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Iowa 2004 presidential primary precinct caucus and caucuses news, reports and information on 2004 Democrat and Republican candidates, campaigns and issues

Iowa Presidential Watch's

The Democrat Candidates

Holding the Democrats accountable today, tomorrow...forever.

John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

April 2003

Manchester (N. H.) Union Leader editorial pages: Yesterday – under the headline “Bumbling Dems: Dean, Kerry make some goofy slips” – the Union Leader opened an editorial with this question: “Can’t the Democrats get better Presidential candidates than these?” Editorial says Dean wasembarrassed into sending a letter of apologyto Edwards for inaccurately criticizing Edwards for hiding his pro-war stance during CA Dem state convention address. Editorial also highlighted Kerry comments – also at the California convention – indicating the Dems could win presidency without Southern support, forcing Kerry to hand out notes to Southern Dem sens assuring them he plans to campaign in their states. The Union Leader editorial concluded: “In New Hampshire, Kerry and Dean are the leading candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Their behavior so far has made them look less than worthy of front-of-the-pack positions.” (4/1/2003)

Kerry apparently isn’t going to settle for second best in the Dems’ fundraising derby. Kerry not only reported that he raised about $7M during the first quarter FEC disclosure period, but he transferred $2.9 million from his Senate account for a campaign total of $10 million during the period – leaving him with $8 million cash on hand. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/3/2003)

… Paul Harvey told his national broadcast audience yesterday that Dean and Lieberman have each raised $3 million, and Edwards and Kerry have reported $7 million in contributions – adding “early money is supposed to indicate something.” (4/4/2003)

… New Hampshire media websites – from Concord to Manchester to Berlin – cluttered with reports about Kerry comments that Americans will have to elect a new president to repair and rebuild the nation’s global relationships. The Union Leader headline: “Kerry: America needs a ‘regime changetoo” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/4/2003)

… In Peterborough, Kerry repeated theme he used during California appearances last month – “Just because the U. S. Supreme Court made a decision in its selection, and an error in its decision in the year 2000, doesn’t mean we have to live with it six more years.” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/4/2003)

… In an apparent continuation of his running verbal battle with rival Dem presidential candidate Dean, Kerry said he would appreciate it if those who criticize the military would keep quiet for a while. Kerry, a Vietnam war veteran: “War is tough. Trust the process for a few days. We’re achieving our goals, war is unpredictable.” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/4/2003)

… Although the Senate voted unanimously 93-0 for supplemental funding to support Iraq war and homeland security, Kerry and Lieberman were among the sevennot voting.” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/5/2003)

… Former IA GOP Attorney General – and retired military reserve general – Evan (Curly) Hultman called Mickelson’s talk radio show on WHO (Des Moines) and WMT (Cedar Rapids) radio stations yesterday morning to condemn Kerry’s New Hampshire remarks about need for “regime change” in Washington. Hultman – a past-president of the Reserve Officers Assn. who remains active in other military organizations in Washington – said he saw Kerry (a Vietnam war vet) in DC on Tuesday, the day before the remarks were made. Hultman also took on those who “use the dodge” they support the troops, but not the commander-in-chief. Hultman: “How can you separate the commander-in-chief from the troops?” Mickelson added that Kerry’s remarks were “borderline treasonous.” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/5/2003)

… Despite considerable GOP criticism, Kerry refused to back down from his New Hampshire comments. The Atlanta Constitution yesterday reported “Kerry said he had ‘the pleasure’ of being attacked by Republicans for ‘speaking out regarding the direction of our country.’” Kerry quoted as saying: “I don’t need any lessons in patriotism or in caring about America from the likes of the right wing and Tom DeLay and others.” (4/5/2003

Kerry told Associated Press yesterday: “The Republicans have tried to make a practice of attacking anybody who speaks out strongly by questioning their patriotism. I refuse to have my patriotism or right to speak out questioned. I fought for and earned the right to express my views in this country.” He added: “If they want to pick a fight, they’ve picked a fight with the wrong guy.” (4/5/2003)

Dean attended the Georgia Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, but the Atlanta Constitution said “he offered no opinion about Kerry’s latest [New Hampshire] statement.” By yesterday afternoon, Dean told AP he had “not criticized Senator Kerry for that, nor am I going to.  It certainly would be unusual for me to line up with Tom DeLay, and I don’t intend to start now.” (4/5/2003)

… At Dem State Convention in New Hampshire yesterday, state chairwoman Kathy Sullivan jumped into the fray over Kerry’s “regime change” remarks. Speaking before a cheering crowd, Sullivan accused Republicans of trying to squelch freedom of speech by criticizing debate over the war. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/6/2003)

