Chris Matthews chatted up Dean.

Lacking any sign of Joe-mentum, he said he was "proud of what we stood for in this campaign." MSNBC also got bored and was the first to break away for more punditry.

At 9:23, as Fox was projecting Kerry the winner in the crucial, all-important North Dakota caucuses, Edwards told Brit Hume that "it looks more and more like it's a two-person race."

Edwards must be awfully sick of the would-you-be-Kerry's-running mate question. In recent days, Matt Lauer, Judy Woodruff and Doyle McManus on "Face the Nation" have all hit the North Carolina senator with that one. Hume used clever phrasing, asking whether Kerry is "the kind of person you could be on a ticket with?"

"Does he want to be vice president?" Edwards said.

On CNN, Edwards touted the Oklahoma results as a surprise, saying he had been polling third there. As the votes trickled in, he was clinging to a 31-30 percentage point edge over Clark, a mere thousand votes ahead, the only cliffhanger of the night.

Wolf Blitzer asked Edwards if Dean should drop out. Edwards didn't bite.

Meanwhile, some strikingly candid comments from Wesley Clark Jr., before the results were in, about his dad's campaign, as reported by Slate's Chris Suellentrop:

"Of politics, he says, 'It's a dirty business, filled with a lot of people who are pretending to be a lot of things they're not.' The press never looked at his father's record, he says. They didn't treat the other candidates fairly either. Howard Dean got unfair coverage, he says. So did John Edwards. So did John Kerry. So did everyone.

"What about the president? Does he get fair coverage from the press? 'If the president had gotten fair coverage, he never would have gotten elected in the first place,' Clark says. Has the media done a poor job of getting his father's message out? 'It's not the media's job to get his message out. The media's job is to sell advertising.'

"A reporter asks, do you think your father has been well served by his campaign? For once, Clark declines to offer an opinion. 'Uh, I'm not going to comment on the campaign. I'll put it this way. I think he was the best candidate.' Then he adds, 'I wish they would have competed in Iowa, personally.' Because elections don't matter, he says. The media's horse-race coverage is all that matters, and by skipping Iowa, Clark got left out of the horse race. 'It's all horse-race questions,' he says. 'My favorite was Dad wearing a sweater in New Hampshire one day. Maybe he was wearing a sweater because he was cold.' "

A fascinating Kerry detail in this New York Times report:

"He will still never be cuddly. He is too tall, too gaunt, too lantern-jawed, too serious for that. His Iowa caucuses victory speech was solemn and windy, and he sat watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night with a band of firefighters from Fargo, N.D., whose union has endorsed him, tapping his right thumb and forefinger nervously against his teeth without making much effort to converse or connect.

"Two years ago, Mr. Kerry's advisers tried to get him to loosen up by showing him tapes of Senator John Edwards's easygoing style."

Shades of Al Gore having to watch reruns of Darrell Hammond!

By the way, Dean once spoke of making his post-Feb. 3 stand in Michigan on Saturday. But a new Detroit News poll gives Kerry a 56-13 lead. And Dean isn't buying any ads there; too expensive, says Roy Neel.

Dean also took another whack at Fox, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, saying of the coverage of his campaign: "There was no conspiracy except for Fox News and people like that. Fox has a clear ideological agenda." He obviously believes his voters aren't Fox fans.

On the Kerry front, Salon raises the Morgan Fairchild factor:

"John Kerry is the country's stiffest, most entitled-looking politician, no matter how much time he puts into activities like drinking, windsurfing, or catting around, as he did in the years following his divorce. It was during that period that he had flirtations with the gossip columns -- dating actual nighttime soap stars like Morgan Fairchild (Jordan Roberts on 'Falcon Crest') and Catherine Oxenberg (Amanda Carrington Bedford von Moldavia Carrington on 'Dynasty'), as well as C.Z. Guest's daughter Cornelia Guest and Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis.

"He was on to something. It's all well and good to be the straight man with hidden depths of history and experience. But those deep-running waters don't amount to squat until you have a drama queen to gussy you up, to light your fire. He needed a catalytic partner. The depressive Julia Thorne [Kerry's first wife] -- by all accounts a lovely woman who is now happily remarried in Montana -- had not done the trick.

"A round of applause for the 65-year-old Portuguese-accented, party-switching, stump-shaking, nervous-making philanthropist widow Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry, more commonly known as 'Ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz.' "

In Time, Andrew Sullivan still pines for Dean, sort of:

"A question keeps bugging me. Why have I been rooting for Howard Dean to win the Democratic nomination? I'm not a Democrat or even, in contemporary parlance, a liberal. In pure policy terms, I'm probably closer to John Kerry and John Edwards. What's more, Dean's insistence that war against Saddam was wrong strikes me as morally and strategically misguided. His loose accusations of lying in the White House, his airing of notions that George W. Bush had a warning about 9/11, his bad temper and his occasional nastiness are all reasons to back his opponents.

"So why do I keep coming back to the fireplug from Vermont? No, I'm not cynically trying to engineer a Bush landslide. And, no, it's not because John Kerry seems such a tired and faded figure (although that's part of it). I just think that the Democrats' sudden panic about Dean's electability is overblown and that the urge to find someone more superficially 'presidential' is a trap. It won't help the Democrats in November (I don't know any Democrats who are actually excited about Kerry), and it will deny all of us a real debate about the future direction of the country.

"Dean offers, to purloin a phrase, a choice, not an echo. His pugnacity in defense of his liberal instincts is obviously genuine. After eight years of careful Clintonian positioning, it's refreshing. Compared with Kerry's packaged, tested, hollow rants against 'special interests,' Dean's straight talk is invigorating."

© 2004 washingtonpost.com

LuPeRcALiO
February 4th, 2004, 01:00 AM
Bob Novak was less impressed, declaring that "John Edwards has established himself as the overwhelming favorite to be John Kerry's running mate."
that pretty much sums it up. Too bad about Joe but at least Clark can go out with a little dignity.
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Kris
February 5th, 2004, 08:06 AM
February 5, 2004

POLITICAL MEMO

G.O.P. Revives Line of Attack Against Kerry

By ROBIN TONER

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 — 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.

In short, that he is a Massachusetts liberal. It is a charge that ultimately proved devastating to Michael S. Dukakis, the Democrats' presidential nominee in 1988, who ended the campaign battered by the Republicans as "a card-carrying member of the A.C.L.U.," a product of the "Harvard boutique" who coddled criminals and was too much of a legalistic liberal to require school children to say the pledge of allegiance.

Some of the so-called wedge issues that polarized voters and resonated back then, when President Bush's father was waging the attack, may not have the same power today, but others have risen in their place.

This year, the state's liberal image is being highlighted anew by its role in the growing debate over gay marriage.

The state's highest court on Wednesday ruled that people of the same sex must have the right to marry — not just to enter into civil unions — if the state is to comply with its previous rulings.

Conservative leaders said the court decision only underscored the need for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. Mr. Bush appears increasingly likely to embrace such an amendment. Mr. Kerry says he supports civil unions, not same-sex marriages, but has opposed a constitutional amendment outlawing them.

"This could be a very defining difference between the candidates," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative group.

In a statement on Wednesday night, Mr. Kerry clearly sought a middle ground. He said he believed in protecting the "fundamental rights of gay and lesbian couples, from inheritance to health benefits," but added that he believed the answer was civil unions.

"I oppose gay marriage and disagree with the Massachusetts court's decision," he said.

The Kerry campaign, which includes several veterans of the Dukakis campaign, says it will not make the mistakes of 1988, when Mr. Dukakis was widely seen as too passive in the face of the attacks. "We welcome a debate with the likes of Ed Gillespie, Karl Rove and this White House about who's out of sync with Main Street America," said David Wade, a Kerry spokesman.

"Their tired old G.O.P. attack dog just won't hunt," Mr. Wade said, adding that Republicans would be running against "a Democrat who fought for his country in war, put criminals behind bars as a prosecutor, stood up for balanced budgets in the Senate," and "kept faith with America's veterans."

Another Kerry adviser was more blunt. "This is not the Dukakis campaign," the adviser said. "We're not going to take it. And if they're going to come at us with stuff, whatever that stuff may be, if it goes to a place where the '88 campaign did, then everything is on the table. Everything."

Republicans assert Mr. Kerry's problem is his own voting record, and argue that it is very fair game. Mr. Gillespie, in a recent speech, asserted that Mr. Kerry's voting record was, by some measures, even more liberal than the senior senator from Massachusetts, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, another icon of liberalism.

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in the Southeast, said on Wednesday, "More important than labels is the fact that he has a voting record over 20 years in the U.S. Senate that is out of the mainstream, simply out of step with where the American people are, by consistently voting to weaken national defense, undercut our intelligence capability and massively raise taxes."

