the Iowa Daily Report
Kerry talks business
Sen. John Kerry has been trying
to appeal to business owners in New Hampshire.
While he has offered several proposals to
encourage business, his latest release takes a
personal approach. Recalling his days as a muffin
and cookie shop owner, Democratic presidential
candidate John Kerry is proposing new measures to
help small businesses, including making it easier
for them to compete for federal contracts.
Kerry, in remarks prepared for
delivery Friday, called for less bundling of
federal contracts, which groups together smaller
contracts and can make it harder for small
businesses to compete for them. He said the number
and size of bundled contracts has reached a
Although the total number of
federal contracts has increased 7 percent under
President Bush (news - web sites), according to
Kerry, the small-business share has dropped by 14
percent to just 21 percent. He wants to increase
that to 30 percent.
In 1976 Kerry opened a cookie
and muffin shop called Kilvert and Forbes in
Boston's Quincy Market, which he said gave him
firsthand knowledge of the challenges of running a
Kerry said he would make it
easier and more affordable for businesses to
invest in technology. He called for changes to the
tax laws to allow small businesses to immediately
write off technology investments, rather than
having to space out the tax breaks over several
Small businesses are drowning in
tax paperwork, Kerry said, especially those that
do business in multiple states. He wants to allow
state and federal employment tax returns to be
filed on a single form.
To make it easier for small
businesses to set up pension plans, which Kerry
said can cost as much $20,000, the Massachusetts
senator supports a pension pooling fund to help
share the cost among multiple companies.
Kerry: drugs for veterans
John Kerry had this to say about
drugs and veterans:
last month, George Bush signed a big giveaway
prescription drug plan that lavished billions of
dollars on pharmaceutical companies and HMOs and
left our seniors high and dry. Now, as if it's not
enough to shortchange our seniors, George Bush is
cutting drug benefits for the men and women in
uniform who served our country and even risked
their lives in defense of our freedoms. George
Bush wants to double the copayments for
prescriptions for our military retirees, so that
he can have additional funds for wealthy tax cuts
or irresponsible policies that leave Americans no
can't wait to stand up when Donald Rumsfeld and
George W. Bush question the patriotism of
Democrats, I'm going to remind them that the real
definition of patriotism begins with keeping faith
with those who wear the uniform of our country.
I'm President, I will keep my word with those that
defend our nation. I will fight to make
prescription drugs more affordable - by
negotiating lower prices and canceling giveaways
to pharmaceutical companies and HMOs and using the
money to make prescriptions even more affordable.
bad enough that Halliburton gets big contracts in
Iraq while soldiers go without body armor. Here at
home prescription drug companies get windfall
profits while military retirees are told to pay
more for prescription drugs. That is wrong and we
must stop it." (1/3/2--4_
Kerry: opponents raise taxes
Union Leader reports on Sen. John Kerry taking
a page out of the Sen. Joe Lieberman playbook,
accusing Dean and Gephardt of raising taxes:
think the people of New Hampshire care about the
children’s tax credit. Now, Howard Dean and Dick
Gephardt are going to get rid of it. They’re going
to raise taxes on middle-class New Hampshirites. I
don’t want to do that,” the Massachusetts senator
told reporters less than a month before the
state’s Jan. 27 primary.
think it matters that John Kerry, my economic
plan, is not going to raise income taxes,
middle-class taxes on New Hampshire citizens.
That’s not sniping. That’s a very important policy
difference,” he said.
Both Dean and Gephardt would get
rid of all of President Bush’s tax cuts and spend
them many times over on proposed social programs.
Kerry’s Vietnam profile
Washington Post profiles Sen. John Kerry’s
service in Vietnam and how it has colored his time
in the U.S. Senate. (1/3/2004)
Kerry’s women’s outreach
Kerry is launching a women’s
outreach campaign. However, he claims to have the
only one and Clark already announced aspects of an
appeal to women and others are sure to follow…
here is the Kerry announcement:
“Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen will be joined by
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Vanessa
Kerry, John Kerry’s daughter, in Concord tomorrow.
Shaheen, Maloney, and Kerry will lead a panel
discussion on important issues facing women and
will highlight John Kerry’s lifetime advocacy for
women and families. The discussion will be a part
of the nationwide launch Monday of “Women’s Voices
on the Trail,” which includes events in Iowa with
John Kerry and online chats.
Women’s Voices on the Trail is the only national
outreach initiative for women being promoted by a
candidate for president. Led by Women for Kerry
national co-chairs Susan Liss and Robin Leeds of
the Clinton Administration, Women's Voices on the
Trail will enable women across the country to
influence policy and mobilize voters in support of
Shaheen is New Hampshire’s most popular Democrat
and serves as the National Chairwoman of John
Kerry’s Presidential Campaign. Carolyn Maloney, a
sixth term Congresswoman from New York City, is
the former chair of the Congressional Caucus for
Women's Issues. Vanessa Kerry is a third year
medical student who has been on the campaign trail
stumping for her father throughout the country.”
Sen. John Kerry is on a 4-day
Iowa with folk music legend Peter Yarrow of Peter,
Paul & Mary. Yarrow travels with the Senator as
his opening act.
