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After three vote tallies and 58 days of waiting, Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared Washington's governor-elect on Thursday. But her Republican rival did not concede and wants a new election.
|Colin Powell resigns : Nov. 15 - Dec. 15, 2004|
News of Powell's pending resignation comes amid a series of step downs by prominent members of Bush's cabinet. Last week, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans both announced their resignations. Ashcroft was replaced by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, a Texas confidant and one of the most prominent Hispanics in the administration.
Other resignations announced or expected this week: Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced his resignation Monday, and the White House is expected to announce later today the resignation of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.
The White House also announced Monday the resignation of Education Secretary Rod Paige. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice is the "likely" choice to succeed Powell, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
|Secretary of State Colin Powell||National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice|
|Attorney General John Ashcroft||White House counsel Alberto Gonzales|
|Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham||Cabot Corp. CEO Sam Bodman|
|Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman||Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns|
|Education Secretary Rod Paige||White House domestic policy adviser Margaret Spellings|
|Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge|
Judge Michael Chertoff
|Commerce Secretary Don Evans||Kellogg's CEO Carlos Gutierrez|
|Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson||EPA Director Mike Leavitt|
|EPA Director Mike Leavitt|
|Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson|
|David Cobb on Ohio Recount: Nov 30, 2004|
The testimony confirmed numerous complaints tracked by election-watchdog organizations and investigative journalists since Nov. 2. Those who testified told stories of the obstruction and disqualification of legitimate voters, malfunctioning computer voting machines, and prohibitively long lines for too few machines.
A pattern emerged: The complaints came disproportionately from blacks, young people, and precincts where Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry had strong support.
As the Green Party presidential candidate, I have a statutory right to demand a recount of the presidential vote in Ohio. On Nov. 11, I announced my intention to invoke that right, joined by Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik. We were compelled to demand a recount by widespread reports of irregularities, to ensure that the final tally is accurate and to restore faith in the electoral process.
...Neither Badnarik nor I has a partisan interest in seeing either Kerry or George W. Bush in the White House. But we do have an interest - and a responsibility, as candidates and American citizens - in ensuring the fairness of elections and integrity of vote counts.
...Badnarik and I are also asking Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to recuse himself from any involvement in the recount. Blackwell supervised the presidential vote at the same time that he served as co-chairperson of the Bush campaign in Ohio. This is an unfortunate reprise of the 2000 fiasco in Florida, when Secretary of State Katherine Harris was also the chairwoman of the Bush campaign and the person responsible for counting the presidential vote. Votes should be counted by an independent election commission, not by overtly partisan politicians.
Like many Americans, I was, to say the least, disappointed that Kerry conceded the election so quickly on Nov. 3, despite his promise that all votes be counted. My disappointment stemmed not from a desire to see Kerry elected, but a desire to see that everyone who cast a ballot would have their vote counted. For many Democratic Party leaders, on the other hand, the lesson of the 2000 Florida scandal seems to be that controversy must be avoided, even if votes go uncounted or serious allegations don't get investigated.
For those of us in the Green Party, however, the lesson of 2000 is that the fight for voting rights didn't end with the reforms of the civil-rights movement. It goes on today, in Ohio and elsewhere.
Regardless of whether a recount changes the outcome of the election, we must protect the right to vote and the right for all votes to be counted. Either every vote is sacred, or democracy is a sham.
|Jesse Jackson on Ohio recount: Nov 29, 2004|
"We are pulling people together from around the state," Jackson, president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said in a telephone interview Sunday. "The Ohio race has not yet been (decided) because of so many irregularities 26 days after the election."
Jackson on Sunday called for a recount of votes and said the Ohio Supreme Court should consider setting aside President Bush's victory Nov. 2. Jackson and others are complaining about uncounted punch-card votes, disqualified provisional ballots, discrepancies between exit polling and results, and too many votes counted for President Bush in Ohio. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry in Ohio by 136,000 votes, according to unofficial results.
Jackson also said that there was a disparity in voting machinery used in suburban and urban neighborhoods. "The suburban communities had ample machines," he said. "In inner cities, we had people (waiting) five or six hours in line. That was no doubt targeted."
Kerry has already conceded the race. Jackson said he thought it was possible a recount could change the outcome of the election, but said it was more important to get votes counted. "This is about the integrity of the vote. This is not about the Kerry campaign," said Jackson, who supported Kerry.
On the morning of Nov. 3, less than 12 hours after Ohio's final votes were cast, Kerry called Bush to congratulate him on his victory. His campaign figured he would not get enough of the 155,000 provisional ballots, or those cast by voters whose registrations could not be confirmed at polling places, to overtake Bush's total.
The counting of provisional ballots and wide gaps in vote totals for Kerry and other Democrats on the ballots in certain counties have raised too many questions to let the vote stand without further examination, Jackson said. "We can live with winning and losing. We cannot live with fraud and stealing," Jackson said.
Attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who has represented political activist groups, said he would ask the Ohio Supreme Court, probably on Wednesday, to take a look at the election results. If the court decides to hear the case, it can declare a new winner or throw the results out.
|Kerry concedes to Bush: Nov. 3, 2004|
Earlier Wednesday, supporters who waited for hours to see Kerry deliver a victory speech at a rally in Copley Square were greeted by the senator's running mate -- North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at about 2:30 a.m. "John Kerry and I made a promise to the American people that with this election, every vote would count and every vote would be counted," Edwards said. "Tonight we are keeping our word and we will fight for every vote. You deserve no less."
With 270 Electoral College votes needed to win, Bush won 28 states for 254 votes, and Kerry won 20 states and the District of Columbia for 252 states. All eyes remained on Ohio, which was yet to be declared, but Bush appeared to be leading the popular vote in the Buckeye State. Democrats said that up to 250,000 uncounted votes may be in the form of provisional ballots in Ohio -- votes that are not counted until late in the election process because they have to be evaluated. Provisional ballots are handed to voters who fail to meet certain qualifications at the polling place.
|Oct. 31, 2004: Our presidential election prediction|
Pollsters don't actually report the number of people who say they're going to vote for Bush or Kerry. The pollsters adjust the raw numbers by factors that account for historical demographic trends. For example, if only 25% of people aged 18-25 voted in the previous election, then anyone in that demographic group is discounted by 75% in polls in the current election. That's called 'normalization' by the pollsters, and is built into every scientific poll. The question for the presidential race is: 'Which states have factors that would make the pollsters wrong?'
The reason that Jesse Ventura beat the pollster results is because young people came out to vote more than they did in previous elections. That's not surprising, because the turnout among 18-25 year-olds is historically very low, and Ventura was very popular among that group. Ventura had to his advantage 'same-day voter registration' in Minnesota, which enticed many young people to register and vote that day. This year, Kerry has to his advantage several large-scale voter registration efforts focused on young people. Hence we predict that the 18-25 demographic will turn out to vote more than in the 2000 election, and that the pollsters are not picking that up.
