The 2004 presidential race was the most expensive in history. While Republicans did outspend Democrats -- $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion -- the difference wasn't that much. "Despite their fundraising success, Democrats simply did not spend their money as effectively as Bush," the Washington Post's Thomas Edsall and James Grimaldi report.
Representative Billy Tauzin, "a principal author of the new Medicare drug law, will become president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the chief lobby for brand-name drug companies." The Medicare law is generous to industry, forbidding price controls, regulations, or even negotiations with drug manufacturers "to secure lower prices for Medicare beneficiari
Bush's second term will focus on domestic policy, specifically "creating private Social Security accounts," "revising the tax code," "limiting the size and number of lawsuits, and changing immigration laws." The PR plan to sell these policies is underway. "In the next few weeks, White House officials, including [Karl] Rove, are planning to meet with Republican activists" to coordinate the campaign.
"When Jon Stewart 'busted' Spin Alley [the post-debate media feeding frenzy where campaign officials talk up their candidates for journalists] for in his famous confrontation with the Crossfire people (the most downloaded video clip ever, at the time) he was hitting on a practice that had grown more and more disreputable. As a designated spot for the practice of spin, the Alley only fell from legitimacy when an alternative practice rose up and called out to conscience of the press.
The Washington, DC-based public affairs firm Susan Davis International "is handling the Pentagon's 'America Supports You' campaign to drum up support for the nearly 150,000 U.S. forces that may be occupying Iraq during the next four years," reports O'Dwyer's. "America Supports You," a Defense Department campaign, will run through May 2005.
The Hill reports on a "sophisticated, multipronged plan" to support whomever George Bush nominates to the Supreme Court, after the expected resignation of ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The plan includes "pre-emptive" press releases, "to deflect liberal efforts to define the nominee," and public statements and floor speeches by Senate Republicans.
"Ukraine, traditionally passive in its politics, has been mobilised by the young democracy activists," reports the Guardian.
"As American soldiers were dying in Falluja, some Americans back home spent Veteran's Day mocking the very ideal our armed forces are fighting for freedom," writes Frank Rich. "Ludicrous as it sounds, 66 ABC affiliates revolted against their own network and refused to broadcast 'Saving Private Ryan.' The reason: fear.