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

Iowa Presidential Watch's

The Democrat Candidates

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

John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

September 16-23, 2003

Kerry continues attack on rival wannabes who want to repeal tax cuts, but this time he actually identifies the culprits – Dean and Gephardt. Headline from this morning’s Union Leader: “Kerry criticizes Dean by name over tax cuts Coverage – an excerpt – by AP’s Iowa caucus watcher, Mike Glover: Presidential hopeful John Kerry on Monday criticized his Democratic rivals who favor repealing President Bush's tax cuts -- and this time, he named names. The Massachusetts senator has assailed primary foes such as Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt for favoring a rollback of Bush's tax cuts from 2001 and this year, but as recently as Friday in South Carolina, Kerry declined to single them out. That wasn't the case in Iowa Monday, and it reflected a weeklong concerted effort by the Democratic candidates to challenge front-runner Dean on issues from the Middle East to Medicare, from race to Social Security. ‘Unfortunately some in my party, including Howard Dean, want to repeal the tax cuts Democrats gave middle class families,’ Kerry said. ‘This would mean that a family of four -- with two parents working hard on the job and at home -- would have to pay about $2,000 more a year in taxes.’ Dean, the former Vermont governor, argues that a repeal of the tax cuts is necessary to pay for universal health care, homeland security and job creation, particularly in a time of increasing budget deficits. During a speech on corporate responsibility in which he criticized President Bush, Kerry said that in the event of a wholesale repeal of the tax cuts, ‘Democrats will be no better than George W. Bush if we also turn our backs on the middle class.’ Kerry has called for repealing that portion of the tax cut that benefits those making more than $200,000 a year, leaving in place the child care tax credit and the elimination of the marriage penalty. Gephardt, the Missouri congressman and former House Minority leader, also favors repeal of Bush's tax cuts to finance health care coverage.” (9/16/2003)

… “Kerry’s tears: We’d rather vote for Mrs. Woodman” – headline from yesterday’s The Union Leader opinion page on reprint of Pennsylvania editorial. The editorial:  “Sometimes the media can miss a story even when they're right in the room. Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry made national headlines when he wiped away a tear after an encounter with an unemployed mother during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. A slew of stories followed detailing how Kerry finally showed his softer side and how the incident might boost his sagging campaign. Some even compared Kerry's tears with an incident that sank Ed Muskie's Presidential chances in 1972. But the focus in this story shouldn't be on Kerry; it should belong to the unemployed mother, Concord native Barbara Woodman. She told the senator that she was recently laid off from a publishing company and how the loss of income was making life hard for her, her husband and their two teenage boys. But despite her ordeal, she wasn't asking Kerry or anyone else in the government for help. She isn't seeking a program from Washington, D.C., to put her back to work or to take care of her children. ‘We're not about to let our sons pay the price for whatever we're dealing with,’ Woodman said in words that caused Kerry to tear up. ‘I don't care how many jobs I have to work; those kids are going to college.’ Woodman's spirit of self-reliance and personal responsibility are the qualities that have kept America strong for more than 200 years. And her determination to do the best for her family is repeated millions of times across the country, especially in difficult economic times such as these. These stories are worth much more than the tears of a politician. Kerry, meanwhile, desperately needs to find something to excite voters. An early favorite for the Democratic nomination, he trails badly in recent polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, two early key political tests. But that's fine with us. Given the choice, we'd cast our vote for Mrs. Woodman.  — The Valley Independent Monessen, Pa.”  (9/16/2003)

Just after Kerry spent days denying possibilities of a major campaign shakeup, his communications director exits. Headline from this morning’s Union Leader: “Communication director quits Kerry campaign Report – excerpt – by the AP political warrior Ron Fournier: “John Kerry's communications director has resigned over differences in the direction of the Democrat's presidential campaign. Chris Lehane's departure comes amid speculation of a wider shake-up in the Kerry campaign, which has been torn by internal fights and a lack of public support from the candidate. Kerry, a Massachusetts senator once considered the leading contender in a nine-person field, has seen his campaign eclipsed by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. ‘John Kerry is a great American,’ Lehane said in a statement confirming his resignation. ‘He has assembled a great team to take on George W. Bush and I wish him the best of luck as the campaign goes forward.’ Lehane was a key adviser and spokesman for the campaign, though he was not on the payroll. That move was planned later this fall. He resigned last week. Campaign officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lehane told them he was leaving over philosophical differences with Kerry. They said Lehane, who was Al Gore's press secretary in the 2000 race and worked for President Clinton, was among a cadre of Kerry aides who believed that Kerry ran too cautiously against the threat posed by Dean. Campaign strategist Bob Shrum and others urged Kerry to remain above the fray in an attempt to look presidential. Kerry avoided confrontation with Dean in the first two debates, but his rhetoric on the campaign trail has become more critical of the former governor. Dean leads Kerry in the latest polls in New Hampshire, an early voting state that neither candidate can afford to lose. His front-runner status lost, Kerry recently dropped out of contention for at least one key union endorsement and is scrambling to shore up support in Congress and among party donors. Though Kerry has insisted he's satisfied with his team, his less-than-firm denials of a shake-up have fueled rumors and created angst among his staff.”  (9/16/2003)

… “At UI, Kerry slams Bushonomics” – headline from this morning’s Daily Iowan (University of Iowa). Excerpt from report by the DI’s Jeffrey Patch: “Approximately 200 people welcomed Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to Hubbard Park on Monday afternoon, as the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination continued his effort to sow grass-roots support on campuses and in Iowa. Tuition increased 17.9 percent at the UI this year, and Kerry, who attends approximately eight events per day, took note and struck a chord. ‘No family income went up 15-20 percent,’ he said. ‘Every family is struggling.’ Speaking to the mostly student audience, he outlined his higher-education plan, which includes a $4,000 tax credit to households for each college student and a proposal to offer four years of free tuition at a public, instate university in exchange for two years of community service. ‘Campuses have always been a big part of his politics,’ said David Wade, Kerry's national spokesman. ‘It's in his blood.’ Kerry also criticized Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean for plans to scrap the entire Bush tax cut to pay for social programs. ‘Some of my opponents -- Mr. Gephardt, Mr. Dean -- want to get rid of the whole tax cut.’ Kerry said. ‘I want to fight to help the middle class, because the last time I looked, the problem wasn't that the middle class had too much money.’ Mark Lucas, a UI freshman and Republican city councilor from Wilton, Iowa, said Kerry cannot have it both ways. ‘He was talking about how the tax code was bloated, yet he wants to offer targeted tax cuts,’ Lucas said. In the 30-minute speech, Kerry noted his role as an activist after he returned from fighting in the Vietnam War. ‘I learned what it was like to be an instrument of American foreign policy,’ he said. ‘I watched what happened when we lost the consent and legitimacy of the American people.’” (9/16/2003)