Kerry continues responding to GOP criticism of his “regime change” comments and, according to the L. A. Times, accused Republican leaders of “purposely distorting a tongue-in-cheek remarks and vowed ‘not to be silenced by their fake patriotism argument.’” Kerry, quoted in yesterday’s Times: “Republicans are falsely and phonily trying to trump up an issue.” He said the remark “was a rhetorical twist, nothing serious” and “had nothing to do with the troops and nothing to do with over there.” Mark Z. Barabak’s report added Kerry “also insisted that he has stayed true to his promise not to second-guess Bush’s conduct of the war once it commenced. ‘I’ve defended the administration against the armchair quarterbacking, which I think is premature.’” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/6/2003)

… Des Moines Register’s Thomas Beaumont reports on Kerry’s eastern Iowa visit – headline: “Kerry defends remark on U. S. ‘regime change’” (4/7/2003)

… Quad-City Times Ed Tibbetts reports on Kerry’s Davenport visit – “In the Quad-Cities for the first time this campaign, U. S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Sunday the Bush administration botched diplomatic efforts to gain support to disarm Iraq. And while he did not repeat his belief there needs to be a ‘regime change’ in the United States, Kerry said he wouldn’t shrink from a fight with the administration or the Republican Party.” (4/7/2003)

… Matt Drudge notes – during current controversy over Kerry’s “regime change” comments that it has been a consistent, on-going theme for Democrats and anti-Bush critics over recent months. Drudge notes that Kerry may have been the first Dem wannabe to use the phrasing, but “other pillars of the party” have been using it for months. Among others calling for “regime change” since last October – Barbra Streisand, Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, Louis Farrakhan, former AG Ramsey Clark, Susan Sarandon, Dem MI Rep. John Conyers. (4/7/2003)

… AP’s resident caucus-watcher Mike Glover – who just last week was in Sioux City covering Dean – showed up in Cedar Rapids yesterday for Kerry appearances. Glover reports Kerry said “democracy affords rival Democrats the right to criticize President Bush even with the nation at war.” Kerry comment: “This is a democracy. We could be at war a year from now. Would we put the election on hold?” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/8/2003)

Coverage of Kerry local appearance in yesterday’s Clinton Herald by staff writer Scott T. Holland: Kerry “spoke at length on education, promising to ‘criss-cross this country to confront current leadership for making a mockery of the words ‘leave no child behind.’ Kerry also vowed to ‘put arts, music, dance, theater and good, working libraries back into out schools and restore the full measure of what education must be.” Another excerpt: “As president, Kerry said, he would work to see health care recognized as a right, not a privilege.” Holland also noted that Kerry was accompanied by reporters from Boston and Washington newspapers. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/8/2003)

… From Jennifer Harper’s “Inside Politics” column in yesterday’s Washington Times: “Sen. John Kerry’s recent attempt to play hardball are not playing so well. According to an online poll (, 89 percent of some 13,000 people who voted since Friday believe the Massachusetts Democrat ‘should restrain his criticism of President Bush while the nation is at war with Iraq.” (4/8/2003)

Kerry was blistered by a weekend editorial in a Laconia [N. H.] Citizen because he has “changed his criticism toward the war from that of honorable restraint to barbs that drip vitriol.” The editorial continued that Kerry is “perhaps feeling the heat from Dean and trying to attract the anti-war crowd that forms the base of the former Vermont governor’s support.” Noting that Kerry supported the Iraq initiative and “even joined the president to criticizearmchair generals’ who had been critical of the U. S. war plan,” the editorial added: “Fine words, but apparently hollow words that shift with the political winds. Another excerpt: “On diplomacy and the U. N., Kerry said, ‘I don’t think they’re going to trust this president, no matter what.’ And if Kerry were elected president, would the U. N. delegates trust a man who talks from both sides of his mouth?” (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/8/2003)

From front page of today’s Des Moines Register: Kerry to back only pro-choice justices” Register’s Thomas Beaumont reports that Kerry told a group of Dem women in Des Moines yesterday as president he would only appoint justices to the U. S. Supreme Court who support Roe v. Wade decision. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/9/2003)

Kerry: “Kerry sided with opponents and supporters, saying, ‘I support the use of force, I support disarming Saddam Hussein, but I’ve been very critical of the way this administration went at it.” – Washington Post…”Kerry, while not expressing an opinion on the postwar Iraqi government, previewed what is likely to be a common Democratic argument in 2004 – insisting that the administration match its commitment to reconstructing Iraq with resources for social needs in America as well. ‘As this administration makes plans to build schools in Iraq, roads…hospitals, we say as correct as it is to finish the job in Iraq, it is time for this administration to begin the job at home,’ he said.” – Los Angeles Times.   4/9/2003

Kerry tells WHO Radio (Des Moines) yesterday that protests condemning his “regime change” remarks – such as the one held over weekend outside his DSM campaign headquarters – are being organized by Republicans. That may be the most astute observation and most accurate statement Kerry has made since announcing his presidential candidacy. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/9/2003)

When the Senate voted 80-0 Monday to confirm the judicial appointment of Cormac J. Carney as a federal district judge in CA, all of the senator-wannabes – Edwards, Graham, Kerry, Lieberman – were among the missing. Meanwhile over in the House, Gephardt continued to assure his St. Louis area constituents that they continued to be un-represented. (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Actually, it’s a tossup whether he’s there or not.  They are un-represented when he misses House votes – and are misrepresented when he is there and voting.) Gephardt was recorded as “not voting” when the House considered a series of fairly non-controversial bills. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/9/2003)

The Washington Times’ Donald Lambro – under the online headline, “Republicans say Kerry broke vow not to attack Bush” – reports: “Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who said both Iraq and the United States ‘need a regime change,’ broke his vow not to politically attack President Bush while the country is at war, Republican officials charged yesterday [Monday]. At the same time, New York City’s former Democratic mayor, Ed Koch, warned Mr. Kerry that he ‘is going to end up on the garbage heap’ for what he said.” The Koch quote: “I think Senator Kerry is going to end up on the garbage heap because of his quote attacking the president and, in effect, by using language, which was, we need a regime change here at home, and that the president, in effect, has embarrassed us by the way he has conducted himself internationally.” (4/9/2003)

… From Donald Lambro report in yesterday’s Washington Times: “Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who has been on the defensive lately for saying that both Iraq and the United States ‘need a regime change,’ continued to defend his remarks yesterday. But in a sign that Mr. Kerry may have suffered some political damage for his controversial comment, his campaign released a brief statement that said, “American troops have done an extraordinary job in Iraq, and all of America should be proud of their selfless service to the country. ‘Saddam Hussein made a grave error when he chose to make war with the ultimate weapons-inspections enforcement mechanism,” Mr. Kerry said. (4/11/2003)

Amber Alert legislation approved yesterday – 400-25 in House and 98-0 in the Senate. In the House, Kucinich – apparently opposed to protecting children – voted against the proposal while Gephardt was in IA and recorded asnot voting.”In the Senate, the two missing senators were both presidential wannabes – Kerry and Lieberman, who also were campaigning in Iowa. (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/11/2003)

… In Des Moines Sunday Register “Roses & Thistles” column this morning, a thistle was awarded to “Kerry, who said in picking Supreme Court justices he would consider only those who would affirm Roe v. Wadeand then denied it was a litmus test. Of course it is a litmus test. All politicians do it; most use code words (like ‘right to privacy’). Kerry just blurted out the truth.”  (4/13/2003)

… In Des Moines Sunday Register “Roses & Thistles” column this morning, a thistle was awarded to “Kerry, who said in picking Supreme Court justices he would consider only those who would affirm Roe v. Wadeand then denied it was a litmus test. Of course it is a litmus test. All politicians do it; most use code words (like ‘right to privacy’). Kerry just blurted out the truth.”  (4/13/2003)

Bonus coverage from New Hampshire: Headline on editorial in this morning’s The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News – “Sen. Kerry’s rights: The right to make an ass of himself” Editorial focuses on (and revisits) Kerry’s “regime change” remark from a week ago – saying he “apparently thought his own military service in Vietnam would somehow immunize him from criticism of his incredibly tasteless Saddam-Bush comparison in the middle of the war.” Key excerpt: “Kerry was in fact a decorated combat veteran…[but] in this war, Kerry seems to be on both sides. He voted for the resolution the President sought to authorize military action in Iraq but then has done little but criticize the President for taking that action.”(4/13/2003)

…Report on Dean’s campaign appearance in Cedar Falls – AP’s resident caucus-watcher Mike Glover writes Dean “said Friday that the U. S-led war against Iraq will remain a divisive issue for Democrats despite the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime.” Dean quote: “All these folks [other Dem candidates] who are crowing about their vote and the outcome are going to learn that the occupation [of Iraq] will be very difficult. That’s probably going to be the next lesson.” Glover reminds readers – and presumably IA Dems – about the four Dem wannabes who supported the Iraq resolution: Lieberman, Edwards, Kerry and Gephardt. . (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/13/2003)

… Letters to editor in Des Moines Sunday Register – “The blue yard signs showing support for President Bush and our troops are one of the most popular yard signs provided by the Polk County (Des Moines) Republican Party. It’s a result of Senator John Kerry’s [regime change] remark that may well have cost him any chance of success in his presidential campaign.” – Charles Finch, Des Moines. And another view: “I am amazed and saddened that the Republican Party is distributing Bush yard signs to exploit the war with Iraq for political positioning. The signs are rather indicative of why the war is being fought in the first place – it is Bush’s strategy to stay in power.” – Mark Challis, West Des Moines. (Iowa  Presidential Watch, 4/14/2003)

