the Iowa Daily Report
November 1-15, 2003
Speaking of damage control
Oops! Mark Mellman and Tad
Devine may be looking for more work. It is
reported in CBS’s Washington Wrap that Kerry
received zero votes in the National Journal’s
Insider Poll. The two work for Kerry. Mellman as a
pollster and has been paid $275,031 for his work
so far, according to Washington Wrap. Devine’s
partners are doing media for the Kerry campaign.
The 50 members of the chattering class who make up
those eligible to vote gave Dean two more
first-place votes, bringing his total to 38.
Gephardt also picked up votes, moving from five
first-place votes to nine. Also gaining a little
ground was Sen. John Edwards, who received two
first-place votes in comparison to last week’s
lone ballot. We will see how Edwards fairs next
week after the Saudi Arabia flak. (11/01/2003)
Help like this...
Sen. John Kerry may begin to
wonder about his friends -- not only are paid
staff not voting for him but his hometown
Boston Globe is looking for his spark.
The headline of today’s story about Kerry asks the
question about his style and whether his campaign
can get on track. The paper references the
exchange between Gwen Ifill and Kerry at the
"The rap on you is that
you're kind of a Northeastern liberal elitist
and that you have some problem connecting with
people," moderator Gwen Ifill said. "How do
you dispel that notion?"
And with dead-pan humor
that Michael S. Dukakis might appreciate,
Kerry replied, "Well, wait until you see my
new video, `Kerry Gone Wild.' "
The most positive part of the
story is: “Relaxing on an airplane recently, Kerry
said he is confident that his campaign is starting
to surge in popularity. He has edged up behind
Dean in a few polls and logged endorsements from
high-profile Democrats like former New Hampshire
governor Jeanne Shaheen and the defense secretary
during the Clinton administration, William Perry.
He also continues to draw strong support from
military veterans and Democrats concerned about
national security, who have been his most
passionate supporters by far. They are indeed
Kerry voters, hailing his decorated service during
the Vietnam War and his foreign policy work in the
It’s about the props
Sen. John Kerry looked like a
presidential candidate complete with just the
right props in his press conference Friday. He
used the occasion of Iowa’s pheasant season to
criticize Howard Dean’s gun record and past
support of Dean by the National Riffle
Association. Local and national press carried the
story. Here is the Associated Press’s account of
the scene as Kerry made his statements: "Kerry
made his remarks on a farm about an hour northeast
of Des Moines, where he planned an afternoon of
pheasant hunting. Dressed in blue jeans, a flannel
shirt and rubber boots, he spoke against a
backdrop of stacked hay bales, lit by a row of
television lights. Kerry’s attack on Dean’s gun
control positions will be seen by some Democrats
as pandering to the left. Democrats are trying to
re-craft their approach to gun control. Several
Democrat policy groups have developed to deal with
assisting Democrat candidates to moderate their
position on gun control due to election failures
in what is known as red states (those carried by
George W. Bush)."
Dean’s response to the
"I come from a rural
state with a very low homicide rate," Dean
told reporters in New Hampshire. "We had five
homicides one year. It's a state where hunting
is a part of our life. I understand that's not
the traditional Democratic position."
"You cannot favor federal
gun control and allow the states to do it
their own way. That's a complete
contradiction… "I believe we must put the
safety of our children and families ahead of
special interests like the NRA. I will never
pander to the extremist NRA for personal or
political expediency." (11/01/2003)
The scariest Republican
Sen. John Kerry’s
website has a Halloween atmosphere for his
“tournament for the scariest Republican.” The
tournament match-up is between Attorney General
John Ashcroft, (defeated President Bush 1047-731)
and Vice President Dick Cheney (defeated
Congressman Tom Delay 1102-676) Opposing them in
the finals is Karl Rove (defeated Defense Sec.
Donald Rumsfield) and against the number two
person in the Defense Department Paul Wolfwitz (
defeated Sen. Trent Lott 1076-701). Currently John
Ashcroft and Karl Rove are substantially in the
lead for the showdown on the Kerry website to be
named the “scariest Republican.” (11/01/2003)
Associated Press has a story about Howard
Dean, Joe Lieberman and John Kerry regarding their
changing positions on Affirmative Action. The
three have not always been stalwarts of the
policy. Here are past statements by the three:
John Kerry: "There exists a reality of reverse
discrimination that actually engenders racism.”
Later, he added, "We cannot hope to make further
racial progress when the plurality of whites
believe, as they do today according to recent
data, that it is they, not others, who suffer most
Joe Lieberman: "Most Americans who do support
equal opportunity and are not biased don't think
it is fair to discriminate against some Americans
as a way to make up for historic discrimination
Howard Dean: "You know, I think we ought to
look at affirmative action programs based not on
race, but on class and opportunities to
Like the Medicare issue Dick
Gephardt is sure to use these past statements, oh,
say when we get to South Carolina. (11/01/2003)
Gary Hart in New Hampshire
The Kerry campaign says it is
happy to have Monkey Business famed Gary Hart
campaigning for them in New Hampshire because Hart
won that state's Presidential Primary once upon a
time. “New Hampshire has loved Gary Hart since he
won the primary with a truly grassroots-based
campaign in 1984, so the Kerry team here is very
excited about his return to the Granite State
this Wednesday, November 5, at 12:30 p.m. at
Manchester's West Side Library - to campaign
on John Kerry's behalf!” -- according to the
Kerry to clean up rivers
``I'm going to do what's
right to restore America's waterways, even if
polluters don't like it,'' said John Kerry as he
outlined his proposals to clean up rivers on the
Banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport Iowa.