Mr. Kerry and his allies dismiss that characterization of his record, noting, for example, that he was one of the first Democrats to sign onto the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction act. Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, argued that Mr. Kerry's background as a decorated veteran and a tough prosecutor also come into play.

"It is hard to demonize as an irresponsible leftist a man who has locked up criminals and shot communists," Mr. Frank said. "That's John Kerry's record. Kerry's cast a couple specific votes that are unpopular, but so has Bush. In general, I like our ground better."

Still, Republicans do not seem cowed by Mr. Kerry, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, who left the campaign trail on Wednesday after winning five of seven nominating contests the previous day, and returned to Boston for what he said would be an "administrative day."

In his speeches, Mr. Gillespie has highlighted several national security and economic votes, but also some of the social issues that have proved so divisive in the past. He noted that Mr. Kerry voted against the ban on a procedure used in second and third trimester of pregnancy, one critics call partial-birth abortion. That legislation was signed into law by Mr. Bush last fall.

Mr. Gillespie also noted that Mr. Kerry voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, barring federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a measure that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Kerry said at the time that while he opposed same-sex marriage, he was voting against the bill because "I believe that this debate is fundamentally ugly, and it is fundamentally political, and it is fundamentally flawed."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
February 7th, 2004, 11:59 AM
^ I doubt if they'll get much mileage out of wedge issues in this election. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by taking a page from the Gray Davis playbook and Dukakisizing Kerry in Iowa before he'd started winning primaries, but it's too late now.
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ZippyTheChimp
February 7th, 2004, 12:54 PM
If the economy and the situation in Iraq don't improve, the GOP will definately try to make gay marriage a wedge issue. It's up to Kerry, assuming he wins the nomination, to respond to it correctly, and keep the focus where it should be - Bush's record.

It wasn't the "Willie Horton" characterization of Dukakis as soft on crime that led to his defeat. At a 1988 debate, when asked if he would support the death penalty if his wife were raped and maurdered, he hesitated, then said, ""I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime."

That was the end of Mike Dukakis. Being an idiot didn't help him either.

LuPeRcALiO
February 8th, 2004, 09:01 PM
good description. it's funny Zippy but I've seen that clip and I've heard Dukakis speak and it's always struck me that his response was a heck of a lot classier than the question, which I guess just goes to show that spin is all.

Incidentally it didn't help that he was shorter than Bush, one thing Kerry at least doesn't have to worry about.
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LuPeRcALiO
February 10th, 2004, 10:30 PM
John Kerry Wins Va., Tenn. Primaries
By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer, 9 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - John Kerry vanquished his Dixie-bred rivals in Virginia and Tennessee on Tuesday, all but unstoppable in his march toward the Democratic nomination with a Southern sweep that extended his dominance to every region of the country. . . .

With 97 percent of the vote in Virginia, Kerry had 51 percent, Edwards 27 percent, Clark 9 percent, Dean 7 percent, Al Sharpton 3 percent and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio 1 percent.

In Tennessee, with 69 percent reporting, Kerry had 42 percent, Edwards 26 percent, Clark 23 percent, Dean 4 percent and Sharpton 2 percent.

Virginia and Tennessee had 151 delegates at stake.

An AP analysis shows Kerry has piled up twice as many delegates as his closest pursuer. Counting early results from Tuesday's races, Kerry now has 499 delegates to Dean's 182, with Edwards at 157 and Clark at 91. A total of 2,162 are needed to nominate.
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ube
February 11th, 2004, 12:14 AM
AP Just reported Clark has quit.

Schadenfrau
February 11th, 2004, 11:35 AM
What was that about Northeastern liberals not having appeal in the South? Virginia was the biggest win yet.

maroualle
February 12th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Anything to beat Bush.


Yeah, that's what the whole world is waiting for......

LuPeRcALiO
February 12th, 2004, 07:39 PM
fasten your seatbelts NY and CA because Rove & co are cooking up a pre-primary bimbo eruption that will make Geniffer Flowers look like Heidi.
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Jasonik
February 13th, 2004, 09:04 AM
Kerry Allegations: Now You Hear Them, Now You Don't

By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Morning Editor
February 13, 2004

(CNSNews.com) - A report alleging a "bimbo eruption" in the John F. Kerry campaign was Topic A on conservative talk radio programs Thursday, but the story was nowhere to be found in the mainstream press.
The Drudge Report first reported that major media outlets were "seriously investigating" rumors of a "relationship" between Kerry and a young woman who supposedly fled the country at Kerry's urging.
Several foreign newspapers picked up reports of the allegations, which were not even mentioned by most American news outlets.
As of Friday morning, The Drudge Report said the Kerry campaign was "planning a response" to the allegations. And some Democrats were alleging Republican "dirty tricks."
Matt Drudge's widely read Internet site also reported that Democrat Wesley Clark -- who planned to endorse Kerry on Friday -- told a dozen reporters earlier this week, "Kerry will implode over an intern issue."
Said The Drudge Report on Friday, "Reporters who witnessed Clark making the stunning comments marvel at the General's reluctance to later confirm they were spoken."
Kerry was scheduled to make a number of public appearances on Friday the 13th , but it's unclear if anyone will question him about a reported rumor, now making the rounds among millions of people.

NYatKNIGHT
February 13th, 2004, 10:29 AM
Thank you Imus, I saw that on Drudge yesterday and thought it would be everywhere by this morning, but.....nothing!

Jasonik
February 13th, 2004, 11:24 AM
Kerry shakes off rumours about 'relationship'
Ireland Online 13/02/2004 - 15:14:02

Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry today moved to quash potentially catastrophic rumours linking him to an intern.
Right-wing news web site The Drudge Report – which broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal – claimed yesterday that a woman close to Senator Kerry recently left America at his behest.
But when asked about the issue on MSNBC radio show, Imus in the Morning, Senator Kerry said today: “There is nothing to report, nothing to talk about. There’s nothing there. There’s no story.”
The woman in question is reported to be an intern who worked for the married father-of-two after previously working as a journalist for the Associated Press in New York.
Her parents are believed to live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and she is thought to have gone to Africa.
The scandal allegations were explained away by democratic sources as Republican dirty tricks.
But internet columnist Matt Drudge claimed Kerry’s former rival for the Democratic nomination, General Wesley Clark, told reporters in an off-the-record conversation last week: “Kerry will implode over an intern issue“.
In a separate twist former Nato commander Clark is to endorse Kerry, a Senator from Massachusetts.
Drudge claimed that Time magazine, ABC News, The Washington Post and The Associated Press had been investigating her relationship with Kerry in recent days.
Decorated Vietnam veteran Kerry is married to Theresa Heinz Kerry, the wealthy heiress to the food empire.
Born on December 11, 1943 in Denver, Colorado he has two children from his first marriage, and three step-children with his current wife.
Drudge claimed a close friend of the mystery woman approached a reporter late last year claiming “fantastic stories“.
He also suggested that behind-the-scenes panic in the Kerry camp was prompting one-time campaign front-runner, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, to ratchet up his attacks on Kerry in the past few days.
Drudge said that explained why Dean decided to reverse his decision to drop out of the race if he failed to win the Wisconsin primary on February 17.
Senator Kerry, from Massachusetts, is currently the runaway favourite to win the Democratic ticket to run against President George Bush in November.
He has won 12 of the 14 state primaries and caucuses held so far.
The Kerry campaign headquarters has remained tight-lipped, refusing to comment on the claims.
Ms Heinz-Kerry, widow of Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz, who was killed in a 1991 air crash, is known for her outspoken views
She once told Elle magazine she warned her first husband on the subject of adultery: “If you ever get something, I’ll maim you. I won’t kill you. I’ll maim you.”

© Thomas Crosbie Media, 2004. (http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=94653420&p=94654yz6&n=94654180)

LuPeRcALiO
February 14th, 2004, 08:29 PM
looks like Drudge's bimbo bombed.
________
AVANDIA LAWSUIT (http://www.classactionsettlements.org/lawsuit/avandia/)

ZippyTheChimp
February 18th, 2004, 12:36 AM
February 18, 2004

Kerry Holds Off Push by Edwards in Primary Vote in Wisconsin

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 17 - The Democratic presidential nomination battle turned into a two-person contest on Tuesday as Senator John Kerry narrowly defeated Senator John Edwards in the Wisconsin primary. Howard Dean suffered a dismal third-place showing that Democrats said would effectively end his campaign.

At 10 p.m., with 72 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Kerry had 39 percent of the vote; Mr. Edwards had 35 percent; Dr. Dean 18 percent; Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio 3 percent; and the Rev. Al Sharpton 1 percent.

The finish by Mr. Edwards startled Democrats here - as well as those in the Kerry and Edwards camps - who had been looking for Mr. Kerry to post another decisive victory in Wisconsin, based on his performance so far this year.

