DNC- Wrap-Up

On very little sleep:

1) Kerry’s speech did everything he and his handlers wanted it to.
A) Showed him to be ‘strong’ and ‘capable of being Commander in Chief.’
B) Positioned the Democratic ticket to the right of Bush/Cheney on military service.
C) Unified all Democrats and cleverly reached out to moderates, swing, undecided and Independent voters.
2) Frank Luntz’ MSNBC focus group in Cincinnati showed that Kerry’s speech went over very well. The line about the Saudi Royal family went "off the charts," as pollster Frank Luntz described it. Many of the 2000 Bush voters said they’ve given up on Bush; now comes the question of Kerry getting their vote. Did he cross a ‘threshold’ where these former GOP voters could see themselves voting for Kerry? Several enthusiastically said, "Yes."
3) War: It is amazing, isn’t it, that while we are in two wars at the same time - Al Qaeda and Iraq, the war that still dominates this country is Vietnam?
Kerry and his combat experience is a strong, strong asset for him. The Democrats knew this all along and that is why they have been pushing the other side of the story: Bush as a shirker in 1972 in the Texas Air National Guard. Every time Team Bush tries to blast Kerry as ‘soft’ on the War on Terror, Team Kerry is right back in Bush’s face with renewed calls for the "missing Bush military records" etc. Very clever.
But Vietnam dominates in other, more subtle ways, too. That humiliating chapter of our life is the template for how not to run a war. And today’s Pentagon brass were all junior officers in that sad era; they all saw the consequences of lousy political leadership from the Johnson and Nixon Administrations. These military leaders are - and have been all along - extremely unhappy with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and President Bush over the lack of post-war planning. The firing of General Eric Shinseki, who had called for several hundred thousand more troops to be put into Iraq to keep the hard-won peace sent a thunderbolt through the Pentagon. Morale is much worse than the press or public knows.
4) This week’s announcement from the Internal Revenue Service that Americans’ wages and income has actually declined for the last two years is a bad economic sign for the Administration. Look for Kerry/Edwards to push this information hard in the coming days.
5) Upon reflection - and two nights of sleep - I am sticking to what I wrote right after Edwards’ speech: he is a total lightweight who is an empty suit, squinty eyes and a cocky look about him. He is over-rated.
6) One last thing: it is a total farce, sham and disgrace for Kerry to invoke his supposed ‘work’ to solve the issue of our living POWs left behind in captivity in Vietnam. What he and John McCain did was to sweep the whole issue under the rug so they could normalize relations with Hanoi. Period! They covered up reams of new intelligence from all over Vietnam, Laos and Russia that showed - even during the time of Kerry’s 1991-1992 Senate Select Committee on POWs - that the POWs were there and that some of these POWs were still placing Escape and Evasion Codes in fields and on rooftops in a desperate attempt to get America to come and bring them home.
Kerry is a total phony.
A hard-line left-winger masquerading as a centrist.
And the biggest shame of all is that Bush has so screwed up so many things - deficits, Iraq, corporate malfeasance (Haliburton & Enron ties to himself and Cheney), not going after Osama hard enough - that he may allow Kerry to actually win.
That will be a total disgrace.


