Last month I started to feel like I was reading about the Kerry campaign taking a pratfall or causing a self-inflicted wound almost every day. So I did an August Timeline and found my instinct was correct. EDIT: Here's the October Timeline as well.
The number of miscues by the Kerry campaign was so great (except for on August 12th) that due to space considerations - I have to do a separate post for this September Timeline. So without further ado...
Sept. 1st - After an awful August - a furious Kerry orders a shakeup of his campaign leadership. Meanwhile - the San Francisco Chronicle lauds the GOP as the party of inclusiveness? That can't be welcome news for the Kerry campaign. At the RNC the Democrats get hell from one of their own - Zell Miller:
What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in? I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny. It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city. Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.Sept. 2nd - Another luke-warm reception for Kerry by a veteran's group - this time from the American Legion in Tennessee. Kerry also completely breaks with the age-old gentleman's agreement of not campaigning during the opposition's convention to deliver a midnight speech in Springfield, Ohio in response to the Bush acceptance speech. The Kerry speech does not go over well with - well anyone.
Sept. 3rd - The Kerry campaign has to settle for Joe-mentum as all the "momentum" goes to President Bush.
"The Democrats are eviscerated," says Jay H. Leve, Editor of SurveyUSA. "Even in the most solidly Democratic corners of this country, a majority of adults suddenly believe that George W. Bush will win in November."Time Magazine backs up this survey with a poll of their own that shows Bush leading by 11 points. Kerry's Ace in the hole - Bill Clinton is suddenly unavailable as it becomes necessary for him to have emergency bypass surgery. Meanwhile Ralph Nader gets on the ballot in Michigan despite Kerry's and the DNC's best efforts.
Sept. 4th - The town of Steubenville, Ohio gives Kerry the cold shoulder. Doesn't this campaign have any advance people who can sniff out problems like this? Meanwhile Newsweek also shows Bush with an 11 point lead over Kerry.
Sept. 5th - The Kerry campaign can stonewall the Swiftboat Vets but I'm pretty sure that they'll have to answer the questions from the Inspector General of the Navy regarding false claims. The Kerry campaign posts what they call "lies, mischaracterizations, distortions, and half-truths" from the four days of RNC. (NOTE: the original page on the Kerry website is "disappeared" like Soviet airbrishing of history but Charles at LGF kept a copy - God bless Charles.) Reading through the list leaves you scratching your head thinking WTF? For example - is the Kerry campaign agreeing with this or disputing it? It's hard to tell:
John Kerry Has No Clear, Consistent Vision of Terrorism.Sept. 6th - Kerry gets advice from Bill "Ace in the hole" Clinton and a further shakeup of campaign staffing seems immenent. In a Pennsylvania campaign stop John Kerry clearly veers into Howard Dean territory stating that he would want to bring the troops in Iraq home within 4 years (his first term). In addition:
35. Rudy Guliani: President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is. John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision.
Faulting Bush on almost every aspect of his move toward war, Kerry said the United States is carrying the burden in casualties and cost. He called the president's coalition ''the phoniest thing I ever heard.''To date 131 non-US colalition soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq. I am sure the leaders of England, Australia, Portugal and Italy among others are just thrilled with Kerry's latest slur.
Sept. 7th - Kerry's attempt to appear as a regular guy backfires when it is reported that the shotgun he accepted as a gift is among the guns he cosponsored a bill to ban. Kerry's "wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" sounds like something Howard Dean would say and something that Kerry would have attacked Dean for saying. The name Steve Pitkin surfaces - keep this in mind for future reference because I think you may be hearing more about him later in the campaign (especially if the Kerry campaign tries something stupid like trying to pass off forged documents about Bush's guard service).
Sept. 8th - Kerry loses the endorsement from both the VFW and the American Legion to President Bush. This is normally not that big a deal but Kerry made his status as a veteran of a foreign war a cornerstone of his campaign. Meanwhile even media outlets who favor Kerry are having trouble figuring out who's in charge of the campaign. Could it be that nobody wants the "credit" for this disaster of a campaign?
Sept. 9th - The much anticipated Washington Post / ABC poll numbers are released and it is pretty much all bad news for the Kerry campaign. Major collateral damage to the Kerry campaign is suffered when FOK-er (Friend of Kerry) Dan Rather uses documents to smear President Bush that are almost immediately widely denounced as forgeries.
Sept. 10th - Speculation that the forged documents are tied to the DNC. CBS not releasing its sources will only further the idea that this is true. Meanwhile - it has been 41 days since John Kerry last allowed himself to be questioned in an interview. Maybe the idea is to never allow the candidate to answer any more questions until election day?
Sept 11th - Kerry uses a solemn day of remembrance to play the race card.
