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Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Residential Advantage - Teresa Tours Western Pennsylvania

Posted by Seamus

Some time ago, many score ago it seems, I blogged here about the advantages and disadvantages of having Teresa Heinz-Kerry on the ballot. There is an excellent piece in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighting how Teresa is not only using here Pennsylvania connections as an advantage for Kerry on the stump, but she is actually using her marriage to the late Senator Heinz to Kerry's advantage as well. She also obviously using her identity as an outspoken women to relate to voters on women's health issues. This is making great use of her identity for Kerry's advantage. Here is a short glimpse of the article:

Teresa Heinz Kerry made a daylong swing through Western Pennsylvania yesterday, promoting her husband's proposals for health care while chatting with a panel at a Lawrence County women's shelter and then opening a presidential campaign headquarters in Beaver County for Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic nominee.

At one point, she invoked the name of her late husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz, whose extraordinary crossover appeal to Democrats made him the state's top vote-getter.

The visit preceded a Midwestern trip, where Heinz Kerry will campaign for her husband in Detroit.

"We as a society have not built great support systems," Heinz Kerry told a group gathered at the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County during a noontime meeting in New Castle.

She joined a panel of women's health experts for a discussion.

Posted at 08:06 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati


More bad news for Kerry today - only +3 in Pennsylvania, -4 in Wisconsin, -5 in Ohio, and -2 in Missouri. These swift boat ads have hurt Kerry badly! They were airing heavily in Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia, and it looks like he has dropped at least 5 points in each state! He has even lost ground in states that did not show the ad, such as Missouri. Now we are heading into the Republican convention where Bush will most likely increase his lead. I have a bad feeling - sorry i'm gloom and doom however this is the worst I have felt about Kerry's chances to win.

Posted by: Peter at August 27, 2004 09:42 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To the doom-and-gloomsters: the media tends to go in cycles, extolling one candidate's virtues and then highlighting all his weaknesses. This happened with Clinton in 1992 and it can influence the swing voters in the short term. A couple weeks from now, people will have forgotten all this swift-boat stuff and the media will turn to focus on what BUSH was doing in the late 1960s. I suspect it will be neck-and-neck going into the debates (with Kerry with a slight lead). It's still Kerry's election to lose, and the debates are where he has the greatest possibility of blowing it -- but I don't think he will.

Posted by: Jason at August 27, 2004 11:50 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One never knows in this era how things will play out for sure. But Bush is going to eak out a lead in most states this next week with the convention at all. If the race remains tight or Kerry remains in the lead we are in GREAT shape. A lot of things are happening at once right now with the convention, protests, swift boat slanderers, etc... The good news is that I have never seen the Democratic Party more mobilized. Not only is there a state senate candidate where I live (first time since I moved here I think) but the Democrats are opening a COunty Office tomorrow (first time in a very long timer I understand).

Posted by: seamus at August 27, 2004 11:54 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This still is Kerry's election to lose. One thing worrying me about the debates is that the final one is on Bush's supposed strength, national defense. I must say I was shocked to see Wisconsin (!), Florida, Missouri and Ohio all "red" states today. Of course the election is so close in so many states, most of the red and blue states are really more purple than any other color.

Posted by: Pepe at August 27, 2004 01:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm not sure if this is enough to influence the polls, but there seem to be an awful lot of protesters descending on NYC in the last few days. I'd guess they're outnumbering the delegates by about 3:1 -- my point is, if they're visiting NY, then they're not at home to answer survey calls. You'd think you'd need a few hundred thousand such people to actually affect the polls . . . but, interestingly, Bush also enjoyed a brief upward blip during the women's march in DC back on a weekend in April. Probably just a coincidence but you never know!

Posted by: Jason at August 27, 2004 02:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The big fear that many Democrats share with me is that the protesters in NYC "take things too far" and they wind up making more news on TV and elsewhere than the GOP convenstion. Displays of violence in NYC could certainly wind up scaring the folks back in places such as MO, IO, WV, WI, OH, MI, MN, TN and FL, to name a few. If the protests images from NYC become ugly/shocking they could actually hurt their own cause. There was an excellent article on this in a Democratic publication here in Chapel Hill, NC, in which the author is hoping they will remain peaceful.I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: Pepe at August 27, 2004 06:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am tired of reading theoretical articles from non-protesters who think the protesters might get violent. Any violence in New York will be the result of a clear minority or by outside agitators. Overwhelminly, the protesters are and are going to stay peaceful. Democrats should be pointing this out instead of joining in on the corporate spin painting peaceful protesters as anything other than they actually are.

There are a lot of things that can happen with the protests. Protests that keep Bush off of the television sets are not necessarily a bad thing. Peaceful protests are what they are (and when the media tries to paint them as anything else our job is to call them on it). If any of the protests get violent that odds are because of outside agitators and/or excessive force. The point should be to use those against the Republicans and to support the protesters who are risking a lot for the good fight.

ok, i'll get off of my soapbox before I really get rolling. There are a lot of misconceptions about protests and hwo they are often interpreted. While I don't buy the any news is good media, the fact is that the idiom is almost entirely true when it comes to protests. There is a lot of back story to this but its true.

Posted by: seamus at August 27, 2004 08:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


There's no one on this side of the line that's going around saying that *most* of the protestors may be violent, or even that anything more than a very small number might be, but that's really completely beside the point. Certainly if it happens, the Democrats will be out front condemning it and making the pertinent point that it was a few bad apples (and perhaps even provacateurs) who will have been responsible.