The second half of the equation is whether newly-registered young voters will vote for Kerry. That is the historical trend -- that young people vote more Democratic and more against the incumbent. Hence Edwards said today, 'If you see young people lined up to vote, we're gonna win,' and we agree that that's likely to happen. If young people vote disproportionately for Bush, then our prediction will be proven wrong.
The other low-voting group which we predict will turn out in greater-than-historical numbers are black males. That's one of the lowest-voting demographics in the country, but this year we predict a change. Black males were the focus of the 2000 Florida problems, and felt particularly disenfranchised by the results there. As with young people, there have been several large-scale organized efforts to increase registration and turnout among black males. That demographic votes even more Democratic than young people -- often up to 90%-10% Democrat vs. Republican -- which can mean huge numbers in Florida, Ohio, and any place with large black populations.
Republicans have organized numerous large-scale registration and get-out-the-vote efforts as well. Their focus have been in corporate workplaces and in churches, and especially via anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives in 11 states. It is possible that those efforts will overrule the polling results -- especially in the 11 states with the ballot initiatives -- on the same grounds as above. But the Republican-targeted groups vote in much higher numbers than the Democrat-targeted groups, and hence there is less room for improvement. And it's the room-for-improvement that the polling numbers do not pick up. The ballot initiatives may cause Bush to score an upset over the pollsters' Kerry-ahead predictions in Michigan and Oregon -- and give us confidence in predicting a Bush victory in Ohio and Arkansas despite tight races there.
There's one more factor to consider. Many people don't like to tell pollsters who they will vote for, which the pollsters report as 'undecided'. Those people often don't like incumbents, for the same reasons as they won't tell pollsters their preference. What we see as healthy American iconoclasm means any incumbent has to have a strong lead among voters who call themselves undecided, because those voters tend to vote for the challenger. That factor could amount to another percentage point or two, since the 'undecided vote' is running at 3-4 points this weekend. Typical analyses give the undecided vote to Kerry by a factor of two-to-one, which means another net gain for Kerry of a couple of percentage points over what the pollsters show.
Now onto the specific numbers. OnTheIssues uses electoral-vote.com as our source of polling information, which you can see at ontheissues.org/elect_frm.htm. If Bush or Kerry is ahead by more than 3 points -- strong support -- that state is very likely going to go for that candidate. Based on the analysis above, we predict that Kerry will win states in which neither candidate is three points ahead, with some exceptions below. The contentious states (with electoral vote count shown) that we predict will go to Kerry are:
The sum of the above is that Kerry wins the electoral vote 275-263. We predict that Virginia, West Virginia, and Colorado will be too close to call before Wednesday morning but will go to Bush. Hawaii would go to Kerry based on our analysis, but Cheney spent the weekend there which we predict will be decisive. The surge based on gay-marriage ballot initiatives will give Bush a win in Michigan, we predict. The next most likely state where Bush would benefit from the gay-marriage surge is Oregon, but Kerry is ahead by 6 points. If you see Oregon going for Bush on Tuesday evening, Bush will certainly win a landslide -- adding Oregon to our numbers above gives Bush a 270-268 victory but winning Oregon would imply other unexpected victories. We don't see any chance for Bush in Wisconsin or N.J., but we include them on the list because some pundits have declared them contested. Missouri and Arizona, also on some swing-state lists, look like safe Bush bets to us.
We also predict that Bush will win the popular vote. Bush is behind in 5 large-population states: CA, NY, IL, PA, and FL. Of course he will still get around 40%-45% of the vote in each of those states, millions of votes which will count for zero electoral votes. We hope for a electoral-vote-popular-vote split again because voters will be so dismayed at the system that we will do away with the electoral college, which we view as a step forward for democracy. In fact, Colorado may split their 9 electoral votes this year, by a ballot initiative on just that topic. We endorse seeing the electoral college done away with -- if several large states adopted Colorado's system (or the existing split-vote systems of Nebraska and Maine) then the electoral college would effectively be gone -- and good riddance!
We are not endorsing Kerry -- we don't endorse candidates but we do endorse political participation and we especially endorse voting based on the issues. We note for the record that in 2000 we similarly predicted a Bush popular vote victory and a Gore electoral vote victory and we were incorrect on both counts (although few pundits predicted a split, and we did). If we're as wrong in 2004 as we were in 2000, we'll be the first to tell our viewers 'ignore the polls and the pundits' because we already encourage that. And viewers should note that this prediction is based on very wonkish concepts -- we wholeheartedly admit to being wonks!
|Gay marriage on ballot in 11 states: Oct 30, 2004|
The proposed amendments in Mississippi, Montana and Oregon refer only to marriage. Those in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah would ban civil unions as well, and those extra provisions have generated extra controversy. In Ohio, several top Republicans, including Gov. Bob Taft, oppose the amendment -- even though its presence on the ballot is viewed as a potential benefit to President Bush. In Michigan, another presidential battleground, the state AFL-CIO has condemned the amendment as a threat to domestic partnership benefits offered by public employers.
Already this year, voters in Missouri and Louisiana have weighed in on the issue, with marriage amendments winning more than 70 percent of the vote in both states. Louisiana's amendment was later struck down in state court. Recent polls showed support for the amendments at 76 percent in Oklahoma and Kentucky, 65 percent in Arkansas, 60 percent or more in Michigan, 59 percent in Montana, 57 percent in Ohio.
|CNN checks facts in presidential race: Oct 29, 2004|
|N.H. Senate race: Granny D debates Judd Gregg : Oct. 23, 2004|
Haddock said she thought her campaign served another purpose beyond this election. "My real victory will be this. Future candidates far better than I must step forward, and agree to run for office without taking a dime of special interest money. We must stand up for the idea that our democracy can be much more than what we see in Washington."
If she should get elected, Haddock would turn 100 years old in the final year of her first term. That would make her the second Senator to reach the century mark. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina served until he was 100.
|Bill Clinton hits the campaign trail: Oct 25, 2004|
It was Clinton's first campaign appearance since undergoing triple-bypass surgery in September, and was expected to be a boost for Kerry's campaign, which remained in a virtual tie with President Bush eight days out from the election.
"You've got a clear choice between two strong men with great convictions and different philosophies, different policies with very different consequences for this city, this state, our nation and the world," Clinton told rally attendees. "I think John Kerry's got a good plan."
He later added, "If one candidate's appealing to your fears and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope. That's the best." Clinton and Kerry were scheduled to travel to Florida later in the day.
|Wisconsin Senate race: Russ Feingold debates Tim Michels : Oct. 21, 2004|
Feingold raised the specter of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "Mr. Michels, you have to read the 9-11 (Commission) report. We had privatized screening at the airports when those 19 Saudis went through with their box cutters and went into the planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. That's the way that privatizing works, Tim." Responding, Michels said, "Of course, it's a great travesty what happened on 9-11 - but because it didn't work once, he's like, that's it, it's failed, the government has to take it over. . . ." "Based on that logic, I suppose we should privatize our military, as well," Feingold said.
|Arnold Schwarzenegger supports stem cell research : Oct. 20, 2004|
Monday's surprise announcement by Schwarzenegger puts him at odds with the Bush administration -- and in the same camp as Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who supports embryonic stem cell research. Pro-71 conservatives, such as former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, say they are attracted by the opportunity it offers the state to become an incubator of the hottest research in medicine. If it passes, they believe that the initiative could give a huge boost to the state's finances and biotech businesses.