His proposal included an incentive-based plan to
curb runoffs into the nation's river systems and
put new efforts into restoring wetlands. His
package would create incentive systems for cities
along the river to control runoff that is steadily
polluting the river, and would put in place
similar incentives for farmers to create buffer
strips to control leaking of farm chemicals into
rivers. He also wants efficiency efforts and
proposes using educational programs to curb
wasteful water use. The package does not have a
price tag, and he said he would work closely with
cities and states to hammer out details of the
Three against one
The campaigns of John
Edwards, Dick Gephardt and John Kerry have all
joined forces, according to an
Associated Press story, to block Howard Dean’s
endorsement by the 1.6 million member Service
Employees International Union (SEIU). The union is
the largest member of the AFL-CIO and consequently
important in blocking or gaining the AFL-CIO
endorsement. The story reports that the three
campaigns held a conference call and shared
intelligence about the possibility of blocking the
Dean endorsement. They then all agreed to call
whoever they could to stop the endorsement. The
call was the result of an Oct. 30 announcement by
SEIU spokeswoman Sarah Howard that the union would
either endorse Dean or no one at all at its Nov.6
board meeting. The Dean campaign has expressed
concern about coordinated attacks against their
front running campaign in the past. They recently
suggested it regarding Dean’s Confederate flag
missteps when all the campaigns piled on Dean. If
Dean wins the endorsement, it will be the first
time that Dean makes significant gains into the
traditional Democrat wing of the party. Dean’s
Internet driven campaign has put him at odds with
the traditional levers of power for the Democrat
Presidential nomination. The Associated Press
article points out:
“SEIU is among the most racially and ethnically
diverse labor unions, representing janitors,
health care workers and other service employees.
With health care a priority of the SEIU political
machine, an endorsement also would help shield
Dean from criticism that he has not always
supported Medicare.” (11/04/2003)
John Kerry’s campaign website
now has countdown clocks that count the seconds
till the Iowa and New Hampshire presidential
contests. The website also has four ways to help
Kerry win in those states: travel to one of them
and volunteer; send money now; if you live in Iowa
or New Hampshire pledge support; and last straw
you can make phone calls, write letters or send
e-mails from home. ...Scariest
For those of you who have been waiting
breathlessly for the results of Kerry’s Scariest
Republican contest results: You guessed it -- John
Ashcroft won with 476 votes over Karl Rove with
364 votes. Where did your viewers go, John?
Rock the Vote
candidates went on CNN’s Rock the Vote and here
are some of the clips:
Edwards, Dean and Sen. John Kerry
said they had used marijuana in the past. Rep.
Dennis Kucinich, Wesley Clark and Al Sharpton said
they had not. Sen. Joe Lieberman said he had,
although he apologized for it. Former Sen. Carol
Moseley Braun declined to answer.
Kerry of Massachusetts drew the Red
Sox question and was asked whether he would have
removed Boston’s starting pitcher at the critical
point in last month’s Game 7 of a playoff series
with the New York Yankees. He said he would have —
that he was “throwing things at the television
set” urging the manager to do so.
Clark, asked about gay and lesbian
rights, said he would give homosexuals “the
opportunity to serve in the U.S. armed forces.”
"I understand the legacy of racism
in this country, and I understand the legacy of
bigotry in this country," Dean said. "We need to
bring folks together in this race, just like
Martin Luther King tried to do before he was
killed. He was right. And I make no apologies for
reaching out to poor white people."
"When Bill Clinton was found to be a
member of a white-only country club, he
apologized. You are not a bigot, but you appear to
be too arrogant to say `I'm wrong' and go on,"
said the Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York civil
rights leader and presidential contender.
“Teresa Heinz Kerry is right: nine
podiums on a well-lit stage do not make a
substantive debate, not any more than nine
candidates in frantic motion make a serious
primary campaign” -- Eileen McNamara, Globe
Kerry on Dean
“Howard Dean has finally
admitted that his words have caused pain but I am
puzzled as to why he does not seem to regret the
words that caused the pain. Rather than politics
as usual, Howard Dean should have taken
responsibility for his rhetoric and simply said ‘I
was wrong.’ We should not forget that the
insensitive and offensive remarks Howard Dean made
five days ago were not in a discussion about race
in this country but instead as a way of explaining
why he told the NRA, in an effort to get their
endorsement, that he opposed a federal ban on
assault weapons.” (11/6/2003)
Union Leader story has Kerry name-calling
John Kerry charged yesterday that Democratic
Presidential primary rival Howard Dean is proving
himself to be an unprincipled “flimflam artist” on
gun control, as well as campaign finance, Social
Security and Medicare.
story relates how Kerry and Dean’s campaign
entered into a debate about parsing whether Dean
was or wasn’t for a federal waiting period.
