- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Swift photo

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has posted a photo on its Web site, www.swiftvets.com, that shows just how little support Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry has among swift boat officers who knew him in Vietnam.

Twenty officers, including Mr. Kerry, are shown in the photo, but the Web site urges viewers to touch it with their cursor to see just how many support the Massachusetts Democrat’s White House bid. Suddenly, only one man is standing near Mr. Kerry.

Until earlier this week, there were two, but one of them said he, too, was no supporter of Mr. Kerry.

“Sen. John Kerry has made his four-month combat tour in Vietnam the centerpiece of his bid for the Presidency,” the Web site says. “His campaign jets a handful of veterans around the country, and trots them out at public appearances to sing his praises. John Kerry wants us to believe that these men represent all those he calls his ‘band of brothers.’

“But most combat veterans who served with John Kerry in Vietnam see him in a very different light.”

The group said the purpose of the photo “is to correct the misleading use of our images — against our will — to further John Kerry’s campaign.”

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth added, “John Kerry has been able to convince about 13 men who served on Swift boats in the Mekong Delta to support him, seven or eight of whom were at various times crew members on his own six-man boat. Those are the men the Kerry campaign so prominently featured at the Democratic Convention. The photograph we have posted at SwiftVets.com shows Kerry with 19 of his fellow Swift boat OICs (Officers In Charge) in Coastal Division 11. Four OICs were not present for the photograph. Only one of his 23 fellow OICs from Coastal Division 11 supports John Kerry.”

DNC vs. Club

The Club for Growth says the Democratic National Committee has contacted television stations to urge them not to run the conservative group’s ad that depicts Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry as being like a weather vane on the issues.

The group said its $1 million television ad campaign “informing Americans of John Kerry’s ever-changing record on taxes, welfare reform and the death penalty for terrorists” has drawn the ire of the Democrats.

“The DNC has gone so far as to send a letter to television stations telling them not to air the ad,” the group said yesterday in a prepared statement.

“The Club for Growth has thoroughly researched the assertions in the ad and we stand by them,” said Club for Growth President Stephen Moore. “This is a smoke screen put up by Democrats who favor higher taxes.”

Gourmet diners

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican, yesterday made fun of the Kerry-Edwards campaign for stopping at a Wendy’s restaurant for the Edwardses’ anniversary dinner only to have a gourmet catered lunch waiting for them on the campaign bus.

“In their relentless pursuit of the ultimate extreme makeover, Kerry and Edwards continue to put up a facade of who they are,” Mr. Diaz-Balart said. “Nothing is wrong with two rich men enjoying a meal at Wendy’s. But why would you have gourmet catered food to eat afterward? Was the Frosty not good enough?

“If you are going to have a photo-op at Wendy’s to show you are a regular guy, then at least have the decency and honesty to eat the food. On a side note, Wendy’s is probably breathing easier since they wouldn’t want to get sued by Edwards for serving his family hamburgers and fries.”

Rockers for Kerry

Bruce Springsteen will join two dozen other performers in nine battleground states for a rock ‘n’ roll tour aimed at ousting President Bush, organizers said yesterday.

The “Vote for Change” tour — 34 shows in 28 cities — is scheduled for the first week of October, one month before the presidential election, Reuters news agency reports.

“The tour is aimed squarely at the radical right-wing policies of Republican ideologues throughout the country,” said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn PAC, the online liberal political action committee presenting the tour.

Six concert lineups will play simultaneous shows in a blitz of swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Dave Matthews, James Taylor, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are among the performers donating their talent and time to get Democrat Sen. John Kerry into the White House.

Proceeds from the tour go to America Coming Together, another liberal political action group.

Lack of influence

The movie “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore’s polemic against the Bush administration, may be breaking box office records for documentaries, but it isn’t swaying undecided voters, according to a survey by the University of Pennsylvania.

The survey, released Tuesday showed that Mr. Moore’s movie is mainly reaching — and reinforcing the views of people who already dislike President Bush and his policies, Hearst Newspapers reports.

While 41 percent of all respondents said the movie made them think worse of Mr. Bush, the researchers said that 60 percent of that group already were Democrats and therefore likely to vote against the president anyway.

Further, researchers found that while 33 percent of independents said the movie left them with a negative view of Mr. Bush, the independents who saw the movie were much more liberal than independents at large and three times more likely to have supported Al Gore in the 2000 election than Mr. Bush.

The pollsters found that 55 percent of respondents who attended the movie were Democrats, 24 percent were independents and 10 percent Republicans. The researchers concluded that so few Republicans have seen Mr. Moore’s movie that researchers have little statistical confidence in assessing their attitudes.

Blame Bush

Actress Sharon Stone says a puritanical streak running through America created by President Bush prevented her from kissing Halle Berry in the newly released film “Catwoman,” WorldNetDaily.com reports.

Miss Stone, 46, wanted to enjoy a lesbian moment with her co-star, but the current conservative climate in the country just wouldn’t allow it, she concluded, according to Ireland Online.

“Halle’s so beautiful, and I wanted to kiss her. I said, ‘How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? That’s such a waste,’” she said.

“That’s what you get for having George Bush as president.”

Robbers rally, too

While police were keeping an eye on simultaneous rallies by Sen. John Kerry and President Bush yesterday in Davenport, Iowa, three banks were robbed.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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