…Headline on coverage from Iowa in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times online edition, “Democrats May Face War Quagmire…Fighting in Iraq threatens to divide the party like nothing has since the Vietnam era, putting its candidates in a political minefield.” Times staff writer Mark Z. Barabak reviews the respective Iraq war positions of the Dem wannabes and interviews several Iowa Democrats about their candidate preferences – and reports, “There are minefields aplenty.” Example: “Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who voted to support the war in Iraq, has been pilloried by Republicans for a quip he made April 2 about the need for ‘regime change’ in Washington. It was a line Kerry had used before with little notice – then the shooting started and the rules of the political engagement suddenly changed.” Barabak reports that “the presidential candidates are not the only ones pulled by the crosscurrents of wartime politics.” He notes that Iowan – and antiwar activist -- Diane Krell “said that despite her disappointment with Edwards and other Democrats who backed Bush on Iraq, she has not ruled out supporting one of them if he seems best able to defeat the president in November 2004.” James Peterson, who was seated just a few rows over from Krell at the Des Moines forum, was quoted as saying, “It’s great to win battles. But I want to win the war. And right now the war [for Democrats] is beating Bush and winning the White House.”  (Iowa Presidential Watch, 4/14/2003)

…Headline on column by Bernadette Malone – the newspaper’s former editorial page editor -- in yesterday’s online edition of The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News: “‘President’ Kerry would set bizarre litmus test for judges’ (4/14/2003)

… Also from South Carolina – and yesterday’s The State – again: “Kerry won the endorsement Sunday of Alex Sanders, the former College of Charleston president and appeals court judge who ran unsuccessfully for the U. S. Senate last year. In a statement, Sanders said he chose Kerry for three reasons: “courage, compassion and charisma.”  (4/15/2003)

… Headline from yesterday’s online report on The State (Columbia) website: “Kerry tries to motivate S. C. Democratic party” Story says Kerry “attempted Monday to light a fire under a lethargic Democratic Party that he said had gotten lazy the past few years.” He said: “We’ve got to get tough. We’ve got to get out there.” More from The State report by Lee Bandy: “The senator talked a lot about where the party has been. He cited its fight for civil rights, clean water and clean air, early childhood education, minimum wage, and quality health care. But cynicism and distrust of elected leaders exists and is reflected in voter attitudes, he said. Kerry mentioned a recent poll showing that 60 percent of Americans say they don’t know whether they’ll vote next year. He called it a serious problem. ‘We’ve got to start organizing,’ he urged.” Meanwhile, the Florence Morning News reported that South Carolina House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Harrison – a Columbia Republican and Gulf War veteran – called on Kerry to apologize to President Bush for his “regime change” remarks and Iraq war criticisms. Harrison said in a release: “First John Kerry called for a regime change and now he wants to question the president’s character in a time of war.”   (4/16/2003)

Kerry continues to gather South Carolina support. After announcing over weekend that former College of Charleston president Alex Sanders – the Dem candidate in last fall’s U. S. Senate campaign – had signed on the alleged Kerry bandwagon, the Mass Sen also has been endorsed by State Sen. John Matthews, as 28-year legislative veteran, and Columbia attorney Steve Benjamin, who lost a bid last year for attorney. (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Looks like Kerry attracting endorsements from more losers than winners in South Carolina.)  (4/16/2003)

There’s no place like home – especially when it comes to fundraising – for Dem wannabes Kerry and Lieberman. That’s the main thrust of an Associated Press analysis of first-quarter fundraising that indicated their respective home states “accounted for more than $1 in every $5” they collected for the January-March reporting period. Dean collected more from CA and NY than from home state Vermont. (4/17/2003)

from Paul Bedard’s “Washington Whispers” column in this week’s U. S. News & World Report – under the item head, “Charity case” – “When Sen. John Kerry’s donation came in for Boston’s Holy Name Parish School spring auction, organizers expected something special from the multimillionaire Democratic presidential candidate. After all, fellow Sen. Ted Kennedy gave a personally designed print and Mayor Thomas Menino offered dinner. Kerry’s gift: A signed 8-by-10 photo. What gives with the cheapo gift? Associates whine that Kerry gets 36 auction requests a week and not everything can be great. ‘Our best auction offerings are yet to come,’ says one associate. ‘Personally guided Oval Office tours by President John Kerry.’” (4/17/2003)

California Dreamin’ I: Although some numbers from The Field Poll (among registered Democrats) in California have been reported, Iowa Pres Watch notes that – as far as early observers are concerned – the field of Dem wannabes is breaking into three distinct factions. The Big Three with double-digit numbers: Lieberman (22%), Kerry (16%) and Gephardt (12%). The single-digit group: Dean (7%), Sharpton and Moseley Braun (both with 4%), Edwards (3%), Graham (2%) and Kucinich (1%). The third – and largest – faction: Undecided (29%).  (4/18/2003)

On the Dem money trail – a headline from yesterday’s Los Angeles Times: “Kerry’s $8 Million Puts Him in Front of Democratic Rivals…First detailed look at the presidential hopefuls’ war chests shows Edwards raised more in three months of 2003. Gephardt is third.” Staff Writer Mark Z. Barabak writes: “As the Democratic presidential campaign picks up, Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry is on the best financial footing, with more than $8 million in the bank, according to the first detailed accounting of the candidates’ fund-raising performance. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who raised slightly more than Kerry in the first three months of the year, had $5.7 million on hand. Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri was third with roughly $5 million.”  (4/18/2003)

