The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, October 24, 2004  

With Media Miscellany
October 24, 2004

Heads Up, Democrats: Monday [*]
Democratic campaign officials are reporting Sen. John Kerry on Monday will first appear in Dover, N.H., then around noon in Philadelphia with former President Bill Clinton, and then travel rallies in Warren, Mich., and Green Bay, Wis. Sen. John Edwards will appear in Toledo, Ohio, Racine, Wis., and Dubuque, Iowa.

Kerry Picks Up Two Endorsements in Pa. [*]
Sen. John Kerry today picked up the endorsements of at least two important Pennsylvania newspapers: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Centre Daily Times of State College, also known as University Park. [Note: The Washington Post also endorsed Sen. Kerry, but you knew that already.]

South Dakota Senate Race [*]
There are two lengthy reports out today in the major dailies on the South Dakota race for the U.S. Senate between incumbent Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle and challenger John Thune: in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. Too close for my blood.

Cheney's Fear-Mongering [*]
We can count on the punditocracy's resident hysterics, Charles Krauthammer and Michelle Malkin, not weighing in against vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney's latest round of blatant fear-mongering as recounted in today's Washington Post. Cheney's counterpart on the Democratic ticket, Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), responded: "That's ludicrous. They want to talk about bizarre fantasy worlds because they can't talk about their record of failure. We don't have to create a fictional universe in order to understand what their incompetence has meant for this country. It's all too real."

Still the Same Race
It's interesting that the presidential race, at least when it comes to the electoral vote tally, today is very much the same as it was three months ago. According to New York Times reporters Adam Nagourney and Katharine Q. Seelye, ("Bush and Kerry Focus Campaigns on 11 Key States, October 24), both major parties are focused on 11 battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

A Frenzy in Pennsylvania
It's as frenzied here in Pennsylvania as I've ever seen in a campaign, the prevailing climate -- namely, you can't avoid either candidate's message or volunteers -- is detailed in "Candidates Step Up Pa. Blitz," by Tina Moore and Suzette Parmleya, in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. There's an interesting statistic in the graphic accompanying the paper's front-page political coverage (not reproduced on the web): "Kerry volunteers: 106,364; Bush volunteers: 102,735." A proxy for the final vote in Pennsylvania?

About that Ad
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd today writes about the Bush-Cheney campaign's new "wolves" ad (which is playing in the Philadelphia market):

The Bush-Cheney campaign began showing a new ad on Friday aimed at scaring up more votes. Meant to be a chilling cross between "The Wolfen" and "The Blair Witch Project," the ad plays more like a cross between a Sierra Club promotion and "Lassie."

The wolves stalking around the forest are not meant to evoke scary Paul Wolfowitz and the neocons stalking around the Pentagon, planning more mischief. They are supposed to be the Al Qaeda terrorists stalking America, even though they look too cuddly for the narration that ominously warns: "In an increasingly dangerous world, even after the first terrorist attack on America, John Kerry and the liberals in Congress voted to slash America's intelligence operation by six billion dollars, cuts so deep they would have weakened America's defenses. And weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm."

One Kerry aide joked to a reporter that the Democrats should do a response ad where Mr. Kerry comes into the forest in a camouflage jacket and shoots the wolves.

Yes, but a win on November 2nd will be good enough.

Good Letter Writers
Two letters to the Philadelphia Inquirer caught my eye this morning. The first, by Joseph Angelelli, assistant professor of health policy and administration at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa., makes clear: "Any claim that Kerry's proposal amounts to 'government-run health care' or a 'government takeover' of the health care system or of health care decision-making is simply inconsistent with the facts."

In the second, Jeff Brown, Upper Darby, Pa., writes: "It seems many Americans are looking for a leader who is resolute, steadfast. I'm here to tell them: I'm your man. I will not contemplate distracting paths. I will not hesitate on our chosen journey. Even at the precipice, I will stay the course. At the sound of the crushing surf, I will push forward. Yea, even while tumbling over the cliffs and onto the jagged rocks below, I will not waver, I will not falter. Onward, lemmings, onward!"

[* Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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