Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Politics as usual
Written by: Beck

From Kerry's speech Thursday before the DNC:
I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush. In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents. Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let's honor this nation's diversity. Let's respect one another.
From Kerry on the campaign trail two days later:
Democratic White House challenger John Kerry mocked President Bush's new "turning the corner" campaign slogan on Saturday and said he offered voters more than "little itsy bitsy" sound bites.

[...] "I think the American people are a heck of a lot smarter than some of these politicians and political consultants think they are," Kerry told more than 8,000 people gathered in a light drizzle outside a railway station in Greensburg, a Republican stronghold in western Pennsylvania.

"They keep telling them, 'Just talk in this tiny, little, itsy bitsy sound bite. Be negative, go out there and attack.'"
So much for respect. Of course, much of the Democrats' tactics have revolved around accusing the Bush campaign of going negative, playing the roll of wounded martyrs, and then going negative themselves. But wait, there's more.
Kerry said Americans wanted real leadership and vowed -- if he defeated Bush in the Nov. 2 election -- to be a president in the mold of Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.
Either Kerry & his speech writers don't know their presidential history too well, or they're hoping most Americans don't. The Dwight Eisenhower bit's my favorite. Apart from the fact that he was a Republican, Eisenhower set the record for most hours spent playing golf by a US president. Eisenhower never wanted to be the president, and only accepted the nomination because the entire country wanted him--his sense of duty and obligation wouldn't let him turn them down.

Of course, you can't have an article from Reuters without a hefty share of liberal bias, now can you? Of course not.
Despite slower-than-expected economic growth and a record budget deficit, Bush insisted that the nation's economic prospects were improving as he campaigned in neighboring Ohio, another battleground state hit hard by job losses.
Pardon? Slower-than-expected by who? We've had 11 straight quarters of growth, and are averaging a pace faster than Clinton enjoyed when running for reelection in 1996. 1st quarter GDP growth was just revised up to 5.1% from 4.8%. And that record budget deficit? It was just recently revised down by $100 billion.

Finally, this article has the first numbers I've seen on Kerry's convention bounce. To give you an idea of how important these are, in 1984, going into the Democratic National Convention, Mondale trailed Reagan by over 15 points. After the convention, he had pulled 4 points ahead. Each new election cycle sees less impact from the conventions as they grow increasingly trivial and draw ever fewer viewers. Nonetheless, the conventions, and the candidates' speeches at them, are the single most important moment in a campaign. So now, the numbers:
A Newsweek poll released on Saturday showed Kerry gained a four-point bounce from last week's Boston convention where he was formally nominated.

In the survey conducted on Thursday and Friday, Kerry received 49 percent to Bush's 42 percent and 3 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader. In early July, Kerry led Bush 47 percent to 44 percent, with Nader at 3 percent.

Without Nader in the race, Kerry led Bush by 51 percent to 45 percent. The poll of about 1,000 registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
Four points folks. That's it. Unless Bush screws something up big time during one of the three debates, Kerry is in serious trouble.

Update: OTB links to an MSNBC article on the Newsweek poll which confirms something I'd already suspected: Kerry's bounce wasn't just small, it was record breakingly small.
Kerry’s four-point "bounce" is the smallest in the history of the NEWSWEEK poll. There are several factors that may have contributed to the limited surge, including the timing of the poll. On Thursday, Kerry had just a two-point lead over Bush (47 percent to 45 percent), suggesting that his Friday[sic] night speech had a significant impact. Additionally, Kerry's decision to announce his vice-presidential choice of John Edwards three weeks before the convention may have blunted the gathering’s impact. And limited coverage by the three major networks also may have hurt Kerry.

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