2004

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 2004

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 2004

Election Day Date: November 2, 2004

Winning Ticket:

  • George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Republican 62,040,610 50.73% 286 53.2%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • John Kerry, John Edwards, Democratic 59,028,439 48.27% 251 46.7%
  • Ralph Nader, Peter Camejo, Independent 463,655 0.38% 0 0.0%
  • Michael Badnarik, Richard Campagna, Libertarian 397,265 0.32% 0 0.0%
  • Other (+) – – 363,579 0.30% 0 0.0%

Voter Turnout:

  • Total VAP 217,767,000
  • Total REG 167,802,660
  • Total Vote 122,293,548 %
  • VAP 56.2% %
  • REG 72.9%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

  • Speeches, rallies, television ads, debates, web sites, email, blogs, XML/RSS feeds

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:

  • The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (The McCain-Feingold Bill) prohibited unregulated contributions (“soft money”) to national political parties when the candidates accepted public financing and spending limits.
  • McCain-Feingold Bill helped 527s proliferate. Named after Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, these groups could raise almost unlimited funds as long as they did not coordinate their plans directly with a candidate’s campaign.
  • Colorado Amendment 36

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:

George Walker Bush, Richard Cheney, Republican, 2001-2009

Population: 2004: 293,348,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $11,867.8 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $12,263.8 GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%): 96.77 Population (in thousands): 293,348
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $40,456 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $41,806

Number of Daily Newspapers:

Average Daily Circulation:

Households with: Radio, Television and Computer/Internet: 70 % of total households online (this is equal to traditional newspapers) (July 2005)

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)

Method of Choosing Nominees: Presidential preference primaries and caucuses

Central Issues (Nomination/Primaries):

  • “Bushophobia” irrational liberal hatred of Bush; charged that Bush stole the 2000 election and lied his way into the Iraq war.
  • War on Terror, (9/11, September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania); subsequent ground war in Afghanistan; “Homeland Security”
  • Polarized nation: Red and Blue states; liberals vs. conservatives;
  • “an axis of evil,” Iraq, Iran, North Korea “and their terrorist allies ….  arming to threaten the peace of the world.”  George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2002
  • The war in Iraq; divisive issue, Bush administration suggested possible Weapons of Mass Destruction or Al Qaeda ties as clear proof that Saddam had nuclear capabilities and was conspiring with Bin Laden. On October 10, 2002 the House of Representatives voted 296 to 133, with three no votes authorizing the use of military force in Iraq. On October 11, 2002, the Senate passed the resolution 77 to 23; Subsequent instability and continual terrorism in Iraq
  • Republican victory in the 2002 mid-term elections; maintained control of House of Representatives, gained four seats, and recaptured the Senate by winning two additional seats.
  • Economy/Jobs;
  • Health Care/Medicine;
  • Education: No Child Left Behind Act

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party candidates:

  • George W. Bush, President of the United States (Texas)

Democratic Party candidates:

  • John Kerry, U.S. senator (Massachusetts)
  • John Edwards, U.S. senator (North Carolina)
  • Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont
  • Wesley Clark, retired U.S. general (Arkansas)
  • Dennis Kucinich, U.S. representative (Ohio)
  • Al Sharpton, reverend and civil rights activist (New York)
  • Joe Lieberman, U.S. senator (Connecticut)
  • Dick Gephardt, U.S. representative (Missouri)
  • Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. senator (Illinois)
  • Bob Graham, U.S. senator (Florida)

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Democratic Party candidates initial support for the invasion and war in Iraq, then fierce opposition

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Internet as an organizing tool; first generation of social networking tools like “Meetup”;  Fundraising over the internet (small contributions)

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries):

Howard Dean; Deaniacs; Wesley Clark; Al Gore; Lincoln Chafee; 2004 Racism Watch.

Joe Trippi;

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Invisible primary, Democrats suspected that Al Gore might run again, a rematch of the 2000 campaign and election
  • Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry each announced their intent to run in 2002.
  • December 2002, Gore announced he would not run.
  • Joseph Lieberman launched his campaign in January 2003; Supported Bush’s War on Terror and was increasingly to most Democrats’ right
  • Howard Dean: big winner of the early rounds of televised Democratic Presidential primary debates; Dean insisted he represented the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party.”
  • Dean the frontrunner throughout 2003; On December 9, 2003, Al Gore endorsed Dean, crushing Joe Lieberman’s presidential prospects while confirming Dean’s frontrunner status.
  • “bust the caps” Exceeding campaign finance limits and public financing
  • September 2003, Clark became the last Democratic candidate to enter the race. Campaigned in opposition to the Iraq war, he stumbled by admitting he might have supported the resolution even while questioning the war. His biggest error, was foregoing the Iowa caucuses.
  • January 19, 2004 Martin Luther King Day, Iowa caucus: John Kerry, won with nearly 38 percent of the vote; Senator John Edwards, second with 32 percent of the vote; Dean came in third, winning 18.6 percent of votes; Dick Gephardt, 10.6 percent of the vote
  • “Dean Scream” “I Have A Scream” Speech (Concession Speech Iowa Caucus, prompting Dean to quit); Dean’s Iowa concession speech made him a laughingstock. Trying to pump up 3500 disappointed supporters, Dean played to the crowd rather than to the unforgiving television cameras.  The louder Dean shouted, the more angrily he barked, the less ready-for-prime-time he seemed. His climactic “Yeah” was a long, guttural growl. Pundits winced, mocking Dean’s “primal scream.” Dean’s scream went viral on the Internet. Americans mocked Dean’s “I have a scream speech” on King’s birthday. The news channels replayed the scream in four days 663 times.
  • Kerry surged in the polls prior to the Iowa caucus (Vietnam wartime heroics, governmental experience, disdain for George W. Bush) An anti-war candidate who voted for the war in Iraq but against the latest reconstruction appropriation; glorifying military exploits in a war he abhorred and later famously opposed.
  • John Edwards, South Carolina first term freshman senator, voted for the Iraq war but was an economic populist
  • New Hampshire primary January 27, 2004: Kerry won 39 percent of the vote, Howard Dean, came in second with 26 percent. Wesley Clark and John Edwards, both received 12 percent of the vote. Joe Lieberman, came in fifth with 9 percent.
  • Campaign Endorsements (Giving Kerry the edge going into Super Tuesday)
  • February 3, “Mini-Tuesday” or Super Tuesday I, (seven primaries) Kerry won Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota. Clark won Oklahoma; Edwards carried South Carolina. Lieberman lost Delaware and dropped out.
  • February 17, Wisconsin: Dean only received 18 percent of the vote. February 19, Dean suspended his campaign, eventually endorsing Kerry. John Edwards finished a strong second in Wisconsin
  • March 2, Super Tuesday, or Super Tuesday II (nine states holding primaries and Minnesota caucusing) Kerry won California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island
  • March 3, Edwards withdraws has gracious words for Kerry. Kerry called Edwards a “valiant champion of the values for which our party stands.” The exchange fueled speculation that Kerry would choose Edwards as his running mate.
  • On March 11, 2004, Kerry accumulated the 2,162 delegates required to clinch the nomination.
  • On March 10, 2004, Bush clinched the number of delegates require for the nomination, 1608 Delegates 168 Super delegates
  • Saddam Hussein’s capture: Mid-December, 2003, American soldiers in Iraq captured a bearded, wild-looking Saddam Hussein hiding in what soldiers called a “spider hole,” a cramped, one-person foxhole. The Iraqi strongman’s humiliating end boosted Bush’s standing.
  • Kerry as a flip flopper
  • On April 28, CBS reported acts of torture and sexual humiliation at Iraq’s massive Abu Ghraib prison.
  • Moveon.org’s Internet ad contest “Bush in Thirty Seconds” resulting in two ads comparing the President to Adolf Hitler. One pronounced: “A nation warped by lies. Lies fuel fear. Fear fuels aggression. Invasion. Occupation. What were war crimes in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003.” When Republicans objected, Moveon.org quickly pulled the ads.
  • In late June, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 portrayed the President as clueless and corrupt. It earned $23.9 million its first weekend, unprecedented for a documentary and quickly broke the $100 million mark.
  • June 2004, Bush had received a surprising boost in early June when Ronald Reagan died. While the Reagan funeral made Bush look presidential, Kerry was consistently cast as the challenger.

