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Follow the Bouncing Polls

Before all these post-convention polls came out, I was on record as saying:

It’s not the bounce from the convention that’s important (and certainly not its exact size, which I suspect will be rather modest), but rather the extent to which Kerry has set himself up for a successful fall campaign.

I stand by that statement. The chief importance of the Democratic convention was that it could—and did—make a substantial contribution toward setting Kerry up for a successful fall campaign. In that sense, Kerry received a significant “bounce” from the convention, as all available polling data agree.

As for the traditional trial heat bounce, it does appear to be true that, just as I suspected, Kerry received only a modest bounce from the convention—but determining just how modest that modest bounce was has turned out to be very tricky indeed.

In previous posts, I discussed the Newsweek and the rather strange Friday-Saturday Gallup results, which showed Kerry tanking on Saturday night, thereby effectively eliminating his trial heat bounce. The situation was not cleared up when Gallup went back into the field for a third night (Sunday night), apparently to check their data. The Sunday results are fairly similar to the Saturday results and therefore reduce Kerry’s bounce even further. For example, the Kerry–Bush RV horse race is now tied at 48 percent to 48 percent, rather than a 50 percent to 47 percent Kerry lead. However, the various gains detailed above for Kerry on issues, candidate characteristics, and so on remain, even if slightly diminished by the third night’s data.

The next poll to consider is the CBS News/New York Times survey. CBS News finds Kerry–Edwards with a solid six-point lead among RVs (49 percent to 43 percent), including a seventeen-point lead among independents. However, this is only a slightly better lead than they had in CBS News’ July 11–15 poll (49 percent to 44 percent). But, again, this latter poll is still a bit too early to use to serve as a good comparison point for measuring the horse race bounce.

Otherwise, the poll is full of results that are quite favorable for Kerry. Bush’s approval/disapproval is 44 percent/49 percent (37 percent/51 percent among independents). His rating on the economy is just 39 percent/54 percent (30 percent/59 percent among independents), even worse than two weeks before, when it was 42 percent/51 percent. And his rating on Iraq is even lower than his economic rating, at 38 percent/55 percent.

Right direction/wrong track has also fallen over the last two weeks and is now at an abysmal 36 percent/59 percent.

Moreover, voters believe Bush’s presidency has divided Americans (55 percent), rather than brought them together (31 percent). But they believe the opposite about a Kerry presidency: by 53 percent to 29 percent, they think he would bring Americans together.

They also believe, by 55 percent to 41 percent, that Bush does not have the same priorities for the country that they have, whereas, by 47 percent to 40 percent, they believe that Kerry does.

Kerry also has succeeded in convincing voters he has strong leadership qualities: 58 percent believe that about him, the exact same number as believe that about Bush.

Finally, Democrats have made substantial progress in convincing voters that they have a clear plan for the country. Two weeks ago, by 51 percent to 36 percent, voters said that they didn’t have such a plan; now by 44 percent to 40 percent, voters say that the Democrats do.

The final poll to consider is the ABC News/Washington Post (WP) poll, which, at least in terms of timing, is the best-positioned to measure the convention bounce. Their pre-convention poll was on July 22–25, the period exactly preceding the convention, and their post-convention poll was July 30–August 1, the period exactly after the convention.

Perhaps coincidentally, it’s also the only the poll that finds much evidence of a trial heat bounce. Before the convention, Bush led Kerry in this poll, 49 percent to 48 percent (an unusually pro-Bush result, though they were the only poll in the field at the time); after the convention, Kerry leads Bush, 52 percent to 45 percent. That’s a four-point bounce in terms of support level for Kerry and an eight-point bounce in terms of margin.

This bounce is modest by historical standards but is certainly more substantial than that suggested by other polls, particularly the rather peculiar Gallup poll. And note especially the failure of the Gallup poll to detect a Kerry lead at all: the WP poll has Kerry ahead by seven points and CBS News by six points on the exact same survey dates; the Newsweek poll has earlier survey dates and has Kerry ahead by eight points. The Gallup poll is truly an outlier among these major polls.

The WP poll also shows a lot of bounce for Kerry on a variety of important issues and characteristics. His favorables go up from 48 percent/39 percent pre-convention to 51 percent/32 percent post-convention. His advantage on the economy goes from –1 to +11; on Iraq, from –12 to +2; on education, from +1 to +13; on the campaign against terrorism, from –18 to –3; on health care, from +3 to +19; and on taxes, from –6 to +6.

On candidate characteristics, he also posts strong gains: on honest and trustworthy, he goes from –6 to +6; on understands the problems of people like you, from +4 to +14; on strong leader, from –19 to –6; on making the country safer and more secure, from –16 to –3; on shares your values, from –6 to +6; and on having a vision for the future, he bests Bush by thirteen points.

Kerry also is now considered more of an optimist; pre-convention, he was considered an optimist by 55 percent and a pessimist by 34 percent; now he is rated an optimist by 65 percent and a pessimist by 22 percent. That’s actually a better rating than Bush now gets on this question.

And here’s a particularly impressive result: by 52 percent to 44 percent, voters select Kerry over Bush as the one better qualified to be commander in chief of the U.S. military.

So, arguably, Kerry got a substantial bounce where he needed it most, but that improved image did not—perhaps could not—pay immediate and large dividends in terms of trial heat measures. After all, given that (a) Kerry was already doing well in trial heats for a challenger; (b) he’d already “spent” some of his bounce early by selecting Edwards as his running mate before the convention; and (c) this is already a highly polarized race with relatively few undecided voters, there was little room for Kerry to go up quickly in the trial heats. But the substantial gains on image and issues he made as a result of the convention put him in a good position to continue to build his lead over Bush as we move into the fall campaign.

Comments

The big question, I think, isn't if Kerry got
a horse-race bounce from his convention,
but if Bush will get one from his.

Outstanding.

Agreed re: Bush. If he does not get a bounce, he is in trouble. I would bet that viewership for his convention will be down given its timing and that fact that most of the nation already knows him.

Here's hoping the 527s on the left will use the next few weeks to hammer Bush with negative, hard-hitting ads, if only to counter the ones that the RNC is planning to use. Also, here's hoping that the terrorism issue doesn, by one means or another, totally prempt the race to the point that the nation is hunkered down in fear and the election comes down to just that one issue. That is the only scenario in which I see Bush "winning" reelection. Unfortunately, he's already shown numerous times that he's only too happy to play the terror card for politcal gain.

This is driving me nuts. I have stopped watching cabel TV except for the Daily Show. I don't know if I can stand three more months of waiting. But I always thought it would get really ugly and be close, and it has and is.

Keep telling us we are in a fairly decent position, and keep reminding us it is going to be a fight.

This is driving me nuts. I have stopped watching cabel TV except for the Daily Show. I don't know if I can stand three more months of waiting. But I always thought it would get really ugly and be close, and it has and is.

Keep telling us we are in a fairly decent position, and keep reminding us it is going to be a fight.


Kerry 328, Bush 210.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

No bounce, my butt.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics!

Now take your tits out of the wringer and stop wasting so much time fretting over it all --

S.C.

Question number 12 in the washington post, abc poll really irritated me. What is with the favorable/unfavorable question about Theresa. Either the news media is already ready to pounce or she's running as George's v.p. since Cheney's name is missing.

It's really simple. Bush has turned off a majority of the country. The only way he wins re-election is if Kerry does likewise. Kerry has two chances to turn off the public: the convention, and the debates. Like Gore in 2000, the convention didn't turn folks off. If anything, it turned them on to some extent in favor of Kerry. But the real key is the debates, when Bush and Kerry are on the same stage, head-to-head, for an easy compare and contrast. Gore turned off the public in 2000 during the debates. If Kerry can succeed where Gore failed, he wins the election. Of course, the usual caveats apply (terror attack, major gaffe, THK or Cheney says something REALLY impolitic).

As far as the "clear plan" point, aren't we at a high water mark? I feel like is Bush is going to spend the next 6 weeks trashing Democrats for not having a clear plan, and that the public will go back to believing that.

Maj Network coverage of the GOP convention will highlight Arnold, DickCheney and WBush. Not the best speakers by any stretch.

As for the debates, W did very poorly against Gore, but got major help from the after spin. W will do even worse against Kerry (Reagan 84). Unlike jovial Joe Lieberman, Edwards will take Cheney to the cleaners. Edwards/Cheney will be lawsuit politics of the poor vs the fat cat.

Events in Iraq and the economy are not shaping to give W any boost. If anything, they are getting worse. The new Iraq government is trying to pick a new fight with Sadr (big big mistake) and gasoline prices are hurting consumers.

hello ruy, i have become a devoted fan of your website.

just a small comment about the washington post poll of 7-25, which you note to have been "unusually pro-bush."

it does seem that something was wrong there, especially when you go to the trends section of their question 14. for example, there were no external events to account for a 9 point downward swing for kerry on education from the 7-11 poll and then a 14 point swing upward on 8-1. the same oddities appear for all six categories showing trends.

i would like to believe the post poll shows an 8 point bounce, but i can't help but feel that the 7-25 poll was an aberration.

in any event, i think it will take a full week or more from kerry's speech for the bounce to materialize. and it certainly seems likely that it will, based on kerry's marked improvement in all areas.

Something that was never entirely clear to me is how L are LVs?
Is that what we would expect turnout to be based in a typical election based on the last few election cycles? Is it based on the # we know are going to vote? Is it adjusted based on the polled whims of the American people? Is it something else entirely?

Where are the people from the Kerry camp raising expectations of a bounce from the Republican convention? Why shouldn't we be doing the same thing? Say, have Terry McAuliffe go on the blab fests and say, "And I don't think they can consider their convention a success unless they get a 10-12% bounce out of it." Why not? I'm serious. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

What frightens me, though, are two things:

a) On sunday the government went from yellow to orange out of purely political reasons (my 2 cents) paving the way for Bush's "We are a nation in danger" national-intelligence-director photo-op on monday - and the media just went with him, docile like a puppy.

b) It worked. It slowed Kerry's bounce. It almost reversed it.

Pretty scary to me. Imagine Bush's possibilities until the election. Say, on 9/11. I always dismissed notions of Osama-being-caught-already-just-waiting-to-be-presented as paranoia. But since Ridge used intelligence that was three or four years old, I'm not so sure anymore...

And wasn't there a terrorist captured in Pakistan AT THE BEGINNING of last week which was reported RIGHT BEFORE Kerry's speech, though?

Oh my, I'm beginning to sound like Michael Moore..

What I would like to know is, when they say that the 'average post-convention bounce' against the incumbent is around 14 pts. what is by how much is the challenger lagging before the convention on average? Since Kerry was already even or slightly ahead before the convention it seems the likely bounce was due to be dampened since he's hitting resistance against the hard core republicans. Any stats available?

Interesting spin.

Sorry fellas but Bush will win about
56% of the popular vote and around
360 EV's.

But in January of 2009 Hilary will become
the first female POTUS.

Forget about the elusive bounce and Republican scare tactics for a moment; could this be what does Bush in and elects John Kerry?

(From today's Washington Post Web site):

Reports Highlight Economic Concerns

By Nell Henderson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 3, 2004; 2:14 PM

American consumer spending dropped 0.7 percent in June, the steepest monthly fall since September 2001, the government reported today. With income growth stalling as well, the numbers raised new concerns about the strength of the economic expansion.

Overall personal income -- which includes wages, salaries and income from dividends, interest, rents, self-employment and other sources -- rose by 0.2 percent in June, the slowest monthly increase in more than a year, the Commerce Department reported.

But personal income was flat after adjusting for inflation and taxes, the report showed. Wages and salaries fell after adjusting for inflation.

Toobad, you been watching too much FOX news and Rush Limbaugh. I wouldn't be far wrong if the vote was just reversed due to the fact that Bush is very much disliked in the US not to mention ALL OVER THE WORLD!.

Let's just take these Zogby state polls that the electoral-count people are using with a grain of salt. Zogby has some methodology issues which I think Ruy has commented on before. He only uses listed phone numbers, I think he weighs by party id or his own sense of what's going on "on the ground." There's a lot of voodoo in his polls, so even when they say Kerry is doing well I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

I think Kerry has a nice small lead and that will probably be how it plays on election night. Though I don't think if and when Kerry wins by 4-6 points that's really "close." Clinton won 43-37 in '92 and no one said that was close.

Looks like CNN is trying to get some of FOX viewers for the R Convention. Maybe it's just me but I hear a lot of shilling for GW. If they aren't careful no one will be watching them.

I think it's time to stop looking at these silly polls, and I don't mean all polls. I mean National horse race polls--can someone explain to me what they're good for?