``I think it is extremely important that we stay at the forefront of biotechnology,'' Schwarzenegger said Tuesday. ``This sends a very clear signal. This is almost like Kennedy talking about one day he will land a man on the moon. ``California should be out there and should really help, you know, save people's lives. Ten years from now, the experts say, there could be a cure.''
|Pat Robertson advised Bush on Iraq to prepare for casualties: Oct 20-21, 2004|
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' " Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
"I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," Robertson said. "I warned him about casualties." More than 1,100 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and another 8,000 troops have been wounded in the ongoing campaign, with the casualty toll significantly increasing in the last six months as the insurgency there has deepened.
Asked why Bush has refused to admit to mistakes on Iraq, Robertson said, "I don't know this politics game. You know, you can never say you were wrong because the opposition grabs onto it: 'See, he admitted he screwed up.' " Even as Robertson criticized Bush for downplaying the potential dangers of the Iraq war, he heaped praise on Bush, saying he believes the president will win the election and that "the blessing of heaven is on Bush."
A White House spokesman denied that President Bush did not expect casualties from the invasion of Iraq. "The president never made such a comment," the spokesperson said. A campaign adviser said she was "certain" Bush would not have said anything like that to Robertson. "Perhaps he misunderstood, but I've never heard the president say any such thing," she said.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Robertson restated his "100 percent" support for Bush's re-election. But he did not back away from his comments.
|Florida Senate race: Mel Martinez debates Betty Castor : Oct. 18, 2004|
Asked during a debate if she would yank her ads on the subject, Castor said she would if Martinez did. He would not agree to the same terms.
''I'm not going to make a strategy for my campaign here tonight under these lights,'' Martinez said.
It was a defensive moment for Martinez on an issue where he has gone on the offensive, ripping Castor for not firing a University of South Florida professor suspected of terrorism when she was campus president.
Castor fumbled slightly at times, too, and the fast-paced, one-two-punch debate had no clear winner. Both candidates took their shots, corrected each other and played up their strengths on issues and personality.
|Al Gore: Bush lied: Oct 18, 2004|
"It is beyond incompetence -- it is recklessness that risks the safety and security of the American people," the former vice president said during a speech at Georgetown University.
Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000 and loser of that bitterly contested election, complained that Bush's refusal to budge from "a rigid, right-wing ideology" has led him to forbid any dissent and ignore warnings that may conflict with his assumptions about Iraq, tax cuts and other policy issues.
"He is arrogantly out of touch with reality," Gore said. "He refuses to ever admit mistakes. Which means that so long as he is our president, we are doomed to repeat them."
Gore touched on many topics, but saved his sharpest critique for Bush's Iraq policies. He said evidence from the 9/11 commission and other reports shows the invasion of Iraq was Bush's first choice rather than his last.
Worst of all, Gore said, was that Bush and his Cabinet purposely created the false impression that Saddam Hussein was linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the Iraqi leader was somehow to blame for the September 11, 2001, attacks -- a notion that 70 percent of the public once believed, according to polls.
"This was not an unfortunate misreading of the available evidence, causing a mistaken linkage between Iraq and al-Qaida," Gore said. "This was something else -- a willful choice to make a specific linkage whether evidence existed or not."
|Illinois Senate race: Alan Keyes debates Barack Obama : Oct. 13, 2004|
Obama also stuck to the issues, drawing sharp contrasts between their positions on the Iraq war and health care. But he did slip in a jab about Keyes moving from Maryland to run for Senate here despite once criticizing a similar move by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Keyes said the United States should not shy away from using military force in the future, even against countries that have not been absolutely proven to threaten America.
Obama said the Bush administration has bungled the Iraq war, making the region more dangerous and diverting resources away from the effort to track down the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center. But he said America cannot pull out of Iraq anytime soon without further destabilizing the region.
|No Knockouts in the Final Round : Oct 13, 2004|
Before the 2004 Presidential debates, George W. Bush appeared to be on a glide path to victory -- and not just a narrow win, but a potentially decisive one. Democrats were disheartened, independents were moving Bush's way, and key Midwestern battleground states were leaning Republican.
That was then. Now, it's a real battle. Kerry has closed the gap, and every nationwide poll shows the race within the margin of error. BusinessWeek's analysis of the Electoral College count shows Kerry with a tiny two-vote lead, but neither candidate has locked up the 270 electoral votes needed to become President.
Well, no decisive winner emerged on Oct. 13 in Tempe, Ariz. The instant reaction of viewers ranged from a clear Kerry edge among undecided voters (39% to 25% in a CBS News survey) to a narrow 42% to 41% advantage for the Massachusetts senator among viewers of the debate, more of whom were Republicans than Democrats), according to an ABC News poll.
|Bush admits no mistakes, except on owning timber : Oct 10, 2004|
Mr Bush was thrown for a second. "I'm human", he said. But he recovered quickly and began into a defence of the Iraq war. "When they ask about mistakes, that's what they're talking about," he told the audience at the University of Washington in St Louis.
"They're trying to say, 'Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?' And the answer is absolutely not. It's the right decision".
Anxious to crush criticism of his Iraq strategy, especially since his own weapons inspector had just reported that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction before the US-led coalition rushed to war, Mr Bush admitted no mistakes.
|Iraq Survey Group reports key findings on WMDs : Oct 6, 2004|
Charles Duelfer, the chief UN arms inspector in Iraq, is due to present the findings in a 1,500-page report to Congress.
He is expected to conclude that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction, nor significant WMD production programmes at the time of the invasion. However, he will assert that Saddam Hussein had plans to produce weapons once UN sanctions were lifted, according to US officials.
The verdict of Mr Duelfer, who will present the findings to the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been widely anticipated since the resignation of David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, in January. When he stepped down, Mr Kay voiced serious concerns about allegations of weapons stockpiles. "We were probably all wrong about whether Iraq had stockpiles of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," he said.
|Edwards & Cheney spar on a range of issues : Oct 6, 2004|
The running mates for President George W. Bush and his Democratic rival Sen. John Kerry picked up where their bosses left off last week — arguing on Tuesday over Iraq and US security — with Edwards accusing Cheney of ‘‘not being straight’’ on Iraq and Cheney countering the Democrats were not qualified to lead. ‘‘What we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do,’’ Cheney said, arguing Iraq was a crucial front in a broader war on terror. ‘‘If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend exactly the same course of action.’’
Edwards, a North Carolina senator, said Cheney and Bush were ignoring the growing chaos in Iraq and diverting attention from international threats like the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.
‘‘Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people,’’ Edwards told Cheney, adding later: ‘‘I don’t think the country can take four more years of this kind of experience.’’
The vice presidential debate is often a sideshow to the main event in White House races, but Tuesday’s match-up of Cheney and Edwards gained new significance after a series of polls showed the race tightening.
