Jewish World Review Dec. 10, 2004 / 27 Kislev 5765

Clarence Page

Clarence Page
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

How ‘The Hug’ helped


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | As a political junkie who was born and raised in conservative southern Ohio, I was acutely interested in a post-election study by the liberal group America Coming Together of why President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry in the Buckeye State.


The answer, according to the study, sends a message that is conveniently flattering to grass-roots organizing groups like America Coming Together as Democrats prepare to choose a new party chairman and assess where they go from here.


Stated perhaps too simply, the message sounds a lot like this: Blame the candidate for his loss, don't blame the thousands of hard-working volunteers and door-to-door street workers organized by America Coming Together and other grass-roots groups.


The organization polled 1,400 rural and collar county voters in Ohio counties that Bush won by an average of 17 percentage points and came up with answers that defy much of the conventional post-election wisdom.


Was it an outpouring of churchgoers, driven by the Bush "moral values" agenda and the gay marriage referendum, who won it for Bush? No, exit polls show the share of Ohio's electorate represented by frequent churchgoers actually declined to 40 percent in 2004 from 45 percent in 2000, Steve Rosenthal, chief executive officer of America Coming Together, noted in Sunday's Washington Post. And nationwide Bush improved his vote among weekly churchgoers by just one point over 2000, while increasing his support among those who don't go to church by four points.

Donate to JWR


So was it the Bush campaign's superior mobilization of Republican strongholds that suppressed turnout in Democratic areas? Not really, Rosenthal noted. The turnout in Ohio's Democratic-leaning counties was up 8.7 percent, while the turnout in Republican-leaning counties was up slightly less, at 6.3 percent. And Kerry did better than Al Gore in Democratic strongholds like Cuyahoga County, home of Cleveland.


Rosenthal similarly discounted any wave of newly registered Republican voters in fast-growing rural and collar-county areas for Bush's victory. The poll also found new voters in those areas were just as likely to have been contacted by volunteers and workers from the Kerry side as the Bush side.


And even in these traditionally weak union areas, said Rosenthal, who was political director of the AFL-CIO from 1996 to 2002, voters indicated they were more likely to be contacted by a union worker for Kerry than by their church, the National Rifle Association or some other group that was pro-Bush.


No, the America Coming Together poll and others indicate it was not the local ground war to get out the vote but terrorism and the war in Ira


q that lost Ohio and the national count for Kerry. Despite the obviously self-serving nature of that conclusion, I think Rosenthal is on to something.


For example, the Bush side's most expensive and, in my view, its most emotionally powerful television ad was a $14.5 million spot by the Progress for America Voter Fund that featured a digital snapshot of Bush at a campaign stop in Lebanon, Ohio.


In the photo, which ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bush spontaneously hugged 15-year-old Ashley Faulkner immediately after hearing that had she lost her mother in the World Trade Center. The look on his face was one of genuine grief, empathy and comfort. It ended with Ashley Faulkner's voice saying: "He's the most powerful man in the world, and all he wants to do is make sure I'm safe, that I'm OK."


Kerry's side had ads featuring Sept. 11, 2001, survivors too, but the power of the story in "The Hug," in which Bush became part of the drama without any prompting from any handlers or spin doctors, is indisputable.


The photo powerfully illustrates a narrative, a story, that gave Bush a powerful edge in the terrorism issue. "They produce a narrative, we produce a litany," James Carville, a Kerry consultant, said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They say, `I'm going to protect you from the terrorists in Tehran and the homos in Hollywood.' We say, `We're for clean air, better schools, more health care.' And so there's a Republican narrative, a story, and there's a Democratic litany."


And, alas, there's a Republican victory when Kerry failed to tie his list of promises and proposals together into a unifying vision as persuasively as the Bush campaign did.


It all reminds me of how my generation of Ohioans grew up with simple unifying values like, "You don't change horses in midstream" and you don't change presidents during a war. Even during the late days of the Vietnam War, when I, along with many hometown friends, reported to the induction center in Cincinnati, despite our doubts about how that war was going. At the time, all that we knew clearly was that we were being called to fight to protect our families and country from global communism. So we went.


