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August 3, 2004
Kerry Campaign Message Getting Out: "Shove It!"

Jennifer Harper at the Washington Times takes a look at how the themes sounded by the Democrats at their nominating convention have resonated with the American public. So far, Harper finds that the Democrats have been mostly unsuccessful in creating any buzz from their slogans, with one notable exception (via Drudge):

Teresa Heinz Kerry's "shove it" phrase to a Pittsburgh editor was the most cited Kerry campaign message in the press last week mentioned 381 times in American publications, according to Factiva, a Dow Jones/Reuters company that tracks daily press mentions. ...

Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign mottos did not resonate with the press, according to Factiva. "One America" got 57 mentions, "Hope is on the way," 50 mentions and "America can do better" just 21 by week's end.

So much for the entire convention! The only lasting impression was made by the candidate's wife, in an attack on a journalist who, despite whatever you think of his employer, was correct when challenging Heinz Kerry. She did rail against "anti-American traits in her husband's opposition, and rather than explain herself and how that kind of accusation builds civility -- which was the entire point of her speech -- she chose to attack McNickle instead. In fact, many people have chosen to attack McNickle for asking what should have been an easily-anticipated follow-up question.

The overriding image of the Kerry campaign out of this convention has been his wife telling a reporter to "shove it" for asking a completely reasonable question, and of her husband telling reporters essentially the same thing when asked to explain his secret plan for winning the war or the deals with foreign leaders that comprise such a critical part of it. "Shove it" may be the epitaph of the Kerry/Edwards campaign, a perfect synopsis of the Democratic approach to the Deaniacs at its disaffected base and the swing voters who want more explanation of how Kerry plans to do anything differently on the war.

How do you think that message will resonate in November?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 3, 2004 9:48 AM

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