Pre Convention News Round Up
At the New York Times, Adam Nagourney tells how Kerry Sees Hope of Gaining on Terror Issue:
BOSTON, July 24 — Senator John Kerry says he will seek to persuade voters over the next three months that he would do a "better job than George Bush" in protecting the nation from terrorism, but he acknowledges that the president now holds an advantage on this pivotal issue.
In an interview on Friday laying out the framework for the Democratic convention starting here on Monday, Mr. Kerry pointed to his military record and criticized Mr. Bush's terrorism policies in declaring that he would challenge the president on what polls suggest is Mr. Bush's greatest strength. Mr. Kerry said "it takes time" for a challenger to gain public confidence on such issues, but said he was "not worried about that."
To demonstrate his point, he reached for a copy of the Sept. 11 commission report that was issued on Thursday, which he brought to the interview, and said that if he is elected he will carry out most of the report's recommendations right away.
"Safer, stronger?" Mr. Kerry said of Mr. Bush's record with a hint of sarcasm as he waved the 567-page book overhead. "I'm just quite confident that as the next months of the campaign go on I am going to have the ability to be able to make it clear to America that I can make this country safe and strong."
Over at the LA Times, Ron Brownstein shows how Kerry's Strategy Accents Positive:
WASHINGTON — John F. Kerry's strategy for the Democratic National Convention rests on a bet that voters are ready to change direction and need more to be reassured about his virtues than persuaded that President Bush has failed, sources familiar with campaign strategy say.
With that in mind, Democrats plan to focus more on boosting Kerry than bashing Bush at the convention that convenes Monday in Boston. And they are framing a message that, while also trying to spotlight Kerry's policy agenda, places the greatest emphasis on telling his personal story.
"Who he is, where he comes from and what he believes: That is the most important thing to convey," said Tad Devine, a senior Kerry advisor.
Senior Kerry aides said the Democrats would try above all to persuade voters that the Massachusetts senator could defend the country as commander in chief and held strong beliefs that had guided his decisions.
"Seventy-five percent of this week is that he will keep you safe, and 25% is that he is a man of conviction," one senior Kerry aide said.
The Chicago Tribune runs an interview showing how Kerry strives to offer voters 'a better vision':
DENVER -- Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry declared America is neither safer nor stronger under President Bush's stewardship and said when he accepts the party's nomination this week he will urge Americans to seriously ask themselves if they are satisfied with the nation's direction and place in the world.
The Massachusetts senator said in an interview that the Bush administration has pursued ideologically driven policies that have shattered global alliances, produced a burgeoning federal deficit and placed U.S. security in peril. He also dismissed White House claims that the war on terror has made America safer.
"Safer is not the test," Kerry said, sharply articulating his words as he pointed to a bound volume of the bipartisan commission's report on the Sept. 11 attacks. "The test is whether you've made America as safe as it can be and should be given the options we had available to us."
USA Today also runs an interview with Kerry entitled The President Misled America:
The president misled America. I don't know about deliberately, but he misled America, he misled the world. He misled Americans in Congress about how he was going to go to war. About what he would do. About why. We now have a new rationale for having gone to war. And I say to voters plainly and clearly: I laid out in my speech on the Senate floor precisely the steps that I think we needed to take to use the authority that we were giving the president. If I had been president, I would have used that authority more effectively....and I would have brought countries to our side through effective diplomacy, by being patient, by using up their excuses, by working through the international objections, so that if we needed to go to war we went to war with other countries on our side that shared the cost.
I have been 100% consistent. Saddam Hussein was a threat, he needed to be held accountable to the U.N. resolutions, but it needed to be done in the right way. George Bush did it in the wrong way, and broke his promises to Americans.
This should also be a big week for biographical articles, such as The Private Ambition of a Very Public Man in the LA Times and Discipline and Ambition Overcame First Defeat in The Washington Post.