July 4 2004
VEEP BUZZ: Mark Halperin on This
Week with George Stephanopoulos suggested that Kerry
had a face-to-face meeting with his VP choice Thursday night
at Madeleine Albright's house in DC. He then said that of
the three major contenders most often mentioned (John Edwards,
Richard Gephardt and Tom Vilsack) only Dick Gephardt was
in Washington. Halperin added that Senator Joseph Biden,
and former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen might have been
in DC as well.
& SPINNING BUSH'S JOB APPROVAL: At the beginning
of the program Iraq's interim prime minister Iyad Allawi
was interviewed and I found him to be very impressive. The
interview today jives with the other times I have seen Allawi
and it appears that Iraq, and the United States, might have
found a real leader who will set the stage for some real
progress in Iraq.
been steadily impressed with Stephanopoulos program and
he does a good job of having serious guests and usually
informative roundtables However, he can't help himself sometimes
to get in a partisan cheap shot. Today's was the graph and
discussion of the President's job approval where he referenced
the latest CBS
News/NY Times poll to make the argument that President
Bush was in trouble.
highlighting the CBS/NYT poll number of 42%, Stephanopoulos
was able to frame the story line that Bush's job approval
is more in the realm of presidential losers like his father,
Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. The problem here is the most
recent polls from ABC/WP, NBC/WSJ,
CNN/Gallup, FOX/OD, Annenberg, Battleground, Rasmussen,
Harris, Pew, LA Times, NPR and AP/Ipsos ALL have
the President's job approval between 45% and 52%.
could have just as easily taken the Battleground
poll, a well respected bipartisan poll that was released
last week that showed the President's approval at 51% to
make the argument that based on historical job approval
President Bush was actually closer to winners like Nixon,
Reagan and Clinton.
had an agenda to frame the conversation in a way that made
President Bush look weaker than he really his and that is
why he cherry picked the NY Times poll to highlight. Matthew
Dowd spoke the truth when he suggested that in reality the
President's approval rating is currently in a gray area
between where incumbent Presidents are usually comfortably
reelected and where they normally lose. J. McIntyre
4:22 pm Link
to a Friend
July 1 2004
KERRY'S VP: The Drudge/Hillary
VP rumor looks like it has come and gone with little
impact on the big media, which paradoxically might mean
there is more truth to it than is conventionally thought.
reports this morning that Kerry "may announce his
choice of a running mate here as early as next Tuesday."
has focused on three candidates -- Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack,
US Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, and
Senator John Edwards of North Carolina -- but Kerry has
limited all concrete information about his search to a
tight circle that includes his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry,
and James A. Johnson, the Washington banker heading his
search committee. In recent days, Vilsack has been the
focus of a media boomlet, but Kerry aides say other candidates
including US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and
former senator Sam Nunn of Georgia remain possible choices.
Edwards and Gephardt do seem to be the big three. I have
maintained all along that Gephardt is Kerry's
smartest choice and I still feel that way.
as VP and a northern electoral strategy aimed at winning
the Gore states plus New Hampshire and Missouri is Senator
Kerry's best shot.
Kerry campaign is probably worried that Gephardt will be
seen as a boring choice (which he is), but what they may
not realize is that boring is good. Kerry's job is is to
make himself an acceptable alternative to President Bush,
and Gephardt as a respected Democratic elder statesman will
help in that goal. He is the smart choice.
Governor Tom Vilsack just seems like a wasted pick.
My question is why? If Kerry can't win Iowa on his own he
doesn't have a prayer anyway. Nothing against Vilsack personally,
I just don't see what Kerry gets with this choice.
Edwards seems to be the consensus favorite, which is one
reason he probably won't get the nod. I realize the appeal
many Democrats see in him, but he won't be enough to help
Kerry win North Carolina or any southern state (unless Kerry
already has the election in the bag). Not to mention, he
will definitely leave the voter wishing the VP and President
spots were switched, not a good impression for John Kerry.
and Nunn, the longshots in the Globe article are interesting
possibilities. I suspect Biden is getting a harder look
than people may think and while he would bring nothing from
an electoral standpoint, he would be a serious respected
choice. Nunn would make some sense except the comparison
to Dukakis' pick of Bentsen in 1988 should be enough to
eliminate his chances.