… “In a shift of strategy, Kerry takes on Dean” – headline from Sunday’s Boston Globe. Excerpt from report by the Globe’s Michael Kranish:  “During an early July weekend of Cape Cod kiteboarding and campaign strategizing, Senator John F. Kerry gathered a dozen of his top aides on the porch of his Nantucket home to debate a key question: Should they respond to Howard Dean's surprise early airing of television commercials in Iowa? Kerry's advisers concluded that Dean was foolishly frittering away precious campaign cash at a time when few voters were paying attention. The Massachusetts senator waited until 10 days ago to launch a commercial counterattack, finally airing spots in New Hampshire and Iowa. The July decision wound up costing Kerry and helping Dean, as the former Vermont governor rose in the polls over the summer, followed his Iowa blitz with similar ads in New Hampshire in early August, appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek, and collected millions of Internet dollars. Dean also hinted that he might break the federal spending cap necessary to get public funds, posing even more of a threat to Kerry. With the beginning of primary season just four months away, Kerry -- once considered the Democratic front-runner -- has faced woes extending beyond just advertising decisions and Dean's surge in popularity. The Massachusetts senator's message is criticized by some as muddled and by others as too oriented toward a general election against President Bush. Some liberal activists continue to question his vote to give President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq, a matter that has dogged Kerry in his race against the antiwar Dean. Now Kerry, who insisted earlier this month that he planned ‘no changes’ in his staff, said he plans to add people to ‘plug holes’ and is demonstrating a new willingness to challenge Dean. Significantly, when asked about a simmering dispute between his Washington and Massachusetts campaign staffs, he told the Globe he is working to ‘find a way for the people not there every day to weigh in more effectively…We are making changes every day.’…’What's important is someone was unarmed for a period of time,’ Kerry said, in a revealing comment referring to his lack of television ads, ‘and we're now there.’ While the ads don't attack Dean, Kerry was especially tough on his opponent during an interview last week with the Globe. `Somebody who wants to be president ought to keep their word,’ Kerry said. ‘I think somebody who wants to be president shouldn't run around the country breaking their policies on a daily basis, going backwards on foreign policy, backwards on Cuba, backwards on taxes, changing around, and now possibly on a campaign finance pledge. I think it goes to the core of whether you are a different politician or a politician of your word or what you are.’ Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, asked to respond, said: ‘I'll just let it stand. He wants to say that, he can say that.’” (9/16/2003)

Birds of a Feather 102: CA Sen Feinstein joins Kennedy in “Senators for Kerry” movement. From – Associated Press report from San Francisco: “Democrat John Kerry's presidential bid got an influential endorsement Tuesday from California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who praised him for having the ‘strength, experience, leadership and judgment to be an excellent president.’ Feinstein is the state's senior senator and arguably the most popular politician in vote-rich California. She is one of only two senators to endorse Kerry's presidential bid so far -- the other being his Massachusetts colleague, Sen. Ted Kennedy. In a statement, Feinstein said she was supporting Kerry for his leadership on a number of issues, including health care, tax policy and the environment. She also singled out his support for gun control and, specifically, a ban on assault weapons, which Feinstein wrote and is trying to extend over Republican objections. ‘The assault weapon ban will expire next year,’ Feinstein wrote. ‘We need a president who will actively urge Congress to extend it, and John Kerry will do just that.’ The endorsement comes at a critical time for the Massachusetts senator, who has seen his presumed front-runner status eclipsed in recent months by the surge of rival Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor. A decorated Vietnam veteran who has tried to position himself as the best candidate to challenge President Bush on national security issues, Kerry faces competition Wesley Clark, the former supreme NATO commander who is poised to enter the Democratic race on Wednesday. Other Democratic senators in the field include Bob Graham of Florida, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and John Edwards of North Carolina, who formally launched his campaign Tuesday.” (Iowa Pres Watch Note: For those not paying attention, the gun control issues looms large with the anti-Dean contingent because the former VT Guv advocates state – vs. fed – regs on firearm restrictions.) (9/17/2003)

Kerry’s criticism of Dean for possibly abandoning campaign spending limits sounds pious now, but it ignores the reality of ’96 campaign – when Kerry “pulverized” a deal in his Senate campaign. Headline from column by Brian McGrory in yesterday’s Boston Globe: “Hard to pull for Kerry” Excerpt: “John Kerry was asked recently about the possibility that Howard Dean might forgo public matching funds in his bid for the nomination, thereby avoiding spending limits. Dean had indicated that he would accept the funds, but now is considering reversing his strategy, much like George W. Bush. And here's what Kerry said: ‘Somebody who wants to be president ought to keep their word. I think it goes to the core of whether you are a different politician or a politician of your word or what you are.’…if I'm interpreting him correctly, [Kerry] is accusing Dean of not being a man of his word, and a man who doesn't live up to his word, Kerry is essentially saying, is unqualified to be president. So let's go back to 1996, to Kerry's reelection campaign against then-Governor Bill Weld, specifically to the night Weld met Kerry at the senator's wife's Beacon Hill mansion. They finalized an unprecedented agreement to limit advertising spending to $5 million apiece, and to limit the use of personal funds in the campaign to $500,000 apiece. Good government types hailed the agreement as a major breakthrough. Kerry and Weld basked in the plaudits of editorialists the nation over. Kerry described the pact as ‘a model for campaign reform across the country.’ But a funny thing happened on the way to Election Day. Kerry didn't just violate the deal, he pulverized it. Running out of money in the waning days of October, Kerry mortgaged and remortgaged the Louisburg Square house, ultimately pouring $1.7 million in personal funds into his campaign. For those of you keeping track at home, that's $1.2 million more than the agreement allowed. As he made a mockery of the pact, he did something else distinctly distasteful. He accused Weld of violating the agreement, a charge that seemed specious at best, an outright lie at worst. At issue was a discount Weld received from the standard fee his media consultant would reap from all ad spending. It allowed Weld to buy about $400,000 more in ads for his $5 million. Every good campaign negotiates a discount, and the written agreement did not preclude them. Kerry claimed it was a violation of a rule that, well, was never written down. Still, yesterday, he repeated the charge. ‘The Kerry campaign took appropriate action to level the playing field,’ said spokeswoman Kelley Benander, adding,  ‘The situation with Howard Dean is much more serious.’ Sure he did, and sure it is. I've had my fair share of exposure to Kerry, having spent time covering his policies and politics…The unvarnished truth is, I want to like him. I want to write positively of him. I want to highlight his great potential, his uncanny ability to grasp the human plight. But then he whines or haplessly hollers or passes blame as he feels every bump, every conceivable slight, along an uncommonly gilded path. In this campaign, his answers on the famous Iraq vote aren't nuanced, they're ridiculous. His overall message isn't muddled, it's nonexistent. Dean, it appears, entered the race because he wanted to win. Kerry is running because he thought he could win. The thing is, I know for a fact that Kerry can do better, and hopefully, eventually, he will. But unless and until he does, the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire can do better as well.”(9/17/2003)

