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John Kerry

excerpts from the Iowa Daily Report

September 24-30, 2003

Kerry – noted for campaign scuffles with Dean – moves on to tackle Clark over casting votes for Republican presidential candidates in past. Headline from today’s Boston Globe: “Senator decries Clark’s votes for GOP” Excerpt from report by Patrick Healy: “Senator John F. Kerry took a swipe at the Democratic Party credentials of Wesley K. Clark yesterday because the retired general voted for Republican presidents in the past. Kerry, highlighting a new poll that showed he and Clark each would beat Bush in theoretical matchups, drew an implicit contrast with his Democratic rival by noting his own longtime party membership and by making a vague reference to his past political battles with Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both of whom Clark supported for president. ‘I think that Democrats are going to look for somebody that has a record of accomplishment on issues that matter to them,’ said Kerry, who has been in the Senate since 1984. ‘I think it matters that I've been there fighting for education reform. I think it matters I've been fighting for health care and to protect the environment, and that I have fought against the very people that General Clark and others have supported. I think that's important to Democrats.’ Clark, who was NATO commander under President Clinton, has acknowledged he ‘probably’ voted for Richard Nixon in 1972 and supported Ronald Reagan. Kerry first came to national attention in 1971 as a Vietnam veteran opposed to a war that Nixon was then prosecuting. As a freshman senator in the 1980s, Kerry was one of the first Democrats to link the Reagan administration with covert aid to the contras in Nicaragua. Mark Fabiani, a Clark spokesman, said he did not think Clark's earlier support for Republicans would hurt him with Democratic primary voters. "Wes Clark is prochoice, pro-affirmative action, pro-health care, antiwar, " Fabiani said. "If that's Republican, we could use more of them in this country." (9/24/2003)

… “Kerry Endorsed By International Firefighters Union” – headline on (Fox News Channel). Excerpt from AP coverage:    “Presidential hopeful John Kerry is the first Democrat to get a national union endorsement other than Dick Gephardt, who now has 14. The International Association of Fire Fighters planned to endorse the Massachusetts senator on Wednesday after a vote of union leaders.  The union, which reported 214,000 dues-paying members last year, likes Kerry's record as a decorated Vietnam War veteran; his political, legal and legislative experience; his sense of humor; and his personal interests in athletics and Harley-Davidsons, union President Harold Schaitberger said. Late entrant Wesley Clark has four-star credentials, but lacks political and legislative experience, said Schaitberger, who spent a couple of hours at breakfast with the retired general several weeks ago, along with other union presidents. ‘You've got to know how to navigate and operate in Washington, D.C., to be a good president and to be an effective executive,’ he said. ‘I question Wesley Clark's experience, and John Kerry clearly has that experience.’  Gephardt, who accepted an endorsement Wednesday from the Laborers' International Union of North America, is a longtime ally of organized labor, yet some public and service sector unions are hesitant to embrace his second run for the White House.  The firefighters union wanted to support a candidate who can beat President Bush next year. ‘Our view is that Dick Gephardt is not the candidate who has that best chance.’ Schaitberger said. One coveted union endorsement remains up for grabs, the Service Employees International Union. But actions by its New York local union chief could indicate where its support is headed. Local 1199 President Dennis Rivera helped Howard Dean raise $30,000. After a disappointing showing in fund raising, Gephardt's third-quarter results, out Sept. 30, will be a key indication of whether he can win enough support for a laborwide endorsement from the AFL-CIO.” (9/24/2003)

Ted Kennedy and son Patrick will campaign a day – and two miles apart – in Waterloo this weekend, but for different Dem wannabes. Headline from today’s Boston Herald: “Kennedys take rival sides on campaign trail” Coverage by the Herald’s Noelle Straub: “On the presidential campaign trail, it's not necessarily like father, like son when it comes to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his son, Patrick. Both the senior senator and his son, the congressman from Rhode Island, will hit the trail in Waterloo, Iowa, this weekend -- but for rival candidates.  The elder Kennedy speaks tomorrow at a rally for White House hopeful Sen. John F. Kerry at a Waterloo church. The next day, the younger Kennedy will cheer for a competing presidential wannabe, Rep. Dick Gephardt, at a Democratic reception less than two miles away. ’I never tell Patrick how to vote or who to support,’ the senior Kennedy said. ‘I'm sure he's making plenty of friends in Iowa. I just hope he reminds them to show up next November to vote for John after he makes his run through the primaries and wins the nomination.’  The senator, like all 10 Massachusetts congressmen, has endorsed his fellow Bay State Democrat, Kerry, in the 2004 presidential race.  But Patrick Kennedy feels more allegiance to his House colleague. The two worked closely together when Gephardt (D-Mo.) was House minority leader and the Rhode Island congressman served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which recruits House candidates and raises money.  The elder Kennedy will start his day of Kerry-boosting in Des Moines at an event focused on health care issues and end it with remarks to a Democratic barbecue in Iowa City.  In a daylong campaign blitz Sunday, Patrick Kennedy will attend five Democratic receptions in the eastern half of the state.” (9/26/2003)