1) John Edwards laid a Big Egg last night.
Mr. Smoothie turned out to be the perfect little brother to his running mate, John Kerry: another bore who makes it sound like the government can solve every problem.
The liberals - forty years after their War on Poverty - still don’t get it, do they? They portray the United States as a virtual Third World country wallowing in poverty with an ‘elite’ who purposely keep the masses subjugated. (The conveniently forget that they ran the federal government for 40 years - from top to bottom - and during that time poverty and illiteracy increased.)
Of course nothing could be farther from the truth. The middle class is stronger and larger than ever before - and that is not because of government; it is because of a free enterprise system that rewards hard work, creative thinking and good education.
What we heard from Edwards last night was the same old Laundry List of government programs that will - suddenly - make everything better.
Who can believe it any more?
Even the convention’s favorite speaker - Bill Clinton - years ago proclaimed. "The era of big government is over."
But these Democrats still don’t get it. They love the use of the federal government to solve each and every problem. And it simply does not work; government can not and has not cured social problems. And to use Washington to redistribute wealth ends up lowering everyone.
2) Edwards himself seems like a nice fellow but is a bit of a lightweight. His pledges to win the war in Iraq and over Al Qaeda are almost laughable; they sound like a late-night college BS session.
For all the talk of Edwards’ speaking ability, he was disjointed and all over the map last night. His ‘Two Americas’ speech is a little old already and his "hope is on the way" refrain makes it seem as if we are in the midst of the Great Depression.
While the media Talking Heads fawned all over him on TV last night, it is doubtful that voters were as pleased. He sounded just like all the other ‘politicians’ who have worn out their welcome through excessive promises and rhetoric.
3) The worst news for Team Bush was a Frank Luntz focus group in Cincinnati on MSNBC. That group - which overwhelmingly voted for Bush in 2000 - was a changed group last night. Half the 2000 Bush voters now are leaning against voting for him this time around. This focus group - in a highly GOP-leaning area of the key state of Ohio - has to send panic into the White House.
Presumably this same group will again be assembled for tonight’s show to monitor Kerry’s speech.
4) We have heard - ad nauseum - what Kerry has to do tonight. Humanize himself, look presidential, introduce himself to America, warm up, smile more etc.
Watch tonight. We’ll know right away if he has ‘connected’ with the country. If he hits it out of the ballpark, he can harness a yearning in this country for real leadership; if he is his usual stiff self trying to hide his real liberalism then he will have a long slog until November.
And watch that MSNBC focus group to measure the various lines and themes of the speech.
5) Do we have to see and hear Ben Afleck at every turn? He seems to have become the Hollywood celebrity who the Democrats love the most. But he is a gum-chewing, arrogant flop at the box office who rode to success on Matt Damon’s back (Good Will Hunting) and has had nothing but bombs since then.
These Hollywood types always trivialize and cheapen a serious topic - politics and the debate over our future.