Iowa a week ago while rivals Lieberman and Kucinich cancelled IA stops to cast votes in Washington. Gephardt spokeswoman Kim Molstre quote: “Dick has said all along you can’t make all the votes and run for president…He feels very strongly that being out in Iowa is very, very important.” At the other end of the spectrum, Kucinich hasn’t missed any votes this year. In the Senate, Kerry has missed the most (52 votes), Lieberman was absent for 29 votes (22%), Edwards 21 votes (16%), and Graham has missed only three votes. (4/19-20/2003)

The Drudge Report said last night Mass. Sen – and Vietnam War hero -- Kerry missed the funeral of a home state Iraqi victim to attend a presidential fundraising event in Arizona. The report – filed by Matt Drudge – said: “So why wasn’t U. S. Sen John F. Kerry (D-MA) at last week’s funeral of Matthew Boule, 22, the Dracut, Massachusetts native who was the state’s first soldier to die in the Iraq war? Kerry, the decorated Vietnam War veteran who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, was in Arizona on Tuesday – fundraising and campaigning – the very hour Boule was buried, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal. Kerry’s office did not respond to a request for comment…Kerry missed the service honoring Boule to speak to the Arizona Democratic Caucus, where he proposed a ‘Veterans Prescription Drug Reform Act.’”  (4/21/2003)

… Over the weekend, Senior Political Reporter John DiStaso of The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News wrote: “Five Democratic Presidential candidates spent $78,230 on salaries and consulting fees to 12 New Hampshire staffers and a local paid consultant between Jan. 1 and March 31.” DiStaso reported that Kerry “leads the New Hampshire staff salary parade with $30,772 spent on four Granite Staters.” Lieberman spent $16,906, Edwards $15,789, Dean $11,236 and Gephardt $3,527.(4/21/2003)


… From Greg Pierce’s “Inside Politics” column in yesterday’s Washington Times – under the subhead “Globe probes Kerry” – “Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat and presidential hopeful, is coming under close scrutiny from his hometown newspaper. Mr. Kerry ‘will be the subject of a multipart investigative series soon to appear in the Boston Globe,’ the Hill newspaper reports.” The Hill report said the Globe has assigned “a team of reporters to dig through Kerry’s legislative, political and personal lives.” (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Without doubt, IA Dem caucusgoers – and Kerry’s Dem rivals – are eagerly awaiting the story mentioned in the Hill about the “attractive 25-year-old reporter” who “dumped Kerry for a member of Pink Floyd.”) (4/23/2003)

Edwards’ West Coast fundraising rampage continues. On the heels of a Monday Tacoma (WA) News Tribune report that Edwards was the leading Dem fundraiser in Washington state, the Portland Oregonian reported yesterday that Edwards received nearly $62,000 of the almost $100,000 the Dem wannabes raised in Oregon during the first quarter of the year. It also proved there are trial lawyers in Oregon – noting that “at least $33,000 of the nearly $62,000 he raised in Oregon came from trial lawyers or their spouses, according to reports filed last week with the Federal Election Commission.” As in Washington state, Dean was second in Oregon fundraising – with “just less than $25,000. Staunch opposition to the war in Iraq helped bring him to the attention of Democratic activists.” Others: Kerry, $8,050; Gephardt, $2,000; and Lieberman and Kucinich “received less than $4,000 from Oregon contributors.” Graham and Moseley Braun did not have any Oregon contributors and – as the New Hampshire media and Tacoma account have reported – Sharpton did not file a first-quarter FEC report. (4/23/2003)

… Headline from Kerry’s presidential campaign website – On Earth Day, Kerry Calls for New Commitment to Environmental justice in America” (Iowa Pres Watch Note: There’s something of a hidden message there – that the Kerry team capitalizes “Environment,” but that “justice” wasn’t capitalized.) From the Kerry website: “BOSTON – John Kerry today called for a new commitment to ‘make environmental justice the law of the land’ in America by empowering communities with the tools they need to protect their neighborhoods and fight pollution. His remarks came at an Earth Day celebration at the Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury.”(4/23/2003)

The headline: “Touché! Kerry fires back at Bush camp” The coverage – by Joe Battenfeld in yesterday’s Boston Herald: “Responding to a taunt by the White House that he ‘looks French,’ U. S. Sen. John F. Kerry yesterday brushed off the political insult – saying it’s part of an expected barrage of Republican attacks on his character. ‘It means the White House has started the politics of personal destruction,’ Kerry said of the comment by an unnamed Bush adviser. A New York Times report quoted Republican officials and Bush advisers yesterday saying that Kerry’s presidential campaign wouldn’t play well out of New England because of his ‘haughty air’ and Boston upbringing. ‘He looks French,’ said one Bush adviser, handing the Massachusetts Democrat what is probably the ultimate postwar political putdown.” (4/24/2003)

