Carol Platt Liebau

Monday, October 25, 2004

So, former President Clinton, happily restored to health, hit the trail for Kerry today in Philadelphia and Florida. In the meantime, Rudy Giuliani has been with President Bush.

Press coverage for the Clinton appearances has, predictably, been glowing. But the dirty little secret that the MSM wants everyone to forget is that Clinton isn't all that popular with highly-coveted "swing" voters. Everyone remembers (and would rather forget) Clinton's eight years spent defending thong-snapping and socialized medicine, while Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda surreptitiously gathered strength, and Saddam defied UN mandates on a whim.

To those in the press who are overwhelmed with Clinton's re-emergence, I have one question: What's Clinton's endorsement worth? Maybe they should ask "Florida Governor" Bill McBride, "Hawaii Governor" Maizie Hirono, "California Governor Gray Davis" and a host of Senate candidates in 2002. What do all these people have in common? (1) They were endorsed by Clinton and (2) They lost.

Clinton is good for one thing: Boosting African American turnout. What having him on the trail indicates is that Kerry still doesn't have this constituency nailed down (he's got between 69%-77% of the African American vote, compared to Gore's 90%). They're having to spend time in Philadelphia, eight days before an election!? That's tantamount to President Bush having to drop into St. Louis -- it wouldn't be a good sign.

In the meantime, President Bush is out with Giuliani -- a man whose appeal cuts across party lines, and who represents a living reminder of 9/11. He's got appeal for swing voters -- unlike the incredibly polarizing Clinton. So does Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will be appearing with President Bush in Ohio.

So while all the pundits have said that President Bush is merely trying to shore up his base, and Senator Kerry is reaching for the middle, they might want to take a look at the surrogates -- and the message they're sending. Seems to be quite the opposite.

I know who I'd rather be campaigning with -- "America's mayor" and "The Governator."


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