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In the Spotlight

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News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
John Kerry
Political affiliation:
Democratic Party
December 11, 1943
Denver, Colorado
Married to Teresa Heinz; two daughters --Alexandra and Vanessa. Three stepchildren. Catholic.
U.S. Senator
Bachelor's degree, Yale University, 1966; law degree, Boston College, 1976.
Navy officer, awarded Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat "V," three Purple Hearts for Vietnam War service, 1966-70; spokesman, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, 1971; Middlesex County, Mass., prosecutor, 1976-78; lawyer in private practice, 1979-1982; Massachusetts Lieutenant governor, 1983-85; U.S. Senate, 1985-present.
On the Issues
Audio Final presidential debate (10/13/04)
George W. Bush and John Kerry debated in Tempe, Arizona.
Audio Second presidential debate (10/8/04)
George W. Bush and John Kerry held their second debate in St. Louis, Mo.
Audio Vice presidential debate, Cleveland, Ohio (10/5/04)
John Edwards and Dick Cheney meet in their only debate.
Audio First presidential debate, Miami, Florida (9/30/04)
George W. Bush and John Kerry's first of three debates.
Audio Johnston, Iowa (1/4/04)
Seven Democratic candidates debated, two weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Audio New Hampshire (12/9/03)
Eight of the Democratic candidates ganged up on front-runner Howard Dean
Audio NY Debate (9/25/03)
Ten Democratic candidates for president debate in New York, sponsored by MSNBC.
Audio Highlights
Links and Resources
Web site:
Document johnkerry.com
Minnesota Web site:
Document johnkerrymn.com
Campaign Blog:
Document blog.johnkerry.com
Campaign contributors:
Document Political Money Line
Document Federal Election Commission
Candidate Pages

John Kerry

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., won the Democratic nomination for president in July, the only Democrat left standing in a field that at one time numbered 10. In winning the nomination, Kerry survived several shake-ups of his campaign after former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean spent most of 2003 as the frontrunner. But the Iowa caucuses, and an ill-timed scream, doomed Dean, and forced out Sen. Richard Gephardt. And Kerry rolled on Super Tuesday, forcing his primary competitor, Sen. John Edwards, out of the race. In June, Kerry named Edwards his choice for vice president.

Kerry did not get a large bounce after the Democratic National Convention in Boston, and then in late August, the Republican Convention in New York, coupled with a strong ad campaign by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, heavily damaged Kerry, who never recovered from a sharp drop in the polls, even though the final election result was close.

