Observations on the world today.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


The New York Times %3E Washington %3E Campaign 2004 %3E Kerry Will Campaign During Republicans%27 Convention
Breaking with tradition, Senator John Kerry plans to campaign for at least one day during the Republican National Convention, venturing to Nashville to speak at the American Legion's national convention.

Mr. Kerry's aides said that he would spend most of the Republican convention week relaxing at his family's seaside sanctuary on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts but that he would not miss the chance to speak to the veterans' group, a quadrennial ritual for presidential contenders. President Bush, who has spoken to the Legion every summer since 2000, has also been invited but has not yet confirmed an appearance.


Charlie Cook, who edits a prominent political newsletter in Washington, said he could not recall another example of a presidential candidate campaigning during his rival's convention, but he quickly added, "We don't usually know we're going to have an election this close."
I remember thinking when they said that Bush was honoring the no-campaigning tradition back during the DNCC that this was a new one on me. Maybe it was something Bush's people floated as a talking point just so that they could use it as a bludgeon on Kerry. After all, Cheney didn't honor it.

Thing is, if this really is a tradition it probaly got started because campaigning during the opponent's convention got no media coverage. You know, back in the day of three networks and two national magazines. Which means it was less of a courtesy to the opposition than a pragmatic conservation of resources.

Not all traditions are worth keeping. Maybe this one can go the way of Minstrel shows and the Playboy Clubs.


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