Kerry’s spokesman responded according to the Union
Kerry spokesman Mark Kornblau said Kerry did not
base that charge on any questionnaire answer, but
on Dean’s “illogical argument. You can’t be
against a federal restriction before state
restrictions. If you’re for background checks
nationally, for instance, but not against them for
Vermont, you know the federal law supersedes the
Vermont law. How does that make sense?”
Daily News has a story about how Kerry has
He doesn't lead in a single
primary state. In New Hampshire, his own backyard,
he trails Howard Dean by double digits. In South
Carolina, a state he considers so key that he
staged his formal campaign announcement there, his
numbers are so bad that he's being beaten by the
Rev. Al Sharpton. (11/7/2003)
Kerry’s ad in New Hampshire
Sen. John Kerry, in an attempt
to climb back in the game in New Hampshire, is
running the ad he has up in Iowa. The ad portrays
Kerry taking on President Bush and his cozy
relations with corporations. Kerry uses the ad to
push for rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the
wealthiest Americans and cracking down on
corporate corruption. (11/7/2003)
Down in the Mud
Washington Post is carrying a story about the
exchange between Sen. John Kerry and Howard Dean.
Kerry continues to attack Dean on a range of
articles aiming to package Dean as a flimflam
Kerry sharply attacked Dean, saying Thursday that
he has changed positions on guns, federal
entitlements, trade and campaign finance to
further his presidential aspirations and that Dean
had misrepresented the controversy over a comment
he made involving the Confederate flag. Kerry
called on Dean to "back off the flimflam artistry
of politics as usual."
The Post reports that Dean is
now trying to paint Kerry into the corner of a
responded Friday that Kerry had gotten "down in
the mud" with an assertion that "doesn't hold
water." He said the campaign should not be about
the past but about the future and defeating
President Bush. But when asked why it was
legitimate for him to attack Kerry and other
rivals for their votes on Iraq, as he has done for
months, Dean responded, "All I'm willing to do is
tell you what my positions are." (11/8/2003)
Sen. John Kerry tried to tag
Congressman Tom Delay’s actions to exempt gasoline
additive manufacturers of MTBE from clean-up in
the new energy bill to President Bush, according
to an Associated Press story in the Manchester
Bush has reversed the polluters pay principle,"
Kerry said. "This is a reversal of the sense of
morality and responsibility we fought hard to put
in place. It's no surprise Tom Delay has led this
fight when you consider that 75 percent of the
MTBE is produced by his campaign contributors in
Sen. John Kerry capitalized on
his status as a VietNam veteran in New Hampshire,
according to the Manchester
many here are veterans?” Sen. John Kerry called
out, staring eye to eye with the men and women
standing and clapping in the tiny flag-festooned
meeting room at the Manchester Institute for the
flew up all over the place.
“Hoo-ha!” chanted Kerry, at ease and smiling in
his Vietnam-era leather jacket.
standing “Hoo-ha!” was returned by the crowd.
throughout the Democratic Presidential candidate’s
15-minute love fest with about 75 ardent listeners
at yesterday’s Veterans for Kerry rally.
Kerry was critical of President
Bush -- as are the rest of the Democrat
Presidential candidates leading up to Veteran’s
Day on Nov. 11. Kerry stated over and over again
in the veterans’ meeting that “President Bush has
turned his back on veterans.” This, despite the
fact that the Bush administration has increased
funding to the Veterans Administration more in the
last two years than the previous six years. Kerry
used several personal stories to prove his point
the administration was not doing enough to help
The question of whether Kerry
will forego campaign financing will be decided in
a matter of days, according to Kerry on Face the
Nation appearance as reported by
going to make our decision over the course of the
next day or so," Kerry said on CBS's "Face the
Nation." "I'm disappointed that Governor Dean has
taken a very different road than Democrats have
stood for as a matter of principle."
referenced Dean’s reason of running against the
Bush/Cheney Campaign millions as cowardly:
don't think that President Bush's money was as
intimidating as Governor Dean wants to believe it
was, because it's mostly special-interest money,"
Kerry said. "And I was perfectly prepared to run
against that money." (11/9/2003)
Reaction to Dean’s money
The following are reactions to
Dean’s foregoing federal campaign spending limits
as reported by the
Associated Press and the various Democratic
presidential candidates’ websites:
"It's disappointing that Howard
Dean so conveniently abandoned a long-held
position of principle out of mere political
expediency. After Howard Dean so passionately and
ardently announced that if any candidate left the
public system it would be an issue, then sought a
political fig leaf in an Internet poll slyly
worded to predetermine its results, it's clear an
alleged straight talk candidacy has turned out to
represent politics as usual," said Sen. John
"I'm a strong believer in the
campaign finance system. I think it brings
integrity to the process. I'm disappointed
Governor Dean has reversed his position." Sen.
"Forget all of the gimmicks and
rationalizations, the plain truth is that Howard
Dean wants to outspend his opponents in the early
states and has therefore violated his pledge to
stay within the public financing system. Just like
President Bush, Howard Dean has effectively
undermined campaign finance laws for his own
personal, opportunistic political advantage." Rep.