And it set the stage for what Mr. Edwards said he has long wanted after trying to break through what wasonce a very crowded nomination competition: a clean two-way race with Mr. Kerry, played out over a relatively long period.

"The people of Wisconsin spoke loudly and clearly tonight,'' Mr. Edwards said in a speech. "They want a debate. They want this campaign to continue.''

Mr. Kerry, who stepped out to give his victory speech as Mr. Edwards was speaking, knocking him off live television, made no mention of the thin margin.

"The motto of the state of Wisconsin is forward,'' said Mr. Kerry, who has now won 15 of the 17 contests. "And I want to thank the state of Wisconsin for moving this cause and this campaign forward tonight here in this great state.''

Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said even before the polls closed that he would continue his campaign no matter what the outcome in Wisconsin, a state he once said he had to win. "We are not done,'' he said in his own speech on Tuesday.

But leading Democrats said that in light of his latest disappointing loss, they saw little hope for his continuing as a serious candidate. And while Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards turned their attention to March 2, when there will be 10 contests, Dr. Dean prepared to head back to his home in Burlington to determine where to take his campaign from here.

A critical question now, some Democrats said, is whether Dr. Dean, who has not won a single contest, withdraws from the race and throws his support to Mr. Edwards or Mr. Kerry. The survey of voters leaving the polls found that voters who said they had once intended to support Dr. Dean split evenly between Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry.

Mr. Edwards's strong showing came in a state that has a maverick tradition, going back to when John F. Kennedy upset Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Democratic presidential primary. It also came in a state where any registered voter is allowed to participate in the Democratic primary, and 40 percent of those who voted on Tuesday said they were not Democrats.

As in Iowa, Mr. Edwards appears to have gained strength in the final days of the campaign, in what many Democrats said was a testament to strong campaign skills. He won the endorsement of the state's two major newspapers here. And not incidentally, several Democrats said, he might have benefited from what had been Dr. Dean's central message, as he urged voters here not to rubber-stamp the Kerry nomination, and allow the process to continue.

"Everyone I talk to, conservatives and liberals, say we want to keep it going at least until sometime in March,'' said Mary Citizen, 59, who lives in West Bend and was waving a flag at Dr. Dean's election-night party in a Madison hotel. "Every time these guys get up on a stage they're throwing ideas at us. We're still shopping. It's not a done deal.''

Mr. Edwards's aides expressed confidence that the jolt of excitement that would accompany his second-place showing would bring him enough favorable publicity to help compensate for any financial advantage Mr. Kerry might have. They argued that this two-week period would allow Mr. Edwards to capitalize on what his aides have long argued are misgivings among Democrats about Mr. Kerry, and give voters more time to get acquainted with Mr. Edwards.

Mr. Edwards won the support of 50 percent of the Democrats who say they made up their minds over the last three days, according to a survey of voters leaving the polls. And should the race go on until March 9, Mr. Edwards of North Carolina will be competing with Mr. Kerry of Massachusetts in five Southern states.

"We've been saying all along that voters are still looking for a choice,'' said David Ginsberg, Mr. Edwards's communications director. "It's a pretty good thing to have a candidate that the more they see him, the more they like him.''

Mr. Kerry's advisers noted that Mr. Edwards had so far won only in the state of his birth, South Carolina, and expressed doubt that he could catch up. Before Tuesday, party leaders from across the nation had been urging Democrats to coalesce around Mr. Kerry as the party's likely nominee.

And they noted that in Wisconsin, any registered voter is permitted to vote in the Democratic primary; 10 percent of the electorate here on Tuesday said they were Republicans, and 40 percent of them voted for Mr. Edwards, suggesting that the results here should not be seen as an indication of any general dissatisfaction among Democrats with Mr. Kerry.

Still, the developments here on Tuesday signaled that a race that many Democrats had seen as all but over would roll on - at least into March. And while Mr. Kerry would appear in some ways to have a lopsided advantage over Mr. Edwards - before Tuesday, he had 448 delegates compared with 161 for Mr. Edwards - the result in a swing state in a general election seems certain to raise questions about the central claim of Mr. Kerry's campaign: that he is the strongest Democrat the party has to send up against Mr. Bush.

Mr. Edwards's showing came as a surprise both because Mr. Kerry had swamped him in state after state and because a series of pre-primary polls showed Mr. Kerry with a large lead. Because of the open primary, Wisconsin is a difficult state to poll.

Still, the practical result was that anything less than a substantial victory by Mr. Kerry could be portrayed by his opponents as a setback, which is what was happening throughout the day as the campaigns got early glimpses of the results of surveys of voters leaving the polls.

Mr. Edwards suggested in an interview this week that Mr. Kerry's run of victories was a function of his riding the wave of support created by his victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, and that his standing would erode under the scrutiny of Democratic voters. He argued that he tended to grow in strength the more time he spent in a state, as was the case here.

That said, Mr. Edwards has only South Carolina, despite a substantial investment of time and money elsewhere and what many Democrats describe as extraordinary skills as a candidate. Tuesday's contest was the sixth in which he placed second; he has come in fourth seven times.

And Mr. Kerry's advisers scoffed at the notion that Mr. Edwards had a legitimate claim on being part of two-person contest.

"I don't see this as a two-person race because we're running against someone who has won one state,'' one senior Kerry adviser said. ``This whole idea that you sort of cherry-pick the states you are going to compete in - that's a vanity game, it's not a real game.''

Mr. Kerry said Tuesday, before the polls closed, that he would campaign aggressively across the nation. "I'm not selectively picking one state or another to wage my campaign in,'' he said. "I'm waging my campaign all across the country in all states.''

The survey of voters leaving the polls found that in Wisconsin, as almost everywhere else this year, voters were looking for a strong challenger to Mr. Bush.

Mr. Kerry did best with those for whom electability was most important - getting 70 percent of their support. Mr. Edwards drew the support of about 45 percent of those who said caring was the most important quality, compared to about a third for Mr. Kerry.

The survey of voters leaving the polling places throughout the state was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for the television networks and The Associated Press.

In Madison on Tuesday, Mary Crave, 47, an adult education teacher, said she voted for Mr. Kerry.

"He's the most electable,'' she said. "I like Edwards, but I don't think he's ready yet to gather the troops. I'm sort of an anybody-but-Bush voter.''

Steven Kleiss, 36, a banker - said he voted for Mr. Edwards.

"He stayed the most consistent throughout the debates and the race,'' Mr. Kleiss said. "It seems like the other candidates have shifted based on what's popular, but he stayed on message better.''

Vicki Webster, 57, a medical records clerk from Madison, said she considered voting for Mr. Kerry, but went with Dr. Dean after deciding that Mr. Kerry seemed "too aloof.''

"Howard Dean seems more down to earth,'' she said.



February 18, 2004

OP-ED COLUMNIST

The Edwards Surprise

By WILLIAM SAFIRE

WASHINGTON

F.D.R.'s secretary of the Navy, Claude Swanson, gave us this political adage: "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."

This lugubrious saying is called to mind by the way the chairman of Howard Dean's campaign stabbed his candidate in the back on the eve of his do-or-die Wisconsin primary.

Steven Grossman, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, knew that his last-minute defection would dominate the final-day news and crush Dean's hopes of a stronger-than-expected showing.

What drives an old pro to such political disloyalty? Was Grossman trying to win his way back into John Kerry's good graces by dumping Dean at the propitious moment?

To most political pros, that doesn't add up. As yesterday's stunning Wisconsin results show, it is in Kerry's interest for Dean to stay in the race even beyond Super Tuesday, March 2.

First, contested primaries keep Kerry in the news, waving victoriously, gaining TV "debate" time to blaze away at President Bush. Dean is now a useful sparring partner, jabbing lightly, the perennial loser who helps define the consistent winner.

The other service Dean now performs for Kerry is to split the not-Kerry Democratic vote. This is not yet an anti-Kerry vote, because the Massachusetts senator has stolen Dean's antiwar resentment and adopted John Edwards's cheerful soak-the-rich pitch. But many Democrats could turn anti-Kerry if Edwards continues to play the feisty Avis to Kerry's establishment Hertz.

There's a new phase a-coming. Kerry has had his comeback honeymoon. He has offered only a high-carb diet of populist platitudes in stump speeches. For a serious man running for a serious job, Kerry has not made a policy speech since December, when he was nobody.

The Washington Post editorialist just noted "his fuzziness on issues ranging from Iraq to gay marriage. . . . He voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement yet now talks in protectionist terms. . . . He must explain how he would manage the real and dangerous challenges the U.S. now faces in Iraq — without the fuzzing." The Post's Fred Hiatt is not yet Meg Greenfield, but his influential wake-up call is sure to be echoed — especially in light of Wisconsin's results.

Kerry's momentum is now checked. The surprise was John Edwards's powerful showing, especially among independents, followed lamely by Dean. If Dean had taken the Grossman gas pipe and announced he would quit, I believe his anti-establishment vote would have split two to one for the Southerner Edwards, snatching victory from Kerry — and in Wisconsin, by yimminy, where voters can hardly understand a word he's saying.

If Edwards is smart (and a trial lawyer who got $25 million for himself out of the medical profession must have an agile mind) he will carry an empty chair around New York, Ohio, Georgia and California, demanding that Kerry debate him one on one about Nafta, where he is a genuine Smoot-Hawley protectionist and Kerry merely a primary-conversion protectionist.

Kerry would probably refuse to debate unless Dean was included, to steal the debate spotlight like Ross Perot. But if Dean wanted to get even, the embittered Vermonter would accept and then back out at the last minute to let the two frontrunners have at it. Oh, boy.

Did I just say "two frontrunners"? How can that be — when Edwards starts from so far behind? And when Kerry is belatedly lionized by Clintonites who thought a Dean debacle would pave the way for Hillary in 2008? And when Kerry's Kennedy acolytes turn ashen-faced only at the rumor that an Al Gore endorsement is imminent?

Here's how: Although Dean is not a kingmaker, he can be the frontrunner-maker. By staying in through Super Tuesday, this anti-Warwick could ensure Kerry's nomination. By throwing his waning strength (and Web fund-raising) to Edwards, he could help transform a routine Boston coronation into a neck-and-neck race down the homestretch.

There's a consummation devoutly to be wished. It would mean the weekly Kerry victory parade would be over and the media pendulum could swing again — and that the pressure would be on Edwards to cut the class warfare lest he expose the deep economic split in the Democratic Party.



Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
February 18th, 2004, 08:00 PM
From CNN http://www.cnn.com/

Feb 18, 2004

Kerry, Edwards both top Bush in poll

Bush campaign chairman cites 'huge focus' on Dems

(CNN) --Democratic presidential hopefuls John Edwards and John Kerry both hold leads of 10 percentage points or more in hypothetical match-ups against President Bush, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday.

The survey marks the first time Edwards, a U.S. senator from North Carolina, has topped Bush in a one-on-one poll of likely voters if the election were held today.

In a head-to-head contest, 55 percent said they would choose Kerry for president over Bush, who drew the support of 43 percent. Edwards led the president 54 percent to 44 percent.

The poll of 1,006 adults, including 568 likely voters, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. It was conducted Monday and Tuesday -- before the returns came in from the Wisconsin primary, where Edwards finished a strong second to Sen. Kerry of Massachusetts.

Kerry has argued that he is the only Democrat in the race who can beat Bush. That argument has helped him win 16 of the 18 presidential contests to date; Edwards won in his native South Carolina.

The chairman of Bush's re-election campaign said Wednesday he is not surprised by the new poll numbers.

"There's been a huge focus on the Democratic primary, a lot of media coverage of those events ... huge amounts of money spent attacking the president," said Marc Racicot, who left the helm of the Republican National Committee last June to chair the president's campaign. He spoke in an interview with CNN's Inside Politics.

"We predicted that we were probably going to be in a position where we would be trailing for a period of time, so I think that we've known all along that this is going to be a tough race," he said.

In his first interview since taking the helm of the campaign, Racicot also noted that former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both trailed their re-election challengers, then came back to win strong victories in 1996 and 1984, respectively

"Our steadfast belief is that when the steady leadership of the president is characterized and also defined, that there will be a clear choice for Americans to make," he said.

The polls' use of likely voters appears to give Democrats an edge they have not enjoyed in previous surveys, finding that more rank-and-file Democrats are paying attention to the campaign.

Among registered voters, Kerry held a narrower edge over Bush, 51 percent to 46 percent. Edwards led Bush 49 percent to 48 percent in the same survey of registered voters.

Bush's approval rating dipped slightly in the most recent poll, down a point to 51 percent. Forty-six percent said they disapproved of the president's performance in office. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

More of those surveyed considered Bush a strong leader when matched against Kerry, 65 percent to 59 percent. But more said they considered Kerry honest and trustworthy, 61 percent to 55 percent.

But only 42 percent said either man had a clear plan for solving the country's problems today, and less than half of those surveyed -- 45 percent for Bush, 44 percent for Kerry -- said they believed the candidates would stand up to special interests while in office.

Critics, including Democratic Party chief Terry McAuliffe, have raised questions in recent weeks about whether Bush fulfilled his duties to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam era. But the poll suggests that neither those questions, nor Kerry's history as a decorated Vietnam veteran-turned-antiwar activist, are having much effect on voters' preferences.

Only 35 percent said they believed Bush did anything illegal or unethical during his time in the Guard, and 81 percent said his actions during that period would make no difference in their decision about whether to vote for him.

Seventy-nine percent said Kerry's combat experience also would make no difference to them in casting their ballot. And 69 percent said his antiwar activism made no difference in their decisions.

Those questions had margins of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Kris
February 20th, 2004, 06:07 AM
February 20, 2004

Ah, the Aroma of a Warm Presidential Primary in New York

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

For too long, a juicy Democratic primary for the most excitable New Yorkers has been like a reservation at Per Se for foodies - something to dream about, but not terribly likely to get.

But for the first time in four presidential political seasons, New York has a hot race on its turf. And that has political devotees like State Assemblyman John J. McEneny, a Democrat from Albany and former Howard Dean supporter, in a tiny tizzy.

Mr. McEneny talks to his daughter Rachel McEneny Spencer in Yonkers, who is pushing him to switch his support to John Edwards. He talks to his county executive, Michael G. Breslin, who backs the other John. "He has his Kerry button on, but he lets all of us in his office," he said.

Mr. Breslin's brother, State Senator Neil D. Breslin, was a Dean delegate, so there is that.

"I've gotten requests from both sides," Mr. McEneny said. "I haven't made up my mind yet."

It is delicious stuff, he says.

Mr. McEneny listens to talk radio, drops into political conversations going on around the capital, and ponders Nafta votes. "I think this is the most fun we've had in a few years," he said.

The primary in New York is on March 2, the same day Democrats go to the polls in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the day of the Minnesota caucus. Of the 1,151 delegates at stake that day, California has by far the most - 370 - but New York, with its 236 delegates, is second in importance to the men still standing.

Several factors have ginned up some excitement among the sort of New York Democrats who irritate their spouses by clicking around Internet news sites late into the evening instead of coming to bed. Senator Edwards is poised to be in the state for the next five days, bringing the national spotlight with him. He has said he sees New York as crucial to helping him stay in the race for another day.

More exciting, the race, unlike in previous years, is not wrapped up by the time the show hits New York. Further, candidates who enjoyed support in New York but have dropped out have left their supporters scrambling to find a new man to get behind. And a dislike of President Bush tends to be more vitriolic among Democrats in New York.

"New Yorkers are like everybody else, only more so," said former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo. "9/11 affected the entire country, only us more so. The state of the economy affected everyone, but us more so; the job numbers here are terrible. Desire to beat Bush, that desire plus plausibility to achieve that desire, makes us stronger than ever."

There is also the entertainment value.

"It is chatter,'' said Kevin R. McCabe, a longtime Democratic adviser who recently volunteered for Gen. Wesley K. Clark. "It's like talking about 'Mystic River.' You know, 'That was an interesting twist, I thought it was going to be Dean!' It's like, 'I thought it was going to be Tim Robbins.' People have had a lot of fun with this campaign since it started, and I think they don't want it to end."

The thing is, they cannot stop thinking about it. They think about the primary as they rinse their salad greens. They think about it when they should be thinking about their PowerPoint presentation. They have too many outlets, and they know it.

"The Web I do in the morning," said Martha Baker, a Queens resident and the vice president of development for the Center for the Advancement of Women. "I do it again in the day, and after I get home in the evening. Late at night, I am watching the cable news channels. My No. 1 issue is that my daughter is carrying twins. But after that, this is No. 1 on the hit parade, as they used to say."

The Young Democrats of Richmond County are holding a shindig on Wednesday, "Young Democrats After Dark," at a club in Midtown - far from the Republican empire of Staten Island. While some New Yorkers are content to bet on baseball, these members wager on political outcomes.

"I think for political junkies this is a very exciting time," said Michael P. Schnall, a legislative financial analyst for the New York City Council, and vice president of the Richmond County organization. "Because you don't have one candidate who is just taking over. I am constantly online. I look at CNN.com. I watch cable. I spend a lot of time reading the papers, talking to friends and betting a beer over who will drop out this week. It is almost a sport for a lot of us."

William T. Cunningham, who usually works for Democrats but these days spends his workday as the communications director for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican of short standing, put it this way: "The New York Democrats are like the Knicks. Just when you thought the season was over, they come back to life and make it interesting."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYatKNIGHT
February 20th, 2004, 12:18 PM
New York Is Seen as Looming Large in Edwards Run

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/20/politics/campaign/20YORK.html

Senator John Edwards at Columbia University on Thursday.
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/19/politics/campaign/19cnd-edwards.650.jpg
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company



John Kerry will be in New York on Monday, no details yet.

