Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Fly the Kerry skies:
The John Kerry campaign announced last night that Kerry would be Iowa-hopping in a helicopter over the next few days leading up to the Caucuses. "The clock is ticking, and John Kerry is fighting harder than ever to let every Iowan know that he is on their side, and ready to take on George Bush," said Kerry spokesperson Stephanie Cutter.

["Dick Gephardt Says Dean Can't Be Trusted"].
"To me, there is no room for the cynical politics of manufactured anger and false conviction. I believe in standing for something ... Howard Dean travels the country and yells and pounds the podium against NAFTA, against the secrecy of the Bush-Cheney White House, and against insider corporate deals. This is the same Howard Dean who said he 'strongly supported NAFTA,' who won't release his records as governor, and who wanted Vermont to 'overtake Bermuda' as a tax haven for companies like Enron."
Right on! The Gephardt campaign also targeted Dean after his attacks on Wesley Clark's jobs proposal. The campaign noted that both Dean and Clark supported NAFTA and the China trade deals:

Clark on NAFTA: "I was so pleased that President Bush called for a North American Free Trade Agreement... We're going to find tremendous prosperity... We're going to find it in the state of Arkansas and even the city of Little Rock. Maybe even northwest Arkansas will benefit from all this. We've seen it already in NAFTA. We're going to see it tenfold in the years ahead." [Source: speech by Gen. Clark at the Lincoln Day dinner for the Pulaski County Republican Party, Little Rock, AR, 5/11/01. Printed in Wall Street Journal, 9/28/03.]

Lieberman whacks Clark:
In another press release today, Joe Lieberman, who has seen slight gains in New Hampshire, whacks Wesley Clark for having seven - that's right - seven different positions on the invasion of Iraq!

Position 1: October 2002: For The War.
Although he publicly questioned the Bush doctrine of preemptive war, Clark said he supported the war resolution in early October 2002 – the day before it came to a vote – and advised then-congressional candidate Katrina Swett to vote for the resolution "after vigorous debate." "'Certainly in certain cases we should go to war before our enemies strike, and I think this situation applies here," he said. He now says "I don't remember all of the specifics" about his conversation with Swett. As late as April 2003, in an op-ed in the Times of London after the fall of Baghdad, Clark wrote that Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair “should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt."
[AP, 10/9/02;, 10/9/02; ABC’s Good Morning America, 10/15/03; Wesley Clark, What Must Be Done to Complete A Great Victory, The London Times, 4/10/03]

Position 2: September 18, 2003: Probably For The War.
The Washington Post reported that Clark said he "probably" would have voted for the resolution, and characterized his position as resembling that of Senators Lieberman and Kerry, "both of whom voted for the war but now question President Bush's stewardship of the Iraqi occupation. 'That having been said, I was against the war as it emerged because there was no reason to start it when we did. We could have waited,' Clark said."
[Washington Post, 9/19/03]

Position 3: September 18, 2003: "I’ve Said It Both Ways."
But the New York Times reported that on the same day, Clark admitted that "I don't know if I would have [voted for the resolution] or not. I've said it both ways, because when you get into this, what happens is you have to put yourself in a position. On balance, I probably would have voted for it."
[New York Times, 9/20/03]

Position 4: September 19, 2003: Against the War.
"'Let's make one thing real clear, I would never have voted for this war," Clark told the Associated Press the next day. "I've gotten (sic) a very consistent record on this." The New York Times reported Clark said "What I would have voted for is leverage. Leverage for the United States to avoid a war."
[Washington Post, 9/20/03; New York Times, 9/20/03]

Position 5: October 6, 2003: For The War…With Exceptions.
Just a few weeks later, Clark reportedly told a town hall meeting in Little Rock that "the only resolution he would have supported were proposals giving the president the support of Congress to go to the United Nations and see a war resolution” and requiring that the President return to Congress for final permission to go to war. "'I would have voted for leverage to get the problem internationalized,' he said."
[Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/6/03]

Position 6: October 22, 2003: "I Wasn’t Following the Resolution."
In a call to a Boston Globe reporter, Clark reiterated that he “would have voted no on that resolution." Asked why he had advised Katrina Swett to support the resolution, he responded, "Because I wasn't following the resolution and I didn't even know what was in the resolution … My message is that I am not a political consultant, period." But according to the Associated Press, Swett said that "Clark was ‘extremely intelligent and well-spoken’ on the resolution when discussing it with her. 'At that time, frankly, he spoke with great knowledge about Iraq and the upcoming vote,' she said. 'My impression is that he knew more about it than most of us.'"
[Boston Globe, 10/24/03; AP, 10/24/03]

Position 7: November 24, 2003: "…I Bobbled the Question…"
"With respect to the opening of my campaign, I want to tell you, I bobbled the question on the first day of the campaign in the back of an airplane."
[Clark, DNC/MSNBC Debate, 11/24/03].
Man, this stuff is great. Lieberman also announced that he is the first candidate to air TV and radio ads in Delaware.

Is Kucinich electable?
He seems to think so and his campaign has released a whole page on why: ["Is Kucinich Electable? Can He Beat Bush?"]

Other stuff:
Ducking talk about the death penalty?: ["Death Penalty Debate Absent From Election Talk"].
Finally, Christians are taking on President Bush - but for the wrong reasons: ["New Christian site: Don't vote for 'W'"]. You gotta love these guys [sarcasm]. Obsess over gays. Obsess over abortion. What about Christ's policy of unconditional love? What about thousands killed in a needless war over oil? There is a great bumpersticker I have been seeing in my parking lot every morning, paraphrasing: One killing is murder. Thousands murdered is foreign policy.
The CFR: Isn't if funny that all these Democratic candidates [and Republicans, when they are running] march right over to the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan to do their little foreign policy speeches. Yet, if you openly talk about the CFR conspiracy - i.e. how they have influenced foreign policy in America for decades, creating wars, making the world safe for big business, towards a New World Order, etc. - you are laughed at as a lunatic with claims that "there is no CFR"? Here's Gephardt's coverage at the CFR yesterday: ["Bush dismissed advice to give inspectors time, Gephardt says"].

Latest poll numbers
Survey USA has new South Carolina numbers, with most of the candidates trending up over previous numbers: Howard Dean at 25 percent, Wesley Clark at 23 percent, John Edwards at 17 percent, the Rev. Al Sharpton at 12 percent, Dick Gephardt down to 6 percent, and Joe Lieberman in at 5 percent. Undecideds make up 7 percent.
Zogby's new New Hampshire numbers show a solid Dean: Dean at 32 percent, Clark with 20 percent, Kerry in at 13 percent, and Lieberman with 9 percent.
Behavior Research Center has new numbers out of Arizona showing a two-way race: Dean with 29 percent, Clark close with 26 percent, Lieberman at 6 percent, with uncommitted making up 25 percent.