Well, what we saw last night was a combo of the ‘old’ Democrats - like Teddy Kennedy invoking his family’s heritage and Howard Dean’s angry left-wing rhetoric - and the ‘new’ Democrats like Barak Osama and Teresa Heinz and their emphasis on this new American habit of talking about ‘my story.’
"Let me tell you my story" is the new ‘thing’ in this country. Everybody has their ‘story’ - and they basically live off of it.
Ideas? Forget them.
Arguments? Who needs them?
Facts? History? A good, reasoned debate? No way!!!
Instead, let’s discuss ‘my story.’ So all we hear are biographical sketches of people’s background. Now, don’t doubt this: Barak Obama is one very, very impressive man. He is going to be a US Senator from Illinois. He is going to be a Big Player inside his party for years to come.
But haven’t we moved along in this country past a mere recitation of our immigrant grandparents’ life history? After all, we all have similar backgrounds depending on which generation came here.
It is disingenuous to trumpet today’s brave immigrants as any more courageous than those who came here hundreds of years ago and faced incredible hardships. It is what unites us all - that inside us is this desire to come to America and be free.
The Democrats fail on their inability to articulate ideas for the future - other than the same old "government will solve the problem" lines they always fall back on.
Howard Dean - and the love heaped upon him by the delegates proves this - is really the delegates’ favorite. Why? Because he is angry and nasty and bitter - just like they are. (How many happy and content liberals have you ever met?)
Yeah, Kerry will be the nominee. But they don’t viscerally love him. They ‘tolerate’ him because they believe he "can win." But he is a total and complete bore with a stiff mien and a mean demeanor. He will not play well over the long haul.
His wife, however, is quirky and odd and thus could become a darling of the liberal media.
Did you notice how ticked off Hillary looked during Teresa’s speech?
Boy, did she look furious. You know why? Because she knew instinctively that Teresa is going to get more attention and more media from now to November - and maybe for four years after that - than Hillary will. Suddenly Hillary is not the Numero Uno Woman of the Democrat Party - at least for the next few months.
As for Teddy Kennedy, Team Kerry again shows their smarts by scheduling this old warhorse before prime time TV thus minimizing his audience. It’s not that Kerry and Kennedy hate each other anymore; they don’t. In fact, Team Kerry is Team Kennedy; after the rise of Howard Dean last year, Teddy dispatched his political team to rescue Kerry; today they are now Team Kerry. And that Team Kerry wants to win this election at all costs - even if it means slightly dissing their old boss so as to appeal to Middle America.
And then last night there was the amazing spectacle of Ron Reagan speaking of ESC - embryonic stem cell - research. On the merits of the case he is right. We need this research now - and the USG must fund it, too. I have a quadriplegic brother - paralyzed from the chest down for 16 years - and if ESC can help his life be better, than I am all for it. Period. Pro-Life must also mean Pro-A-Life-That-Is-Already-A- Grown Human Being.
But it is the politics of the Ron Reagan appearance that is a shame. The GOP should have invited him and his mother to the GOP Convention (they did invite Nancy who turned them down because GW Bush won’t soften his stance on ESC research). Never - ever - should the GOP allow a Reagan to drift back to the Democrats.
In the wake of the death of Ronald Reagan, the Bush Administration could have - in honor of the late President - changed their position on federal funding of ESC research. It would have been a safe political choice.
Well, they chose not to. Young Ron’s speech may not make a difference in November, but in a close election, who knows?
Overall, the DNC is sticking - carefully - to their script. And so far their convention is doing just what they hoped - and not hurting themselves.
One thing is clear: John Kerry is a total bore and they have to surround him with a snazzy Veep in John Edwards and a quirky but interesting wife. Their hope? That this ‘team’ can drag this snore/bore across the finish line in November.