Kris
February 26th, 2004, 08:58 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/voting/20040226/17/891

Super Tuesday

by Susan Reefer
February 02, 2004

Super Tuesday, on March 2nd, suggests the Tuesday to end all Tuesdays, the most important of all the Tuesdays in the presidential primaries.

And, in some ways, it is. Super Tuesday is the traditional “big payoff” day in the primary schedule, when this year, ten states are up for grabs in the contest for the Democratic nomination, and a grand total of 1,151 delegates. That is more than all the delegates awarded to all the candidates in all the primaries and caucuses held to date. New York and California are the two biggest prizes, with California’s 370 delegates and New York’s 236 delegates.

Much has been written about the seeming incongruity of small states getting all the initial attention; about the squabbles between states wanting more of the early attention; about how adamant New Hampshire is in keeping its primary primary status. But there is a certain rationale to the schedule of primaries and caucuses, which provides the small states with all the initial fun, but gives the big states the last word.

Or put another way, if this were the Academy Awards, Iowa and New Hampshire would pick the pool of four or five nominees, and New York and California would pick the winner.

The Presidential primary system isn’t a race to the finish line, with the fastest, fittest, best trained candidate winning by a nose. It’s an endurance contest. It’s a system designed to identify the sole survivor, the last one standing, the one who can take the most punishment over the longest period and still emerge ready for another round.

The New York Times website has a list of all the candidates who have ever been in the 2004 Democratic Presidential race. When one of them drops out, their name is literally crossed off the list. This process of elimination not only forces candidates to display perseverance and unwavering commitment, it has the slightly sadistic aspect of getting harder as it goes on, because as each name is crossed off, the white hot buzz of scrutiny and attention readjusts and redistributes itself among those still in the race.

By the end of February, the Democratic Presidential contest had resolved itself into a two-man race between John Kerry and John Edwards, though Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton were officially sticking around.

In theory, the New York primary could have been a time when Howard Dean blasted past his opponents and reinvigorated his national followers using the base of young New York liberals and anti-war activists who had been the beginning of his national Meetup.org successes. But instead, Howard Dean blasted through more than $40 million in campaign funds and withered under the mounting pressure to win something, somewhere.

Howard Dean is gone, but his supporters are still around, and they may not be as fired up about Kerry and Edwards as their one-time leader was about, well, about everything. But they are still in play, and they are being courted by both camps. Edwards seems to be concentrated more on Dean's grassroots supporters, while Kerry went after the traditional Democratic political clubs and the endorsements of Democratic elected officials.

And so, as I write this, when New York Democrats go the polls the first week in March, they will have the opportunity to cross Edwards off the list and send Kerry on down the pike with an insurmountable lead, to a series of now ceremonial primaries. Or they could reward Edwards for his tenacity and put him in a virtual dead-heat with Kerry on the delegate count. (Although Kerry is being talked about as the all but certain nominee, his lead in the delegate count at the end of February was just over 300, less than a third of the delegates that will be chosen on March 2nd).

New York State is, in many ways, a political dichotomy: a big state, with a diverse population, containing both the nation’s largest city and biggest media market. But particularly in New York City, it is also home to old-school politicking, traditions and sensibilities that date back to the days of ward bosses. Unlike California, where all campaigning is done over the airwaves (even rallies are only staged so they can be shown on the six o’clock news), New York voters still expect to see their candidates face to face. And unlike New Hampshire where candidates have been known to go door to door, New York has enough delegates to not just pick a winner, but choose one.

Susan Reefer is a Republican pollster and media strategist. She is based in New York City.

LuPeRcALiO
February 26th, 2004, 02:51 PM
(Although Kerry is being talked about as the all but certain nominee, his lead in the delegate count at the end of February was just over 300, less than a third of the delegates that will be chosen on March 2nd).

according to CNN Kerry is actually ahead by 521 delegates (Kerry - 735; Edwards - 214; Sharpton - 16; Kucinich - 8), with 2,162 needed to clinch the nomination.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/primaries/pages/scorecard/index.html
________
Genetically modified food (http://gmfoods.info/)

Kris
February 26th, 2004, 11:08 PM
February 27, 2004

POLITICAL MEMO

Meeting Local Needs in a Presidential Primary

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/27/nyregion/pols.xlarge.jpg
Senator John Kerry, right, was endorsed by David N. Dinkins and other Harlem Democrats on Monday. Congressman Charles B. Rangel is at left.

On the face of it, the parade of New York politicians who attached themselves to the elbows of Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards this week was all about galvanizing Democratic Party loyalists and beating President Bush. But it was also about - well, Charles B. Rangel, for one.

Mr. Rangel, the senior congressman from Harlem, introduced Mr. Kerry at a rally there early Monday, striking a triumphant pose that has been popping up in news clips and photographs over and over again in the days since.

Only a few weeks earlier, Mr. Rangel was striking similar poses as he squired Gen. Wesley K. Clark around Washington and New York, calling him the Democrats' best chance to defeat Mr. Bush in the fall election.

Now that the New York presidential primary suddenly has become a pivotal moment in the contest for the Democratic nomination, New York politicians have an opportunity to play kingmaker, to lend their name and political prestige to a national candidate at a time when that can really make a difference.

The presidential candidates are also bringing something to politicians like Mr. Rangel, who has chafed as a member of the minority party in Washington for several years and who many Democratic officials say needs a big win after picking a string of losing candidates for mayor and governor.

"I'm sure Congressman Rangel has found a lot that he likes about Senator Kerry," said Eric Schmeltzer, a Democratic political operative in New York who worked in the campaign of Howard Dean until Dr. Dean dropped out of the race. "But he's also a savvy guy, and the fact that conventional wisdom has Kerry as the odds-on favorite probably didn't escape his notice."

More often than not, of course, politicians make endorsements on the basis of ideology and merit, but many of these choices are also based on personal political calculations, and those being made by New York's politicians these days are no different.

Put bluntly, many politicians are asking themselves this: What's in it for me?

"Self-interest plays a very large part in all this," said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

New York's two senators, for example, have done the political calculus. In the case of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, she and her advisers have apparently concluded that she is better off keeping a careful and respectful distance from any of the candidates, mindful that anything she says or does will almost certainly prompt speculation that she is trying to influence the race for her own political benefit.

After all, Mrs. Clinton at one point had to dispel rumors that she and her husband had urged General Clark to become a presidential candidate so that he could, in turn, serve as a stalking horse to hold a spot for her to enter the race.

"It's a no-win situation for her," said one New York Democrat on Capitol Hill who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "No matter what she does, people are going to think she is doing it to advance her own position. So she is better off staying under the radar until a clear front-runner emerges."

For Senator Charles E. Schumer, who is up for re-election this year, the concern is entirely different.

People close to him say he is counting on a strong candidate at the top of the ticket to carry other Democrats, particularly those running for the Senate, where Democrats are trying to prevent Republicans from expanding their narrow majority.

For that reason, Mr. Schumer has been reluctant to endorse any of the candidates, uncertain about which one of them would have the strongest appeal among critically important swing voters in a general election matchup against President Bush, people close to the senator say.

There is also the case of Representative Anthony D. Weiner, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

At one point, he was a strong supporter of General Clark, lauding the general's military service, among other things.

But there was another big reason for his stance: Mr. Rangel was also an enthusiastic Clark supporter, and the Harlem congressman could be very helpful to Mr. Weiner if he decides to run for mayor next year, an option he is considering.

"Being a four-star general was nice and all," Mr. Weiner said, in explaining his reasons for supporting Mr. Clark. "But being a friend of Charlie Rangel's was as important to me."

At this point, most of the New York political establishment is playing it safe and lining up behind Mr. Kerry.

The Kerry camp, for example, now includes at least 10 of the 17 Democrats in the state's Congressional delegation, including Nita M. Lowey of Westchester (a former Gephardt supporter), Joseph Crowley of Queens (a former Dean supporter), as well as Mr. Rangel and Mr. Weiner, according to the New York State Democratic Party.

But early in the primary season, when there was no groundswell of support for any one of the presidential candidates, things were not so clear-cut.

Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the State Assembly, started out as a big supporter of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, in large part because they have a good friendship that dates back several years.

"Friendship was the biggest part of the endorsement," Mr. Silver recently explained. "Beyond that, it was my thinking that he would make a great president."

Two days after Mr. Lieberman dropped out of the race, Mr. Silver joined the ever-growing list of New York politicians who are behind Mr. Kerry.

The unexpected twists of this primary season have been hard on some other local political figures. Dennis Rivera, one of the most powerful union leaders in New York Democratic Party circles, for one, not only endorsed Dr. Dean early on but also persuaded large numbers of politicians to do the same.

