Primaries leave Democrats wrung out
And we're not even talking about Florida voting machines
By John Mercurio and Robert Yoon
CNN Washington Bureau
(CNN) -- What will happen this week in Massachusetts and Hawaii, two states in which overwhelmingly Democratic electorates are poised to elect GOP governors this fall? The question highlights a key problem Democrat leaders are struggling with in what should be a blowout year for their gubernatorial nominees.
Democratic voters in both states will go to the polls this week (Massachusetts on Tuesday; Hawaii in an unusual Saturday balloting) to choose among crowded fields of top gubernatorial wannabes.
The winners of those races, sure to be tired and cash-poor by week's end, both face well-financed Republicans, whose party leaders cleared the primary fields to ensure they would be rested and well-prepared for this fall. Recent polls show that both Republicans, Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and Linda Lingle in Hawaii, run ahead of all their potential Democratic rivals by comfortable margins.
Examples abound this year of Democratic prospects that have slipped due in part to fractious primaries, especially those that have taken place late in the cycle.
Democratic leaders this week are striving to improve their situation. Former President Bill Clinton travels to Michigan on Saturday to campaign for gubernatorial nominee Jennifer Granholm, who won a costly three-way primary. And Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe will jet off to Hawaii on Saturday to make sure his party's three gubernatorial candidates come together after Saturday's vote.
Elsewhere, President Bush and family make the rounds. The president's dad, "41", campaigns Wednesday for Tennessee GOP Senate nominee Lamar Alexander and the following day in South Dakota for Senate nominee John Thune. On Thursday, Barbara Bush gives a speech at Harvard University titled "Life Lessons."
And just when you thought coverage of Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary was subsiding, former Vice President Al Gore returns to his least favorite state to raise money for none other than Carol Roberts. Roberts, of course, was the Palm Beach County commissioner who demanded a hand recount of disputed "butterfly ballots" in her county in the 2000 presidential election.
The following is a comprehensive look at the week ahead in politics. Enjoy!
Former President Bill Clinton stumps for Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. Granholm is running against Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, a Republican, in a closely watched race to succeed retiring GOP Gov. John Engler.
While his ex-boss stumps in Michigan, former Vice President Al Gore delivers the keynote address at the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus. Gore may speak on any number of hot topics, including the Iraq situation, and the voting confusion in Florida, a topic with which he's had some experience.
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the only Democrat so far to admit he's running for president, keynotes a meeting of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in Philadelphia. Dean then heads to Minneapolis to address a Human Rights Campaign dinner. The dinner is Dean's third event with gay groups in two days. Dean became a hero to many gay rights groups after signing Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law. While in Minneapolis, he'll also squeeze in some fund raising for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roger Moe.
Gridiron politics: The high-profile grudge match that's under way in Iowa's U.S. Senate race spills over onto the football field as Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin and GOP Rep. Greg Ganske both watch an even higher profile grudge match between the University of Iowa and Iowa State football teams. Ganske, who attended the University of Iowa for both undergrad and medical school, will co-host a pregame tailgate party with the local college Republicans. Harkin, a 1962 Iowa state grad, will attend a number of tailgate parties before watching the game. So, will Harkin the Cyclone and Ganske the Hawkeye each root for their respective alma maters, at the risk of offending a huge chunk of Iowa voters? Don't bet on it. According to the campaigns, both candidates are supporting both teams. In other campaign developments, the Harkin and Ganske camps have agreed to three debates: September 29, October 6 and October 11. A recent poll has Harkin leading Ganske 52 percent to 40 percent (Research 2000, September 8-10).
Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Arkansas, will headline two fund-raisers in Memphis for Rep. Bob Clement, a Democratic Senate nominee in Tennessee. Clement faces Republican Lamar Alexander this fall in the race to succeed future "Law and Order" star Fred Thompson. Earlier in the day, Clement will attend a tailgate party in Memphis with Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr.
Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, a Democrat, starts a statewide tour called the "Education Express," where he'll tackle one of his main vulnerabilities this fall -- school funding. Siegelman, the most vulnerable Democratic governor seeking re-election this year, will visit six towns today and tomorrow. Siegelman will be visiting Jasper, Adamsville, Oneonta, Decatur, Huntsville and Athens.