The electoral vote map is what counts.

I agree, CNN and all the major news networks only give the popular vote pole. If that were all there was AL would be our President. However I do like some of the iner poll results.

I think it is extremely interesting that the Dems silenced their loudest voices during the conventions. Especially regarding the war. I would imagine that Michael Moore is not going to be seen very much this fall.

Was there any discernable a policy or position that the Dems revealed during the convention other than the fact that they don't like Bush? I am willing to stipulate them that. But I would rather like to know what they plan to do to protect us from another terrorist attack.

Sorry to disappoint you ed but I do not consume
either FauxNews or Rush. I'm a New York
Times subscriber since they have the greatest
sportswriters in the country and Wil Shortz
creates the best crossword puzzles. I've never
voted republican for President and I won't this
time either.

But I AM a realist.

Kerry is going to lose because, based on his
convention speech, he won't do anything
different than Bush except ask the French
if it's ok. And when they say 'Non' he will
continue on his way.

If there is to be no change in policy except,
maybe, raises taxes on the top 2% - IF
CONGRESS LETS HIM, other people aren't
going to vote for Kerry either.

It doesn't matter if most of the World doesn't
like him, they don't get to vote.

And it doesn't matter if most of the US doesn't
like him because they are too busy watching
MTV to BOTHER to vote.

Check the numbers for 'likely' voters and
you'll see that the fundies will vote Bush.

The Democratic Convention this year was
'Republican Lite'. If I am to believe what
was said there will be no change in policy.
And since Senator Kerry IS an honorable man,
I - and most of the electorate - will take
him at his word.

We are doomed in 2004.

But Hilary WILL win big time in 2008.

Vorpal, did you actually watch the convention? He did say that he was going to, among other things, implement the recommendations of the 9/11 committee, rebuild relations with our allies, increase security at ports and other transportation facilities, increase security at nuclear and chemical plants, increase border security, and reduce depence on the foreign oil that's bankrolling the terrorists. You might not think this is the best plan, but you can hardly say he didn't present a plan.

Toobad, get real -- not many (if any) voters will be basing their votes on a convention's acceptance speech--give me a break. You've got your head too deep in crosswords puzzles (or other places) -- there's a LOT of anger out there, and quite a bit of it is coming from people that don't usually vote. Unless Dumbya's clan can fix the election again with disenfranchisement (and/or other devious means) there's going to be a tidal wave for John Kerry that will take your breath away. Hillary will become the Democrat's Bob Dole--she'll finally get to run eight years from now because it's her turn. Good luck, Hillary. Clem

Clem, I agree with you except I don't think Hillary will ever run. This country is not ready for a woman President. (some day) I think the new guy from ILL, Abama will be the man. And look out for the R's guy they seem to be grooming, the Governer of Mass. Met Rhomney (sp)?

Why so pessimistic TooBad? NY Times good! Hope you a Yankee fan!

I dont think that the bounce or no bounce from the convention is a big deal. This situation may be a bit different from what is historically true but in recent times, there are many things which have not conformed to history.

In any event however, I think that the DEMS are way too passive about this elections thing. There are so few DEMS out there rebutting the statements from the GOP.. and when they get an oppurtunity to say something, they are soooo luke warm and apolgetic. Recently I read an interview with the DEMS chair, dont remember his name, but Oreilly literally wrapped the poor kid around his finger and pretty much brought the interview to a non-point for the DEMS. This is the interview that Gen Clarke skipped.

Too much of the campaigning is being left to the DEM candidates. Some needs to stay in the background and literally hammer the GOP on all these failed policies and programs. Someone needs to stay in the background and do the research and stay in the media with the results. The GOP does this with style... and it creates results.

If the candidates are going to stay on the high road, then they have to lay it on thick and right now, they are NOT. They have jab at the GOP and keep moving... They have to leave the countering to someone who stays with the meida houses alll day issueing rebuttals.

Its going to be very difficult for a truth and honesty campaign to succeed when the otherside is so hell bent on twisting and rebranding truth and integrity. This rebranding campaign will always have more glitz and glamour and will be easier to accept, even tho we all know that these guys are total strangers to homes of truth and integrity.

In my mind however, the candidates are doing fine.. its the foot soldiers who are lazingaround in the sun, playing cards and dominoes. They need to support the candidates..

By the time The GOP finishes their convention, Bush will probably be ahead by a few points. Once again the debates are looming huge on the horizon. This race is still 50/50 right now. I think there will be some sort of event out of the control of both campaigns that will be the deciding factor in the end. I and a majority of betting people are plcing their bets for Bush right now. We can debate policies all day long, but the thing that keeps me coming back to this site is the discussion about the "inside baseball talk" about who's winning at this time and who's losing. The polls say kerry got an ever so slight bounce and the futures markets are betting that Bush will get re-elected at this time. Check out Iowa Electronic Markets, Intrade, and Tradesports. All have Bush at about a 54% favorite right now after today's trading.

Slate's William Saletan has some thoughts on the post-Convention polls that largely mirror the views of RT:

http://www.slate.com/id/2104745/

You shouldn't be so dismissive of what toobad writes.

I'm not sure I completely agree with him - or share his pessimistic attitude. But there is truth to what he writes.

I for one have been in a bad mood since Thursday, because I believed the convention was a disaster.

Sure the speeches were good. Kerry was good in his presentation.

But it was REPUBLICAN-LITE. I mean, Kerry didn't do a good job explaining how he is much different from Bush. He hasn't explained why he would be better. He seems to be content on relying on those who are voting AGAINST Bush and trying to appeal to Republicans using Republican ideas and messages.

But why would Republicans suddenly vote for Kerry? Especially since his ideas are not too different from Bush. Why not vote for the real thing? This is the DLC screwing us yet again. The same losing strategy.

There are Republicans angry at Bush. This much is true. But most of them are angry about our fiscal mess - Iraq and the Bush foreign policy could easily be spun to demonstrate the sorry state of affairs our finances are in.

You see what i'm saying? It's about context. That's where Kerry messed up. He hasn't given anyone any reason to vote for him. That's why he didn't get a significant bounce.

Although, I totally disagree with toobad when he writes that Bush will win 56% of the vote. That is simply impossible. Kerry will get at least 48% of the vote - there are just too many Bush opponents out there. Nader will get 2%. That leaves 50%. So if Bush wins it will be by 2% or less. But we really should be winning this one by more than 4% or 5% at this point.

People want to vote for Kerry. But so far, he's not giving them any reason to.

So, this isn't exactly on point, but i feel a need to get it out hoping for an, i don't know, cyberstump speech-rally-ish. so i beg your indulgence

In stump speeches this week President Bush has been saying that John Kerry hasn’t really accomplished anything during his time in the senate. He’s said that results matter, and (23 times in 5 speeches [per Jon Stewart]) said that “we’re turning the corner.” JK didn’t have a succinct retort to this, so I thought I’d get him started.

NEW STUMP SPEECH

President Bush says that results matter, and we think so too.

Here’s a result – there’re a million fewer jobs now than when he came into office.
Here’s a result – the bureau of labor statistics says the last three years have seen the second highest rate of firing people since they started keeping track.
Here’s a result – most of the people who have gotten a job back are getting paid significantly less than they were in their old jobs.
If we’re turning the corner, then it seems like it’s down a blind alley.

Here’s a result – he fought against the Congressional inquiry into 9/11.
Here’s a result – he fought the families of 9/11 when they said “let’s have an independent bipartisan panel to look into this and figure out how we can make sure this never happens again.”
Here’s a result – he dragged his feet until he was forced into doing the right thing.
If that’s turning the corner, then he’s way out in left field.

Here’s a result for you – he sent barely 20K troops to hunt down Osama bin Laden while he was preparing to invade Iraq.
Here’s a result for you – 3 years later our ports and borders still aren’t secure, so we have to depend on concrete barriers to protect our buildings.
Here’s a result for you – the police and fire departments, NYC and DC haven’t gotten all the money they were promised after 9/11.
If that’s turning the corner, then he’s running around in circles.

Here’re some results – he promised that he would build a strong and lasting coalition before going to war in Iraq, but he didn’t.
Here’re some results – he said he’d let the UN finish inspecting for WMD, but he didn’t.
Here’re some results – he promised that war was his very last resort, but it wasn’t.
If that’s turning the corner, then he needs to ask for directions.


hoping people will add on and pass it on.

Bel and Jeff, Reppublicans are doing a good job in promoting their agenda, because they have a huge support on the ground. Dems will not stand strong on their beliefs antill we push them to do that. Write letters to the media, call your representatives, let them know what you stand for. Lies are all over the media. It very much reminds me the old country with newspaper "Pravda". It took 60 years for truth to come out. Thank god, this is a free country, we, everybody, just need to put some effort to let the truth out.
This is a good blod, just little bit too much whining.

Lizzerd, I seem to remember something about being a "compassionate conservative" . I wonder what happened to that?

If nothing else, the convention made it OK for republican voters to sit this one out, as I think they will.

A Yankee Fan? NEVER.
I'm am a Cubs FAN forever.

(Maybe that explains my
pessimism/defeatist attitude :-})

Kerry will definitely carry my state -
Illinois - and Barack Obama will lead
in the vote getting. He is that well
thought of even in what used to be
republican strongholds.

But Kerry HAS to follow through on
the Clinton-Teresa-Edwards line of
speeches. He has to OUTLOGIC and
OUTTHINK Rove. And be more than
a republican-Lite.

Otherwise ... well maybe 56% for
shrub is too high ... but WE have to
present a positive reason for change
other than not being Bush.

Ruy, would you somewhere post a phonetic pronuciation of your name?

Of course - I'm not Ruy....

But I'm betting the same as Texas 3B/1B/DH Mark Teixeira --- Tie-sheer-uh.

Which leaves Ruy with the more important question.... any relation to Mark?

On the all important question of whether Ruy is related to Mark, this was the first question I asked him when I met him earlier this year. The answer is...(sigh) no.

At least I have half my questions answered. That's one more than Bush has answered in both of his press conferences so far this term!

Is Ruy pronounced like "ray"?


Two comments. First, aren't all campaigns that are designed to appeal to the center going to be considered "Republican Lite" or "Democrat Lite"? After all, isn't that exactly what GWB did in 2000? He knew that his base was upset enough with Clinton that they were going to vote no matter what Bush said or did during the campaign -- the base was automatic. So he ran a very "Democrat Lite" campaign for a good part of fall 2000. What else would you consider 'compassionate conservatism'? "Republicans can have a heart just like democrats" is the very message Bush was trying to convey. It's a message directed toward the center, which is exactly what Kerry is trying to do this time around. He's got his base locked up, so he's forming a message for the center. Is that going to look like something between a Republican and Democratic message? Probably, since that's why it's called the center!

Second, this is anything but a 50-50 race right now. By the electoral map, Kerry has a sizable lead at this time. The media has been trying to portray this as a tie for some time, but it's anything but. As an example, this week's Newsweek magazine has an electoral map, with a count of 211 for Bush vs. 207 for Kerry -- a virtual tie, right? Not so fast, since in the 'toss-up' category are PA, WI, OH, and NM, where Kerry is leading (according to the polls Newsweek is using) by 5, 6, 5, and 7 respectively, for a total of 56 electoral votes. I'm not sure what the MOE is on those polls, but I can't imagine it's a 6 or 7% error, even on state polls. Of course, if Newsweek reported that Kerry in fact had a considerable lead in the electoral count, it wouldn't make as good a story.

I don't know if Ruy will respond to this request. An acquaintance of mine who has an office right near Ruy's and socializes with him told me it's pronounced as follows: ROO-ey Tuh-SHARE-uh.

I can't say I've got that right but if you say it that way, you'll probably be a hell of a lot closer to correct than with the sort of guess most of us, me included, would probably otherwise make.

Try Roo-ey Ta-shay-ruh

I'm feeling pretty good about the Kerry campaign despite the fact that the administration's timely terror alert let the air out of their souffle. I have to say, though, that I don't think the Bushies got away with it. I think, to stay the food analogy, they got egg on their faces. Nobody ate it it up. I was really surprised at the number of pundits all speculating as to whether this was a phony alert or a real one. The apologists were all over the air defending the alert. I don't think they'll be able to pull this one again without paying a price.

Looking forward to the debates!

I attended the Kerry rally in downtown GR MI 8/2. A huge noon time crowd, nearly 10,000, in this very conservative GOP area. The size was beyond everyone's expectations.

The rally was held on a 2 acre+ concrete plaza, on a very hot day with the temp on that surface nearly 100 degrees. We had to wait hours for the festivities to begin because of the security checks prior to entrance.