Here are thoughts and observations on the first night:
1) Before even getting to the first night of the Democratic Convention, we had the sad spectacle on Sunday night of the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball Infomercial for the Kerry Campaign!
Have you ever seen anything like it?
Kerry was sitting next to the Red Sox dugout - surrounded by the cream of the Washington DC political and media Establishment: NBC’s Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric (she is the girlfriend of Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner), Senator Joe Biden and former Ohio Senator John Glenn (who was attached all day Monday, too, to Kerry down at Cape Canaveral, Florida). Glenn’s new mission is clear: help Kerry win Ohio and deal a death blow to the Bush Campaign.
For the entire game - 3 ½ hours of prime time TV - the ESPN cameras recorded every facial expression, smile, frown, high-five and laugh of Kerry. Plus they interviewed him about the designated hitter rule and Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame chances.
So who at ESPN decided to use this game to promote Kerry for President?
This whole deal must have been cooked up way in advance because that afternoon, upon taking off from an Ohio airport and scheduled to fly directly to Florida, Kerry got on the plane’s intercom and told everyone, "we are diverting to Boston for the Red Sox - Yankee game."
So these ESPN/ABC/Disney ‘suits’ clearly offered up a prime time baseball game for political purposes.
The Federal Election Commission should explore this ‘in kind’ contribution to the Kerry Campaign.
2) Now, on to the first night: the key word of this unfolding convention became clear right away: discipline.
The Democrats have - for the first time in memory - total party discipline which is evidenced all the way down to the ‘editing’ or ‘vetting’ of every word of every speech - including those of two former Presidents and one former Vice President.
They have cleverly decided not to bash Bush by name; instead, they are using this convention to ‘re-define’ Kerry from the Lefty Liar he is into a ‘Middle American War Hero Who is Just Like Us.’
And, so far, they are succeeding.
The contrast of Kerry going to Vietnam while Bush ‘shirked’ his duty in the Air National Guard is cleverly going to be used to close the one remaining gap in the polls between Kerry and Bush: who can best lead in the War on Terror.
By the time Friday morning arrives, more Americans will know of Kerry’s Vietnam ‘heroism’ - and his poll ratings will thus improve because of it.
The disciple they are exhibiting is aimed at not turning off moderates, wavering Republicans and the key group of undecided and Independent voters who will decide this election. You can bet that real, down and dirty Bush-bashing would bring the delegates to their feet in Boston but it would turn off these key voters watching on television.
So the Republicans better realize something: Kerry, Edwards and the Democrats this fall are coming to the game with one purpose: to win at all costs.
This focus and discipline - combined with the ‘passion differential’ mentioned in this space before (the Dems want Bush out more strongly than the Repubs want to keep Bush) - will make an otherwise awful candidate, Kerry, into the odds-on favorite to win in November.
3) As to the speakers last night:
A) Hillary was shrill and boring and totally insincere. What a phony.
B) Gore was better than expected because he made fun of 2000 instead of venting anger as he usually does. But he and Tipper need Dr. Atkins - and fast!
C) Carter has gotten so old! But he cleverly hit Bush on his poor service record and on Iraq.
D) Bill Clinton made his/their arguments sound so logical and good. Too bad he never did any of the things he claims he did.
Summation: they all did their jobs according to a well-written script - even down to having Bill Clinton end right at 11PM - for TV purposes.
(In the past, these long-winded Dems have often droned on well past midnight and hurt their TV ratings.)
Message to GW Bush and the GOP: you’re in trouble. Your opponents smell blood and are really beginning to feel they can win; this was unthinkable - even to hard-core Democrats - a year ago, even eight months ago.
And we can no longer say, "Well, there is still a long way to go." There isn’t; it’s only 100 days and Bush is declining on the economy and the Iraq campaign.
He may really need an ‘October Surprise’ to win.

Let’s take some time off from analyzing the 2004 campaigns. It is July, the race is essentially "on hold" until the Democrats have their infomercial/convention up in Boston next week. Then Kerry/Edwards will get a spike of positive energy, their poll ratings will go up a bit and - thankfully - August will arrive and the Olympics will take over our national attention.
Instead, it is a good time to look at the ‘bigger picture’: our lives, our future and our country.
Here is what things look like today in this country: despite incredible material wealth, wonderful technological advances and instant communication, more people are unhappy - even miserable - than ever before.
How can this be?
How can people - even people with few job or money worries - be more unhappy than their grandparents were back in the Great Depression and World War II?
The answer is simple: they have lost touch with God, with their inner soul - and they have become obsessed with the material world to the exclusion of the more-important spiritual world. In sum, they are missing the best in life.
So many people are so unhappy. The state of romance and marriage has never been worse. Over-eating, drinking and drugging has never been higher. Obesity consumes the nation.
What is going on?
People have lost a purpose to their lives.
And they have forgotten - or never knew - the real key to having a great life: asking God for whatever you want or need.
So many people are totally ignorant of this key to life. Maybe Political Correctness has so driven out a real understanding of God’s power or else organized religion is so focused on another agenda that this simple, basic fact is being missed by so many people.
You do not need drugs, booze, fast food, infidelity or money to solve your problems; those items will actually compound your problems.
What works best is a simple daily conversation with God in which you simply ask God to bless you in specific ways you ask for.
And do you know what?
More than you know, God will answer you.
He will help solve your problems - a lot more effectively than Washington ever could.
What has happened in this country since the 1960's is really sickening. Government and PC leftists have run an organized campaign to denigrate God and religion and the special relationship God has with this country. The liberals are ignorant of something basic in our fabric: one of the key motivators for the early American settlers was their fervent desire to communicate with God directly - something forbidden by European Christianity in the 17th century. It is true: in those days, you were forbidden from even believing God would listen to you! You had to pray through your Church and your priest or minister.
America was unique in every way. Yes, vast natural resources and potential great material wealth awaited the settlers.
But none of that would have worked without the Guiding Hand of a God who selected a certain type of man and woman to come and become Americans.
Today’s New Leftists don’t want to hear any of this; they are the ones who have ripped the soul out of this country and tried to replace it with Big Government.
But if America is to survive - and if we are to become again a country of happy people - the American people need to revive their personal relationships with God first. They need to ask God to help them. He will show us the way. He always does.