Lindberg mentioned Bob Rubin a while back and Bill Kristol
brought his name up a couple of weeks ago on FOX New
Sunday. Rubin would give Kerry a lot of credibility
in the business community, and would help moderate his liberal
record. He would be a solid choice. A name not mentioned
recently is Pennsylvania
Governor Ed Rendell. He would take Pennsylvania off
the table, a must win state for Kerry, and would also be
a moderating influence.
said yesterday Senator Clinton, makes sense for the
Clintons. Whatever she may say publicly I think she would
accept and might even want the VP slot. The problem is on
balance, Hillary would probably hurt Kerry's chances of
winning, which you would think would reduce her chances
of being chosen. My point on Drudge's report was not that
I thought Clinton was going to be the VP, but rather that
I do think she is willing to be on the ticket and that her
odds of getting the nod are higher than is conventionally
thought in Washington.
this point it is all speculation and I suspect no one outside
Teresa Heinz Kerry and James Johnson, the man heading the
search committee, has a solid idea who it will be. The fact
they have been downplaying New
Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for weeks makes me wonder
whether his stock has secretly risen. My gut leads me to
think that the safe, solid choice of Gephardt will prevail
or it will be a long shot, surprise-type of choice. No Vilsack
or Edwards. J. McIntyre 9:13 am Link
to a Friend
June 30 2004
VICE PRESIDENT CLINTON?: As I wrote in early
out all of the electoral math, the wild card choice that
would truly turn the election into a red state vs blue
state cage match is Sen. Hillary Clinton. Despite all
of her public protestations to the contrary, I suspect
the Clintons might be very open to the idea of Hillary
This would help Kerry in all of the blue states and would
allow Bill Clinton to campaign furiously and publicly
for the ticket which would help Kerry in the African-American
community. How much it helps in winning Missouri, Ohio,
Arizona or otherwise getting John Kerry to an electoral
majority is another story.
and behold Drudge
unloads this on a slow summer day in Washington:
Washington and the entire press corps will be rocked when
Hillary Rodham Clinton is picked as Kerry's VP and a massive
love fest will begin!
predicts a top Washington insider, who spoke to the DRUDGE
REPORT on condition he not be named.
the signs point in her direction," said the insider, one
of the most influential and well-placed in the nation's
capital. "It is the solution to every Kerry problem."
is a win-win for the Clintons. First, Senator Clinton's
chances of ever becoming President will rise considerably
if she could serve two terms as Vice President. This would
allow her plenty of time to moderate her image with the
American people and would put her in a stronger position
to win a general election campaign. But forgetting whether
Hillary as VP helps her chances of becoming President, strategically
it makes sense for the Clintons
accepting the VP slot Senator Clinton eliminates all Democratic
rivals for the nomination in 2008 or 2012. If a Kerry-Clinton
ticket loses Hillary is automatically the front-runner in
2008. If the Kerry-Clinton ticket wins she will get the
nomination in 2012 either by the Al Gore route or the Walter
only loser here is John Kerry, but what Kerry might not
fully realize is that even though he is the nominee, he
is still not the guy in charge of the party. If this comes
to pass it will be a press bonanza and will turn an already
huge election into a slug fest of enormous proportions.
But like I said a couple of months ago how much help this
brings Kerry in getting to an electoral vote majority is
this indeed does happen, the winners are George Bush and
Bill Clinton, and the loser is John Kerry. J. McIntyre
10:58 am Link
to a Friend
FEELING THE AMOUR: Jaques
Chirac is an enemy of America. It's really that simple.