This had interesting results at
the Story County Democrat event in Ames, IA.
Howard Dean attended the event and joined Yarrow
and Kerry while Yarrow led the signature song,
“Puff the Magic Dragon:”
folk star began his signature song with an
unintended double meaning, Kerry mouthed a few
words then took his index finger to his thumb,
pursed his lips, and feigned a marijuana toke.
"My friends, for us to
win the presidency, we have to have a nominee who
has the temperament and the experience, who has
the capacity to give America confidence that we
know how to make our nation secure,"
said John Kerry.
“I think endorsements are
dubious. Look, Gore endorsed him and the race
John Kerry said.
“We're fighting for a
White House that's not the site of a daily reunion
by old buddies looking for new favors,"
said John Kerry.
“I think endorsements are
only effective if they come with a lot of work and
support. I’ve been involved with lots of
candidates in the past who didn’t have big name
endorsements and still won the New Hampshire
primary. I think what’s important here is what
John Kerry has to say to voters in New Hampshire,”
Hampshire’s former Governor Jeanne Shaheen who
helped Al Gore Defeat Bill Bradley.
Kerry stump speech (1/6/2004)
Sen. John Kerry has moved his
message onto the economy and is still hoping that
he can get a bump out of Iowa into New Hampshire.
He is spending his own money and fundraising is
going poorly for his campaign. However, Kerry has
honed his message and delivering his lines well.
One of the things that he has accomplished is to
relearn the usage of the English language. He no
longer sounds like he is in debate on the Senate
here for full text
John F. Kerry tax policy position
Would create a tax-relief fund
of $50 billion for states over two years to end
college tuition increases and help cover
health-care expenses. Plans to
preserve and expand middle-class tax cuts approved
by Bush, including the child tax credit and the
reduced marriage penalty, while abolishing tax
cuts to those who make more than $200,000.
Supports a crackdown on corporate tax breaks.
Kerry’s $25 billion to states
Kerry coupled his Monday
economic proposal with a series of efforts to end
the drain of American jobs overseas, largely by
shifting tax policies to reward companies keeping
jobs in the United States.
Most polls have shown Kerry in
third place in the race for Iowa's leadoff
caucuses, trailing Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt.
Kerry has stepped up the pace of his campaign in
recent weeks and was seeking to draw attention
with a high-profile speech touting his efforts to
boost the economy.
In remarks prepared for delivery
Monday, the Massachusetts senator downplayed
recent reports of economic improvement, arguing
that most workers haven't felt any change.
"In an economy that grew 8
percent last quarter, the average American got to
bring home an extra 3 cents for every hour of
work," he said. "That's the slowest wage growth in
Kerry's proposals included:
Setting aside $25 billion a year for two years to
aid states struggling with budget deficits. States
have boosted college tuition and taxes, more than
offsetting tax cuts President Bush (news - web
sites) has pushed, Kerry said.
Raising the minimum wage, which hasn't been
increased since 1996.
Providing a tax credit on the first $4,000 a year
a family spend on college tuition. He would have a
100 percent credit on the first $2,000 and a 50
percent credit on the second $2,000.
Many Democrats have worried that
signs of economic improvement have dimmed their
hopes of ousting Bush, but Kerry discounted that
"They may be celebrating this
so-called recovery in the White House and on Wall
Street, but it's not so rosy in the houses down on
Main Street," he said. "America can do better than
a Bush-league recovery - we can have a real
recovery that reaches every American."
Kerry argued that the nation
would be better served by strategic investments in
key infrastructure areas, including creating an
education trust fund to bolster local schools. He
put no price tag on that fund.
Kerry underscored an earlier
proposal giving workers a $10,000 tax deduction
for the expenses of training or other steps taken
to improve job skills. (1/7/2004)
Kerry: pocketbook watchdog
Sen. John Kerry announced in a
speech to New Hampshire business leaders that he
would appoint a "director of personal economic
security" to protect workers' pensions and
retirement benefits, crack down on identity theft
and ensure fair housing lending. The appointee
also would oversee efforts to enforce financial
consumer protection laws, develop new ways to help
people save money and promote programs to educate
them about the financial world.
"I don't know of a case where a
Democratic candidate for president has been
elected who called for a massive increase in taxes
on the middle class," Connecticut Sen. Joseph
Lieberman said. "These are our people," said Joe
"If I can begin to breach the
gap between Bill Bradley and Al Gore, and bring in
people who have served long periods of time in
Washington, and all the enthusiastic supporters we
have, then I think I may be the right candidate to
beat George Bush," Howard Dean said.
The NPR sponsored debate found
the Democrats once again arguing about whether tax
cuts are tax cuts and whether tax increases are
tax increases. Each Democrat candidate has a plan
to increase taxes, however, in Dean’s case he
believes that his increase is a cut and that
Bush’s tax cut is an increase.
Sen. John Kerry took Dean’s
repeal of all of the Bush tax cuts to task
"Everybody in Iowa will pay additional taxes at 15
percent and the marriage penalty will be
reinstated," Kerry said. "Now, there's a terrific
message: Democrats in America, if you get married,
you ought to pay more taxes. I think it's wrong."
