Sunday, February 29, 2004

Cuomos endorse Kerry

(CNN) -- Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and his son, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo, endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president Saturday.

"It seems to me he has everything it takes to make a really great candidate," Mario Cuomo told reporters in a conference call. "I'm delighted and pleased we're endorsing him, and I'll do everything I can to help."

Andrew Cuomo extolled Kerry's agenda for the economic empowerment of urban areas as "very impressive."

Citing Kerry's "innovative housing proposals," the younger Cuomo, who served in the Clinton administration, said "his future agenda is even more impressive when it's backed by his past performance, so it's my pleasure to endorse him." Read More...

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Kerry Proposes Legislation to Aid Workers

TOLEDO, Ohio - Presidential hopeful John Kerry said Wednesday he would require companies to give their employees a three-month warning before sending their jobs abroad, blaming President Bush for job losses in an appeal to displaced workers in the Democratic battleground state of Ohio.

"I won't come here and tell you that if I'm president all of Ohio's factories will spring back to life, that all the rivers of steel will flow again," Kerry said in a speech at the University of Toledo. "You wouldn't believe me if I did, and you'd be right."

The Massachusetts senator said he will require companies that ship jobs offshore to tell the Labor Department and the workers when, where and why the jobs are moving.

"Companies will no longer be able to surprise their workers with a pink slip instead of a paycheck," he said.

Kerry gets tech sector endorsements
150 officials give support to Democrat's presidential bid

By Rex Crum,

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Saying John Kerry understands the needs and workings of the technology industry better than any other presidential candidate, 150 tech industry chief executives and other high-ranking officials threw their support behind the Democratic contender on Wednesday.

The endorsements include ones from Eric Schmidt, Google CEO; Chris Larsen, E-Loan chief executive; Dave Roux, the co-founder and managing director of venture capital firm Silverlake Partners; Dan Rosenweig, Yahoo chief operating officer; and Steve Westly, California state controller.

The endorsements come less than a week before the so-called Super Tuesday primaries March 2 when 10 states, including the key political battlegrounds of New York, California, and Kerry's home state of Massachusetts, parcel out their delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

Westly said the group's decision to back Kerry was driven by a belief that he has a firmer grasp than President Bush on the issues that could make or break the tech industry in a future, more competitive world.

"There's no comparison between Kerry and President Bush," Westly said on a conference call. "Whether it's the investment tax credit or international trade, John Kerry gets it. President Bush doesn't understand it, or it isn't a priority."


Monday, February 23, 2004

Kerry Leads Edwards Handily in California

A week before California's Democratic presidential primary, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry leads North Carolina Sen. John Edwards by a lopsided 56% to 24% among the state's likely voters in the race, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Teaching Teens About the Democratic Process

Some lucky teenagers in Las Vegas shared their thoughts recently about attending rallies for John Kerry...

From their perch atop the gymnasium bleachers, a dozen or so Valley High School students peered down on a Democratic frenzy. Mariachis paraded 2,800 people into the school's auditorium, and a handful of state politicians decorated a riser at center court. While most local leaders hardly generated interest among the students, one state assemblyman did garner a chuckle.

"Is there a Democrat in the house?" Richard Perkins twice yelled, provoking the teens to snicker.


My teenage daughter has accompanied me to Kerry events since last June. It's been a great experience for both of us and I hope to see more parents encouraging this in the months to come. The outcome of this election can really have an impact on the lives of our teenagers. John Kerry has offered some platforms on the issues that will benefit our children and improve the quality of education.

High schools should be promoting the discussion of this election in the class rooms and encouraging the candidates and their representatives to come out to speak to our teenagers. This is far more beneficial in raising the standards of our educational system than our current administration's attempts to show some interest in education.

While I think it is wonderful that Laura Bush enjoys reading to elementary school students, I question why the same school system that promoted this, would turn down a request for a similar event from another campaign, that would have reached out to teenagers who might actually learn something from some participation in the democratic process.

