- The Washington Times - Monday, September 13, 2004

Another Dukakis? “Democratic professionals have begun to criticize [Sen. John] Kerry’s efforts — privately and, in a few cases, publicly,” the New York Times’ R.W. Apple Jr. reported yesterday in an article about how the Democratic presidential candidate has fallen behind in Ohio. “Gerald Austin of Cleveland, a leading Ohio campaign consultant for more than 30 years, said that former President Bill Clinton could run a better campaign than Mr. Kerry’s ‘even when he was under ether.’ Mr. Austin said that Mr. Kerry had been too slow to respond to Republican attacks on his military record. “‘I smell the same New England genius that I smelled in the [Michael S.] Dukakis campaign in 1988,’ Mr. Austin added. ‘Kerry wants to run as a man of the people, and where do they put him for photo opportunities? Snowboarding in Sun Valley, shooting skeet in the Ohio Valley, and windsurfing off that great working-class vacation paradise, Nantucket. Democrats — at least Ohio Democrats — play softball and touch football.’” A black eye William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, is amazed at the way CBS is handling charges that it was taken in by fake documents regarding George W. Bush’s National Guard service. And he compares the network unfavorably to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. “I don’t think this will remain a murky issue. There’s a lot of evidence [that the documents are forgeries]. There are a lot of tests that can be done. Further data will come out,” Mr. Kristol said on “Fox News Sunday.” “What’s most amazing about this is that CBS is not doing what any news organization would do if you thought you might have made a mistake. If you had credible challenges to documents upon which you based a story, you would make them available to other experts, you would have a public review, you would call in three new experts. We once published an article in the Weekly Standard based on what we thought were absolutely legit documents, which turned out probably not to have been. We got new experts in. I mean, it’s unbelievable what CBS is doing. … “You know, it seems to me CBS is behaving peculiarly, and I think that they should put everything out and let people go over it.” Mr. Kristol added, “The Swift Boat Veterans have been much more transparent than CBS News. The Swift Boat Veterans have made everything available, which is why you can say that certain things they thought may have been wrong. The Swift Boat Veterans have behaved in a more legitimate way than CBS News.” Europe’s view “Our friends at the Financial Times splashed the news across their front page Thursday that ‘Global Poll Favours Kerry Over Bush,’” the Wall Street Journal notes. “It seems a recent survey of 35 countries reveals that the world’s voters would cast their ballot for the Democrat over the Texas ‘cowboy’ by about 2 to 1. None of these non-Americans get a vote in November, mind you, but we can appreciate the FT’s Euro-frustration,” the Journal said in an editorial. “We read deeper into the same story, however, and discovered why Senator Kerry probably won’t be touting his global landslide on the stump in Des Moines. It turns out that another survey, this one taken by the Marshall Fund in June, found that 58 percent of Europeans consider ‘strong U.S. leadership to be undesirable.’ “Leave aside the fact that Europe seems to prefer ‘strong U.S. leadership’ when the American military is storming Normandy or imposing a peace that Europeans failed to achieve in the Balkans. More significant for the current moment is that these polls show that the same Europeans who overwhelmingly favor the election of John Kerry also favor a weaker America. We’ll let our readers decide what that says about the two American candidates.” Happy camp “In a White House that relishes control and thinks reporters are just around to trip up the president, nothing screams re-election confidence more than George W. Bush and his top aides playing with the press,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report. “‘This is a close-lipped White House,’ said the Houston Chronicle’s Bennett Roth. ‘So you know when they’re out there casually chatting with journalists, things in their world are good.’ How good? How about the elusive Bush strategist Karl Rove hobnobbing with reporters over finger-licking-good barbecue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the prez gave another campaign speech? Or Bush, working a crowd in Poplar Bluff, Mo., playing peek-a-boo behind a stenographer for his traveling photographers?” Mr. Bedard said. “Then there’s this situation that in earlier times, when the president was slumping in the polls, would have prompted a Kremlin wall to go up. As Bush walked up to Air Force One, aides Karen Hughes and others broke out in laughter at their boss. The joke: Bush had a candy wrapper stuck to his butt. ‘It’s a buoyant atmosphere out there,’ says Roth.” Paige disinvited The NAACP’s national leadership ordered the group’s Ohio chapter to rescind a speaking invitation to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, according to Ohio NAACP President Sybil Edwards-McNabb. The action prompted Project 21, a conservative black leadership network, to issue a denunciation of the NAACP’s national leadership, saying it shows the civil rights group is overtly partisan. “This shows exactly what the liberals are willing to do in order to make sure the black vote stays with them,” said Project 21 member Richard S. Holt, an Ohio resident. “They are denying their members both an informative policy speech as well as hearing from a surrogate for the president.” According to the Ohio NAACP chief, the national leadership said that Mr. Paige’s invitation to speak at the state chapter’s convention this past weekend would have created an “imbalance” among the speakers, even though former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton was scheduled to speak as a representative of the John Kerry presidential campaign. Delaware winner Retired judge Bill Lee, the runner-up in the Delaware Republican gubernatorial primary in 2000, won his party’s nomination for governor Saturday, setting up a November showdown with Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. With 340 of 341 precincts reporting, the retired Superior Court judge had 15,181 votes, or 70.5 percent, compared with 5,086 votes, or 23.6 percent, for airline pilot Michael Protack. Accountant David Graham had 1,276 votes, or 5.9 percent, the Associated Press reports. Saturday’s primary was the last in Delaware to be held on a weekend. Lawmakers have approved a bill to move the primary from the first Saturday after the first Monday in September to the second Tuesday of the month, effective next year, in response to complaints that people observing the Jewish Sabbath were effectively barred from voting in Saturday primaries. Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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