TCS Daily

Democrats for Bush

By Stephen Green - October 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Famously -- or perhaps infamously -- ABC's influential political blog The Note (fawning New Yorker magazine profile? Check.) claimed that "we still can't find a single American who voted for Al Gore in 2000 who is planning to vote for George Bush in 2004." That was last August. Since then, I've kept a scorecard of exactly which Gore voters are supporting Bush this year. Some of them, even ABC News may have heard of.

Ed Koch -- lifelong Democrat, former Congressman, and New York City councilman and mayor -- for example:

"I intend to vote in 2004 to reelect President Bush. I will do so despite the fact that I do not agree with him on any major domestic issue, from tax policy to the recently enacted prescription drug law. These issues, however, pale in importance beside the menace of international terrorism, which threatens our very survival as a nation. President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism."

Koch was a "reluctant Gore supporter" in 2000, but voted for him nonetheless.

I'm quite certain, however, that ABC has heard of former Georgia governor and current Georgia senator and forever Georgia Democrat Zell Miller. It was almost a year ago -- ten months before The Note noted that nobody they knew would switch from Gore to Bush -- that Miller called Bush "the right man at the right time" to hold the Oval Office. Miller later went on to speak at the Republican convention, an event which, although few people watched it there, ABC News covered every evening. But just in case they missed it, Miller said, "There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's name is George Bush."

In 2000, Miller co-chaired Gore's leadership PAC, and, it's safe to assume, voted for him that year.

It's hard to believe The Note doesn't have at least a passing familiarity with Dick Morris, what with all the face time he gets on Fox News. Morris helped President Bill Clinton "triangulate" against the Republican Congress after the 1994 "takeover," and voted for Gore in 2000. This year, he's "thrown his support" behind Bush.

Also note the humor in The Note's reporting that Minnesota's Democratic St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly endorsed Bush, too. What's funny about that? Just that The Note noted Kelly's endorsement eight days before claiming that nobody they knew had switched from Gore to Bush since September 11. And it's not like Kelly made people read between the lines. Kelly said, quite clearly that:

"George Bush and I do not agree on a lot of issues. But in turbulent times, what the American people need more than anything is continuity of government, even with some imperfect policies."

Kelly endorsed Bill Bradley during the 2000 primary race, so it's a safe bet he was no Bush voter that year.

Less than two weeks later, The Note wrote:

"The Cincinnati Enquirer's Gregory Korte reports, 'Youngstown Mayor George M. McKelvey -- the Democratic mayor of a very Democratic rust-belt city -- endorsed President Bush for re-election Monday, calling him a 'friend' and a 'kind, caring, God-fearing man.'"

However, ABC News neglected to make any comment contradicting their "we know nothing!" claim, so it's easy to suppose they didn't know McKelvey, either. McKelvey met with Bush in 2000, but failed to endorse him. Should ABC chalk him up as another Gore voter who switched?

Just this week, Sarah Baxter spent four pages on the Times Online (the web version of the venerable London Times) heartily endorsing the President for reelection. Never heard of her? Well, neither had I. But she's a talented writer, and registered New York Democrat. Her words:

"I will be one of the millions voting for Bush because I trust the president's judgment on the war on terror more than Kerry's. In this election, I am a single-issue voter. It is that simple."

Admittedly, as a former Briton and Labour voter, Baxter is a rare bird. Or is she? After all, she claims that "Even in the New York metropolis, there are more of us out there than [Bush] imagines." Maybe even one or two people known by The Note.

Most of these Democrats have a single thing in common: They take the Terror War seriously, and know that Bush does, too. They also seem to know that Kerry would rather take us back to the glory days when terrorism was a mere "nuisance."

What else do Sarah Baxter, George McKelvey, Randy Kelly, Zell Miller, Dick Morris, and Ed Koch have in common? They're all Democrats who have publicly endorsed -- and plan to vote for -- George W. Bush. The other thing they have in common is, The Note apparently doesn't know any of these people.

Then again, maybe it's true enough that ABC doesn't actually know know any of them. Maybe they need to get out more.

Or maybe ABC just needs read the news.


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