Perish the thought that our children be influenced in any way that might benefit their future and perhaps the future of our planet. Today, sadly this mother witnessed a great flaw in our democracy. What message do we send our children when the administrators of our school systems practice discrimination?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Kerry wins AFL-CIO endorsement

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- John Kerry won the endorsement Thursday of the largest U.S. labor organization as he scrambled to fend off his strongest remaining Democratic presidential rival, John Edwards.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney lauded Kerry's record in the Senate as he announced the endorsement of the labor federation, which represents more than 13 million workers.

"He will be our champion in the White House," Sweeney said. Read More...

He has already been OUR CHAMPION!!!


Monday, February 16, 2004

Kerry Blasts Bush's Daytona 'Photo Op'

Kerry, who has a commanding lead in the race to oppose Bush this fall, chided the president for taking time out Sunday to attend the Daytona 500, saying the country was bleeding jobs while he posed for a "photo opportunity." Bush had donned a racing jacket to officially open NASCAR's most prestigious event in front of some 180,000 fans.

"We don't need a president who just says, `Gentlemen start your engines,'" Kerry said. "We need a president who says, `America, let's start our economy and put people back to work.'"

Polite with each other, Democrats target Bush

Candidates debate ahead of Wisconsin primary
Monday, February 16, 2004 Posted: 9:23 AM EST (1423 GMT)

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (CNN) -- The five Democratic presidential candidates Sunday presented a unified front against President Bush even as they attempted -- albeit with polite language and cordial arguments -- to score points against each other in a contest in which polls show Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts with a wide lead.

At one point during the 90-minute debate, held at Marquette University and broadcast on MSNBC, Kerry spoke as if his nomination was all but assured.

Asked about his vote authorizing Bush to send U.S. troops to Iraq, Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said, "I was voting for the process that the president posed. There was a right way to do this and a wrong way to do it. And the president chose the wrong way."

Why the "War President" Is Under Fire - Bush's anti-terror policies are dangerously simple

Viewpoint Joe Klein

Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004

"That's an interesting question," the President said, having been asked on Meet the Press whether Iraq was a war of choice or of necessity. "Please elaborate on that a little bit. A war of choice or necessity?" It was as if George W. Bush had never considered this most basic of questions. He seemed befuddled, then slowly found his legs. "I mean, it's a war of necessity. In my judgment, we had no choice when we look at the intelligence I looked at that says the man was a threat."

An awkward moment in a suddenly wobbly presidency. Obviously, Iraq was a war of choice. CIA Director George Tenet recently said he never believed there was an "imminent" threat. It is hard to find anyone outside the Vice President's circle of friends who still insists that an immediate, unilateral invasion was necessary. The real question for this election year is, Was going to war in Iraq the right choice in the larger struggle against radical Islam? Saddam Hussein is in jail. There may have been ancillary benefits from the American show of force: Libya has given up its nuclear ambitions; Iran may, or may not, be doing the same. But the situation on the ground in Iraq remains chaotic. The possibility of a Sunni-Shi'a civil war, which could destabilize the entire gulf region, is growing. The U.S. Army is pinned down; morale and re-enlistment problems, especially among the Guard and reserves, are looming. Worse, there is a strong sense in the highest reaches of the intelligence community that the larger campaign against terrorism—a true war of necessity—has been retarded by the Iraq adventure, that "our actions in Iraq have caused a net increase in terrorists," as an intelligence gatherer told me. "We've gotten better at finding and killing them. But there are a lot more Islamic young people with a desire to fight us."