Dean vs. Kerry moves closer to Kerry’s doorstep – Dean to hold fundraiser tomorrow in Kerry’s neighborhood and return for a Boston rally next week. Headline from this morning: “Dean plans to storm Kerry turf” Coverage by the Herald’s Ellen J. Silberman: “Howard Dean is taking his surging presidential campaign to rival John F. Kerry's doorstep, planning to rally backers and raise cash just two miles from the Bay State senator's Beacon Hill home. Dean, leading Kerry in polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa, is scheduled to come to the Hub tomorrow for three major fund-raisers expected to add $250,000 to his bulging campaign coffers. Posing an even greater threat of embarrassing Kerry is a Dean rally planned for Boston's Copley Square Tuesday as the former Vermont governor pushes to add 50,000 new names to his roster of backers by the end of the month.  The Dean campaign hopes to draw 3,000 supporters to the lunchtime rally, featuring a speech by Dean and -- if city officials approve -- live music at a site less than two miles from Kerry's Louisburg Square townhouse. ‘He's really sticking it to Kerry,’ Boston College political science professor Marc Landy said of the rally, Dean's first major Massachusetts event. ‘He's got Kerry reeling. Why not come here?’  Dean supporters claim the presidential front-runner is drawn to Boston's symbolism as the birthplace of democracy and the site of next year's Democratic National Convention -- not a chance to tweak Kerry.  ‘It seems like the proper place to recapture and reignite democracy, freedom and action,’ said Steve Grossman, former chairman of the state and national Democratic parties and Dean's most prominent local supporter.  Kerry campaign officials reacted to news Dean's rally with a slap.  ‘Boston is a diverse and inclusive city, occasionally even welcoming Yankee fans like Howard Dean,’ Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander said.” (9/17/2003)

Kerry campaigns with Guv Davis in LA against the CA recall effort. Coverage – an excerpt – of Kerry visit by Los Angeles Times staff writer Michael Finnegan in today’s editions: “Two Vietnam veterans, Gov. Gray Davis and U. S. Sen. John F. Kerry, appealed to former soldiers Wednesday to rally to Davis’ side and against the effort to oust him from office. They also sought to blame President Bush for many of the problems that fuel the recall effort…During the morning appearance before several dozen veterans, Kerry, the Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate, described his stops in California during his Navy service, and quickly made a transition to the recall. ‘This recall is an abuse of the democratic process, and I hope California will reject it,’ said Kerry, one of a string of Democratic officials to visit California this week He called the recall ‘a rejection of common sense.’ Kerry, in an organized effort to bolster Davis' chances, said Californians do have cause for anger -- and then listed several criticisms of the Bush administration, citing what he called the president's ‘contribution to the deficit’ in California and the administration's favoritism of Enron and other energy companies over electricity users in California. Kerry also criticized the Bush administration's environmental policies and praised Davis' record on veterans' issues. ‘Don't let the Republicans monkey with the democracy of California,’ Kerry said.” (9/18/2003)

Yesterday, Dean unloaded on Kerry during New Hampshire appearance (Iowa Pres Watch Note: See this morning’s update for report) – and now Kerry (via website posting on ) has responded. Headline: “Statement from John Kerry on Howard Dean’s speech at St. Anselm’s” Kerry’s statement: “Unfortunately, Howard Dean once again stated he wants to repeal the tax cuts Democrats gave middle class families at a time when middle class families are taking too many hits already. Their health care costs are rising, their housing payments are higher, their jobs less secure, and college is costing more. This would hurt those who most deserve our help -- the hard-working, middle class Americans who have borne the brunt of the Bush bust. For example, Ted Walsh and Maya Glos, a middle class family from Barrington, would pay nearly $3,000 more in taxes even as they try to get ahead and raise a family if Howard Dean has his way.  I believe we should give Ted and Maya a tax cut not a tax increase. We can cut the deficit in half in four years, give Americans access to the health care coverage they need, invests in education and homeland security without putting a penalty on married people and without taking the child tax cuts the middle class needs.   Howard Dean wants to correct George Bush’s economic mistake by penalizing the middle class and that’s wrong. The problem with this economy is not that the middle class is making out like bandits. What George Bush has done to the middle class is wrong.  And, unfortunately, what Howard Dean wants to do is wrong for our middle class families as well. Putting real money into the pockets of the hard working middle class is true to our principles as Democrats – and right for the American economy.” (9/18/2003)

