April 16, 2004

IF ONLY HE HAD NO VOTING RECORD...:

Kerry Plans Effort to Show He Is a Centrist (JODI WILGOREN, 4/16/04, NY Times)

Tacitly acknowledging his vulnerability to harsh portrayals in a barrage of Mr. Bush's advertisements over the past month, Mr. Kerry urged Democrats at a $25,000-a-plate breakfast at the "21" Club in Manhattan to help him paint his own portrait. He promised to begin "a positive affirmative advertising campaign" in "the next days," although his aides said there were no specific plans or timetables.

"A lot of people still don't really know who I am," Mr. Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts Democrat who has everything but the official title of presidential nominee, told the audience of 100 people. "The level of communication that we still need to undertake here is enormous."

Most reporters were barred from the event, which netted $2.5 million for the Democratic National Committee. A transcript of Mr. Kerry's remarks circulated by a journalist allowed in to represent reporters who travel with the campaign showed a candidate keenly aware of the need to define himself before his opponent beats him to it.

Mr. Kerry said he would cite his bipartisan credentials and pitch himself as a fiscal conservative to counter the Bush campaign's portrait of him as a waffling tax-and-spend liberal.

"We've got to reach out," Mr. Kerry said. "There are so many Republicans who have said to me: `You know, for the first time in my life, I'm going to vote for a Democrat. I'm ready to switch over.' "

He noted that Reagan Democrats were a critical faction in the 1980's but that Democrats like President Jimmy Carter had trouble attracting Republican votes.

"Fear not," Mr. Kerry said. "I am not somebody who wants to go back and make the mistakes of the Democratic Party of 20, 25 years ago. Nor am I somebody who believes that Washington has all the answers."


Mistakes of 25 years ago? Like selling out South Vietnam?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 16, 2004 5:25 PM
Comments

Do you mean the Kenndy/Johnson war? Or the Nixon war?

I'm of the impression he was for one and against the other. Quite nuanced for a young man.

And here he comes racing down the track by the first post: flip flop, flip flop, flip flop ...

Posted by: genecis at April 17, 2004 11:49 AM
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