Finally the Kerry entourage arrived; but before the candidate spoke, up stepped Theresa. Instead of expressing a few words of gratitude to the long suffering crowd and making a short intro speech for her husband, we were treated to a too long, and may I say self indulgent discourse.

There on the stage was our wonderful gov., Gennifer Granholm, who was permitted to say nothing. None of the down ticket people were allowed a word either; although in that heat they may not have been welcomed by the crowd.

Theresa took all of the air out of the rally. People started to leave before Sen. Kerry finished. They had to go back to work, find water or start back to home through heavy traffic. We don't need this. I expressed my feelings to the campaign thru Kerry's blog, but I don't have any hope that anyone will listen.

Sooner or later the media will start reporting on these instances and then the Bush people will climb on the criticism wagon having been given permission by the media.

Kerry's people need to get a clue and play more to the comfort of his supporters during these hot weather weeks of the campaign. They and he also need to realize that although we like and admire Theresa, we go to these events to hear the Sen. speak.

[quote]
Das Bounce II: Donkey Rising's Ruy Teixeira spends rather too much time explaining away the disappointing (for Kerry) post-convention horse-race polls. 1) AsTeixeira notes, Kerry's beating Bush on the issues (and on various leadership qualities) yet he still hasn't taken a clear lead among likely voters. Tell us why is this good news for Kerry again? 2) On the biggest issues--Iraq and the economy--the trend seems likely to be in Bush's favor. If that happens, won't the horse-race results follow that trend? 3) The convention news was grim for Kerry not because it failed to shore up his base (it did!) or because the voters don't agree with him on the issues (they do!) or because he didn't "set himself up for a successful fall campaign" (he did!).

The problem is that it is Kerry who has to wage that "successful fall campaign"--and what the convention may have told us is that voters, despite agreeing with the Dems on all sorts of matrixes, don't find Kerry personally appealing even when they see him give a good speech. At least not appealing enough to vote for him. That bodes ill for Democrats this fall, no matter how well Kerry has "set himself up." ... Put another way...: My colleague Will "The Toaster" Saletan argues that the good news suggested by the polls is that "it's Kerry's race to lose." But the bad news suggested by the polls is that he will. (Saletan seems to feel the only way Kerry can go down is if the Bush campaign attacks him. That assumes Kerry can't hurt himself all by himself.) .
[/quote]

Mickey Kaus
http://slate.msn.com/id/2104693/

Given that the announcement of Edwards as VP came just prior to the convention, Kerry probably got a little less dramatic bounce that he might have otherwise. The selection of Edwards was a big deal, and took a little steam out of Kerry's convention bounce.

Please, let's not quote Mickey Kaus on this board, at least not with any degree of respect or credulity. The man professes to be a Democrat, but has spent the past yearbashing Democrats on a daily basis -- first, he bashed those who did well in the primaries, and -- since Kerry won the primaries -- he has attacked him relentlessly, never finding the slightest thing positive or admirable to say. This is bullshit. He is NOT a Democrat, he's a Trojan Horse for the Republicans. His favorite device is a "Kerry Panic Watch," in which he regularly asks if Democrats are beginning to panic "yet" at having chosen the wrong man. His piece quoted above is typical -- it suggests that, even though voters might side with Kerry on the issues, they find him so unlikable and unappealing that in the end they'll reelect Bush. Could Ed Gillespie, Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove, or the Wall Street Journal editorial page it any better? No. Kaus is harming Democrats (intentionally) and doing a great service for BushCo.

I think this "lack of bounce" or "negative bounce" is way overrated. If Kerry didn't look good in most polls or in electoral college estimates, THEN I would be worried.

It's a close race, no doubt about it, and there's no way to predict it, especially given the possibility of volatile events, but Kerry has been ahead in most polls over the past two months, and Bush's possiblilites for changing people's minds at his convention are limited.

Re Kaus, he is a Democrat. But he's also something of a renowned professional crank/gadfly. He loves to try to scuttle the CW, and sometimes he's right. He hates Kerry and has made no bones about it. It leaves me wondering how he would explain Kerry's win over Bill Weld in the Mass senate race many thought Kerry was sure to lose.

Just because Kaus finds Kerry to have utterly no appeal whatsoever doesn't mean that is representative of how the American electorate sees him. In fact, one specific poll finding cited by Will Saletan in his take (at the url cited here on DR) on the post-Convention poll findings showed Kerry faring extremely well on a question that asked about, among other things, whether he has the right *personality* to be an effective President. I have the sense Kaus would find that inexplicable. I might be more concerned if Kaus actually started saying anything good about John Kerry. Kaus does have plenty of worthwhile and interesting things to say.

By the way,

I don't expect Bush to get a huge bounce either.

I would just like Kerry to do a better job defining what this election is actually about.

Health Care, Education, Jobs, etc.

Democrats forever.

Kaus is a Dem-bashing (and particularly Kerry-bashing) buffoon. He's a Democratic like Susan Estrich is.

He blithely comments that "on Iraq and the economy, the trend is likely to be in Bush's favor". Could there be a more fervent declaration of cluelessness? On Iraq: more dead in July than in June, a horrendous first couple of days of August, 1000 American casualties approaching at warp speed (with public sentiment that the war was a mistake already topping 50%). On the economy: GDP and consumer spending the most recent numbers to decline, following "jobs created" and numerous other figures -- there never was a significant recovery, and there's at least some chance we've entered another downturn. Anyone who thinks those trends are positive for Bush ought to lose his pundit's license.

I'm with much of the above: Kerry got his bounce when Edwards was picked, and, in an electorate still rating Bush at 44-47%, there wasn't much more room to move (seeing a few percent will always remain showily undecided). And Kerry got his minor movement in polls where he was already AHEAD -- a position the last two winning challengers (Reagan and Clinton) didn't achieve until post-convention (Reagan couldn't post a consistent lead until Election Day).

Kerry's in very good shape. Anyone arguing otherwise is either too pessimistic or has an interest in promoting the opposite.

demtom: maybe Kaus feels comfortable predicting that Iraq is now trending favorably for Bush because of what Harold Meyerson wrote about in today's WaPo op-ed section. In a nutshell, Meyerson argues that Rumsfeld and the generals have disappeared from public view, in what he persuasively suggests is a cynical tactic by this administration to reduce the war's visibility -- in effect, to stick it in the closet, well out of public view -- until after the election. It seems to be working so far, as the ever-compliant and lazy media have largely moved on to other things, regardless of the continuing body count. The link for Meyerson's piece is:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38133-2004Aug3.html

Good article. Two points you missed:

1. It seems quite incongruous to me that the Gallup poll finds Bush's approval rating at a lowly 48%, yet 51% supposedly would vote for him over the same time period. How nuts is that result?

2. The Newsweek poll results are even more favorable to Kerry when you consider that half of the interviews were conducted on Thursday July 29th BEFORE Kerry's speech. The Friday numbers show how far Kerry really hit the ball out of the park.

A final point: I've only had a couple of courses in statistics, so I'm no expert. But I'd find all these sites that construct a composite poll result as an aggregate average more credible if the would first drop the highest and lowest poll result. No one seems to accept this common methodology, which eliminates the outliers at both ends of the spectrum. It would be really interesting to see the size of the horse-race bounce or non-bounce in a composite poll with that methodology.

I remain amazed at the words which DEM supporters use when they talk about this political race. I am amazed at how they seem to be walking around apologising for losing this race. The general tone of the comments from DEMS seem to be simply hopeful. They keep talking as tho they are pretty sure that Bush will win this thing and hence they never can utter a positive thought about their position in this race.

I have also noted that no matter what happens, the GOP is out there singing a happy song as tho they have won something, as tho their guy is an angel whose only problem or sin in life is that he might have lost his wing thru some careless act, so he is forgivable. The GOP stand up and respond to lies as tho they are true and no one dares to question their brand of truth. The GOP seem to sing from the same hymn sheet and they all carry the same tune and sing on the same line and in total unison, no harmonies here.

However the DEMS are struggling to find a voice, struggling to find their hymn sheets. The supporters seem to be waiting on the candidates to take shape, rather than going out there and helping with creating the shape, as the GOP does. The supporters seem comfy to sit back and whine, rather than stick their noses in the press rooms and say something for their candidates.

I note today that the party formed some tracking team to handle bush' lies... however, in reading their statements today, I noted that some of the thing they said were not all true... whats the point of tracking lies, if you yourself aint going to be laying on the total truth. It really makes no sense to track bush's lies with partial truths. I think that the tracking team is an excellent idea but only if they plan to do the research and spit the opposing truth... they have to create noise whereever the GOP turns... anything else is a waste of time and money.

The DEMs MUST stop playing second fiddle and rise to the occassion. They must stop feeling sorry for themselves and go out and campaign. I get the feeling that if Kerry wins, that most DEMS supporters will be surprised and wont know if to celebrate or wait for the recount. This is the atmosphere with I keep getting from DEMS supporters and it MUST stop.

DEM supporters need to mobilise, be strong, terribly positive, resolute and firm.. never bending and staying with their candidates come hell or high water.. they MUST simply shore up the candidates.

having siad all of the above, I still think that John and John are doing fine.. my only problem is that they are campaigning alone and are not getting adequate support from their people at the foot soldier and every other level..

Cheers

An interesting perspective, Bel. It's been said that a liberal is someone who is too broadminded to agree with himself. Also, unfortunately, Ronald Reagan proved that sometimes people believe you are demonstrating leadership if you are wrong in an extremely confidant tone of voice.

You are right Lawrence and this is the success of the GOP... they make themselves and others believe their stories because they tell them in such loud and confident tones... and its always a winner.

However, the DEMS also need to normalise the word liberal, just as the GOP has normalised the word conservative. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either term but democrats tremble and cower and run and hide when they are considered liberal. Both terms have their up and down sides and in the instance of extremism, both positions are extremely dangerous.

Unfortunately, this world is made of people of every type and culture and colour etc.. etc.. and this being the case, everyone has to find a position on which to sit in life. Everyone has some form of liberalism and conservatism in their being but we all lean towards one position from time to time.. or for life.

This being the case, and seeing that everyone needs to have a position, then it cannot be a bad thing to be liberal in position and it cant be a bad thing to be democrat and a liberal democrat at that.

The Dems have allowed the conservative GOPs to brand liberalism as a bad thing and to brand the DEMS as being liberal and hence its a bad thing. The GOP has no ownership of conservatism and neither do they have any ownership of determining whats good or bad about either position. In this regard, the DEMS need to take ahold of the liberal concept and start selling it as a positive rather than a negative thing.

It seems that inherent in liberalism is loose attachment to morality, spirituality, integrrity etc.. etc... but, when one considers the history of conservatives, it easy to see that they bend the very laws by which their conservatism is governed but work together to cover up their sins.

If you study this current government you will see a very vivid picture of how the conservatives operates. They do wrong and stand up to it, or they do wrong and spin it into right...even tho they know its all wrong.

Look at Haliburton, Enron etc.. etc.. where you have corporate misdoings that go unpunished by a conservative government and yet they allow the masses to suffer at the hands of these corporate criminals.

Again, if the DEMS were a real party, they could easily make conservativism a bad word because of the blatant failures of the conservative movement. The DEMS however are too weak to launch an attack on conservatism, too disorganised, tooo scattered.

The DEMS have allowed the conservatives to claim spirituality as their bread and butter thing, as tho liberals and by extension democrats cant be spiritual. This notion discounts and brings to zero, the very vibrant black, latino and asian relgious groupings who are indeed very close to the democratic party and hence are branded as liberal.

I think that the DEMS and their association with liberalism is an excellent selling point and needs to be marketed as an excellent tool for the people's development. I am puzzled by the fact that for a DEM to win the presidency that he has to be centric and market him'herself and being a democratic conservative. Thats nonsense to me.

There is no point being a democrat if you cant win the elections based on the policies on which your party has built it foundation. If GOPs can win by being conservative, then democrats should be able to win on being liberal. If its impossible to win by being liberal, then the party needs to relay its foundation.

In a nutshell, the DEMS need to start marketing the tenets on which the party was built. It needs to sell these tenets as the best thing since slice bread.. It needs to be confident in its belief and quit cowering when challenged on the foundations of the party.

Hopefully the party will find itself at some point and quit being the other party, second rated and the substitute.

Cheers

I agree with you Bel,

However, you seem to be blaming the rank-and-file Democrats. Doesn't the blame belong with the leadership?

The reason the Republicans are so confident derives from the fact that Democratic leaders concede as much.