"It's a shame that Howard Dean
has broken his word and abandoned his earlier
pledge never to bypass the public financing
system. America needs a leader who will stick to
the promises he makes. We call on Governor Dean to
comply with the spirit of the law — and his own
previous statements — and pledge to spend no more
than $45 million in the Democratic primaries and
to limit his spending to the specific spending
caps in the states." Sen. Joe Lieberman.
"I think it's important for
people to look at what he said earlier and the
pledge that he made. I think we'll leave it up to
the people to decide whether this is a good or a
bad thing," said Wesley Clark's spokesman, Kym
Kerry dumps manager
Sen. John Kerry fired his
campaign manager Jim Jordan and gave the job to
veteran Democratic operative Mary Beth Cahill.
Reports are Jordan was being offered another
Cahill’s resume includes:
Assistant to the President and Director of the
Office of Public Liaison for Bill Clinton;
Director of EMILY's List, which provides financial
and political assistance to candidates for office.
She formerly served as the organization's
political director. She has managed a number of
gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, Congressional, and
other political campaigns around the country. Ms.
Cahill served as director of personnel and as
director of the Washington, D.C., office of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts under Governor
Michael Dukakis, and she has worked on the staffs
of Representatives Robert Drinan and Barney Frank.
She received a B.A. degree from Emmanuel College.
Florida is not the only one
holding up Democrat Presidential candidates.
Harrison County, Iowa Democrats thumbed their
noses at national and state party rules forbidding
straw polls. In their straw poll Kerry received 37
percent of the vote, and former Vermont Gov.
Howard Dean was second with 29 percent. Sen. John
Edwards of North Carolina had 19 percent, while
Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri garnered 10
percent. The rest are not worth mentioning. The
Harrison County Democrats shook down campaign
supporters for a $10 ticket-- far less than
Florida’s scheme. (11/10/2003)
Sen. John Kerry’s handling of
breaking the news to the campaign staff about
changes at the top was anything but smooth
according to an Associated Press story:
conference call Sunday night, Kerry enraged much
of his staff by mispronouncing the name of a top
staff member at least once, and could be heard
eating as he broke the news of Jordan's firing,
which he called a "one-day story." Stung by his
attitude, several aides said they were considering
quitting the campaign.
staff abandoning the Kerry campaign at this time
could result in Kerry’s predictions in Iowa not
how his campaign would change, Kerry told
reporters in Iowa, "Watch over the next few weeks
and you'll see it. You guys watch, we're doing
ABC’s The Note is running
Kerry’s former campaign manager Jim Jordan’s draft
he apparently intended to send to his successor,
Mary Beth Cahill:
RE: Big Bad John
Congratulations — you are
inheriting a great national staff, a great Iowa
staff, a great New Hampshire staff, and Judy
There ARE, however, some things
to watch out for to make sure the machine
continues to hum.
1. At the slightest provocation,
particularly during live television interviews,
The Candidate will throw the staff under the bus.
For instance, I was once sacrificed on "Meet the
Press" for some on-the-record criticism of HoHo
that in retrospect reads in tone and substance
like a Connie Morella press release compared to
what The Candidate is now saying about Dean.
2. Make some sort of deal with a
Boston-area milk company to get Michael Whouley's
picture on cartons. We have to find the guy.
3. The Candidate is in Iowa
today; may I suggest no custard stops?
4. The corollary of "Let The
Spouse Be the Spouse" is "Let Chris Black Be Chris
Black." You'll know what I mean shortly if you
5. I have no fu***** (REDACTED)
idea what Cam is doing, but The Candidate seems to
believe he is the second coming of Tad Devine.
6. Jeanne Shaheen seems smart,
ruthless, and knowledgeable about how to win New
Hampshire. But, then, I gather you two have been
spending some time together lately, so you
probably knew that.
7. If you can find a way to get
the national political press corps to hold HoHo
accountable for the things he says, more power to
you. Most of them don't much like The Candidate,
and don't cut him a break — ever. And I think
there is a connection between those things.
8. You'll be tempted to ask the
research shop to get you a memo on The Candidate's
achievements in Congress. Save yourself some time
9. Often, we line up
endorsements and come up with a plan about how to
unveil them for maximum strategic effect.
Remember: this works best if the endorsers don't
just blurt out their support whenever they feel
like it. Also, if you set up endorsement press
conference calls, remind the endorsers not to
trash the significance of their own endorsements.
10. Getting into Canada requires
proper ID. (Actually, that one belongs on a
different list — ignore it … .)
11. Bob Shrum was right — "The
Courage to do What's Right" is a really effective
12. Going to war publicly
against the Boston Globe might make you
feel good, but it won't effect what is the most
relentlessly negative coverage of any presidential
candidate EVER by a hometown paper — and I mean
the news page. Don't even get me started on the
13. Your friend Jill Alper
should run the world — see if you can make that
14. You'll be wondering what the
fourth-quarter fundraising number will be like.