But the point is that the MEDIA will play up the violence, the confrontations, the propert damage, if there is any, and without the proper caveats, and that will allow Bush and the GOP a prime propaganda moment, where they subtley (and sometimes not so subtlely) equate the violent protestors with the Democrats and Kerry and use that insinuation to score some points with undecided voters. The damage done to the campaign to remove Bush could be extensive, and for what gain.

Someone should please tell me what the goal of these protests is? If it's not to help in some way to remove Bush from office, then I consider them worthless -- less than wortheless, in fact, because they contain inherent dangers which can *help* Bush.

(I won't buy arguements about expressing our opinions, or upholding our constitutional rights or whatever, since these are true but, again, utterly irrelevant.



Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 27, 2004 11:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


If you don't realize that protests with the message "Defeat Bush" are not about beating Bush than I'm not sure what to tell you. I responded to a post that said if "the protesters" get violent.

I have not seen any criticism from anyone who is actually familiar with protest movements and how they influence public opinion in spite of corporate media attempts at spin.

Consider the WTO protests in Seattle. Widely reported as "violent" by the media, it is indisputable that those protests changed the frame of the world trade debate. That is just an example but it plays itself out again and again and again. And every time some argue that the protests will work against them. Well, that isn't how it works in 99 out of 100 circumstances.

The odds that these protests would somehow work against defeating Bush is something along the lines of 1 in 1,000. There is always a chance, whether its a protest, a 527 ad, a campaign speech, or a campaign stunt that it will bite you in the ass. Protests are as strategically organized as everything else. Instead of the tools being money and video editing equipment the tools are climbing gear, paint, and rip-stop banner material. These protests are organized by focused, goal oriented individuals. These folks are trained in how how to organize effective protest with effective messaging and they are passing these skills on to the newer protests to the extremes of their abilities. They are losing sleep, stressing out, and giving their all because they want to defeat Bush. They deserve support not backdoor drivers.

Posted by: seamus at August 28, 2004 12:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, I'm with Ed on this one. I'm EXTREMELY concerned about the possibility of these protests in NYC getting out of hand and being used as propoganda for the GOP. How the MEDIA treats them and displays them on our TV screens could do more far harm for Kerry than good. There's too much at stake here, and as long as the protesters know this, and don't get violent, fine. Otherwise, they'll be playing right into Bush's and the GOP's hands.

Posted by: Pepe at August 28, 2004 12:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I am not inside the protest movement, and I was not in Seattle, so I'm perfectly willing to accept your contentions about the amount of violence there and the intent of the protestors, but I'm afraid that all you're doing is proving my point. It's not the actual amount of violence, confrontation or property damage that matters, it's how the media characterizes it, how much they play it up, and the story that emerges as the accepted take on the event, which then becomes what the public thinks about it. If and when this happens in NYC, the GOP will seize on the moment, link it to the Dems, and harm Kerry's bid to remove Bush. That's my one and only concern, and it's one that I feel the protestors are willfully ignoring. My opinion is that the danger is severe enough that it utterly overwhelms any other possible good that can come about by protesting.

You seem to accept protesting as a good in and of itself. I beg to differ. Acording to the dictates of Bayard Rustin, and I agree, any protest or demonstration should have an immediately achievable goal in terms of the change it wishes to bring about. I don't believe that is that case with these protests, but if their goal is to assist in the removal of Bush, I think they're extremely counterproductive.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 28, 2004 04:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sorry, potentially extremely counterproductive.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 28, 2004 05:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The protests are a big mistake. Its their (the GOP's) party and they should be allowed to enjoy it. The protestors look churlish, at best.

Posted by: Arlo at August 29, 2004 11:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, frankly, I don't give a shit if the Republicans enjoy their convention or not -- tehy've got too much to answer for to merit any concern on my part about their comfort or pleasure.

I just don't want the protestors to screw up and hand Bush a weapon he can use against us.

So far, so good, but it's still early in the game.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at August 30, 2004 01:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

So far, the worries that I and many others have had concerning the protestors are thankfully baseless. There have only been about 100,000 protestors in NYC, and they are behaving! The talk of up to 2,000,000 protestors in the city appears to have been just that--talk. I wonder how many of the 100,000 are New Yorkers and how many are from outside NYC?

Maybe the bulk of them will come towards the end of the week, when Bush arrives. That would make sense for folks who work or take classes, as I don't see how most working people could leave for a full week to protest in a distant--and very expensive--city. I certainly couldn't!

Posted by: Pepe at August 30, 2004 06:54 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What happened to the thread about Teresa Heinz Kerry? Is she going to be in New York chanting "They want 4 more years of hell!" with the protestors?

Boy, she sure went over like a lead balloon. She's got like a 25% approval rating. The American public recoiled from her. Laura Bush's IQ must be 50 points higher than Teresa Heinz Kerry with her "Shove it" remark.

Posted by: Harry at August 30, 2004 08:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Peter the Zogby poll could have been an outlier. LA Times had Bush up by 3 and Columbus has a poll that had the race tied at 46. Remember in Sept 2000, Bush had a 6 point lead on Gore in Ohio. He ended up winning by 3.5% Ohio breaks late to the Dems. It's a margin of error race here.

Posted by: pc at August 30, 2004 11:30 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment