Iowa Presidential Watch


June 4, 2004

John Kerry: Stump Problem

It’s no secret. Sen. John Kerry’s campaign stump speeches are boring. Reporters write about it, late night talk show hosts joke about it, and no doubt Democratic National Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe stews about it.

Here are a few odes to the Kerry stump problem we’ve collected:

“John Kerry has a new 757 jet to use while he campaigns for president... did you see it on the news? This is a really cool plane. In the event that Kerry starts speaking, oxygen masks fall from the ceiling to keep people awake.” – Jay Leno.

“He is a wooden campaigner...” – writes Newsweek’s chief political correspondent Howard Fineman.

“Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry has been criticized for his cold, wooden demeanor and uninspired message...” -- Adam Nagourney, New York Times.

“Kerry has been tagged a wooden Al Gore clone” – New York Metro Magazine.

“Kerry sits onstage in a row of veterans, several of whom speak on his behalf. My eyes wander across the row and come to rest, with familiar incredulity, on the wooden guy in the white shirt. Of all the guys in this row, can you believe this is the one running for president?” – William Saletan, Slate’s chief political correspondent. [LINK to full article, “The Thin Man” Sept. 2, 2003]

 “Cleland lights up the crowd with zingers, plain talk, and more animation than Kerry can manage with four limbs. While Cleland works his magic, Kerry sits expressionless behind him, squinting and repeatedly touching various parts of his hair to make sure they're in place. They're fine, but Kerry seems terribly anxious that somewhere, somehow, a hair is out of place....” – William Saletan.

“Much of Kerry's problem is superficial. He's as stiff as a GI Joe. He's infatuated with the 1960s. He keeps talking about "our generation" to an electorate that is no longer of his generation. He speaks the language of the Kennedys, which now sounds flowery and phony. He adorns his prose with words like "lavish" and "astonishing." He calls the audience "my fellow Americans." He tells them he's "honored to join you in this endeavor." For the thousandth time, he begins a sentence with the pointless preface, "And I say to you today …" At another point, he proclaims, "Let me put it plainly: If Americans aren't working, America's not working." This is what audiences always have to wade through to get at whatever it is Kerry is trying to say: Nuggets of nothing, wrapped in pretentious rhetoric, compounded by the pretense of plain speaking.” – William Saletan.



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June 5, 2004

Ronald Reagan, 40th President, dies
after long battle with Alzheimers



June 9, 2004

Kerry photo-ops Reagan casket

Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee John Kerry showed up at the Reagan Library on Tuesday afternoon to view the deceased former president’s casket, setting off a firestorm of reaction.

·        At issue: The need for a Kerry visit to the Reagan Library in California. As reported by Rush Limbaugh, a Kerry spokesperson had already announced Kerry would attend the State Funeral for Reagan on Friday in Washington, D.C.

·        At issue: The photographer accompanying Kerry into the Reagan Library. Clear guidelines (handed out to everyone prior to entering the library to view Reagan’s casket) state: “Absolutely no photography will be allowed inside the Library.” A photographer entered slightly ahead of Kerry and took pictures of Kerry while he was there. These pictures were posted as ‘Associated Press’ photos on YahooNews news 30 minutes after Kerry’s visit. [see photo below]

·        At issue: The timing of the Kerry visit to the Reagan Library in California. Dignitaries could view the casket at the Reagan Library in California before the general public or after the general public; or in Washington, D.C. during the time set aside for the other government big wigs to attend. California Governor and Mrs. Schwarzenegger were in attendance during regular public viewing hours at the personal request of Mrs. Reagan – who did not take Kerry’s personal phone call to her, and did not issue an invitation to Kerry.



June 10, 2003... The parody that launched a bah-zillion 'hits' to our website:
John Kerry's haughty ways are lampooned as Gilligan's Island snob Winston Howell III. ...


June 20, 2004

Bill’s Big Book

Bill Clinton’s memoir debut is already mirroring his presidency, with a virtual roller coaster of bumpy ups and downs this week ...

·        CBS’s Dan Rather gushes he read the book and rates it “five stars out of five stars.”

·        The New York Times trashes it, calling it, “sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull — the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.”

·        Bill Clinton declares, "The whole [impeachment] battle was a badge of honor. I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate."

·        NewsMax spills the beans about an upcoming BBC interview with Clinton, “Two days before his $12 million book hits stores, ex-President Bill Clinton has already blown his stack at one TV interviewer who questioned if his contrition over his affair with Monica Lewinsky was credible.”



June 23, 2004... Considering the long read of Bill Clinton's memoir,
here's a 'cliff notes' version of Bill's life...



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