At the very start of his Meet the Press interview, Bush said, "I'm a war President." Winning the "war" that he declared has been this President's stated mission, and it is how he will be judged. From the days immediately following Sept. 11, the rhetoric has been stark and bellicose. "You're either with us or against us," he warned early on. Any country that "harbors or supports terrorism will be regarded as a hostile regime." But Bush's actions, except for Iraq, haven't matched the dire nature of the threat described—and his rhetoric has betrayed a moral simplicity that misrepresents the true difficulties of the struggle. Take the "with us or against us" point: Saudi Arabia is the primary funder of Islamic radicalism in the world. Pakistan is the primary residence of the most dangerous terrorists. Both are nominally "with" us.


Kerry intact despite nipping by Edwards

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 15 - Despite a more aggressive effort by Sen. John Edwards, Sen. John F. Kerry emerged mostly unscathed from Sunday night's debate and seemed closer to locking up the Democratic nomination over his fading rivals.

Edwards, in his own understated way, admonished Kerry, hitting the front-runner for promising spending and tax cuts the government can not afford and for delivering a long-winded explanation of his vote for the Iraq war.

But Edwards's effort to differentiate himself was mild as attacks go and did not seem likely to change the dynamics of a race that appears to many Democrats all but over. While Edwards did try to draw distinctions, former front-runner Howard Dean had nothing but kind words and sounded like a candidate on his way out of the race.

After winning 14 of the first 16 states, most by wide margins, Kerry essentially won Sunday's debate by not blowing it. There is no historical precedent for a candidate such as Dean (0 for 16) or Edwards (1 for 16) coming back from such a clear and consistent drubbing in every corner of the country.

Short of a scandal, leading Democrats predict, Kerry will officially wrap it up sometime next month, perhaps around March 2, Super Tuesday, when delegate-rich states from New York to California weigh in.

Edwards and Dean are both clinging to the fading hope that iconoclastic Wisconsin will shock the nation as it did in 1960, when voters picked John F. Kennedy over their well-liked neighbor, Minnesota Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey. Indeed, Edwards fashions himself as a 21st-century version of JFK -- young, handsome and optimistic.

Although Edwards's numbers have spiked a bit, public and private polling suggests another JFK will win Tuesday -- John Forbes Kerry. A recent American Research Group poll showed Kerry holding a 37 percentage point lead over Edwards, which squares with some other surveys. Edwards has vowed to stay in, win or lose, while Dean will retreat to Vermont, where aides predict he will call it quits. A top Edwards adviser hedged a bit last night, suggesting the senator might reevaluate his candidacy if he does not register a "respectable" second-place showing.

Read more....

Dean's Campaign Chairman May Soon Back Kerry

Howard Dean got hit with mutiny by a top aide on Sunday as he struggled to keep alive his sputtering bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

Campaign chairman Steve Grossman told The New York Times he will leave Dean and support front-runner John Kerry if Dean loses the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday as expected.

"If Howard Dean does not win the Wisconsin primary, I will reach out to John Kerry unless he reaches out to me first," Grossman told the newspaper's online edition.

"I will make it clear that I will do anything and everything I can to help him become the next president, and I will do anything and everything I can to build bridges with the Dean organization," Grossman said. Grossman is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He was also chairman of Kerry's 1996 Senate campaign.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

John Kerry Symbolizes Hope...

Kerry "just symbolizes some hope in a hopeless time," said Linda Lera-Randle El, director of an organization that helps the homeless in Las Vegas. "He's like a beacon, and we're all clinging, hoping for something that won't let us down."

I believe that says it all!

"Request Permission to Come Aboard"

(Photo by Morry Gash/AP)

As the two stood together on stage, Wesley Clark, a retired Army general told John Kerry, a Navy lieutenant during the Vietnam War, "Request permission to come aboard, the Army's here".

Kerry told the crowd that Clark would stand beside him and "help walk the point in this great battle as we go forward to take back the presidency of the United States. This is the first time in my life I've ever had the privilege of saying welcome aboard to a four-star general."

Read more on the Kerry Blog...

Permission Granted! Clark supporters showed thier stuff today and it was worth a thousand salutes in my book! General Clark, you should be proud of your supporters and I am sure you are!

