Ed. note: reprinted as received (note truncated July 30 entry)

To:      Interested Parties
From:  Bush-Cheney '04 Communications
Date:   8/13/04
Re:      Journeys With John

It's now been more than two weeks since John Kerry left the Democratic National Convention in Boston and set off on his "Sea to Shining Sea" tour.  As advertised, Sen. Kerry has traveled more than 3,500 miles, across 22 states, meeting Americans on "main streets and family porches and in cities and towns."  The end result?  On a journey that has proved to be less Lewis and Clark and more Clark Griswold, John Kerry finds himself trailing President Bush 47% to 50% in the latest nationwide Gallup Poll of likely voters.  Prior to the convention, Kerry enjoyed a 49% to 47% lead.

Below are some highlights of John Kerry's cross country journey:

Friday, July 30:  The morning after the convention, while still in Boston, John Kerry pointed to the Old North Church and said, "'One if by land, two if by sea,' and the message was right. Come to think of it, they had better intelligence back then than we do today about what's going on.''  While Kerry's reference displays his knowledge of history, his own history on issues relating to intelligence is less impressive as he missed at least 75% of the Senate's public intelligence hearings when serving on the Senate's Intelligence Committee and proposed cutting $7.5 billion from the intelligence budget after the first World Tra

Friday, July 30:  After leaving Boston, everyman John Kerry stopped in a Wendy's for a much publicized bowl of chili and a Frosty.  Interestingly, this caloric juggernaut didn't seem to suppress his appetite.  Why else would he have a boxed lunch of shrimp vindaloo prepared by a local yacht club waiting for him back on the campaign bus?

Friday, July 30:  This would have been the date of John Kerry's largest crowd, if that had been true. According to The Patriot-News, "But in the name of historical accuracy, we must submit this footnote to the Harrisburg stop of the 'Believe in America' tour: That crowd wasn't 20,000, as estimated Friday night by Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed and repeated by several other Kerry supporters. The Kerry campaign, in releases this week, has claimed 25,000. In fact, the only agency that did anything close to a head count reported yesterday the crowd was more like 12,000. That number comes courtesy of James Borasi, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia District of the Secret Service, whose agents were on the ground screening everyone entering the rally site."

Sunday, August 1:  John Kerry knows football.  We're all familiar with his affinity for breaking into a spontaneous game of catch on the tarmac, but who knew he was such a big Ohio State Buckeye fan? Why else when visiting Michigan would he have told a confused and unappreciative crowd, "I just go for Buckeye football -- that's where I'm coming out."

Monday, August 2:  Working to dispel the notion that he is an urbane foodie, Kerry states during a Wisconsin visit that he'd be in trouble if he didn't "find some baby backs over there at Speed Queen Bar-B-Q and a double dip vanilla at Leon's."  True to form, Kerry skipped both eateries and chose instead to dine on filet mignon and asparagus at a lakeside restaurant.  Bon appetite!

Thursday, August 5:  A cross country trip can't all be bar-b-q and Buckeye football and on this day Kerry found time to criticize the President for his handling of the War on Terror.  Kerry himself suggested that America needs to wage a "more sensitive War on Terror."   This is opposed to his "secret" strategy to end the war in Iraq which the Associated Press noted has a Nixonian feel.

Friday, August 6:  John Kerry re-released his energy plan to much fanfare.  Unfortunately, the plan's fans didn't include Kerry's own aides who referred to it as "asinine" and "misleading" in a New York Times article the following day.

Thursday, August 12:  The National Journal has rated John Kerry as the most liberal member of the United States Senate.  Given Kerry's record of voting 98 times for higher taxes totaling more than $2.3 trillion during his 19 year Senate career, it's easy to see why.  Kerry's iconic tax and spend status is confirmed by the 133 campaign promises he has made, which will add up to between $2 trillion and $2.1 trillion over the next ten years, according to the latest estimate by the American Enterprise Institute.  Kerry put the icing on the cake on this day by referring to his 1993 vote for the largest tax increase in U.S.

Nearly Everyday:  Kerry's story on Iraq continued to unravel as he crossed the country.  The basic questions posed by the President over the past week have shown a candidate and campaign paralyzed by his shifting positions.

In Stratham, NH, the President asked a simple question central to this campaign: "My opponent hasn't answered the question of whether, knowing what we know now, he would have supported going into Iraq.  That's an important question and the American people deserve a clear 'yes' or 'no' answer."

After initially saying "You bet I might have," Kerry stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and said, "Yes, I would have voted for the authority.  I believe it's the right authority for a president to have."

The President replied to Kerry's "yes," and called him on his equivocation of the past two years: "And now -- and now, almost two years after he voted for the war in Iraq, and almost 220 days after switching positions to declare himself the anti-war candidate, my opponent has found a new nuance.  He now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq.  After months of questioning my motives and even my credibility, Senator Kerry now agrees with me that even though we have not found the stockpile of weapons we all believed were there, knowing everything we know today, he would have voted to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power.  I want to thank Senator Kerry for clearing that up."

The Kerry campaign immediately protested.  They argued that it was a vote for authority, not for war.  Apparently they weren't familiar with what their own candidate told his fellow Senators in 1991:  "For us in Congress now, this is not a vote about a message. It is a vote about war because whether or not the President exercises his power, we will have no further say after this vote."

As the campaign approaches the Republican Convention, and as Kerry winds up his post-convention push, he has yet to give his answers to fundamental questions.  His continually shifting positions and misleading rhetoric are straining his credibility and his post-convention tour has not realized the gains predicted by his campaign and his party.

To Be Continued:  Sadly, short attention spans and rapidly moving news cycles preclude us from discussing more of John Kerry's cross country journey but rest assured in the coming days we'll be discussing other highlights from the trip including his:


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Bush-Cheney '04 Communications