Case in point: during the 2002 midterms, the leadership basically conceded that foreign affairs was a Republican issue - agreed with everything the Bush Administration did on the War against Terrorism and tried to focus on domestic issues - ie Medicare. The GOP then accused the Democrats of "mediscare" to which the Dems spent the remainder of the campaign trying to dispell. Then the GOP attacked the Dems as being too weak on terrorism. Then voila, we lost.

That seems to be the strategy for every election it seems. It is the republicans that define what the election is about. We spend our time trying to dispell the misconceptions about us. Then you can always count on two or three "Democratic" Senators basically agreeing with everything the Republicans say. Including the fact the Democrats have no balls.

Isn't this a leadership problem?

Yes, its a leadership issue and I share your views on everything you mentioned but I still think that there needs to be a wave of foot soldiers who make it their duty to pass the word around en masse.

However, you cannot compare the DEM leadership with the GOP leadership, its chalk and cheese, apples and oranges. The DEM leadership is hard to identify cause you hardly ever see them, while the GOP leadership is in your face constantly. Whenever the DEM leadership comes to town, they come apologetically and they are so prone to conceding. If I am not mistaken, I think Gore conceded even before they finished counting the votes.

I know its easy to say its leadership but it can only be leadership when you know who they are. There must be a time in the life of any organisation when the rank and file need to arise, take control and put a new perspective on the organisation. This is how organisations are re-born, restructured, re-packaged etc.. etc. The DEMs party needs this situation to occur and soon. Personally, I am not even sure what is the real focus of the party. I know what the GOP says is the focus but I dont know if the GOP's take on the matter is true. The reason why I dont know is because I cannot remember the last time I heard a DEM stand and outline the party's policy and its core methods and beliefs. I know what the GOP believes tho and they make sure to have it told every day of the year. They have it told by the falwells, big corporations, various think tanks, the murdoch clan, Rush, Hannity, Tucker.. and the list goes on and on and on.. but I really cannot tell you who sings the songs for the DEMs.

I watch Coombes with Hannity and I fall on the floor with laughter, this kid is no match for hannity and he strikes me as an imposter. I dont remember the name of the chap who is on with Tucker on Crossfire.. he does a good job but the only time I ever see or hear him is on that show... where does he go after that show? I however see all the GOP people all over the place. They are always talking.. always distorting and bending and spinning, in your face.

So I still think that the rank and file of the party need to mobilise and win this elections. The leadship of the party is too poorly defined and cannot be pin pointed. Even if we know them by name, we dont know what they are about, what they stand for and we surely dont see them standing up and holding a position with both hands, never releasing it until the other side concedes.

Its very important that the whitehouse gets a new person. At this time, it has to be Kerry but its not that the house needs kerry, its that the world needs a leader. Bush is certainly not the leader which the world needs. His policy has made this world too unstable and too uncomfortable a place to live in.

Its important that the US regains it position of world leader real soon, people are becoming sympathetic to the terrorists because they simply cannot tolerate the Bush methods anymore. It seems to me that people are not squealing on al quaeda members anywhere in the world. Is it that people dont know them? Are they sooooooo good at sleeping under our noses? I dont think so. I think that more and more people are sympathising with them and simply not bothering to hand them over. Thats what I believe. They are too big an organisation for people not to know some of their members.

In order for the US to regain its rightful place in this world, the DEMS need to get moving. Its unfortunate that the DEMS only win when the people have had enough of the GOP. Lets hope that the people have had enough of Bush and hence the world will see a new person in the whitehouse.

But let me restate that I think and I am pretty sure that Bush will never win a term in the white house but its a pity that the rank and file of the DEM party wont be the driving force behind his defeat... but rather the people being tired of Bush' deception, untruths, bending and spinning of truths etc.. etc... etc.. will be the winning force for the DEMS. I think its about time that the DEMS win an election and not be given the presidency.

best wishes to kerry and edwards for the world's sake and ofcourse, for america's sake moreso.

Cheers

Bel, GREAT COMMENT! I wish the Kerry camp could read it!...........

Isnt it striking and extremely striking that al qaida still exits as a very potent organisation? This organisation has had the microscopic eyes of the world beaming down on all of their activities for the past ten years. They have had all their communications lines tapped, trapped, hacked, whatever, and yet they can still create paralysing fear in the world. All kinds of technologies are brought to bear on this organisation and yet, they exist in an almost untouched manner and can bring the world to a stand still whenever they choose to speak. They seem totally organised and are going about their business in an apparent unimpeded manner. How is this possible?

And yet, on the flip side, on the other side of the world, you have an organisation with the same tools at its disposal, its free to meet and organise and to exist and to spread its own brand of gospel and yet, that other organisation just cannot get itself organised. Dont seem to be able to mobilise its people, cant seem to determine it leadership, cant define its policy. How can this happen?

What then is the difference between al qaida and the democratic party? I think there are a few interesting differences. For one, its obvious that al quaida has a passion for what it believes. This is not true of the democratic party. By its passion, al quaida dedicates itself to propagating its beliefs and values. I dont think this exists in the DEMS.

Secondly, al quaid uses the laws of nature to exist and I applaud them for this unique form of survival. Its not that they live in caves or any such thing but that they apply the laws of nature to ensure survival. Have you ever noticed that vermin are always around and that no matter where you go in the world, they exist? For instance, that awful fungus that invades bread when you leave it over night in a warm place. Then there are rodents like rats and mice. Have you ever noticed that no matter what you do to these fellows, that they still exist? What do they do to exist?

For one, they produce what seems like millions of littles ones. Fungi produce millions of spores over night and rodents seem to be pregnant every 6 weeks. In this way, they both always have lots of offspring, hence lots of followers.

They both oorganise themselves into little cells which then branch out into other little cells and therefore epxanding their terrotiry all the time.

This is how all vulnerable creatures of nature exist. So that weeds produce thousands of seeds and then explode them into the atmosphere in order to ensure healthy survival.

The DEMS need to adopt similar approaches. They need to conform to the laws of nature which govern the survival of the vulnerable. Al Quaida does a super excellent job in this area. They form into little cells, recruit lots of people into each cell and then each cell branches out into other little cells and the process repeats itself indefinately. So now this organisation has cells in every corner of the world. Isnt this amazing and exciting and interesting too? Yet, we see them as primitive, cave dwellers, lacking in technology but they survive beautifully. Isnt this very interesting?

The fungus operates on this exact principle and is able to consume an entire slice of bread overnight. Once the bread is all consumed, it hibernates and waits until its thrown to more favourable pastures again.

The DEMS need to look and learn from the fungus and the rodents. Start to organise in cells, recruit lots of followers like the rodents and the fungus, subdivide each cell and hence expand the territory and soon, it covers the entire market. Just like al qaida. It all sounds so tribal and so under developed but amazingly, it works in an unstoppable manner. Its a sure footed formula for healthy survival, success and victory. The fungi and rodents will eventually win. Trust me. We wont defeat them ever.

Its so interesting to see that we are doing everything to eradicate fungi and rodents and al qaida and we are obviously making no headway and yet these three vermin remain viable, alive and successful. It would do well for the DEMs to model themselves after the laws of nature and sheet the slice of bread with their people.

The good thing about cell type organisations is that the leader need not even visit each cell... all thats required is that the core values be passed on from cell to cell... in the case of fungi and rodents, the message is survival, with al qaida, the message is identical.. survival, venturing out occassionally to capture prey.

Lets hope the DEMS create a plan soon, so that the burden be shifted away from its invisible leadership and be turned over to one million cell leaders across the landscape.

Its a sure footed way to win and not to be handed a victory. Al qaida wins its own battles, so do rodents and other such vulnerable creatures of nature..

soooooooooooo dems, you need to conform to these primitive laws... .they have been working for centuries... ask mickey mouse!!!!!

cheers

Bel,

My theory has always been that the success of the Progressive movement in this country has been so thorough that it is practically invisible. According to this view, all the pissing and moaning from the so-called "conservative" movement in the past 24 years since Ronald Reagan came on to the scene has amounted to little more than stalling progress on solving problems and giving handouts to coporate buddies. (That is, until Dubya decided to re-create Vietnam.) Ronald Reagan wanted to laugh us out of politics and turn back the clock. Well, in the end it never happened.

If I give you a little pocket history of the Progressive movement, I think you'll understand what I mean:

Teddy Roosevelt was a great progressive president, although he was not a democrat. He was the first to use the monopoly law to break up monopoly corporations, in his case Standard Oil. Modern republicans would like you to forget that when all restrictions are taken off of business, the result is not perfect competition a la Adam Smith, but ruthless business practices and monopolies. Teddy Roosevelt also created the Food and Drug administration, which allows us to walk into any restaurant, drugstore or supermarket and not be afraid that we will be poisoned by what we buy there. We just don't appreciate how important that is!!!

FDR of course brought us Social Security. Before SS, millions of elderly people, too old to work in factories, farms or offices, and haveing no one to support them, were reduced to helpless poverty. We don't appreciate that these days either! FDR signed the Wagner act, which mandates that employers must allow employees to form unions, that there be some minimum wage amount that no employer can go below, and that nobody can require somebody to work more than 40 hours a week to keep their job. Imagine what it would be like if employers could still tell you that they had cut your wages in half, but you had to work even more hours or else you would get fired! Yes, these things used to happen before progressive leaders put a stop to it.

Now, LBJ was a complicated person who did many bad things, but who also did many very good things. It was he, of course, who pushed through the voting rights act, a civil rights milestone. I remember the day that he said, to a national TV audience, "We Shall Overcome!" Imagine that - the president of the United States repeating the motto of the civil rights movement. It made me cry with joy! LBJ also put through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Ronald Reagan wanted to get rid of them, but in the end Dubya, hypothetically a "Reagan conservative", actually added to Medicare coverage! If that doesn't tell you how correct it was to institute those programs, I don't know what does!

So, for me, whenever I hear these great accomplishments of progressive and democratic presidents remembered at democratic conventions and in good democratic speeches, I feel proud to be part of a movement that has had a profound influence for the better on american life.

Now somebody tell me what the "conservative" movement has to boast about!

That "Progressive" movement that you refer to is also called "Statism". And there have been many many more failures than successes starting and leading the way with the failed Soviet Union.

And america is spelled America.

To J Wilson:
Soviet Union primarily failed because its government was lying to its people and there was no democratic mechanism to correct this. Something to learn from, right?
Please, excuse my mistakes, English is not my first languge

J Wilson:

Uh, no. It's called regulated capitalism. Or--more elsewhere than here--social democracy. The system you are referring to exists nowhere in the world at present, thank goodness, except in the minds of free market ideologues.

The clearest non-technical explanation of both the theoretical and practical pluses and limitations of markets that I have seen is Robert Kuttner's book Everything for Sale. Highly readable, and highly recommended for anyone who has ever wound up in a mindless "laissez faire vs. statism" discussion about economic philosophy and policy and wanted something better than that.

But at the end of the day, the DEMs still need mobilising no matter what term or philosophy or title or system you put on it. The party reminds me of a starlight. Lots of brilliant sparks scattered all over the place, creating little or no meaningful effect.

Cheers

The polls are put into perspective by looking at where a 10-15 point bounce would have placed Kerry --at 56-60 percent. Neither candidate will pull those kinds of numbers in this climate -has it every happened? Going into the convention, Kerry was far too close to Bush for any incumbent to be comfortable. The real issue is how much Bush's media-fest help him in the polls. I would guess not much because the public has already made up their minds about him.

I would like to see Kerry be more forceful in acknowledging the terrorist threat now directed at NYC, Northern New Jersey and DC. He is out in Ohio talking about health care because he doesn't really think he needs to ask for the votes of NYC Democrats like myself. Well, at least for me he's wrong on that score. Terrorism is my number one issue and I want to see Kerry speak more passionately about 9/11 as passionately as he can speak about Vietname or jobs or the environment

I think Bush actually does get a good bounce, a lot of people will be curious to see the Terminator and will tune in. The mainstream media has set the bar very very low. Neutral or undecided voters tuning in expecting a bumbling idiot may be very surprised.

Bush won't get a big bounce.

He may lead after the convention by two or three percent, but that won't mean anything. Of course, the media will not spin it that way.

Jimmy Carter led by 3% after his convention. So did Mondale.

The trend in this election thus far has been unmistakable:

Kerry averages about 48%
Bush averages about 44%
Nader averages about 2%

These numbers also happen to coincide with the difference in voter registration. Which EVERY poll shows breaks down the same way for each candidate: 90% of partisans will vote for their respective candidate. 8% to vote for the other.

That leaves 6% to decide who wins or loses this election.