Thank you to every Clark supporter who offered their support to John Kerry today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Kerry won't back down on defeating Bush...

The nomination within reach, John Kerry's advisers are discussing strategies for sharpening his message, spending his money, airing TV ads and collecting a winner's share of the 538 electoral votes in November's general election.

While the candidate focuses on defeating John Edwards and Howard Dean to sew up the Democratic race, parts of his mushrooming political team have put President Bush firmly in their sights.

"In a cycle that has been this unpredictable, the Kerry campaign is wise to stay focused on the task at hand. But engaging the administration serves a dual purpose for Senator Kerry," said Democratic strategist Michael Feldman.

"Going toe-to-toe with President Bush is also the best way to secure the Democratic nomination," Feldman said. His former boss, Al Gore, polished off the 2000 Democratic nominating struggle while at the same time eying Bush.

With each of his 12 primary season victories, Kerry has stepped up his criticism of Bush. He calls White House foreign policy feckless, Iraq policy reckless, domestic policy ruthless and distortions of his own record baseless.

"George Bush and the Republican smear machine has begun trotting out the same old tired lines of attack," Kerry said recently, adding that he has news for Republicans: "I am not going to back down."

Thus, he's already begun to build up his general election campaign.

Read more : Kerry's Advisers Look to Sharpen Message

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Kerry's Way Ahead of Dean and Everyone Else...Including Bush!

Kerry's Way Ahead of Dean and Everyone Else...Including Bush!

"Kerry is counting on momentum to carry him past the two Southerners. Victories in both states would further solidify his position as the Democratic front-runner, and polls show the senator from Massachusetts leading in both states.

He has 10 victories after nominating contests in 12 states -- the latest being Sunday's caucuses in Maine, and Saturday's caucuses in Washington and Michigan.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who was a distant second in the weekend contests, is not competing in Tuesday's primaries."


Monday, February 09, 2004


Critically acclaimed rock band Coldplay won record of the year tonight at the Grammy's and Rocked The Vote for John Kerry:

Frontman Chris Martin dedicated the award to late country singer Johnny Cash and to leading Democratic presidential hopeful "John Kerry, who hopefully will be your president one day." - from Reuters

Singer Chris Martin used his mike time to get off the night's lone semi-statement, codedicating his trophy to Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry "who hopefully will be your next President." - from EOnline

Thank You Chris Martin & Coldplay!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

John Kerry best choice in Democratic primary

John Kerry best choice in Democratic primary

From The Tennessean: Nashville TN

These are challenging times, both abroad and at home. The next president will have to grapple with terrorism, international discord, a growing health-care crisis, a sagging economy, a threatened environment, long-term joblessness and a deficit that is reaching a staggering level.

The nation will only be able to address those issues if it first addresses the internal divisiveness that has so blurred our common goals.

The Democratic presidential candidate who is best prepared to face those challenges is Sen. John Kerry. The Tennessean endorses Kerry in Tuesday's Democratic primary in Tennessee.

This was not an easy choice for the newspaper's editorial board. Gen. Wesley Clark had some support due to his outside-the-beltway appeal and his demonstrated leadership abilities. Yet with the Tennessee presidential primary approaching, the choice for us narrowed down to Kerry and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

Edwards is an extremely attractive, energetic candidate. If the contest were decided by oratorical skill alone, he would be the hands-down winner. Some Tennessee Democrats also may consider Edwards, due to his Southern roots, a more comfortable choice than Kerry. Edwards has also managed to keep himself above the fray in this campaign, keeping his operation on target and himself on message.

Yet the issue in the campaign should not be who is the most appealing candidate, or the most energetic, or the most organized, or even the nicest. While the issue for some Democrats might be who is the best candidate to challenge President George Bush, the choice ultimately should come down to who is the candidate best prepared to assume the awesome duties of the White House. In that context, the best candidate is Kerry.