Primaries Debates/Forums:

Sixteen Democratic Primary Debates commencing on Apr 9, 2003, last one on Feb 29, 2004. The organizers usually were interest groups, representing, among others, the pro-choice community, the elderly, labor unions, African-Americans, Hispanics, and women.

Notable debates:

  • May 3, 2003, University of South Carolina campus in Columbia during South Carolina’s Democratic Weekend, George Stephanopoulos ABC news moderated; (Braun, Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham, Kerry, Kucinich, Lieberman and Sharpton)
  • January 22nd, 2004 Democratic Candidates Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire
  • January 29th, 2004 Democratic Candidates Debate in Greenville, South Carolina

Primaries Quotations:

  • “The Internet community is wondering what its place in the world of politics is. Along comes this campaign to take back the country for ordinary human beings, and the best way you can do that is through the Net. We listen. We pay attention. If I give a speech and the blog people don’t like it, next time I change the speech.” Howard Dean
  • “What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq?” Howard Dean
  • “Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Tom Harkin, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York…. And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! Yeah!!!” Howard Dean Iowa Caucus concession speech
  • “An amazing thing happened in the presidential contest of 2004. For the first time in my life, maybe the first time in history, a candidate lost but his campaign won…. Nothing less than the first shot in America’s second revolution, nothing less than the people taking the first step to reclaiming a system that had long ago forgotten they existed. This was democracy bubbling to the surface.” Joe Trippi architect of Dean’s net-roots campaigning techniques
  • “In the wake of Sept. 11, who among us can say with any certainty to anybody that the weapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in the region?” Senator John Kerry, 2003
  • “I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it.” John Kerry
  • “I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet.” George W. Bush, April 13, 2004, prime-time press conference, response to a reporter’s asked questions about what mistakes he had made since 9/11

Primaries/Caucuses Results:

Republican Party: Jun 08, 2004

    • George W. Bush: 7,853,893, 98.06%
    • Uncommitted: 91,926, 1.15%
    • Unidentified Scattering (W): 37,104, 0.46%
    • William J. “Bill” Wyatt: 10,937, 0.14%

Democratic Party: (Jun 09, 2004)

  • John Kerry 46 / 9,930,497 / 60.98%
  • John Edwards 2 / 3,162,337 / 19.42%
  • Howard Dean 1 + D.C / 903,460 / 5.55%
  • Dennis J. Kucinich: 620,242, 3.81%
  • Wesley Clark: 547,369, 3.36%
  • Al Sharpton: 380,865, 2.34%
  • Joe Lieberman: 280,940, 1.73%
  • Uncommitted: 157,953, 0.97%
  • Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 103,731, 0.64%
  • Carol Moseley Braun: 98,469, 0.60%
  • Richard “Dick” Gephardt: 63,902, 0.39%
  • Unidentified Scattering (W): 12,525, 0.08%
  • Randy Crow: 6,398, 0.04%
  • Mildred Glover: 4,050, 0.02%
  • Others (W): 3,527, 0.02%
  • William H. T. “Bill” McGaughey, Jr.: 3,161, 0.02%
  • George Ballard: 2,826, 0.02%

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Republican National Convention: August 30-September 2, 2004 Madison Square Garden; New York, 1st ballot, George W. Bush (Texas) Richard B. Cheney (Wyoming)
  • Democratic National Convention: July 26-29, 2004, FleetCenter; Boston, Bill Richardson (New Mexico), 1st ballot, John F. Kerry (Massachusetts), John R. Edwards (North Carolina)

Convention Turning Points:

Republican National Convention:

  • President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney were renominated
  • Convention theme: “Fulfilling America’s Promise by Building a Safer World and a More Hopeful America.”
  • Notably missing was Nancy Reagan, former President Ronald Reagan’s widow
  • 800 anti-Bush groups protested outside the convention.
  • Sunday August 29, United for Peace and Justice organized a huge march past the convention site with 250,000 to 800,000 attending, largest protest group at a party convention. Protestors chanted “No More Bush,” denouncing the Iraq War, environmental degradation, AIDS, and the spread of poverty. 1800 protestors were arrested – another convention record. Most charges were dropped, prompting charges of police overreaction.