KSTP video sheds light on when Iraqi explosives went missing
A news crew with Twin Cities TV station KSTP shot video of U.S. troops in Iraq in April of 2003 that may help determine when tons of powerful explosives were removed from the Al-QaQaa munitions base. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that almost 380 tons of explosives from the site were not secured immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Reporter Dean Staley, who now works in Seattle, and photo journalist Joe Caffrey were embedded with the 101st Airborne Division at the time. Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Caffrey, who says he shot the video nine days after the fall of Baghdad.
Edwards says Bush didn't do his job in Iraq
Sen. John Edwards campaigned in Duluth Thursday, blaming President Bush for a missing cache of explosives in Iraq. Edwards said that "our men and women in uniform did their job, George Bush didn't do his job." Vice President Dick Cheney makes a campaign stop in International Falls Thursday afternoon.
Speechless no more, Ventura stumps for Kerry at colleges
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is silent no more on why he's supporting Sen. John Kerry for president. Unleashing a strong attack against President Bush, Ventura appeared at Century College, a community and technical college in White Bear Lake, to encourage young people to vote.
Polling the Midwestern battleground
Just when everyone thought the presidential election couldn't get any tighter, it has. Recent polls have put states like Arkansas (once thought safe for Bush) and Hawaii (where Kerry was believed to be a shoo-in) onto the list of swing states. Then there's our little corner of the upper Midwest--Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa--which is every bit as close as it has been for most of the election. Most presidential elections with an incumbent candidate tend to be more like landslides than photo finishes. Could this one be the exception?
Campaign roundup: Bush, Kerry exchange long-distance jabs, race through Midwest
In a stinging exchange, President Bush criticized Democratic challenger John Kerry as "the wrong man for the wrong job at the wrong time" on Thursday while the Massachusetts senator accused his rival of constantly ducking responsibility for his own actions. For the fourth consecutive day, Kerry assailed Bush over the disclosure that nearly 400 tons of explosives were missing in Iraq.
Campaign roundup: Kerry and Bush spar over missing explosives
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry brought his campaign to Rochester again Wednesday, six days out from the election. He continued to step up his attacks on President Bush, saying that Bush has failed the test of leadership on the economy and national security.
Slicing the Spin: Foreign Policy
Midmorning takes a closer look at the issues that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. This week, host Kerri Miller examines the candidates' plans for foreign policy.
Rehnquist illness propels social issues back to campaign agenda
Neither President George W. Bush nor Sen. John Kerry spends much time talking about either abortion or same-sex marriage in speeches. But the next president is likely to appoint at least one member to an aging Supreme Court that's divided on abortion, gay rights and other issues. There hasn't been a Supreme Court vacancy in 10 years, and this week's announcement that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has thyroid cancer gives new prominence to the question.
Foreign policy is in unusual role as biggest issue in presidential election
If there is one defining issue in this year's presidential campaign, it's the war in Iraq. Democratic Sen. John Kerry charges President Bush's approach to the fight against terrorism is emblematic of a larger go-it-alone philosophy that's seriously damaged U.S. relations around the world. Bush accuses Kerry of underestimating demands of the war against terrorism and of taking numerous competing positions on Iraq.
Campaign Roundup: Kerry, Bush, Nader focus on the Midwest
President Bush campaigned in a small town near La Crosse, Wisconsin Tuesday, hoping to woo more voters in a part of the state which went for Democrat Al Gore in the 2000 election. As a result, Bush narrowly lost the state's electoral votes. This time around the president has made a deliberate effort to court western Wisconsin voters.
Bush visits Wisconsin
President Bush says Senator John Kerry has a limited vision of the war on terror that won't keep Americans safe. The president talks about foreign policy and his other plans for the country during a campaign stop near LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Cheney says he's 'sensitive' to sugar issues
Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned in Moorhead, Monday. The vice president's visit is part of the Bush administration's attempt to win Minnesota in the presidential election. Minnesota is one of several battleground states in the midwest. Republicans believe the Bush-Cheney ticket, could be the first Republican presidential campaign to win Minnesota since the Nixon-Agnew ticket in 1972.
Cheney hammers on national security issues in Rosemount; Ventura endorses Kerry
Vice President Dick Cheney capped an unprecedented week of presidential politics in Minnesota by telling a rally crowd in suburban Rosemount that Democratic Sen. John Kerry lacks the judgment and conviction to be president.
Kerry makes seventh trip to Minnesota - this time to Metrodome
Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry held a rally in Minneapolis Thursday night in front of an estimated crowd of 30,000 people. Kerry used the event to motivate his supporters to make sure that a Democratic presidential candidate wins Minnesota for the eighth straight time. Recent polling shows Kerry with a narrow lead in Minnesota, but Republicans say the state is changing and Kerry's stance on the war on terrorism is unpopular with voters.
Palestinian-Israeli conflict not on the campaign radar screen
Middle East peace has hardly been mentioned in the presidential campaign. Neither George W. Bush nor John Kerry have talked much at all about their plans for a solution to the violence between Palestinians and Israelis. One likely reason the issue doesn't come up is there's very little to debate. Analysts say Bush and Kerry have virtually identical positions. They're both strong supporters of Israel. Even so, the issue's absence from the campaign dismays two Minnesotans with a personal stake in Middle East peace.

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