AP is reporting: "For months, President Bush has been courting his core conservative supporters. Now, in a New York minute, he's shifting his focus to moderates, independents and Democrats not entirely sold on John Kerry. He wants to be known as the 'compassionate conservative' again. That slogan from his first presidential race lost its meaning to many people shortly after Bush's bitterly contested victory four years ago, when he moved like a man with a mandate to install a right-leaning Cabinet with an agenda to match. Facing an electorate no less divided than in 2000, Bush hopes to reclaim a slice of the political center with a week-long convention script designed to highlight the moderate parts of his program while reminding swing voters why they once found him so likable."
Craig Hines in the Houston Chronicle:
If the Federal Trade Commission happens to watch the Republican National Convention, it may be moved to take action against the quadrennial political show. It will be a classic case of bait-and-switch.
On display will be virtually every major figure in the party who supports abortion rights, gay rights, embryonic stem-cell research or even gun control. But then the party will renominate a president who is for little, if any, of that.
It will be the same George W. Bush who four years ago, at a similarly arch display in Philadelphia, trumpeted himself as a "compassionate conservative" then produced the most hard-right administration in years and record federal deficits.
Given the promise of 2000 and the performance of the past four years, it's amazing chutzpah, even for New York, even for Madison Square Garden. The Bush campaign counts heavily on Americans' incredibly short political memories.
The need for Republicans to take this approach is clear, but if you need some reinforcing data, look no further than the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll.
The Bush policies that have cemented his position with the unshakable right, the heart of the Republican base, leave him vulnerable and unconvincing to centrist voters who may decide the election.
This may be one reason that Bush's narrow lead nationally in the survey, 47-45 percent, disappears in 17 closely contested states, where the Journal-NBC poll found John Kerry 4 percentage points up.
What to do, in terms of its quadrennial convention, has been obvious to Republican planners for months: Put on a prime-time festival of moderation, featuring, in key speaking roles, party leaders who are as left as they come, which is, of course, not very left at all.
Do they really think all those "swing voters" are so easily fooled? Boggles my mind.
Good to know our Haley is up in New York embarrassing, er, looking at for "our values"óand making sure that the moderate dog-and-pony show being staged is understood to be a complete sham:
Barbour's heavy lifting started early as he chaired the "Protecting Our Families" subcommittee for the group writing the GOP national platform. His group was to address abortion, children's issues and same-sex marriage.
"Some of the major concerns of the American people revolve around issues that will be considered by my subcommittee," Barbour said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
His panel drew criticism from gay-rights Republicans after adopting language that called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and opposing legal recognition for same-sex civil unions.
It's artilces like these that make me ponder... What's Canada's national anthem?
"I think that a country that suppresses their people is not good."-Bush (on Today show 8/31 interviewed by Matt Lauer)
Hmmm... You'd think Mr. Bush would have some issue with suppressing the pursuit of happiness by gay and lesbian Americans... Does he know what suppress means?
-To put an end to forcibly; subdue.
-To curtail or prohibit the activities of.
-To keep from being revealed, published, or circulated.
-To deliberately exclude (unacceptable desires or thoughts) from the mind.
-To inhibit the expression of (an impulse, for example); check: suppress a smile.
-To reduce the incidence or severity of (a hemorrhage or cough, for example); arrest.
And please don't take this as an endorsement for Kerry.... More and more, I contemplate writing in a vote for Barney the dinosaur... He's much more decisive and compassionate than either of the major players. ;-)