He wants the policies of this country to fail in Afghanistan
and Iraq. And to the extent we continue to follow these
policies - promoting democracy in the Middle East, aggressively
pursuing terrorists and dealing harshly with those who harbor
or support them, lobbying for the expansion of NATO and
the EU - Chirac will ALWAYS be opposed to them, no matter
who is president.
time for those on the left to put away the childish fantasy
that John Kerry will alight in Paris shortly after his election,
parlez with Chirac for a few hours and magically transform
France back into a solid ally of the Untied States. It won't
worse, however, is the danger that we might well go along
pretending it has happened while Chirac continues to agitate
against us and obstruct our progress behind the scenes.
only thing we can do is what we are and have been doing:
work with Chirac when we can (which is almost never) and
work around him when we can't.
Bush administration has made recent overtures to Chirac,
but to no avail. It seems clear that the only thing that
will change Chirac's mind is a change in our position. In
the end, that is what John Kerry will have to do as President
if he wants to reconcile with France.
what we should do instead is send Dick Cheney to the next
meeting with Chirac and tell him what to do.
SKINNY ON REPLACING RYAN: Survey USA ran a couple
of polls on potential replacements for Jack Ryan. The results
They show former
Governor Jim Thompson leading a pack of four possible
choices, with dairy magnate Jim Oberweis in second place
(he also finished second in the GOP primary), state senator
Steve Rauschenberger in third and businessman Ron Gidwitz
bringing up the rear. Without Thompson in the mix, SUSA
shows the same order of finish, with Oberweis leading Rauschenberger
41 to 27.
the problems. Odds are that Thompson won't run. He just
turned 68 last month and while it's not quite Frank
Lautenberg territory, Thompson has already begged off
in the past and probably isn't going to be jumping at the
chance to get involved in a grueling four month campaign.
is interested, but he fell out of favor with many Republicans
including supporters of President Bush by running some despicable
anti-immigrant ads during the GOP primary.
finished a strong third in the GOP primary and is by all
accounts a nice guy and a very knowledgeable public servant.
His problems are name recognition and money. He doesn't
have enough of either to compete with Obama.
has the money to self fund and is a favorite of IL GOP Chair
Judy Baar Topinka. But he also has little experience and
may not end up being the strongest candidate.
names floating around are U.S.
Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and businessman Andy
McKenna. McKenna finished well back in the primary,
but he does have the backing of some serious power players
in Illinois, as well as a clean record and a deep pocketbook.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if McKenna is the one tapped
to replace Ryan.
there's the rumor/hope that Senator Peter Fitzgerald might
stay on. I spoke with someone inside Fitzgerald's office
last week and was told that he is absolutely not interested.
Things may have changed since then, but all indications
are that Fitzgerald is sticking to his plan to retire.
NEW BAG: We knew running for President was a good
career move for Sharpton. Now he's
going to host a reality TV show. Maybe now he can actually
afford to stay at the Plaza, drink champagne and eat caviar
on his own dime. - T. Bevan 9:25 am Link
| Email |
to a Friend
June 29 2004
AT LEAST THEY'RE CONSISTENT: From
the new CBS News/NY Times poll:
speaking, do you usually consider yourself a Republican,
a Democrat, an Independent, or what?
Democrat = 35%
Independent/Don't Know = 36%
is the exact same weighting they used in the last joint
CBS/NYT survey (April 23-27) that showed Kerry leading Bush
by 2 points in the head-to-head race (46-44) and had Bush's
job approval at 46%. The new CBS News/NY Times poll has
Kerry ahead by 1 point (45-44) head-to-head and Bush's JA
was, however, a CBS
News poll from last month (May 20-23, 1,113 adults,
MoE 3.0%) that showed a similar job approval number for
Bush (41%) but had Kerry with a bulging eight point lead
in the head-to-head horserace (49-41). One thing worth noting:
unlike the polls conducted in conjunction with The New York
Times, CBS News doesn't provide any detail on the weighting
of their polls.
you look back at the historical data on our head-to-head
poll page, you'll see that the April 23-27 CBS/NYT poll
stood out as the only poll taken in the last two weeks of
April that showed Kerry ahead of Bush. Likewise, the May
20-23 CBS News poll showed a Kerry lead that was a good
six points larger than any of the other polls taken at the
time around, with the exception of the Washington Post/ABC
News poll (which we'll get to in a minute), the CBS/NYT
is again one of the only polls in the most recent grouping
showing Kerry leading Bush - though it shows a big move
toward Bush and is considerably closer to the overall average
as two other recent polls (IBD/TIPP and Rasmussen) have
the race tied.
