Elections - 2004

You Decide! - Can You Cut through the chaff and get to the wheat??

The Causes, Effects and Future of Our Nation will be Examined

An ongoing STReport Editorial essay by Ralph F. Mariano

(This editorial essay will be updated regularly)


UPDATE 01/26/04

STReport Straw Poll - NH Jan 23-25

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Kerry 38%
Edwards 21%
Clark 15%
Dean 15%
Kucinich 1%
Lieberman 5%
Sharpton 0%
Other 0%
Undecided 5%
Margin of error is 4 percentage points

Voters in the General Election will find Dean far too
Extreme and Highly Unpredictable.

A growing number of voters said their heart was with Howard Dean, the fiery former Vermont governor who proclaims he is from "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." But they are leaning toward Sens. John Kerry, John Edwards or perhaps retired Gen. Wesley Clark because they believe those candidates have the best chance of beating President Bush.

This year, in Kerry and Edwards, New Hampshire voters have been presented two traditional, and increasingly skilled, presidential campaigns. Neither man is promising to overthrow his party's establishment, or fundamentally challenge the prevailing customs about how presidential campaigns are waged and won. The same is true of another major candidate, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), whose campaign has yet to exhibit signs of strength.

New Hampshire to "Show The Way" 

Traditionally, the New Hampshire primaries have indicated, quite strongly, who would ultimately be in a position to take the Whitehouse. At the same time Democrats, nationwide, are gaining considerable momentum in their campaign to unseat Bush.

Middle America wants Desperately..
to Trust the Presidency and the US Government.

Ironically, most of their help has come from Bush & Co., with the WMD appearing as rank fiction, Enron, Bush's chief supporter, bankrupt because of rampant fraud, Ex-CEO Cheney's company, Halliburton, raping the US taxpayers, sacrificing US troops and supporting countries on the terrorist list, laws being passed, (Patriot Act, Forestry Protection Act), that are titled to mean one thing yet, the law does the opposite.. Bush has yet to learn ...the vast majority of voters in the US are quite capable of seeing through this obvious and deliberate sham.  All it will take are the right candidates, Kerry & Edwards, and an organization capable of focusing on the distrust earned by the Bush Administration to effectively mobilize and bring about an upset in November. Middle America wants desperately to trust the Presidency and the US Government. Bush & Co., have not yet afforded them that opportunity in the slightest.

Middle America wants a Leader whose political ties
are not overburdened with "Obligation Baggage"

There were Kennedy's alongside presidential candidate John F. Kerry at an exuberant New Hampshire rally yesterday and nothing could have delighted national Republican leaders more. With the GOP stepping up efforts to paint Kerry as "a Ted Kennedy liberal" or, more liberal than the lion himself. Several Granite State voters disagreed about this image of Kerry as a liberal icon in training. Truth is, the Republicans have a great deal to be concerned over. Heather Layman, an RNC spokeswoman, added yesterday, "Seeing the two of them side by side reminds people that John Kerry is just out of sync with most American voters." This type of off-handed swipe merely indicates just how worried the Republicans are.

In reality, Lieberman, Gore's sacrificial lamb, should throw his support to a Kerry - Edwards Ticket as its the viable course to take.  Lieberman, who was a few hundred votes from becoming Vice President was dealt a surprise blow by Al Gore who, in his customary manner, shot from the hip and gave his endorsement to extremist Howard Dean. One can only wonder if anything Gore ...will become synonymous with an indelible aura of "loser".

Edwards, a freshman, is just what middle America wants.  A leader whose political ties are not overburdened with "obligation baggage" owed to the old-line clowns and political hacks in Washington who seemingly could care less about education, the working man and the elderly.  They obviously forget it was today's elderly who as younger workers, soldiers and taxpayers paid dearly to keep this country powerful for the last sixty years. 

Kerry and Edwards represent the solid, "Meat and Potatoes" attitude
of the Vast Majority of Working America's Backbone.

Kerry and Edwards, winning voters nationwide, can garner the momentum to win the Whitehouse. New Hampshire once looked like solid Dean country, but as in Iowa earlier this month, the landscape has shifted quickly and dramatically there, mostly to Kerry's benefit. Voters are apparently tiring of the dog and pony show Dean has offered in his campaign.  Kerry and Edwards represent the solid, "meat and potatoes" attitude of the vast majority of working America's backbone. These voters are tired of the "surprises of the Bush Administration, the lack of consideration for the conditions middle America has been forced to endure under Bush and most of all, the ongoing litany of "say one thing and do another" Bush & Co. have become famous for.  Kerry and Edwards exhibit the exact opposite of the current Republican shell game being forced down the throats of every concerned voter.

