John Forbes Kerry: U.S. Presidential Campaign 2004

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John Forbes Kerry has the delegates necessary for the Democratic nomination to run against George W. Bush in U.S. presidential election, 2004. [1] Kerry's U.S. presidential campaign 2004 has not been without stops, starts, and a comeback, as chronicled below.

Also see John Forbes Kerry: U.S. Presidential Campaign 2004 (External Links) for links to related news and journal articles.

Kerry Campaign Web Sites

Campaign Strategists / Staff

The Hill reported on April 21, 2004, that Senator Kerry has been "snapping up some of Capitol Hill's seasoned veterans and young street fighters to staff his growing campaign organization [and] using the Hill hires to make peace with old rivals and court influential members, while stocking his campaign with aides who have been tested in tough House and Senate races and Capitol floor battles."

Among the "Hill hires" are:[2]

Also see Jim VandeHei, "Old-School Team To Sell Kerry as Modern Centrist," Washington Post, April 21, 2004.

Other reported campaign staff and advisers included: [3]

In early September 2004, the Washington Post reported that, while "bolstering his inner circle of advisers with veterans from previous Democratic campaigns," Senator Kerry's most recent campaign staff hires - Joel P. Johnson, Joe Lockhart, Howard Wolfson and Michael J. Whouley - added "lobbyists with close ties to a wide array of businesses, including drug companies and Microsoft." All four men "have taken leaves of absence [from their lobbying firms] to join the campaign," reported the Post. "The hires are typical of the revolving door that exists between those who run campaigns and those who lobby," remarked American University political science professor James A. Thurber. Indeed the Bush campaign includes several lobbyists among its staff and advisers, including Ralph Reed and Vin Weber. But, "if Kerry is trying to show he's for lobbying reform and is independent of special interests, this set of personnel changes is not a good thing," said Thurber.[4]


Campaign Consultants

According to the October/ November 2004 issue of Campaigns & Elections, the Kerry campaign consultants included:

  • Riverfront Media, LLC
  • Malchow, Schlackman, Hoppey & Cooper
  • O'Brien, McConnell & Pearson: fund-raising
  • Addressing Services Co.: direct mail
  • Names in the News: direct mail
  • The Dewey Hub, LLC: voter contact, fund-raising
  • The Strategy Group: direct mail
  • Shrum Devine Donilon: media
  • Avenging Angels, Inc.: fund-raising
  • Strategic Marketing & Mailing: direct mail
  • The Spoken Hub, LLC: phone banking
  • A. Gutierrez & Associates: media
  • Integral Resources, Inc.: fund-raising, telemarketing
  • The Tyson Organization: phone banking
  • The Mellman Group: research
  • Share Group, Inc.: fund-raising
  • Citizen Soldier Fund: voter contact
  • L&E Meridian: direct mail
  • Kiley & Company: research, polling
  • Facter Direct Ltd.: fund-raising
  • AMS Communications: direct mail
  • Merkle Response: fund-raising
  • Common Sense Consulting: accounting
  • Direct Mail Processers: fund-raising
  • The Feldman Group, Inc.: research
  • GMMB: media
  • Typed Letters Corporation: direct mail
  • Group Incorporated: media
  • Perkins Coie, Seattle: legal
  • L&G Systems: direct mail
  • Integram: direct mail
  • NCS Direct, Inc.: direct mail
  • Dewey Square Group: general
  • Telefun, Inc.: fund-raising
  • The Martilla Communications Group: communications services
  • Meyer Associates: telemarketing
  • Andrei Cherry: general
  • Target America: fund-raising
  • ABIS: direct mail
  • John R. Norris: general
  • Kenneth W. Robinson: general
  • Harrison & Goldberg, Inc.: research
  • Sarah Bianci: research
  • Direct Advantage Marketing: direct mail
  • Massachusetts Strategy Group: fund-raising
  • Strategic Telemetry, Inc.: polling
  • Overlook Strategies, Inc.: issues consulting
  • Jack Corrigan: general
  • Smart Campaigns: research
  • Triumph Communications: general
  • Xpedite Systems, Inc.: voter contact
  • Michael J. Whouley: general
  • The Oblander Group, GA: fund-raising
  • Practical Political Services: voter contact

Contacts with Lobbyists

  • Jim VandeHei and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "Kerry Issues List Detailing Contacts With Lobbyists," Washington Post, April 22, 2004: "John F. Kerry yesterday disclosed nearly 200 meetings he has held with lobbyists since 1989, including dozens having business before his Senate committees, as the presumptive Democratic nominee sought to draw a sharp contrast with what he describes as the Bush administration's more secretive and expansive dealings with corporate lobbyists. ... No member of Congress-turned-presidential candidate has ever listed in such detail contacts with lobbyists, who are paid to influence policy decisions. ... In an 11-page document provided to The Washington Post before wider release today, the senator from Massachusetts detailed the participants and dates of private meetings in his Senate office with lobbyists representing clients including labor unions, trial lawyers, environmental groups, and such major corporations as Microsoft and IBM."