Dean said Kerry's argument was
"hogwash," adding: "We cannot keep telling people
we're going to give them all the programs they
want and then there's not going to be any
sacrifice of any kind." (1/7/2004)
About those poll numbers
Des Moines Register columnist
David Yepsen offers some good advice to those who
are watching the poll numbers. He suggests that
the numbers may underestimate a couple of
candidates. Dean's support is coming from a lot of
younger voters, and those people are big
cell-phone users. Pollsters find it hard to
contact the correct cell-phone numbers when they
make random calls of likely voters.
Another candidate to be careful
about is Dick Gephardt and his labor support. The
question is -- will a high percentage of the
95,000 Iowa union members show up? They certainly
have more than one reason to be motivated… if
nothing else than to make sure the service unions
don’t take over the entire union movement.
Another group that is not on the
usual caucus attendees that pollsters probably
have underrepresented on their call list are the
military veterans John Kerry is attracting.
Kerry on tax increases
Sen. John Kerry pushed the
difference between his position on taxes and that
of Howard Dean and Rep. Dick Gephardt. In doing so
he utilized Angela Runkel, a 36-year-old nurse and
reservist, who has five children under age 17.
Like most middle class families she said she and
her husband struggle to pay bills and put money in
savings. She made her point in a conference call
with reporters on Wednesday. The
Des Moines Register reports Kerry made the
point that Dean and Gephardt would deny Runkel her
child tax credit under their plan to repeal all of
Bush’s tax cuts:
said Runkel saved $2,200 last year because of the
child tax credit, a credit he said Vermont Gov.
Howard Dean and Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt wanted
to take away. Kerry said his support of
middle-class tax cuts was a fundamental difference
he has with the other front-running Democrats.
Kerry also issued the following
is an important issue that has long been a
fundamental difference in the campaign: raising
taxes on the middle class. Cutting middle class
taxes is a core value for me, and it’s been a
bedrock position of mine in the campaign. I
strongly disagree with anyone who would raise
taxes on the middle class.
Dean and Dick Gephardt want to increase their
taxes. Their plan would raise taxes $2000 for a
typical family with two kids. That's real money -
more than a half a year of groceries and more than
half a year of utility bills - including heat and
water – and almost a year of health care premiums.
think this is wrong. Middle class families have
taken enough of a hit in this economy -- with
rising health care costs, higher energy costs, and
lower pensions. The last thing they need is
another hit. We should not balance the budget on
the backs of middle class families. We should
stand up for them. That's what I will do.
Yesterday, in the NPR debate, Dean said this is
"hogwash" and he wouldn't change his position. But
today, even his own advisors say they are urging
him to soften the blow to the middle class, and
are worried about the politics of raising taxes on
the middle class by $2300.
me, helping the middle class is not about
politics, it's about my fundamental values. We
need leaders who help out the middle class all the
time - not just when the heat is on. (1/8/2004)
Kerry on immigration
"President Bush promised that
America's relationship with Latin America would be
a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Until now, he
has ignored that promise, breaking faith with
Hispanic Americans and Latin America. Bush has
also failed to follow through on his promise to
work with Vicente Fox, leaving that relationship
"Bush's policy rewards business
over immigrants by providing them with a permanent
pool of disenfranchised temporary workers who
could easily be exploited by employers. Bush's
proposal fails to address the plight of immigrants
coming to work in the United States by not
providing a meaningful path to becoming legal
permanent residents. And if Bush is really
concerned about the plight of immigrants coming to
work in the United States he should tell his party
to stop the heartless and divisive politics the
Republican Party is employing in California to get
a new Prop 187 on the ballot for next year's
election, and a similar effort in Arizona to
victimize immigrants for the failures of
government and an unstable economy.
"As president, I will support
sensible reform of our immigration system that
protects workers and also provides employers with
the employees that they need. I will immediately
resume our dialogue with President Fox and put in
place an earned legalization program that will
allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their
status if they have been in the United States for
a certain amount of time, have been working, and
can pass a background check. This makes sense for
the economy, provides fairness to people in our
communities who have worked hard and paid taxes,
and will also allow us to strengthen our homeland
security by bringing undocumented workers out of
the shadows and into the light of greater
Kerry’s workers bill of rights
here to read John Kerry’s speech on
his ‘workers bill of rights”:
Des Moines TV KCCI-Channel 8
news poll shows Dean with support from 29 percent
of likely caucus-goers, followed by 25 percent for
Gephardt, 18 percent for Kerry and 8 percent for
North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. Thirteen percent
of those polled said they were still undecided
about whom they will support in the Jan. 19
caucuses. The poll has a 5 percent margin of
N.H. tracking poll
Howard Dean is reported to be at
35 percent of likely primary voters in the New
Hampshire poll. Clark was at 18 percent while
Kerry had 12 percent. Joe Lieberman at 8 percent,
Dick Gephardt at 6 percent, John Edwards at 3
percent, Dennis Kucinich at 2 percent, and Carol
Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton at less than 1
percent, and 16 percent said they were undecided.
Kerry: yes to marijuana
Sen. John Kerry told an audience
of college students he opposes federal
prosecutions in medical marijuana cases in states
that have legalized the practice, pledging to
reverse Bush administration policy on the issue.
