The Rittenhouse Review

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

Sunday, October 24, 2004  

With Media Miscellany
Part II
October 24, 2004

Kerry and Clinton [*]
For more information about former President Bill Clinton's visit to Philadelphia tomorrow to campaign for and with Sen. John F. Kerry, click here.

Know Where to Vote [*]
The importance of getting out the vote in Philadelphia cannot be underestimated. And given recent Republican hijinks in this city, voters would do well to confirm their polling place. One place to get started is the Polling Place Locator sponsored by (Link via Pennsylvania Victory '04.) [Post-publication insertion (October 25): Correction: The link comes via Philly Future.]

Feeling Our Pain [*]
Molly Ivins, writing in the latest issue of The Progressive, feel our pain ("Stop Being So Goosey," November 2004):

Keep your eye on the ball here: We need to beat George W. Bush. That's all you want to think about until it's over.

Trouble is, this is a freak election on many levels. For one thing, only fifteen states were ever in play, leaving those of us in the nonswinging thirty-five hearing little more than distant rumors of a campaign. Meanwhile, the hapless citizens in the swingers are drowning in all this. Nasty TV ads, e-mail, campaign mail, phone banks out the wazoo. Friendly progressives from neighboring states are descending on the beleaguered citizens of swing states like a horde of political Jehovah's Witnesses (no offense intended to the tireless purveyors of The Watchtower).

Poor bastards in the swing states, especially those who have voluntarily confessed to either party they are undecided, are suffering from campaign fatigue. By the time it's over, they'll probably have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Actually, it's not painful, it's really more of an irritation, and we're willing to live with it.

About That Ad
A Republican-oriented group, Progress For America Voter Fund, is blowing a reported $14 million on a television advertisement known as "Ashley's Story." Liberal Oasis has published an excellent overview of the ad, a spot that, like the "wolves" ad, is running in Philadelphia ("Misreading the Electorate," October 17):

The truth is "Ashley's Story" isn't much of a story.

Surely Ashley and her father, who are featured in the ad, must have gone through hell, losing their mother on 9/11.

But all that happens in the ad's "story" is that Bush saw Ashley at a rally, gave her a hug, and asked if she was "all right". That's it.

And Liberal Oasis isn't downplaying the ad: That really is all there is to it. The ad is thin, cloying, and does nothing but convey an emotion shared by every American.

Years ago I met an author whose life story had meant a great deal to me at one point in my life. There were numerous photographers at the book signing and while speaking with the author, we both became a little choked up, and the author gave me a big hug, but not before shouting out, twice, "No photos of this, please." Arguably, the president could have had the decency to do the same.

Update: Plain Dealer
As noted here on Thursday, the editorial-page editors of the Cleveland Plain Dealer are said to have decided to have endorsed Sen. John F. Kerry for president, only to have their decision overturned by the paper's Republican president, publisher, and owner, Alex Machasee. Daily Kos appears to have received the same information on Saturday. In an update today, the Daily Kos post makes a valid point: Now, if ever, is not time to get too upset about this. More important is to focus on getting out the Kerry-Edwards voters in Ohio, one of the most contested states in the coming election.

[* 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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