Politics

Bush's Manager of Public Perception of Public Polls

"Matthew Dowd, President Bush's chief campaign strategist,
is not just the man who conducts the president's polling.
He also works to control public perceptions about where the
presidential race stands, perhaps more aggressively than
many other campaign aides in his position. ...
'I just want to make sure people have a realistic view,'
said Mr. Dowd, whose official title is 'chief strategist,'
in an interview Friday. 'There are highs that are going to
go down, there are lows that are going to go up. I'm not

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Wrapping Reagan in the Flag One Last Time

"The seemingly endless media adulation and myth-building surrounding the drawn-out death and funeral of Ronald Reagan is in keeping his media-savvy teflon-coated presidency. For all the conservative squawking about liberals dominating Hollywood, it is the right-wing that has excelled at putting actors into office."

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Less Punk Than You

Punk Voter is "a coalition of over 130 bands and about 30 independent record labels" seeking to register and mobilize punk rock fans for the 2004 U.S. presidential election. But will the effort "serve to strengthen the very political system that punk has made its reputation attacking?" Scott Evans would say yes. He writes: "Last March [political punk band] Propagandhi withdrew from Punk Voter's Rock Against Bush Vol.

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Congress: It's Not Just for Fat Cats Anymore

The New York Times editorializes today in favor of a little known reform that might have a revitalizing affect on the US political process. Candidates can now draw a salary running their own campaign for Congress. "The victory of a Democratic lawyer, Stephanie Herseth, in the race last week for an open House seat in South Dakota had some intriguing implications. Ms. Herseth is the first successful Congressional candidate of either party to take advantage of a change in the campaign finance rules that allows federal candidates to pay themselves salaries from their campaign treasuries.

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Getting Out the Vote, Religiously

House Republicans "quietly introduced a measure to make it easier for churches to support political candidates, just days after the Bush campaign ... [invited] church members to distribute campaign information at their houses of worship," reports the New York Times. "'Safe Harbor for Churches' ...

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The Terminator, The Gipper and the Banana Republicans

"Acting has been a stepping-stone to political careers for numerous Republicans. In addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger examples include Ronald Reagan the former governor of California and two-term president of the United States. There are several reasons for this disparity. One is that the Republican Party has actively recruited and supported candidates from the entertainment world. Another is that Republicans often run as 'anti-government' or 'non-politician' candidates, so that an actor's lack of political experience can actually be an advantage for his campaign.

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Is America Being America?

John Kerry's presidential campaign has adopted and dropped several slogans, including a "better set of choices," "safer, stronger, more secure," the "courage to do what's right for America," "the real deal," "bring it on," "change starts here," "build a stronger America," and a "lifetime of service and strength," reports the New York Times.

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Lie in a TV Ad, Voters Will Believe You

Adam Clymer, formerly the New York Times Washington correspondent, is now the political director for the National Annenberg Election
Survey
. He writes in an editorial column that "Americans like to say they are not influenced by campaign commercials, but then many people plainly
believe the attack ads that President Bush and John Kerry
are hurling at each other. Even people who say they learn nothing from the
advertisements believe the claims made in them, the

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