Kerry also stated that he would reverse the ban on
student aide for students convicted of drug use
according to the Manchester
whether he would repeal federal law that denies
federal student loan assistance for individuals
convicted of drug offenses, he said it would
depend on the offense.
the offense is use, yes,” he said. But “if the
offense is selling, no.” (1/9/2004)
Kerry: Dean’s Enron
Sen. John Kerry states Howard
Dean has launched a new television ad where Dean
says Washington has prioritized companies over
workers -- specifically Enron. Dean's ad claims
"Washington" has allowed these corporations to
gouge consumers and hurt their workers. The ad is
scheduled to run in Boston and Greenville.
Kerry said that
the irony is that as Governor of
Vermont, Howard Dean gave tax breaks to huge
corporations including Enron:
Governor, Howard Dean supported tax breaks for
Enron, formed his own secret energy commission,
and bowed to big utility companies. He wants to
bring the Dean-Cheney model to Washington. That's
not change. We already have that,"
said Kerry spokesperson Stephanie (1/9/2004)
'People are comparative
shopping right now, and in the case of some
candidates there may even be some buyer's remorse
and people are beginning to look around,' he said.
'I think there's an opportunity over these next
weeks to define what this race is really all about
-- and I'm a fighter,'"
said John Kerry.
The push is on
Howard Dean was rescued by what
was called a tourniquet endorsement by Sen. Tom
Harkin. Dean’s numbers have been eroding under
withering attacks by his opponents. He has stemmed
that tide first with Bill Bradley’s endorsement
and now by the Iowa Democrat Godfather Tom Harkin.
Harkin and Al Gore campaigned in Iowa to bolster
the faithful and breathe life into the stalled
Dean campaign that had begun to show slippage in
Iowa, New Hampshire and nation wide.
are going to take our country back, we’re going to
have to take our political system out of
receivership,” Gore said. “We’ve got to take our
country back from the special interests.”
said, “I’m going to spend the next nine days — day
and night — doing what I can to ensure that Howard
Dean wins the Iowa caucuses.”
Dean did take a side trip to
Illinois to stir up the AFSCME union there. Dean
addressed an Illinois convention of the American
Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees. Although the union is backing him
already, Dean said he must energize rank-and-file
Dick Gephardt is in a political
life or death struggle and has closed in on Dean’s
lead to within the margin of error in polls. Dean
leads Gephardt 25 percent to 23 percent, with Sen.
John Kerry at 14 percent and Sen. John Edwards
right behind at 13 percent, according to a
Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby poll. Gephardt continues to
predict he will win Iowa.
There is much in this campaign
that is now going under the radar screen of public
view. There will be a barrage of direct mail
hitting Iowa’s mailboxes in the coming days. Dean
has already sent out a direct mail piece
specifically against Kerry on the issue of
electability. The mailer references Kerry is
hurting in his home state of Massachusetts and if
his home state will not support him he can’t beat
NY Times reports on some of the mailings:
“Howard Dean Tried to Deny Supporting Republican
Medicare Cuts — But He Got Caught," blares one
glossy mailing from Representative Richard A.
Gephardt recently sent to voters. On its cover: a
clench-jawed Dr. Dean with the tabloid-style
mailing from Dr. Dean says Senator John Kerry is
"Bad for Iowa Farmers." Mr. Gephardt and Mr.
Kerry, another mailing from Dr. Dean asserts, "are
running one-state campaigns" and stand no chance
against President Bush.
One of the aspects of mailings
are the targeting of audiences.. women of a
certain age on an issue… Catholic communities like
Dubuque, Carroll and Sioux City and farmers in
certain size counties as examples. This is the
time that a message is honed for a particular
audience and the opposition doesn’t know what is
happening and can’t respond in time.
One of the key factors besides
creating viable groups is the turnout aspect of
the campaign. There are really only two campaigns
-- Dean’s and Gephardt’s, that have full-blown
capabilities of identifying and turning out their
voters. Kerry has some capabilities but not even
close to the other two, and Edwards has the least
of the top four candidates.
Dean’s inability to beat George
Bush remains a key part of his opponents’ themes.
Both Kerry and Gephardt carried that theme on the
Sunday Talk shows and in their stump speeches as
well. Gephardt stresses political experience and
Kerry stresses foreign policy experience. Gephardt
pushes hard, saying voters will not elect Dean
over Bush because of his constant misstatements.
look at who has steady hands, experience, doesn't
make mistaken statements every day that have to be
clarified the next day," Gephardt said.
Both Gephardt and Kerry came
short of saying that Dean could not beat Bush if
nominated and both said the reason they were
seeking the nomination was to beat Bush.
Kerry brought in the star power
of Sen. Edward Kennedy to campaign for him in
eastern Iowa. Kennedy was asked about the
differences between his and Kerry’s vote on the
war according to Reuters:
(Kerry) had been president we wouldn't be at war
in Iraq," Kennedy told reporters after addressing
a rally of a few hundred people organized by the
Kerry also received the
endorsements of Iowa newspapers: the Quad City
Times in Davenport; The Iowa City Press Citizen;
and the Burlington Hawkeye. The
Quad City Times in endorsing Kerry said that
he was an extraordinary individual, but most
important of all he listens:
ponders questions, asks follow-ups and answers
thoughtfully. He appears to be continually
learning, whether it is the kite-surfing he took
up a couple years ago, the guitar lessons he has
put on hold during this campaign, or asking our
opinion on Mississippi River lock expansion.
