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July 6, 2004
Kerry Dumps NEA Meeting For Edwards Tete-a-Tete

The incompetence continues for the Kerry campaign. Fresh off of standing up the mayor of his hometown at the national Mayors' Conference and instigating an internecine feud in the city where he will receive his party's nomination, Kerry now has cancelled an appearance with a powerful union in favor of conferring with his new running mate:

Word spread quickly among the NEA delegates that Kerry would not be coming to their annual meeting in the afternoon. The Massachusetts senator revealed earlier Tuesday that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards would be his vice presidential candidate, and the two planned to meet in Pittsburgh later in the day.

NEA President Reg Weaver acknowledged he was angry, but he said it would not distract the nation's largest union from its business. He kept his cell phone on the podium in front of him as the convention resumed in case Kerry called to reschedule.

So not only does Kerry dump the most pro-union candidate for VP (Gephardt), he bails out at the last minute from speaking at the NEA conference just after they voted to endorse him. Kerry seems to make a habit of reneging on his commitments on the stump, and any goodwill that the Edwards selection made with NEA leadership has evaporated in this snub. Weaver gave no word on whether Mitt Romney will appear in Kerry's place, again. And how pathetic is the image of Weaver sitting by the telephone, waiting for Kerry's call?

Does it not seem odd that Kerry has to go to Edwards to confer on the campaign, rather than Edwards coming to Kerry at an important appearance? Kerry had an opportunity to speak in front of an enthusiastic crowd and hammer Bush on his domestic policies, especially the No Child Left Behind Act. Instead, he leaves behind demoralized and angry supporters as he flits off in another direction. This may start to look like a habit if it continues.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 6, 2004 10:14 AM

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