The Union Leader editorial this morning sees little benefit to ex-guv Shaheen’s involvement in Kerry effort in NH. Editorial headline: “Jeanne and John: What will Shaheen bring Kerry?” The editorial: “It was little surprise that Jeanne Shaheen signed on with John Kerry’s presidential campaign. The question now is, what does this mean for Kerry? There’s no doubt that Jeanne Shaheen is an excellent campaign manager. Both in and outside of New Hampshire, Shaheen may prove effective at generating some additional support for Kerry. How much support remains to be seen.  Every week it seems that more and more Democrats in New Hampshire are being caught in Howard Dean’s gravitational pull. Though polls show that undecided New Hampshire Democrats lean more toward Kerry than Dean, Kerry continues to fall behind Dean in each successive poll.  Despite her skills, Shaheen’s impact on Kerry’s campaign could be negative in New Hampshire. Shaheen is an establishment Democrat, so she is not likely to bring along large numbers of the young, angry Democrats who are drawn to Dean. During her Senate campaign last fall she vocally supported President Bush’s tax cuts and his leadership in the war on terror. The last thing Kerry needs in New Hampshire is to turn off liberal voters by making himself look more moderate. By adding Shaheen to his team he risks doing just that.  (9/26/2003)

Stealing a line from rival Howard Dean, Kerry described Kennedy as "the undisputed, absolute leader of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." Kerry, while campaigning with Sen. Edward Kennedy at the AME Church in Waterloo, Iowa said he's not concerned the media spotlight settled on retired Gen. Wesley Clark earlier this month after Clark became the 10th Democrat to join the presidential race. "It will turn. I'm not worried about it. I have more national security experience, and I certainly have more experience with the domestic issues, and I think that will break through. I'm very confident about it," Kerry said. Kerry touted the health care plan he's proposed, arguing it's the only one offered that deals with spiraling health care costs. Kerry's proposal calls for the government to pay for the most catastrophic and expensive cases, avoiding driving up costs for others. Events in Des Moines, Waterloo and Dubuque on Saturday were aimed at pitching expanded health care. Kerry and Kennedy were introduced by nurses who are part of a heath care reform effort. In Des Moines, Carol Shores, a middle school nurse in Saydel, told of youngsters who come to school sick. (9/28/2003)

Boston Globe article by staff writer Patrick Healy, “Kennedy gives Kerry campaign a lift in Iowa”. Excerpts: “WATERLOO, Iowa. Twenty-three years after Iowans helped derail his presidential ambitions, Senator Edward M. Kennedy roared back into the state yesterday to add a little liberal fire to John F. Kerry's campaign for the White House. And with Kennedy standing by his side, Kerry delivered tough attacks on President Bush, charging that the war in Iraq has become a "quagmire" and calling on Bush to reimburse the federal treasury for his cinematic visit to an aircraft carrier in May. The Kennedy-Kerry star turn sent Democratic audiences into a fever pitch and reinforced a belief among some Kerry strategists that Kennedy may be their best hope for shoring up Kerry's left flank against former Vermont governor Howard Dean, one of Kerry's nine rivals for the Democratic nomination. Dean is quickly becoming the burr in Kennedy's side that Kerry himself was in the 1980s and '90s, when the junior Massachusetts senator challenged Democratic priorities on public education and health care that were close to Kennedy's heart. Now Dean is the skeptic, attacking Medicare, the Patients' Bill of Rights, and education reform, all issues closely identified with Kennedy, while Kerry seems to have reconciled with Kennedy. "The hard slogging on issues that make a difference -- I've seen John there. Howard has his own experience," Kennedy said in an interview, quickly turning the subject back to policy. "HMO reform, Patients' Bill of Rights -- these are big important issues. . . . I've worked with John over a long period of time, and I can relate my experiences with him as a leader." Kerry aides say the senior senator was eager to campaign in Iowa, earlier than the Kerry campaign had planned, because he felt the case for traditional Democratic values needed to be made. Yesterday, recalling his debilitating loss to President Carter in the 1980 Iowa caucuses, Kennedy joked that Iowans owed him a vote for his kinsman Kerry: "Are you going to make it up? Are you going to make up with me?"… The Kennedy-Kerry tensions are a thing of the past, both men say, but that doesn't mean the senior senator is quietly stepping offstage to give Kerry the spotlight. Kennedy was in full-throated, liberal lion mode yesterday, and he made Kerry look a little like a cub. Attending rallies in Des Moines, Waterloo, and Iowa City, Kerry stood frozen as Kennedy punched the air and roared and cajoled. By contrast, when it was Kerry's turn to speak, Kennedy sat a few feet away and looked into the distance, rising only five times to applaud the candidate, who called for broader health insurance and energy independence from the Middle East (9/29/2003)


September 1-15, 2003

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September 24-30, 2003

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