Kerry could be facing trouble
from John Edwards campaign, which is only a few
percentage behind Kerry in the latest poll.
Edwards received the Iowa’s largest newspaper’s --
the Des Moines Register -- endorsement. The paper
said it was his time. Edwards has been plagued by
questions of being too young. The Register said in
Edwards is one of those rare, naturally gifted
politicians who doesn't need a long record of
public service to inspire confidence in his
abilities. His life has been one of accomplishing
the unexpected, amid flashes of brilliance.
Edwards is handicapped by not
having the money or organization Kerry has. This
tightening of the race makes not only first and
second a race, but it is shaping up that third and
fourth between Kerry and Edwards could be equally
exciting. This could ruin Kerry’s bump out of Iowa
and take him out of the race entirely.
Interestingly, Kerry could get
some help from from an unlikely source – Howard
Dean. There is a move to offer excess votes to
Kerry in the caucus to keep him alive to take
votes from Wesley Clark in New Hampshire.
Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen
writes about it in his column:
There's talk in his campaign of trying to help
Kerry win second place here. The gambit goes like
this: Once Dean sees he has won the most delegates
at a caucus, any extra Dean supporters will be
shifted to Kerry's preference group to help Kerry
beat Gephardt for second. The idea is that an
unexpected second-place showing for Kerry in Iowa
would help boost Kerry against Wesley Clark for
second place in New Hampshire, and Clark is the
guy Dean fears most in the contests down South.
Meanwhile, Dean is renewing his
attacks on President Bush and Washington. Dean
slammed the President regarding his plan to come
up with a new space vehicle that could take
America to Mars. At one stop where he said the
President wanted to go to Mars a member of the
audience shouted at Dean, “ send him.” Dean
replied, "I have news for you. The president
already is on Mars. He has no connection to what's
going on in ordinary communities anywhere."
Dean also treated a Republican
who challenged him at an Oelwein, IA stop with his
much waited for public anger. The Republican rose
to ask that candidates quit the bashing of Bush.
"Please tone down the garbage, the mean-mouthing
of tearing down your neighbor and being so
pompous," said Dale Ungerer, a 66-year-old retiree
began by calmly replying: "George Bush is not my
However, when Ungerer stood and tried to
interrupt, Dean shouted: "You sit down. You had
your say. Now I'm going to have my say."
Dean did just that by offering
his typical Bush bashing tirade that indicated his
Christian teachings weren’t about loving his
neighbor, according to Reuters:
"George Bush has done more to harm this county
right here with unfunded mandates, standing up for
corporations who take over the farmers' land,
making it impossible for middle class people to
make a real living, sending our kids to Iraq
without telling us the truth first about why they
went," Dean said.
not the time to put up any of this 'love thy
neighbor' stuff ... I love my neighbor, but I'll
tell you I want THAT neighbor back in Crawford,
Texas where he belongs."
After leaving the meeting Unger
was questioned by most of the reporters who had
been following Dean. "This is the president of the
United States," he said. "I don't think that's
being a good neighbor to ordinary working people."
In the end, it’s all about
delegates. It’s all about being in Boston in
late July and winning a majority of the 4,325
delegates to lead the Democrat party against Bush.
And the first votes in electing delegates to that
convention are cast on January 19 … in Iowa.
Black & Brown debate
Eight Democrats gathered for the
Black and Brown debate and Al Sharpton nailed
Howard Dean on the issue of race. Dean had made
the statement earlier in the campaign that he was
the only candidate talking about race to white
audiences. Sharpton challenged Dean on his record
of hiring minorities in top cabinet posts while
Governor of Vermont (Dean’s record reveals a great
big zero…). It resulted in a heated
exchange between the candidates:
you want to lecture people on race, you ought to
have the background and track record," said
will take a back seat to no one in my commitment
to civil rights," Dean said, pointing out he had
the most endorsements from members of the black
and Hispanic congressional delegations.
think you only need co-signers if your credit is
bad," Sharpton responded later when he had the
It didn’t stop with Sharpton and
Dean. Carol Moseley Braun took on Sharpton as
can always blow up a racial debate and make people
mad at each other. But I think it's time for us to
talk about, what are you going to do to bring
people together?" she said.
Sharpton referenced the fact of
Dean lecturing Democrats on race throughout the
campaign, adding: "I want him to be accountable
since he brought up race. That's not racial
hysteria; that is accountability."
Sen. John Kerry leveled some of
his harshest criticism at President Bush once
again making the case that the war on terrorism
isn’t a war but a police law enforcement effort:
president is actually playing to the culture of
fear in our country. The war on terror is far less
of a military operation and far more of an
operation…. And in order to fight an effective war
on terror, we need unprecedented cooperation with
other countries. The very thing this
administration is the worst at is they push other
nations away from us.”