So it is with many of those who voted for Bush despite reservations about what in heaven's name the war in Iraq has to do with Sept. 11. Cutting through the fog of long, complicated histories and details, they voted for a guy they thought they could trust. Simple messages carry a lot of weight.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Up

12/02/04: Persistent civil rights wounds
11/29/04: Dems need to stand for more than befuddlement
11/19/04: Saving 'Saving Private Ryan'
11/16/04: Greetings from the disunited 'United States of Canada'
11/11/04: Heart drug for blacks hard to swallow
11/10/04: Bush's ‘values’ got more black voters in his camp than in 2000, but all is not lost for Dems
10/28/04: TV's argument shows get some comeuppance
10/26/04: Still seeking justice for the murder of Emmett Till
10/21/04: A surprising black ‘bump’ for Bush
10/19/04: Powell's ups, downs and new battlefields
10/14/04: Free press under attack
10/11/04: Despite Congress killing a bill that would have restored the draft, some people remain unconvinced
09/28/04: Save the straight, white, Christian male
09/21/04: Non-swing states want some love too
09/09/04: The 'Comeback Kid' advises candidate Kerry
09/02/04: Future Karl Roves getting ready to rumble
08/31/04: Study schools that are successful too
08/26/04: Why does America continue to refight the war in Vietnam?
08/24/04: A man for all racial reasons
08/03/04: Obama's drama and our dreams: Getting back on track as the United States
07/29/04: Quick refresher: Politics according to the Clintons
07/08/04: At colleges, immigrants are 'minorities' too
07/06/04: 40 years of opportunities
07/04/04: The 'no-sex' scandal
06/24/04: Freedom Summer of '64
06/17/04: When a diversity plan works too well
06/01/04: What Bill Cosby meant to say
05/18/04: Ashcroft has made murder of Emmett Till a federal case
04/29/04: A surprise running mate for Kerry: Calling Colin Powell
04/22/04: Did loyalty finally trip up Colin Powell?
04/15/04: Kerry needs a vision to win votes for the presidency
04/09/04: As much as our American presidents say "Never again" with heartfelt passion, the reality too often has been, "Yes, again," to mass killings
04/06/04: Finding hope in America's bleak racial statistics
04/05/04: Pop star's thriller on Capitol Hill
03/31/04: Pressure building to warm up ‘cold case’
03/26/04: Authentically self-hating: Today's standards of being ‘cool’ on a destructive path
03/23/04: To get its groove back, the religious left needs to come up with some new ideas and a new vision for curing persistent social ills
03/16/04: Jayson Blair's new career: Scandal star
03/11/04: Blacks eye that John Kerry guy
03/04/04: In this instance, life should imitate art
02/12/04: What a friend Bush has in Sharpton
02/10/04: Unspoken conflicts: America's blacks and Latinos are struggling with a new racial paradigm for the new century
02/03/04: When pundits blab, blab, blab
01/29/04: Reparations on trial — briefly: Now it's time to address blacks' biggest problems
01/15/04: If MLK lived, would he still be a hero?
01/08/04: GOPers would be wise to woo blacks — those who vote and don't
01/02/04: Vicious, vicious Dems
01/02/04: It was a banner year for the pompous and peculiar
12/24/03: Al Gore's new campaign pal
12/12/03: Going for the political heavy hitters: Can Gore's new pal survive the veep's endorsement?
12/09/03: When is force excessive?
12/02/03: Medicare reform: A real turkey of a package
11/25/03: Colleges helping student athletes score diplomas
11/18/03: Soccer moms vs. NASCAR dads
11/13/03: Hunting 'terrorists' in Vegas strip clubs
11/11/03: America's peculiar 'passing' fancy
11/06/03: Dean waves wrong flag, Dems see red
10/28/03: No more excuses for the parents
10/23/03: Box Cutter Kid did us a favor
10/17/03: So long to a misguided gag rule on the medicinal use of marijuana
10/14/03: Does the election of Ah-nuld mean anything more than the obvious?
