Kelly Sans Culotte

The Rat Race: Elections 2004

U.S. presidential and congressional elections. Long shots, sure things, and all the obstacles in the maze. From The Gully.

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Election 2000
Burning Issues: Post-9/11
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Kerry's communitarian appeal
Kerry's call to service is a useful start in redefining the terms of the battle ahead.
Washington Post (US)

Dean's no Wellstone
Lately, presidential contender Howard Dean has been likening himself to the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Out on the stump, Dean has used a phrase that Wellstone long employed — that we need candidates who "represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Before audiences of progressives and party activists, it is reportedly Governor Dean's best applause line. No wonder. The Democratic rank and file yearn for populist leadership based on a firm commitment to progressive policies.
The Nation (US)

Rebel with a cause?
Howard Dean talks about his environmental agenda and his SUV.
Grist (US)

It's all Dean, all of the time
With all the entertainment options available on broadband Internet, watching Vermont Gov. Howard Dean discuss health care and the economy for an hour might not seem like the most exciting use of bandwidth.
Wired (US)
"Witches," says Joe Trippi. "And it pisses me off because they have people all over the world." Trippi, the fiery campaign manager for Howard Dean, is talking about, the year-old Internet service created to facilitate gatherings of people who share common interests—everything from knitting to Wicca—that is now the primary grassroots organizing tool for Dean.
New Republic (US)

Edwards makes rural voters a focus of his campaign
Senator John Edwards of North Carolina said that the Democratic Party and President Bush had failed to address the needs of rural Americans and that he would make an appeal to such voters a central part of his campaign for president.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Lieberman's health plan to focus on cures
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) jumped into the health care debate being waged by Democratic presidential contenders with a proposal that focused on developing cures for chronic diseases rather than extending health care coverage to the estimated 41 million Americans who lack such insurance.
Washington Post (US)

Gephardt leads truant list
Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) has missed 162 votes in the House this year — 85 percent of the total — prompting Republicans to charge that he has abandoned his congressional duties in his pursuit of the presidency.
The Hill (US)

Graham gives the Bushes a scolding
U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, moving to repair his environmental image while adding some sting to his presidential message, accused the Bush brothers of ''malfeasance'' for backing controversial Everglades legislation.
Miami Herald (US)

Bush answers on 9/11 overdue
What's the president trying to hide?
Chicago Sun-Times (US)

Bush courts big donors in presidential mode
President Bush embarked on a packed schedule of fundraising events designed to showcase him as commander in chief even as he builds a record-breaking financial advantage over his future Democratic opponent.
Washington Post (US)

Unkindest tax cut is bound to fail
Not only is the Bush tax cut likely to sharpen radically the inequity in American society, it is also unlikely to work.
Guardian (UK)

Bush criticized on women's issues
Courting the women's vote, Democratic presidential candidates accused President Bush of stacking the federal judiciary with conservatives hostile to feminist issues and warned that abortion rights in the United States will be at risk if Bush is reelected in 2004.
Washington Post (US)

Bush's basket
This was the first a time a president literally showed his balls.
Village Voice (US)

Idiocy of the week
A gay liberal columnist ponders the president's ... uh, manhood.
Salon (US)

Monday, May 19, 2003
A troubled marriage
A conservative president has more problems with one section of his party's right-wing than you might think. They are now terrified that the Republican establishment is preparing to sell them down the river on gay marriage, all because of the need to lure in moderate voters.
Economist (UK)

Stay seated
Unlike Bill Bennett, I'm not a gambler. But if I were, I'd bet that Democrats aren't going to take back in the Senate in 2004.
American Prospect (US)

If Bush was popular, we wouldn't need polls to convince us
The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows 67 percent of Americans approve of President Bush's job performance. Yet the same poll showed ambivalence with Bush on nearly every indicator of governmental leadership.
Common Dreams (US)

If jobs are what Bush is after . . .
The Bush administration may have a better case for its tax cuts than the one it has been emphasizing in its sales pitch. But it is an argument President Bush seems gun-shy about making.
Washington Post (US)

Platform crowd told not to wear ties for Bush speech
President Bush came to Indianapolis to send the message that his tax cut plan will help everyone and not just the wealthy. That's why all those people sitting behind him were instructed on what to wear.

Bush files papers for election
President Bush launched his re-election bid, formally filing papers to seek a second term with his postwar popularity soaring despite a sluggish economy.
Associated Press (US)

Dubya likes gifts
At the end of his latest financial disclosure form, following a dozen pages of itemized assets totaling at least $8.8 million, President Bush listed presidential gifts he just had to keep: a $5,728 boat, complete with dock, a cowboy hat and Rolling Stones concert tickets.
Capitol Hill Blue (US)

No political fallout for Bush on weapons
President Bush appears to be in no political danger from the failure to find chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq, with Democrats reluctant to challenge Bush on any aspect of the war and polls showing Americans unconcerned about weapons discoveries.
Washington Post (US)

US rivals turn on each other as weapons search draws a blank
Top officials are worried by repeated failures to find the proof — and US intelligence agencies are engaged in a struggle to avoid the blame.
The Observer (UK)

Tension between Dean and Kerry helps recast race for Democrats
The political fortunes of two New Englanders battling for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean and John Kerry, have become entangled in a way that has sharpened tension between them and recast the dynamics of the party's presidential competition.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

For Democrats, dueling for donors
From New York to Los Angeles, presidential candidates are engaging in a carefully orchestrated mating ritual with a select group of celebrities, entrepreneurs and party activists who are known for their ability to steer funds toward their candidate of choice.
Washington Post (US)

How to build a better Democrat
Fire the consultants, find some core values and speak from the heart, and then maybe one of the candidates will have a chance against Bush.
Time (US)

You let al-Qaida off hook, Bush told
The attacks in Riyadh and Casablanca emboldened the Democrats contending for next year's presidential nomination to launch the most vigorous attack yet on President George Bush's war on terrorism.
Guardian (UK)

Democrats say Bush is weak on terrorism
Democratic presidential candidates challenged President Bush on his handling of the war on terrorism, questioning the administration's failure to find Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and asserting that Mr. Bush had failed to protect the nation adequately against further terrorist attacks.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Early labor
This weekend, seven of the nine Democratic presidential candidates appeared together at a "town-hall meeting" in Iowa, hosted by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The candidates were too busy flirting with the union delegates to engage in the mutual sniping we saw in South Carolina two weeks ago. But they did try out a few new tricks. Here's a review of each contestant, in reverse alphabetical order.
Slate (US)

Democrats aim to shuck anonymity
Never mind the fact that a recent poll revealed two-thirds of Americans couldn't pick a Democratic presidential candidate out of a lineup. Never mind that the names of the leading prospects to challenge President Bush, including politicians who have toiled for years in Washington, didn't ring a bell with voters.
Chicago Tribune (US)

Campaign contortions
Edwards' campaign says that though he endorses gay adoption he has reservations about civil unions for gays and lesbians and would leave decisions on this matter to the states. His press secretary noted, "It's an issue he thinks the country--and North Carolina--is not ready for."
The Nation (US)

Money from sugar barons lands Graham in trouble with activists
Sen. Bob Graham's donations from the sugar industry are leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some environmentalists who say he has not done enough to help on Everglades cleanup.
Orlando Sentinel (US)

Graham alleges a 9/11 'coverup'
Sen. Bob Graham on accused the Bush administration of engaging in a "coverup" of intelligence failures before and after the Sept. 11 attacks to shield it from embarrassment, and said the war with Iraq has allowed Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to become a greater threat to Americans than ever before.
Los Angeles Times (US)

Lieberman proposes monthly debates
Maybe Joe Lieberman has found his niche. The Connecticut senator, who won perhaps the best reviews for his performance in the recent Democratic presidential debate, has asked his eight rivals to participate in monthly, nationally televised debates beginning this July — and continuing through the 2004 primary season.
Washington Post (US)

The 'D' in DLC doesn't stand for Dean
In case there was any doubt, the New Democrats don't like former Vermont governor Howard Dean and they definitely don't want him to win their party's 2004 presidential nomination.
Washington Post (US)

Dean’s home state supporters defend his ‘moderate’ record
Some of Howard Dean’s home state supporters leapt to his defense after the leaders of a national centrist Democrat organization lambasted him as an elitist liberal.
Associated Press (US)

Spinning a new web
Nationwide, thousands of Howard Dean supporters gathered at 250 functions on the same night, drawn not by calls or cards from the campaign but by a Web site.
Newsweek (US)

Dr. Dean's health-care prescription
Here's a quick assessment of how Dean's plan fits into the Democratic presidential race.
Slate (US)

Dean offers plan for near-universal health care access
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean unveiled a plan to provide near-universal access to health care coverage by targeting federal assistance to those without insurance and penalizing large, profitable corporations that fail to offer it, saying the United States "has fallen 50 years behind the social standards of what we consider the civilized world."
Washington Post (US)

Kerry touts $80 billion health care plan
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry unveiled his $80 billion health care plan that aims to slash the spiraling costs of medical coverage, including expensive catastrophic treatment and employee premiums.
Associated Press (US)

Kerry interview
This is the first of a planned series of question-and-answer sessions with the Democratic presidential contenders.
USA Today US)

Speaking her mind, using her checkbook
As the Kerry campaign gets under way, Teresa Heinz Kerry is being described as either its greatest strength or its biggest liability.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Kerry made his Bones in secret club — like Bush
Sen. John F. Kerry expounds on many issues in his presidential campaign, but he's completely silent on one topic: his membership in Skull and Bones, Yale's infamous secret society.
Boston Herald (US)

Sunday, May 11, 2003
The call of the skunk
The 2004 campaign barely sputtered to life this week, but the media class was all over it with a kind of desperate zeal. For journalists, the White House race is never just a story; it's a sport and a pastime.
National Journal (US)

Jim Crow revived in cyberspace
The "Help America Vote Act," which requires every state to replicate Florida's system of centralized, computerized voter files before the 2004 election, could lead to a dramatic increase in the expulsion of legal voters.
Baltimore Sun (US)

Democratic hopefuls seek traction on issue of security
Although the end of the war in Iraq and the lowering of the terror-threat level at home are already making security concerns recede, many Democrats are actually ramping up their attacks on the issue.
Christian Science Monitor (US)

Campaign finance muddle recalls election of '76
Some people think that the Supreme Court elected George W. Bush, and that he is the only president it ever chose. Maybe so, but in 1976 the court played a crucial part in the nomination of Jimmy Carter.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Kerry carries water for top donor
Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., whose largest campaign contributor lobbies on behalf of telecommunication interests, pushed the legislative priorities of its clients in the wireless industry on several occasions.
Center for Public Integrity (US)

For Kerry and Kennedy, chill is gone
Kennedy has set a fresh tone by throwing himself into Kerry's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in the past couple of months.
Boston Globe (US)

Bob Jones University won't welcome Kerry
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has said he would speak at Bob Jones University and would ``challenge the university on some of its views,'' according to his campaign. But a school spokesman made it clear that an invitation would not be forthcoming.
Guardian (UK)

The Gore-ing of John Kerry
They've already made fact-free charges that he's a "phony" with deep "identity" problems. Will a toxic press corps eager for a takedown poison the senator's presidential chances the way it did Al Gore's?
Salon (US)

Lieberman unveils a 'big idea'
As the nine Democrats who are seeking their party's 2004 presidential nomination jockey for position, the "big ideas" designed to address some of the country's major problems are beginning to flow out of the campaign policy operations. Now Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) has a plan for "energy independence."
Washington Post (US)

Lieberman's inside track heads uphill
As his rivals tilt left, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) has been tagged as too conservative to win the crucial support of the party's liberal base — and that has dampened his fundraising.
Washington Post (US)

Lieberman's radio message resonates with Cubans
Presidential hopeful Joseph Lieberman sent a message of encouragement to Cubans across the Florida Straits — and appealed to the Bush administration not to back away from its pledge to promote democracy on the island — during a campaign stop at Radio and TV Martí.
Miami Herald (US)

Gephardt widens Iowa caucus lead
Gephardt received the support of one-in four (25%), compared to 13% who said they would support Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
Zogby International (US)

Who is Bob Graham kidding?
Florida Sen. Bob Graham has formally declared his candidacy for a quadrennial archetype: The senator who enters the race with respect, then blows it all by running for president.
Slate (US)

Running scared
Bob Graham's message to the voters is simple: However frightened we are, it isn't nearly frightened enough.
Washington Post (US)

Out with the truth
With his voting record at issue, why won't U.S. Congressman Mark Foley just say that he's gay?
New Times Broward-Palm Beach (US)

Former governor won't run for Senate
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar said today he would not run for the U.S. Senate in 2004, citing a preference for spending time with his grandchildren and a reluctance to engage in the "blood sport'' of a campaign.
Chicago Sun-Times (US)

Karl Rove's campaign strategy: It's the terror, stupid
Hailed as the White House's political genius, Karl Rove was as ebullient and unrevealing as the Great Oz in journeying to New Hampshire this week for no apparent reason. He seemed to be scouting restlessly for some Tin Man or Cowardly Lion among the passel of Democrats on the campaign road that passes through here next winter.
NY Times (registr. req'd)

In New Hampshire, the spotlight is on Rove
When Karl Rove came to New Hampshire, he did not come quietly. His schedule had all the trappings of a candidate rather than a mere political strategist — two public speeches, several media interviews, a private meeting with Republican contributors, a pep rally with party activists and a quiet session with the publisher of the conservative Manchester Union Leader.
Washington Post (US)

Cheney: I will be on 2004 ticket
"The president has asked me if I would serve again as his running mate," Mr. Cheney told The Dallas Morning News during an interview in Dallas. "I've agreed to do that."
Dallas Morning News (US)

GOP eyes tax cuts as annual events
White House officials have told allies they will attempt a new tax cut every year Bush remains in office.
Washington Post (US)

Bush visit will cost Omaha workers a day's pay
Factory workers in the Omaha crowd for President Bush's speech won't be earning pay while their plant is shut down for the president's visit.
Omaha World-Herald (US)

The Jerry Bruckheimer White House
If the Democratic party were a TV show, it would turn up as a rerun on Channel 64. Then again, that is just what happened last weekend.
NY Times (registr. req'd)

Byrd rips Bush's aircraft carrier use
"I am loath to think of an aircraft carrier being used as an advertising backdrop for a presidential political slogan, and yet that is what I saw," Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd said on the Senate floor.
Associated Press (US)

Where's the vision?
Take nine presidential candidates, stick them in a 90 minute format, subtract time for the moderators' intros and questions, for the commercials and station-breaks — and you're left with a forum in which no one could have time to make a serious intellectual argument. (US)

Sunday, May 04, 2003
The Democrats debated, and Bush won
You may not have noticed, what with the new X-Men movie and all, but last week the 2004 presidential campaign unofficially kicked off with two very different events.
Christian Science Monitor (US)

For voters, there's much to ponder
Democrats may not have spotted a nominee at their first presidential debate, but at least they learned that they can choose from a remarkable variety of political styles.
Boston Globe (US)

Is Bush unbeatable?
It is irresistible to compare the political prospects President George H.W. Bush faced 12 years ago with those his son faces today. But don’t dwell on similarities. The differences are the real story.
Human Events (US)

Bush can be beaten
First, we need to remind ourselves of the broad conception of America that Team Bush has been selling, both before and after 9/11. And then we need to expose this vision’s weaknesses because it is, in fact, too radical (or should we say counter-revolutionary?) for the great majority of Americans.
In These Times (US)

GOP memo predicts drop in Bush poll numbers
A GOP memo distributed to Republicans across the country predicts that President Bush's high approval ratings will soon "drop to more realistic levels" and that some polls may show him behind Democratic rivals, but cautions that such a development should not be cause for alarm.

Countdown to 2004
George W. Bush, after all, only won the 2000 election by a few dimpled chads. If the electorate remains as divided in 2004, the identity of his opponent could make all the difference. He has a long wait to find out whom it will be.
Economist (UK)

Americans polarized on Bush
President Bush has emerged from the conflict in Iraq with his credentials as a wartime leader enhanced, but the outcome has done little to improve perceptions of how he is handling the economy and other domestic issues, a new poll shows.
Washington Post (US)

George Walker Hoover?
Now that the war with Iraq is over, President Bush is focusing on passing his proposed tax cut—optimistically dubbed the "Jobs and Growth Plan," rather than the more accurate "Deficits and Deficits Plan."
Slate (US)

Yellow streak
The Democrats would rather lamely call for apologies than actually fight.
American Prospect (US)

Dean's early sniping draws fellow Democrats to battle
With the first presidential contest still nine months away, bitter private and public sniping among the Democratic contenders is already underway.
Boston Globe (US)

Dean: Dems need backbone to beat W
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the doctor-turned-politician running for President, offered a diagnosis of the other top Democrats in the race: "They need a backbone transplant."
New York Daily News (US)

Dean says rights issues central to candidacy
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, who has become a darling of his party's left wing with his scalding criticism of the Iraq war, comes to San Francisco hoping to shift to a new campaign theme: civil rights and gay rights.
San Francisco Chronicle (US)

Howard Dean's dance mix
You asked for it, so we created it….
Georgia Dean for America Group (US)

Howard Dean's remark on military draws fire from Kerry
Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor running for president, has told an audience in New Hampshire that the United States "won't always have the strongest military," an assertion that drew a strong rebuke today from one of his rivals for the Democratic nomination.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Kerrying the fight home
There has got to be a political fight in the season ahead on the matter of the exercise of the power we have accumulated. The pas de deux featuring Dean and Kerry is a preview of it.
National Review (US)

Military malpractice
The doctor-soldier war is on.
Slate (US)

The Dems get ready for prime time
Can Gephardt claim health care? Can Dean make hay on national security? Stay tuned...
Time (US)

Two Democratic contenders clash on universal health coverage
In a sign of emerging divisions among Democratic presidential contenders, Senator Bob Graham criticized Representative Richard A. Gephardt's call for universal health care coverage, saying Democrats should not repeat President Bill Clinton's failed attempt to push through a huge revamping of the health care system.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Crash course in Orthodox Judaism for Lieberman's aides
How does an Orthodox Jew run for president while obeying the extensive and intricate rules that govern the activities of religiously conservative members of his faith?
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Sharpton's money matters
Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton reported raising $82,000 over the first three months of this year, a figure that places him near the bottom of his field in the chase for campaign dollars.
Washington Post (US)

Would U.S. elect another president-general?
He’s got the military credentials and the heightened profile of a pontificating pundit on the war in Iraq, but most political experts think Gen. Wesley Clark might be aiming too high if he’s considering a run for president in 2004.
Fox News (US)

In 2004 presidential campaign, war may hover
The end to hostilities in Iraq has ushered in a new, more vigorous phase in the Democratic presidential campaign. For the first time in months, the war is no longer the predominant issue, even as it continues to shape the contours of the race.
Christian Science Monitor (US)

Campaign finance law is partly struck down
A three-judge federal panel struck down major provisions of the nation's new campaign finance law, raising deep uncertainties about how next year's presidential and congressional races will be financed and conducted.
Washington Post (US)

1,638 pages, but little weight in Supreme Court
Would this bloated judicial product have the power to shape the eventual decision by the Supreme Court, the court that will finally determine the fate of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act? The answer was almost certainly no.
New York Times (registr. req'd)

Democrats' new steppingstone
South Carolina's heightened importance to Democrats is affecting the campaign's ideological tilt, as candidates vie for support among the state's mix of African-Americans and moderate whites.
Christian Science Monitor (US)

On a rising American investor class
Zogby polling data since 2000 shows that investors vote and think differently from their non-investor peers.
Financial Times (UK)

Office work
Next year will likely be an easy one for Senate incumbents, but the up-for-grabs seats are of no small import.
American Prospect (US)

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