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The 'positive' candidate: a timeline

John Kerry loves to accuse his opponents of below-the-belt personal attacks. He has discussed a “Republican attack squad,” responded to supposed attacks on his

“patriotism,” and charged, with very little evidence, that the White House is illegally coordinating 527-advertisements against him. Last week, Kerry described the Republican convention as “almost nothing but anger and insults.”

The next time Kerry calls a heated analysis of his voting record a smear campaign, remember what he and his high-level supporters have been doing the last year and a half:

4/2/03: Kerry calls for a “regime change in the United States.”

6/20/03: John Edwards says: “We have to show this president as the absolute phony that he is.”

9/4/03: Kerry says it “would be wonderful to have a President of the United States who could find the rest of the countries in this hemisphere.”

9/9/03: Kerry says President George W. Bush “behaves like Jefferson Davis on the Confederate flag.”

9/18/03: Ted Kennedy says the Iraq War “was made up in Texas” for political gain.

12/1/03: Howard Dean discusses the “interesting theory” that President Bush was warned about 9/11.

12/2/03: Kerry uses the f-word to attack the President’s Iraq policy.

2/1/04: DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe says the President was “AWOL” from the National Guard.

2/8/04: Former Vice President Al Gore screams that President Bush “Betrayed this country!”

3/10/04: Kerry calls Republicans “crooked” and “lying.”

3/17/04: Kerry accuses President Bush of placing a “target” on the backs of U.S. troops.

4/26/04: Kerry attacks President Bush’s National Guard service three times in one interview, saying the President “can’t even answer whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard”; “can’t even show or prove that he showed up for duty in the National Guard”; and “has yet to explain to America whether or not, and tell the truth, about whether he showed up for duty.”

4/28/04: On floor of the U.S. Senate, Frank Lautenberg displays a cartoon chicken and calls the President and Vice President “chickenhawks” who were “AWOL” during Vietnam.

5/7/04: Teresa Heinz Kerry calls the Vice President “unpatriotic.”

5/19/04: Nancy Pelosi calls the President “an incompetent leader” with “no judgment” who “has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops.”

5/23/04: Senator Tim Johnson compares the Republican party to “the Taliban.”

5/26/04: Gore calls the military’s prison system “Bush’s gulag.”

5/31/04: On Memorial Day, Kerry says President Bush “didn’t learn the lessons” of Vietnam and is putting soldiers “at greater risk.”

6/28/04: Introducing Kerry, Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley says the Bush administration worries him more than al Qaeda does.

7/8/04: Kerry calls a group of celebrities the “heart and soul” of America after they call President Bush a “cheap thug who sacrifices our young” and his Presidency “a self serving-regime of deceit, hypocrisy and belligerence.”

7/9/04: Kerry-Edwards Florida Chairman Rep. Kendrick Meek says Jeb Bush “was like bin Laden after the 2000 election.”

7/15/04: Kerry criticizes President Bush for not speaking to the NAACP despite the group’s leaders comparing the President to a Nazi, a confederate, a Taliban member and a Jim Crow segregationist.

7/25/04: Teresa Heinz Kerry says “we have basically given scholarships to potential terrorists to become terrorists.”

7/27/04: Ted Kennedy calls Republicans “false patriots.”

8/2/04: Kerry calls a group of President Bush’s supporters “goons” and Teresa Heinz Kerry says they “want four more years of hell.”

8/16/04: Quoted in Newsweek, Kerry National Security adviser Rand Beers says the President underfunds homeland security because the most targeted areas are in Democratic states.

8/16/04: Senator Tom Harkin calls Vice President Cheney a “coward.”

9/2/04: Kerry responds to the Vice President’s convention speech by saying he served two tours of duty in Vietnam while the Vice President obtained deferments.

Now: Kerry and his advisors have reportedly decided that he can only catch up in the polls if he stops playing nice and goes negative.

It’s hard to see what more that would entail.


Nathan Carleton is a Trinity senior.


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