It's not something I want to commit to paper. Just
have Gibbs practice in front of a mirror: "We'll
have enough resources to get our message out."
15. I think we finally have an
answer on the Iraq vote that works. As John Sasso
always says, "8th time's the charm."
16. Best to get The Candidate to
stop musing in public about decisions that he
hasn't made yet. And, since we have budgeted to
take those matching funds, make darn sure that The
Candidate is fully ready to write a personal check
before you let him make any announcement. In fact,
I'd suggest having the check in hand — certified.
17. Finally, have fun. There are
still a lot of people in the party like you who
believe that The Candidate is the party's best and
only hope of beating George Bush, and we have all
seen moments and flashes in which John is That
Your task, in the few short
weeks you have, is to somehow make him perform at
that level each and every day. There's no evidence
it can be done, but you gotta try. You and New
Hampshire can make The Candidate The Comeback Kid.
Kerry’s veterans message
Sen. John Kerry’s website offers
a message to veterans on Veterans’ Day:
was in Vietnam I learned a lot about the promises
that soldiers make to each other. The Marines have
a promise to never leave behind their dead. In
this country, as citizen soldiers, we need to make
the commitment to each other that we will never
leave our veterans behind..." -- John Kerry
Challenging the Commander-in-Chief
On the eve of Veterans Day, the
veteran John Kerry previewed a new ad that asks
the question: who can challenge the Commander in
Chief? The ad also features President Bush
declaring an end to major combat in Iraq in his
flight suite on board the aircraft carrier USS
Abraham Lincoln. The Associated Press is reporting
the content of the ad is:
is shown congratulating troops on the carrier as
an announcer describes Kerry as "a leader on
national security, a decorated combat veteran" who
can take on Bush on national security issues with
more credibility than his rivals.
fighting for you against the Bush tax cuts,
giveaways for corporations and the wealthy. And
his health care plan covers the uninsured and
holds down costs," the ad says.
announcer asks: "Who can take on George Bush and
change the direction of the nation?"
campaign reports that the airwaves of Iowa and New
Hampshire will soon be bombarded with the ad.
Senator Kerry campaigns in Arizona today. He
appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He's in
New Hampshire on Wednesday and Thursday, and Iowa
on Friday and Saturday. (11/11/2003)
Get a clue
The possible lack of finesse
with which John Kerry handled the dismissal of
James Jordan may have contributed to Kerry’s loss
of additional top campaign staff. Or, some may
just feel they do not want to go down with ship.
Whatever the situation, Mary Beth Cahill-- the
new campaign chief -- has her work cut out for
Robert Gibbs, chief spokesman
for the Kerry campaign, and deputy finance
director Carl Chidlow quit in reaction to the
firing of Jim Jordan, abruptly let go by Kerry
Sunday night. Both expressed dissatisfaction with
the campaign, according to officials.
Gibbs will be replaced by
Stephanie Cutter, a former spokeswoman for Sen.
Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and currently the
spokeswoman for the Democratic National
Convention. Cahill also was with the Kennedy
Associated Press is reporting that a source of
the problem was the fractious nature of the
campaign and Kerry himself:
staff shake-up consolidates power around Kennedy's
former staff after months of internal division.
Kerry's team has consisted of roughly three
factions — his Washington team, paid consultants
and friends and family from Boston. (11/12/2003)
Getting it right
Kerry did get something right
yesterday in New Hampshire. According to the
Manchester Union Leader, Kerry released a list of
400 New Hampshire veterans supporting his
campaign, and sent a former senator and fellow
Vietnam War veteran to campaign for him in the
state – Max Cleland.
"We suffered the same war
together. We don't want to see a new generation of
Americans suffer again," former Sen. Max Cleland
of Georgia said. (11/12/2003)
NY Times ran a story about Bob Shrum’s
influence in the Kerry campaign.
Democratic strategists go, Bob Shrum has long been
considered one of the heavyweights: a talented
speechwriter, an expert at debate preparations, an
ideologically committed liberal who has a knack
for distilling the essence of a candidate's
message into a slogan, sound bite or 30-second
Shrum has advised a number of
preisdential campaigns but has never won one.
There is some criticism that Shrum is not up to
the task of taking down Howard Dean and has not
put the knife in. However, going negative in a
multiple candidate field is a tricky issue. It
takes great timing to bring your own negatives
from attacking the opponent down.
Shrum has resisted those entreaties, campaign
workers say. But one of Mr. Shrum's confidants
defended his thinking this way: "This is not a
two-person general election at the moment, where
if you get into a mudfest and bang hard enough on
the other guy, his favorables are going to go
down. This is a nine-person field, where if the
attacks strike people as too political, your
unfavorables can go up, and it can cost you more
than it can help you." (11/12/2003)
About the money
We are still waiting for Kerry’s
decision to opt in or out of federal campaign
financing. The issue is how much money can he
bring to the high stakes game? CBS’s Washington
Wrap discusses how the Federal law bars Kerry from
using any of his wife’s money. He may use 50
percent of any joint assets and he can use 100
percent of anything in his own name. It’s still
unclear how her fortune is broken down, though
it’s a pretty good chance that most of her money
is unavailable to him since it’s in Heinz funds
and trusts. Additionally, it’s too late for her to
transfer any of her cash over to him without being
in violation of campaign finance laws.