Six other states will hold primaries Feb. 3: Delaware, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona and New Mexico, where the Hispanic vote is crucial for Democrats. But South Carolina could be more telling because of the demographics of its electorate.

South Carolina Sen. Ernest F. Hollings endorsed Kerry on Thursday, but Kerry has not made an appearance in the state since September, and he has not run a radio or television ad, according to monitors at the state Democratic Party. His campaign headquarters is staffed by a skeleton crew, compared with the juggernauts assembled by Clark, Edwards and Dean. Despite these observations, Kerry continues to run strong in the south.

Edwards picked up endorsements from black mayors and a key black strategist, Ike Williams. Williams had guided Rep. Richard A. Gephardt's campaign, but when the Missourian quit the race because of his fourth-place showing in Iowa, he signed on as a consultant to Edwards. Williams has close ties to Rep. James E. Clyburn, who could play a large role in delivering the state's black vote.

A Combined Winning Ticket of Kerry and Edwards is Highly Favored
and Expected in the West, the Midwest and the South.

Karen Clark, 48, a salesclerk at a clothing store, said she likes the fact that Kerry and Edwards are "talking a lot about keeping jobs in our country and not giving tax breaks to businesses that leave." "There are no more manufacturing jobs in this country," she said. Bill Thomas, 34, a computer programmer, said that "Outsourcing, the practice of which is seemingly endorsed by Bush and profit mongering Republicans nationwide, is bleeding this nation dry and forcing American workers to join breadlines across the country." "Those workers will definitely vote against Bush".  He added.

At the voters forum, Edwards told the voters; "I want you to go back and tell your friends that this is the guy who can beat George Bush in the West, the Midwest and the South. "This is my back yard, and I will beat George Bush in my back yard," he said. "I expect to win South Carolina." Actually, Edwards was being modest he has the momentum and the energy, if combined with Kerry to replace the current administration. 



So far, this year's active campaigns... mainly the Democrats... have produced some eye opener incidents and outcomes.  Our straw poll correctly predicted the outcome of the Iowa contest.. and I might add, was pleasing to see Iowans saw through the nonsensical antics of "Doctor" Dean.  DOCTOR?   Is this guy a title freak? Doctor of what? Uncontrollable emotional outbursts bordering on the ridiculous?  This guy needs to go back to his home state of Vermont and harvest acorns or maple sap... anything but stay in politics!  If this "candidate" ever makes it to the Whitehouse, we will be in far worse shape than we are now.  Prediction: If Dean becomes President, forget the Bill of Rights... government will be deeply into every facet of our private lives!  Dean is a disaster waiting and wanting to happen.

Kerry comes shining through with Edwards hot on his heels and.... Dean a lame third!  Excellent... Iowa's voters have shown the way of common sense.  It would be nice if the Democrats had a ticket of Kerry & Edwards together.

As for brother George, His state of the Union Speech sounded more like a campaign speech than it did a report of the conditions in the country today and projections of the future.  Further, I believe Dubya hurt himself by promoting renewal of the "Patriot Act" as it is written.  It needs a re-write.

The Patriot Act is a Sham - Written in Haste Putting the Bill of Rights to Waste.

President Bush would be well served if he called for a re-write of the horrid Patriot Act.  While I and most US voters feel it was written with the very best of intentions.... it failed to include a system of checks and balances to prohibit the abuse of its broad, sweeping powers that are guaranteed to force the founding fathers of this country to spin in their graves.  Decidedly, Bush has been forced to crumble the national budget pursuing the War on Terror.  Ok, we can't cry over this as we all were witness to 911.  However, its up to each and every Patriot in this country to first protect the Bill of Rights, the US Constitution and then and only then engage in the writing of law that is designed to facilitate executive, judicial and legislative activities fitting the needs of our nation in these times.  The Patriot Act, as its written now, allows for the weaknesses of humanity to prevail.  By that I mean specifically.... Abuse of its powers by the DOJ and every law enforcement agency down to and including the Cop on the Beat.  Remember, they are only human... as such they too, can become zealots and use the law as never intended.  The RICO Act comes to mind.  Must we endure the vicious results of a law without checks and balances utilized by unscrupulous members of Law Enforcement?