Now that Dr. Dean is out of the race, Mr. Rivera has been noticeably silent.

Some Democrats say Mr. Rivera has little to gain by making an endorsement at this late stage.

"When Dennis joined Dean, he joined very early on, and that helped make him a major player in the Dean campaign," a Democratic strategist said. "But he really doesn't have anything to gain by endorsing someone like Kerry now. It's not like Kerry is going to give him a big role in his campaign."

Finally, there is the drama that has been unfolding in Harlem, where Democrats say Mr. Rangel's deep involvement in the presidential primary stems partly from his longtime rivalry with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who is seeking the nomination.

Mr. Rangel has repeatedly said his sole aim is to topple President Bush, and he has brushed off any suggestion that he is quarreling with Mr. Sharpton. Nevertheless, his endorsement of Mr. Sharpton's opponents, first General Clark and then Mr. Kerry, has infuriated Mr. Sharpton, whose advisers say he is looking for a candidate to run against Mr. Rangel this year.

Another Democratic political strategist marveled at how the presidential primary has turned into a forum for New York politicians to settle scores.

"From the perspective of the national candidates, guys like Charlie Rangel are bit players in a nationwide campaign," the strategist explained. "But what the national candidates don't realize is that they are bit players in a fight that's going on in a place like Harlem."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
February 27th, 2004, 08:57 AM
the Rangel angle is pretty funny -- no point standing on ceremony, lol. But how could they leave out Mark Green, former NYC public advocate and mayoral candidate and current co-chair of John Kerry for President Inc., New York?
________
Expert insurance (http://xpertinsurance.com/)

Kris
March 1st, 2004, 05:42 AM
March 1, 2004

METRO MATTERS

Mr. Nice Guys Go by Wayside in New York

By JOYCE PURNICK

NEW YORK, you have redeemed yourself.

For a while, it seemed as if a presidential primary would come and go in reputedly rough-and-tumble New York with atypical tranquility. The candidates were polite, friendly and busy with nine other Super Tuesday contests. It was all so - nice.

No more. The veneer of politesse cracked during the televised debate yesterday morning, when even Senator John Kerry, the unflappable, flapped. "Let us finish answering a question!'' he said when, for neither the first nor last time, a member of the panel interrupted him, for clarification or to ask a new question while he was still trying to answer the old one.

"You're in New York,'' one questioner, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times reminded him. By then she did not have to. Demonstrators - for candidates, in favor of gay marriage, against a constitutional amendment banning it - were chanting outside when everyone walked into the CBS studios on West 57th Street yesterday morning. And inside, it took only minutes before the dust-ups began.

The questioners talked over one another and even tangled directly with the candidates. The candidates, so amicable in the previous debate, differed sharply with one another, as if they hadn't already so often over the last many months that they could probably take their act to Broadway without a rehearsal. At the top of the debate, President Bush was the collective target. He soon had company.

Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, a distant second to Mr. Kerry of Massachusetts in the delegate race, dropped the mostly nice-guy approach he'd used three days earlier in the Los Angeles debate. Maybe there really is something to this New York-California thing. Anyway, yesterday Mr. Edwards smiled much less: he accused Mr. Kerry of making profligate budget proposals, denied they shared similar positions on trade, said Mr. Kerry engaged in "the same old Washington talk.''

Did he believe, Mr. Edwards asked, that change would come from Washington, D.C.? "Yes, because that's where the Congress of the United States is, and that's where 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is,'' said Mr. Kerry, adding that the last time he looked, ''John ran for the United States Senate, and he's been in the Senate for the last five years. That seems to me to be Washington, D.C.''

And so it proceeded, with the exchanges between the two only slightly less pointed than those between the Rev. Al Sharpton and Dan Rather, who seemed most beleaguered as moderator of the CBS-New York Times event, close to losing control of it.

Mr. Sharpton, who has so far won 13 delegates (out of 4,322), has to know he has no more chance of victory than, say, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, with his two delegates. There's a good argument that their presence was unnecessary.

But the sponsors and candidates agreed they should participate, because to do otherwise would seem un-Democratic and could risk charges of unfairness, even racial injustice. So the two participated. Not, however, to the satisfaction of Mr. Sharpton, who knows a great platform when he's sitting at one and knows, too, that he can get attention only by grabbing it. So he complained repeatedly that he was being cheated of time.

"Let us have an open debate and go into Super Tuesday, or say that you guys want to decide the nominee,'' Mr. Sharpton charged, to which Mr. Rather said, "Reverend, debate them, not me,'' meaning the other candidates. During another exchange, which served to provoke the ever-ready Sharpton indignation, Mr. Rather said, "I think you will agree, the voters have spoken.'' Mr. Sharpton did not agree.

THAT was consistent, since nobody agreed about much. The candidates expressed positions that weren't really new, just articulated differently, so in the end, the hourlong debate may have little impact on tomorrow's primaries this late in the process. Mario M. Cuomo, pressed into "spinning'' service for Mr. Kerry, professed to enjoy himself. "It was feisty, contentious and disorganized - in a lovely way. It's New York,'' said Mr. Cuomo, the former governor, who also took the occasion to tell a reporter that he'd written a new book on how he imagines Abraham Lincoln would view today's issues and hoped to have the galleys available for reading soon.

The candidates had little to say about the debate, though Mr. Kerry, noting that education, health care and other issues went unexamined, said, "That was a debate?''

A matter of definitions. But at least now New York can hold up its head again. Or maybe bow it down.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 1st, 2004, 05:48 AM
March 1, 2004

THE MAKING OF A CANDIDATE

The Op-Ed page asked the two leading Democratic candidates, Senators John Edwards and John Kerry, to write about an event or realization early in their lives that helped shape their character.

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

A Trust Worth Winning

By JOHN EDWARDS

Take it," he typed, his fingers fumbling on the keyboard. "Take it."

Howard E. G. Sawyer was once a towering man with strength and energy. He walked. He played golf. And he was trying to get his life back together when tragedy struck.

His best friend and employer had helped him check into St. Joseph's Hospital in Asheville, N.C., to get sober. E. G. drank a lot, but he was determined to get things right. He was on that path until he was prescribed three times the recommended dose of a medicine called Antabuse, which was used to help patients stay sober.

Instead of helping E. G. get back to his home, his job and his life, that dosage landed him in a coma. And the once broad-shouldered man now spent his days hunched in a wheelchair, surrounded by fast-food containers, overflowing ashtrays and plastic bags filled with his own urine. He was forced to communicate by typing words on a keyboard.

When I said the defense lawyer had offered to settle at $750,000, E. G. once again typed, "Take it." Even though his expression never changed, I knew what that meant to him. I was only 31 years old, this was my first big case, and I wanted E. G. to get everything that he needed to live his life the way he wanted — with dignity.

It was a lot of money for someone who grew up in a working-class world. E. G.'s father drove a bus in Weaverville, just north of Asheville; my own dad had spent much of his life in the textile mills of North and South Carolina. At the time, my wife, Elizabeth, still wore the $11 wedding ring I had bought for her seven years before.

When he typed, "Take it," I understood completely. But when he typed, "I trust you," everything shifted.

We expect our spouses and parents and children and loved ones to put that complete trust in us — not someone met just a few months before. But E. G. did; he trusted me to make a decision that would either guarantee him $750,000 or risk that he not get a penny.

We all have those moments when we see life with stunning clarity. I had had many moments before that night: experiencing the effects of segregation in the South during the 1950's and 60's; watching my dad try to learn statistics from the math show on public television with the hope of a promotion at the mill; my mom refinishing furniture to help me go to college; that first day I entered college, and the day I had to leave Clemson because I couldn't afford the tuition; meeting my wife, Elizabeth; and the birth of my children.

Those were personal. That evening in December 1984 with E. G. in an empty room on the ninth floor of the Buncombe County courthouse, overlooking downtown Asheville, N.C., was the moment the personal and professional collided.

I will always remember what I told E. G. that night: $750,000 was less than he deserved. It was less than he needed — and the jury knew it, too.

E. G. sat there, his otherwise expressionless eyes welling up, and then in a slow and halting manner, he typed, "I trust you."

I was telling this ruined man to turn his back on what must have seemed to him a fortune. I was claiming to know what the jury was thinking. If I was wrong, E. G. would suffer even more for the rest of his life — and I'd go home to my wife and children and on to my next case. I was all he had, and God help him, he trusted me.

That's when I really understood what I was doing. Even though I had written an essay when I was 11 years old titled, "Why I Want to Be a Lawyer," I did not truly understand what I would do as a lawyer until that night. While I had worked my way through law school, clerked for a judge, worked in a law firm, I understood that night how much E. G. and hundreds like him would count on me to make sure that the law protected them — even in difficult cases like E. G.'s, which I also recount in my book "Four Trials."