Last week it was former New York Republican Senator Al D’Amato; today it is the front page of the New York Times.

The subject?

Whether President Bush should dump Vice President Dick Cheney off the ticket this year.

This kind of talk only happens when a ticket is in Big Trouble. Republicans sense that the Bush-Cheney ‘04 team could actually lose to the most liberal senator - and this is after 9/11 and the talk in those days that Bush could “never be defeated.”

This race is basically tied - and the GOP is worried to death that Bush might follow his Daddy’s foot-steps into retirement after one term in the White House. And they perceive Cheney as one of the major reasons the ticket is in trouble - and thus the whispering campaign has begun.

The problem is this: to get rid of Cheney now looks panicky, weak and desperate. True, if Cheney had a real health crisis - say another heart attack - he could be removed with less political fall-out. But short of that, the ‘how’ you get him off the ticket would only hurt the President’s re-election prospects.

Dick Cheney is immensely loyal to the Bush family, especially to George HW Bush and Barbara Bush; many, in fact, believe that the Bush parents manipulated the 2000 Vice Presidential selection process to avoid another Dan Quayle fiasco and that they wanted Cheney all along.

The Bushes are loyal. Period.

But they also want to win - badly.

They undoubtedly have explored dumping Cheney. The problem is how to do it - and who to replace him with that really helps.

Powell, Giuliani, Frist and Rice have all been named.

But the baggage that Cheney allegedly brings - Haliburton, architect of the Iraq War, corporate ‘insider’, excessive secrecy - are not going away with Cheney. These issues have become Bush’s problems, too.

The sadness of the decline of GW Bush is that Ronald Reagan had successfully transformed the GOP’s image from a “party for Wall Street” to the “party of Main Street.”

But this Bush Administration has allowed its enemies to re-cast the Republican Party again as the ‘playpen of the rich,’ a ‘safe-haven for crooked CEOs,’ and a ‘party more for the powerful than the little people.’

In four years this Administration has done more damage to the image of the Republican Party than anyone could have imagined. How else is it possible that a leftist like John Kerry - totally out of the mainstream for his entire public career - could even be close to an incumbent president in the polls?

The reality is not as bad as this image problem. But in politics
perception is reality.

There is one other Bush Family consideration to the ‘Dump Cheney’ issue: the future of Jeb Bush.

The Bushes want a clear shot to keep control of the GOP for Jeb in 2008; nominating anyone other than a Cheney-like caretaker with no presidential aspirations of his/her own presents a potential competitor to Jeb. And they don’t want that.

So they will probably keep Cheney.

And sink - or swim - with him.


Counter Clinton Library to be featured Tonight on Comedy Central's The Daily Show

In a continuing effort to bring the truth to every audience in America, the Counter Clinton Library will be featured tonight, July 14, in a special segment on Comedy Central's nightly news/entertainment program The Daily Show. This appearance is an excellent opportunity to remind viewers of Clinton's embarrassing tenure in office with an entertaining spin, while also raising the public's awareness about the Counter Clinton Library.

Hosted by Jon Stewart, this program takes a lighthearted look at the news of the day. The show's ratings and popularity have continued to increase since the show's "Indecision 2000," an ongoing special about the 2000 elections. A similar "Mock the Vote" continuous segments is beginning for November 2004. The Counter Clinton Library will join the ranks of former political and entertainment guests, including Senator John McCain. Hillary Clinton was a guest on the show as well; the Library will counteract her this week with the truth about the dual Clinton presidency.

