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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    Accidental tourist 

    Anthony, Tex. -- Sen. John Kerry stopped by the Red Rooster Cafe in this small town on the Texas/New Mexico border Saturday for some chips, salsa and iced tea after a rally in Las Cruces, N.M.

    He thought he was in New Mexico. Gov. Bill Richardson assured him he was. But it turned out that the Red Rooster was just over the line, and Kerry had inadvertently invaded President Bush's home state.

    Kerry munched, then visited for some chit-chat with the only two diners in the place, Dennis and Nancy Lukehart of El Paso, Tex. Dennis, 62, said as he ws getting into his Jeep that there is no way he would vote for Kerry because he doesn't like liberals.

    "I'm more of a onservative person - I'm real afraid of liberals," he said. Meeting Kerry didn't sway him. "I don't think anything better or anything worse than before," Dennis Lukehart said.

    Nancy, 60, is undecided, and she said it was "very exciting" to meet Kerry.

    Snack done, Kerry's motorcade went a few blocks to St. Anthony's Catholic Church for Mass.

    The church was in New Mexico.

    posted by Thomas Fitzgerald at 8:37 PM

    Kiss what? 

    President Bush held his largest rally yet at the Jacksonville Jaguars' Alltel Stadium in Florida on Saturday, drawing somewhere in the range of 30,000 supporters to a show that included cheerleaders, daytime fireworks and a rather crude performance by country singer Aaron Tippin.

    After a parade of speakers promoted Bush as a champion of traditional family values, Tippin performed "Kiss This," a song about a woman who rebuffs a wayward lover who wants her to forgive his transgressions.

    Here's a sample of the lyrics:

    "Why don't you kiss ... kiss this
    "And I don't mean on my rosy red lips
    "Me and you, oh we are through
    "And there's only one thing left for you to do
    "You just come on over here one last time
    "Pucker up and close your eyes, and kiss this ... goodbye."

    posted by Ron Hutcheson at 4:24 PM

    Name recognition 

    Every year, it seems, we have more famous names on the ballot -- and not just famous in the way John Kerry and George W. Bush have become.

    We've had Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono and that guy who played Gopher on "The Love Boat." More recently, of course, we've had a Governator in California.

    This year on the ticket, we have Clooney and Paterno, both running for the U.S. House.

    Clooney is Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney and brother of the late actress/singer Rosemary Clooney. He's a Democrat, running for an open seat in Kentucky's 4th District, a tight race in the state's northern suburbs near Cincinnati.

    Paterno is Scott Paterno, the son of Penn State's legendary football coach, Joe Paterno's son. He is a Republican, challenging six-term incumbent Tim Holden in Pennsylvania's 17th District.

    posted by Ellen Dunkel at 3:35 PM

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    What does guilt look like? 

    Lynne Cheney dished a bit at Teresa Heinz Kerry and got hit back by a gay protester Thursday at a Bush-Cheney rally in Ashwaubenon, Wis.

    Speaking of first lady Laura Bush, Cheney said "She's warm and gracious. She was a librarian and a teacher. And she knows raising kids is a full-time job," a swipe at Kerry's remark the other day (which she apologized for) that Bush never held a full-time job.

    After the event, 23-year-old Andrew DeBaker, a Republican accountant, tried to confront Lynne Cheney as she worked the crowd. DeBaker asked Cheney in a loud shout why she didn't support gay marriage when her daughter, Mary, is a lesbian.

    Cheney didn't respond to the shout, but DeBaker thinks she heard him.

    "I don't know what guilt looks like," he said.

    - Matt Stearns, Kansas City Star

    posted by Ellen Dunkel at 12:29 PM

    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    Who got shot? 

    Judging from the news of the last 24 hours or so, we're half expecting the political TV ads to start telling us not to vote for Candidates X and Y because they - of all things! - got flu shots.

