He's so lazy that he missed a chance to vote against me

Isaac Laquedem

The Bush campaign is making a big thing about Senator Kerry missing a Senate vote on extending unemployment benefits. The Bush radio advertisement (the spot that begins with Senator Kerry's voice saying, "This is playing havoc with my schedule") says that the Senator missed a vote on extending unemployment benefits and implies that if he cared about the unemployed, he would have shown up and voted. (I'm presuming, as the advertisement implies, that Senator Kerry favored extending benefits.) The campaign is using this theme in other places; today's Oregonian includes a letter to the editor laying out the same campaign point.

There's just one problem: The Bush administration opposed extending unemployment benefits. (Try Googling "extending unemployment benefits" and "Bush administration" together for far too many sources.) In other words, the President's campaign is complaining that Senator Kerry missed a chance to vote against the administration.

Wow! That's bipartisanship.

  • cullen (unverified)

    Apparently, Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), who had previously told Cantwell of his support switched sides at the last minute, leaving Kerry in the spotlight.

    It's a sad day when the passage of the $170 billion corporate tax bill provided: in Cantwell's words: $3 billion in tax credits for the oil and gas industry, $2.3 billion for the coal industry, $451m for bourbon distillers, $233m for cruise ship companies and $4 million for archery manufacturers, and not a day extenstion for the unemployed.

  • cullen (unverified)

    Also, reported was that the amendment was doomed from the beginning with a plan by the Republicans to fix the vote to 'trap' Kerry in the hot seat.

    Dole (R-NC) who voted for it was reportedly ready to switch sides if Kerry returned for the vote defeating the bill after all. "The Hill" reported that when asked whether the GOP manipulated the outcome "Eric Ueland, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s (R-Tenn.) deputy chief of staff, flashed a smile and replied: “I have no comment — and that’s on the record.”"

    Tarnishing Kerry's record is the goal. This won't be the last vote where Edwards and Kerry are the "lone" vote(s) missing. Republicans have a plan, and (damnit) it's working.

  • Sandra (unverified)

    We're definitely going to see many ads like this one. Remember who was Bush Sr.'s campaign advisor in his race against Dukakis....it's the same stuff all over again. Similarly with W.'s race for governer against Ann Richards. What Bush's skill level with running ruthless campaigns tells us in a big picture sense that with him, the truth will never matter, and the manipulation of the public's perception is the name of the game in every step, no matter what happens at the end of the day.

  • Kari Chisholm (unverified)

    Um, Bush 41's primary campaign advisor was Lee Atwater. He's long dead now, having recanted on his deathbed the politics of personal destruction that he practiced.

    Which Bush 41/43 advisor are you talking about?

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