Democratic National Convention:

  • To prevent protester disturbances of the 2000 convention there was an designated for protesters surrounded by a fence topped with razor wire
  • Monday night July 26, featured the Democrats’ headliners: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Tuesday, Kerry’s wife Teresa spoke along with the young politician Kerry chose to deliver the keynote, Illinois state senator Barack Obama. Major networks chose not to broadcast his speech. Obama’s speech electrified the convention – and the country –thanks to formal news reports and the informal networks that shared video clips via the web. “We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.”
  • Speakers included President Jimmy Carter, Senator Hilary Clinton of New York former Vice President Al Gore, Reverend Al Sharpton, and retired General John Shalikashvili. Topics included terrorism and the war in Iraq, health care, taxes, and economic revival.
  • Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan also spoke of his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and the need to support increased funding for stem cell research.

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Democratic Party

  • John Kerry 4,253 98.40%
  • Dennis Kucinich 43 0.99%
  • Abstentions 26 0.60%
  • Total 4,322 100.00%

Vice President

  • John Edwards was chosen by acclamation.

Third Party Candidates & Nominations:

Convention Keynote Speaker:

  • Democratic: Barack Obama
  • Republican: Zell Miller

Nominating Speech Speakers (President):

  • Democratic: Max Cleland
  • Republican: George Pataki

Party Platform/Issues:

  • Republican Party: Ideological conservatism; war on terrorism; national security, ownership society; constitutional amendments that guarantee that “unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life,” and define marriage between and a man a women
  • Democratic Party: Energy independence; environmental protection; military strengthening; homeland security

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • Questioning the reliability of President George W. Bush’s information about Iraq and Bush’s brainpower;
  • John F. Kerry as a flip-flopper;
  • Google Search mid-campaign for “Bush and Stupid” yielded 1,760,000 hits; by contrast, “Kerry and Flip Flop” yielded 163,000
  • Wedge in culture wars

Campaign Innovations (General Election):

  • Web sites; e-mail; blogs; e-advertising; online organization; XML/RSS feeds; (Electronic Voting Systems)

Major Personalities (General Election): Karl Rove (Senior Advisor to the President); Karen Hughes (Advisor Bush Campaign); Ted Sampley; John O’Neill; George Soros;

Campaign Tactics:

Republican Party:

  • Republicans claimed that Kerry was no hero to the charge that he flip-flopped.
  • Republicans mobilized their core supporters, seeking the three to five million conservatives and evangelicals. The campaign focused on “wedge issues” to motivate the Christian evangelicals constituting approximately forty percent of the Republican Party.
  • Bush shifted from big tent, compassionate conservatism in 2000 to a red meat, red state-oriented approach.

Democratic Party:

  • Kerry honorably refused to renounce his initial support for the war. Instead, Kerry attacked Bush’s execution of the war.
  • The stupidity slur undercut Democrats’ simultaneous indictment of Bush as a callous ideologue. Americans doubted someone was both clueless and malevolent.
  • The Democrats mocked Bush’s campaign promise to be a “uniter not a divider,” listing it as the first of “Bush’s Broken Promises.”

Other: Moveon.org and other blogs bashed the President

Debates:

  • Presidential September 30, University of Miami, moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS. Kerry won, Bush was criticized for his scowling demeanor
  • October 8, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, moderated by Charles Gibson of ABC. Bush performed better but still appeared angry and flustered, unlike the cool Kerry.
  • October 13, Arizona State University, moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News
  • Bush did not win the third debate, which emphasized the economy. The debstes boosted Kerry’s poll numbers because he appeared more presidential.
  • Vice Presidential Debate, October 5, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS

Turning Points (General Election):

  • “Anybody but Bush”;
  • Anthrax scare John Kerry’s Headquarter (July 2004)
  • Military Service Controversies (Bush, National Guard service; John Kerry, Vietnam War medals, discharge);
  • The Swift Vets and POWs for Truth; Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launched one of the most effective advertising attacks in campaigning history, widely-publicized commercials, a best-selling book, and numerous other media initiatives. Approximately 250 of the 3500 veterans who served on Swift Boats during Vietnam attacked Kerry’s character and defining political narrative as a war hero.
  • Killian documents: CBS’s veteran news anchor Dan Rather broadcasted a report on “60 Minutes II” claiming Bush shirked his duty while serving in the Air National Guard from 1972 to 1973. Memoranda supposedly written by Bush’s commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, corroborated the rumors, which had dogged Bush for years. Bloggers quickly proved the documents to be forgeries, noting that the centering of the type on the page was standard in the computer era yet rare in the early 1970s. The segment’s producer and Dan Rather  later resigned
  • Threatening Osama Bin Laden tape released a week prior to the election

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Republican Party: George W. Bush “Yes, America Can!”; “Heart and Soul “Moving America Forward” Republican National Convention: “A Safer World and More Hopeful America”; “Steady leadership in times of change”
  • Democratic Party: John Kerry Primaries: “Comeback Kerry”;  General Election: “Let America be America Again”;  “A stronger America begins at home.”; “A safer, stronger, more secure America.”;  “The real deal”; “The courage to do what’s right for America”; “Together, we can build a stronger America”; “A lifetime of service and strength”; “A new team, for a new America”; “Stronger at home, respected in the world”; “America deserves better”; “Let us make one America” (Edwards’ former presidential campaign) “Hope is on the way!” (Edwards and his supporters, 2004 Democratic National Convention); “Help is on the way!” (Kerry and his supporters, 2004 Democratic National Convention) “Don’t change horsemen in mid-apocalypse.”

Campaign Song:             

  • Republican: George W. Bush: “Only in America” (Brooks & Dunn), “Wave on Wave” by Pat Green
    Democratic: John Kerry: “No Surrender” (Bruce Springsteen), “Fortunate Son” by John Fogerty

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Bush Primaries “Safer, Stronger”; Ad ridiculing Kerry’s “Fog” about supporting the troops (March 2004);
  • Image of Kerry windsurfing in Nantucket target of a new Bush advertisement: “In which direction would John Kerry lead? Kerry voted for the Iraq war, opposed it, supported it, and now opposes it again. ‘He bragged about voting for the $87 billion to support our troops before he voted against it. John Kerry. Whichever way the wind blows.”
  • Democratic Party: “Juvenile”: “One thousand US casualties. Two Americans beheaded just this week. The Pentagon admits terrorists are pouring into Iraq.” Yet, “in the face of the Iraq quagmire, George Bush’s answer is to run a juvenile and tasteless attack ad.”