10/02/03: The wages of luck in a 'jobless recovery'
09/30/03: Looks like Clark should go back to basic training
09/18/03: The amazing clout of lobbyists swarming around Capitol Hill
09/16/03: Hearing hip-hop's pathetic message
09/12/03: What teenagers really want
09/09/03: Lessons from an anthropologist
09/02/03: Put term limits on airport security rules
08/14/03: Schoolchildren of all races at risk without parental guidance
08/08/03: Colin Powell is the 'odd man out' again
08/05/03: Black parents must teach their kids to succeed
07/22/03: Presidential politics: A time to pander, a time to push away
07/15/03: Deeper realities of Baker's dust-up
07/10/03: Formerly aloof, Bush now embraces Africa
07/08/03: Wrestling with the ‘Q-word’ in Iraq
07/01/03: If you are reading this column, you aren't being filtered!
06/10/03: The 'Industry of Hillary' raises bucks for both sides
06/03/03: rent-a-negro.com
05/30/03: Dems grope for glimmer of hope
05/28/03: Reefer sanity vs. puritans in the White House
05/22/03: Turns out race was a factor in the NYTimes scandal — a very big one
05/06/03: Closing the college graduation disparity
04/22/03: Fighting for privacy in an era of terror
04/22/03: Don't mis-underestimate the prez: Give him the 'props' he deserves
04/21/03: Sitting on scoops at CNN
04/15/03: After Saddam? Watch out, Syria
04/11/03: 'Hammer time' for Castro
04/08/03: Post-Hussein: Winning the true peace
04/03/03: Right story, wrong TV station
04/01/03: Remembering Moynihan's mind
03/27/03: A fog of war words: Shocking and awesome
03/21/03: A Moranic moment bites peace movement
03/18/03: Viewers beware when tv networks don't care
03/14/03: Powell's battle for Bush's ear
03/10/03: 'Embedded,' but not 'in bed with'
02/28/03: Bridging the black gender gap
02/19/03 Braun vs. Sharpton: A Dem dilemma
02/14/03: Bush's clean-up man
02/11/03: How feds fooled marijuana trial jurors
02/06/03: Time to re-think space shuttle's value
01/31/03: Why corporations like diversity, too
01/28/03: Shaq vs. Yao, a new world diss-order
01/23/03: Affirmative action will be remarketed under new name
01/13/03: Bond movie offers clues to Korea crisis
01/07/03: Dr. Frist to the rescue … of his party
01/02/03: Feeling a 'draft,' but not much
12/17/02: To rob a burning cross of its power
12/03/02: Closing black-white test-score gaps
11/19/02: Uncle Same wants your data
11/15/02: Marriage vs. 'player' impulse
11/11/02: How Oz can help the Dems
11/05/02: We reserve right to be complicated
10/22/02: What the pro-gun lobby and anti-gun lobby have in common
10/18/02: Take Sharpton seriously? For Prez??
10/15/02: A beauty and the bullies
10/08/02: Time to start 'fingerprinting' bullets
10/08/02: Poet laureate hater fell for Internet hoax
10/04/02: Keeping it real, despite howls from black 'leaders'
10/01/02: Revisiting the 'Jogger' horror
09/27/02: Sometimes freedom is a necessary nuisance
09/13/02: Foil Fidel with free trade
09/10/02: Measuring the myth of 'super weed'
09/06/02: A year later: A reality-check
09/03/02: Make better choices before some jury somewhere does
08/20/02: Bid farewell to the Cigarette Century
08/16/02: Rights matter, even in circus trials
08/09/02: Jousting with Rumsfeld's fog of wit
08/06/02: Covert action is cool again
08/01/02: Powell's premature obituaries
07/30/02: A common sense tip on internal snooping
07/18/02: Jacko plays race card badly
07/12/02: Last flight for a pioneer airman
07/08/02: Dems will miss Watts, too
06/28/02: 'Supreme Court reads polls, too
06/25/02: 'The Body' bites, then bows out
06/21/02: Punishment first, then the crime?
06/18/02: Reporting still risky for Haiti's press
06/14/02: Bush's security plan leaves large gaps
06/04/02: Fix FBI's culture gap first
05/28/02: Fidel's new apartheid for tourists
05/21/02: Now McKinney's lunacy sounds like the Democratic Party line
05/19/02: A paradox of historical proportions
05/14/02: 'Murphy Brown' revisited in age of Ozzy
05/10/02: America looks like a model of tolerance and inclusion
05/07/02: Forget it, Bill, you're no Oprah
04/26/02: Mapping out ethnic and racial change
04/23/02: A game of another color
04/19/02: It's high time to open up pot-law debate
04/11/02: 'Osbourne' family values rock, aging Ozzy quakes
03/22/02: Zimbabwe election leaves world sleepless
03/19/02: A slur? Where is thy sting?
03/15/02: A Pearl of wisdom for reporter's unborn son
03/12/02: Army race and gender policies on trial
03/08/02: A short list of losers to be left behind
03/05/02: Revenge of the 'mediasaurus'
02/26/02: Jihads aren't just for Muslims
02/26/02: It's hard to be 'objective' during wartime
02/19/02: Hollywood's new villain: Your HMO
02/12/02: Father of 'Manchild' leaves lasting message
02/08/02: $nookering the reparations crowd
01/31/02: Prisoners of a War of Words
01/29/02: One more Enron woe: Al Sharpton & company
01/25/02: Searching for slaves in bin Laden's attic
01/22/02: Andrew Young's newest 'friend'
01/08/02: Hard-earned lessons from 9-11
12/18/01: Whatever happened to questions about the birds and the bees?
12/14/01: The "White Negro" Taliban?
12/07/01: Jackson's turn to gloat
11/27/01: Friendly warning from a lover of liberty
11/21/01: The face of hunger is changing
11/15/01: Our troubled sense of trust
11/08/01: Lessons about terror from the 'hood
11/06/01: Getting used to the 'new normal'
11/02/01: Wicked ways to make them talk
10/30/01: It's not just about bin Laden
10/26/01: More than mail fell between the cracks
10/23/01: Terrorists threaten urban recovery, too
10/18/01: Sometimes, assassination warranted
10/15/01: Self-censorship rises again
10/12/01: Contradictions illustrate the complicated nature of the new terrorism
10/05/01: Look who's 'profiling' now
10/01/01: Don't trash liberty to save it
09/28/01: Life, love and cell phones during wartime
09/24/01: How to catch an elusive terrorist
09/21/01: The war I was waiting for
09/17/01: When rage turns to hate
09/13/01: Terror attack tests US, let's give right response
09/06/01: U.S. should have stayed and argued
09/04/01: Columbine killer's parents get upclose and personal
08/31/01: Virtual kids? Log me out
08/28/01: Two Africans, one black, one white, same fight
08/23/01: Sharpton for president
08/20/01: Shaking up the rules on keeping secrets
08/16/01: Bush's u-turn on racial goals
08/09/01: Outsider Bubba comes 'in' again
08/06/01: Not ready for 'color-blindness' yet
08/02/01: Immigration timing couldn't be better
07/26/01: Summer of Chandra: An international traveler's perspective
07/17/01: Overthrowing a régime is only the beginning
07/10/01: Big Brother is watching you, fining you
07/05/01: Can blacks be patriotic? Should they be?
06/19/01: Get 'real' about marriage
06/12/01: Amos, Andy and Tony Soprano
06/07/01: Getting tough with the Bush Twins
06/05/01: Bringing marriage back into fashion
05/31/01: "Ken" and "Johnnie": The odd-couple legal team
05/24/01: Sharpton's challenge to Jackson
05/22/01: Test scores equal (a) MERIT? (b) MENACE? (c) ALL OF ABOVE?
05/17/01: Anti-pot politics squeeze the ill
05/15/01: Was Babe Ruth black?
05/10/01: U.N.'s torture caucus slaps Uncle Sam
05/08/01: 'The Sopranos' a reflection of our times
05/03/01: 'Free-fire' zones, then and now
05/01/01: War on drugs misfires against students
04/26/01: Another athlete gets foot-in-mouth disease
04/23/01: 'Slave' boat mystery reveals real tragedy
04/19/01: McVeigh's execution show
04/12/01: Not this time, Jesse
04/05/01: Dubya is DEFINITELY his own man, you fools!
04/02/01: Milking MLK
03/29/01: The candidate who censored himself?
03/22/01: "Will Hispanics elbow blacks out of the way as the nation's most prominent minority group?"
03/19/01: Blacks and the SATs
03/15/01: The census: How much race still matters in the everyday life of America
03/12/01: Jesse is a victim!
03/08/01: Saving kids from becoming killers
03/01/01: Parents owe "Puffy" and Eminem our thanks

© 2001 TMS