Therefore, the best Bush can do - in my opinion - assuming turnout is the same as 2000, and he gets all of that 6% is:

Bush 50%
Kerry 48%
Nader 2%

More likely however, if past trends are any indication, the undecided bloc will vote for Kerry over Bush 67% to 33%.

Which means that it will probably be:

Kerry 52%
Bush 46%
Nader 2%

There is also another thing no one ever mentions that may help us. An October surprise of our own. Ralph Nader dropping out a week or two before the election and endorsing Kerry.

I watched "Real Time with Bill Maher" the other night and Nader was pretty adamant that his vote would not hurt Kerry. He said, "Don't worry. Bush will be a one-term President."

Main Entry: stat·ism
Pronunciation: 'stA-"ti-z&m
Function: noun
: concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government

Mr. J Wilson, please learn to distinguish between different terms before you argue with them. Also, please observe that many of the countries with Social Welfare systems that are considerably more advanced than ours, for example Germany, Finland, and Japan, are buying up our companies and real estate while they dominate our retail markets. The Soviet Union was a fascist, repeat, fascist state and bore no resembleance to any current, successful system like our own. Why do you have such a pessimistic view of the United States?

Fascism
noun: a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

I would say merely a police state, where the state has all the powers and the citizens, none.

In short, neither your vocabulary nor your facts are correct.

I share Jeff's view on the polls. His perspective on the averages is quote right and thats why I am pretty certain that Kerry and Edwards are doing fine. There is nothing that says a victorycan only be achieved by a double digit percentile. Those running the 100m at the coming olympics will beat each other by less than a cat's whisker but the person bursting that tape first is the world's best.

In this regard it does not matter Kerry's percentile of victory, the only thing that matters is that he will win and will therefore be the first elected president in the US for four years.

I too agree that it wont hurt the kerry camp to zero in on the issues and start to be agressive about what they believe or.. are preaching. They really do need to counter Bush's every move and stick on his brand of truth like white on rice. They need to hold press conferences even, to denounce every lie that his camp tells. The DEMS as a party need to really start sticking it to the Bush camp about their many debacles over the past four years.

Its not a bad idea to campaign inches away from where he is campagning, just to raise his blood pressure levels a few more nothces.

We tend to think that the GOP aint worried about anything, we tend to be down on the DEMS. The GOP is never singing a sad song.. they always seem upbeat and on the verge of victory.. but trust me, they are not as comfortable as they seem to appear.

They MUST be sweating because when the analysis of the polls are done, Kerry leads in every important facet of life. Bush trails all the time. They must be itchy in their pants seats because Kerry is too close to Bush in the stats and ahead where Bush should be in the lead.

The Bushies will have noticed that Kerry is pulling huge crowds in states where Bush is strong. Kerry is getting an audience from die hard republicans.

So dont think that the GOPs are sitting peacefully sipping coffee, cause they aint. Pay attention to the rebuttals issued by the GOPs to what Kerry's camp is saying, they say the same things all the time, every time. This implies that they are fresh out of ideas and genuiine rebuttals.

I noticed that some vets are refuting kerry's record, McCain condemns it. Interesting that none of them rode with Kerry. This is something that the DEMS should hold on to, because this is the methods of the GOP... they lie profusely.

Take heart, Kerry and Edwards are on the right track and getting there. They just need the support of the rank and file DEMS.

Cheers

Has anyone noticed the slew of Al Quaida operatives being captured in recent weeks? Where are they coming from so suddenly? I once heard an old man say, when you see the termites on the outside of the wood, it means that the inside is totally consumed. Does this mean that the plot has been laid and these Al Quaida operatives are now surfacing to move on to other plots? I doubt it.

To be truthful, I am not surprised by the number of operatives being captured either. I have been reading that this situation is a bit worrying to democrats as they think that the events are knocking some of the wind outta their sails (sales). Personally, I dont think that this situation is anything to worry about, unless the American people are stupid and we know they are not.

I am sure that there will come a point when the world will realise the truth of whats happening with the BIG OPERATIVES Program.

The DEMS need to find a rebuttal slant on this BIG OPERATIVE project and create wind in their sails (sales) rather than hold their heads down and think that they are losing wind. There is no point in the DEMS countering these arrests but on the other hand, they should not use the same road that the GOPs are using to get to the same place. I think this is an area where Kerry is losing some points. Sounding like Bush and agreeing with Bush on the same issues, using the same channel. He needs to arrive at the same place as Bush but via a different route so that he can be viewed for his perspectives and not perspectives which he shares with Bush, as is the case right now.

The capture of all these operatives gives the DEMs an opp.. to challenge the GOP on the Iraq/Al Quaida connections. Why are they not capturing any operatives in Iraq if there is supposed to be this link between the two? The DEMS need to pressure the government on the quality of these BIG operatives, whats their quality? Are they yielding anything of substance? We will remember that most of the folks at Guantanmo bay and in the Iraqi prisons were straw operatives, with no genuine connections to anything relating to terrosism.

The DEMS need to ask why is it that only the Government of Pakistan is the only people in the entire world where BIG operatives are being captured. Its important to note that the people of Pakistan are not handing over operatives, its only the government thats finding them and arresting them. Whats so significant about Pakistan that they are the only country where operatives can be caught? If Al Quaida is such a huge operation with cells in every corner of the world, why are we not capturing BIG operatives in other countries around the globe? Is Pakistan the only place where BIG operatives reside and if there are so many BIG operatives in Pakistan, why are they only now being caught after 2 - 3 years?

The DEMS need to subtly pressure this government to open its hands on these BIG operatives. These captures should not worry the DEMS, but these events should bring a wry smile on their faces as they see and seize another opportunity to raise the temperature in the whitehouse a few degrees.

The GOP should be made to classify these operatives. What makes them BIG operatives, what are their credentials? Are these people who did crimes 15 years ago and are now talking because the events are defunct? Whats their claim to fame in the terror world?

The DEMS need to start probing, asking questions and digging deeper in these events as they occur.

Personally, whenever I hear of another operative being captured or killed, it reminds me of swatting an ant that climbed onto my foot to nip me. His death seems so insignificant when I look around and see a nest swarming with thousands of other ants going about their business without significant consideration to my existance and al quaida reminds me of that ants nest where capturing or killing an operative seems like nothing more than swatting that wayward ant.

The DEMs need to see the capture of operatives in the same light and use these events to sell the flip side to what the GOP intends.

Someone mentioned that the DEMs need to stop whining and quite frankly, I dont see anything on the horizon that needs whining about. They simply need to tap on the walls of the GOP often enough, with enough knuckles and with enough force to crack those wall and watch the chocolate coated empire come tumbling down.

Keep the faith, Kerry and Edwards and McCain did really well today, while Bush confirmed that he will do everything to hurt and destroy America. Someone said he mis-spoke but I am not sure. He has given us enough evidence to show that he means every word he said. This is a perfect example of the chocolate coating, cracking and the real poison leaking onto the floor.

Keep trucking folks, there is a celebration ahead, start stocking up.

Even the most Republican of areas has a 30% Dem population that can provide a big crowd for a presidential candidate. And vice versa -- President George H.W. Bush filled a huge auditorium when he spoke in the liberal college neighborhood where I lived in '92, and I doubt he got more than 25% of the vote there.

Michael Lee: If a pollster were to reach me, I'd say I disapproved of the job Bush was doing as president, but I'd also pick Bush over Kerry. It's an unpleasant choice, but I believe Kerry-Edwards would be even worse than Bush. Ugly election, even the third-party candidates are utterly unappealing.

Hey! The latest Faux News poll has Kerry leading by 4 to 5 points, depending on how you cut it. THAT's a good result!

Bush 43% Kerry 47%

Want to know why I think Bush is going to lose?

Forget the numbers I have mentioned.

Talk to people who voted for Bush in 2000, like Ted above. They are completely underwhelmed by Bush.

My girlfriends parents, who live in Ohio, were fanatic Bush supporters in 2000. Now they hate the guy. My uncle, another life-long Republican, also detests Bush.

Mind you that these people say that they are still voting for Bush. But I can not emphasize how die-hard they are in their Republicanism. But IF they vote for Bush it will be out of party loyality, not out of love for him.

Question: are these people who will turn out in record numbers in November?

Now think about most Democrats you know. Aren't they absolutely stoked about voting Bush out?

My experience tells me yes.

Finally, think about how many moderate Republicans or swing-voter independants who voted for Bush in 2000, and will not be now. I personally know of several. Yet, I have not met a single Gore voter who will vote for Bush. NOT ONE.

Why is this important?

Because remember how close 2000 was. Bush literally has no room for error.

Thus, common sense tells you Kerry will win.

Bel,

I totally agree that the Republicans are nervous.

That's why they're running such a negative campaign.

That's why some Republicans are already saying, "that ya. Bush may lose this." Unthinkable one year ago.

That's why Peggy Noonan took a leave of absense from the Wall Street Journal.

Prediction: Jim Baker will head up Bush's team after Rove gets fired in September.

Of course the republicans are nervous and sweating in their pants but the DEMS has gotta highlight and sell that truth to the nation.

Selling this reality creates lots of pressure on the GOP and pressure always seem to crack things. The DEMS cant just acknoledge that the GOP is sweating, they must literally turn up the heat.

The DEMS needs to show the nation a sweaty palm republican not a confident relaxed camp. This is what the GOP is selling but we know that they cant be so comfy.

The GOP is not ahead in anything and they know it. They also know there wont be any significant bounce from their campaign, they are already seeing many of their campaign programs backfiring so they cant be sitting easy.

These issues are fodder for the dems to set alight and gain some political ground.... but will they do it?

We have to wait and see.. and YES, I still think that Kerry and Edwards are doing fine and getting there... Not every republican will stay with bush.. and based on how tight things were last time, you can bet that every vote needs to be counted for him.. more so that john and john.

Cheers

Folks, please be serious. Kerry has reached his apex and it is all downhill from here. As far as Hillary in '08, her convention speech revealled her for what she is, namely a monotone, shrill harpy with no appeal to anyone other than partisan democrats! 4 more years!

Mickey Kaus make a good negative indicator. How could anyone be so wrong about Iraq and the economy?

George Bush is beginning to show signs of being desparate. He is muttering rather than speaking and in the process declaring that he would do anything to hurt his people and country.... and in his latest act of desparation, he is begging Kerry to accept his plan to lead him into a mire like he led american soldiers and the other invaders into iraq.

He is therefor begging Kerry to say yes or no to this war thing. Its written all over the press, so you can see it for yourself.... on just about any news site.

Also, the news of the economy, the stock market, oil prices etc.. etc.. are making Bush mumble all kinds of hollow mutterings about the country turning corners and working hard to ensure that every one who wants a job gets one. Why didnt he think of this over the past four years? Why now?

Its obvious that the cracks are beginning to open and the GOP are beginning to struggle. In their desparation, they are publishing all kinds of loose claims about the DEM candidates, most of which when examined are not quite so true.

The DEMS need to keep the pressure up and keep moving forward into GOP territory.

Cheers

Kerry is right, Bush's approach to terrorism will NEVER allow this world or the US to be safe. To use Bush's approach to terrorism and in effect, Al Quaida, is to declare that he does not understand the principle on which these organisations are built and sustained.

Al Quaida is smart enough to have designed itself in such a manner that it conforms rather snuggly to the laws of nature. As such, their survival and propagation is not very difficult and the organisation is easy to sustain. This is what Bush does not understand. Al Quaida functions in the same manner as a sleak fish, gliding its way, silently in the underwaters of a raging river. It makes its mission seem so easy and effortless.

In contrast, Bush has adopted the other approach where he rushes in a raging bulll style into the china shop and literally wrecks everything.

Organisms like Al Quaida, Virsus', Ants, rodents, etc.. etc are extremely difficult to eradicate and in most instances are impossible to kill. This is the reason why these creatures exist all over the world in the most adverse conditions (al qaida included) and survive successfully. I am yet to see a skinny rat.

When these creatures are threatened with anihilation, they do some very smart things. They hibernate and in some instances, they even mutate but they hardly ever go into the mad bull mode. They are smarter than that, they are smarter than Bush.

Seeing that ridding the world of such creatures has proven impossible across the world, one has to wonder what must be done to remove them from our presence. The answer is, change their environment. So yes we leave the slice of bread in the container overnight but in order to stop the fungus from consuming that slice, we must change the temperature, so that the new temperature is not ideal for growth and development.