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

  • George W. Bush (R) $367,227,801 / 62,040,610 = $5.92 per vote
  • John Kerry (D) $326,236,288 / 59,028,111 = $5.52
  • Ralph Nader (i) $4,566,037 / 463,653 = $9.85
  • Michael Badnarik (L) $1,093,013 / 397,265 = $2.75
  • Michael Peroutka (C) $729,087 / 144,498 = $5.05
  • David Cobb (G) $493,723 / 119,859 = $4.12
  • Walt Brown (SPUSA) $2,060 / 10,837 = $0.19

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed and the Congress overwhelmingly passed $87 billion in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his runningmate voted against this money for bullets and fuel and vehicles and body armor…. This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our Nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me.” George W. Bush, Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York City, September 2, 2004
  • “You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English. I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it.” George W. Bush joked at the Republican National Convention
  • “The president’s job is not to take an international poll. Our national security decisions will be made in the Oval Office, not in foreign capitals.” George W. Bush
  • “Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president.” George W. Bush
  • “The advance of liberty is the path to both a safer and better world.” George W. Bush

Defining Quotations (Losing Candidate):

  • “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty…. this is the most important election of our lifetime.” My first pledge to you tonight: As president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House…. Now, I know there that are those who criticize me for seeing complexities — and I do — because some issues just aren’t all that simple. Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn’t make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. And proclaiming ‘Mission accomplished’ certainly doesn’t make it so. The future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.” John F. Kerry, Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Boston
    July 29, 2004
  • “I would not have done just one thing differently than the president on Iraq, I would have done everything differently than the president on Iraq…. You’ve about 500 troops here, 500 troops there and it’s American troops that are 90 percent of the combat casualties and it’s American taxpayers that are paying 90 percent of the cost of the war. It’s the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time.” John Kerry

Campaign Quotations:

  • “When you act like Senator Kerry does, he appears to be more like George Bush than he does like a Democrat.” Howard Dean
  • “For more than thirty years, most Vietnam veterans kept silent as we were maligned as misfits, drug addicts, and baby killers. Now that a key creator of that poisonous image is seeking the Presidency we have resolved to end our silence. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
  • “Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations. Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide…. John Kerry, who says he doesn’t like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security…. This politician wants to be leader of the free world. Free for how long?” Senator Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat, Republican National Convention Keynote address
  • “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.” Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention Keynote address
  • “You couldn’t have a starker contrast between the multiple layers of check and balances [at ’60 Minutes’] and a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.” Jonathan Klein

Significant Books

  • Corsi, Jerome R. and John O’Neil, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. Regnery, 2004.
  • Hersh, Seymour M. Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib. HarperCollins, 2004

Election Issues:

  • Moss v. Bush: Challenging Bush’s electoral votes in Ohio
  • One Minnesota elector voted for John Edwards for both President and Vice President.
  • Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) and Sen. Barabara Boxer (D-Calif.) raised objections to the Ohio Certificate of Vote. Both houses voted to override the objection, 74 to 1 in the Senate and 267 to 31 in the House of Representatives.
  • Ohio electoral votes contested for data irregularitiesRobert F. Kennedy Jr.: “the widespread irregularities make it impossible to know for certain that the [Ohio] outcome reflected the will of the voters.”

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • 2004 was America’s first billion-dollar election campaign.

CHRONOLOGY

  • September 11, 2001: War on Terror, (9 /11, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania); subsequent ground war in Afghanistan; “Homeland Security” (“Terrorists hijack four commercial jets and crash them into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania countryside. It is the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, with fatalities numbering about 3,000. Addressing the nation twelve hours after the attacks, President Bush vows to hunt down those responsible.”)
  • September 20, 2001: “President Bush appears before a joint session of Congress to outline the administration’s plans to defeat world terrorism, singling out Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization as the primary targets of such a policy.”
  • October 7, 2001: “Speaking from the Treaty Room of the White House, President Bush announces the commencement of military action in Afghanistan, an operation code-named “Enduring Freedom.””
  • January 29, 2002: “In his State of the Union address, President Bush warns that the war against terrorism is only beginning. Specifically citing North Korea, Iran, and Iraq, Bush speaks of “an axis of evil” threatening world peace.”
  • May 16, 2002: “Congress presses the Bush administration for further information about warnings of the September 11, 2001, attacks. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice holds a briefing, maintaining, “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon.” She insists that there was no lapse in intelligence.”
  • October 10, 2002: “House of Representatives votes 296 to 133, with three no votes authorizing the use of military force in Iraq.”  The war in Iraq; divisive issue, Bush administration suggested possible Weapons of Mass Destruction or Al Qaeda ties as clear proof that Saddam had nuclear capabilities and was conspiring with Bin Laden.
  • October 11, 2002: “the Senate passes the resolution 77 to 23; Subsequent instability and continual terrorism in Iraq.”
  • November 2002: Republican victory in the mid-term elections; they maintain control of House of Representatives, gain four seats, and recapture the Senate by winning two additional seats.
  • May 31, 2002: Former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean announces he is forming a presidential exploratory committee, to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • June 6, 2002: President Bush gives a televised address announcing a reorganization of the Office of Homeland Security, which will “now coordinate a wide range of functions and oversee more than 100 organizations.” “The announcement follows criticism of the FBI and CIA for failing to prevent the September 11 attacks.”
  • September 4, 2002: “Seeking support for action against Iraq, President Bush addresses Congress, identifying Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein as “a serious threat.” Bush mentions the concept of a regime change and announces the visit of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the days to come. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) calls action in Iraq “inevitable.””
  • September 12, 2002: “President Bush addresses the United Nations’ Security Council, making his case for military action to enforce UN resolutions in Iraq. Additionally, he warns that the United States will move alone if the Council does not act.”
  • October 10, 2002: A bipartisan Senate vote of 77-23 gives authorization to Bush to use force against Iraq. The Senate vote follows a similar vote of 296-133 in the House in support of the bill.
  • November 5, 2002: Mid term elections: Republicans gain control of the Senate and retain a majority in the House.
  • December 1, 2002: Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry announces he is  planning to form a presidential exploratory committee, to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • December 16, 2002: Gore announces CBS’s 60 Minutes he would not run for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Democrats suspected that Al Gore might run again, a rematch of the 2000 campaign and election.
  • December 20, 2002: “Following a United Nations report issued by arms inspectors indicating that Iraq remained in violation of Security Council Resolution 1441, Bush speaks out again against Iraq. Inspections in Iraq continue.”
  • January 2, 2003: U.S. Senator John R. Edwards (North Carolina) announces he is forming a presidential exploratory committee to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • January 4, 2003: U.S. Rep. Richard A. “Dick” Gephardt (Missouri) announces he will run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • January 5, 2003: Reverend Al Sharpton (New York) announces he will run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • January 7, 2003: Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, announces that he will not run for President in 2004.
  • January 13, 2003: Democrat Joseph Lieberman launches his campaign, supports Bush’s War on Terror, his position are increasingly to most Democrats’ right.
  • January 17, 2003: Libertarian Gary Nolan files papers to form an exploratory committee for a presidential run, and announces he will run for the Presidency.
  • January 22, 2003: Draft Steve Jobs, Apple Computer CEO launches a website http://www.jobs4president.org/.
  • February 18, 2003: Former Senator Illinois Carol Moseley Braun announces she is running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • February 19, 2003: Representative Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) files papers to form an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • February 22, 2003: Dean insists he represents the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” ”I’m Howard Dean, and I’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”
  • February 27, 2003: Senator Bob Graham (Florida) announces he is running for the  Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • March 16, 2003: “After months of debate in the United Nations Security Council, President Bush announces the U.S. intention to move against Iraq with its coalition of allies. Bush issues an ultimatum for military action, giving Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his sons forty-eight hours to leave Iraq.”
  • March 19, 2003: “The 8:00 p.m. deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq passes. At 10:15 p.m., Bush addresses the nation and informs the American people that the United States is at war with Iraq.”
  • March 25, 2003: “Citing costs of the Iraq War, the Senate approves, by a vote of 51-48, the reduction of Bush’s tax cut plan to $350 million, less than half of the original amount.”
  • April 9, 2003: First of Sixteen Democratic Primary Debates commences. The organizers usually are interest groups, representing, among others, the pro-choice community, the elderly, labor unions, African-Americans, Hispanics, and women
  • April 10, 2003: “President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair air a joint address on Iraqi television that describes the goals of coalition forces and reassures the Iraqi people that they will be able to live their lives in peace and security in a post-Saddam era.”
  • May 1, 2003: “In a nationally televised address aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, Bush stands in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner and declares that major combat operations in Iraq are over. He links the Iraq War to the War on Terror and vows to continue searching for banned weapons in Iraq.”
  • May 3, 2003: George Stephanopoulos ABC news moderates the first Democratic Primary debate at the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia, during South Carolina’s Democratic Weekend. (Braun, Dean, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham, Kerry, Kucinich, Lieberman and Sharpton)  Howard Dean is the big winner of the early rounds of televised Democratic Presidential primary debates.
  • May 7, 2003: Vice President Dick Cheney announces he will run for reelection as Vice President in 2004 as part of the Republican ticket.
  • May 16, 2003: President Bush files with the Federal Election Commission papers to run for reelection. May 22, 2003: The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions on Iraq imposed since the 1991 Gulf War. The resolution gives the United States and United Kingdom control of Iraq until it establishes a legitimate government and authority to use Iraqi oil revenues for humanitarian aid and reconstruction.
  • May 28, 2003: “Bush signs into law his $350 billion tax-cut package, the third-largest in history, in an effort to strengthen the U.S. economy and reverse a trend of increasing unemployment.”
  • June 23, 2003: Howard Dean formally announces that he is running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • June 26, 2003: MoveOn.org Presidential Vote Howard Dean
  • July 11, 2003: “CIA Director George Tenet accepts full responsibility for the statement in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address regarding Iraq’s alleged effort to obtain uranium from Africa, saying its inclusion should not have been approved by the CIA because the intelligence was unsubstantiated and the claim had been discredited.”
  • July 22, 2003: “U.S. forces kill Saddam Hussein’s two sons Uday and Qusay in Mosul, Iraq. Officials hope that anti-U.S. attacks in Iraq will decrease as a result. Saddam Hussein’s whereabouts are unknown.”
  • July 24, 2003: “The joint Congressional Committee on Intelligence releases an 800-page document on the findings of its inquiry into intelligence failures leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11.”
  • September 16, 2003: John Edwards goes on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and formally announces he will run for President.
  • September 17, 2003: Wesley Clark is the last Democratic candidate entering the race; He campaigns in opposition to the Iraq war, but in a contradictory remark claims “he might have supported the war resolution but questioned the war.”
  • October 2, 2003: “Chief U.S. Weapons Inspector David Kay reports that his 1,400 member team, the Iraq Survey Group, failed to find any biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons in Iraq. Kay acknowledged that they did find evidence that Iraq sought the capacity to create those weapons in the future. Bush used these findings as validation of his prewar claims that Iraq posed a significant security threat to the United States.”
  • October 19, 2003: Socialist Party Convention nominates Walter F. “Walt” Brown for President.
  • October 6, 2003: Bob Graham announces he is ending his Presidential run on Larry King Live.
  • December 9, 2003: Al Gore endorses Dean, instead of his 2000 campaign running mate Joe Lieberman. The endorsement ruins Lieberman’s presidential prospects and confirms that Dean is the Democratic frontrunner.
  • December 13, 2003: Saddam Hussein’s capture, American soldiers in Iraq capture a bearded, wild-looking Saddam Hussein hiding in a “spider hole,” a cramped, one-person foxhole. The former Iraqi dictator’s demise boosts Bush’s standing in the polls.
  • January 2, 2004: Maine Republican caucuses (through March 19)
  • January 10, 2004: American Party selects Diane Beall Templin for their Presidential nominee.
  • January 17, 2004: South Carolina Republican caucuses (through February 21)
  • January 19, 2004: Iowa caucuses (both parties)
  • January 25, 2004: Hawaii Republican caucuses (through February 7)
  • January 27, 2004: New Hampshire primary
  • January 14, 2004: District of Columbia Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 12% — Howard Dean 43% Dennis Kucinich 8% Al Sharpton 34%
  • Kerry surges in the polls prior to the Iowa caucus
  • January 19, 2004: Martin Luther King Day, Iowa caucus: John Kerry, won with nearly 38 percent of the vote; Senator John Edwards, second with 32 percent of the vote; Dean came in third, winning 18.6 percent of votes; Dick Gephardt, 10.6 percent of the vote. Iowa Democratic (caucus) Howard Dean 18% (5) John Edwards 32% (10) Richard Gephardt 11% John Kerry 38% (30) Dennis Kucinich 1%
  • January 19, 2004: “Dean Scream” “I Have A Scream” Speech (Concession Speech Iowa Caucus, prompting Dean to quit); Democrat Howard Dean screams through the end of his Iowa caucus concession speech to excite the audience. Television news replays the scream speech 663 times in four days, and it goes viral on the internet.
  • January 22, 2004: Democratic Candidates Debate in Manchester, New Hampshire
  • January 27, 2004: New Hampshire primary, Kerry won 39 percent of the vote, Howard Dean, came in second with 26 percent. Wesley Clark and John Edwards, both received 12 percent of the vote. Joe Lieberman, came in fifth with 9 percent. New Hampshire Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 12% Howard Dean 26% (9) John Edwards 12%John Kerry 38% (13) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 9%
  • January 29, 2004: Democratic Candidates Debate in Greenville, South Carolina
  • February 1, 2004: North Carolina Republican caucuses (through March 31)
  • February 1, 2004: Prohibition Party Convention nominates Gene C. Amondson for President.
  • February 3, 2004: “Mini-Tuesday” or Super Tuesday I, (seven primaries) Arizona primary (Democrats only), Delaware primary (Democrats only), Missouri primary, New Mexico Democratic caucuses, North Dakota caucuses, Oklahoma primary, South Carolina primary (Democrats only, party-run), Wyoming Republican caucuses (through February 29). Kerry won Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota. Clark won Oklahoma; Edwards carried South Carolina. Lieberman lost Delaware and dropped out.
    • Arizona Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 27% (14) Howard Dean 14% (3) John Edwards 7% John Kerry 43% (38) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 7%
    • Delaware Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 9% Howard Dean 10% John Edwards 11% Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 50% (14) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 11% Al Sharpton 6% (1);
    • Missouri Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 4% Howard Dean 9% John Edwards 25% (26) Richard Gephardt 2% John Kerry 51% (48) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 4% Al Sharpton 3%;
    • New Mexico Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 21% (8) Howard Dean 16% (4) John Edwards 11% Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 42% (14) Dennis Kucinich 6% Joseph Lieberman 3%
    • North Dakota Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 24% (5) Howard 12% 10% 1% John Kerry 51% (9) Dennis Kucinich 3% Joseph Lieberman 1% –;
    • Oklahoma Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 30% (15) Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 30% (13) 1% John Kerry 27% (12) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 7% Al Sharpton 1%;
    • South Carolina Democratic (primary) — 7% 5% 45% (27) – John Kerry 30% (17) – Joseph Lieberman 2% Al Sharpton 10% (1)
  • February 4, 2004: Virginia Republican caucuses (through April 4)
  • February 7, 2004: Michigan primary (Democrats only, party-run), Washington Democratic caucuses, Louisiana Republican caucuses.
    • Michigan Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 7% Howard Dean 17% (24) John Edwards 13% (6) Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 52% (91) Dennis Kucinich 3% — Al Sharpton 7% (7);
    • Washington Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 3% Howard Dean 30% (29) John Edwards 7% — John Kerry 48% (47) Dennis Kucinich 8%
  • February 8, 2004: Maine Democratic caucuses Maine Democratic (caucus) Wesley Clark 4% Howard Dean 27% (9) John Edwards 8% — John Kerry 45% (15) Dennis Kucinich 16%
  • February 10, 2004: Nevada Republican caucuses, Tennessee primary, Virginia primary (Democrats only)
    • Tennessee Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 1% Wesley Clark 23% (18) Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 26% (20) – John Kerry 41% (31) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 1% Al Sharpton 2%;
    • Virginia Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 9% Howard Dean 7% John Edwards 27% (29) – John Kerry 52% (53) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 1% Al Sharpton 3%
  • February 14, 2004: Nevada Democratic caucuses
    • District of Columbia Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 17% (3) John Edwards 10% — John Kerry 47% (9) Dennis Kucinich 3% — Al Sharpton 20% (4);
    • Nevada (caucus) Howard Dean 17% (2) John Edwards 10% John Kerry 63% (18) Dennis Kucinich 7% Al Sharpton 1%
  • February 17, 2004: Wisconsin primary: Dean receives 18 percent of the vote. John Edwards finishes a strong second in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 2% Howard Dean 18% (13) John Edwards 34% (24) – John Kerry 40% (30) Dennis Kucinich 3% — Al Sharpton 2%
  • February 19, 2004: Howard Dean suspends his campaign, and eventually endorses John Kerry.
  • February 21, 2004: Alaska Republican caucuses (through April 17)
  • February 24, 2004: Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Utah primary (party-run)
    • Hawaii Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 7% John Edwards 13% — John Kerry 47% (12) Dennis Kucinich 31% (8) — –;
    • Idaho Democratic (caucus) — Howard Dean 11% John Edwards 22% (6) – John Kerry 54% (12) Dennis Kucinich 6%
    • Utah Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 30% (3) – John Kerry 55% (5) Dennis Kucinich 7% Joseph Lieberman 1% –
  • February 29, 2004: Last Democratic Candidates debate.
  • March 1, 2004: Delaware Republican caucuses (through May 15 — State convention), Kansas Republican caucuses (through June 15)
  • March 2, 2004: Super Tuesday, or Super Tuesday II (nine states holding primaries and Minnesota caucusing) California primary, Connecticut primary (Republican canceled), Georgia primary, Maryland primary, Massachusetts primary, Minnesota caucuses (both parties), New York primary (Republican canceled), Ohio primary, Rhode Island primary, Vermont primary. Kerry wins California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island
    • California Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 1% Wesley Clark 2% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 20% (82) Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 64% (288) Dennis Kucinich 5% Joseph Lieberman 2% Al Sharpton 4%;
    • Connecticut Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 24% (14) – John Kerry 58% (35) Dennis Kucinich 3% Joseph Lieberman 5% Al Sharpton 3%;
    • Georgia Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 2% John Edwards 42% (32) – John Kerry 47% (37) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 1% Al Sharpton 6%;
    • Maryland Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 1% Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 26% (13) – John Kerry 60% (26) Dennis Kucinich 2% Jospeh Lieberman 1% Al Sharpton 5%;
    • Massachusetts Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 18% (13) – John Kerry 72% (80) Dennis Kucinich 4% Jospeh Liberman 1% Al Shapton 1%;
    • Minnesota Democratic (caucus) — Howard Dean 2% John Edwards 27% (22) – John Kerry 51% (41) Dennis Kucinich 17% (9) – Al Sharpton 1%;
    • New York (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 20% (54) Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 61% (174) Dennis Kucinich 5% Joseph Liberman 1% Al Sharpton 8% (8);
    • Ohio Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 34% (55) Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 52% (81) Dennis Kucinich 9% (4) Joseph Lieberman 1% –;
    • Rhode Island Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 19% (4) – John Kerry 71% (17) Dennis Kucinich 3% Joseph Lieberman 1% –
    • Vermont (primary) [73] – Wesley Clark 3% Howard Dean 53% (9) John Edwards 6% — John Kerry 31% (6) Dennis Kucinich 4%
  • March 3, 2004: Edwards withdraws from the Democratic Presidential race, in his speech he has gracious words for Kerry. Kerry calls Edwards a “valiant champion of the values for which our party stands.” The exchange fuels speculation that Kerry will choose Edwards as his running mate.
  • March 6-20, 2004: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
  • March 8, 2004: “The Iraqi Governing Council signs an interim constitution to provide a framework for establishment of a transitional government.”
  • March 9, 2004: Florida primary (Republican canceled), Louisiana primary, Mississippi primary (Republican canceled), North Carolina Democratic caucuses, Texas primary (both parties & Democratic caucuses), Washington Republican caucuses
    • American Samoa Democratic (caucus) John Kerry 83% (6) Dennis Kucinich 17%;
    • Florida Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 1% Wesley Clark 1% 3% 10% (3) 1% John Kerry 77% (119) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 2% Al Sharpton 3%;
    • Louisiana Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 4% Howard Dean 5% John Edwards 16% (10) — John Kerry 70% (42) Dennis Kucinich 1% — —
    • Mississippi Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 2% Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 7% — John Kerry 78% (33) Dennis Kucinich 1% Joseph Lieberman 1% Al Sharpton 5%;
    • Texas Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 2% Howard Dean 5% John Edwards 14% (11) Richard Gephardt 1% John Kerry 67% (62) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 3% Al Sharpton 4%
  • March 11, 2004: John Kerry accumulates the 2,162 delegates required to clinch the Democratic Presidential nomination.
  • March 10, 2004: Bush clinches the number of delegates required for the nomination, 1608 Delegates and 168 Super delegates.
  • March 13, 2004: Kansas Democratic caucuses. Wesley Clark 1% Howard Dean 7% (1) John Edwards 9% — John Kerry 72% (32) Dennis Kucinich 10%
  • March 16, 2004: Illinois primary. Illinois Democratic (primary) Carol Moseley Braun 4% Wesley Clark 2% 4% 11% (2) – John Kerry 72% (154) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 2% Al Sharpton 3%
  • March 20, 2004: Alaska Democratic caucuses. Alaska Democratic (caucus) Howard Dean 11% John Edwards 3% — John Kerry 48% (8) Dennis Kucinich 27% (5) Wyoming Democratic (caucus) Howard Dean 3% John Edwards 5% John Kerry 77% (13) Dennis Kucinich 6% — Al Sharpton 1%
  • March 23, 2004: Utah Republican caucuses
  • March 27, 2004: Expatriates 5 Democratic (caucus) – Wesley Clark 10% Howard Dean 19% (2.5) John Edwards 9% — John Kerry 56% (4.5) Dennis Kucinich 5% — Al Sharpton 1%
  • April 3, 2004: Arizona Republican caucuses (through April 17)
  • April 4, 2004: “U.S. forces in Iraq confront a violent uprising beginning with Shiite Muslims in Baghdad and spreading to Sunni guerrillas in Fallujah, leading to the heaviest fighting since the invasion began in March of 2003.”
  • April 13, 2004: Colorado caucuses (both parties)
  • April 13, 2004: Colorado Democratic (caucus) Howard Dean 2% John Wards 1% — John Kerry 64% (39) Dennis Kucinich 13% (4)
  • April 17, 2004: North Carolina Democratic (caucus) Howard Dean 6% John Edwards 52% (57) – John Kerry 27% (29) Dennis Kucinich 12% (4) – Al Sharpton 3%; Virgin Islands Democratic (caucus) John Kerry (3)
  • April 24, 2004: Guam Democratic (caucus) John Kerry 77% (3)
  • April 27, 2004: Pennsylvania primary. Pennsylvania Democratic (primary) Howard Dean 10% (1) John Edwards 10% — John Kerry 74% (120) Dennis Kucinich 4%
  • April 28, 2004: CBS reports that there have been acts of torture and sexual humiliation occurring at Iraq’s massive Abu Ghraib prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. “Bush and other senior administration officials voice deep disapproval over these abuses.
  • May 4, 2004: Indiana primary Indiana Democratic (primary) – Wesley Clark 6% Howard Dean 7% John Edwards 11% — John Kerry 73% (62) Dennis Kucinich 2%
  • May 11, 2004: Reform Party nominates Ralph Nader for President.
  • May 11, 2004: West Virginia primary.
    • Nebraska Democratic (primary) Howard Dean 7% John Edwards 14%  John Kerry 73% (24) Dennis Kucinich 2% — Al Sharpton 2%;
    • West Virginia Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 3% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 13%  John Kerry 70% (28) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 6%
  • May 18, 2004: Arkansas primary, Kentucky primary, Oregon primary.
    • Arkansas Democratic (primary) John Kerry 66% (29) Dennis Kucinich 5%;
    • Kentucky Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 3% Howard Dean 4% John Edwards 14% John Kerry 60% (44) Dennis Kucinich 2% Joseph Lieberman 5% Al Sharpton 2%;
    • Oregon (primary) John Kerry 81% (38) Dennis Kunnich 17% (4)
