Miller Speech Had Impact, But Effect Remains Unclear
Democratic Sen. Zell Miller's blunt speech on Wednesday night was, according to the Washington Post , "the talk of the town here among (mostly) adoring delegates at the Republican National Convention on Thursday." By Thursday, it "was clear that his broadside" had "overshadowed Vice President Cheney's more sober speech critiquing Kerry on the same themes. It was equally clear that Miller's thrusts had drawn blood. But it was not clear whether the blood was Kerry's or Miller's own." The Washington Post also ran a profile piece on Miller, "Zell Miller, The GOP's Grim Speaker." Despite his acerbic personality, Miller was "so booked with television interviews that he could not sit in President Bush's guest box at the convention on Thursday as first planned," according to Reuters . But in a very contentious interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, the AP reports Miller said, "I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel."
Focus Group Finds Miller Attacks Effective.
The Washington Post (9/3, Harris) reports, "Despite signs of GOP ambivalence, a focus group conducted with 17 independent voters in Ohio by GOP pollster Frank Luntz for MSNBC drew a mostly positive response. These voters, Luntz said, did not care for Miller's attacks on the Democratic Party because they were too 'broad-brush,' but the attacks on Kerry resonated because Miller anchored his criticism in specific arguments about Kerry's record."
DeLay's Low Profile At Convention Said To Be Self-Imposed.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay "was practically invisible" at the New York GOP convention, according to the Washington Post , a contrast to his high profile role at the 2000 convention. Some Democrats "alleged that GOP organizers had choreographed it as part of a strategy to highlight moderate speakers and leave the sharpest verbal assaults to a Democrat, Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia." But those "close to DeLay, however, said his semi-exile was self-imposed, stemming mainly from disappointment that a firestorm of criticism had forced him in May to cancel plans for extravagant parties, cruises, dinners and fundraising."