The prime time appearance proves that the Counter Clinton Library continues to build momentum and gain support throughout the country. This opportunity is only the beginning of more efforts to remind the American people of the Clinton years and ensure that the truth is not glazed over by the Clinton PR machine. The Library's goal remains steadfast and clear: to let not one Clinton lie go unanswered, to let not one Clinton dodge go unquestioned and to let not one Clinton slander go unchallenged.

The show will air tonight, Wednesday, on Comedy Central at 11pm EST. Comedy Central is Direct TV channel 249. To find Comedy Central on your cable provider, check your local listings.


Paid for by the Counter Clinton Library | www.CounterClintonLibrary.com

You are receiving this email because you or someone on your behalf signed up to receive email updates from Counter Clinton Library, or you are a previous donor. If you would like be be removed from future mailings, please go to http://ccl.focusds.net/. Enter your email address and click unsubscribe. Thank you.


1) The idea of postponing this fall’s election is totally absurd. As a Republican conservative, I am embarrassed to have such an idea surface from a GOP Administration. Just imagine the outrage on the Right if this idea had come out of the Clinton Administration in 2000 - just months before he was due to leave office. We would be screaming - many were anyway - that “Clinton has a plan to stay in office!”

We, the people, run this country. To let some terrorist - or some inside-the-beltway, un-elected bureaucrat - determine whether an election is to be held or not is a total disgrace.

Let us hope this inane idea has been shelved - permanently.

2) The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on WMD and Iraq is yet another sign of something written in this space long ago: Bush’s Achilles Heel would be this cancerous intelligence ‘tumor’ that has become a government within the government.

It is so true. Who is really running our government? We went to war over weapons that did not exist. Yet the President, the CIA Director - even the Secretary of State - told us these weapons did exist. Now they all just want to blame the CIA. How about “the buck stops here”?

When you go to a doctor for surgery - say, a brain operation - and the surgeon operates on the wrong side of the brain (as happened several years ago at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital) - the surgeon will try to lay it off on a technician “who placed the X-ray backwards on the screen.” But the doctor is in charge; it is his ultimate responsibility.

In the case of Iraq, President Bush was obsessed with Iraq from Day One. He has indeed removed Saddam - and that part of it is a plus. The key question is can Iraq be “put back together” into a unified nation or will it descend into civil war and chaos.

And how long do American troops have to stay there?

3) Team Bush is quietly exploring the possibility of removing Vice President Dick Cheney from the ticket. But they won’t end up doing it. It’s too messy, to ‘panicky,’ and there is no natural replacement that makes the GOP ticket automatically stronger.

Prediction: Cheney will be a net ‘negative’ for the Republican ticket in this race. He is a lightening rod without offsetting that with assets that help the ticket.

4) Edwards will be a thorn in the side of Hillary Clinton for the rest of her career. As a young, very ambitious, attractive southern man, he will bedevil her in her attempt to be nominated for President down the line. Let us examine a few scenarios:

A) The Kerry-Edwards ticket wins. They will then be re-nominated in 2008. That means Hillary can’t run until 2012 - and she will then have Edwards also running. Edwards will have seized control of the party machinery and built up chits all over the country.

B) Kerry-Edwards lose this November. You can bet John Edwards will ‘go for it’ in 2008 and it will be an all-out war between him and Hillary for the Democratic nomination. In this scenario, she has to move even farther ‘left’ to get the nomination, thus making it harder to win in November.

C) Kerry-Edwards wins and then along the way something happens to Kerry and Edwards becomes President. (Keep in mind that one out of three Vice Presidents becomes President.) Edwards will control the Democratic Party. You can bet he will want to remove the threat of the Clintons running the Democratic Party in any way.

