Kerry Aims to Reveal Himself to Voters

  1. http://apnews1.iwon.com/article/20040417/d820r1500.html

    kerry aims to reveal himself to voters[font=verdana,sans-serif][font=verdana,sans-serif]email this storyapr 17, 6:32 pm (et)

    by mike glover


    [font=verdana,sans-serif](ap) democratic presidential candidate sen. john kerry, d-mass., right, and his wife teresa heinz kerry,...
    [color=#3366cc]full image


    miami (ap) - john kerry is entering an important campaign stretch, acknowledging he remains largely unknown to millions of voters and needs to offer them a compelling reason to throw out a sitting president.

    aggressive advertising and help from former rivals are part of the first step. at the same time, the presumptive democratic presidential nominee and his aides contend they have survived a dangerous first phase of the campaign against president bush, who has far outstripped kerry in fund raising.

    "we've remained competitive," said senior adviser michael meehan. "at worst, it's a neck-and-neck race."

    both meehan and kerry say kerry has withstood an initial barrage of negative bush commercials relatively unscathed. while kerry's unfavorable ratings have crept up, most polls show the race a virtual dead heat.

    bush had aimed to define the senator as a tax-raising massachusetts liberal, weak on defense and inconsistent on a range of issues.

    "they're out 50 million bucks and got nothing to show for it," kerry told reporters on his campaign plane, a reference to the bush-cheney campaign's initial burst of spending on ads.

    kerry's next step is to air new commercials offering voters his biography - heavily focused on his decorated vietnam war record - and his policy proposals. those commercials should appear by month's end.

    former rivals will take kerry's message to competitive states. the four-term senator is concentrating on the states that probably will decide the election. over next four days, for instance, kerry will spend at least part of the day in florida, the state that settled the disputed 2000 election.

    kerry claimed the nomination after a relatively brief and mild primary season that left him with few lasting scars and the democratic party united.

    kerry and his aides are quick to point out that former president clinton didn't secure the nomination until june 1992, just weeks before the nominating convention.

    "to be where we are by april is pretty amazing," meehan said. "all of our rivals are now out serving as surrogates."

    former candidate joe lieberman was to campaign with kerry in florida. during a new york campaign swing last week, kerry met with al sharpton to discuss how to boost turnout among black voters.

    not only have former rivals come on board, but kerry has mined the staffs for campaign talent.

    steve elmendorf, once a top aide to rep. dick gephardt, d-mo., is kerry's liaison to labor. karen hicks, a former aide to howard dean, has signed on as deputy field director.

    unions stand behind kerry's candidacy. kerry, who last year took out a mortgage on his boston house to keep his candidacy alive, has demonstrated considerable success in fund raising since he essentially wrapped up the nomination.

    kerry collected some $50 million in the first quarter of the year; in just three days last week, he pulled in nearly $15 million. democratic national committee officials estimate that between the party and kerry, they have roughly $70 million available with fund raising continuing at a good pace.

    still, millions of voters know little about the democrat.

    "i found that even in the primaries, people in new hampshire who'd been seeing television in boston for 20 years didn't know i was a veteran," kerry said at a recent fund-raiser last week.

    the bush-cheney campaign has used ads to try to portray kerry as a tax-and-spend liberal and a potential president who would be less decisive than the current commander in chief.

    "i am not a redistribution democrat," kerry said. "i am not somebody who wants to go back and make the mistakes of the democratic party of 20, 25 years ago."

    said pennsylvania gov. ed rendell, considered a possible choice as a vice presidential candidate: "kerry can make the case he voted to balance the budget and he's the fiscal conservative."

    determined to counter gop criticism of his senate record on defense, kerry stresses his military background, hoping that will negate any bush advantage on national security.