Is there hope?
Washington Post story offers Kerry supporters
hope in the form of New Hampshire’s former
governor Jeanne Shaheen. The story goes into
Shaheen’s popularity and political skills as being
one of the possibilities for Kerry to become “The
Come Back Kid.” However, he has a long way to come
back, according to some:
Hampshire will make Kerry or it will break Kerry.
I don't think even a close second place will do
it," said Dante Scala, a research fellow at the
New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint
Anselm College in Manchester. "My sense is that it
will be largely up to Shaheen to revive him, and
if so that is the best news that campaign has
gotten in some time. One thing Jeanne Shaheen
knows how to do is win elections in New
Everybody’s an expert
In this case he is -- Howard
MSNBC offers an analysis of what is wrong with
EVERYTHING YOU needed to know about what’s wrong
with the Kerry campaign was on display in Iowa the
other day. For months, Kerry has been attacking
Howard Dean for being “soft” on guns, since, as
governor of Vermont, Dean had signed an NRA pledge
to oppose federal and state limits on assault
weapons. For just as many months (maybe more),
Kerry has been intent on proving that he’s not a
typical northeastern liberal — that he is, in
fact, a tough-as-nails Vietnam war hero and former
district attorney in Massachusetts, a man among
what does he do in Iowa? He gives a speech
championing gun control and on the same day goes
out and shoots pheasant. (A superb marksman, by
the way, he killed two birds with two shots.) The
news stories and pictures were at war with each
other: Was he for guns or agin’ ‘em? I know it’s
possible to be both — for reasonable gun-control
measures and for freedom to hunt with rifles. But
just because you can have it both ways
doesn’t mean you always should. Not on the same
day in the same state on the same issue.
Looking for traction
Boston Globe writes about how Sen. John Kerry
came back to his one note song about President
Bush hurting the environment by supporting his
running for president because, at every turn,
George Bush has favored tax cuts for the wealthy
and breaks for the special interests over the
protection of this river and other rivers and
streams all across America," Kerry said. "He is
buckled to powerful lobbyists and special
interests rather than standing up for the
long-term interests of our children."
Never write anything down
There is an adage about never
writing anything embarrassing down. However, the
troops over at the Kerry campaign continued to
thumb there noses at this fact according to ABC’c
So here, for the first time
anywhere, is the latest passing-the-baton memo
from the Kerry campaign — in this case from Robert
Gibbs, who quit yesterday as press secretary, to
Stephanie Cutter, who was named, titleless, to the
RE: Big Bad Media
Congratulations — you are
inheriting a great Iowa press shop, a former New
Hampshire governor with a big Granite megaphone,
and Bob Shrum's yellow pad.
There ARE, however, some things
to watch out for to make sure the machine
continues to hum.
1. Okay, you're here, but you're
not sure what your title is, what your duties are,
who exactly will be left for you to work with and
who you really report to. That's normal.
2. You worked for Kennedy. The
Globe was your friend. Welcome to a new reality.
3. We used to take so much heat
for being such a male-dominated campaign when I
worked there (Granted — the Budweiser wall
calendar didn't help.). With the arrival of the
whole Kennedy team of gals, y'all boast more
estrogen than a roomful of CNN bookers. You might
want to play that up. On the other hand, if you
thought the convention staff was white, wait until
you see our gang.
4. When Halperin tells you,
after a debate, that only one candidate on the
stage looked presidential, he doesn't necessarily
mean your candidate.
5. My very best lines and
information comes from Gehrke, the finest research
director in the entire business. But tap that well
of knowledge fast, as he has at least 4 job offers
(including 3 presidential campaigns not named
"Kerry") from which to choose.
6. It's pronounced "LOO-EES." "LOO-EES."
7. Avoid the words "rats,"
"ship," "sinking," "leaking," "listing,"
"falling," "slowing," or "frontrunner."
8. Keep up the fight for full
engagement. Jordan wasn't wrong about taking on
Dean. The more you throw at him the more something
might stick. The research folks camped out in
Burlington for weeks, and they have hits that are
even better than that NRA questionnaire. Howard
Dean has never had an unexpressed thought. This
should work against him but it seems to be
overshadowed by the fact that our campaign has
never had an original thought.
9. For all of those recently
arrived and soon-to-come staffers who wonder if
our recent changes will lead to more attacks on
Dean or the high road, the answer is: "Yes."
10. Getting into Canada requires
proper ID. (Actually, that one belongs on a
different list — ignore it … .)
11. Putting Shaheen out in front
on the "Vermont Miracle" issue is a good idea — NH
Democrats do like her — but remember that after
two terms in office, she could only carry 60% of
the vote — in the primary.
12. Be sure to get up early to
read all of the Dean news clips and web page
material. It will give you advance notice of what
The Candidate will be talking about all day. It is
also a good source of ideas for our own web site.
13. New Hampshire residents hate
taxes, Bostonians, gun control and incumbent
senators. Find common ground, quick. And don't
forget your E-Z Pass.