Military Records

  • Lois Romano, "Kerry Posts Naval Record Online. Medical Data Incomplete; Most Information Had Been Released," Washington Post, April 22, 2004: "John F. Kerry's presidential campaign Wednesday posted on its Web site 145 pages of his military record, which offered glowing evaluations of his combat service in Vietnam, but little new information about the Massachusetts senator's four-year tour in the Navy. ... Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said the campaign has released virtually every document it received from the Navy, with the exception of Kerry's complete medical record. The campaign released only those records of combat injuries and medical treatment that support Kerry's Purple Heart citations. ... Meehan said the campaign was in the process of pulling together Kerry's entire military medical record, but he would not commit to releasing it. 'I think it's only fair for Senator Kerry to be able to review 30-year-old medical records before he decides what to do with them,' Meehan said. 'It is our intention to provide information from his medical records. Right now, we don't have it all.' ... Meehan also said the campaign would post an additional 66 pages it received from the Navy archives last year of combat reports that Kerry dispatched when he was commander of a swift boat in Vietnam in 1968. ... Kerry and his staff have said this week that there is likely nothing new in the documents, which Kerry requested from the Navy last month. Much of the record had been released over the past two decades upon request to various news organizations, including The Washington Post."


Also see John Kerry for President: Endorsements and Independents for Kerry: Endorsements List.


Endorsements .. of sorts

Fundraising & Campaign Finance

Also see U.S. presidential election, 2004: Democrat Campaign Ads for information regarding internet activism to raise funds for Kerry's ad campaign.

Kerry's Campaign Issues

Vision of Iraq

"One year after President Bush celebrated success in Iraq by landing on an aircraft carrier decorated with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner, Senator John Kerry today challenged him to immediately internationalize the operation, urging the appointment of a high commissioner to oversee Iraq's reconstruction and political transformation.
"The high commissioner, modeled on a similar position deployed in Bosnia, would be authorized by the United Nations Security Council to organize elections, draft a constitution and work with both Iraq's interim government and the American ambassador. Mr. Kerry also called on NATO to make Iraq's security one of its global missions before the June 30 deadline for the handover of power, and for a 'massive training effort' to build a native security force there." (See Iraqi sovereignty: June 30, 2004.)
"Iraq has been one of Mr. Kerry's stiffest challenges throughout the campaign."
"For months, Mr. Kerry has advocated broader international oversight of Iraq's prospective interim government, a formula that might open the door to additional peacekeeping contributions and generate some real support for nation building there. Now he has begun to elaborate on how that oversight should be structured, drawing sensible lessons from successes and failures of the recent past.
"Mr. Kerry recognizes that the United Nations cannot offer any magic bullet solutions for Iraq, and that working with Secretary General Kofi Annan and his special representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, cannot be a substitute for broad cooperation with all the major powers represented in the Security Council. To this end, while endorsing Mr. Brahimi's efforts to put together a transitional Iraqi government, Mr. Kerry also proposes designating an international high commissioner for Iraq whose office would be outside the barely functional, patronage-driven U.N. personnel system. That would permit the recruitment of a capable staff and create some safeguards against the kind of wholesale corruption that is alleged to have vitiated the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food Program in Iraq.
"This feature of the Kerry proposal draws on the pattern of international oversight in Bosnia. While far from perfect, Bosnia's transition has worked out a lot better than Iraq's and elicited far wider international cooperation. Mr. Kerry also invokes the Bosnia example when he suggests that the NATO alliance be directly involved in Iraqi peacekeeping operations. That could help make NATO more relevant to the post-Cold War world and would ease the burden on America's badly strained military. An American commander would still be in overall charge of security.
"Mr. Kerry's ideas would have been difficult to put into effect a year ago. They would be extremely hard to carry out now, and impossible by next January, should he defeat Mr. Bush. But they at least reflect a realistic view of what the United Nations -- and the United States -- can and cannot do. The Bush administration, meanwhile, clings to the unworkable notion of an American-controlled transition, an idea that grows ever more out of touch with reality as the news of the revolting abuses at Abu Ghraib prison overwhelms any remaining Iraqi faith in Washington's good intentions."

Planning for an "October Surprise"

Rand Beers, one of "a member of a loose group" of Kerry advisers, says "'There is discussion of what are the unexpected, unanticipated [events] ... It would be a surprise if we were not going to talk about it.'"
Kaplan says that "Campaign officials dislike discussing the issue at all for fear that it makes the campaign look intent on taking political advantage of what might be a catastrophic event, such as a terror attack. Aides also want to avoid signaling to the opposing camp what they are thinking or doing on strategic issues. ... But, they say, they have to prepare for the unexpected."

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