California's first lady Sharon Davis, wife of Gray Davis, who's running for a second term as the Golden State's chief executive, makes a number of campaign appearances on behalf of her hubby. She'll address the African-American Voter Registration Project in Los Angeles; help open the Long Beach Coordinated Campaign Office; and address the Harry Truman 8th Annual Awards Dinner in Anaheim.
Former Congressman Mark Sanford, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in South Carolina, attends a tailgate party at the University of South Carolina vs. University of Georgia football in Columbia. (Sanford's rooting for USC).
The Georgia Republican Party holds a "Road to Majority" in Augusta. Former state Sen. Sonny Perdue, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in Georgia, and Oliver North will give keynote speeches.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, headlines a fund-raiser for Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island.
The Democratic radio response will be delivered by Carl McCall, the New York comptroller, who won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last week.
New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, campaigns with "Democrats for Pataki" in New York City. Notably, the Rev. Dr. Franklyn Richardson, an African-American, who had Democrat Carl McCall speak at his church this summer.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party gathers in Pittsburgh for the last major convention-type meeting before Election Day. Ed Rendell, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, will be there.
Wheels of change. Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney is crisscrossing the state in a three-day bus tour called the "Wheels of Change." The tour, which ends Sunday, is designed in large part to pump up his endorsed running mate, criminologist Kerry Healey, who faces a tough race with James Rappaport for the state's No. 2 job. Romney is accusing Rappaport's campaign of using "misleading" ads against Healey. The primary is Tuesday.
Also in Massachusetts, Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Shannon O'Brien campaigns over the next three days leading up to Tuesday's primary, making stops in Concord, Arlington, Brockton, Weymouth, Westport and South Boston, Dorchester. Recent polls show O'Brien, the only woman in the gubernatorial race, pulling away from her rivals in the Democratic contest. She also drew a key endorsement on Thursday from Steve Grossman, a former candidate.
Encouraged by a new Boston Globe poll that showed him closing the gap with front-runner Shannon O'Brien, state Senate President Tom Birmingham, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, is spending the weekend on the bus in a "Momentum Tour." Birmingham plans to hit Dorchester, Natick, Saugus, Peabody, Arlington and Fitchburg. O'Brien leads with 31 percent in the new Globe poll, followed by Birmingham and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who both have 22 percent.
Both candidates for Maryland governor cut the ribbons on new campaign offices, both in key battleground counties. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the Democratic nominee, opens her new office in Baltimore City, while Rep. Robert Ehrlich, the GOP nominee, opens an office in Chevy Chase, just north of the D.C. border in Montgomery County. Ehrlich will also spend part of his day stumping in northern Montgomery county, before heading to Byrd Stadium at the University of Maryland to host a tailgate party for the Maryland -- Florida State game. Montgomery County, Baltimore City, and Prince George's County (home of the University of Maryland) have traditionally been Democratic strongholds, but this year, they will be the key battlegrounds of the gubernatorial race.
Minnesota's Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone, in a show of support for the oft-maligned poultry product, attends the 58th Annual King Turkey Day Celebration in Worthington. The two-term senator, who is in a tough race for a third term against former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, will attend the Great Gobbler Gallop and then will hop aboard his Green Bus with supporters and participate in the King Turkey Day Parade.
Peter Yarrow, who puts the "Peter" in the '60s folk trio "Peter, Paul and Mary," will sing for campaign dollars at a Portland, Oregon, fund-raiser for Democratic Senate nominee Bill Bradbury. Bradbury, who hopes to unseat GOP Sen. Gordon Smith, once told a local radio station that the Peter, Paul, and Mary hit "If I Had a Hammer" was his favorite song, and was persuaded to sing a few bars on the air. He is pushing for a duet with Yarrow at the event. Yarrow, whose son lives in Oregon, has raised money for other Oregon candidates as well. The Bradbury fund-raiser is $50 per person.
Remember the Alamo(sa): Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent Tom Strickland debate in the town of Alamosa. The event is not televised, but don't fret. There'll be plenty of opportunities to two see these two mix it up. They've agreed to 15 debates before the November election.
The U.S. Virgin Islands holds its primaries.