    "my task obviously is to convince americans - we don't have to beat him on it - but we have to convince americans of my ability to manage that as effectively, or more effectively if possible," kerry said.

    kerry acknowledged that he faces a tough task in defining himself, but said the money he has raised and the closeness of the race have left the door open. "the level of communication that we still need to do is enormous," he said. "what the republicans were counting on was a nominee they could easily define. for the first time we have the power of having a democratic nominee who has the ability to talk back, to actually fight back."


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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    While not yet a real fan of Kerry's (yet REFUSE to even consider voting for GW.. didn't the first time, why on earth would I be so foolish now?) ... I do hope he WILL reveal himself in the upcoming months left.... there's much I still need to know about him.

    Looking forward to hearing more on where he stands on many issues.
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    have you been to his website yet, Jnette? I have to admit that I don't agree with many of his views on issues, but if I wait for someone who thinks just like I do, I'll be waiting forever! I just agree more with him than I do with our current president.
  5. by   jnette
    Quote from CNM2B
    ...but if I wait for someone who thinks just like I do, I'll be waiting forever! I just agree more with him than I do with our current president.
    Same here, CNM2B...

    I'll have to check out the Website and look around. Guess I'm still mourning over Edwards. I really liked him. Perhaps next time, right?
  6. by   Energizer Bunny
    Yeah, I liked Edwards too...still holding out that Kerry will pick him as a running mate. I think they would be fabulous together!
  7. by   jnette
    Quote from CNM2B
    Yeah, I liked Edwards too...still holding out that Kerry will pick him as a running mate. I think they would be fabulous together!

    oh YES !!! Edwards would definately soften and smooth some of Kerry's harsher edges... they would compliment each other.
    Kerry appears to me to be somewhat highstrung, whereas Edwards was more mellow, with a quck and genuine smile... the balance would be nice.
  8. by   Energizer Bunny
    ANd...I think it could only help Kerry's campaign. I'll have to check out on the website how the support is going for him to pick Edwards. Something else to fiddle with later.
  9. by   jnette
    Quote from CNM2B
    ANd...I think it could only help Kerry's campaign. I'll have to check out on the website how the support is going for him to pick Edwards. Something else to fiddle with later.

    Well, you go check on that, my Friend... ... while I slip on some shorts and head outside to putter around in the yard on this as of yet most beautiful day of the year so far !!! Clear blue skies, lots of warm sunshine, grass a deep green from the blessings of rain last week....aahhhhhhhh, life is GOOD !!!
  10. by   Mkue
    I liked Edwards too, he discussed the issues and I thought he did really well during the Democratic debates.

    jnette I love your avatar.
  11. by   jnette
    Quote from mkue
    I liked Edwards too, he discussed the issues and I thought he did really well during the Democratic debates.

    jnette I love your avatar.
    Yeah... I was really, REALLY hoping for Edwards. Guess he's still too wet behind the ears for many. Maybe next time around.

    My avi? Thanx ! My take on a summer picnic on a hillside or at the bank of a rushing creek.... it's almost here !!! SUMMER !!!
  12. by   Mkue
    Quote from jnette
    Yeah... I was really, REALLY hoping for Edwards. Guess he's still too wet behind the ears for many. Maybe next time around.

    My avi? Thanx ! My take on a summer picnic on a hillside or at the bank of a rushing creek.... it's almost here !!! SUMMER !!!
    A picnic sounds good. The wine and grapes remind me of Italy
  13. by   jnette
    Quote from mkue
    A picnic sounds good. The wine and grapes remind me of Italy
    Marie.. you MUST go someday. You would LOVE Italy ! Beautiful... just beautiful... and the people !!! Soooooooo friendly, chatty, ALIVE !!! Love to eat, drink, and be merry ! Hope you get to go someday.
  14. by   Wolfpax
    I too was hoping for Edwards, I am hoping that Kerry picks Edwards for VP ( and I am also hoping that if elected...some Viet Nam Vet may take the initiative to do Kerry in and then Edwards will be president!!! :hatparty: )

    Seriously...if he doesn't pick Edwards... I can't really see voting for him... no offense to his supporters

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