August 20, 2004


Bush and Kerry in Tie Nationwide, CBS News Poll Finds (Bloomberg, 8/19/04)

Democratic challenger John Kerry has fallen into a statistical tie with President George W. Bush among voters nationwide, relinquishing a lead Kerry had after the Democratic National Convention last month, a CBS poll found.

Kerry, 60, a four-term Massachusetts senator, is supported by 46 percent of voters to 45 percent for Bush, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The survey of 835 registered voters conducted Aug. 15-18 found independent candidate Ralph Nader backed by 1 percent. Kerry led Bush by 5 percentage points in a July 30-Aug. 1 poll, CBS said.

Kerry's support among veterans fell 9 percentage points from the earlier poll, CBS said, down to 37 percent from 46 percent.

On the Diane Rehm show today, Steve Roberts baldly stated that Senator Kerry's little Swift Vet snit yesterday was provoked by how upset he was over the bad reception he got before the VFW--has anybody seen a print story to that effect?

At any rate, here's the remarkable thing: the questions over his service record are just the preliminaries. Republicans probably didn't even expect to hit such a mother load of inconsistencies in this vein, just to muddy the waters a bit. All of this is prepatory to a set of ads and questions that it seems unlikely a candidate for the presidency can withstand. These concern not his service to America but his subsequent service to North Vietnam and the Soviet Union, McCain: Hanoi Hilton Guards Taunted POWs With Kerry's Testimony (NewsMax, 2/17/04)

[A]fter he was released from the Hanoi Hilton in 1973, McCain publicly complained that testimony by Kerry and others before J. William Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee was "the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us."

"They used Senator Fulbright a great deal," McCain wrote in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S. News & World Report. While he was languishing in a North Vietnamese prison cell, Kerry was telling the Fulbright committee that U.S. soldiers were committing war crimes in Vietnam as a matter of course.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, a key Kerry presidential backer, was "quoted again and again" by jailers at the Hanoi Hilton, McCain said. [...]

McCain biographer Paul Alexander chronicled the Arizona Republican's anger toward Kerry during their early careers in the Senate together.

"For many years McCain held Kerry's actions against him because, while McCain was a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, Kerry was organizing veterans back home in the U.S. to protest the war."

Where the goings on in the Mekong Delta are shrouded by the fog of war, the Senator faces the daunting--likely impossible--task of explaining away his own testimony before Congress in which he not only sounds stridently anti-American and deluded about the nature of communism and the future of the Vietnamese people under communism but claims to have participated in war crimes and to have knowingly negotiated illegaly with the North Vietnamese government at the Paris peace talks. If he can't get out from under the questions about his military record--a record he has justifiably bragged about--then how will he ever extract himself from the coming controversies over his anti-war/anti-American activism, a record his campaign has quite pointedly made no mention of?

August has been disastrous for the Senator and he hasn't even gotten to the tough stuff yet.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2004 1:57 PM

Okay, I am starting to feel a little better.
And I donated to the swiftboats.

Posted by: RoboDruid at August 20, 2004 2:02 PM

Mr. Judd,

The swift vets have released a new ad today that takes this exact course. With, if I heard correctly, at least one man who was a POW stating that his captors played Mr. Kerry's senate testimony to hime and the other prisoners.

Posted by: mc at August 20, 2004 2:05 PM

mc (or anyone else):

If you see a story about it or, even better, a transcript of the ad, please send it.

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2004 2:11 PM

Mr. Judd,

i don't know about a transcript but here is, I believe, the link to the ad.

Posted by: mc at August 20, 2004 2:20 PM has the ad and transcript, among other things...

Posted by: brian at August 20, 2004 2:23 PM


Thanks. I can't open the video on my archaic Mac, but hopefully others can.

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2004 2:25 PM

Mr. Judd,

it seems about time for an upgrade then... anyway, brian is right, the site seems to have the ad in multiple video formates. One of those may work for you.

Posted by: mc at August 20, 2004 2:29 PM

OJ - I didn't see the Kerry-VFW thing in the MSM but I don't check them much anymore. It was noted fairly widely on the blogsites. And a good number of sites have links to the video.
Agree with the premise - his record was his strength - what happens when they start focusing on his record and statements?
By the way the Dem spin on the new Swiftboat ad is that the first ad was having no impact so they switched tactics. Kerry has definitely slipped in the polls - whether it was due to the Swiftboat ad is debatable but the Dem spin seems patheticc.

Posted by: AWW at August 20, 2004 2:59 PM

On the horizon, of course, is the ad with Kerry's picture in the pantheon of Vietnamese Communist war heroes in Hanoi. While the media won't touch that sizzler, it only took 1 second for Google to find a picture (and the inscription).

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 20, 2004 3:01 PM

Mr Anonymous, if you ever come back--

You yawned last night when I told you Kerry ought to be called on this.

Eppur si muove.

Posted by: Brian (MN) at August 20, 2004 3:06 PM

At least CBS and the NYT are publishing the numbers for registered voters now, instead of all adults. I figure they'll toss in the towel pretty soon and start giving the likely voter numbers.

Posted by: Casey Abell at August 20, 2004 3:10 PM


The Wife says an upgrade awaits my getting a job or figuring out how to make this pay...

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2004 4:23 PM


I can't find the transcript of the new one there. Can you?

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2004 4:26 PM

oj: they've been having some strange issues at their webpage today. Here it is:

John Kerry: “They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads. . .”

Joe Ponder: “The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam was just devastating.”

John Kerry: “. . . randomly shot at civilians. . .”

Joe Ponder: “It hurt me more than any physical wounds I had.”

John Kerry: “. . . cut off limbs, blown up bodies. . .”

Ken Cordier: “That was part of the torture, was, uh, to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes.”

John Kerry: “. . . razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan. . .”

Paul Gallanti: “John Kerry gave the enemy for free what I, and many of my, uh, comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, uh, took torture to avoid saying. It demoralized us.”

John Kerry: “. . . crimes committed on a day to day basis. . . ”

Ken Cordier: “He betrayed us in the past, how could we be loyal to him now?”

John Kerry: “. . . ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”

Paul Gallanti: “He dishonored his country, and, uh, more, more importantly the people he served with. He just sold them out.”

Announcer : “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is responsible for the content of this advertisement.”

Posted by: brian at August 20, 2004 4:47 PM

One of the things that truly astonishes me about this whole business is the sheer incompetence and unpreparedness of Kerry's campaign staff. The Swifties might as well have erected a neon sign stating their intentions way back in May when they held their first big press conference. Team Kerry _ought_ to have started getting ready at that time, or even before. Especially even before - if they were going to make the Senator's Vietnam record the centerpiece of his campaign, they ought to have been ready to preempt any attacks on it.

If this is how effective the campaign staff is, a Kerry Administration would make Carter's look like a historical model of efficiency.

Posted by: Joe at August 20, 2004 5:54 PM

But isn't this typical of the way that Left Liberals deal with problems?

Take the first solution that sounds good and run with it. Don't ever ever bother to look 2 or 3 steps ahead; don't ever think about how people might change their behavior to nullify the bad effects that your solution may impose on them.

When the new policy starts to become a disaster, blame the world, not the theory. Never change the theory, never change the policy. Instead, insist that its the world and people who must change.

Posted by: ray at August 20, 2004 8:39 PM