Kerry voters are defecting to the undecided ranks. The poll also shows that Kerry has lost some ground in blue states as well as in swing states. In blue states his margin has narrowed from 15 to 12%. In swing or battleground states, Bush erased Kerry’s three-point lead, now ahead by six percentage points. Among independents Kerry’s lead has slipped from 4 to 1%. Well, no [talking to program observer] the poll in Florida is not after Kerry’s appearance here. We don’t know, if things hold true, Bush’s numbers will go up here in Florida after Kerry’s three-day swing through the state.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, it just gets better. It just keeps getting better. Let me give you the summary of the top three stories here in my Stack of Stuff today. First story is the Washington Post lead editorial entitled, “Mr. Kerry Revises.” This editorial spanks John Kerry on his flip-flop. The last paragraph of this piece is priceless. The next story in the Stack of Stuff is from the Washington Post, it’s by Jim VandeHei. The headline, ?Old-School Team To Sell Kerry as Modern Centrist.? What this is, let me just read to you the first paragraph. ?As he prepares for the most ambitious and defining phase of his presidential candidacy, Senator Kerry is relying on image-makers schooled in traditional Kennedy liberalism to sell himself anew to voters as a 21st-century centrist Democrat, a muscular hawk on national defense and deficits.? Folks, this is priceless.
So John Kerry failed in his first attempt to be understood, to get known, to be defined as a liberal. It isn’t working, people don’t want it. So what does he do? Does he just turn to himself and say, “Well, oookay, IIII’m going to be me, IIIII’m going to be who I aaaam.” No, he calls Kennedy people. He says, ?Look, you guys know how to do this. I need to become a centrist. Can you help me?? And the Kennedy people say, sure. We can fool any number of people even for you.
So the Kennedy crowd is now going to help — the architects of maroon liberalism — the Kennedy crowd is now going to set up a new campaign to redefine John Kerry as a centrist and a hawk? Did you see Ted Kennedy interviewing Wolfowitz yesterday at the Senate committee? He just tried to call Wolfowitz every name in the book, a liar. It’s all about this $700 million supposedly misappropriated from the war on terror for Iraq, and Wolfowitz wasn’t taking it, wasn’t standing for it. Here’s Teddy Kennedy the biggest dove on the face of the earth and his people are going to take John Kerry and flake and form and mold him into a modern-day centrist? Forget whether they succeed or not. The fact that they have to do this, and the fact this it shows up in the front page of the Washington Post, the fact that this is indeed the big news of John Kerry. He’s already had, [sing-song Kerry voice] “I’m goooing to deeefine myself, people neeeed to get to know who?” Well, that was in February. It’s April and nobody knows who he is so he’s got to try again. This is reminiscent of Clinton still searching for his voice in 1994 after being in the White House for a couple years. Except this is worse. Don?t give me Gore. [talking to program observer] Gore reinvented himself.
Anyway, there’s that. And then this is The Boston Globe version of the story. “Seeking New Focus, Kerry Hits White House Record.” The sum of this story, the camp dismisses polls suggesting Bush gains. He lost on the economy, he lost on the war on terror, now Kerry is trying to run on environmental issues, and he even screwed this up. He’s out there in Tampa yesterday, standing there in Tampa and he’s talking about how the people work together, [sing-song Kerry voice] “And because we’ve aaaall worked together, your children and mine and yeah, aaaable to drink clean water. Geeeeorge Bush has made the aaaair and the water dirtier.” He just got through claiming clean water was right behind him in Tampa, then he starts complaining about the dirty water and the dirty air. And this is one day after a poll that shows less than a third of the American people care about the environment as an issue.
Whoever is running this campaign — it’s Bob Shrum. Folks, I’m telling you. I’m not saying they can’t put this back together, but I don’t think they can put it back together. They don’t have anybody to put this campaign together around. They’re trying to make something out of John Kerry that he’s not. He’s not a living human being. He is Lurch. He comes walking in the Addams Family. This is a guy that will not get noticed when he walks into a room unless somebody, some aide comes in, “All talking stop, John Kerry The Great is here.” And people say, who? Because otherwise they don’t even notice the guy when he walks into a room. You see the Secret Service detail, you see Teresa, hey, nice scarf, but where’s Kerry? He’s standing right there. You mean that cadaver-looking thing? Really? That’s John Kerry?
It’s bad out there for ’em, folks. I mean they’re in trouble and they know it. I mean they’re trying to make him a centrist? They’re not centrists. This is the reason they’re going down big time, they cannot be who they are. He tried it… he hasn’t even really tried it. I don’t know what he’s for. Well, I do know what he’s for because I know he’s a liberal but he won’t say it. All he does is rip Bush and say he’s got a better plan, smarter idea, we need to be smarter. You just can’t take it seriously. Charles Krauthammer was on the Brit Hume discussion of the Special Report show last night, and Krauthammer made the point that I’ve been making. Kerry keeps talking about turning all this Iraq business over to the UN, and Krauthammer said hell, UN, they fled for Cyprus after one attack! And everybody knows this.
Anyway, there’s actually more in this stack. Let me see. “Democrat John Kerry outlines his plan for a safe and secure America and for the nation’s involvement in Iraq in two campaign commercials meant to introduce the relatively unknown presidential candidate to voters.” This is an AP story. The relatively unknown? He’s the nominee! I’m sorry to sound so incredulous here, but I mean can you believe — the relatively unknown? They’re still making excuses for him, they’re setting up excuses for him to lose. “He just couldn’t crack through the noise. Nobody ever got to know the real John Kerry.” I can see it all being written now two or three days after the election. Let me give you the copy for one of the new ads. Big buildup, okay. Kerry now, a new ad, meant to introduce the relatively unknown presidential candidate to voters. Here’s copy from one ad.
[sing-song Kerry voice] “First, we’ll keep this country
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