… Buried under the barrage of Democratic demands GOP Sen. Santorum resign his Senate leadership post – the No. 3 ranked in the Senate Republican -- for comments comparing homosexuality to bigamy, etc., Kerry issued a statement condemning Santorum’s remarks and criticizing White House – “The White House speaks the rhetoric of compassionate conservatism but they’re silent while their chief lieutenants make divisive and hurtful comments that have no place in our politics.” He added, “Every day in our country, gay and lesbian Americans get up, go to work, pay their taxes, support their families and contribute to the country they love. These comments take us backwards in America.” This must have been a priority statement for Kerry – since he issued it through his U. S. Senate office, not his presidential campaign operation.(4/24/2003)

Kerry warning – from yesterday’s Boston Globe: “If Republicans forge ahead with plans to spend $200 million or more on President Bush’s re-election campaign, Senator John F. Kerry would make it a campaign issue and would not rule out tapping his personal wealth to compensate, he said yesterday. The Democratic presidential contender, who recently reported $8 million cash on hand in his campaign kitty, said that if Republicans double the amount they spent on their 2000 campaign, it would confirm the party as the handmaiden to the wealthiest Americans.” The Glen Johnson report added, “While Kerry’s personal wealth is limited, his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has a family fortune that has been assessed as worth $550 million or more. Federal election law makes it unlikely she could transfer the bulk of that money to Kerry, but in the past, both he and his wife have said they would consider tapping the reserve if either one was attacked personally in a campaign.”(4/24/2003)

… For Dem wannabes, it’s too bad Earth Day only happens once a year. Headline from Ron Brownstein’s coverage in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times – “Kerry Calls for Pollution Fight in Urban Areas…Fellow Democratic presidential candidates Edwards and Lieberman also use Earth Day to promote environmental causes.” Brownstein reports Kerry urged a new offensive against inner-city pollution, an Earth Day effort to elevate the visibility of environmental issues in the Democratic presidential race.” He noted that Kerry called for establishment of  ‘environmental empowerment zones’ to concentrate federal efforts against pollution-related health problems --- such as asthma – in low-income neighborhoods. Also from the Brownstein article: “Other Democratic presidential hopefuls offered their own proposals at Earth Day appearances elsewhere in the country. In upstate New York, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut called for a crackdown on power-plant emissions. In Los Angeles, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards proposed a $500-million federal program to boost production of clean-burning energy sources, such as ethanol.” (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Although all the Dem proposals are questionable, it should be clear Edwards is a true environmentalist who believes in issue recycling, too. How much coverage does Edwards expect to get on his $500-million proposal – and that highlights his pro-ethanol appeal to IA farmers? His plan would be even more impressive – and attractive to Iowa corn growers – if it had a prayer of ever getting passed by the Congress or Edwards had a prayer of being elected president.)(4/24/2003)

… Headlines from Kerry’s Earth Day swing through New Hampshire: Nashua Telegraph, “Kerry offers ways to fight pollution” The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday Times online, “Kerry wants enforcement of ‘environmental justice’”(4/24/2003)

Quinnipiac survey showed that in New York state GWB would beat Lieberman (50-38), Kerry (50-38) and Gephardt (49-38). (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Suggested strategy for Bush in New York: Take the NY electoral votes – and move on, not to mention most New Yorkers are still trying to figure out who Kucinich is or whether to go with “favorite son” Sharpton?) (4/25/20030

… Excerpts from “Caucus Notebook” by Des Moines Register’s caucus correspondent Thomas Beaumont – Kerry, Edwards and Lieberman “may have unwittingly upped the ante in their caucus quests by raising expectations, a no-no in Iowa presidential politics where beating expectations often trumps winningKerry’s Iowa supporters say the Massachusetts Democrat has discussed increasing his visibility in the state. Kerry has stressed his ability to wage a national campaign. With seven days in Iowa planned in May, including his second three-day swing, higher expectations may precede KerryEdwards, who has done less to dampen Iowa expectations than Kerry, said the $7.4 million he raised in the first-quarter is going to afford him a lot more time in Iowa…For a guy up against 1988 caucus winner Dick Gephardt and 30-time Iowa visitor Howard Dean, Edwards has his work cut out for him…For Lieberman, who has campaigned in Arizona more often than he’s campaigned in Iowa or New Hampshire, the picnic appearance [at the annual Vilsack family picnic in Mount Pleasant on 6/8] will boost the Connecticut senator’s visibility and perhaps his expectations.”(4/26/2003)

… From yesterday’s “Best of the Web Today” on, James Taranto wrote: “Last month Sen. John Kerry accused President Bush of having ‘botched the diplomacy’ in the run-up to Iraqi liberation. Maybe the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, should be running against Bill Clinton. London’s Guardian reports that ‘Tony Blair repeated secret advice from…Clinton on how to unlock the diplomatic impasse between Europe and the US in the build-up to the war on Iraq.” (4/26/2003)