One of the more humorous lines
came when Rep. Dennis Kucinich was asked his
opinion about going to Mars as President Bush is
expected to suggest:
know, first of all, I've been wondering why the
president would, while we're still in Iraq, talk
about gong to the moon and going to Mars. Maybe
he's looking for the weapons of mass destruction
Sen. Joe Lieberman fumbled in
this debate and was not up to the shorter time
frames of the debate format. He had a proposal to
ask all the other candidates to sign a letter to
President Bush to enforce the new voter law but he
couldn’t get his question out in time and looked
Dean also had trouble with the
format – he wanted a ‘plant’ from the audience to
answer his question and was denied.
Clearly Edwards was the
candidate who gained the most from this final
debate -- if anyone did. However, with no one
breaking away from the pack or committing a
disastrous mistake, the candidates emerged from
the final debate still locked in a tight race to
the Iowa Caucuses finish next Monday night.
[For the full transcript, go
Washington Post.] (1/12/2004)
Kerry: Dean’s hogwash
Sen. John Kerry’s campaign
issued the following statement on Dean’s undefined
plan to reform taxes:
Dean is going to raise taxes on America’s Middle
Class. His own policy advisors say that his plan
to balance the budget will squeeze $2300 a year
more out of middle class families. That’s what we
Dean is playing “Gotcha!” with the middle class by
claiming to have a tax plan but insisting on
keeping the details secret. Dean also hasn’t
explained how he will meet his pledge to balance
the budget in six years and fund all the new
spending he has proposed while on the stump.
there no plan? Because what he proposes is
impossible. Unless, of course, Dean proposes to
slash Medicare as he did in 1995.
“Howard Dean has redefined ‘hogwash’ as when you
openly oppose tax cuts for the middle class one
day and then promise a secret plan the next,”
said Stephanie Cutter, spokeswoman for the Kerry
day that goes by without any plan from Howard Dean
leaves Americans wondering: What is Howard
every day passes, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire
are left with a decision: To support a candidate
like John Kerry who considers middle class tax
relief a bedrock principle or a candidate like
Howard Dean has doesn’t have any idea what he
would do to provide middle class tax relief and
won’t until after eight states have already held
Dean campaign has kept Shoot-From-The-Hip-Howard
under wraps for days to keep him from revealing
anything about his plan. Now they are hiding his
policy people from him.
this the kind of policy development we can expect
from a Dean White House? One where staff has veto
power over what Dean can say and where plans are
developed in secret and only after political
pressure breaks the back of their long-held
America’s middle class deserves better than to be
treated as an afterthought. (1/12/1004)
"I think it is going to
be very difficult for a person, in the
post-September 11th world, who has no foreign
policy experience, no national security
experience, no military experience, very difficult
to stand up against a wartime president,"
John Kerry said.
“Last time they issued
the alert, I think everybody thought they ought to
start looking around for somebody suspicious or
somebody that they rarely find, like a
said John Kerry.
IA Governor’s wife endorses Kerry
Sen. John Kerry had Iowa
Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie as
guests at his home in Massachusetts. Kerry was a
gracious host and it paid off, according to
Christie -- it made a strong enough impression
that Christie endorsed the Senator.
Kerry invited her into a
discussion of policy matters he was having with
Gov. Tom Vilsack at the Kerry home in
Massachusetts. This left the impression he was a
strong advocate for women. Christie also sees
Kerry’s military service as a strong asset in
facing Bush (1/13/2004)
Kerry’s snowball fight
At the Mt. Pleasant, Iowa,
endorsement by Christie Vilsack, Sen. John Kerry
and the press got into a snowball fight. According
ABC News Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe,
it was the snowball fight of the year:
Driving off the porch, the 60-year-old Senator
quickly surveyed the scene and, without
hesitation, took the most aggressive tactic
possible, driving straight at his pen and pad-less
opponents. A daring move, mind you, as he
immediately faced hostile fire from ABC on the
right. Doing his best "Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon," Kerry jumped and with both legs in the
air managed to avoid what seemed to be an
continued his counter-offensive, pointing his
right index finger at his intended target: David
Halbfinger of the New York Times.
Halbfinger fired a solid pitch; the Senator was
only glanced, slowed but not stopped, and thus
forcing Halbfinger's retreat into the neighbor's
yard. Picking up fresh arsenal from the Governor's
ice-soaked lawn, the Senator and the reporter
charged simultaneously, locking arms, before there
was a final peace. (1/13/2004)
Kerry & Kennedy
Washington Post reports on some private
conversations between Ted Kennedy and John Kerry:
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass) shared with reporters
what he described as a "private moment" with Sen.
John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) as he campaigned Saturday
in Iowa with the Democratic presidential
did you ever think when you were a young man that
you would grow up to be a hero in Vietnam, get
elected to the United States Senate and be a
candidate for the presidency of the United States,
a winning candidate?" Kennedy said he asked Kerry.
said, 'No -- boy, am I lucky,' " Kennedy
recounted. Then, Kennedy said, Kerry turned to him
and asked, "When you were young, did you ever
think that you would grow up to be the
uncle-in-law of an Austrian-bodybuilder Republican
governor of the state of Cauli-fooor-nia?"
said, 'No, but aren't I lucky?' " Kennedy said.