In fact, Kerry, too, will use the Clintons for their fund-raising abilities, but he will keep as far away from them as possible. If he wins, Kerry will not allow the Clintons to ‘infect’ his administration.

5) There will not be a terrorist attack inside the United States before the election. We have tuned up all our security forces. Look for a big attack on US forces or interests some where else.


OK, we have the Democratic ticket. A few thoughts:

1) Kerry is a total bore as a TV candidate. Really, really bad. Just totally unlikeable. If Bush loses to Kerry, then Bush will go down in history as the President who blew it Big Time to the Biggest Jerk of all time.

2) Edwards does bring a little juice - and sex appeal - to the ticket. Some people have told me that one of his strongest ‘intrinsic’ appeals is that he has remained happily married to his now-plump wife. Women find it attractive that a good-looking guy didn’t dump the wife for some babe.

3) Edwards vs. Cheney: that debate is going to be Edwards, the lawyer for the ‘little guy’ versus Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney. The young, smiling Edwards versus old, experienced Dick Cheney. Neither will win or lose the debate; both will score their points and supporters of both will see what they want.

4) In fact, these presidential and vice presidential debates are just one part of the formulation of a ‘clear picture’ of the candidates. Al Gore - a total weirdo - came into focus over those three debates. We do not yet know how Kerry, Bush and the two Veep candidates will come off.

5) Change is the key this year. Do the voters want to maintain the Status Quo - or do they want a change? The former means Bush wins; the latter and Kerry wins. As of today, 52% say they “it is time for someone new.” Of course that opinion can change between now and November 2. But you know what? November is getting closer! It used to be said in the Bush campaign - circa March and April - “Oh, there is plenty of time for perceptions of Iraq and the economy to change.” But time is now beginning to run out - and the perception of Iraq is getting worse! And, despite favorable dry economic data, a majority of people still are unhappy over the direction - or ‘track’ - of the economy.

6) Prediction: G.W. Bush will suffer in the debates because of not having had any debates for four years, while Kerry has just had over 30 cattle call debates through the primaries. Debating is like any other competition: practice makes you better, quicker, faster and more confident. Any President of the United States, upon taking office, finds staff and friends no longer willing to challenge them in strong arguments and debates; instead they are over deferential to the office of the Presidency. Thus, a President can easily become soft when it comes to debating skills. Bush, never a strong debater anyway, will get off to a bit of a rocky start in the three debates this fall - and then he will improve in each successive one.

7) TV ads are very over-rated in this race. It is not the paid commercials that change perceptions; it is news media coverage of news events - Iraq especially - and voters’ own life experiences that determine how they vote.

8) Iraq is the key. Bush bet the ranch on Iraq and he will either win or lose because of it. He had an 89% approval rating after 9/11 and his successful war in Afghanistan. The entire world was with him; even the French paper Le Monde declared, “We are all Americans now.” No one in America opposed Bush after 9/11. And certainly no one ever thought he would have any difficulty running for re-election. Yet here we are with Bush trailing an awful liberal like the phony John Kerry! Why? Iraq! It is all Iraq.

9) If Prime Minister Alawi really does grant amnesty to those who killed Americans, we should pack up and leave. Period.

10) There is a small chance Bush will dump Cheney. Who would he then pick? Not Rudy Giuliani - New York is totally in Kerry’s column anyway - but John McCain. Why? To go after those crucial independent voters who like the feisty McCain.

Well, we are going to learn John Kerry's Veep pick within an hour or two.

The most logical pick: Senator Bob Graham of Florida.


Graham is by far the most popular elected official in the crucial Sunshine State; he has been governor and senator for almost 30 years.

Plus, in the Senate he chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee and was the first Senator - or first anyone for that matter - to go after the Bush Administration on 9/11 failures and the war in Iraq. And that is now the main issue in the election.

The role of the Vice Presidential candidate is to lead the charge against the oppositie ticket; Graham has proven he is willing to do that.

Plus, if anyone can 'deliver' Florida this time for the Democrats, it would be Graham.

Well, we'll find out in a few hours.


The stunning announcement that the Kerry Campaign has now raised $175 million tells us much about the upcoming fall election:

1) The anti-Bush passion is at an unprecedented level. Even Nixon in 1972 was not despised and reviled by the Left as much as Bush is today.

No Democrat has ever raised cash as easily and as quickly as Kerry. This is not due to Kerry himself; it is entirely due to the belief that Bush can be defeated this November.

Funds are just pouring into the Kerry Campaign. His Internet fundraising alone has pulled in over $50 million - and that is with virtually no cost!

2) Back in 2000, the GW Bush Campaign achieved equally unprecedented fundraising success - for much the same reason. That year the GOP and conservatives were totally focused on defeating Al Gore. The stench of the Clintons was fresh - and we just wanted to get the whole Clinton-Gore Team out of the White House. Once polls determined that George W. Bush could womp Al Gore, the GOP coalesced around Bush and all the money went to him - and fast.

The passion in 2000 was the mirror-opposite of this year’s: it was all anti-Gore. Few voters knew G.W. Bush or really cared; all they wanted was to get Gore - and by extension the Clintons - out of the White House.

Now, a mere four years later, the same passion has taken over the Left: they loathe and despise Bush to such an extent that they are forking over cash left and right to anyone and anything that can beat Bush. Thus the rise of Michael Moore’s anti-Bush movie. And also thus the rise of left-wing 527s - the new ‘soft money’ groups that legally skirt the new campaign finance laws and supplement the Kerry TV advertising campaign.

3) The Big Question is this: will this anti-Bush passion be enough to sweep out Team Bush? Or is there a corresponding conservative, anti-Kerry passion?

So far there is decidedly not a passion on the right to equal 2000. Conservatives are a little ‘down’ this year. Not a day goes by without yet another story of a former Bush voter or conservative (i.e. Arnaud de Borchgrave, Charles Pierce) announcing that he/she is not voting for Bush this year. While President Bush still has overwhelmingly strong support from GOP voters, their passion is reduced this year. This could hurt on Election Day by a slightly reduced Bush voter turnout while the Kerry forces see an extraordinarily huge turnout.

By the way, if Kerry picks Hillary as his running mate all bets are then off. She is such a detested and polarizing figure that her presence on the ticket would motivate the Right to come out like they did in 2000.

4) Polling ‘internals’: these numbers - not the vaunted ‘head-to-head horse race’ numbers - tell us a lot:

A) The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll now shows a plurality of voters believe Mr. Bush “deliberately deceived” the nation on WMD evidence in order to get us into the war in Iraq. This is a devastating development for the Bush Campaign. It ties in with last week’s Gallup poll that showed Kerry - of all people! - beating Bush 52%-39% on the question of “who is more honest and trustworthy.”

B) The ‘right track-wrong track’ number, while slightly improved from one month ago, still shows a huge plurality of people who think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

C) On the question “is it time for someone new in the White House?” a majority - 52% - indeed “want someone new.”

All these ‘internals’ are bad for Bush. While they don’t mean he will lose in November, they are all reminiscent of other recent one-term presidents who were defeated for re-election: Carter & Bush. Both were swept out of office in a time of ‘wrong track time for a change’ unhappiness.

As of today, John Kerry is profiting from this national mood. The money flowing into his coffers is tangible proof of it.

He has yet to pick his running mate, have his convention and give his crucially important acceptance speech.

All of these steps serve to ‘introduce’ Kerry to a nation that still does not yet know him.

Team Bush has one big hope left: that to know John Kerry is not to like him.

If so, Bush may be able to overcome this wave against him and win a battle of equally unpopular opponents.

But if enough of the country decides Kerry is at least ‘acceptable,’ then Bush may follow Carter and his father into retirement.