Skip to comments.Kerry reshuffles top campaign staff (as the whiff of burning toast permeates the air)
Posted on 09/06/2004 1:24:46 AM PDT by Liz
Candidate under pressure from Democrats to climb out of slump and regain initiative
PITTSBURGH -- Under fire to shape up his presidential campaign, Democratic challenger John Kerry yesterday tapped two veteran party strategists from Boston to assume top roles in an operation that has been criticized by Democratic allies for allowing President Bush to regain the initiative in the battle for the White House.
Campaign officials said John Sasso, who has been running general election operations at the Democratic National Committee, will now become the senior Kerry adviser aboard the candidate's traveling charter until the election. Michael Whouley, who helped rescue Kerry's campaign in Iowa during the nomination battle, will take over Sasso's responsibilities at the DNC, reprising the role he played for Al Gore four years ago.
Kerry advisers described the moves as long planned and part of an overall effort to put the strongest possible team together for the final 60 days of the campaign. But the decisions, which caught some staff members at the campaign and DNC by surprise, were seen by other Democrats as an acknowledgment by Kerry that his campaign needed help in the wake of the most difficult month he has endured since winning the nomination last spring.
Those Democrats said Kerry had been slow to respond to criticisms and the campaign appeared to be sluggish in some of its decision-making. They predicted the changes would bring greater focus to the Democratic nominee's campaign.
Kerry advisers said they planned a much more aggressive campaign in the final two months, with Kerry and vice presidential nominee John Edwards leading the attack, and that restructuring at the campaign and the DNC will help in drawing a sharper contrast with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
Because his only truthful answer would be to agree with the statements.
...will help in drawing a sharper contrast with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Yup,Yup,Yup. It will certainly do that. Not to Kerry's benefit of course.But sharp contrast will exist.
Your photo may be more prophetic than humorous. This guy is scarry.
He has no choice. Cahill is one of Kennedy's camp followers. If he fires her, he'll get Kennedy p.o.'d at him; if he doesn't let Bill & Hillary's buddies into the game, they'll torpedo him. Darned if he does, and darned if he doesn't.
Kerry shuffles his campaign staff,
will be known in the future as, the moment
Kerry's campaign jumped the shark.
Stupidest hand gesture made on TV since Ed Sullivan thought Jackie Mason flipped him off.
Hmmm. Kerry replaces top female campaign staffers -- Cahill and Cutter -- with four more white males. Still does nothing to address lack of racial diversity in his top team. Donna Brazile, Al Sharpton and Emily's List, are you watching?
But.....but........(Sniffle) Kerry's so "tolerant and compassionate" (sob).
I don't see why Kerry doesn't just hire the UN and let them run his campaign. After all if he had the chance he's going to let them run the country!
Bush landslide election returns K. to Terayza's house, asking his butler, "Do you know who I am?"
The NY Times has the shake-up story, too. But its article describes a complete different campaign team and strategy!
F ormer President Bill Clinton, in a 90-minute telephone conversation from his hospital room, offered John Kerry detailed advice on Saturday night on how to reinvigorate his candidacy, as Mr. Kerry enlisted more Clinton advisers to help shape his strategy and message for the remainder of the campaign.Between the NY Times and the WashPost you'd think they're talking to two different campaigns in two different elections. Must be that "two camps" thing. What a mess.
In an expansive conversation, Mr. Clinton, who is awaiting heart surgery, told Mr. Kerry that he should move away from talking about Vietnam, which had been the central theme of his candidacy, and focus instead on drawing contrasts with President Bush on job creation and health care policies, officials with knowledge of the conversation said.
The conversation and the recruitment of old Clinton hands came amid rising concern among Democrats about the state of Mr. Kerry's campaign and criticism that he had been too slow to respond to attacks on his military record or to engage Mr. Bush on domestic policy. Among the better-known former Clinton aides who are expected to play an increasingly prominent role are James Carville, Paul Begala and Stanley Greenberg, campaign aides said.
The installation of former Clinton lieutenants is creating two distinct camps at Mr. Kerry's campaign headquarters on McPherson Square in downtown Washington.
The first is the existing Kerry high command, which includes Mary Beth Cahill, the campaign manager; Bob Shrum, a senior adviser; Tad Devine, a senior adviser; and Stephanie Cutter, the communications director. The second is the Clinton camp, which includes Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary; Joel Johnson, a former senior White House aide; and Doug Sosnik, a former Clinton political director. And Howard Wolfson, a former chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined the campaign yesterday.
This is my favorite part...
"It's very simple," Joel Johnson said in an interview yesterday, describing what he said would be the template for Mr. Kerry's speeches and advertisements in the weeks ahead. "It's: 'Bush has taken us in the wrong direction. If you want more of the same for the next four years, vote for President Bush. If you want a new direction, John Kerry and John Edwards.' It's not complicated. Failed policies, jobs and the economy, health care."
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The notion that the campaign was settling on a new message for the fall came as news to some senior staff members.
"That's really groundbreaking," one senior aide said sarcastically when told about the focus on Mr. Bush's policies outlined by Mr. Johnson. "I think our negative frame should be that George Bush is a liar. He misled the country on Iraq. And then everything else that he lies about, bring it back to that."
Oh, and Paul Begala made it clear to the reporter that he will continue working at CNN while he's working on the Kerry campaign!
It was stupid--in a pathetically funny way. Pure cornball.
I read both articles and one thing is very clear. There is mass confusion in the Kerry camp from top to bottom. There are no clear lines of authority or responsibility. How are things going to improve for Kerry by adding more bozos to the bus?
Just imagine how the reporters from each paper feel when they read the account of the other paper. They've got to be scratching their heads in wonder.
It appears that their distinctly different stories came from the two distinctly differnt camps in the campaign (referred to in the NY Times). Not good for Kerry if he's got two teams broadcasting conflicting messages to the media. Even the old media won't put up with that.
Crosswalk.com - Sep 01 10:55 AM
Dems Turn Defensive on Possible Kerry Campaign Shakeup
Robert B. Bluey
New York (CNSNews.com) - Rumors of a possible shakeup of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's presidential campaign put Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe on the defensive Wednesday when peppered with questions from reporters.
"There will be no major campaign shakeups.
We were against a shakeup just before we were for it.
It seems like he has two teams talking to the media AND two teams advising him. He will get less than 40% of the popular vote.
Terry lost another one, eh? .............no wonder the Dims keep him on......he's such an effective DNC chief.
Reminds me of Cheney's best line..............
Kerry says he sees "two Americas."
That's understandable b/c America sees two Kerry's.
The Kerry "campaign" came to a gunfight with knives. They tried for weeks to get their pals in the media to force the Bush campaign to put down their guns. (Note the continuing mentions of Karl Rove by Begala, and even in Kerry's last speech - they are still trying to demonize the Bush campaign strategist! Idiots!) Now that it's clear that strategy has failed, they are flailing around trying to find some guns. But they have already lost the fight. The Bush guns have cleared the field.