WAPO POLL: Given all of the evidence at hand, this
poll is looking more and more like an outlier - especially
if you compare it with the movement in the other major polls
over the last month.
the four major polling groups that produced comparable surveys
in May and June, the Washington Post/ABC News poll is the
only one showing movement toward John Kerry - and not just
a little bit:
News & CBS/NYT
this, it's hard to imagine the WaPo's 8-point for John Kerry
in the head-to-head horserace is accurate.
and Zogby are due out with national polls soon, so we should
get an even better idea of where the race is moving. - T.
Bevan 10:10 am Link
| Email |
to a Friend
June 28, 2004
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: I saw Michael Moore's movie
on Friday. I won't waste time wading through all of the
lies and distortions, Christopher
Hitchens in Slate does a better job at deconstructing
the movie than I would. Let's just say, I agree wholeheartedly
with this description:
describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost
be to promote those terms to the level of respectability.
To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run
the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above
the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile
crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is
a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised
as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle
of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration
of "dissenting" bravery.
sums it up pretty well. I don't think supporters of President
Bush need be too concerned over the impact the movie will
have on the public. If Moore's aim in the movie is to turn
people against Bush, I think he has failed. The movie is
so over the top, only those individuals already against
the President and the war are going to find it persuasive.
is actually doing a disservice to those who disagree with
the war and Bush, because by mixing legitimate points of
contention with outright lies he weakens the merits of the
anti-Bush, anti-war argument.
a political standpoint this movie will not hurt the President
one iota. In fact, the political danger of Fahrenheit
9/11 rests far more with the Democrats than with the
GOP. The more the Democratic party is associated with Michael
Moore and the extreme left, the better for Republicans.
Democratic strategists and party leaders who don't see this
need to start hanging out with different people.
one thing to argue against the war and Bush, it's another
to insinuate that President Bush and the Bush family have
a nefarious relationship with the bin Laden family and the
House of Saud. This movie will be great fodder for conspiracy
theorists on the left, and I'm sure I will get a ton of
email insisting that President Bush does have a nefarious
relationship with the Saudis and the bin Laden family.
like in the 90's you would hear the ridiculous rumors from
the quacks on the far-right that Clinton had Ron Brown killed,
along with dozens of other people who got in his way. (Just
Google "Clinton killed Ron Brown" and you will
see what I mean). If the right had as talented of a film
maker as Michael Moore in the 90's do you think the press
would have shown the same respect for a "documentary"
on Clinton that included the far out Mena/CIA drugs for
you really feel at the movie is the passion and hatred for
President Bush among the crowd. There is a palpable, pathological
disgust for the man in the movie theatre. Throughout the
movie Moore uses clip after clip to make Bush look stupid
and the crowd breaks out in approving laughter.
there are two scenes that struck me as informative. Moore
does the same routine on Colin Powell, setting him up to
look foolish by using a clip of Powell getting his makeup
done for an interview. But the expected laughter from the
crowd didn't materialize. It was almost as if you could
see the seeds of doubt climbing into the audience's head
whispering, "wait a minute, Colin Powell isn't a bumbling
same thing happens a little later in the film when Moore
strings together a scene making fun of Bush, then Cheney,
then Rumsfeld, and then finally Tony Blair. You could hear
the audience go quiet again, as if questioning themselves
for a split second, "is Tony Blair really a bumbling,
evil man also?"
I walked out among the crowd of rabid Bush-haters I realized
these people are going to be profoundly distraught if President
Bush is reelected. There is an enormous amount of emotion
invested on the left that President Bush is a complete moron
who shouldn't be President.
when the stupid guy beats you in 2000, and then beats you
in 2002, and then beats you again in 2004, at what point
do you begin to question which person or party is the one
really being stupid? J. McIntyre 8:17 am Link
to a Friend