The same is true for rodents, al quaida etc...etc.. etc. Kerry is right, we cannot fight al quaida with weapons and bullets and bombs, they will simply hibernate and eventually mutate. In order to remove al quaida's threats, we have to change their environment. We have to determine what feeds them, determine what's their passion, what drives them and change that environment. Killing Bin Ladin is pointless, arresting his top operatives is also pointless. This level of action simply spawns new leaders and new operatives at every level.

This is bourne out by the fact that it took the group less than one day to appoint a new leader in Saudi Arabia when the previous leader was taken out. Even tho, that leader was taken out, the level of activity in Saudi Arabia has not decreased.

So it's no point in Bush running across the world killing and arresting al quaida, there is no point in Bush forcing the hand of the Pakistani government to get them arrested and killed, it wont work.

Bush's actions has and will continue to make the world less safe.

Kerry is on the right track about dealing with Al Quaida. His strategy, if pursued, will work. Al Quaida will only be quieted by changing their environment.

Cheers
Keep trucking Kerry.

I must say it really warms my heart that so many Democrats now place high value on military service since they've nominated John Kerry. Where was the love when Bill Clinton ran against GHW Bush who was shot out of the sky and had to ditch his plane in open water or Bob Dole who was crippled during his service?

During the convention and the campaign, all we've heard is how heroic Kerry was and how this somehow gives him credibility to lead the nation during war. Hey my uncle was in the South Pacific for 2 years in WWII, is he qualified to be commander in cheif? And speaking of Kerry's service, are you guys as interested in knowing all of the details of his 4 months served out of a 12 month tour as you were about W's National Guard meetings? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Democrats want to do what they always do which is slander the accuser and blame the victims (remember Paula, Monica, etc) or bury the story like with the details of Clinton's draft deferral.

These Swift Boat guys are going to be a real problem for Kerry's campaign because they are not waiting for the NY Times or Washington Post to dig for the truth and publish the story. Of course everyone will say they are paid by the Republicans, blah blah blah, but that better be provable or it will obviously not sell.

Hey, if your candidate took his little camera to Nam and staged or recreated action for later use, don't you want to know? If he rigged 2 out of 3 Purple Hearts to get his ticket out of Nam, dont you want to know? What does it say about a guy who would do that and then come back to indict those he left behind by making outrageous accusations of atrocities (that he never witnessed or could testify to)?

Doesn't past the smell test to me! 4 more years!

The problem with life is that everything has a flip side and just as there are holes in the life and times of George Bush, there will be holes in the life and times of John Kerry.

Truth be told, most people are not genuinely interested in which candidate has the most holes, they are interested in bread and butter issues. Its true that a well crafted smear campaign about the holes in a person's life can derail a campaign but thats only in the best interest of the opposing team and in most cases not in the best of interest of the people and the world.

Bill Clinton's escapade in the white house is a prime example. Even tho we all know that he sat there and split hairs into the most minute sizes imaginable, he was still liked by the world. We thought that women would have been up in arms about him but alas, they seem to love him more. I dont think you can have a bigger hole than that which Bill Clinton had.

Likewise one would think that George Bush's rambling story about his military service would have been a hole wide enough for both Gore and Kerry to crawl through but alas, the people just didnt and dont seem to care about his invisible military record.

There are millions of other issues in the lives of every candidate which can be used to derail them but truth be told, these things are hardly ever used by the public to ignore the candidate's core values.

You are right BJ... your uncle can stand up and probably should stand up and run for president. Who stops him? Why doesnt he think of his tenure as worthy enough to give him the right to run for president? Please.... next time you see or hear the guy, please let him know that just like kerry and Bush and Dole and whoeverelse, he reserve that right and has some of the credentials required to run for president. To the best of my knowledge, all he needs is an american citizenship. At least thats what I have been told. So.. please go ahead and get the wagons together and start your program and get your uncle on the slate for 2008. The world needs a leader and he is probable the man we have all been waiting for.. It sure is not George Bush.

Irrespective of kerry's holes, whether they be true or lie, people are interested in bread and butter issues. They still want jobs and food and safety and education and health care and insurance. These are the issues. Its important for Bush to switch the campaign way from these issues to distract the population from the real bread and butter issues and with good advertising and PR, it just might work but its no use or good for the people of America. At the end of the day, George Bush h as proven time and time again that he does not have a program for the US and therefore has none for the world. If you are honest enough you would easily realise that it is difficult to put your finger on a single issue which was implemented by this administration that can be considered as truly benficial to the country. I cannot think of any. I can think of a number of promises that were made. I can think of a few systems which were implemented but I can think of any results which are truly worth the effort.

Of course someone would point to Iraq. Iraq cannot be considered a successful project until its completed and when will it be completed? if you stop to count the costs and reasons for the invasion and subsequent occupation, no right thinking person can say it is worth it. No right thinking person can say that killing so many innocent iraqis and americans can be worth this invasion.
Even if we use all of the fleeting reasons which Bush has been pushing over the last two years, no right thinking person can lay a thumb on a single issue thats worth the billions of dollars, thousands of lives, lost of treasure etc... etc.. etc.. Its a failed project. I am sure that given the opporunity, Rumsfeld and Powell and Rice would quietly confess that this invasion was a major blunder. Powell has tried to make this confession on several occasions but was "shut up" each time.

I am willing to listen to anyone who can pinpoint a single issue which was implemented by Bush that can be said to be a genuine success. I am not talking about success for Haliburton or any other company but success in the sense that it benefitted the people of the US.

Sooooo... knocking holes into Kerry is pointless and the people has shown four years ago that knocking holes into Bush was also pointless. Bush's problem is not his holes but his failed programs.

If the dems are going to win, they have to derail Bush's PR campaign about his life and take the high road, dealing with bread and butter issues. Unfortunately, Bush does not have a high road on which to run, he does not have bread and butter issues on which he can rely. He had his time and has not done anything to help the people of the US and as such, he must now rely on smear.

I am well aware that the GOP machinery can derail the Kerry program in a flash but that wont mean that the peoples of the US will benefit. As a matter of fact, they will be all the worse for it. In this regard, its important for the DEMS to protect the people of the US by staying on the high road and using PR and advertising to sell the better programs.

Its hard to find a promise that Bush made in his 2000 campaign which he has implemented... except the tax cuts. Seems to me that he based the entire economy of the US and the world on his tax cuts. I hope he has learnt something from such a failed policy, even tho I doubt it. If those tax cuts were worth it, they would be in the system by now and the economy would be rosy by this time. Alas, no such luck and the country knows it.

I still think that Kerry and Edwards are on the right path but tey require more energy and support from rank and file DEMS. They need people to walk the high road with them while refuting the BUSH smears and SAD tactics.

and by the way.. I am not a democrat.

Cheers

Bel, you make some good points but let me ask you something. Why do democrats hate Bush so much? I mean really, they hate him. Besides the idealogical/political disagreements there is something very personal. Here's what I think.

1. He is from Texas and that carries its own baggage. Since he was raised in Texas, he talks like a Texan. Democrats think he should talk like is father (i.e. Yale educated, to the manor born).
2. He has this strange snicker when he laughs in which his shoulders bounce. Also some facial tics in which he sniffles and purses his lips at odd intervals.
3. He is a Christian. I'm not kidding, many of his opponents deeply mistrust any Christian, especially a Protestant.
4. He knows what he believes and doesn't equivocate in public. He doesn't openly hedge his positions like Kerry looking for nuance which feeds their fear that he is cocky and not intellectually curious.

These are just some of the reasons they dislike him but there is no doubt that their hatred for him colors any discussion. Would they vote for anybody but Bush, you bet! Dean, Gephardt, Kerry, it doesn't matter, and thats why they'll lose, because HATE is not an affirmative reason to vote.

You need to be realistic about Bush's accomplishments. The war in Irag is just one move in an attempt to change the dynamic in the Middle East and the entire world. It's like walking into a bar full of bad men and clocking the meanest one to get everyone's attention and serve notice that there is a new sheriff in town (Oh God, he is a cowboy just like his image!). Will the rest like us, probably not. Do I care and should you care, why would we? What was the French opinion of us before Bush. They resented the hell out of us! It was penis envy on a global scale. And don't give me that crap about how the world loved us in the aftermath of 911. The problem with most Democrats is they can only feel good about America when we've been humbled.

Remember when Bush named the axis of evil how everyone derided him? Well now everyone agrees North Korea and Iran are the next threats. Do you honestly believe our hand is strengthend if Sadamm is still thumbing his nose at the USA and the UN? The advantage of having a reputation as someone willing to throw down is that you very often avoid confrontation because you remove uncertantity in your adversary's mind. Didn't any of you people attend public schools?


4 more years!

Hi Clinton

While I was reading your last post, I smiled alot and then I found myself laughing and then I walked away from this computer thinking that I need not respond to your post.

However I decided that it was a nice piece to read and hence it would be polite to issue a response. Personally I cant answer for why democrats might hate Bush. I am not one of them and as I stated I am not a democrat. In that regard, anything that I post is not based on my love for either party or their candidates but their effect on issues that relate to Americans and the world at large.

I am lucky in making my posts because I dont have to feel that emotional tugs in my guts when I speak about either Bush or Kerry. I dont have to feel depressed or over joyed by anything that they do but I do have enough interest in the politics of the season to realise how the things that they do, affect Americans and the world at large.

Its naive to think that the elections in the US are solely about Americans. Elections in the US are more about world politics and management than about feeding the American people. Any American who has not yet come to this realisation is fast asleep at the wheels and would do well to get off the planet. In this regard, every continent pays attention to the politics of the US and has a say in its politics. You might not want to believe it, but even the French and the Germans are currently influencing US politics, maybe covertly, unknowingly or willingly. I dont know which of the above pans out to be true but they are in it with both feet.

Let it be understood that its vitally important that they play a part and that they be allowed to play a part on the periphery. The reason is simple..... the world needs a leader. This current campaign is not about Americans, its about selecting a world leader. How is it that you cannot see that the entire world is on standstill, simply waiting for someone to rise and start to direct the pace at which this world will run?

Its vitally important for the peoples of the US to select the man for the whitehouse who is best suited to direct the policies of the world. Take the time to notice that the world does not want a european leader, not even the europeans trust themselves enough to select for themselves a leader. The Australasian continent is a subdued place and are not interested in world politics at the leadership level, Canada doesnt even seem to be a part of this world and the South American continent is too busy squabbling to notice that the world needs a leader.

In this regard, there are only two folks left in the ring to direct the pace of the world. Its either the US or The Middle East. Unfortunately, the Middle East has already selected its candidate and he is one that we cant afford to like because his polices are way too out of sync with our realities. However, if the US does not send a proper leader to the table, then the Bin Ladins of this world will start to direct how the world lives and it will generally be in fear.

We have to realise that the laws that govern nature and life, still expect us to function by rules and regulations and unfortuntely, the US under its current course, create rules on the fly and dish them out for the world to follow and the world is not following. There is no point waltzing into the bar and screaming new sheriff in town if you aint got no posse. The current admin does not have a posse and thats their dismal failure.

No one of substance is following or going with the current US policies. The UK got sucked in and just cant find a way out but the day that an opening occurs, you can rest assured that they will scoot. Those who are following right now are those waiting for handouts but those who think they dont need the handouts, never towed the ropes or have left. These are the facts.


Personally, I think the DEMS might be a bit peeved with Bush because he has not yet won a term for the whitehouse but was installed. Thats the only reason I can think of that anyone might have a beef with him. I dont think any other thing that he has done requires anyone to hate him. I dont even think that his installation in the post is any reason to hate him, so I am not sure that the dems hate the guy.

I am not sure that his "christianity" is any reason either, even tho I think the word is thrown around too loosely here but even if he was or is or aint a christian, that surely is no reason to hate the kid. Maybe we can get some democrats on this site to outline why they hate him but I cant think of any reason.

I hope you are not confusing irritate with hate. I am sure that he irritates but I dont think he does anything that requires hatred.

Him knowing what he believes is not a qualification for leadership or a position at the whitehouse. Its how you implement and prove that what you believe is worth the while. Bush has not yet proven that and he has had the time to do it.

His snigger and shoulder thing are crap issues, not worthy of consideration.... he aint make himself.. and its his right to be that way.. it might irritate but its nothing to create hatred.

Who said that the dynamic in the middle east needed changing? Who appointed the US to change that dynamic? Why has the US not decided 30 years ago to change the dynamic between Israel and Palestine? Why hasnt Bush decided to change the Israeli/Palestinian dynamic? Why didnt the US change the South African dynamic when aparthied was so rampant there and thousands of people were dieing every single day? Changing the dynamics in the middle east is simply a nonsense theory that holds no merit.