Not an eye for an eye, but an editorial for an editorial. In a Union Leader editorial this morning, Gephardt says that Kerry was wrong when he claimed Dean and Gephardt were destroyed the Clinton economic legacy – in an editorial yesterday. (Iowa Pres Watch Note: See yesterday morning’s update for Kerry’s editorial.)  Headline from this morning’s Union Leader – “Dick Gephardt: Economic plan preserves Clinton legacy of growth” Excerpt: President Bush’s economic plan has failed because his irresponsible tax cuts have not worked. Since he took office, the country has lost 3.3 million jobs, making his record on jobs the worst for any President since Herbert Hoover. Now, if you think those misguided tax cuts have worked for you, vote for George Bush. If you want to preserve some large part of the failed Bush tax cut, vote for Senator Kerry or another of the Democratic candidates articulating that view.  But, if you want to exchange the Bush tax cuts for guaranteed health care that can never be taken away, then you should vote for me. In 1993, I led the fight to pass the Clinton economic plan that restored fiscal discipline and asked the wealthy to pay their fair share. The Republicans said it would be a ‘jobs killer.’ Well, they weren’t only wrong, they were dead wrong. Without a single Republican vote, the Clinton plan created 22 million jobs and the best economy this country has ever had. Now, George Bush has turned the economic success of the 1990s on its head.  I supported the Clinton plan because I believe what’s good for the middle class is good for America. I look at the economy from a middle class perspective, because I was raised in a middle class home. My father was a Teamster and my mother was a secretary. Instead of George Bush’s trickle down approach, I believe we have to build the economy from the bottom up and from the middle out. That’s why the first thing I’d do as President is get rid of all the Bush tax cuts and use the money to provide guaranteed health insurance to every American. My health care plan does more for the economic security of the middle class than any of the Bush tax cuts. It will pump billions of dollars into the economy, create millions of new jobs and allow employers to invest in new equipment, free up investment capital and increase employee wages and benefits. In fact, a recent independent study found that under my plan a middle class family would receive between $2,000 and $3,000 in new increased wages and benefits. That is a great deal more than any working family would ever see from the Bush tax cuts.  I am confident of the economic benefits of my health care plan. But those economic benefits alone are not the reason I feel so strongly about providing universal health care to every American. This is the centerpiece of my campaign because it’s the right thing to do. To me, this is not just the basis of my economic growth plan, but a moral imperative…In the most powerful country in the world, it’s wrong for health care to be a luxury, an unattainable dream, and not a right of citizenship.  Throughout this campaign, I’ll be offering the American people a clear choice on the economy. We can keep pursuing George Bush’s tired, old, failed economic policies like Senator Kerry and other Democrats in this race have suggested. Or we can learn from the policies that worked for us after 1993 and move forward together. If we reward the work and initiative of all Americans, then everybody benefits, from the factory floor to the corporate boardroom. In the end, we’re all bound together. We’re all members of the American family. And I won’t be satisfied until every family, not just the few, can share in the bounty of America. That’s why I’m running for President. Join with me, and we’ll build a new and shared prosperity.” (9/18/2003)

… “Dean rips Kerry as Bush Lite” – headline from this morning’s Boston Herald. Coverage – dateline: Manchester, NH – by David R. Guarino:  “Front-running Democrat Howard Dean, letting loose after weeks of sniping by rival John F. Kerry, yesterday branded Kerry a budget-fudging Bush defender who epitomizes Beltway politics as usual. In a bare-knuckled rebuke here and on Kerry's Bay State turf, Dean alluded to Kerry as ‘Bush Lite’ and lambasted the senator for defending some Bush tax cuts.  ‘I get criticized for saying we should repeal all the Bush tax cuts, we need to repeal all those tax cuts,’ Dean told an audience at St. Anselm's College. ‘We cannot approach this campaign being the usual folks, politicians in Washington who promised everybody everything.’  Later, at a union gathering in North Andover, Dean lambasted Kerry for using fuzzy math to say the middle class is being helped by some cuts. ‘Sen. Kerry unfortunately is using the Bush figures to defend the Bush tax plan, I think that's a mistake on Sen. Kerry's part,’ Dean told reporters, saying most middle income earners got hundreds -- not thousands -- from the cuts. ‘We can't have politicians promising health care, special education and a tax cut too -- that's not going to happen. I think some truth in budgeting is necessary.’ Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander said Kerry is using non-partisan figures from the Brookings Institute and the Joint Committee on Taxes for his estimates -- not the White House. Kerry showed no signs of wanting the inter-party tax battle to wane, penning a column in Manchester's largest newspaper -- and later issuing a similar statement -- accusing Dean of abandoning the middle class.  ‘Howard Dean wants to correct George Bush's economic mistake by penalizing the middle class and that's wrong,’ Kerry said. ‘What George Bush has done to the middle class is wrong. And, unfortunately, what Howard Dean wants to do is wrong for our middle class families as well.’…Dean and U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) have said the tax cuts must be repealed in order to give Americans better health care and other social programs. Dean has also said he wants to use the savings from the cuts to eliminate the gaping budget deficit.  Trying to upstage Dean's plan for a major tax address planned for today at St. Anselm's, Kerry took Dean and Gephardt to task in The Union-Leader. ‘America has been suffering under an investment deficit, a jobs deficit, a fairness deficit; and all those deficits would be made worse by a breakneck rush to raise the tax burden on struggling middle class families,’ Kerry wrote. ‘Our party should put substance ahead of sound bites.’  But Dean said, ‘I know that you can't repeal just the wealthy portions of the tax cut and do all the things that Sen. Kerry and I would like to do for the country because we looked at that and we couldn't do it. So I would say Sen. Kerry and I have a disagreement here and I do not think it's worth defending the Bush tax cut.’” (9/18/2003)

Dean and Kerry continue to attract NH voters while others fade – The two account for more that 50% of the vote while others all now in single figures. Undecided 27%. Excerpt from AP report: “Howard Dean holds a 10-point lead over John Kerry among likely voters in the New Hampshire primary, according to a poll that suggests the race is tightening between the two New Englanders. Dean, the former Vermont governor, had 31 percent in the poll by the American Research Group of Manchester, N.H., while Kerry, the Massachusetts senator, had 21 percent. The remaining candidates were in single digits; 27 percent were undecided. Dean's lead over Kerry is about half what it was in a different New Hampshire poll late last month but close to the 12-point difference in another poll a week and a half ago. In the last ARG poll, in mid-August, Dean was 7 points ahead of Kerry, 28 percent to 21 percent. Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri was at 8 percent, and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut had 5 percent. Florida Sen. Bob Graham, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who entered the race Wednesday, had 2 percent, while Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun had 1 percent. Al Sharpton had 0 percent. While two-thirds of those surveyed had a positive view of Dean and Kerry, only a third of the primary voters had a similar opinion of Lieberman. Seven in 10 voters are familiar with Clark, but only 22 percent had a favorable view of him, while 5 percent were unfavorable. Forty-three percent said they don't know enough about the retired general yet to form an opinion. The poll of 600 likely primary voters was taken Sept. 14-17 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.”  (9/18/2003)