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a Democrat, heads to Grand Forks, North Dakota, to attend a state Democratic party lunch in his honor. The event will raise money for the state party.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, starts his week at a Stamford, Connecticut, event on behalf of Democratic state Rep. Joe Courtney, who hopes to knock off freshman GOP Rep. Rob Simmons this November. Later this week in the Senate, Lieberman and his GOP colleague Sen. John McCain are expected to introduce legislation pushing for the creation of an independent commission to investigate what happened on 9/11. The two senators, who hope to attach their plan as an amendment to the Homeland Security bill, may get some help from families of 9/11 victims who will be in D.C. midweek.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Maryland's newly minted Democratic nominee for governor, attends the Festival Latino of Maryland in vote-rich Montgomery County. Meanwhile, the GOP nominee, Rep. Robert Ehrlich, attends the Essex Day Festival in Baltimore County. Ehrlich currently represents the area in Congress.
"Love and Happiness" Rep. Bob Clement will drop by six churches in Memphis, including the Full Gospel Tabernacle, home of the Rev. Al Green. Yes, the Al Green.
Iowa's GOP Senate nominee, Rep. Greg Ganske, attends the Polk County GOP picnic.
President Bush continues his fund-raising drive, this time for in Davenport, Iowa, for Rep. Jim Nussle, who's running for re-election against Democrat Ann Hutchinson. GOP Senate nominee Greg Ganske, a previous recipient of Bush's fund-raising bounty, will also attend.
After weeks of cross-country and international travel (two trips to Canada last month), Vermont Gov. Howard Dean spends some quality time in his home state. He'll spend most of the week working the phones to raise money for his presidential campaign, and attending his 16-year-old son Paul's soccer games (three this week). But he will head out to Michigan for an AFL-CIO dinner on Friday.
Massachusetts Democrats rally in Adams Corner in Dorchester on the night before the primary. Look for most major political candidates, including all four gubernatorial wannabes, to attend.
Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia, receives an endorsement in Atlanta of the state chapter of the International Association of Firefighters.
Sen. Jean Carnahan, who's in a tough race this year to complete the term of her late husband Mel Carnahan, issues a "challenge" to her opponent, former Rep. Jim Talent at a morning presser in St. Louis. Details were sketchy at press time, but the Carnahan camp said it would be "issue-based." Carnahan will be flanked by Labor bigwig John Sweeney and Democratic Gov. Bob Holden, who defeated Talent in the tight 2000 gubernatorial contest. The three are in town for the AFL-CIO Biennial Conference. Later in the day, Carnahan addresses the Missouri Police Chiefs Summitt at the state capitol in Jefferson City. The police chiefs will give Carnahan their "Legislator of the Year" Award.
Democratic Senate nominee Mark Pryor of Arkansas talks with rice farmers in Jonesboro about agriculture issues.
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt heads to New Hampshire to campaign for state Senate candidates Maggie Wood Hassan and David Gelinas. Gephardt is also doing an economic forum with state Rep. Martha Fuller Clark, a House nominee.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Mike Taylor, hold a debate.
Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Van Hilleary, who are running for governor in Tennessee, hold an education forum.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin and committee members present Trace Adkins in concert at the Galleria at Lafeyette Center in downtown Washington.
Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kansas, hosts a Monday Night football fund-raiser at Fed-Ex Field, where the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles. Cost: $1,000 per PAC; $500 per individual.
Mary Matalin, an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and former co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," headlines a $50 per person fund-raiser for GOP Sen. Wayne Allard in Denver, Colorado.
The Massachusetts gubernatorial primary takes place today. Four Democrats -- state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, state Senate President Tom Birmingham, and former state Sen. Warren Tolman. O'Brien leads in the Democratic primary, according to recent polls, but Romney leads all four Democrats by wide margins.
Voters also head to the polls in Oklahoma, to settle the Democratic runoff in the Senate race between former Gov. David Walters and attorney Tom Boettcher. In the interests of full disclosure, Boettcher is the brother of CNN Correspondent Mike Boettcher. The winner will take on GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe.
President Bush headlines a luncheon for Lamar Alexander in Nashville, but he also spends some time today with Alexander's Democratic rival, Rep. Bob Clement. Bush invited Clement to join him before the fund-raiser in Nashville, where he's speaking at Carter Lawrence Magnet School. Clement has accepted; Alexander will also be there.
Al Gore goes to Broward County, Florida, to headline a private fund-raiser for the Florida Democratic Party. Coincidentally, this is the same day the Florida Secretary of State is expected to certify the gubernatorial election. Look for Gore to comment on the latest Florida fiasco.
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, hold an afternoon event to announce new cancer legislation. The guest of honor will be four-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. The Lance Armstrong Foundation is one of more than 30 outside groups who helped craft the new legislation. The bill is designed to improve the quality of care that individuals with cancer receive. The event coincides with the American Cancer Society's "Celebration on the Hill" which brings thousands of cancer activists to the Hill.
House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, raises money with state Sen. George Disnard, a Democrat. He'll also meet with activists at Dusty Cafe in Claremont and then hold a second money event in Nashua with Joe Foster, a state Senate candidate. Gephardt will then hold a Social Security forum with Katrina Swett, the House candidate who recently beat Norm Jackman in the Democratic primary. Jackman ran a series of quirky ads featuring endorsements featuring "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander (aka George Costanza).
Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, keynotes a meeting of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts at the Library of Congress in D.C. Later this month, Kerry will travel to Washington state to raise cash for his Senate campaign -- a race where there's no Republican opponent -- and then to South Carolina to schmooze with local Democrats.
Maryland's GOP nominee for governor, Robert Ehrlich, addresses the Severna Park Republican Women's Club near Annapolis. He also addresses retired federal employees in Maryland suburb of D.C. and ends the day at the Governor's Day festivities at the Frederick County Fair.
Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot will campaign in Wisconsin, including stops in Madison, LaCrosse and Green Bay.
New Jersey GOP Reps. Mike Ferguson, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Frank LoBiondo, Jim Saxton, Christopher Smith hold a reception for Scott Garrett, who's running to succeed Rep. Marge Roukema, a Republican. Notably absent from the host committee is, of course, Roukema, who narrowly staved off Garrett in two previous primary challenges. Cost: $1,000 per sponsor; $500 per PAC.
Lynne Cheney hosts a breakfast for Jim Gerlach, a Republican House candidate from Pennsylvania. Cost: $1,000 per PAC; $500 per individual
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, hosts a fund-raiser for her former chief of staff, Kevin Raye, who is running to succeed Democratic Rep. John Baldacci. NRCC Chairman Tom Davis of Virginia will also be there. Cost: $500 per PAC; $250 per individual. Snowe is also hosting a dinner for Raye today at La Colline restaurant on Capitol Hill.
Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett, both Republicans, host a fund-raiser for Rob Bishop, who is running to succeed retiring Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah.
Arizona's maverick GOP Sen. John McCain and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton both address the annual conference of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The CHC annual gala dinner will be held at the MCI Center in downtown D.C.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, hosts a fund-raiser at her Washington home for pediatrician Julie Thomas, a Democratic House nominee from Iowa.
One day after he campaigned with President Bush, Tennessee GOP Senate nominee Lamar Alexander stumps with the president's father, George Herbert Walker Bush (aka "41"). The former president will headline a luncheon in Knoxville.
Al Gore headlines a fund-raiser for Carol Roberts in Palm Beach, Fla. Roberts, the Palm Beach commissioner who demanded a hand recount of disputed "butterfly ballots" in her county in the 2000 presidential election, is challenging Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Florida, in the state's coastal 22nd district, which Republicans redrew for Shaw as a safer Republican seat.
Democratic Sens. Jean Carnahan of Missouri and Max Cleland of Georgia are the guests of honor at a $35 per person fundraiser sponsored by the Winning Margins PAC, a low-donor Democratic group that focuses on tight Senate races. The event will be held at the Frederick Douglass House in D.C.
Rep. Robert Ehrlich, the GOP nominee for Maryland governor, addresses the a local Rotary Club outside of Baltimore, before heading back to D.C. to tend to congressional business.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the Iraq situation. On the Senate side, CIA Director George Tenet will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a morning hearing to consider another of President Bush's circuit court nominations. Next on the chopping block: Michael McConnell for the 10th Circuit. No surprise here, but he's another polarizing figure: strongly conservative and sure to rankle panel Democrats, who recently voted down a Bush pick from Texas, Priscilla Owen.
Like father, like son: Former President George Bush (#41) continues his fund-raising tour with a visit to Sioux Falls to campaign for his son's favorite South Dakotan, Rep. John Thune. The current President Bush, no stranger to fund raising himself, will host a D.C. fund-raiser for Thune at the Willard Hotel on Tuesday, September 24.
While her husband stumps for John Thune in South Dakota, former first lady Barbara Bush speaks at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The title of her address: "Life Lessons."
The Republican Governors Association holds its "Presidents' Dinner" fund-raiser with President Bush in Washington. Top gubernatorial candidates and sitting governors will be there.
Vice President Dick Cheney fund- raises for the Vermont Republican Party.
Sen. John McCain, famous for bucking the Republican party line on more than one occasion, lends a hand to GOP Rep. Connie Morella, who over the years has cultivated a reputation as one of the most liberal Republican members of the House. McCain will headline a $100 per person fund-raiser at the Mongolian Barbecue in Bethesda, Maryland. The event, which is expected to draw "a couple hundred people," is designed to reach out to independent voters, according to the Morella campaign. Morella, who is in her toughest re-election battle to date, will face Democrat Chris Van Hollen, who pulled off an upset victory over better-known and better-funded Democrat Mark Kennedy Shriver.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party holds a unity bus tour. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe plans to tag along.
Democrat Ed Rendell and Republican Mike Fisher, who are running for governor in Pennsylvania, hold their first major televised debate, held at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, keynotes the League of Conservation Voters Dinner in Washington.
Oregon Senate hopeful Bill Bradbury, a Democrat, hosts another "coffee table" discussion, this one on corporate responsibility in Portland. Also that day, he meets with the Asian Pacific Action Network.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will headline a fund-raiser for Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, in Washington. Clinton will also attend a fund-raiser for Colorado Senate nominee Tom Strickland, a Democrat, in the capital.
Rep. Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, and his "Great Dane PAC" join Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Iowa GOP Reps. Greg Ganske, Tom Latham and James Leach for a reception on Capitol Hill for GOP nominee Steve King.
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman campaigns for Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, on Capitol Hill.
Norm Coleman, the Gopher State's GOP nominee to take on Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone, begins a two-day aerial tour of northern Minnesota. Coleman, a former Democrat and former mayor of St. Paul, will travel to eight cities by float plane and will hold campaign events on the docks. The focus of the trip will be to boost tourism, jobs, and the state's great outdoors.
A day after testifying before a House committee, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld heads over to the Senate side to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He'll be joined by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Richard Myers.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe campaigns for Oregon Senate nominee Bill Bradbury. Bradbury faces an uphill race against Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican.
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean heads to Michigan for an AFL-CIO dinner.
Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and his New American Optimists PAC hosts a retreat in Pine Hurst, North Carolina. The event is not a fund-raiser; it's a meeting of Democratic minds from across the country to mull over the big weighty issues of the day. Previous Edwards retreats have featured such Clinton-era thinkers as Bruce Reed and Gene Sperling.
The beloved party animals, the colorfully decorated elephants and donkeys that have adorned Washington, D.C. streets in recent months, will be cleared off the streets. The removal of the animals is more than a week ahead of schedule, due to fear of damage and vandalism from expected IMF protesters later this month.
Aloha, Terry: DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe travels to Hawaii for the state's primary. Democrats are worried about losing the Aloha State's top office for the first time ever. Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono is favored in the Democratic primary over state Rep. Ed Case and Andy Anderson, a former Republican.
Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, travels to Georgia to endorse Sen. Max Cleland, a Democrat. Cleland is running for a second term against GOP Rep. Saxby Chambliss.
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean addresses the National Education Association meeting of state presidents in Burlington.
Another famous Vermonter, Independent Sen. Jim Jeffords, throws the force of his new-found fund-raising prowess behind Sen. Tom Harkin, who's up for reelection against GOP Rep. Greg Ganske. Jeffords will attend Harkin's 25th annual "Steak Fry" in Indianola, just south of Des Moines. The starting contribution for the event is $20 per person; the Harkin campaign expects attendance to number in the "hundreds."
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will headline a low-dollar women's event for Illinois Rep. Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, in Chicago. Clinton will also headline a fund-raising dinner for the DCCC.
Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colorado, and his Democratic opponent Tom Strickland debate on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee will not be eligible for an award until next year.