Monday, July 19, 2004

Bush a Dem? Kerry in GOP?

Ohioans who share candidates' names don't always share their politics

By Leo Shane III
Gannett Columbus Bureau

COLUMBUS - This year's presidential election has Ohio so divided that Republicans can't even count on George Bush's support.

"The last four years have been terrible for me; I've been a registered Democrat my whole life," said Bush, a laid-off construction worker from Brunswick.

Ohio Democrats have their own problems when it comes to courting the John Kerry vote.

The John Kerry of Louisville, Ohio, would have preferred to see John Edwards' name atop the ticket instead of his own. His son, John Jr., is a staunch Republican.

"He's in sales, and he hates sharing a name with him," the elder Kerry said.

Ohioans who share names with presidential and vice presidential candidates say life can get a little annoying.

George W. Bush of Homesworth missed the 2000 election because of overseas travel and still doesn't know who he'll back this November. Still, his famous name has given him one reason to smile: In February, he was invited onto David Letterman's Late Show to read a Top Ten list of "Good things about being named George W. Bush." It included "Read my lips: I never pay taxes" and "People are pleasantly surprised that I'm not an idiot."

Dick Cheney of Upper Arlington will be voting Democrat this year, but Dick Cheneys in Geneva and Lakeview said they are Bush backers for sure.

The Lakeview Cheney's wife, Pat, said she is so upset with both parties she might not vote at all. She and her husband fight often enough about politics that, for a moment, she considered dropping him for another running mate.

"If he keeps giving me those ugly looks, I'll probably have to think about it," she said, laughing.

Richard Cheney of Grandview Heights isn't even registered to vote.

John Edwards of Logan is a lifelong Republican. But John Edwards of Uhrichsville said even though he voted for Bush in 2000, he is a registered Democrat who will be checking off his own name on this year's ballot.

During the previous administration, Bill Clinton of Dover took a lot of needling.

"We had lots of late night calls and young kids having sleepovers who would crank-call us," said Clinton, a retired General Electric worker and lifelong Democrat. "And people didn't believe you when you said you were Bill Clinton. I didn't much care for it."

His advice for the Kerrys and Bushes? Get caller ID - "We caught most of the kids with that" - and keep a sense of humor.

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