He comes to the campaign with a proven commitment on issues that matter and a long record of public service, as a soldier, as a state official and as a senator.

Kerry's campaign isn't fueled by platitudes and bluster, but by ideas. He offers the right combination on tax policy, calling for the tax cuts to remain in place for middle-income Americans, while they are rolled back for those with annual incomes of $200,000 or more. He would spark job creation with a manufacturing jobs credit.

He proposes to close corporate loopholes by beefing up enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission and barring corporations from shielding themselves from taxes through the use of off-shore bank accounts.

On health care, Kerry proposes incentives for businesses to cover workers and their families, an enforceable patients bill of rights and reduced costs for medical malpractice.

The senator, who has one of the strongest environmental records in Congress, proposes a renewable energy trust fund that would foster energy independence without wrecking our environment.

On the foreign front, Kerry wants to create a real partnership within the international community that would, among other things, internationalize the troops in Iraq and rebuild Iraqi security forces. He has been a consistent proponent of non-proliferation measures in the U.S. Senate.

Kerry was criticized early in this campaign as being boring and ponderous. He listened to his critics, rejuvenated his campaign, and found better ways to connect with voters.

And in these political times, the accusation of being ponderous should be taken as a compliment. The nation needs more leaders who are thoughtful, fulsome in their approaches to issues, and who understand the complexities surrounding current events.

A war hero, a deliberate thinker, an experienced leader, a person fully capable to handle the vexing challenges this nation faces. John Kerry has earned the right to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

"George Bush's days are numbered."

Sen. John Kerry won crushing caucus victories in Michigan and Washington on Saturday, trouncing his Democratic presidential rivals and predicting, "George Bush's days are numbered."

The Democratic front-runner by far, Kerry fashioned his latest wins by outsized margins. The Massachusetts senator's share of the vote in a multi-candidate field hovered at 50 percent in Washington and Michigan.

"This week George Bush and the Republican smear machine have begun trotting out the same old tired lines of attack that they've used before to divide this nation and to evade the real issues before us," the Massachusetts senator told a Democratic Party dinner in Richmond, Va.

"They're the ones who are extreme. We're the ones who are mainstream."

He added, "George Bush's days are numbered — and change is coming to America."

Aides said the speech was designed to reassure the party faithful he would fight far harder against GOP attacks than Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor who led the party to defeat in 1988....


Dean, the fallen Democratic front-runner, had his best showing of the campaign season. He finished second in Washington with 30 percent of the vote and was a distant runner-up in Michigan. But that was cold comfort for the former Vermont governor, whose once promising campaign unraveled further when the head of a major union withdrew his support.

Democratic officials said Gerald McEntee, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, delivered the news in a meeting in Burlington, Vt.

Kerry's victories left him with more than twice as many delegates as his closest pursuer.

"I think John Kerry will do the job," said Robert Poli, 81, a retired Boeing worker in Washington. "I think he can beat the hell out of Bush."

I do believe you're right Mr. Poli!

Tonight's speech by Kerry at the Virginia JJ Dinner was by far the best speech Kerry has delivered to date. The clincher for me tonight was ending the speech with Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" and hearing the crowd cheer!

Kerry is poised and ready to take on Bush!

Friday, February 06, 2004

John Kerry can easily beat Bush!

We need to nominate someone for president who can beat Bush. Kerry beats Bush in the polls in a head-to-head contest, and is the only one who does so consistently. I was recently asked to name the top 10 reasons why Bush needs to be removed from the White House. It'll be difficult to narrow it to just 10, but here I'll try:


10. If Bush gets another craving for pretzels, the former head of Halliburton is the LAST person you want with first crack at ripping off the country.

9. Republicans used to say that you can't trust liberals with your money. But even liberals don't borrow and spend like this!

