October 20, 2004

VEEP PREP (via Mike Daley):

Rice Hitting the Road to Speak: National Security Adviser's Trips to Swing States Break Precedent (Glenn Kessler, October 20, 2004, Washington Post)

In the weeks leading up to the Nov. 2 election, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has traveled across the country making speeches in key battleground states, including Oregon, Washington, North Carolina and Ohio. In the next five days, she also plans speeches in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.

The frequency and location of her speeches differ sharply from those before this election year -- and appear to break with the long-standing precedent that the national security adviser try to avoid overt involvement in the presidential campaign. Her predecessors generally restricted themselves to an occasional speech, often in Washington, but counting next week's speeches, Rice will have made nine outside Washington since Labor Day.

Rice frequently supplements her speeches with interviews with local media, generating positive coverage -- including a Page One news story in Portland's largest newspaper. Although she does not mention Democratic challenger John F. Kerry and avoids answering overtly political questions, the target of her speeches is not lost on local audiences. The Seattle Times, reporting on a Sept. 7 speech to the University of Washington, said, "Rice sounded at times like a candidate" as she received "rousing ovations" in defending the administration's handling of the war on terrorism.

I'm officially declaring that I completely overestimated what kind of man John Kerry was and now acknowledge that he won't be demonstrating his seriousness about the presidential race by resigning from the Senate.

However, within the next few days we'll begin our Dick Cheney Resignation Contest and, he being a better man, we're certain there'll be such an event this time.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2004 12:00 AM

At this point, I rather doubt that Cheney will drop out before the election, unless he really does have another heart attack.
Bush certainly wouldn't want Cheney to resign before the election, at this late date. It would suggest turmoil and instability in the President's campaign.

Under the provisions of the 25th Amendment, if not elected in Nov., Dr. Rice would have to be confirmed by a majority of both houses of Congress. That suggests that Cheney wouldn't resign until the new, more Republican, Congress was sworn in.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 20, 2004 2:30 AM

I'm afraid Cheney's and Bush's resignation date is known : January 20, 2005. He's falling way behind in Ohio, he has lost New Hampshire and he's barely ahead in Florida (but most undecided were African Americans, which bodes ill for Bush). The states he hoped to win, Wisconsin, Iowa and maybe Minnesota, are now clearly out of reach. Bush may have a small chance to win the popular vote, but he's going to get crushed in the Electoral College.

Posted by: Peter at October 20, 2004 4:13 AM

Peter, in most instances, the polls you're looking at for those states are at least two or three days old as of this morning. The word on the new Mason-Dixon poll (one of the more reliable state-level ones) for Florida is that it's going to show Bush up by 3%. Furthermore, a new national-level poll just out shows Kerry's support among African-Americans way down compared to Gore's in 2000; Gore got an all-time level of support from blacks but at this point Kerry can only get 69% to say firmly they're voting for him while 18% - an unprecedented level in recent years - say they're voting for Bush and the rest are still undecided. All the other indicia - what they're saying, where they're going - indicates pretty clearly that it's Kerry/Edwards who are beginning to get desperate.

Posted by: Joe at October 20, 2004 4:57 AM

Also: the latest LA Times poll (done by one of the most anti-Bush papers in the nation) has Bush up by 5 points today.

Posted by: Joe at October 20, 2004 5:22 AM

(I should add that that's a rumor, not confirmed yet, but the buzz has been going around since last night.)

Posted by: Joe at October 20, 2004 5:24 AM

I don't think Dick Cheney's going anywhere, but, oh! I do so want to believe! In my mind's ear, I can hear the crowd at the '08 RNC chanting the nominee's name: Con-dee! Con-dee! Con-dee!

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 20, 2004 6:08 AM

I'm spending more time looking at what the candidates are doing/saying rather than the polls since the polls can be tweaked/misinterpreted. There have been too many recent polls where the headline number looks good for Kerry but then you look at the internals/details and it looks much worse for Kerry (like trailing Bush by 10 or more on issues of national security and WOT).

After Ohio and Florida, most of the campaigning is going on in blue states (PA, MI, IA, MN, WI) which doesn't bode for Kerry. Also Kerry, by pushing scare tactics like the draft and social security, sounds desperate. Bush sounds much more upbeat and positive.

I'm still positive for Bush for some of the reasons Joe mentions, because Bush's job approval is over 50% in most polls, and because most of his support is from voters who are for him while a large chunk of Kerry supporters are against Bush.

Posted by: AWW at October 20, 2004 9:33 AM

Both Tradesports & Iowa show Bush with about 60% chance of winning, Kerry with 40%. If anything, the Tradesports number may be a little low since there's been some really big sellers last week that may have made buyers more cautious (see http://poorandstupid.com/2004_10_17_chronArchive.asp#109808391582496798 ).

Kerry is the one with the uphill battle at this point.

Posted by: Bret at October 20, 2004 10:59 AM

Suddenly I'm being bombarded by presidential campaign ads (all attack adds, first from Kerry, now Bush) here in northern MA. Is this spillover targeted at NH, or is something else going on?

Posted by: mike earl at October 20, 2004 11:49 AM


Condi vs. Hillary in 2008?

Posted by: H. Ratliff at October 20, 2004 1:35 PM

Hillary vs. Condi doesn't scare me at all - that's like the past vs. the future. Or you could say it's the first black President('s spouse) vs. the FIRST black President.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at October 20, 2004 1:57 PM

When I spotted and sent this I really thought the Kerry campaign's response to Condi's travel/speaking schedule would be red meat for those not enamored of said campaign.
"The Kerry campaign said Rice's travel was inappropriate. "America would be a lot better off if Dr. Rice spent more time worrying about Osama bin Laden's job security and less time worrying about her own," said Kerry spokesman Mark Kitchens."

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 20, 2004 8:31 PM

Did they actually just say Dr. Rice doesn't know her place? Classy people, these Kerrys - way to show support for a constituancy you need so badly.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at October 21, 2004 10:26 AM

And don't you just love the name of the Kerry spokesmodel, "Kitchens", where all conservative females belong. Terayza seemed to agree, even after her apology to the teachers' and librarians' unions.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 21, 2004 7:41 PM
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