- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

Unimpressed hunters

Gun owners in Ohio scoff at Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry‘s attempts to win their votes, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Kerry has gone hunting and made numerous comments in recent weeks aimed at reassuring gun owners. However, those attending a gun show in Sharonville over the weekend said they were not impressed by Mr. Kerry’s insistence that he supports the constitutional right to bear arms.

“One dead duck and a new hunting jacket doesn’t make you a hunter,” Doug Rigsby said. “His voting record is near 100 percent anti-gun. He’s voted for just about every piece of gun-control program that has come up.”

It was a reaction shared by many who browsed, traded or bought new pistols, rifles and automatic weapons at the gun and knife show at the Sharonville Convention Center, the wire service noted.

The hunters and gun-sports enthusiasts said it is Mr. Kerry’s voting record that has turned them off.

“If John Kerry wins, you lose,” was the message of one leaflet being handed out by activists, accompanied by a selective highlighting of Mr. Kerry’s anti-gun votes and positions. It said he was in favor of banning semi-automatic firearms, including many firearms favored by sportsmen, and supported a law to “outlaw most ammunition used by deer hunters.”

Swing state blues

To those who don’t live in “battleground” states, Todd Allen says, “be glad your state has a solid color on the political map.”

A New York writer, Mr. Allen recently spent a few days visiting his parents in hotly contested Iowa, where TV airwaves are filled with political ads and phones are frequently ringing with calls from pollsters and campaigns.

Mr. Allen, writing at www.indignantonline.com, explains what life is like for residents of Grand Mound, Iowa (population 600): “You get surveys of who you’re voting for from organizations whose affiliations you must decipher for yourself. You get calls of support from representatives of both parties. …

“Then you have your recorded messages. It might be John Kerry or G.W. Bush in a taped message bending your ear on the phone. It might be a lobbyist. …

“Why should you not trust the polls? Because, especially in swing states, everyone is so constantly bothered by politicos, your average person is likely to just hang up the phone. I took to that behavior after a week and a half. Think how jaded someone must be after two months of it.”

Red Sox campaign

Looking to share some of the magic that propelled the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years, President Bush enlisted a fan favorite to deliver his pitch, while Democratic Sen. John Kerry recruited the team’s front office.

Curt Schilling, winning pitcher for the Red Sox in Game 2 of the series, endorses Mr. Bush in automated recordings that will be used in three competitive states — New Hampshire, Maine and Pennsylvania — before tomorrow’s election.

Mr. Kerry, the four-term Massachusetts senator who frequently mentions his hometown team and donned a cap this past week, was appearing yesterday with Boston’s principal owner John Henry, part-owner Tom Werner and General Manager Theo Epstein at a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Schilling endorsed Mr. Bush in a television interview Thursday, a day after the Red Sox won the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1918.

In his phone message to voters, Mr. Schilling says, “These past couple of weeks, Sox fans … trusted me when it was my turn on the mound. Now you can trust me on this: President Bush is the right leader for our country,” according to a transcript from the Bush campaign.

Tenet’s book

“Finally, a Washington book that should be worth reading — and one that publishers are scrambling to buy,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

“It’s former CIA Director George Tenet‘s story of running the agency under former President Clinton and under President Bush and in the wake of 9/11. Tenet and lawyer Robert Barnett just wrapped up two weeks of shopping the book proposal around New York, and a whopping 12 publishing houses want in,” Mr. Bedard said.

“‘There was a VERY enthusiastic reception,’ e-mailed a Tenet ally. Publishing insiders said the advance could top $5 million for the former top spy, who’s not expected to pull any punches in writing abut his seven years at Langley.

“A publisher will be picked in November, and the book could hit stores by late ‘05 or early ‘06. On the New York tour, we’re told, Tenet provided a summary and told war stories, and publishers signed agreements not to reveal what they heard. Tenet’s getting some writing help from his former spokesman, Bill Harlow, himself the author of the military thriller ‘Circle William.’ We hear the White House is happy that the book summary is being kept secret until after the election.”

Cherie’s comments

British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife implicitly criticized President Bush in a talk at Harvard University, saying she supported a U.S. Supreme Court decision that dealt a blow to his policy on Guantanamo Bay detainees, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The prime minister, a close ally of Mr. Bush, has remained studiously neutral in the presidential race, and his wife, Cherie Blair, has generally avoided commenting on American politics.

But in a closed-door speech to about 100 people at Harvard, Mrs. Blair praised a Supreme Court decision in a case brought by two Britons freed from Guantanamo, according to London’s newspaper the Mail, which said it obtained a leaked copy of the talk.

The ruling said foreign terrorism suspects may use the American legal system to challenge their detention, a blow to Mr. Bush’s policy of holding detainees at Guantanamo without judicial review.

She called the decision “profoundly important” and a “significant victory for human rights and the international rule of law,” the newspaper reported.

Mrs. Blair, a prominent human rights lawyer, has been touring the United States to promote her book, “The Goldfish Bowl.”

Mr. Blair’s 10 Downing St. office said Mrs. Blair had been speaking in her capacity as a lawyer and not as the prime minister’s wife.

“These were in no way political opinions,” a Blair spokesman said on the customary condition of anonymity.

Lynne’s one-liner

The closing days of the presidential campaign have turned into an expanded family affair for Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne, and their three granddaughters, who are traveling with them, the Associated Press reports.

At a campaign rally yesterday in Romulus, Mich., Elizabeth, 7, wore a scary Halloween costume as the Grim Reaper. To howls of laughter, Lynne Cheney introduced Elizabeth as “John Kerry‘s health plan.”

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

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