8. Only Bush can tell 57 exaggerations and inconsistencies in 54 minutes.

7. Nixon deleted 18 minutes of evidence. Bush swallows 1800 minutes of fake evidence and then tells 18,000 hours of lies in three years.

6. Johnson spent a billion here and a billion there, and then it began to add up. Bush spends a trillion here and a trillion there, and it's beginning to add up. But under Johnson we built housing projects for the poor, improved education, added health care for the elderly, and all that ON TOP OF fighting an unpopular overseas war we had no business getting involved in. Bush fights the unpopular overseas war but guts all the programs here at home.

5. John Kerry actually KNOWS what it's like to fight in an overseas war.

4. Charity for the downtrodden and removal of Weapons of Mass Deception begins at home.

3. We need to get rid of the constant "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" (book title by Al Franken)

2. The release of hot air by one more person living in Texas is tolerable. The release of hot air regarding global warming in the White House is hurting all of us.

And the number one reason why we need to replace Bush with John Kerry IS..............

1. The equal rights of women, minorities, dissidents, and the poor are in jeopardy as long as THIS greedhead is in power!

Thursday, February 05, 2004

A lot has been said been said about John Kerry over the past few months. Yet, I have always held on to my beliefs that John Kerry was the best the best candidate in the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Necessity was the mother of John Kerry's reinvention.

He was long-winded, so he shortened his speeches. He was distant, so he started talking to voters in personal terms. Seen as privileged, he surrounded himself with fellow Vietnam combat veterans. Seen as arrogant, the Massachusetts senator demonstrated humility, often embracing voters and telling them, "I love you."

There was no humility on the afternoon in early September when I was introduced to John Kerry as his "First Blogger". With tears in his eyes, Kerry looked at me and said "Really... I Love You!" As he reached out to hug me, John Kerry thanked me for all I had done for his campaign. Those words and that hug, were genuine and heartfelt and so is John Kerry!

Thank you, John Kerry. It is an honor and a pleasure to be a part of your campaign.

Fundraising! Fundraising! Fundraising!

Kerry's campaign announced today it has raised $5 million since Jan. 1st. Half of that was raised through over a two-week period, and almost all of it — $4.5 million — since his Iowa victory on January 19th.

Kerry Campaign finance director Peter Maroney said Internet fund-raising has set campaign records nearly every day over the past two weeks.

Bring It On! Contribute to John Kerry for President!

Gephardt to Endorse Kerry!

John Kerry lined up support from former rival Dick Gephardt on Thursday in a quick paced rush toward the Democratic presidential nomination.

Every where Kerry went, the path was cleared by establishment Democrats bearing endorsements.
Governor John Baldacci and former Senator George Mitchell from Maine climbed on board the Kerry "Real Deal Express" during the day, as did Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow from Michigan.

Gephardt will announce his support on Friday in Warren, Michigan. It is expected the the alliance of unions that backed Gephardt will soon follow.
Numerous polls show Democratic front-runner John Kerry running ahead of Bush. A recent Gallup survey had a seven-point margin.

When the 562 likely voters were asked for their choice from a Bush v. Kerry race, 53 percent of those picked Kerry, and 46 percent favored Bush.

What’s behind the president’s troubles?

White House advisers cite a lackluster State of the Union address — which they say failed to elevate the president’s agenda above the Democrats’ — and a series of setbacks, some self-inflicted, like a poor response to the report from weapons inspector David Kay, criticism over the budget and the deficit, and even new questions about Bush’s military record.

Look out Bush, John Kerry is coming...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

John Kerry & Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrate Kerry's 5 State Win, tonight in Seattle, WA!

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

John Kerry wades into the crowd after making an address Tuesday night, Feb. 3, 2004, in Seattle. The front-runner said his commanding showing in Tuesday's Democratic voting across seven states shows he is the candidate who can win across the country and who can defeat President Bush.

Contribute to John Kerry for President!