    We agree that shots should be given first to the highest-risk groups, especially since some of us belong to a high-risk group and haven't been shot yet. But perhaps things are getting out of control. Consider the headlines:

    Lawmakers getting flu shot sparks debate

    Frist defends flu shots for Congress

    Most Minnesota lawmakers forego flu shots

    Some Texas lawmakers received flu shots

    Flu debate: Should healthy lawmakers get a shot amid a shortage?

    Some Ohio lawmakers have been vaccinated, others refusing shots

    Daschle, Herseth skip flu shot; Johnson gets one

    Georgia senators say they got flu shots before shortage known

    Many Michigan members of Congress got flu shots despite shortage

    We've also heard that Bush, Kerry and Edwards did not get injections but that Cheney, who is over 65 and has a heart condition, was innoculated.

    posted by Ellen Dunkel at 12:19 PM

    How much is that vote worth? 

    So, George Bush, John Kerry and third-party candidates, you want our votes. How much is it worth to you?

    That's what a Missouri man wanted to find out. Timothy Hubbard, 24, of Odessa, placed his vote up for bid on eBay.

    Opening price was $25, but all it netted him was a day in court.

    posted by Ellen Dunkel at 8:56 AM

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Rove stonewalls 

    It looks like Karl Rove's motives for climbing under the wheel of Air Force One earlier this week will remain a mystery. As President Bush was boarding the 747 in New Jersey on Monday, a mirthful Rove crouched under the giant wheel as if preparing to be squashed on the tarmac. Still smiling two days later, Rove declined to say what it was all about.

    "None of your damn business," he said, grinning, when pressed to explain the inside joke.

    posted by Ron Hutcheson at 3:22 PM

    Boys and girls on the plane 

    CNN's Judy Woodruff, host of Inside Politics, hopped onto the Bush campaign plane this morning for a taste of life on the road. The morning flight from Andrews AFB to Mason City, Iowa, won't make for very good television - just a bunch of sleepy reporters and camera crews. The gang in Shantytown, the back of the plane that serves as party central on late-night flights when the work is done, was on its best behavior. One historical footnote: the plane landed at the same Mason City airport that proto-rocker Buddy Holly used on his final fatal flight.

    posted by Ron Hutcheson at 12:08 PM

    Game 6 

    It had to be painful for Sen. John Kerry, stuck on a plane late Tuesday night en route from Dayton, Ohio, to Waterloo, Iowa, as the Boston Red Sox were in the process of forcing a seventh game in their American League championship series with the New York Yankees.

    At one point, Kerry, wearing his lucky mustard-colored barn jacket, stepped a few feet into the press section and said he was getting regular updates about the game from the cockpit. "4-0, top of the fifth," he said.

    Crossing his fingers, Kerry said, "Listen, if they go to Game 7, history." No team, until the Sox, had pushed a championship series to a seventh game after starting off three games in the hole.

    Bloomberg News correspondent Richard Keil, a lifelong Red Sox fan, suggested that the schedule would have to be juggled in order to go to New York for the decisive game. Kerry winced, as if he wished he could take a break from his own down-to-the-wire contest.

    "Keep your eyes on the prize," Kerry said. "They do that; I'll do this."

    posted by Thomas Fitzgerald at 7:55 AM

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Ripped from the headlines 

    It's not just "Law and Order" that's ripped from the headlines. When John Kerry wants to make a point about George Bush's record, he goes to the day's news.

    "What we see in the news is George Bush's failed record," said Kerry spokeswoman Allison Dobson. "Either George Bush isn't in touch with what's really going on, or he either doesn't care or is misleading the public."

    Bush's campaign countered by saying the pattern shows an opponent grasping at headlines while the president concentrates on bigger issues.

    Either way, it's good preparation for what Jay Leno, David Letterman and the like may be saying about you that night.

    posted by Ellen Dunkel at 10:06 AM

    This blog is compiled and edited by:

  • Ellen Dunkel, producer for Knight Ridder Digital's National Desk.
  • John Murrell, minister of information for

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