- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Bush, FDR & JFK

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, one of the nation’s most prominent Democrats, compares President Bush to Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Daley said the 2004 election reflects a political change on the order of what occurred under those legendary Democrats.

“You talk about Roosevelt. You talk about Kennedy. And you have to talk about Bush. You have to give credit to his discipline, to the message he stayed on line. People made fun. They underestimated him all the time. He showed them all,” Mr. Daley told John Fund, who wrote about the interview at the Political Diary portion of www.OpinionJournal.com.

Mr. Daley complained that Washington’s Democratic insiders let Republicans “become the party of average Americans” and relegated the Democrats to being the party of large donors.

Mr. Daley blamed the defeat on “elitists” inside the party, Mr. Fund wrote, for having, “too long ridiculed people of faith.”

“They don’t like people who have different beliefs than they do,” Mr. Daley said. “They were shoved out, not to be respected.”

Momentous shift

“One of the biggest surprises in the presidential election may have been the ground shift — a momentous one for Democrats — in how Hispanics voted: namely, in enormous numbers and, very often, Republican,” New York Times editorialist Carolyn Curiel writes.

“Now, even though they claimed a majority of the Latino vote, Democrats suddenly find themselves in real danger of losing one of the biggest pieces of their base, one that had been counted on for loyalty approaching that of African-Americans. This happened, in part, because the Republicans went to church,” the writer said.

“In making their gains, the Republicans exploited a largely unheralded fact: Among minority groups, Hispanics rank with the most religious. About one-third told pollsters they consider themselves born-again Christians. The vast remainder are Roman Catholic, often devoutly so.

“As part of their larger strategy of appealing to pastors and other church leaders, the Republicans, in effect, franchised their product, President Bush, through the pulpits. In the process, they found an especially receptive audience in Hispanics. Their ties to the Democratic Party traditionally have been though labor unions, which have diminished in strength and influence.”

‘Jorge’ Bush

“Democrats are rubbing their eyes in disbelief not just at President Bush’s success across America, but also about the fact that a major group they thought would stay on the liberal plantation forever is making a getaway. As they escape out the back door, members of this group are saying ‘hasta la vista, baby,’” Michael Gonzalez writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“This was the election when Hispanics came of age. Two were famously elected into the Senate, providing a powerful symbol of their political advent.

“To Ken Salazar in Colorado, and to my fellow Cuban-American Mel Martinez in Florida, I send congratulations. But to my mind, much more important are the following numbers from pollsters: 72, 62 and 54. These are, respectively, the percentage of Hispanics that voted for Clinton in 1996, Gore in 2000 and Kerry last week. Two more figures, 50 percent and 40 million, are, respectively, the increase in Hispanic voters in 2004 over 2000, and the number of Hispanics now in the U.S., a country of 280 million,” said Mr. Gonzalez, editorial-page editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal.

“Two more stats are really important … . The first is that 22 percent of Hispanics told pollsters they were voting for the first time. Of these, the party split was even. This might be the most ominous number for Democrats, since party loyalties are cemented early.

“But for the Republicans this is unadulterated good news. It vindicates ‘Jorge’ Bush’s hunch that aggressively pursuing the Hispanic vote would pay off. His familiarity with Mexican-Americans in Texas formed in him an instinct. Here was a people who believed in family members looking after each other, who shook their heads in disbelief at the thought of homosexual marriage, and who saw flying the flag as noble. As they owned homes and became middle class, the lure of affirmative action dimmed. And they were still voting Democratic?”

Singing the blues

“Here in the bluest borough of the bluest city of the bluest state in all our red-white-and-blue American Union, it has not been a happy week,” New Yorker editor Hendrik Hertzberg writes.

“A cocktail of emotions was being felt in these parts after last week’s presidential election, and the most potent ingredient was sadness. We’ve got the blues, and we’ve got ‘em bad,” Mr. Hertzberg said.

The writer added: “Along with the sadness, there is puzzlement. Incumbents, especially in time of war, have a built-in advantage. But this incumbent had led the country into a war, the war in Iraq, that half the public had come to see as a mistake, and had led the country down what more than half the public saw, in pollster’s shorthand, as ‘the wrong track.’

“The election’s outcome defies logic, and perhaps that is the point. The early analyses credited [President] Bush’s victory to religious conservatives, particularly those in the evangelical movement. In voting for Bush, as 80 percent of them did, many of these formerly nonvoting white evangelicals are remaining true to their unworldliness.”

Newsweek’s voice-over

Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III is calling on Newsweek to issue a public apology in its next issue for misinforming the public about television ads produced by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Newsweek said in its post-election special issue: “When the Swift Boat vets made ads attacking [Sen. John] Kerry with images from his 1971 testimony, they used a voice-over, an actor reading Kerry’s words.” (The Newsweek story was written by Evan Thomas, based on reporting from Eleanor Clift, Kevin Peraino, Jonathan Darman, Peter Goldman, Holly Bailey, Tamara Lipper and Suzanne Smalley.)

“We have checked with people representing the Swift Boat Veterans and they confirm they used the actual Kerry testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in their ads. This nonsense in Newsweek about how an actor’s voice-over was used instead of the authentic Kerry tape is misinforming the public, as much of the media did during the entire campaign when it came to covering the Swift Boat Veterans.

“Newsweek still has it wrong and must correct the record with an apology to the Swift Boat Veterans in its next issue,” Mr. Bozell said.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected]

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