Monday, February 02, 2004

Bush and Rove can't sink Kerry

By HAROLD MEYERSON - Sunday, February 1, 2004

Karl Rove thinks he can take down John Kerry the way his mentor, Lee Atwater, took down Michael Dukakis, he's got another think coming.

The Kerry who delivered that victory speech in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday night was the most effective Democratic politico since the fall of Bill Clinton. Within his first two minutes at the microphone, Kerry had delivered a stinging populist attack on President Bush and managed to identify himself with his Vietnam vet comrades who surrounded him onstage.

"I depended on the same band of brothers I depended on some 30 years ago," said Kerry, thanking Max Cleland and a bunch of guys wearing the insignias of their old units for delivering in New Hampshire as they had in Iowa. "We're a little older, a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for our country!"

Almost instantaneously, Kerry deployed both his offense and defense.

On the stump, he is seldom so succinct: Digressions abound, adverbs pop up to take the punch from his punch lines. But Kerry has a sense of occasion; he is at his best -- as he was Tuesday night, and during his debates against Bill Weld in their 1996 Senate contest -- when the whole world is watching.

What should most concern Republicans, though, is Kerry's adeptness in attacking the administration's nearly 90-degree tilt toward the rich -- toward the insurance, drug and oil companies, against which Kerry, like all the Democratic candidates except Joe Lieberman, inveighs. The response of the GOP bloggers, talk show hosts and columnists is to accuse Kerry of a culturally inauthentic populism. Teresa Heinz Kerry and her husband, they note, bear scant resemblance to Ma and Pa Kettle.

Historically, though, the Democrats have done pretty well under the leadership of patricians who've attacked Republican plutocrats. Those patricians have needed some way to establish their normality, to be sure. In that sense, Kerry's time in Vietnam humanizes him much as the battle with polio did Franklin Roosevelt.

Like FDR, Kerry doesn't claim the populist mantle, nor does he have to. "What I'm talking about is fundamental fairness," he told me while bouncing down a New Hampshire highway the day before the primary, addressing people's outrage "that powerful lobbyists could achieve their ends on the Medicare bill to the detriment of the larger interest of the country. I don't call that populism; I call that Teddy Roosevelt-style 'Let's make the market fair.' Republicans misjudge the sense of institutionalized unfairness that Americans are confronted with every day."

But the Republicans' vulnerability runs even deeper than that. For the very real economic anxieties of the American people -- diminishing health coverage, the inflation of college tuition and the disinclination of American corporations to do their hiring in America -- the Bush administration has nothing whatsoever to offer.

The abject failure of Bush's State of the Union address last week -- his popularity actually sank in its aftermath -- hasn't drawn much attention, sandwiched as it was between Iowa and New Hampshire. But I suspect a large segment of the American public views the President's interest in Mars exploration and in steroids in baseball as a kind of admission of his cluelessness or indifference (or both) to the nation's genuine needs.

The proclivity of U.S.-based corporations to create their new jobs abroad, for instance, has altered not at all the administration's patently absurd commitment to throwing money at those corporations as a way to generate jobs here at home. For his part, Kerry believes that the globalization of the job market imposes new obligations on the federal government. He's not calling for a new WPA, but he does believe that through tax policy and appropriations, the government can expand energy conservation, alternative energy, health care and schools in ways that will create large numbers of blue- and white-collar jobs.

The fact that Kerry, and the Democrats generally, have a relevant economic program and Bush does not is one of those things that the American electorate already has begun to detect. Kerry in particular has shown a consistent ability to win portions of that electorate that Rove is counting on to keep George Bush in the White House. The Massachusetts senator ran particularly well among New Hampshire's working-class Catholics last week, and why not? Kerry had the faith, the populism, the Vietnam War vets and the support of the firefighters union -- not normally a political powerhouse when stacked up against the giant unions supporting Howard Dean, but one hell of a cultural signifier to voters Bush will need in November.

Real men support John Kerry. How would Lee Atwater get out of that one?