What happened to E. G. was tragic but preventable. To help him maintain his sobriety, his doctor recommended what they called "aversion therapy." After taking Antabuse, a patient who takes a drink becomes nauseated and gets sick. The normal dose was 500 milligrams; E. G.'s doctor prescribed 1,500 because of he heard such aggressive therapy discussed at a convention. The hospital's pharmacists filled the prescriptions, and the hospital's nurses administered them to E. G.

Now, his doctor claimed that the reason E. G. went into a coma and suffered was that he drank while on the drug. The hospital claimed that a nurse supported his statement. When we found the nurse, she testified that E. G. never had a drop. But juries in North Carolina never awarded much. It was entirely possible that even after closing arguments, even after expert testimony that the doctor was at fault, the jury could award him nothing.

That's the responsibility E. G. entrusted in me when I advised him to turn down that $750,000. The figure represented the sum of his lost potential wages, but that hardly meant anything for someone who could no longer walk or talk or keep himself clean.

The jury deliberated for four hours. They handed the judge the verdict sheet and I watched his jaw drop. The verdict was read and they awarded E. G. $3.7 million.

"I trust you" are humbling words, and I have carried them with me always: in the courtroom, in the Senate, along the campaign trail. That's what Americans say when they vote. They cast their ballot, and they're giving you their trust. They are asking you to be their voice every single day. It's something I've been doing since that night in Asheville, and I won't ever stop.

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

This Soldier's Story

By JOHN KERRY

Nineteen-sixty-eight was a year unlike any other I have known. I was 24 years old, a newly minted naval officer in a convoy headed for the Gulf of Tonkin.

I remember lazy moments standing watch on the U.S.S. Gridley — out on the fantail, the fo'c'sle, anywhere, looking at the sea, enjoying glorious sunsets and sunrises on the bridge.

Then, on the afternoon of Feb. 26, having left Midway Island, the reality of Vietnam hit me right between the eyes. Gridley's executive officer came to me and asked if I had a friend named Pershing — and I knew immediately why he was asking.

I fought to restrain an empty crying. I didn't even have to read the telegram; I knew that Dick Pershing, my childhood and college friend, was dead. For days on the empty Pacific I could barely stand the knowledge that I would never see him again. It was the loss of someone irreplaceable, a loss of innocence, a loss of the sense of invincibility and bravado that young men have as they go to war.

Soon after, off Vietnam, we learned that Senator Eugene McCarthy and a band of college students living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches had rocked the foundations of the political world in the New Hampshire primary, sending the message to President Lyndon Johnson that he couldn't be president any more. Weeks later we heard of the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated while campaigning for justice in America. We knew that cities across the country had exploded in riots and much of Washington itself was in flames. There was war all around us and war at home.

After a few months of search and rescue work in the Gulf of Tonkin, the ship was returning to California when the crackling radio picked up the end of Robert Kennedy's victory speech, the shots fired in the kitchen, the chaos. We docked early the next morning — June 6, 1968. Robert Kennedy died that day.

I spent a lost weekend in Long Beach glued to the television set. It was strange, leaving a place of violence to come home to violence — violence that shook our sense of the order of things.

Later that summer I reported for swift boat training in Coronado, Calif. We lived with the deep-throated roar of phantom afterburners streaking out of the naval air station, carriers dominating the harbor, Marine recruits surviving basic training, and we watched the turmoil in our own country. I had been a participant and an observer, and my beliefs were challenged during that difficult time.

Soon I found myself back in Vietnam, on the front lines of a very different war from the one I had known on my first tour of duty. We were outsiders in a complex war among Vietnamese. Too many allies were corrupt. Adversaries were ruthless. Enemy territory was everywhere.

It is hard still to explain the clashing feelings. There was the deep and enduring bonds forged among crewmates, brothers in arms from all walks of life fighting each day to keep faith with one another on a tiny boat on the rivers of the Mekong Delta. And there was the anger I felt toward body-counting, face-saving leaders sitting safely in Washington sending to the killing fields troops who were often poor, black or brown.

But that was Vietnam, where the children of America were pulled from front porches and living rooms and plunged almost overnight into a world of sniper fire, ambushes, rockets, booby traps, body bags, explosions, sleeplessness, and the confusion created by an enemy who was sometimes invisible and firing at us, and sometimes right next to us and smiling.

I found understanding only in the shared experience of those for whom the war was personal, who had lost friends and seen brothers lose arms and legs, who had seen all around them human beings fight and curse, weep and die. At times it seemed that we were the only ones who really understood that the faults in Vietnam were those of the war, not the warriors.

I returned home to America and moved to New York City, prepared to serve out the remainder of my naval duty in Brooklyn. Part of me wanted to forget Vietnam and get on with my life, but part of me felt compelled to tell the story. I was unsure how.

Then, in April 1969, I received news so eerily similar to what had happened on that first voyage to Vietnam. Another close friend — Don Droz — had been killed in a swift boat ambush in the Duong Keo River.

At that moment I knew I couldn't wait. There was no further thinking to do. It was time. That's the day I decided to give all my energy and strength to one more mission: to end the war in which I'd fought.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 2nd, 2004, 09:01 AM
March 2, 2004

Rebuffing Bush Seems to Be Primary Goal of New York's Democratic Voters

By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

New York's Democratic voters go to the polls today, with many less intent on casting a ballot for Senator John Kerry or Senator John Edwards than in lodging a first vote against President George W. Bush, political analysts, pollsters and ordinary voters said.

"You know what people are talking about," said Sarah Kovner, a longtime political activist who served eight years in the Clinton administration. "People have jumped to beating Bush. They have jumped to the next stage."

It has become a cliché this primary season to say that Democrats are looking for anyone who can beat Mr. Bush. But many, in fact, say they are, and polls show that they are turning to Mr. Kerry.

The two front-runners, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards, spent the final day before the so-called Super Tuesday primary campaigning in other states, leaving New York and the battle for its 236 delegates to surrogates.

In the highest-profile event of the day, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Mr. Kerry, was in Washington Heights to accept an endorsement from 1199/S.E.I.U. But even that was a rather low-key affair.

The union had initially endorsed Howard Dean. Then, with 24 hours to go, it joined New York officials and unions that have closed ranks around Mr. Kerry, the senator from Massachusetts, and announced its support at Columbia-Presbyterian Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital.

"Whoever comes as a Democrat, they have my vote," Cliford Anglin, 53, a laundry worker at the medical center, said after hearing Mrs. Kerry speak. "If it's Dean. If it's Kerry. It doesn't matter. Anybody."

That attitude - anybody but Mr. Bush - is believed to have tempered the political climate here. When Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards left Wisconsin two weeks ago, it appeared that the New York primary would develop into a sharp contest. For Mr. Kerry, it offered a chance - with its second largest bounty of delegates in the nation - to lock up the nomination. For Mr. Edwards, the senator from North Carolina, a robust showing could keep the two-man race alive.

While that calculus never changed, the battle never really materialized.

"I think the Kerry momentum, the huge Kerry momentum, unplugged this primary," said Josh Isay, a Democratic political consultant who is not affiliated with either camp. "In New York, a huge lead can only be overcome by huge money, and John Edwards did not have huge money to spend in the New York City media market."

The candidates were clearly stretched thin with 10 primaries today, including California's, with 370 delegates, more than any other state. Connecticut's Democratic voters also go to the polls today.

While both candidates made several appearances in New York, they more frequently sent surrogates to the state. Senator Edward M. Kennedy and the drummer Max Weinberg stumped for Mr. Kerry. Mr. Edwards's wife, Elizabeth, campaigned here last week. Mr. Edwards also broadcast commercials upstate, though the vast majority of registered Democrats live downstate.

But if Mr. Edwards had hoped he had done enough to win a huge share of New York's delegates, there are signs he will be disappointed, said pollsters, strategists and voters themselves. "There is no evidence of any Edwards surge," Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said yesterday. "If anything, the Kerry numbers are firming up."

The Edwards campaign, short of putting out some press releases and tacking up signs, appeared to be running out of steam. It was making phone calls to get its voters motivated but had no last-minute events scheduled, said Terence D. Tolbert, the state campaign manager.

Mr. Edwards has been counting on his positions on trade and jobs to resonate upstate, a region that has seen manufacturing jobs evaporate over the years.

But Blair Horner, a legislative director for the nonpartisan New York Public Interest Research Group, said: "I think upstate there is a sense of inevitability in the whole thing. There is a sense that the Kerry steamroller has picked up speed."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
March 3rd, 2004, 06:13 AM
March 3, 2004

Massachusetts Senator Effectively Captures Democratic Nomination

By ADAM NAGOURNEY

Senator John Kerry blazed to victories in Democratic primaries from New York to California yesterday, effectively capturing his party's presidential nomination and prompting his main rival, Senator John Edwards, to move to end his campaign.