Boston Globe columnist compares Kerry to “a poodle at a Ping-Pong match.” Under the headline “The two minds of John Kerry,” Scot Lehigh wrote: “So let’s see. Just two weeks after John Kerry issued a statement saying that no campaign shakeup loomed, the assurance that all is fine is now apparently, ah, inoperative. Chris Lehane, Kerry's communications director, has now jumped ship, said to be frustrated that Kerry sat on his hands while Howard Dean soared by him. And last week, Kerry distanced himself from the controversy-dousing declaration that he planned no changes in his team. ‘Those weren't precisely my words,’ he told the Globe's Michael Kranish. ‘They were the words of a press release sent out.’ Apparently only utterances from the candidate himself can be taken at face value. Of course, when it's the senator himself speaking, the sentiments can be awfully hard to decipher. Last Tuesday, during the Democratic debate in Baltimore, Kerry was asked about his vote to authorize the use of force (or ‘to threaten the use of force,’ as Kerry has tried to characterize it) against Iraq. Replied the candidate: ‘If we hadn't voted the way we voted, we would not have been able to have a chance of going to the United Nations and stopping the president, in effect, who already had the votes and who was obviously asking serious questions about whether or not the Congress was going to be there to enforce the effort to create a threat.’ To call that answer incoherent is to pay it a fulsome compliment. Kerry, a close friend of John McCain, must know that voters want someone authentic, direct, genuine. Can he honestly imagine he is within a country mile of meeting that standard? With Lehane gone, there's now some talk that Kerry may install someone to supersede campaign manager Jim Jordan. Given the candidate's recent performance, here's a better idea: The campaign should find someone to supersede John Kerry. Oh, not forever. Just until the candidate decides who he is. And what he stands for. Maybe Teresa Heinz could do it. She is more real and far less programmed than her husband…Now, as I've argued before, the senator's plight is hardly as dire as the death spiral sometimes portrayed. Two new polls show him narrowly leading the Democratic race nationally. And a new Boston Globe survey in New Hampshire reveals that the 21 point lead that Dean supposedly held over Kerry there is really a more manageable 12 point margin. So Kerry is still positioned to bounce back. But to do so, he will have to improve. Dramatically. His problem? Seeking an office he has coveted all his life, Kerry still can't decide how he wants to run. His campaign is a study in duplication: Two media consultants, two pollsters, two inner circles. Which, in one sense, is perfect for a candidate often of two minds. The various duplicates can line up and debate their competing approaches -- and Kerry can take it all in, head pivoting back and forth like a poodle at a Ping-Pong match…If he's to regain his footing, the senator will have to decide what he really wants to say about Iraq. Was his vote the right one to confront a dangerous tyrant, as he has sometimes said? Was he misled by faulty intelligence, as he has suggested at other times? Was it, therefore, a mistake? It can't be both. And he must decide when, and how, he will take on Dean. At a time when Kerry needs to be at his very best, his campaign looks undisciplined, divided, and adrift. But there's an axiom in presidential politics that's as true as it is old: Problems in the campaign usually reflect inadequacies in the candidate. The basic problem here? John Kerry. The only one who can solve it? John Kerry.” (9/18/2003)

… “Kerry hammers Bush…in Web cartoon” – headline from this morning’s Boston Herald. Report by the Herald’s Andrew Miga: “Desperate to blunt rival Howard Dean's money surge, Sen. John F. Kerry urges donors to ‘hammer’ a goofy-faced President Bush into a trash bin in a new interactive cartoon on his campaign Web site. Kerry, who only launched his campaign home page last month, has been criticized for being slow to recognize the value of Internet fund raising, which fueled Dean's dramatic rise over the summer. The Bay State senator's latest fund-raising gimmick is aimed at sparking a two-week money surge for Kerry, who expects to raise about half of Dean's money total for the quarter ending Sept. 30. Dean is on track to collect at least $15 million for the third quarter. Kerry's Web site, utilizing carnival-style imagery, allows donors to click on a hammer that sends a caricature of Bush toppling haplessly from a White House perched atop a pole into a trash can labeled ‘History.’ A headline reads: ‘Hammer Bush out of the White House.’ The animated site portrays Bush as beholden to well-heeled and powerful special interests. Kerry last night shared the stage at a New York City event with rock musician Moby, part of the senator's fund-raising push.” (9/19/2003)

Fire Fighters union to endorse Kerry because their leaders believe he’s most electable Dem wannabe. New York Times report says the endorsement is “bound to hurt” Gephardt’s bid for AFL-CIO endorsement. Excerpt from Times coverage by Steven Greenhouse: “The International Association of Fire Fighters will endorse Senator John Kerry for president next week, union officials said yesterday, making it the first union to endorse a Democratic presidential candidate other than Representative Richard A. Gephardt. Harold Schaitberger, the firefighters' president, declined to discuss his union's plans, but labor leaders who have talked with him said the union would back Mr. Kerry because its leaders thought the senator was the most electable Democrat. The firefighters' endorsement, which is expected to be announced on Wednesday in Washington, is bound to hurt Mr. Gephardt's efforts to win the coveted endorsement of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., union leaders said. In an interview on Wednesday, John J. Sweeney, president of the labor federation, said Mr. Gephardt did not yet have the two-thirds support needed for the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s endorsement when its leaders meet on Oct. 14 in Washington. But Mr. Sweeney, who voiced enthusiasm about Mr. Gephardt, said it was still possible that Mr. Gephardt could gain the two-thirds backing by the meeting. He said as many as 30 unions might endorse Mr. Gephardt by that date, more than double the 12, including the machinists and steelworkers, that have already done so. From the start, Mr. Gephardt's strategists have pushed hard for the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s endorsement, knowing that he has been a faithful friend of labor and that such an endorsement could give him a leg up in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Labor leaders said Mr. Schaitberger had questioned Mr. Gephardt's electability and planned to campaign all-out for Mr. Kerry. In two weeks, these labor leaders said, Mr. Schaitberger, whose union has 260,000 members and is the largest for firefighters, plans to appear with Mr. Kerry in New Hampshire, the first primary state, alongside hundreds of firefighters. The firefighters' message could carry more weight than that of many far larger labor unions because its members carry a special stature since the Sept. 11 attacks, when 343 firefighters died at the World Trade Center.” (9/19/2003)

New topic emerges in Dean-Kerry conflict: Baseball. Headline on today’s report by David R. Guarino in today’s Boston Herald: “Dean cries foul” The report datelined from Londonderry, NH: “It's apparently not enough that John F. Kerry and Howard Dean are going at it like the Yankees and the Red Sox. Now they're at each other's throats over the famed Bronx-Beantown rivals.  Dean, a New Yorker by birth, told the Herald yesterday he's steaming mad that a Kerry aide labeled him a Yankee-lover. ‘The biggest insult…hurled at me in the campaign is to call me a Yankee fan,’ Dean said.  But the former Vermont governor insists he bleeds Yawkey red -- though, when pressed, he admitted he executed the ultimate baseball flip-flop only of late.  ‘I was a Yankee fan when I was growing up -- in New York, you had to,’ said Dean, who moved to Vermont in 1978.  But he said he switched sides after being ‘mad’ at Yankee owner George Steinbrenner and said ‘when (Roger) Clemens beaned (New York Met) Mike Piazza, that was it.’  But that just happened in 2000, prompting howls from Kerry's camp. ‘Of all of Howard Dean's waffling and flip-flops, this is the most indefensible,’ said Kerry spokeswoman Kelley Benander. ‘Obviously, being a Yankees fan was great until he thought about running in the New Hampshire primary.’” (9/19/2003)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – who’s been attacked in past in Iowa for his environmental policies – endorses Kerry’s candidacy.  AP report in this morning’s The Union Leader – an excerpt: “Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry on Thursday received an endorsement for his presidential bid from environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who slammed the Bush administration while lauding Kerry's environmental efforts. ‘There is certainly nobody who is running for president today who has a better environmental record than John Kerry,’ Kennedy said, citing the Democratic senator's work against acid rain and for higher fuel efficiency standards. Kerry traced his interest in the environment to his mother, who started taking him for walks when he was a child. He decried those who said environmental protection came at the expense of jobs and economic prosperity. ‘I intend to be a president who makes it clear to Americans that protecting the environment is jobs and it is the future of our country and most importantly the legacy of our generation,’ he said. ‘We are the stewards, and we are at risk of being the first generation in American history to pass this place off in worse shape than we were handed it by our parents.’ Kerry took aim at the Bush administration's stance on environmental issues and joined those calling for an investigation after an internal report from the Environmental Protection Agency said the agency, at the urging of White House officials, gave misleading assurances there was no health risk from the dust in the air after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. ‘New Yorkers displayed enough courage that day to be told the truth about the air they were breathing,’ Kerry said, speaking at Pace University, near City Hall and just a few blocks from ground zero. He said he called ‘for an immediate investigation in both Congress and the Department of Justice on whether environmental health was compromised because of White House interference.’” (9/19/2003)

Kerry says Dean’s campaign bubble is bursting. Headline from this morning’s New York Times: “Kerry Says Dean Is ‘Imploding’” From report by the Times’ Michael Janofsky: “Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts (Friday) sharply criticized one of the other leading Democrats running for president, Howard Dean, asserting that some of his recent pronouncements show that his ‘bubble's bursting a bit.’ Referring to statements by Dr. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, on the Middle East, the Hamas guerrillas and other issues, Mr. Kerry said, ‘You can't make 15 gaffes a week and be president.’ Mr. Kerry's remarks came near the end of an interview on WCBS-TV in New York when the camera had turned away from Mr. Kerry, who was still wearing a microphone. Mr. Dean's campaign manager, Joe Trippi, seemed mildly amused by the interview. ‘I guess we're just on his mind a lot,’ Mr. Trippi said, pointing to another episode, the recent debate in Baltimore, when a microphone picked up Mr. Kerry muttering, ‘Dean. Dean. Dean. Dean. Dean.’ In the WCBS interview, Mr. Kerry implied that many of Dr. Dean's views would cost him his standing in the polls. ‘Dean's been imploding,’ he said. Asked what he meant, Mr. Kerry said Dr. Dean had asserted that the United States should not take sides in the Middle East conflict and that suicide bombers from Hamas were ‘soldiers.’ Mr. Kerry called those positions ‘dead wrong.’…’It just catches up,’ Mr. Kerry said. ‘Someone's going to write it. People will see it. And you know, the poll numbers are going to show it.’” (9/20/2003)

… “Kerry says Bush sold out true conservatives” – headline from this morning’s New Hampshire Sunday News. Excerpt from coverage from Keene by News correspondent Stephen Seitz: “A crowd of about 150 greeted U.S. Sen. John Kerry as he brought his campaign for President back to New Hampshire yesterday. ‘I stand before you as one of 10 Democratic candidates for President. These are the only jobs that George W. Bush has created,’ Kerry said. The talk soon became more serious as Kerry outlined the case for making him President and answered audience questions. ‘On every single voting issue, George Bush has taken this country in the wrong direction,’ the Massachusetts senator said. ‘I intend to reverse it. It will take a new President to create jobs, improve health care, clean up the environment, and restore America’s position in the world.’ Claiming that 3.1 million jobs have been lost during the Bush administration, Kerry said he’d clean up the tax code to prevent further erosion. ‘The tax code used to be 14 pages,’ he said. ‘Now, it’s 17,000 pages. Do you have your own page? No, but plenty of industries do. I will go through every page of that tax code and close every loophole that allows a company to leave Keene, take $400,000 off the tax rolls, and move its jobs to Bermuda.’ At one point, Kerry also accused the administration of selling out traditional conservative Republicans in favor of an extreme right-wing agenda.  ‘There is nothing conservative about driving the deficit up as high as the eye can see,’ said Kerry. ‘Traditional conservatives don’t want to erase the dividing line between church and state. That’s not the direction to take for our country.’ Several in the audience wanted to know what Kerry’s Iraq policy would be. The senator replied that restoring American prestige in the world would be one of the toughest parts of a successful Iraq policy, and that a new President would be needed to do it.  ‘When I am President, I will go to the United Nations,’ Kerry said. ‘I will stand in that well, where so many great initiatives, like the non-proliferation treaty, began, and I will pledge a new chapter in America’s relationships with the world.’ President Bush should have brought in allies before the war, rather than offending them and going it alone. ‘Now the President has to go to them hat in hand to Jacques Chirac, to Germany, even Chile and Mexico, the whole host of countries he’s alienated and convince them,’ Kerry said.”  (9/21/2003)

