post below an article from New York Times highlighting how huge sums
are raised in just one evening by the
opposition and how fun is heaped on the incumbent President. This is
the mood in USA today with some exasperation of what is a happening
in Iraq. In India K Subrahmanyam has advocated that now USA
should look to Iran and India to help solve the Iraqi mess.
Perhaps our politicians and the Election Commission may take note of
the transparent manner in which funds are raised for electioneering!
Celebrity Fund-Raiser Is a Huge Bash
NYT 09 July 2004)
star-studded salute to Senators John Kerry and John Edwards Thursday
night at Radio City Music Hall slid into an unsparing skewering of
the Bush administration, with actors and comedians denouncing the
president as a liar, making off-color jokes about his name, and
accusing him of risking soldiers' lives for political gain.
racy Hollywood humor and harsh attacks were a sharp shift from the
relentlessly positive focus on American values the new Democratic
ticket has been trying to maintain this week.
Bandito, how much money did you put in your pocket today?" John
Mellencamp crooned in a country ballad. "You better split from
that Texas Bandito, he's made this world unsafe today. Our thoughts
are not free from the Texas Bandito, he's just another cheap thug
that sacrifices our young."
a two-and-a-half hour gala that raised $7.5 million, a record for a
single event, Chevy Chase poked fun at the president's pronunciation
of "nuclear" and "terrorist" and said Mr. Bush
had invaded Iraq "just so he could be called a wartime
president." Paul Newman decried "tax cuts for wealthy
thugs like me" as "borderline criminal." The comedian
John Leguizamo, who is half Puerto Rican, said the notion of
Hispanics supporting Republicans was "like roaches for
Raid." And Whoopi Goldberg, after joking about refusing to
submit her material to campaign censors, made an extended sexual pun
on the president's surname.
the Academy-Award-winning actress Meryl Streep asked which
candidates Jesus might support.
wondered to myself during 'Shock and Awe,' I wondered which of the
megaton bombs Jesus, our president's personal savior, would have
personally dropped on the sleeping families of Baghdad?" Ms.
Streep said.Steve Schmidt, a Bush campaign spokesman, denounced the
event as "a Hollywood fund-raiser filled with enough hate and
vitriol to make Michael Moore blush."
the concert, Mr. Kerry's press secretary, David Wade, said,
"Obviously John Kerry and John Edwards do not agree with
everything that was said tonight," adding: "Performers
have a right to speak their minds even when we don't agree with
everything they say. That's the freedom John Kerry put his life on
the line to defend."
unlike one of Mr. Kerry's vanquished primary rivals, Howard Dean,
who denounced racial humor and profanity at one of his own
fundraisers in New York, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry hardly veered
from their script when they mounted the stage at the end of the
extravaganza, looking more subdued than they had all week.
campaign will be a celebration of real American values" Mr.
Edwards promised, saying that voters "deserve a president who
knows the difference between what is right and what is wrong."
Kerry, inviting his and Mr. Edwards's adult children onstage for a
sing-along of "This Land Is Your Land," told the crowd
that "every single performer" on the bill had
"conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."
aides said the performers would not allow broadcast journalists to
record the concert.
from last month because of Ronald Reagan's death, the concert
brought 6,200 people, paying $250 to $25,000 each, to the historic
hall, beating the $6.8 million haul from a parallel gala last month
in Los Angeles featuring Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson and Billy
Crystal. The take will be split based on limits on direct
contributions to candidates: about $5 million will go to the
Democratic National Committee and about $2 million to the campaign.
Bush's best night, bringing in $4 million, was also in New York
City, on June 23. His record day netted $5.3 million from a pair of
fundraisers, in Chicago and Cincinnati, last September.
an extensive bill featuring the Dave Matthews Band and Jon Bon Jovi,
Mary J. Blige and John Fogerty, Ms. Goldberg stood out for her brash
assessment of the Bush administration, as well as her teasing of the
Democratic standard bearers.
the kid? Where's the young Mr. Edwards?" she said at the start,
ignoring the questions Republicans have raised about his age and
experience. "He looks like he's about 18," she said later,
joking that she would check his identification before serving him a
Goldberg's was the only riff Mr. Kerry addressed directly, saying of
his new political partner, "I have a man, Whoopi, who through
his lifetime of experience ")
concert capped the second day of joint campaigning by the newly
minted Democratic ticket, part of a multimedia effort that included
an hourlong interview with Mr. Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz
Kerry, on "Larry King Live." Asked about warnings on
Thursday about the possibility of a Qaeda attack this year, Mr.
Kerry told Mr. King that he had not yet had time to be briefed on
the subject. He also said that he does not plan to see Mr. Moore's
anti-Bush polemic, "Fahrenheit 9/11."
day dawned with a classic tarmac rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
near the epicenter of the vote-counting controversy of the 2000
his running commentary on Mr. Edwards's children, Mr. Kerry told the
crowd that 6-year-old Emma Claire and her brother Jack, 4, are
"really good at math."
really know how to count," he said. "So I've given them a
special duty in this election. We're sending Jack and Emma Claire
down here to help those Republicans in West Palm Beach count those
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