Mr. Kerry defeated Mr. Edwards in almost every state — including Ohio and Georgia, where Mr. Edwards had been looking for a victory to keep his candidacy alive — in what was shaping up as a nationwide romp. Faced with a staggering night of losses, Mr. Edwards flew home to Raleigh, N.C., last night to withdraw from the race today, an aide said.

President Bush called Mr. Kerry, of Massachusetts, to congratulate him on his victories. "I said, `I hope we have a great debate about the issues before the country,' " Mr. Kerry said, recounting his conversation with the president.

Scott Stanzel, a Bush campaign spokesman, said Mr. Bush told Mr. Kerry that he had won the nomination against a tough field and that he was looking forward to a spirited race.

Mr. Kerry's hope for a 10-state sweep was frustrated not by Mr. Edwards but by Howard Dean, his onetime nemesis, who finally won his first primary, in Vermont, his home state, two weeks after he withdrew from the race.

Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry offered warm words about each other in their speeches last night, just two days after their decidedly unfriendly debate in New York.

"John Edwards brings 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 for the years to come," Mr. Kerry said of Mr. Edwards, whom many Democrats have pushed as a potential running mate for Mr. Kerry.

But most of all, Mr. Kerry offered a vigorous attack on the White House, previewing what officials in both parties said would be an extraordinarily rough general election campaign.

"I am a fighter," he proclaimed, and proceeded to use the platform of his nationally televised remarks to attack Mr. Bush for proposing a constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages.

"George Bush, who promised to become a uniter, has become the great divider," he said in Washington, adding: "He proposed to amend the Constitution of the United States for political purposes, and we say that he has no right to misuse the most precious document in our history in an effort to divide this nation and distract us from our goals. We resoundingly reject the politics of fear and distortion."

Mr. Edwards, smiling but appearing weary, addressed supporters at a rally in Georgia, a state chosen in the hope that he could give a victory speech. Instead, Mr. Edwards delivered an address that sounded a farewell note for his campaign.

"We have been the little engine that could, and I am proud of what we've done together, you and I," he said.

He praised Mr. Kerry as "an extraordinary advocate for causes that all of us believe in: more jobs, better health care, a cleaner environment, a safer world."

"These are the causes of our party," he said. "These are the causes of our country and these are the causes we will prevail on come November, you and I together."

With yesterday's balloting, 29 states and the District of Columbia have now passed judgment on the Democratic field. And the party's leaders appear to have accomplished precisely what they were looking for in setting up this calendar: A near-consensus candidate, chosen early and with minimal bloodshed.

Mr. Kerry has now claimed the nomination earlier than any other nonincumbent Democratic presidential candidate in more than 40 years, with the notable exception of Al Gore in 2000.

Advisers to Mr. Kerry sought to avoid appearing overly optimistic, even as they rejoiced in these latest wins. They said Mr. Kerry would campaign through Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, the four states where there will be primary voting on March 9.

"We only have one-third of the delegates we need," said Stephanie Cutter, Mr. Kerry's spokesman. "The primaries give voters across the country a chance to get to know John Kerry."

Still, the Kerry campaign was girding for a sea change in the nature of the campaign, moving from the relatively small field of a Democratic primary — and a relatively mild opponent, in Mr. Edwards — to a general election campaign against Mr. Bush, whose aides have promised a fierce campaign. Mr. Kerry moved quickly to set out the themes of his campaign, incorporating lines used by Dr. Dean and Mr. Edwards as he turned full force to the White House.

"Tonight the message could not be clearer. All across our country, change is coming to America," he said, adding: "We have no illusions about the Republican attack machine and what our opponents have done in the past and what they may try to do in the future. But I know that together, we are equal to this task."

The White House appears to be bracing for a strong Democratic threat. Aides to Mr. Bush said he would broadcast his first television advertisements on Thursday night, as he begins spending about $120 million he has raised precisely for this moment. His campaign surrogates appeared on television news programs last night, portraying Mr. Kerry as, among other things, an advocate of tax increases and big government.

It was the year's biggest night of voting for Democrats, with 1,151 delegates being allocated. Going into last night, Mr. Kerry had 562 of the 2,162 delegates needed to win the nomination, compared with 204 for Mr. Edwards.

Delegates in Democratic primaries are allocated based on the percentage of votes each candidate wins, as opposed to the winner-take-all system used by the Republican Party. As a result, Mr. Edwards was under pressure to not only win a number of big states, but win them by substantial margins in order to make up the delegate differences.

That did not come close to happening.

Mr. Kerry posted lopsided victories in New York and California, the two states with the highest number of delegates at stake.

He scored a double-digit victory over Mr. Edwards in Ohio, where Mr. Edwards had campaigned heavily in the calculation that his attacks on Mr. Kerry for voting for the North American Free Trade Agreement would lift him to victory.

He also swamped Mr. Edwards in Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Minnesota and, to no one's surprise, Massachusetts.

The other two candidates, the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York and Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, posted mostly single-digit showings in the voting. Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Kucinich were both on the ballots in their home states; both suffered single-digit showings there as well.

Mr. Edwards's frustration with the turn of events in this campaign was apparent throughout the day.

He visited a polling place in Atlanta in the early morning for a few minutes, grinning and greeting a smattering of voters and supporters. But he did not respond to questions shouted at him and had not made appearances on morning talk shows, as he has done in the past.

Both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards spent part of yesterday in Washington, voting on gun regulation legislation. Before flying to Washington from Georgia, Mr. Kerry stopped by a trucking company depot in Atlanta where he shook hands, and zipped around in a forklift.

"I think we can do a better job on the economy," Mr. Kerry said. "We can fight for an even playing field, and we can sure fight to create more jobs."

Mr. Kerry's huge victories are attributable to voters' anxieties about their own economic futures and, once again, an intense desire to defeat Mr. Bush, according to the polls of voters that were conducted in each state by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for a pool of five television networks and The Associated Press.

In Atlanta, Kyle Cole, 43, said he was voting for Mr. Kerry because "he's got experience."

"We live in some dangerous times," Mr. Cole said. "I really like Edwards, but we need someone who knows how Congress works. And the main thing is to get Bush out."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 3rd, 2004, 07:17 AM
March 3, 2004

The Eight-Month Election

Barring some stupendous disaster, Senator John Kerry has locked up the Democratic nomination. Senator John Edwards fought gamely but reached the end of his campaign after his losses in yesterday's primaries.

The idea that we are now embarking on an eight-month presidential race seems like something beyond overkill. But the irrational schedule of the primaries has deeded it to us, and we ought to make the best of it. An American presidential election does not have to be restricted to empty photo-ops, mind-numbing commercials and the occasional policy speech. Mr. Kerry should take on a responsibility similar to the head of the British opposition, which is a shadow government that comments on what the people in power are doing and describes an alternate course. The Democratic leaders in Congress, Senator Tom Daschle and Representative Nancy Pelosi, try to do that now, but they have neither the stature nor the platform to get a consistent hearing. Mr. Kerry may be able to provide that voice, particularly if he consults with Congressional Democrats and fashions a unified party line.

It is inevitable that the Bush campaign, with its mammoth campaign war chest, will saturate the airwaves with ads and that Mr. Kerry will do his best to raise enough money to respond. But perhaps the very length of the campaign will allow the American public to become inured to the commercials, and to look beyond them to the messages the president and Senator Kerry send about governing. The country is bound to face many challenges between now and November. At a minimum, Mr. Bush will have to respond to events in Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan and the rest of the world. He will have to take stands on domestic issues.

In each case, Mr. Kerry will have a chance to explain whether he would have chosen differently. If he is very clear and very forceful, he could give the country an explicit picture of the differences between himself and Mr. Bush, and help Americans envision what a Kerry presidency would be like.

The primary season began and ended far too early. The public flirted with candidates who seemed fresh and exciting, then decided that the experienced favorite of the party regulars might be the safer choice. Mr. Kerry is certainly a better candidate for his experiences. It was probably helpful that his pride took a beating when his candidacy faltered early on.

Mr. Kerry would benefit from looking at his exit polls, which show that he is not doing as well as he needs to among independents. We also hope that Mr. Kerry is able to get past his recent friction with Mr. Edwards. The failings of the Edwards campaign seemed mainly due to inexperience. Its successes were due to the senator's great virtues as a candidate: his ability to connect with people, the warmth of his message and his talent as an orator. He makes an excellent prospect for a running mate.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

LuPeRcALiO
March 3rd, 2004, 07:31 AM
The Op-Ed page asked the two leading Democratic candidates, Senators John Edwards and John Kerry, to write about an event or realization early in their lives that helped shape their character.

looks like Kerry passed his entrance exam :lol:
________
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dbhstockton
March 4th, 2004, 12:11 AM
Who would have thought Kerry would write about Vietnam? :wink: