Public Nuisance

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The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Friday, October 24, 2003
 
Off the Trail

Rick Perlstein has taken some shots at the Lieberman semi-campaign.

When I first set out in early September to profile Lieberman, I began the conventional way: I rang up the press office and asked when a good time might be to witness the candidate in action on the campaign trail. For weeks press secretary Jano Cabrera promised to get back to me and never did. It was then that I finally logged on to the official Lieberman website....

I took a look at the schedule of events the campaign seemed so disinclined to have me know about....

On the 14th, Joe scheduled an aberration, the only campaign event open to the general, non-paying public all the way through to the end of the month, a town hall meeting in Manchester (he preceded it with what the campaign advertised as an "all-out campaign blitz": The candidate knocked on six doors in downtown Concord). Then it was back to the grind—a reception, the next night, at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston. "Event Hosts: $2000 contribution per person. Guests: $500 contribution per person."

This is what Jano Cabrera had been hiding from me. Save for these fundraisers, his candidate wasn't campaigning at all.

September wasn't a fluke: Lieberman continues to hit the hustings with all the energetic entusiasm of Homer Simpson. Kerry's schedule is packed with events Thursday through Saturday leading up to the Sunday debate. Edwards will address a union meeting and hold two town halls today in Florida. Gephardt has six events today and tomorrow in - surprise - Iowa. He hits five Detroit churches on Sunday before the debate, then back to Iowa. Clark has public events today and tomorrow in New Hampshire, then is off for the debate. Dean has been resting up yesterday and today. He'll need it, because starting Sunday he has rallies, speeches, and a debate scheduled for seven states in five days. Even Moseley-Braun, who spoke yesterday in Texas, has a speech and appearances tomorrow in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Excluding Sunday's debate, Lieberman has no public events scheduled from the 14th through the end of the month.



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