Allowing the US Federal Court System to become a "black-robed" collection agency is disgraceful.

In the past year, we have seen the Federal Court system appear to be a modern day, cheap comedy act.  Appeals court judges acting like they're on drugs (they may very well be!)  Judges snubbing their noses at society and people's devotional beliefs while actually looking the other way allowing "certain" devotional and ritualistic artifacts and practices to openly continue.  Justice is blind alright, blind as a bat!  One can't help but wonder with the parade of outrageous judiciary "decisions".... who got paid off?  At this time, does the average taxpayer/citizen of the USA trust the court system, from Subpoena or Cop to verdict?  The loud and clear answer is... Hell No!

The Fed Courts have become turnstiles of "customized justice"

Then comes an aggressive protection racket that's backed by the US Courts... this has to be the worst travesty of "Justice" in the history of the United States.  The US Federal Court System has become a "black-robed" collection agency kneeling before the RIAA and doing its bidding much like "Guido" and "Rocco" do for the mob. I am ashamed for and of the Judicial system as it is today...  Everyday, we wait for another goofy decision to be amazed by. President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft must speak up and intervene if they are to preserve re-election chances for Bush & Co. 

At this sorrowful point in time, because of congressional lawmaking, the Fed Courts have become turnstiles of "customized justice" for the rich and powerful not for the everyday man as it was intended to be by our founding fathers.

Congress, they appear as sellouts to big biz.

Congress, as far as I am concerned, has proven time and again that not one of those seemingly bought and paid for representatives (representatives of who?) belong there.  We should demand that their campaign contributions and gifts be prominently made public and displayed for every voter to see.  Yes dreary, they apparently are bought and paid for...  they've exhibited this clearly in most everything they've done in the last four years..... not one law was written to effectively protect the little guys.  Not one.  From every day living to conservation, technology and medicine, they've proven repeatedly ... they are indeed sellouts, in one way or another, to big biz and backroom "deal-making".


The Candidates:

Wesley Clark
A retired four-star general and former supreme commander of NATO, Wesley Clark entered the race for the Democratic nomination on September 17, 2003. The West Point graduate, Rhodes Scholar and former CNN military analyst led U.S. and allied forces in the 1999 air war in Kosovo. The race marks Clark's first attempt at elected office.


Howard Dean
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean became the first Democrat to enter the race when he filed papers stating his candidacy for president with the Federal Election Commission on May 31, 2002. He held a formal announcement ceremony June 23, 2003. His campaign gained momentum when it was reported that he led the Democrats in fund raising in the second and third quarters of 2003. On December 9, 2003, Dean received another boost when former Vice President Al Gore, the 2000 Democratic nominee, endorsed him.


John Edwards
Freshman North Carolina Sen. John Edwards entered the race January 2, 2003. A millionaire who made his fortune as a trial lawyer, Edwards is one of two Southerners in the race. Edwards was considered a possible running mate for Vice President Al Gore in his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2000.


John Kerry
Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was the second Democrat to enter the race, announcing December 1, 2002, that he would form an exploratory committee for a presidential run. First elected to the Senate in 1984, the 60-year-old Kerry is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He considered a presidential run in 2000.


Dennis Kucinich
Rep. Dennis Kucinich entered the race February 18, 2003, by filing papers to form a presidential exploratory committee. Kucinich, a four-term congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, is running on an unabashedly liberal platform.


Joe Lieberman
Sen. Joe Lieberman, the vice presidential nominee on the 2000 Democratic ticket, announced January 13, 2003, that he is running for the White House in 2004. Lieberman, a moderate Democrat, was the first Jewish candidate to be nominated for vice president and would be the first elected president.


Al Sharpton
The Rev. Al Sharpton entered the race January 22, 2003, by filing papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2004. The Democratic activist is the head of the National Action Network, a civil rights group. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1994 and New York City mayor in 1997.

George W. Bush
President Bush took the first formal step in his re-election bid May 16, 2003, by filing his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, a move that allowed him to start building his campaign structure and raise funds. Bush is expected to try to remain above the political fray, enjoy the benefits of an incumbent with no primary opponent and wait to formally declare his candidacy.