Kerry: joined Carole King
John Kerry joined
singer-songwriter Carole King at a “Women for
Kerry” concert in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the
Paramount Theater. Carole King is spending the
week in Iowa talking to undecided caucus-goers to
rally support for Kerry. King is best known for
her songwriting success in the 1960’s and 1970’s
with hits like “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It’s
Too Late”. (1/13/2004)
"Partisan Democrats have
a different perspective than the general
electorate, and more moderate people may not be
sympathetic to Dean's style,"
said McGrath, a
Central College professor. "Senator Kerry
perhaps could do better in that regard."
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin appeared on
Iowa Public Television for a one on one interview
with Des Moines Register political columnist David
Yepsen and critiqued the race for President and
revealed some of his reasons for endorsing Howard
Dean. The inferred message and reason for
endorsing Dean probably came back when he offered
advice to Wesley Clark to not pass up the Iowa
Caucuses. He told Clark that if Howard Dean wins
Iowa and New Hampshire that Dean will be
The prospect of choosing an
early nominee and ending the bloodletting that is
going on clearly was a big factor in Harkin’s
decision to endorse Dean. Harkin admitted that he
had a difficult time choosing who to endorse and
that many Iowans were asking him who should they
vote for. So, he has come into the arena and is
lending his weight to Dean through direct mail
letters and phone calls to friends urging them to
Harkin believes that Dean has a
better organization on the ground in Iowa than
While Dick Gephardt was making a
speech in New York about the world is a dangerous
place and Dean isn’t capable of handling the job,
Dean was releasing a new TV ad in Iowa while he
was in Vermont doing satellite interviews with
local television stations in Arizona, Oklahoma and
New Hampshire. The ad in Iowa follows the red meat
anti war rhetoric that launched him into the lead:
did the Washington Democrats stand on the war?"
the narrator of the Dean ad asks. "Dick Gephardt
wrote the resolution to authorize war. John Kerry
and John Edwards both voted for the war. Then Dick
Gephardt voted to spend another $87 billion on
"Howard Dean has a different view," the ad says.
Gephardt’s message was, “We're
deciding whether foreign policy is reduced to
bluster and recycled Cold War taunts or whether we
have a real and sustained commitment to break the
cycle of poverty and ignorance."
Dean had stand ins helping out
in Iowa yesterday. Actor Martin Sheen and
Hollywood director Rob Reiner were doing media and
crowd appearances as they flew around Iowa.
"As the acting president of the
United States," Sheen roared to thunderous
applause, "I am here to announce that next Monday,
January 19, is Howard Dean Day in America!"
Dean is in Iowa again today
beginning a bus tour of the state. The media crush
is beginning to grow exponentially. Clearly the
story will build with the lead story being between
Gephardt and Dean and whether Gephardt stays alive
after Iowa being the question along with can
anyone stop Dean.
On that front, it is going to
become even harder after Sunday when Howard Dean
makes a trip to go to church in Plains Georgia
with Jimmy Carter. Carter is going to say nice
things about Dean, and it is likely to be some of
those words will be said in a religious context.
How is Wesley Clark going to stop Dean in the
Hopefully, Dean will not show up
in a Playboy interview after the visit. However,
Dean is the cover of the Jan. 16 Rolling Stone
magazine and there is an interview.
The third seat out of Iowa is
still a question. Register columnist David Yepsen
is frequently quoted for having said there are
three tickets out of Iowa: first class for first
place; second class for second; and stand by for a
third place finish. The race for third place is
still in doubt, which means that Kerry could be in
serious trouble. Edwards has been catching fire
and has even come under attack from Dean lately.
Edwards acknowledge the attack yesterday.
‘The reason we have got so much
traction and such an extraordinary response in
Iowa is because I've focused on a positive,
uplifting message," Edwards told a crowd in
Manchester, New Hampshire. "And it's ironic that
that message is working and therefore I'm being
Edwards is handicapped in Iowa
because he doesn’t have the organizational effort
going for him the way that Sen. John Kerry does.
So, the race for third may not be a fair fight in
Iowa provided that Kerry stays on message and
keeps the wheels on his campaign.
Part of the disparity that may
play out between Kerry and Edwards is the Veterans
who Kerry is directing an organizational appeal
A source close to Kerry says the
effort to organize veterans is "unprecedented in
Iowa." The vets are "hard to identify, hard to
find, and hard to bring to the caucus process."
The Kerry campaign has veterans calling other
veterans -- the vets respond better to fellow
veterans calling them than to some 19-year-old, a
senior campaign aide says. This senior aide says
"it doesn't take that many voters to shift a
precinct." Kerry's campaign claims 10,000 vets
will caucus for him on Monday.
Iowa seems to have its own
version of MoveOn.org’s amateur ad campaign
contest. However, it is not television ads but
radio. Dale Todd of Cedar Rapids is organizing a
"draft Clark" movement in the state aimed at
encouraging caucus-goers to select Clark. He has
raised enough money to put a ad on some of the
major radios in Iowa. You can cover the state with
buys on 16 radio stations for about $50,000 a week
for saturation. They did not report how much money
they had to spend. However, they did release what
the ad will say.