… Comparing the search for renewable energy sources to JFK’s commitment to land a man on the moon – and probably wishing he could compare himself more favorably to JFK – Kerry told a crowd at the University of New Hampshire the U.S. should have a goal of providing 20% of the nation’s electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Headline from The Union Leader: “Kerry says U. S. must decrease oil dependence” Associated Press coverage: “U. S. Sen. John Kerry said decreasing dependence on oil from the Middle East is the great challenge facing the nation.” Kerry quote: “We spend $1.8 billion in subsidies for oil and gas …and only $24 million for alternative and renewable energy. We ought to flip-flop those numbers.” (4/27/2003)

… Chicago Tribune weekend article – under the headline “Catholic politicians feel church heat on abortion” – includes Kerry along with CA Gov. Davis and Sen Dem Leader Daschle as those getting church pressure for their pro-abortion positions. The report by Washington Bureau’s Mike Dorning says, “With several recent messages taking to task prominent politicians, Catholic Church leaders are showing signs of more aggressively challenging Catholic officeholders who support abortion rights.” And excerpt: “Despite decades of exhortations from church leaders, polling data consistently show that Americans who identify themselves as Catholics are not significantly more likely to oppose abortion rights than the public at large. Many of the Democratic Party’s leaders offer highly visible examples of church members’ resistance to Catholic teachings on abortion law. Along with Daschle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is a Catholic who supports abortion rights. So is Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a presidential candidate. And Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), also an abortion rights supporter, represents a family dynasty that for many still symbolizes the political success of Catholics in America.” The Tribune coverage also mentions the “Deadly Dozen” – 12 members of Congress identified by the American Life League as Catholics who support abortion rights, including Kerry and IA Sen Harkin. (For more on the Deadly Dozen, see the issues section “abortion” on the Iowa Pres Watch website.)  (4/28/2003)

… Donald Lambro reported in yesterday’s Washington Times – under the headline, “War gives Democrats ‘invisible primary’ – that the “Democratic presidential contest – so eclipsed by the U.S. war in Iraq that few Democrats can name any of their candidates – is being called theinvisible primary.’” Excerpts: “Interviews with Democratic officials confirmed that after several months of campaigning in the early primary states around the country, the contenders and their issues have received relatively little public attention on the national stage…There seems to be a growing consensus among party strategists who have not endorsed any of the candidates that Mr. Kerry is the clear front-runner, with Mr. Gephardt, Mr. Lieberman and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean battling it out for second place. Despite having raised more money than any of his rivals, Mr. Edwards’ campaign has not caught on and his recognition remains in the low single digits in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.”  (4/29/2003)

The on-going – and escalating – two-wannabe feud between Dean and Kerry moved to national defense issues yesterday after a Time magazine report quoted Dean as saying the U.S. should be planning for a time when its not the world’s greatest superpower. The Time article by Karen Tumulty quoted Dean as saying – while campaigning at a Stonyfield yogurt factory in New Hampshire two weeks ago – that: “We have to take a different approach [to diplomacy]. We won’t always have the strongest military.” That was enough to give Team Kerry an opening to go after Dean again as the two New Englanders battle over New Hampshire primary voters. Associated Press coverage reported that Kerry’s campaign questioned Dean’s “capacity to lead the U.S. military in a sign of escalating tension” in the party’s race for the White House. Quad-City Times, in report by Ed Tibbetts this morning -- Kerry campaign spokesman Chris Lehane said: “Howard Dean’s stated belief that the United States won’t always have the strongest military raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as commander in chief. No serious candidate for the presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America’s military supremacy.” According to polls, the two wannabes are locked in a tight contest in New Hampshire – a state that borders their home states.(4/29/2003)

… Headline on poll in News & Observer of Raleigh online: “Uphill battle in his home statewhich reported that Edwards would lose to GWB if the election were held now in North Carolina. The poll indicated that Bush would have a 58-39 win over Edwards. The News & Observer’s Washington correspondent, John Wagner, reported the “19-point margin is the largest since Edwards entered the race four months ago.” Wagner also wrote that the survey “showed a growing interestin Dem wannabe Kerry among North Carolina voters. Edwards retained his home state dominance – 43% support for the Dem nomination, although that’s a drop from 51% in January. Kerry, on the other hand, had a 23% showing in the April poll – up 9% from the January sampling. All the other Democrats seeking the Dem nomination are in single digits in North CarolinaLieberman 9%, Gephardt and Dean 7%, and Sharpton 6%. The rest did not even register 1% in the survey. (Iowa Pres Watch Note: Another possibility -- The North Carolina primary isn’t scheduled for more than a year – May 2004 – and Edwards and Kerry may be well-burnt political toast by then.)(4/29/2003)