Changing the regime in Iraq makes the middle east a worse place, not a better place. Its blind sighted not to realise that the middle east dynamics is purely about Israel and Palestine and Islamic issues. There are no other dynamics in the Middle East. If Bush wanted to change any dynamics in that part of the world, he needed to do something about Israel and Palestine. Having not done so, clearly dictates that he has another agenda or he has not the feintest idea what he is about. Personally, I think he has another agenda, which you might be aware of but prefer not to touch with a 2 mile pole.

So, walking into Iraq and delcaring himself the new sheriff in town is bad for business and a genuine waste of time. It simply will not solve anything in the middle east and it will certainly make things worse across that region and the world... and its that way already... and getting worse. The world needs a leader.

I agree that you dont have to care if the french or the germans like you or if you like them but like it or not, you have to work with them and thats the plain truth. If you have to work with them then, you might as well communicate with them and you might as well get all that you can get from them, while they communicate with you and get all that they can get from you. I really dont have to like a person to work with them, even tho it helps a billion if we become at least work mates.

That Saddam is gone is a good thing but it does little for the world. It relieves his people... but from what? Everyday, I wonder if they are doing as good now as they were under his strong arm... I get the distinct impression that they are not doing as well but I am not there so I dont really know.

But... in summary, I dont think that dems hate the prez. I think they dislike his failed policies and want relief... but I dont think this is a dems thing, its also a republican thing and a world thing. Pride will hinder republicans from expressing disgust at this failed presidency and being that the GOP is a well organised machine, they will get the rank and file to skirt the wagon and sing from the same hymn sheet but it does not mean that they dont despise the constant failings of this president. I am absolutely sure that most republicans feel sorry for Bush and wish that he had done something right during his tenure at the whitehouse.. but alas, he has brought home nothing and will leave with nothing but he will have the GOP squarely behind him when he walks those doors for the last time.

To be honest, I dont despise the GOP for its ability to rally the troops. Its a feature of the party that I love with all of my existence. Home drums MUST always beat first and thats what the GOP does very well.. and I applaud them mightily for such a glorious achievement, unfortunately, they sent the wrong man to the supreme court and he got sent to the whitehouse as puinishment..

Cheers

Bel, cheers back atcha!

I can tell you are a sincere person of goodwill and I agree with you more than you know. This is a Dem site so I will respect that and keep my comments brief. You know Dem folks don't really tolerate dissent except in the abstract.

I stick by my assertion that the left in this country (i.e. the Democratic Party) hate Bush. Watch any of the talking heads on cable or any of the party spinners closely and you will feel the palpable hatred. They can barely contain themselves and only do so for fear that it will detract from their mission to win the undecideds. But we can agree to disagree on this point.

The problem I have with the disloyal opposition is their hypocrisy. They support tough stances against sexual harassment until their guy (Clinton) demonstrates a textbook example. They support choice for abortions but not for school vouchers or social security accounts. They oppose intervention in foreign conflicts when US interests are involved but support sending troops to Haiti, Somolia, Bosnia where we have no national interests (I support all three incidentally, but I digress). They sympathize with the poor Viet Cong communists but couldn't care less about the 1,000,000 + Cambodians slaughtered when we left. They claim to support diversity but not on the editorial boards and not on college campuses. I could go on but whats the point?

Bel, triangulation works for electoral politics but it is not leadership. Leadership is not using polls to determine where the crowd is headed so you can run and get in front of it. I personally want a leader who is not afraid to take unpopular positions. Lincoln was opposed to slavery on principle and got capped for it. Nixon risked the wrath of the right to open dialog with China. Kerry would not take any position that didn't guarantee at least 50% support from polls.

You're right about unilateralism being a no-go in the new world order, but the essence of leadership is that you pull the crowd in the direction that YOU choose. I'm betting that historians 10 years out are going to call Bush bold for the decision to take out Sadamm. The resolutions of the UN don't mean squat without enforcement and lest we forget, the burden of proof was shifted to Sadamm. He called Bush's bluff and that Ace of Spades is now in the pokey. As Bush has said, when the American President declares his intentions it has to mean something. Surely you agree. This will sound arrogant and maybe it is, but what is good for America is GOOD for the world. We rebuilt Germany and Japan into our biggest competitors. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Marshall Plan wasn't even started until about 3 years after the end of WWII so how can we be behind the curve in Iraq? This country represents the pinnacle of liberty and freedom in the worlds history. It is a true meritocracy, unabashedly proud of the melting pot and unashamed of our way of life. France and Germany, along with the rest of Europe are jaded and crumbling democracies that will slip into chaos before this century is over. We're supposed to take deportment classes from these clowns?

On the Palestinian question, get real! How long have we been waiting for honest compromise from the Arab countries. If they are so concerned about the plight of the Palestinians (and I do think it is dire) how about Lebanon letting them out of those pig styes called refugee camps and into their country. Maybe a good place to start would be for Arafat to stop promising to "drive the Jews into the sea"! Their idea of a solution is Israel surrounded, penetrated, and defenseless. They don't want a solution, they want an ongoing grievance so they can wave the bloody shirt for the world's sympathy. I am down with Bush's unwavering support for our only friend in the Middle East (oh thats right, we can now count Afghanistan, Pakistan, Irag, and Lybia as at least having one foot inside the door). Hey, I am not being naive so you don't need to go there. Are you being cynical? Check the stats on casulties before and after Israel started erecting the wall! Can you believe the UN voted something like 150 to 6 to condemn Israel for trying to protect their own citizens. Can we expect better when we try to protect ourselves.

Bel, I can't believe you said Bush was installed. I forgot to list that as a reason the Dems hate Bush because it is hard to keep that crap on my desktop for easy access. But you are right, that is a major irritant for the, shall we say, more easily led constituencies of the Democratic Party. Lets review, the NY Times, CNN, Washington Post (all members of the vast right conspiracy, he said facetiously) all conducted exhaustive recounts and concluded that Bush won. The only reason the Supremes stepped in was because the Florida Supreme Court (virtually all Democrats) were irrationally and unfairly trying to "keep hope alive"!

Hey my friend, South Africa is now really the paradise we all knew it could be! It has the highest Aids infection rate in the world but thank god apartheid is gone! Oh my, I guess that wasn't politically correct but what does the frickin truth have to do anything. Do you hear much from the Dems about South Africa anymore? About as much as they want to talk about Vietnam now except to trumpet Kerry's heroic 4 months.

I don't believe our democracy will collapse if Kerry is elected. Democrats and other liberals are important to our system of government. When they are not demagoging to get power, they have some good points like on the environment. But would it really be so bad if we got just

wait for it......

4 MORE YEARS!

You make good reading BJ.. and its obvious that we share some basic core values but our execution of the policies that make these values work is radically different.

This is good and it shows that perspectives on the same issues can make the world of a difference.

I dont agree that whats good for America is good for the world tho. You can only speak that way if you have never lived outside of the US for a prolonged period. If you did, then you would not have such an interesting statement. There are tons of things thats good for the US that not good for two thirds of the world. You are right, its an arrogant statement.


On the issue of leadership, there are two perspectives at work here again. There is the bull dog approach which you support and there is the win/win approach which I support. The problem with the bull dog approach which Bush lives by is that it hurts more than it heals and you create enemies. It means that you can never get a good night's sleep thereafter, you always have to wonder who is knocking at the door and you have to approach the door with your shotgun in hand cause you never know who is there to "get" you.

On the other hand, you can use the win/win approach like Clinton and to a lesser extent, Reagan and be able to roam the world freely and give lectures and addresses for 100,000 per hour and sleep well at night, even setting up office in harlem.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Bush willl NEVER, EVER be able to do this and I dare you to watch closely after his term in office and tell me how many countries across the world will invite him to even open their dog kennel. Of course you will argue that he doesnt need that crap, he can go on his ranch and fish...

Even the lame Jimmy Carter is still roaming the world doing his thing... Bush will never ascend to such heights.

So the bull dog approach will get the job done too but it breeds hatred like flies on a dead dog. This is exactly what happened in slavery and after 300 hundred years, blacks and white simply cant afford to trust each other and dont. Its not the work that was done by the slaves, its the slave masters approach to leadership.... the bull dog style. In the long term, its not worth it.

For Bush' policies to work, he has to change that bull dog approach and act like a civilised person. Unilaterilism is the ultimate in crap. No man is an island, no man can stand alone.... and thats a hard, cold cruel fact. Bush wants to prentend that he is an island and can stand alone... It wont work..

Personally, I am pretty sure that I dont care who hangs in the whitehouse, but what I care about is that we have someone who has win/win leadership skills. I have seen Bush', he dont have those skills, so my admonition to the world is to vote for Kerry, give him 4 years to prove himself. Bush had his moment in the sun and failed. Its time for him to vacate the chair and lets someone else give it a shot.

and with that, I strongly recommend that you vote for Kerry and edwards. If they fail, then you can vote for your GOP candidate in 2008. At this junction in the life of the world, its not about party, its about world management, world peace, world health etc.. etc.. its not really about America....so vote wisely man.

cheers

Bel, I'm guessing from the salutation and the comment about living outside the US that you may be British. Am I wrong, just curious? Of course you are right that a win - win scenario is preferable to my way or the highway. But really, are Carter and Clinton (two southern boys by the way) invited to speak around the world because of their management style or because they are former leaders of the worlds only superpower and thus "rock stars" of the first order? What does the world care about about a peanut farmer and a serial groper (who may be very bright and charming but was only governor of a small state before he became president)?

Give Bush a little credit. Even people who oppose him admit that he is an affable fellow well met when they actually meet him. No attempt to condescend, but if you are over the age of 35 and were living in the States during the Reagan years you must remember how he was demonized. Remember RAY-GUN? Thats what the proponents of the nuclear (or nuculear as Bush would say) freeze called Reagan. He, along with Margaret Thatcher were pretty lonely on that island to which you refer. Thats another bit of history that the Dems would like to revise, but I sense that you are hip to that trip.

Lets compare.

Reagan was called stupid, Bush is called stupid.
Reagan was frightening to the intellectual elite and so is Bush.
Reagan referenced GOD too frequently and so does Bush.

And the beat goes on.

What some call stubborness others call resolve.

My friend, I don't believe you can point to one achievement of 8 years of the Clinton Administration that historians will be talking or writing about 10 years from now. And if you start about the economy yada,yada,yada (a total red herring) I'm going to ask you what other president is remembered for presiding over a great economy. Presidents are remembered for big things.

If you are wrong and I'm right, and Bush's actions can shift the paradigm in the Middle East, spurring a trend toward democracies and out of the backward, fearful, repressive theocracies that now prevail, then he'll do a lot better that go fishing when his term ends, although you are probably right about missing out on the digs in Harlem (damn the luck) but he'll probably make do in Crawford.

Don't think it can happen? John Kerry said in his famous congressional slander of our Vietnam soldiers that we can't go around fighting communism all over world. I guess he rejects that bulldog approach as well. Thank God Reagan and Thatcher stood their ground in the face of blistering criticism much like some are directing at Bush now (but not you to be fair). Somewhere, I like to believe in heaven, Ronnie is asking "how ya like me now"!

Maybe you don't care who "hangs in the Whitehouse" but I've got a feeling we have another historic opportunity in the next decade.

I think I'm ready to flush the John's and reup for

4 MORE YEARS!

Gracious me.... definately not Brit-ish... but why cant I be american who have travelled?

and.... you should try hard not to compare Bush and Reagan. Their only similarities remain in the fact that they are both from the same party but the similarities end there.

I would also like you to know that I personally supported both Reagan and Thatcher in their day. You have to recognise that my stance in life is not about party but about what's better for the people and the world. In their day, they had qualities that the world needed at the time and I supported them both.

I was in the US during the Reagan years so I have some pretty good understanding of how his era went... and I know that his style is nothing like Bush's and there is nothing to compare.

I wont support the DEMS because they are DEMs.. and neither would I support the GOP because they are republicans.... they both have to make sense.

Currently this administration does not make sense and hence I am hoping that there is a change in Nov. You can rest assured that if Kerry and crew dont make sense, I willl be back here pleading to have them removed in 2008.... I have not ties to either party. My commitment is with policies that benefits the peoples of the US and by extension, the world at large.

The US can do it, but we need a leader... and its not Bush. Sorry.

You dont need to speculate about the middle east... you can rest assured that Bush' actions will do nothing positive in the middle east. If you stop and think about it, there is prob. not a single soul alive who can make any serious impact on the issues between Israel and Palestine... thats a long story but the nutshell version is that this is a serious family squabble and there is no outsider alive who can fix it... Bush is an outsider... so is Kerry.. and this is the reason why it made no sense for Bush to invade Iraq... there were other ways to kill Saddam.. he should have done that.. there are other ways to get Iraqi oil... he shouuld have used them... its a stupid war and it will make things worse... so no need to wonder who will be right on this issue... you and i will be long dead before that conflict in the middle east is resolved... so dont expect bush to do anything... he will die and leave it unresolved... trust me.