"You can caucus for Wesley Clark
for president," the ad says. "That's right, you
can caucus for Wesley Clark. And let's get real,
Democrats. Are we going to nominate a candidate
who can capture our imagination but can't actually
beat George Bush?"
Sen. Tom Harkin said that he
thought Democrats could get behind Dean after he
wins the nomination. It doesn’t look like that
will be a ‘hundred percenter…’ (1/14/2004)
Kerry responds to Dean
Unable to explain his
indefensible plan to repeal middle class tax cuts
in debates, town halls or press conferences,
Howard Dean has launched a misleading new
30-second television ad in New Hampshire charging
that John Kerry and other candidates were
“defending Bush tax cuts.”
The fact is John Kerry voted
against the final Bush tax legislation and as
president will repeal the Bush tax cuts that
benefit the wealthy and will preserve and protect
the middle class tax cuts, such as the child tax
credit, elimination of the marriage penalty, and
reduced marginal tax rate on the first $14,000 of
Dean has spent the last week
explaining, clarifying, backtracking and
continually changing his own position on middle
class tax cuts, including saying that the middle
class “never got a tax cut.” After his own
advisors admitted that his trillion-dollar tax
increase would cost middle class families $2,300 a
year, Dean came under pressure to unveil a new
middle class tax reform plan.
Most recently, Dean said that
any middle class tax cut would have to wait until
the budget is balanced (he has estimated that will
take six or seven years) and he has yet to offer
his plan to actually balance the budget.
“If Howard Dean has a plan to
dull the pain of his own middle class tax increase
and balance the budget, then he has a duty to
share that plan with the people of New Hampshire
before they vote on January 27, rather than hiding
behind slick and misleading 30-second TV ads,”
said Kerry spokesman Mark Kornblau.
Kerry highlights national security
Sen. John Kerry’s campaign is
going to combat Wesley Clark’s credentials by
flooding New Hampshire with Kerry’s national
security friends. The campaign announced that
United States Generals, national security experts,
and veterans will be campaigning throughout this
week in New Hampshire for Kerry. Lt. General
Claudia Kennedy (Ret.), Brigadier General Stephen
Cheney (Ret.), Former Assistant Secretary of State
Rand Beers, Former Ambassador Joe Wilson, Governor
Jeanne Shaheen, foreign policy expert Nancy
Stetson and dozens of veterans will lead a
three-day campaign swing in New Hampshire, because
they believe John Kerry is the best candidate to
take on George Bush on national security issues.
Today, Lt. General Claudia
Kennedy (ret.), the highest ranking woman in the
U.S. Army, will join Governor Jeanne Shaheen to
host a “Women’s Voices on the Trail” discussion in
Manchester on pressing issues facing women, and
will highlight John Kerry’s lifetime advocacy for
women and families.
On Wednesday, Beers, Cheney,
Wilson and Stetson will lead a forum on important
national security issues and discuss John Kerry’s
foreign policy experience and homeland security
On Thursday, Kerry’s “Veterans
Brigade” will make several New Hampshire stops on
their way to Iowa. The Veterans Brigade, a busload
of Massachusetts veterans supporting John Kerry
for President, will stop at the VA Hospital in
Manchester, Liberty House Veterans Shelter, and
speak with undecided veterans across the state.
Veterans are backing John Kerry because they know
as President, John Kerry will provide mandatory
funding for veterans health care, grant full
concurrent receipt to disabled veterans, fairly
compensate soldiers and their families for their
service, reduce the strain of the military by
increasing active-duty troops and streamline the
Veterans Administration to make it more
The Veterans will also host a
screening of the new documentary, Brothers in Arms
-- the film that tells the story of the unique
friendship forged by John Kerry and his five
crewmates on a swift boat in the Mekong Delta in
1969 during some of the worst fighting of Vietnam
Lt. General Claudia Kennedy held
a variety of command and staff positions
throughout her career, including Commander, 3d
Operations Battalion, U.S. Army Field Station
Augsburg, Germany; Commander, San Antonio
Recruiting Battalion, U.S. Army Recruiting
Command; and Commander, 703d Military intelligence
Brigade, Field Station Kunia, Hawaii. Brigadier
General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret) retired from
active duty in 2001 following a tour as the
Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit
Depot/Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island,
South Carolina from June 1999 through June 2001.
Rand Beers, formerly President
Bush's special assistant for combating terrorism,
is now a counselor to Kerry on national security.
Ambassador Joe Wilson served a distinguished
career as a diplomat for more than twenty years.
He was the acting U.S. ambassador in Iraq during
Operation Desert Shield and the last U.S. official
to meet with Saddam Hussein before the first Gulf
War. He was assigned in 2002 by Vice President
Dick Cheney to investigate claims that Iraq was
trying to buy Uranium for Niger. Governor Jeanne
Shaheen is the former governor of New Hampshire
and the Granite State’s most popular Democrat. She
is Chairwoman of John Kerry’s Presidential
Campaign. Nancy Stetson is John Kerry’s chief
foreign policy aide. She is best known as an Asia
expert and helped Kerry develop his policy on