… Several DC media outlets – and the Memphis (TN) Commercial Appeal  -- report that Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has endorsed Kerry. This is a big deal since Kerry not only gets Jr. – but former Congressman Harold Ford Sr. has signed on too. That gives Kerry access to the Ford organizational and fundraising operations in TN. In his endorsement statement, the younger Ford said Kerry is “the Democrats’ best chance to win the White House.” (4/29/2003)

… During “winners and losers” segment on CNN’s “Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics” yesterday on Dem candidate conduct during the Iraq war, political analyst and syndicated columnist Robert Novak named two war losers – Kerry and Dean, who are rapidly becoming the Odd Couple of the Dem campaign. He said Kerry, who “a few weeks before the war looked like the front-runner,” made a “mistake” when he compared regime change in Washington to regime change in Iraq. Novak said the “Democratic people” watching Kerry are wondering if he has a “tin ear” and added that Kerry’s “status is hurt.” Novak added, however, that Dean is “the biggest loser of the war, politically.” He said the Iraq war ended too early to benefit Dean’s antiwar theme, adding that Dean is in “bad political trouble. And even John Kerry is attacking him for suggesting we might not always have a strong military.”   (4/30/2003)

DC political newspaper, The Hill report said documents filed with the FEC show that during the first quarter  Edwards raised $4,000 in IA, Kerry raised $11,000, Dean raised $7,750 and “even Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) took in $1,711 from Iowa supporters.”(4/30/2003)

… Latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll basically reaffirms conventional wisdom that Dem presidential derby is a Big Three vs. The Rest situation. Although Dean enjoys good support in the “early states” and Edwards showed superior first-quarter fundraising prowess, the national sentiment reflected in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Lieberman 23%, Kerry 17% and Gephardt 15%. Analysts said one of the most interesting developments was that Lieberman, a proponent of the war against Iraq, improved his position in the poll conducted 4/22-23. (4/30/2003)

Kerry – in Alabama yesterday – said his “regime change” criticism of GWB was, according to AP coverage, “intended as a lighthearted remark. ‘It was not about the president, and it was not about the war. It was about the election,’ Kerry said during a campaign stop in Alabama.” AP also reported that Kerry “brought his presidential campaign to Alabama on Tuesday, trying to build support in a state that Al Gore virtually conceded to George Bush in the last presidential election. ‘I don’t think any area of the country ought to be written off,’ Kerry said.” (Iowa Press Watch Note: There may be another reason Kerry has taken a southern detour in his campaign – primarily because of comments he made during a CA visit that resulted in a headline in The State newspaper: “Kerry might have written off the South.” That headline resulted in Kerry giving Southern Dem senators hand-written notes promising to campaign in the South. So, he’s in the South – and even stopped in Arkansas before moving on to Alabama.  See 3/28 morning report for more and/or Kerry file on Pres Watch website for more.  (4/30/2003)

… Excerpt from KTHV-TV coverage of Kerry visit to Little Rock: “It’s been a long time since a roomful of powerful Arkansas Democrats have been in one room, smiling about a presidential candidate. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts came to lunch in Little Rock to get attention, and eventually, hopefully, the dollars, from some deep Arkansas pockets. The Democratic crowd at the Little Rock Club and later at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial was receptive to Kerry’s message …praising Bill Clinton’s economics and criticizing what Kerry calls President Bush’s growing legacy of racking up more than $7 trillion of debt in just two years. ‘I think it’s about more than the economy. I think health care is critical and it’s part of the economy. I think education is important. Arkansas is struggling with how it’s going to fund its education system. Arkansas needs a president who is committed to leaving no child behind and not making a mockery of those words.” Associated Press coverage of Kerry’s Little Rock visit said: “Kerry criticized President Bush for ‘reversing’ the budget surplus and job growth accomplished during the Clinton administration, saying, ‘We need to be smart the way Bill Clinton was smart in the 1990s.’ Kerry also took shots at his Democratic colleagues in Congress for not standing up to the Bush administration… ‘We don’t need a second Republican Party.’”(4/30/2003)

… Did he have a crystal ball? Even before the latest dustup between Dean and Kerry on their support for maintaining the nation’s military superiority this week (see yesterday’s morning report for more), Ryan Lizza – in his New Republic commentary – didn’t just focus on Dean’s upcoming South Carolina adventure, but also highlighted the potential Dean-Kerry clash. Lizza’s commentary: “The other candidates, especially Lieberman and Edwards, neither of whom is expected to win in Iowa or New Hampshire, seem delighted by the prospect of a titanic battle between Dean and Kerry. ‘Dean could slay Kerry for us,’ says an aide to a rival campaign. Without the burden of having to win in the two early states, both Edwards and Lieberman are elbowing for advantage in what might be called the February 3 strategy. That’s the first primary day after New Hampshire, and, while it originally was monopolized by South Carolina, now Arizona and Missouri are also scheduled for that day, with Oklahoma, New Mexico and Tennessee preparing to move there as well.”(4/302/003)

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