14. In planning for major
speeches in South Carolina, try to limit staff to
less than 1/4 the size of the audience.
15. If ever you should go on Fox
News, don't compare The Candidate's comments about
"being the candidate for white guys in the South
with the Confederate flag in their windows" to Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.
It just makes everyone look foolish.
16. It takes some time to
whittle down The Candidate's responses … . "Mr.
Change Your Opinion For Expediency" is actually
much better than his original suggestion of "Mr.
Arrogant Jerk who can't stick with a position to
save his life but will run our party into the
ground and get beaten like a red-headed stepchild
by another arrogant jerk already in the White
17. Firing Jordan is a one-day
story. My resignation is a one-day story. Trailing
by double digits is a one-day story. 76 days left
until NH — filling every day with a different
story seems like a daunting task but the senior
staff and The Candidate will help as much as
18. If asked what The Candidate
was eating when I announced I was leaving — just
say "crow." This is now a two-day story. And
19. John Kerry doesn't have a
plan to win the war, but "The Bunny" has a plan to
win the peace. (Note Note: we don't know what that
20. Even though we won't dip
into her personal fortune, TH has a plan to build
a new pro football stadium in each battleground
state. No really, she does.
21. If asked: Yes, we're still
very glad we won the Shrum Primary.
22. The Kerry Girls are off
limits — wait that probably doesn't apply to you.
But same goes for Chris Heinz.
23. Don't bother trying to get
The Candidate to stop delivering those prostate
24. All questions about Morgan
Fairchild get forwarded to Chris Black.
25. Trust Benander as Obi-Wan
Kenobi … because I do.
26. No custard stops. Period.
Free vanilla treats will serve to only sour, not
sweeten, the waiting press corps. (Note Note: you
MUST click this link.
27. Ad images of our candidate
in committee hearings may not be screaming
"foreign policy experience" as much as we like to
28. Never fret about an event
that is staffed by David Wade. After all had Wade
rather than me been in the 603 area code, John
Kerry would not have said "regime change."
29. Key point: try to figure out
which consultant is nicknamed "Uday."
30. Warning signs that more
senior staff might be fleeing: Morehouse forwards
his phone to your cell with no warning.
31. Don't believe the rumors
that the campaign is relocating to the Ketchum,
Idaho in order to test the loyalty of the
32. Don't throw away that Amtrak
Guest Rewards membership just yet.
33. Before every press avail,
have The Candidate repeat after you: "I will not
mutter 'Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean' around an
34. AP writers are not just
there to look at: feed them or they will piss all
over your house.
35. A great debate performance
will earn you little to no press, but a staff
shakeup will get you above-the-fold stories and a
regular rotation on Fox. Worth reminding The
Candidate when he's complaining about lack of
36. The next time The Candidate
gets grumpy and masticates on the ineffectiveness
of his staff, point to the Clark campaign's
decision to attack Edwards over Hugh Shelton on
Veterans Day as an example of how bad strategic
decisions by staff (Lehane and Kym?) really can
be. After that, you won't look that awful.
37. Changing the dynamics of a
campaign will have a direct effect on the dynamics
of the race, which in turn will dynamically cause
some type of kinetic change in our overall
38. For a quick, in-house poll
you can always multiply the number of conference
calls per day times the number of people on them,
divide by the number of times Dean's name appears
in our latest press release and then subtract the
number of public appearances the candidate is
scheduled to make. You should end up with the
number of points between us and Dean on any given
day in New Hampshire.
39. And remember, when Gephardt
starts to gain on us in NH, Kerry only voted for
the Iraq resolution, Dick sponsored it!
40. There are no Confederate
flags on Nantucket.
41. Are you bringing Whouley
down from Boston when you get here?
42. Two final words of wisdom,
and you may ignore it, you make think this is just
lip service, but I firmly believe it: Loyalty
Your task, in the few short
weeks you have, is to somehow make The Candidate
perform at that his top level each and every day.
There's no evidence it can be done, but you gotta
try. You and New Hampshire can make The Candidate
The Comeback Kid. (11/13/2003)
Kerry’s top ten
Sen. John Kerry seems to have
his press operations back on track with continued
releases even on his favorite subject -- beating
up Bush on the environment.
John Kerry today
promised to protect the environment and take on
the Bush administration’s cozy relationship with
corporate polluters and special interests. Fresh
off an appearance on late-night television, Kerry
released his own top ten list: George Bush's
Top Ten Polluter Pleasers.
roadblocks to improving fuel economy in
Reducing the transportation sector’s reliance on
oil is clearly the key to improving our nation's
energy security, yet Bush’s energy plan adds new
requirements to the fuel efficiency standard
2. Does not
decrease American dependence on foreign oil.
Bush’s energy plan even strips out an agreement
supported by Democrats and Republicans to reduce
oil consumption by at least one million barrels
per day by 2013.
3. Does not
include accountability for developing hydrogen
fuel cell vehicles.
Bush’s energy plan provides billions of research
dollars for hydrogen with no accountability for
actually developing a fuel cell vehicle or
achieving oil savings or pollution reductions.
4. Delays new
protections from mercury pollution.