The debate, which branched out to include domestic issues,echoed the arguments of the first presidential encounter but featured more personal attacks. Cheney and Edwards heatedly disputed each other’s facts and figures and traded shots over their records and resumes.
|Rumsfeld says no link between Saddam and al Qaeda : Oct. 5, 2004|
"I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al-Qaida and Iraq," the statement said. "This assessment was based upon points provided to me by [the] then CIA director George Tenet to describe the CIA's understanding of the al-Qaida Iraq relationship."
Mr Rumsfeld's comments in New York, however, were a reversal of the position adopted by many senior Bush administration figures.
Links between the war in Iraq and the fight against Osama bin Laden's terror network following the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington have become one of the key battlegrounds of the US presidential race.
The Democratic challenger, John Kerry, has accused Mr Bush of allowing himself to be diverted from the "war on terror" by his pre-emptive war in the Middle East.
Dick Cheney, the US vice president, has been the main proponent of the idea of a relationship, last month telling a meeting in the swing state of Ohio that Saddam had "provided safe harbour and sanctuary ... for al-Qaida".
Mr Kerry last week forced Mr Bush to say: "Of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us" during their televised debate when he accused the president of being vague about which "enemy" had been responsible for September 11.
The alleged link between Saddam and al-Qaida was one of the justifications used by Mr Bush for the US-led invasion of Iraq, but there has been little to substantiate it. The bipartisan 9/11 commission report acknowledged contacts between the two, but found no evidence of a "collaborative" relationship.
Mr Rumsfeld told his audience in New York that he had seen intelligence on the Saddam-al-Qaida question "migrate in amazing ways" during the past year, adding that there were "many differences of opinion in the intelligence community".
|Rumsfeld on link between Saddam and al Qaeda? : Oct. 5, 2004|
|Bush & Kerry spar on homeland security : Sept 30, 2004|
Because the poll questioned only people who watched the debate, its results do not statistically represent the views of all Americans, and in all cases the margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points. Further, debate audiences can be more partisan than the general public.
Overall, 53 percent of Thursday's debate watchers interviewed said Kerry did the better job, compared with 37 percent who favored Bush. Kerry's chief strength: 60 percent said he expressed himself more clearly than Bush did. But 54 percent said Bush would be tougher as president, compared with 37 percent listed Kerry as tougher. And by a 48 percent to 41 percent margin, debate watchers said Bush was more likable. Of those polled, 50 percent said Bush was more believable and 45 percent said they were more likely to believe Kerry.
More than six in 10 said that both candidates' criticisms of their opponents were fair. On Iraq, 54 percent of debate watchers polled before Thursday's night's matchup said Bush would handle Iraq better than Kerry.
Did the debate change many minds? Not according to the poll.
|FactCheck: Recent ads pretty misleading : Sept 30, 2004|
|Kerry speaks out against Iraq war : Sept 24, 2004|
"The invasion of Iraq was a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, al Qaeda," Kerry said in a speech at Temple University. "There's just no question about it. The president's misjudgment, miscalculation and mismanagement of the war in Iraq all make the war on terror harder to win."
Kerry said Iraq has become a haven for terrorists since the war, and he offered a detailed strategy to contain terrorism while drawing a sharp distinction between his and the president's views on national security.
"George Bush made Saddam Hussein the priority. I would have made Osama bin Laden the priority," Kerry said. "I will finish the job in Iraq and I will refocus our energies on the real war on terror."
|Presidential debates scheduled : Sept 21, 2004|
Under the agreement, the first debate will focus on foreign policy and homeland security, while the final one will deal with economic and domestic policy. The second debate is to be held as a town hall meeting, with questions posed by an equal number of "soft" supporters of each candidate chosen by the Gallup Organization. That debate "shall not be limited by topic and shall include an equal number of questions related to foreign policy and homeland security on the one hand and economic and domestic policy on the other," the agreement says.
The two candidates will be seated in stools for that debate, but for the other two debates they will be standing behind podiums. Each debate will begin at 9 p.m. ET and will run for 90 minutes, with at least 16 questions.
In each debate, according to the agreement, "the candidates may not ask each other direct questions, but may ask rhetorical questions." According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the Bush team initially wanted just two debates, skipping the town hall forum in Missouri.
There will also be a debate between the candidates for vice president. [on Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio]
|Three GOP Senators admit Iraq is a mess : Sept 20, 2004|
Following a recent spate of attacks that have killed scores of American soldiers and Iraqi citizens, some senators said yesterday that U.S. policy has been misdirected and needs to be refocused. As the presidential election nears, the Republicans blasted what they called a sometimes stubborn administration and called on military leaders to launch attacks on insurgent strongholds sooner rather than later.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on "Fox News Sunday" that he never would have allowed sanctuaries for anti-coalition fighters in cities such as Fallujah, where officials believe the insurgency has been strengthening.
"Allowing those sanctuaries has contributed significantly to the difficulties that we're facing, which are very, very significant," McCain said. "We made serious mistakes right after the initial successes by not having enough troops there on the ground, by allowing the looting, by not securing the borders. There was a number of things that we did. Most of it can be traced back to not having sufficient numbers of troops there."
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), said he believes the situation in Iraq is going to get worse before it gets better, adding that he believes the administration has done a "poor job of implementing and adjusting at times." Speaking on CNN's "Late Edition," he called for more troops in Iraq.
"The administration has been stubborn about troops," Graham said, referring to repeated administration contentions that the U.S. military does not need to be expanded to handle the global war on terror. "We do not need to paint a rosy scenario for the American people. We need to let the American people know this is just like World War II; we're in it for the duration."
On CBS's "Face the Nation," Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) announced that he is going to make nearly two dozen policy suggestions to the State Department and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to improve the situation in Iraq. In particular, he suggested starting training camps for security forces in the region surrounding Iraq and offering economic development initiatives throughout the region.
"The fact is, we're in trouble. We're in deep trouble in Iraq," Hagel said. "And I think we're going to have to look at some recalibration of policy."
|Denny Hastert: Al Qaeda wants Kerry elected : Sept 19, 2004|
At a campaign rally Saturday in his Illinois district with Vice President Dick Cheney, Hastert said al Qaeda "would like to influence this election" with an attack similar to the train bombings in Madrid days before the Spanish national election in March.
When a reporter asked Hastert if he thought al Qaeda would operate with more comfort if Kerry were elected, the speaker said, "That's my opinion, yes."
Hastert, who as speaker heads the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, showed no sign of backing off his comments.
His spokesman, John Feehery, said Sunday that the speaker's comments "were consistent with the speaker's belief that John Kerry would be weak on the war."
"If John Kerry is perceived as being weak on the war, then of course, his election would be perceived as a good thing by the terrorists," Feehery said in a written response to questions about Hastert's remarks.
"The fact that John Kerry can't make up his mind about the war only strengthens that perception."
The comments followed a remark by Cheney earlier this month that Americans might be subjected to another terrorist attack if they were to make "the wrong choice" in November.