… “Problems for John Kerry” – headline on editorial in this morning’s Washington Times. Excerpt: “The presidential campaign of Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry, the Boston Brahmin who once fancied himself as the heir apparent to JFK's political legacy, had a mixed week. Winning the endorsement of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the most popular politician in California, was good news for the foundering campaign. Part of the bad news was the entry of retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who now doubles the number of wounded Vietnam War heroes in the Democratic field, effectively eliminating Mr. Kerry's monopoly of the one area that he has heretofore exploited. In what may signal the beginning of a campaign implosion, Chris Lehane, who served as Mr. Kerry's communications director, resigned last week. Mr. Lehane, who directed the Clinton White House's pit-bull communications operations during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and served as press secretary for Al Gore's ill-fated 2000 presidential campaign, reportedly urged Mr. Kerry to more aggressively counterattack Howard Dean's campaign for the Democratic nomination. A Zogby poll in New Hampshire illustrates Mr. Kerry's problem. By late August, Mr. Kerry's 13-point February advantage (26-13) over Mr. Dean had turned into a 21-point deficit (38-17). Unless corrective action is taken soon, Mrs. Feinstein's endorsement may prove to be meaningless. Meanwhile, money has been flowing into the campaign coffers of Mr. Dean, who raised $7.6 million in the second quarter, compared to Mr. Kerry's $5.8 million. (The Dean campaign fully expects to reach its goal of $10.3 million for the third quarter. In fact, unless it shatters it, it will fail to meet the expectations it has set.) Imitating New Hampshire poll data, second-quarter fund-raising figures represented a massive reversal of fortune for Mr. Kerry, who, during the first quarter, raised more than $7.5 million while Mr. Dean pocketed less than $3 million. Speaking of fortune, the political strategists are busy devising scenarios about how an increasingly desperate Mr. Kerry could get his hands on his wife's $550 million Heinz-ketchup inheritance. According to the consensus interpretation of campaign-finance law, Teresa Heinz Kerry is limited to contributing $2,000 to her husband's campaign…In June, the Kerry campaign told the Associated Press that it had concluded that the Massachusetts senator could not legally use any of his wife's fortune for his presidential race. Today, there is speculation that Mrs. Kerry may try to transfer Heinz trust assets into a joint account, half of which he could divert to his campaign. Such an action would certainly be challenged in court by his competitors. Another possible loophole would be an ‘independent expenditure’ campaign waged by his wife, who in the past has indicated she would open her coffers if she felt she and the senator had come under personal attack. With donations gushing in, the Dean campaign has been considering forgoing matching funds during the primaries, a strategic decision that would allow it to spend far more than the $44.6 million limit that comes with matching funds. Amid the possibility that Mr. Kerry's third-quarter fund-raising might be about half of the Dean campaign's take, Mr. Kerry last week unloaded in an interview with the Boston Globe, which described his demeanor as bristly. ‘If Howard Dean decides to live outside [the federal spending cap], I'm not going to wait an instant,’ Mr. Kerry told the Globe. ‘Decision's made. I'll go outside. Absolutely. I'm not going to disarm.’ Asked if he would use personal funds, Mr. Kerry replied, ‘Whatever's legal under the law.’ If his foundering campaign tries to take the loophole route, the self-styled campaign-reform advocate will surely find himself in court. Unlike his political hero -- JFK, whose 1960 campaign was financed by his father's bootlegging fortune -- at least Mr. Kerry can take solace in the fact that ketchup is less unseemly. On second thought, there is something delicious about a Boston Brahmin desperately clinging to his wife's ketchup dough to bankroll his political dreams.” (9/21/2003)

For former wannabe prospect Biden the choices appear to be Clark or Kerry, but Hillary gets solid mention too. From AP’s roundup of the weekend Sunday morning shows: Sen. Joseph Biden, a former Democratic presidential candidate, says he's leaning this year toward supporting his Senate colleague John Kerry or the newcomer, retired Gen. Wesley Clark. He reserved most of his praise, however, for a candidate who's not running: Hillary Clinton. ‘One of the smartest people I know’ was Biden's reaction when the New York senator's name came up on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘She's a very powerful figure in our party. She's very well-liked, and she's very, very smart.’ But she and those around her insist she does not plan to run, and she has pledged to serve in the Senate at least until her term expires in 2006. So, Biden said, ‘The two people I'm most inclined to support are Kerry or Clark.’ Kerry, from Massachusetts, was an early entrant in the campaign. Clark, from Arkansas, former supreme commander of NATO and a friend of former President Clinton and his wife, the senator, announced his candidacy only last week. But, Biden was asked, what if Mrs. Clinton should decide after all to run in 2004? ‘Look, this is one of the few people in all of America who's known by every single American,’ Biden said. ‘The good news is the bad news: Everybody has an opinion.’ Biden, D-Del., ran for president in 1987 but ended his campaign before the primary season began because of allegations that some information in his biography and resume were plagiarized. The eventual nominee, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, lost badly to the first President Bush.” (9/22/2003)

… “Famous Names Join With Kerry” – subhead from Michael Janofsky’s column in yesterday’s New York Times. “With the hot candidate Dr. Dean and the maybe-hot candidate Wesley K. Clark to contend with, Senator John Kerry (formerly hot) scrambled last week for high-profile endorsements to electrify his campaign. He managed to persuade three big names to make their way into his corner: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California; Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts; and Claudia Kennedy, the retired lieutenant general who was the highest-ranking woman in the United States Army. Ms. Feinstein's endorsement brings Mr. Kerry's level of support on Capitol Hill to 17 lawmakers. Not bad. But he still trails Representative Gephardt, who is the leader in Congressional endorsements, with 31.” (9/22/2003)