Bush’s energy plan delays a new EPA rule that will
set mercury thresholds for coal and oil-fired
power plants putting public health for children
and adults at further risk.
polluters off the hook.
Bush’s energy plan gives polluters a free pass for
contaminating groundwater with MTBE and other fuel
additives. This would mean that states and
thousands of communities around the country will
have no legal means of holding MTBE manufacturers
responsible for the massive water pollution they
6. Rolls back
clean air protections.
Bush’s energy plan will waive anti-smog
requirements in polluted cities that missed clean
7. Exempts big
oil from the Clean Water Act.
Bush’s energy plan includes an exemption of oil
and gas exploration and production activities from
the Clean Water Act putting our drinking water
supplies at risk.
8. Support for
dirty energy sources, not renewables.
Bush’s energy plan supports more than twice as
many direct subsidies for dirty energy sources
such as coal, oil and gas, and nuclear as for
clean renewable energy such as wind, solar and
incentives to purchase fuel efficient vehicles.
Bush’s energy plan fails to provide adequate tax
breaks to help consumers buy fuel efficient
10. Opening up
sensitive lands to drilling by waiving
Bush wants to speed up energy exploration and
development at the expense of environmental review
and public participation putting our health of our
environment at risk. (11/14/2003)
The system is dead
Sen. John Kerry said no thanks
to $18.7 million, and became the third candidate
for President to join the reality that the federal
campaign system is dead.
“As you know, this has not been an easy week in
our campaign. But I’ve been in tougher spots than
this before – and I’ve fought back and won. And
we’re going to fight back now because I feel so
strongly about the issues and about nominating a
Democrat who can defeat George Bush.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I have no doubt
it is the right one,” said Kerry.
Kerry’s decision was undoubtedly
timed to bring focus on Howard Dean’s previous
decision to forego the federal campaign finance
system. Kerry pointed to his efforts at campaign
finance reform and that he had not taken PAC
contributions in past elections. He went on to
“I wish Howard Dean had kept his promise to stay
within the campaign finance system. But he did
not. He changed the rules of this race – and
anyone with a real shot at the nomination must now
play by those rules. And today, let me be clear:
I’m in this campaign to win the nomination and to
defeat George Bush next November.
“Today, I also issue a challenge to Governor Dean.
Senator Russ Feingold has called on all Democratic
candidates who forgo matching funds to pledge that
they will not spend more than the limit of $45
million until the nomination is decided. I accept
that – and I call on Howard Dean to do the same.
To show America that his decision was about
beating George Bush and the special interests and
not just about grabbing an advantage in the
primaries,” said Kerry
Kerry’s alluding to the
campaign’s poor performance this week is
indicative of how important it is for Kerry to get
his campaign moving. January elections have the
problem of coming just after major holidays. It is
traditional that after Iowa and New Hampshire not
everyone remains in the hunt for the nomination,
and those who do not know any better find the
spotlight and megaphone for their campaigns turned
Kerry’s problem is being
attributed to two factors. First and foremost
Kerry and Dean share the same demographic
constituencies of the mostly liberal wing of the
Democrat Party. Second, Kerry voted for the war
and that is the key focus of the campaign at this
"This guy's in a jam. I think it goes back to the
war. I think he walled himself off from his own
supporters. What it would take for Kerry to do
well would be for the war to go away as an issue
and the focus to shift to the economy and that's
the opposite of what's happening. The more the
focus is on the war, the greater the gap, the
contrast, between Dean and Kerry is likely to be,"
political columnist Charlie Cook, editor of the
Cook Political Report.
Kerry’s point where he has a
clear advantage over Dean appears to be the
environment. Unfortunately that is not a key
deciding factor in who to vote for. If Kerry is to
win back his constituency, it will have to come
over the economy, where Kerry has a fighting
chance. The real difficulty for Kerry is that it
is not easy to be the Dean alternative candidate
if he is like Dean. (11/15/2003)
New! New Hampshire poll
Dean has expanded his lead in
New Hampshire. The latest percentages are as
follows: Dean – 38; Kerry – 16; Wesley Clark – 5;
John Edwards - 5;, Joe Lieberman – 4; Dick
Gephardt – 3; Dennis Kucinich –1; and Al Sharpton
and Carol Moseley Braun had the support of less
than 1 percent. The poll also showed that 27
percent were undecided. (11/15/2003)
This week's Democratic Insiders
poll in the National Journal with 50 possible
votes by the chosen few gives Dean 39; Gephardt 8.
Twenty-nine of the 50 gave John Kerry bad marks --
one even said, "He's managed to combine the
duplicity of the Gore campaign with the arrogance
of the Dukakis campaign." Joe Lieberman also
received 9 votes in the low-expectations category.
"I want America to be a land of
hope again for all of our citizens. And I want us
to come together ... and stand up and fight with
confidence in our values and the willingness to
defeat the Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft cynicism; give
back hope, give back truth, give back the soul to
our country," said John Kerry
"We have to run against a
wartime president in a world that is suffering
from terror. We need a president who knows how to
reach out and build relationships across the
planet," said Kerry. (11/25/2003)