- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 29, 2004

News from Tokyo

“So I come to Tokyo to get away from it all, and what do I discover, but more bad news for the John Kerry campaign,” New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman writes.

“Not only does the U.S. economy appear to be headed for at least a burst of recovery around election time, but so does the world’s second-largest economy, Japan, which should also help buoy the U.S. recovery. It’s more evidence, to me, that Mr. Kerry may have to run in the most difficult of all environments and exactly the opposite of the one Democrats had hoped for: an environment where the U.S. economy is rebounding, and Iraq is reeling.”

Kerry’s claim

“Sen. John F. Kerry has claimed twice in recent days that since he effectively claimed the Democratic presidential nomination, he has not run a negative television advertisement against President Bush. But those viewing his ads in March and April could be pardoned for thinking otherwise,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mr. Kerry told a crowd in Cleveland on Tuesday, “My campaign is just beginning. We haven’t run a negative ad on [Mr. Bush].”

Late last week, the Democratic presidential candidate told newspaper editors meeting in Washington, “I’m going to try and change the discussion and just tell the truth to the American people. I never ran one negative advertisement against my opponents in the primaries, and I haven’t run negative advertising. My advertisements in this race are positive.”

But reporter Nick Anderson found that “five of the TV commercials Kerry has aired since he became the presumed Democratic nominee in early March have named and criticized Bush. One ad responded to a Bush attack, another contrasted Bush’s record on jobs with Kerry’s proposals to improve the economy, and three criticized Bush on the environment, abortion rights and the economy. That’s not counting several ads assailing Bush financed by liberal groups that operate separately from the Kerry campaign.”

Sharpton speech

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry has invited the Rev. Al Sharpton to speak at the party’s national convention in Boston.

In an interview with Black Entertainment Television that aired last night, the Massachusetts senator said Mr. Sharpton, who also sought the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, should speak at the convention.

“If he wants to do it, I’d like him to do it. I think he’d do a terrific job. I think he’ll add something,” Mr. Kerry said. “That’s my call.”

Mr. Kerry also praised Mr. Sharpton for helping energize Democratic voters, saying, “He certainly earned the right to be part of this process, and I think he can be very, very helpful in motivating people, in helping to register people.”

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