Cheney later said that any president must expect more attacks and that his point had been that he felt Bush was better prepared to deal with the threat.
|Powell: Iraq is free, but still dangerous : Sept 17, 2004|
Challenges clearly remain. Insurgents are trying to prevent democracy by murdering their fellow citizens and destroying the nation's infrastructure. But they will not succeed. Just this week, we put forward a proposal to Congress that redirects more than $3.4 billion to improve security, while devoting additional resources to improving the economic and political environment, including accelerating employment opportunities for Iraqis. In consultation with Congress, we will implement these changes as quickly as possible to support Iraq's transition.
Is success guaranteed? No. Is it going to be dangerous? Yes. But now is not the time to be faint of heart. Our task is important, and America will stay the course to see a free, peaceful and democratic Iraq.
When this fighting has been brought under control, the people of the world will see Iraqis in charge of their own destiny — moving forward toward an election that will provide for a representative form of government that offers hope and determination for the future.
|Senate candidate accused of sterilizing patient : Sept 17, 2004|
Coburn said reports about the old lawsuit are nothing more than a political attack launched by his Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Brad Carson, D-Claremore. "This is about the politics of personal destruction," Coburn said. "Angela told me at the time that she was happy it was done. This is coming from Carson's campaign, along with the whisper campaign that I'm an abortionist." The lawsuit by Plummer, then 20, alleged that Coburn, an obstetrician, sterilized her without her consent. It was dismissed in trial court, reinstated on appeal and then dismissed again when she failed to pursue it.
"Yes, he did save my life," she said. "I will give him credit for that, and I am very grateful for that, but cutting and burning my healthy fallopian tube did not save my life. I am not up here to try and smear him. I am up here because I wanted to have more children, and he took that away from me."
Coburn has said he received oral consent for the sterilization just before the procedure. His campaign released a statement Thursday from Sherri Yaussey, a registered nurse who was present when Plummer, then Angela Rosson, received medical care in October 1990. "It was determined that she had a ruptured pregnancy and needed surgery to stop the hemorrhaging," Yaussey said. "I specifically remember the patient wanted her tubes tied. She begged Dr. Coburn to tie her tubes.
Coburn said that his actions were appropriate. "If the same thing happened today under the same circumstances, I'd do it exactly the same way," he said.
|UN President: War in Iraq is illegal : Sept 16, 2004|
"What does it gain anyone? We should all be gathering around the idea of helping the Iraqis, not getting into these kinds of side issues," Mr. Powell said in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "I'm sure I will have the opportunity to talk to Kofi about this," Mr. Powell added.
Mr. Annan's comments, made in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. over the weekend, startled and angered governments in the U.S.-led coalition that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein last year. The U.N. chief had made no secret of his belief the United States and its allies should have sought an explicit Security Council resolution authorizing the war. But he went much further in the BBC interview, saying, "From our point of view, from the [U.N. Charter] point of view, it was illegal."
Mr. Powell said the Constitution gives the United States the right to act in its own self-defense without U.N. approval, but argued that the Iraq war itself was justified by Saddam's "material breach" of a string of earlier U.N. resolutions on his weapons programs. "What we did was totally consistent with international law," he insisted. Officials in Britain, Australia, Bulgaria and Poland yesterday joined Mr. Powell in rejecting Mr. Annan's argument. Many allies would face severe political difficulties at home if the war was seen as lacking U.N. sanction.
|Bush reaffirms commitment to Palestine side-by-side with Israel : Sept 16, 2004|
When John Kerry spoke about the region in May, he did not dispute the premise - only the way the Bush administration is executing it. "We will never expect Israel to negotiate peace without a credible partner," Mr. Kerry said. "And it is up to the United States in my judgment to do a better job of helping the Arab world to help that partner to evolve and to develop that effort."
Many analysts say there's little difference between Democrats and Republicans on this issue. At one time it appeared the candidates differed over the controversial security barrier that Israel is building, some of it in the West Bank. "Kerry said at one stage that he opposed the wall, that it was an obstacle to peace," one analyst said. "But since then Kerry has pulled back and his policies, his statements about the disengagement plan, the wall, are very similar to those of President Bush.
|Nader on ballot in Florida? : Sept. 16, 2004|
Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin Davey, a registered Democrat, last week sided with Florida Democrats and a group of four voters demanding that Nader be taken off the ballot, contending that the Reform Party is not a legitimate national party and that its nominating convention was held solely to get the candidate on the Florida ballot. The secretary of the Reform Party's Florida chapter testified that the party nominated Nader at a national convention last month in Dallas to comply with Florida law. She conceded that the convention was not as elaborate as those held by Democrats or Republicans -- the Reform Party's national convention had just 63 delegates. But, she added, "We had balloons this time." Democrats say the Reform Party's nominating convention was hastily put together and engineered to get Nader on the Florida ballot without the 93,000 petition signatures he otherwise needed. They also charge that the Reform Party is not a viable political party, having only $18 in the bank. Its national headquarters is in [a member's] house.
Democrats fear Nader could prove a "spoiler" in Florida's presidential contest. Bush won the White House in 2000 after carrying Florida by 537 votes after 36 days of legal wrangling. Nader that year snagged 97,421 votes, most of which officials from both major parties say would have gone to Democrat Al Gore if Nader had not been in the race. Fearing a repeat, Democrats have sought to have Nader knocked off the ballot in most of the roughly 20 battleground states where the contest between Bush and Kerry is tightest. In almost every one of those states, Republicans have pushed back by offering legal assistance and petition-gathering help to Nader.
The Nader campaign said it is on the ballot in 33 states, either as an independent or Reform Party candidate, but faces legal challenges in at least 12 states. In Florida, five other minor-party candidates are on the presidential ballot, having been put there by similar nominating conventions. Nader also is being defended by attorney Ken Sukhia, a former U.S. attorney appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and who helped represent the current president during the Florida recount.
|Kerry: "I support the Second Amendment." : Sep 15, 2004|
|Kerry: Iraq cost $200 billion and counting : Sept 13, 2004|
DNC AD ANNOUNCER: They've pursued a go-it-alone war in Iraq. No weapons of mass destruction. Costing $200 billion and counting. No plan to win the peace. Mission Not Accomplished.
FACT CHECK: Kerry is using an exaggerated figure for the cost of the Iraq war in his latest line of attack against Bush, claiming the war in Iraq has cost $200 billion. But that's too high. There's little question that the Iraq war and its bloody aftermath WILL cost $200 billion, eventually. But so far, the bill for the war is still under $120 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. Kerry runs the figure up to $200 billion by counting money scheduled to be spent next fiscal year, plus additional funds for the future that haven't even been requested yet. He also is counting money projected to be spent for operations in Afghanistan and to protect US cities, not for Iraq.
|Kerry is clear favorite — in 30 other countries : Sep 9, 2004|
Surveys in 35 countries, including important allies such as Canada, Germany and Mexico, show the Massachusetts senator favored in 30 and President Bush preferred in 3: Nigeria, the Philippines and Poland. In India and Thailand views on the race were evenly divided. But on average, Kerry leads 46 percent to 20 percent, according to the findings by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes and GlobeScan Inc.
