Kerry Courts Indian Voters, Promotes Anti-Terror "Neighborhood Watches"
Sen. John Kerry campaigned in New Mexico yesterday, where according to the Albuquerque Journal, he "promised several thousand people attending the ceremonial that he would increase funding for the Indian Health Service and pledged to put a Native American in the White House to be 'directly responsible for our relationship working with all of the tribes and all of Indian Country in America.'" Kerry also "pledged to honor Native American treaties." The Arizona Republic, meanwhile, reports on the senator's "sharp criticism of President Bush's administration" charging that the President "doesn't talk to people. I've heard from many tribal leaders who say the door's not open. It is incomprehensible to me that they won't even listen.'"
Kerry's visit to New Mexico received widespread local TV coverage outside the state, most of which didn't highlight Kerry's outreach to Native American voters, but rather his call for Americans to set up "neighborhood watches" to protect themselves from terrorism. Typical of the coverage was WPVI-TV of Philadelphia, which reported that Kerry had spoken of "America's needs to establish some form of neighborhood watch system to train people to respond to terror alerts and cope with potential attacks." In Miami, WSVN-TV said the Kerry-Edward ticket told Sunday's crowd "they can do more to protect themselves against terrorism by setting up neighborhood watch groups."
Heinz Kerry Dances To Mariachi Band In New Mexico Visit.
According to the AP, Teresa Heinz Kerry "felt like dancing" after the last campaign event in New Mexico, and as "a six-piece Mariachi band played at the train station Saturday night and her husband signed autographs a few feet away, she began to sway to the music. A young gentleman in the welcoming party, Javier Martinez of Albuquerque, gallantly offered his hand and soon they were dancing to the lively strains of 'El Rey.'" The AP adds, "Autograph duty complete, Kerry stepped toward the couple, smiling and clapping his hands in appreciation of their style."
McCain To Campaign With Bush This Week In New Mexico, Arizona. NPR reported yesterday President Bush "is also scheduled to make a stop in New Mexico and Arizona this week. While in the Southwest the President will be joined on the campaign trail by Senator John McCain."
The Wall Street Journal reports President Bush's "aides are honing a series of economic campaign proposals, discussing everything from simplifying the tax code to adding more tax incentives to expand access to health insurance. Just a few weeks from the Republican convention, President Bush is close to making final decisions on a second-term agenda that will stress economic initiatives under the theme of an 'ownership era,' according to one adviser. . . . As part of that, Mr. Bush is likely to stress homeownership, creating private retirement accounts as part of Social Security and simplifying the tax code. He might propose giving individuals and businesses tax incentives for health insurance and for the production and use of alternative energy sources, among other things."
Churches Rallying In Effort To Boost Bush.
According to this morning's New York Times, the Bush campaign "is seeking to rally conservative churches and their members to help turn out sympathetic voters this fall." Socially conservative pastors and priests "are wrestling with their potentially pivotal role in the tight presidential race. In interviews with more than a dozen religious leaders in the St. Louis area, several said they felt a duty to speak up for what they consider biblical values like opposition to abortion and same sex-marriage."
Bush Campaign Seeks "Direct Contact" With Voters. U.S. News and World Report reports in its "Washington Whispers" column that Bush "thinks what people like about him over Sen. John Kerry is his ability to be one of them, and his staff is figuring out ways to show that off. So they want to steer the campaigning prez to cafes, gas stations, and, of course, barbecue joints. 'He wants direct contact with people,' says a Bushie. 'We don't have to prove he's a strong leader. Voters already know that. We have to prove he "gets it," that he understands what everyday Americans are going through.'"