South Carolina envisions major role – and possible Dean meltdown – in first-in-the South primary. Political handicapper Larry Sabato says Gephardt or Kerry could slow Dean’s charge by early February primary. Excerpt from column yesterday by veteran political reporter Lee Bandy in The State of Columbia: “Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has called South Carolina his ‘turnaround state.’ John Edwards of North Carolina has made it a ‘must-win’ state for him. And John Kerry of Massachusetts, for insurance purposes, has started building a ‘firewall’ here. The other seven aren't saying much. But it matters not. South Carolina is going to be a make-or-break state for whoever is left in the Democratic presidential race following the Jan. 27 New Hampshire primary. That could be as many as five -- or as few as three. ‘It's going to be a death struggle in South Carolina,’ says Rice University political scientist Earl Black. No matter how one slices it, the Palmetto State will have a major say in the selection of the Democrat to oppose President Bush in 2004. Some go so far as to suggest that S.C. voters will pick the nominee. They just might. ‘South Carolina will be the defining moment of the primary season,’ says former state Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian. South Carolina's Feb. 3 primary is an important early test because it's the first in the South, the first with a significant black population, and it comes just four days before the Michigan caucuses, the first major industrial state test of the primary season. It also could be the first stumbling block for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has been leading the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, but is back with the pack in South Carolina. After South Carolina's Feb. 3 primary, Harpootlian expects the field to be narrowed to two candidates. We'll pick the next president of the United States,’ Harpootlian says. Right now, the contest is wide open. Recent polls show Edwards leading in the Carolinas, but it's not anything to write home about. A Sept. 2-3 survey taken by Zogby International had him out front with 10 percent of the vote. But the most telling statistic from that poll -- and many like it -- is this: 46 percent undecided. ‘This campaign is not even on the radar screen in South Carolina,’ Zogby notes. ‘Nobody has the edge, and it looks like South Carolina will be shaped by Iowa and New Hampshire.’ In this kind of vacuum, he says, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark could seize the moderate mantle…Black says whoever wins New Hampshire will have a huge head of steam coming into South Carolina. ‘Right now, that looks like Dean,’ he says. University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato says the electricity surrounding Dean is so intense it will take a major break for another candidate to snatch the prize from him. Who can stop him? Most likely, Sabato suggests, it will be the ‘steady-if-boring’ Dick Gephardt or the ‘heroic-if-aloof’ Kerry. Lieberman is too conservative to get the nomination, he says. Edwards' challenge ‘is to convince Democrats that he has got the experience and wherewithal to be president,’ says Winthrop University professor Scott Huffmon. Right now, there is no consensus candidate.” (9/22/2003)

Kerry, in tough fight with Dean for New Hampshire, nets key campaign leader: Ex-Guv Shaheen. Headline this morning on “Former N. H. Governor to Chair Kerry Campaign” Coverage by AP’s Holly Ramer from Manchester: “Former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen was named national chairwoman of Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign Tuesday. Shaheen, the most sought-after Democrat in the state, had steered clear of the presidential race to focus on teaching. Her endorsement of the Massachusetts senator was no surprise given that her husband, Bill Shaheen, is running Kerry's New Hampshire campaign. But the timing was unexpected since Shaheen had agreed to moderate four candidate forums next month. The announcement also came shortly before Kerry's top rival in New Hampshire, Howard Dean, was speaking in Boston -- Kerry's turf. Dean maintains a double-digit lead over Kerry in state polls. Shaheen shattered the glass ceiling in 1996 when she was elected New Hampshire's first female governor and its first Democrat in 16 years. She made it onto Al Gore's short list of potential White House running mates in 2000. And last year, she came close to being the first Democrat elected to the Senate from New Hampshire in nearly three decades. After losing the Senate race in November to Republican John E. Sununu by about 20,000 votes, Shaheen spent the spring semester teaching at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Shaheen, 56, was born in St. Charles, Mo., and grew up in a Republican family. She and her husband settled in New Hampshire in 1973, and three years later she worked on Jimmy Carter's winning campaign for president. In 1984, she helped Colorado Sen. Gary Hart score a primary upset of front-runner Walter Mondale.” (9/23/2003)

Kerry turns up the heat – again – on Dean, charges the ex-guv of playing on the fears of workers. Headline from this morning’s New York Times: “Kerry Attacks Rival Dean Over Protectionism” Excerpt from report by the Times’ David M. Halbfinger: “Ratcheting up his attacks on his Democratic presidential rivals, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts yesterday accused former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont of playing on the fears of workers and supporting protectionist trade policies that ‘would send our economy into a tailspin.’ Speaking in Detroit, Mr. Kerry said that Dr. Dean and Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, who have staked out traditional pro-labor positions on trade, were pandering to unions and advocating a ‘retreat from the global economy.’ But Mr. Kerry saved his harshest words for Dr. Dean, aiming at what has been a main thrust of his opponent's appeal to core Democratic voters, tapping into a wellspring of rage at the Bush administration. ‘Anger and attacks are all well and good,’ Mr. Kerry said. ‘But when it comes to our jobs, we need a president who can build a barn, and not just kick it down.’…’Governor Dean has said repeatedly that America should not trade with countries that haven't reached our own environmental and labor standards,’ Mr. Kerry told the Detroit Economic Club. ‘I will assure strong labor and environmental standards. But his approach would mean we couldn't sell a single car anywhere in the developing world.’ Mr. Kerry's speech illuminated a quandary facing the Democratic hopefuls on trade: how to attack the president for losses in manufacturing employment, given that many of those positions have been lost to trading partners, without abandoning the Clinton administration's support for open markets. Mr. Kerry's solution, it seems, was to rail against President Bush for failing to enforce the trade standards on the books, much as opponents of gun-control laws say they prefer to enforce existing laws. Mr. Kerry promised to open export markets in Japan and China and to require competitor nations to lower tariffs along with the United States. ‘Given this administration's inaction, American manufacturers can be excused for feeling like economic roadkill,’ he said, accusing the president of ‘sitting on his hands’ as America is abused by its trading partners. ‘How many jobs do we have to lose until this administration stops waiting?’” (9/23/2003)

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