"Kerry would win handily if the people of the world were to elect the U.S. president," said the director of the program.
Bush is better known than Kerry, but only one in five residents of the surveyed nations supports Bush. On average, 53 percent said Bush’s foreign policy made them feel worse about America, while 19 percent said Iraq and other foreign-policy ventures made them feel better. A separate survey found that Americans think having world opinion stacked against the United States would be a problem. But most Americans surveyed weren’t aware that might be the case — and being given that information didn’t seem to change many votes.
|Cheney: Elect Kerry and terrorists may strike : Sep 7, 2004|
Cheney told supporters they needed to make "the right choice" in the November 2 election. "If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney said. "And then we'll fall back into the pre-9/11 mindset, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we're not really at war. I think that would be a terrible mistake for us."
Edwards told reporters that "Dick Cheney's scare tactics crossed the line." "What he said to the American people was that if you go to the polls in November and elect anyone other than us, and another terrorist attack occurs, then it's your fault," Edwards said. "This is un-American. The truth is that it proves once again that they will do anything and say anything to keep their jobs." Edwards said a Kerry administration "will keep the American people safe, and we will not divide the country to do it."
|Bush gets bounce in polls post-Convention : Sept 7, 2004|
Swing state of Iraq?
There is another alternative: Bush wins if he can clearly explain to U.S. citizens the relevance of the liberation and occupation of Iraq and why it's worth the American lives lost. The president made his case convincingly and was aided by equally powerful speeches from Senators John McCain and Zell Miller and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Last week's Republican convention delivered the mojo it needed to cut through the spin and the media static and tell the American people directly -- at last -- why we're in Iraq. The polls are showing a large bounce for Bush.
|Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time : Sep 6, 2004|
The Massachusetts senator, who has said he would have voted to give Bush the authority to use force if necessary against Saddam Hussein even if he had known at the time that the Iraqi leader had no weapons of mass destruction, has struggled to draw clear contrasts with the president. "I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq," Kerry said.
He denied that he was "Monday morning quarterbacking." The Bush campaign said Kerry had "demonstrated nothing but indecision and vacillation" on Iraq."
"I said this from the beginning of the debate to the walk up to the war," Kerry told supporters. "I said, Mr. President don't rush to war, take the time to build a legitimate coalition and have a plan to win the peace." He said Bush had failed on all three counts. He called the president's talk about a coalition fighting alongside about 125,000 U.S. troops "the phoniest thing I've ever heard." Kerry continued, "You've about 500 troops here, 500 troops there and it's American troops that are 90 percent of the combat casualties and it's American taxpayers that are paying 90 percent of the cost of the war," he said. "It's the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time."
|Republican Party Platform released : Sept. 1, 2004|
Hews to social conservative values
The platform also hails President Bush's fight against terrorism, advocates making his tax cuts permanent and calls for the creation of personal investment accounts in Social Security as part of a new ``ownership society'' that Republicans assert would give Americans more responsibility and control over their financial lives.
The 93-page document, produced under the tight control of the Bush forces, attempts several political tasks: promoting and defending Bush's record, particularly on national security; sketching a domestic vision for a second term; and energizing the conservative base.
|Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses Republican Convention : Aug. 31, 2004|
If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government...then you are a Republican! If you believe a person should be treated as an individual, not as a member of an interest group... then you are a Republican! If you believe your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does... then you are a Republican! If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children ... then you are a Republican! If you believe this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world ... then you are a Republican! And, ladies and gentlemen ...if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism ... then you are a Republican!
There is another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people ... and faith in the U.S. economy. To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: "Don't be economic girlie men!"
The U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. We have the highest economic growth of any of the world's major industrialized nations. Don't you remember the pessimism of 20 years ago when the critics said Japan and Germany were overtaking the U.S.? Ridiculous!
Now they say India and China are overtaking us. Don't you believe it! We may hit a few bumps — but America always moves ahead! That's what Americans do!
|Cheney supports states deciding gay marriage : Aug 24, 2004|
Bush backs a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. Cheney commented: "My own preference is as I've stated, but the president makes policy for the administration."
|Hillary Clinton (D, NY) and Bill Frist (R, TN) on healthcare : Aug 25, 2004|
Today our care is often afflicted by systemic error and dramatic inefficiencies. Care is too often oriented toward acute, episodic illnesses of the past -- not the chronic diseases that plague us now. Competition occurs among plans, networks and payers. It often does not sort out the best preventive, diagnostic and treatment strategies.
The success of U.S. health care depends on patients' taking charge of their care and becoming active participants in it. Information and access to it will be paramount. Consumers and patients do not have enough information to make good choices. At the same time, we must ensure the privacy of the systems, or they will undermine the trust they are designed to create. Consumers need information about the price of care. They must be able to compare health care pricing -- with information that is readily, publicly available.
We must also cultivate competition: Consumers need to know which doctors or care settings heal patients faster and better. Consumers need relevant information about providers' experiences and outcomes.
|Abu Ghraib seargent pleads guilty : Aug 24, 2004|
"These specific acts were within a sea of multiple acts," Myers said, adding that the number of soldiers deemed "rogue" was steadily rising. One of Davis's lawyers, Paul Bergrin, referred to memos which showed Rumsfeld had approved hooding and stripping of prisoners, who could also be put in stress positions and subjected to "physical conduct."
"As insurgencies increased, the need for actionable intelligence increased. These techniques were approved by Donald Rumsfeld," Bergrin said. Bergrin was among defense lawyers who last week questioned four generals, including Major General Geoffrey Miller, former commander of Guantanamo Bay detention center, and Major-General Barbara Fast, head of U.S. military intelligence in Iraq.
Bergrin, a forceful figure in court, said senior officers wanted useful intelligence and were prepared to humiliate and intimidate Iraqi detainees to that end.
|Swift Boat Vets: Kerry accused Vietnam vets of war crimes : Aug 23, 2004|
JOE PONDER: The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam was just devastating.
KERRY: ...cut off limbs, blown up bodies...
KEN CORDIER: That was part of the torture, to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes.
KERRY: ...crimes committed on a day to day basis...
PAUL GALANTI: John Kerry gave the enemy for free, what I and many of my comrades, in the North Vietnamese prison camps, took torture to avoid saying. It demoralized us.
ANALYSIS: "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" announced their second anti-Kerry ad on Aug. 20 using Kerry's own words against him. The Kerry campaign called it a smear and said his words were "edited" out of context. The ad does indeed fail to mention that Kerry was quoting stories he had heard from others at an anti-war event in Detroit, and not claiming first-hand knowledge. But Kerry passed them on as true stories. The Kerry campaign denies that Kerry made any accusations against veterans, saying Kerry was placing blame on the country's leaders, not the veterans. Kerry's critics point to a 1978 history of Vietnam that challenged some of the witnesses Kerry quoted. But other published accounts provide ample evidence that atrocities such as those Kerry described actually were committed.
|MediaFund Ad: Bush encourages outsourcing of jobs : Aug. 14, 2004|
WOMAN: It saves them money. They can have people in other countries doing our jobs.