Sept. 12th - The Kerry campaign's collateral damage from the 60 Minutes fraud continues.
Sept. 13th - Zell "I will never trust John Kerry with my family's safety" Miller keeps firing away and damaging the Kerry campaign among NRA Democrats. John Kerry tries to get his message out but nobody is listening because all the attention is on Dan Rather and his dubious documents.
Sept. 14th - Kerry continues to trail in the major swing states. The DNC ties itself to Dan Rather in a big way. Republicans ask "is this the best they got?"
Sept. 15th - Things are so bad for the Kerry campaign that both New Jersey and Illinois are now in play. First Jon Stewart and now Don Imus. At least Kerry is heading in the right direction. At this pace he won't do Tim Russet's show until November 6th (which of course will be too late).
Sept. 16th - Possibly the low point for the Kerry campaign. I must say that the tenor of the campaign is set at the top and with Kerry on the attack, attack, attack with no substance - this particular attack may come to symolize the campaign without dignity. I'm just glad that the Union leadership acted in an adult fashion. The Kerry Campaign suffers collateral damage as MoveOn.org comes out with an ad showing a defeated American soldier in Iraq. The ad is immediately attacked by people like Bob Dole who calls for John Kerry to condemn the ad. Does MoveOn.org really think they are aiding John Kerry's chances with ads like this?
Sept. 17th - CBS's new poll shows Bush ahead by 9 points - but people are now taking anything from CBS with a grain of salt.
Sept. 18th - John Kerry thinks that President Bush is reaching into the Richard Nixon playbook of secret plans to end the war. This time Kerry alleges that Bush will call up even more National Guardsmen after the election. Meanwhile Kerry's sister chips in with her $.02 - telling Australians that siding with the US has only served to make them targets.
Sept. 19th - Football Fans for truth come out against Kerry. The 2004 campaign for President in a nutshell - Dick Cheney visits Green Bay and campaigns with Packer legend Bart Starr meanwhile Kerry campaigns in Green Bay and calls Lambeau Field "Lambert Field." The Kerry campaign drops the ball yet again.
Sept. 20th - Will future historians blame Dan Rather for killing the Kerry Campaign? Will future historians decide that the Kerry Campaign was an active participant in the fraud? Real reporters don't have the opportunity to ask Kerry about any connections because Kerry only does softball shows like The Daily Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Sept. 21st - It's gotten so bad that even Michael Moore is basically calling Kerry a loser.
Sept. 22nd - Kerry tries to pass off the idea that if Bush is re-elected then Bush will bring back the draft. Kerry also faces some reality and concedes Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and the birthplace of Harry Truman - Missouri. The Kerry campaign concedes those states by pulling all their advertising. Wisconsin may be next on the list. Lambert Field indeed!
Sept. 23rd - The Kerry campaign calls Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi a liar and a puppet. People keep waiting for today's version of Joseph Welch to ask him, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Instead we get "Oh who cares!"
Sept. 24th - John Kerry praises the UN and criticizes the US and our allies. Foreign policy and building bridges was supposed to be a Kerry strength. I've been doing a daily timeline of the Kerry campaign and I'm having trouble deciding when it passed from a joke to a disgrace.
Sept. 25th - Public backlash about biased media coverage via RatherGate, polls that show almost no hope for Kerry, disappointment in how the candidate attacked the Prime Minister of Iraq who simply came to this country to say thank you, a feeling that less than 2 months till the election nobody yet knows where the candidate stands on the issues - all these things pervade the Kerry campaign but no one new example stands out. So no link for today.
Sept. 26th - With nothing else working - Kerry blasts Bush for saying Mission Accomplished - the only problem being Bush never said Mission Accomplished. Meanwhile Joe Biden has to do a clean up in aisle Kerry over Kerry's earlier slamming of Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
Sept. 27th - As Homer Simpson would say - it's funny because its true - "He [Kerry] probably could spend 90 minutes debating himself. It's been a little difficult to prepare because he keeps changing positions on the war on terror." Meanwhile the Democrats demonstrate the difference between humor and political scare tactics by sending out Ted "The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely" Kennedy
Sept. 28th - Tan in a can? Oompa-Lumpa-Gate? Issues take a backseat today while the nation describes Kerry's sudden change in appearence. Personally I think it makes him look like this.
Sept. 29th - CBS News hits bottom and digs with a story about possible re-instatement of the draft. The urban legend has been debunked many times but that doesn't keep CBS from running a very sloppy piece of journalism. It also leads to re-eximination of a John Kerry proposal for mandatory government service.
Sept. 30th - John Kerry finally has something go good for him as he performs very well in the first Presidential debate. Unfortunately - it seems to be too little too late. The phrase "Global Test" is sure to make all the Republican talking points from here on in too.
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