Trust me again... .there is no rock star status around the world for carter.. maybe clinton... but pay attention.. it really dont matter if your shoes are full of mud and cow mess.... if the prettiest girl at the bar singles you out.. and ignores all the other handsome guys.. then you are the best... so it does not matter how we see carter or clinton... thing is... they are wanted around the world.. this wont happen to bush..

This is what I mean when I talk about poking holes into people's character.... people will eventually look past those holes and find the character of the person... this is what happens to both carter and clinton... sure they have mud on their shoes.... but the world and the peoples of the US LOVES them both... that wont be said of Bush..

There is no point to propping up Bush.. his style of management is his downfall... and until he changes it, he is doomed to fail... and has failed... and will fail...

Just remember that if he gets 4 more years, then its a sad indictment on the peoples of the US... it not normal to appoint a CEO who has as dismal a record.... as Bush.. so you want observe that..

But.... do your country a favour and vote for Kerry.. its only four years and you stand a better chance of getting a better and safer country.. trust me again.

I am happy that the southerners produce mostly good presidents.... well... Bush is slightly different.. maybe its not his fault.. maybe its his advisers.

BJ is not particularly observant of world history, eg "spurring a trend toward democracies..."

It has never happened in this way, the so called benign domino effect. But this was an effective way to sell the Iraq war, and an effective justification for believing that 'might makes democracy'. Which is simplistic, of course. The costs of Iraq are greater than the benefits. That is not to deny that there are benefits....but that's the rhetorical game the GOP wants to play

And the cold war was won by cultural example and emphasis on human rights by the west as much as militarily. Ultimately the lack of popular support for Communism was deadly.

People like BJ are not persuadeable. Don't waste your time.

LOL... I follow your line Truth Telller... but I enjoy reading his perspective... its always a good thing to know how others think... so I usually listen attentively...

but you are right... the berlin wall didnt come down because reagan asked to have it torn down, there were other events and the time was right... but if the GOP wants to take credit.... then why not? In my life, I have read many history books that were totally and undeniably incorrect.. I guess this will be another one.

I am not sure that BJ cant be persuaded... but... he is not the only one reading these posts... there are others who sit on the fence and are looking for reasons and answers... BJ responds but others read and learn and listen..... I am sure of that because of the emails which I receive.

In this elections, its important that alot of work be done to convert as many fence minders and GOPs as possible. The world needs a leader and desparately so too.. we cant afford to have Bush in the whitehouse for 4 more years.. the world is currently on hold, waiting for someone to give the marching orders... and they will not listen or respond to bush's orders to march.... in this regard we have to give it to someone else.. kerry is next in line and must therefore receive it... we cant let the systems of this world go out of sync for 4 more years...we have to fix it.. and as such we need to convert the BJs of the US.. if only for 4 years.. so get involved...

Cheers

Bel

I accept that you are not rooting for the Dems vs the GOP for purely partisan reasans. I believe that your concern is for the well being of this country and the world.

I too have travelled, although not as much or as frequently as I would like. Because so many people see America as the ideal (compared to their own country) and want to come here, I feel privileged to have been born an American.

Okay, you think Bush has failed. Let's be fair about this, I think you are calling the game after the 1st half and I would urge you to wait until the final whistle has been blown.

Break it down brother and flash back to 2000. Get your mind there and consider this scenario. If I told you that the incoming President (be it Bush or Gore) would inherit the following:

1. An economy that was clearly sliding into recession (3 straight quarters down before the election).
2. An internet bubble, in which millions of Americans were heavily if foolishly invested, about to burst, destroying confidence in the markets.
3. Brewing corporate scandels which mostly occured before 2000, that would again hurt confidence in the markets and in our own prospects.
4. The 1st attack on American soil since we became a sovereign nation that would take out our 2 largest buildings in our greatest city and spectacularly kill 3000 innocent civilins 9 months after the new president took office.
5. Two wars successfully fought in retaliation freeing 55 million people and initiating an ongoing larger war against an enemy that wasn't even on most Americans radar screens in 2000.

Would you have predicted that our economy would be roughly in the same position after 4 years(in terms of unemployment, consumer confidence, etc.) as it was in 1996 when Clinton was reelected mostly on the strength of the economy? I doubt you would if you were honest (and I believe you are). Yes we have higher deficits but when your doctor tells you it's cancer and it's bad your mind does'nt really go to how it's going to affect your bank account.

We are now suspicious of our Arab fellow citizens and yet due to the American spirit and our predident's leadership there are really no documented indications of hate crimes, no internments, no real curtailment of civil liberties, no panic in the streets, no subsequent attacks. The president emphatically told the world that our quarrel was not against Muslims but against radical Islam.

You say the world is waiting for our leadership and I agree. What would that new president do to provide that leadership? I would think he would focus the world on the challenges and tasks at hand, and clearly let the world know where we stand. When you get a unanimous resolution from the UN security council and those same members won't vote for enforcement there is a serious disconnect. Even Kerry concedes he "might" have still gone into Iraq (there's a firm stand with the benefit of hindsight) but quibbles about the timing. Yeah, right!

That's where you and I disagree. I think Bush has led and now the world can choose which side they want to support. He has said if you support the terrorists, feed the terrorist, or shelter the terrorist, you are to be treated as a terrorist. War is hell, mi amigo. That is the cold, hard, truth, as you like to say, and all the wishing will not alter that reality. You seem to believe that France, Germany, and Russia opposed the war in Iraq on principle. I believe their opposition was based on craven and corrupt self-interest in protecting their economic arrangements with a brutal dictator. You can not dispute the evidence of this now on the table and believe me, more is coming. Speaking of craven what does it mean when Kerry and Edwards support the war but won't vote for the 87 billion to support the troops because Dean is making Dem primary voters in Iowa swoon? Am I disappointed that so many citizens in the world resent America for taking action in its own self-interest? Yes I am, but it's lonely at the top!

Is my view simplistic? You're damn straight it is! And yes Truth Teller, I believe in a benign domino theory. Jeez, last time I heard that argument we were debating Vietnam. Care to revise that argument in light of what happened to to that region in the immediate aftermath of our exit? Nuance is for peacetime, now is the time for clear leadership and choosing sides. After we win this struggle, and we will, we can put the mommy party back in power to sooth the feelings of those nations traumatized by watching America and Americas soldiers put the world back on a peaceful course. I don't think the threat to our way of life is coming from representative democracies around the globe!

I ask you this question. Does strength invite attack or does weakness invite attack. Come on Bel, you seem to be a straight-shooter, tell me true my friend, how would you have done it different. Kerry says he would fight a more "sensitive" war. To whom would he be more sensitive? People of goodwill the world over, at least those with a free and vigorous press, can look at the facts and decide for themselves who is righteous and who is not. We can't insist that we get a fair hearing in the court of world opinion leading to approval of the actions we take to protect our interests. So be it, I say screw it, they'll love us when we win and maybe Bush will have more success "getting the girl" in that bar (although I'm glad that's not his primary concern at this point). You know where I stand. Do you know where Kerry stands? Tell me where you stand and be specific.

4 MORE YEARS!

Ahhhhhhhhh BJ..

You keep cracking me up... and this cant be good.. Lets just resolve that you will join with the DEMs and the Independents and some repubs. and vote for Kerry in Nov.

If they screw it up any further, you can have it back so that you can fix it. Personally, I dont think anyone can do as bad as Bush has done so it should be relatively easy moving upwards from here..

Dont keep going back to what the economy WAS... when you take the wheels of my car, you sign on to drive it... dont sign on and then complain. Clinton didnt complain when he took over from the previous Bush.. Reagan didnt complain after Carter.. .they were all men enough to take over the wheel, feel the power under their seat.. .put the pedal to the metal and took off, firing on all cylinders... so quit moaning about the clinton years and recessions and all the chewy stuff..

If bush didnt want what clinton left behind, he could have resigned the post. he didnt... which means that he thought he could handle it.. todate, however, he had not been able to manage the power of the powerful hemi based V12 power plant... so... its time to hand over to someone else.. to let them at least feel the power. Bush doesnt drive very well. I am sorry..

go ahead and vote for kerry with genuine american pride, it will do you well, it will do all america well and... the world at large. do the honorable thing.. .I look forward to hearing about your vote in Nov... dont disappoint me now..

over and out.

Okay Bel,

I can take a hint. I gave you facts and you rebut with your original unsubstantiated statement of how Bush is not doing well. That's fine, although I must say I was hoping for some "chewy" stuff, but whatever.

I expect a conclusion in search of evidence from the Dems but I thought you were all about reasoned argument. No sweat my friend, we don't always get what we want, but if we try sometimes, we just might find, we get what we need. I can let it go but I must say I am disappointed.

My point wasn't that Bush should whine about the hand dealt him, but rather that he did a good job with what he had to work with. His tax cuts shortened the recession and made the economy stronger. Alan Greenspan concluded that and give it 5 months and even Paul Krugman will be forced to agree.

I think you know that.

No, bro, I won't be voting for Kerry. I think he is a lightweight who is afraid to say what he really thinks for fear there is some small sliver of voters he may offend. You go ahead and vote your conscience, convictions, vague feelings, or your horoscope, or whatever you consult to make your decision.

By the way, in America we leave the "u" out of favor.

Cheers, mate and as always....

4 MORE YEARS!

BJ...

Just skating back in to say thanks for your dialog and debate over the past few days. I am happy that you are bold enough and committed enough to stick to your position, no matter what. Nope.. its not always a great thing to do but its surely means that you would die for your cause and the world needs people of this ilk... besides the terrorist of course.

I have leanrt a ton of stuff just tossing info back and forth and it has all been very helpful in my quest to understand and grip the essence of the coming elections. For this, I am eternally grateful.

I wish you all the very best during the season and may the person best suited to manage the isssues of america, while setting a mandate by which the world can co-exist, win this race.

Best Wishes and God's Blessings on you. It was nice e-meeting you.

Cheers

A followup to GR Joe's comment of August 4, 2004 12:50 PM.

From Michigan, the Kerrys came to Milwaukee for an evening rally, Monday 8/2.

My wife and I attended the rally — we sat immediately behind Senator Kohl, about 20 feet from the microphone stand.   Both Senator and Mrs. Kerry spoke eloquently, articulately, inspiringly, and at length... without a podium, notes, or a teleprompter.   (Try *that*, W!)

Unlike the Bush events which require protestors to be locked up far away in "First Amendment Zones", this rally in Pere Marquette Park, by the river, had Bush-Cheney campaigners freely gathering on the sidewalk outside the park, and on the bridge over the river, using airhorns and megaphones throughout the rally, trying to drown out the speakers.   They failed.   Worse than failing, they helped motivate the crowd attending the rally.

The petty harassment they'd given people lined up to enter the rally got the Bush-Cheney irritants pegged as bullies (they'd picked the handicapped entrance to block, and pestered people in wheelchairs); then their attempts to disrupt the rally itself, to deny the freedom of association and speech to their opponents, got them pegged as would-be tin-plated dictators.   Rather than winning themselves or their candidates any sympathy, they alienated an entire parkful of people, and won more determined support for the very people they were trying to drown out.

The rally amplification was more than a match for the megaphones.   But at one point during a pause in Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech, the Bush-Cheney megaphones could be heard chanting "Four more years! Four more years!"   Mrs. Kerry retorted, "They want four more years of hell."   The crowd cheered her, then chanted back at the Bush league, "Three more months! Three more months!" — their unamplified voices, massed together, thundering over the tinny megaphones.

After that, Mrs. Kerry, and then her husband, had the crowd's complete attention and — at every pause — loudly voiced support.   People who'd been listening quietly before were now cheering themselves hoarse, any hesitancy or reserve gone, gone, gone.

It could hardly have turned out worse for Bush and Cheney.

I think the Kerry-Edwards campaign should *hire* those annoying Bush-Cheney campaigners to picket all the Kerry rallies, and alienate more fence-sitters from Bush & Cheney.

And I think Teresa is doing a wonderful job of letting audiences get to know her and her husband better — which is something that the so-called "liberal" news media have not helped with.

It certainly doesn't hurt that she knows how to think on her feet, rather than having to rely on scripts; and that she responds boldly rather than wilting in the face of opposition.   Now if only she can teach that sort of courage to some of her husband's colleagues in Congress....