  • May 25, 2004: Idaho primary (Republicans only)
  • May 30, 2004: Libertarian Party Convention nominates Michael Badnarik for President.
  • Moveon.org’s internet ad contest “Bush in Thirty Seconds” results in two ads comparing the President to Adolf Hitler. “A nation warped by lies. Lies fuel fear. Fear fuels aggression. Invasion. Occupation. What were war crimes in 1945 is foreign policy in 2003.” When Republicans objected, Moveon.org quickly pulled the ads.
  • June 1, 2004: US Constitution Party Convention nominates Michael A. Peroutka for President.
  • June 1, 2004: June 1, 2004: Alabama primary, New Mexico primary (Republicans only), South Dakota primary (Republicans canceled) Alabama Democratic (primary) John Kerry 75% (47) Dennis Kucinich 4% South Dakota (primary) Howard Dean 6% John Kerry 82% (14) Dennis Kucinich 2%
  • June 3, 2004: “Bush announces he has accepted the resignation of CIA Director George Tenet, widely blamed for intelligence failures in the months leading up to September 11.”
  • June 6, 2004:  Puerto Rico Democratic (caucus) John Kerry (51)
  • June 8, 2004: Montana primary (Democrats only, Republican beauty contest — no delegates at stake), New Jersey primary Montana Democratic (primary) Wesley Clark 4%  John Edwards 9% John Kerry 68% (15) Dennis Kucinich 11% New Jersey (primary) John Kerry 92% (106) Dennis Kucinich 4%
  • June 8, 2004: “Attorney General John Ashcroft appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions regarding two leaked government memoranda that contained legal arguments for circumventing U.S. and international bans on torture, specifically for the questioning of terrorist suspects.”
  • June 10, 2004: Montana Republican convention (through June 12)
  • June 5-11, 2004: Bush receives a surprising boost in early June when former President Ronald Reagan dies. Reagan’s funeral makes Bush look presidential, while Kerry is consistently cast as the challenger.
  • June 23, 2004: Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is released in movie theaters. The documentary portrays the President as clueless and corrupt. It earns $23.9 million its first weekend, an unprecedented amount for a documentary and quickly breaks the $100 million mark.
  • June 26, 2004: Green Party Convention nominates David Keith Cobb for President.
  • June 28, 2004: “The U.S.-led Coalition for Provisional Authority formerly ends foreign occupation of Iraq, granting the provisional government sovereignty. Still, 130,000 troops remain in Iraq.”
  • July 2004: Anthrax scare at John Kerry’s campaign headquarters
  • July 6, 2004: John Kerry announces he chose John Edwards as his running mate for the Democratic ticket.
  • July 26-29, 2004: Democratic National Convention convenes at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Bill Richardson (New Mexico) serves as chairman. The convention nominates on the 1st ballot John F. Kerry (Massachusetts) for President, and John R. Edwards (North Carolina) for Vice President. Speakers include President Jimmy Carter, Senator Hilary Clinton of New York, former Vice President Al Gore, Reverend Al Sharpton, and retired General John Shalikashvili. Topics include terrorism and the war in Iraq, health care, taxes, and economic revival.
  • To prevent protester disturbances of the 2000 convention there is a designated area for protesters surrounded by a fence and topped with razor wire
  • July 26, 2004: Monday night, features the Democrats’ headliners: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • July 27, 2004: Tuesday: Kerry’s wife Teresa speaks, the keynote speech  is given by a relatively unknown young Illinois state senator Barack Obama, the networks do not cover his speech, however, it electrifies the audience, and is seen by others through cable news and You Tube (video sharing site). Reception to Obama’s speech bursts the Illinois U.S. Senatorial candidate into the national stage. “We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.”
  • Ron Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan speaks of his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and the need to support increased funding for stem cell research.
  • July 29, 2004: John F. Kerry gives an address accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
  • August 1, 2004: Peace and Freedom Party Convention nominates Leonard Peltier for President.
  • August 5, 2004: The Swift Vets and POWs for Truth; Swift Boat Veterans for Truth launches one of the most effective advertising attacks in campaigning history, widely-publicized commercials, a best-selling book, and numerous other media initiatives. Approximately 250 of the 3500 veterans who served on Swift Boats during Vietnam attack Kerry’s character and defining political narrative as a war hero.
  • August 30-September 2, 2004: Republican National Convention convenes at  Madison Square Garden, New York and renominates on the 1st ballot, George W. Bush (Texas) for President and Richard B. Cheney (Wyoming) for Vice President. The convention’s theme is “Fulfilling America’s Promise by Building a Safer World and a More Hopeful America.”
  • September 2, 2004: George W. Bush gives remarks accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York City.
  • August 30-September 2, 2004: 800 anti-Bush groups protest outside the convention. United for Peace and Justice organizes a march of protesters past the convention site, 250,000 to 800,000 attend and 1800 protesters are arrested breaking records for protest at a Presidential nominating convention.
  • September 30, 2004: Jim Lehrer of PBS moderates First Presidential Debate in Coral Gables, Florida, University of Miami. Kerry wins, Bush is criticized for his scowling demeanor.
  • September 8, 2004: Killian documents: CBS’s veteran news anchor Dan Rather broadcasts a report on “60 Minutes II” claiming Bush shirked his duty while serving in the Air National Guard from 1972 to 1973. Memoranda supposedly written by Bush’s commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, corroborated the rumors, which had dogged Bush for years. Bloggers quickly prove the documents to be forgeries, noting that the centering of the type on the page was standard in the computer era yet rare in the early 1970s. The segment’s producer and Dan Rather later resign.
  • September 14, 2004:  “Typist says Memos on Bush are fake but accurate.” (NYT)
  • September 22, 2004: “CBS News names former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and retired Associated Press president chief executive Louis D. Boccardi to an independent panel to probe a story about President Bush’s National Guard service.” (CBS News)
  • October 5, 2004: Vice-Presidential Debate in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio is moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS
  • October 8, 2004: Charles Gibson of ABC moderates Second Presidential Debate in St. Louis, Missouri, Washington University. Bush performs better, but still appears angry and flustered, unlike the cool Kerry.
  • October 13, 2004: Bob Schieffer of CBS News moderates the third Presidential Debate at Arizona State University. Bush does not win the third debate, which emphasizes the economy. The debates boosts Kerry’s poll numbers because he appears more presidential.
  • October 29, 2004: Threatening Osama Bin Laden tape released a week prior to the election. “Qatar-based television channel Al-Jazeera airs excerpts from a videotape of Osama bin-Laden, leader of the terrorist network al-Qaeda, who addresses the American people. Many view this tape as an attempt by al-Qaeda to influence the U.S. presidential election.”
  • November 2, 2004: Election Day, Republicans George W. Bush is reelected President and Richard B. Cheney is reelected Vice President.
  • November 8, 2004: “U.S. troops launch an assault to retake the rebel-controlled city of Fallujah in the largest military operation since the initial invasion in March of 2003.”
  • November 15, 2004: “Retired Army general and Secretary of State Colin Powell resigns. Bush appoints former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to the position.”
  • December 13, 2004: Presidential Electors cast the electoral vote in their state capitols.
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