Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Notes from New York

Convention coverage
First lady, Calif. gov home in on leadership
Portman takes advantage of convention speech
Dem Zell Miller enrages his party
Notes from New York
Convention blog watch
Convention photo gallery

More election news
Election special section

Speaking tonight

Here are some of the prime-time speakers tonight at the convention:

• Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
• Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
• Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao
• Rep. Rob Portman of Terrace Park
• Michael Reagan
• Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts
• Sen. Zell Miller, Democrat of Georgia
• Lynne Cheney
• Vice President Dick Cheney.

A GOP guide to winning Ohio

Frank Luntz, who will conduct nationally televised focus groups for MSNBC today and Thursday in Cincinnati, donned his other hat Tuesday at the Ohio breakfast at the Republican National Convention - as a Republican consultant trying to win Ohio for the president.

• Don't use the phrase trial lawyers, he told delegates. Use "personal injury lawyer." Use "lawsuit reform," rather than "tort reform." Use "careers" rather than "jobs."

"Tort reform is something you serve in a French bakery," he said.

• Stress how many taxes an Ohioan pays every day.

• Men older than 50 hate Hillary Clinton, he said: "She reminds them all of their first wife."

• Luntz said the swift boat ads had single-handedly lowered Kerry's ratings, thanks to a very powerful word: "betrayal."

"This is why people are turning against John Kerry in the last 10 days," he said.

• Ohio's undecided voters tend to be 25 to 39, mostly female, mostly white, conservative fiscally but moderate socially. She knows someone who lost a job, or she might be worried she'll lose hers.

"If we have to trust our future to anyone, I trust it to Ohio," he said.

Kerry plans night rally in Ohio

The tradition is that candidates for president don't campaign during their opponent's convention.

Sen. John F. Kerry and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards, won't break that tradition Thursday night in Ohio, but they will give it a little nudge. They'll hold a midnight campaign rally in Springfield, speaking minutes after George W. Bush completes his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

"As soon as that gavel goes down, the final stretch of what has been a very long election cycle begins. And Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards don't want to waste a minute of it," said Kerry spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri. "We wanted to start in Ohio first. There is some significance to where you choose to go, and we wanted everyone in Ohio to know how important they are."

Swinging from the pols

If Ohioans want to relive this presidential campaign, a film crew is here making a documentary on the race for Ohio.

Jed Wolfington, Lauren Davison and Paul Davison are making Swing State Ohio, which they hope to finish in January. It will air, they hope, on PBS.

The one-hour feature, funded by the filmmakers, aims to show how Ohio was won. The crew lives in New York City, but they'll be moving to Columbus soon.


By the numbers

To satisfy your inner bean counter, here are the Republican National Convention and its host city - by the numbers.

4 - The approximate number of miles between Madison Square Garden and Ground Zero.

55 - The number of delegations attending the convention. Why 55? The number includes all 50 states, four territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), and the District of Columbia.

4,952 - The number of delegates (and alternates) attending.

15,000 - Accredited media members at the convention.

10,000 - NYPD officers around Madison Square Garden.

What they said

Here's a guy who sponsors transvestite mud wrestlers. And this guy is Democrat of the year? And 88 county chairmen stood silent. What has happened to us as a country? The thought of Jerry Springer and Michael Moore in the White House scares the hell out of me. They're going to be there if John Kerry is elected.

- George McKelvey, mayor of Youngstown, on Jerry Springer

I may be off Barbra Streisand's guest list, but I'm still on Loretta Lynn's.

- Zell Miller, a Democratic senator from Georgia supporting Bush, to the Ohio delegation Tuesday morning

Mistaken identity

No one makes a worse first impression here than one Ohio politician.

"Sen. John Carey," the Wellston Republican says, introducing himself. He's here with his wife, Lynley, an alternate delegate.

"We get a lot of people who call my house complaining about my stands," he said. "I'm really hoping George Bush wins."

Carl Weiser of the Enquirer Washington Bureau and Enquirer news services contributed.

First lady, Calif. gov home in on leadership
Portman takes advantage of convention speech tonight
Dem Zell Miller enrages his party
Notes from New York

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