MAN: When President Bush says he's going to help companies outsource jobs, it's infuriating.
WOMAN: You can be stationed in India and take a phone call. No one has to know you're in India.
MAN: You can't give companies tax breaks to take American jobs away.
ANALYSIS: An ad released by the Media Fund Aug. 11 is targeted to Ohio, featuring Ohio residents criticizing the President for loss of jobs overseas. Maybe it would be infuriating if Bush really had said the line about out-sourcing, but he didn't. What Bush has actually said is this: "The best way to deal with job creation and outsourcing is to make sure our businesses are competitive here at home." This ad is just the latest in a steady drum-beat of Democratic attacks blaming Bush for job losses overseas.
|Kerry and Edwards on two-week economy tour : Aug 16, 2004|
Continuing the campaign's two-week focus on strengthening the economy and creating jobs, John Edwards Monday visited with Willard, MO's Crighton family and their neighbors at the Crightons' farm where he detailed how a Kerry-Edwards administration will put rural America on the path to prosperity. Saying America can do better when it comes to expanding economic opportunity throughout the country, Edwards unveiled the Kerry-Edwards "Hope for the Heartland" plan to improve the economies of small towns and rural communities, including the new "Greater Rural Opportunity and Work" (GROW) Initiative and a new initiative to combat methamphetamine abuse in rural communities.
"Americans have a special responsibility to protect the rural way of life," said Edwards. "John Kerry and I know that, and that's why we intend to bring hope to rural America -- in the form of a comprehensive five-point plan to revitalize and strengthen rural America." Throughout the next two weeks, Kerry, Edwards and supporters across the nation will focus on the Kerry-Edwards plan to build a stronger economy by lifting up middle-class families in every corner of the country.
|George W. Bush on Troop Redeployment : Aug. 16, 2004|
It could gain Bush election-year applause from military families, but won't ease the strain on 150,000 U.S. soldiers deployed to war zones, who are still battling violent factions in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The world has changed a great deal and our posture must change with it -- for the sake of our military families, for the sake of our taxpayers and so we can be more effective at projecting our strength and spreading freedom and peace," Bush said. The president said the repositioning of forces would help save money on maintaining bases overseas. "Our service members will have more time on the home front, and more predictability and fewer moves over a career," Bush said.
A significant portion of the troops would be sent to bases in the United States, although others could be shifted to posts in Eastern Europe, White House officials said. A U.S. military official in Berlin offered a note of caution as the president spoke, saying Monday that any shift of major U.S. military units out of western Europe and Asia would take years and require further negotiation. Even with Bush's endorsement, the plan will probably be put into practice only somewhere between 2006 and 2011, said the official, who is familiar with the process and spoke on the condition of anonymity. U.S. armed forces stationed abroad in places other than Iraq and Afghanistan number about 200,000. About half are in Europe. The Pentagon advised German officials earlier this year that it was thinking about removing two Army divisions from Germany and replacing them with smaller, more mobile units.
|George W. Bush on Environmental Safety : Aug. 16, 2004|
A petition was filed under the Data Quality Act, a little-known piece of legislation that, under President Bush's Office of Management and Budget, has become a potent tool for companies seeking to beat back regulation. The Data Quality Act -- written by an industry lobbyist and slipped into a giant appropriations bill in 2000 without congressional discussion or debate -- is just two sentences directing the OMB to ensure that all information disseminated by the federal government is reliable. But the Bush administration's interpretation of those two sentences could tip the balance in regulatory disputes that weigh the interests of consumers and businesses.
Environmental and consumer groups say the Data Quality Act fits into a larger Bush administration agenda. In the past six months, more than 4,000 scientists, including dozens of Nobel laureates and 11 winners of the National Medal of Science, have signed statements accusing the administration of politicizing science. From their perspective, the act is shifting the authority over the nation's science into the politicized environment of the OMB -- a change, they say, that will favor big business.
|George W. Bush on Job Safety : Aug. 15, 2004|
The changes within OSHA since George W. Bush took office illustrate the way that this administration has used the regulatory process to redirect the course of government. All presidents have written or eliminated regulations to further their agendas. What is distinctive about Bush is that he quickly imposed a culture intended to put his anti-regulatory stamp on government.
The demise of the decade-old plan of defense against tuberculosis reflects the way OSHA has altered its regulatory mission to embrace a more business-friendly posture. In the past 3 1/2 years, OSHA, the branch of the Labor Department in charge of workers' well-being, has eliminated nearly five times as many pending standards as it has completed. It has not started any major new health or safety rules, setting Bush apart from the previous three presidents.
A White House spokesperson said OSHA has set into motion an ethic of "smart regulation" that the White House has tried to instill across the government: creating new rules only after rigorous scientific and economic analysis proves they are warranted. Under the new OSHA administrator, the spokesperson said, OSHA has shown "an intensely practical, down-to-earth approach to worker health and safety, not inclined toward grandiose, unrealistic ventures."
|Governor of New Jersey resigns : Aug 13, 2004|
Bret D. Schundler, the Republican opponent whom Mr. McGreevey trounced in 2001, and who has already announced his plans to run again, went on the radio yesterday and offered a conspiracy theory - suggesting that New Jersey Democrats were behind the pressure that forced Mr. McGreevey to resign. "The Democratic bosses saw McGreevey as a sure loser and saw a way to get him out," Mr. Schundler said in an interview on the Sean Hannity radio program on WABC.
If potential Republican challengers have the most to lose by Mr. McGreevey's departure, then the State Senate president, Richard J. Codey, 57, a lawmaker for 30 years, has the most to gain. A career politician who was never widely discussed as a strong candidate to be the state's chief executive, Mr. Codey by law will take over as acting governor when Mr. McGreevey steps down. Mr. McGreevey, though, is doing more than just handing off his office to Mr. Codey in November. He has crafted an exit strategy that will allow his successor to serve as governor for a year before he has to run, should he choose to seek a full term. Had Mr. McGreevey stepped down immediately, Mr. Codey would have served only until a special election could be held this November.
|Kerry promises no Yucca Mountain dump : Aug 10, 2004|
Nevada recently won a key court decision in its fight against Yucca Mountain. A federal court ruled the government’s safety standards fell short of those set by the National Academy of Sciences. Kerry vowed to veto any legislation that would allow the project to continue without conforming to the NAS’s guidelines for radiation protection. “And I’ll tell you what else, if they try to change the standards on radiation at the EPA and they send it to my desk, veto pen, done, out,” Kerry said.
Republicans have called Kerry a “flip-flopper” on Yucca Mountain, pointing to his 1987 vote for the “Screw Nevada Bill,” which allowed the government to focus solely on Nevada for the waste site. “John Kerry continues to mislead voters about his record on Yucca Mountain,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. “His voting record until 1997 is one of supporting the repository and he voted to make Nevada the sole repository site for waste. It is clear that John Kerry is someone who will say anything to anyone if he thinks it will win him votes, and his selection of John Edwards is further evidence of this.” Democrats point to Kerry’s strong record of voting against the project, including his 2002 vote to sustain Gov. Kenny Guinn’s veto of the Yucca Mountain site.
|Bush nominates new CIA director : Aug 10, 2004|
"He knows the CIA inside and out," Bush said of Goss, an eight-term Republican congressman from Florida, a former CIA officer, and until Tuesday, the House intelligence chief . "He is the right man to lead this important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history."
Goss's nomination was praised by Republicans, but key Democrats objected to Bush's choice, questioning whether any lawmaker could bring non-partisan objectivity to the post. And some questioned whether Goss was too close to the CIA to shake things up at the agency, which was the focus of some critical comments in a recent report by the independent 9/11 commission. The agency has also been faulted for its pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Goss' nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
|Kerry: I'd vote to authorize war, but with allies : Aug 10, 2004|
Bush and his aides said that was evidence of Kerry flip-flopping from an anti-war stance he held during the Democratic primary last winter. "Now, almost two years after he voted for the war in Iraq, and almost 220 days after switching positions to declare himself the anti-war candidate, my opponent has found a new nuance," Bush told about 10,000 supporters in Pensacola. "He now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq."
Kerry's campaign national security adviser responded, "The issue has never been whether we were right to hold Saddam accountable, the issue is that we went to war without our allies, without properly equipping our troops and without a plan to win the peace," Beers said.
|Alan Keyes takes on Barack Obama : Aug. 9, 2004|
Maryland conservative Alan Keyes formally accepted Illinois' Republican U.S. Senate nomination Sunday, saying he believed he was duty-bound to protect the moral principles upon which the nation was founded and inviting voters to join him because "the victory is for God."
Ending more than six traumatic weeks for Republicans looking to replace embattled Jack Ryan in the Senate race against Democratic nominee Barack Obama, Keyes promised a fight--but not a victory--in a contest that he admitted would be "a great challenge" and "an uphill battle."
"If you are willing to join me in that fight, to join me with your money, to join me with your work, to join me especially with your prayers, I will promise you a battle like this nation has never seen," Keyes told several hundred supporters gathered in an Arlington Heights banquet hall.
Keyes' entry into the contest marks the first time in history that two African-Americans have challenged each other as major party nominees for election to the U.S. Senate. The winner will become only the third black elected to the chamber since Reconstruction and, with Carol Moseley Braun in 1992, the second African-American senator elected to represent Illinois in 12 years.
Keyes acknowledged that he had reservations about entering the race and that he had known little about Obama, a seven-year state senator from Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, except that he was a "standard liberal" who "looked like a pretty likable guy" in delivering the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention last month.
But in a half-hour nomination acceptance speech, Keyes said his decision to enter the contest was based on Obama's voting record in the state legislature--primarily a vote against what he termed "live-birth abortion" legislation. He branded Obama's posture on a variety of social issues as "abandoning the principles" that helped create the country and the principle that God endowed its citizens with fundamental rights.
A spokesman said Obama voted against the abortion legislation because it included provisions that "would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable." The legislation, which was defeated, would have made it illegal for doctors to let a fetus die if it happened to be delivered alive during an abortion.
|Swift Boat Vets: Kerry's C.O. denounces Kerry's Vietnam record : Aug 6, 2004|
Yesterday, reached at his home, Elliott said he regretted signing the affidavit and said he still thinks Kerry deserved the Silver Star. Elliot’s affidavit contradicted earlier statements by Elliott, who came to Boston during Kerry's 1996 Senate campaign to defend Kerry on similar charges, saying that Kerry acted properly and deserved the Silver Star. The book, "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," is to be published next week.
Kerry won the Silver Star for his action on Feb. 28, 1969, in which he shot a Viet Cong soldier who had been carrying a rocket launcher and running toward a hut. All of Kerry's crewmates who participated and are still living said in interviews last year that the action was necessary and appropriate, and it was Elliott who recommended Kerry for the Silver Star.
|John McCain on Kerry's Vietnam record : Aug 5, 2004|
The 60-second ad by a group called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” accuses Kerry of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict. McCain said he's speaking out against the anti-Kerry ad because he believes it's bad for the political system. "It reopens all the old wounds of the Vietnam War, which I spent the last 35 years trying to heal," he said. "None of these individuals served on the boat Kerry commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.
A Bush spokesperson said, "The Bush campaign never has and will never question John Kerry's service in Vietnam."
The Kerry campaign has denounced the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, saying none of the men in the ad served on the boat that Kerry commanded. The leader of the group, retired Adm. Roy Hoffmann, said none of the 13 veterans in the commercial served on Kerry's boat but rather were in other swiftboats within 50 yards of Kerry's.
Jim Rassmann, an Army veteran who was saved by Kerry, said there were only six crewmates who served with Kerry on his boat. Five support his candidacy and one is deceased.
|GOP plans to eliminate IRS : Aug. 2, 2004|
"By adopting a VAT, sales tax, or some other alternative, we could begin to change productivity," Hastert continued. "If you can do that, you can change gross national product and start growing the economy. You could double the economy over the next fifteen years. All of a sudden, the problem of what future generations owe in Social Security and Medicare won't be so daunting anymore. The answer is to grow the economy, and the key to doing that is making sure we have a tax system that attracts capital and builds incentives to keep it here instead of forcing it out to other nations."
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, offered a preview of the House GOP leadership's post-election tax agenda in a March speech in which he said the Republicans are determined to repeal the federal income tax. Long an advocate of a national sales tax, a confident DeLay told a conference of tax lobbyists that House Republicans will have hearings and push the issue in 2005 and 2006.
|John Kerry accepts Democratic nomination : July 30, 2004|
"I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty," the Massachusetts senator said Thursday night while saluting the cheering crowd of Democratic delegates that packed Boston's FleetCenter.
Kerry's speech, in which he accepted his party's presidential nomination, focused mainly on the economy and the war in Iraq. Kerry called the coming presidential contest "the most important election of our lifetime." "America can do better, and help is on the way," he said repeatedly.
|Barack Obama to give keynote speech at Convention : July 27, 2004|
Obama has not been elected to the United States Senate. He is merely a candidate -- a dynamic, stirring and potentially historic candidate who would be the only African American in the U.S. Senate and just the third since Reconstruction. But still a candidate nonetheless. "I'm not someone who takes hype so seriously," he says, which doesn't stop hypesters from taking Obama seriously. Or people from asking him -- with some regularity and straight faces -- when he will run for president. It didn't stop the Kerry campaign from asking him to give tonight's keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. And it isn't stopping delegates, senators, members of Congress, governors and mayors from mobbing him this week. This is the inevitable result of what Obama calls "being the flavor of the month, or the flavor of the week, or whatever."
Indeed, Obama is experienced in the narrative of the celebrated racial trailblazer. He was the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review, a position that exposed him to the procession of interviews, the imposition of great symbolic value and the overall burden of an outsize fuss. "After about two weeks, all the stories were written and everybody left me alone, and then I went back to editing law review articles," Obama says. "And I hope the same thing happens here. Which is, after an initial burst of attention . . . hopefully I can start focusing on getting some work done."
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