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Bob Smith of New Hampshire lived at the far right of the GOP. He even left the Republican Party at one point because he considered it too moderate. In fact, he was one of those guys who waved around plastic fetuses whenever abortion was debated.

But in 2004, this hard right winger is endorsing Kerry (PDF).

As someone who worked with you daily for 12 years as a United States Senator, I am acutely conscious of the fact that we disagree on many important issues. Despite our differences, you have always been willing to engage in constructive debate in an effort to forge sound public policy.

I deeply respect your commitment to our nation and your patriotism which, I believe, was forged when you-like I-proudly wore the uniform of the United States Navy in Viet Nam...

Because of the courage and character you demonstrated in Vietnam, I believe you when you say that you'll do a better job than President Bush to win the peace in Iraq, as well as to win the war against terrorism.

President Bush has failed to restrain federal spending, sending our deficit spinning into the stratosphere. I well remember that you were one of a handful of Democrats who crossed the aisle to forge a bipartisan coalition in the Senate to balance the federal budget [...]

John, for each of these reasons I believe President Bush has failed our country and my party. Accordingly, I want you to know that when I go into the booth next Tuesday I am going to cast my vote for you. So will my wife, Mary Jo, and all three of my children: Jason, Bobby and Jenny.

Moreover, I will do all that I can to encourage my friends in New Hampshire and Florida to join me in supporting you.


The dKosopedia has a list of Republicans who have endorsed Kerry.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So do Bush's relatives (none)

    "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you suck seed."--Curly Howard

    by JackAshe on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:01:02 AM PDT

  •  Very Nice (none)
    Perhaps I'll send this to a friend of mine - he's voting for Bush (and I have a sneaking suspicion it's because of abortion, and only abortion).

    Disgusted at Bush's "One Finger Victory Salute?" Salute Back!

    by aftk2 on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:01:49 AM PDT

    •  Pro-life leaners (4.00)
      I would refer any pro-life leaners to the following editorial:

      It points out that after decreasing throughout the late 90s, abortions actually increased under Bush.  The only "refutations" of this that I have found thus far are from NRO and partsian pro-life areas and their main point is he doesn't have enough data.

      •  Tried that (none)
        I second the article as it is a good read.  

        I sent out the article to a couple of folks who were voting for Bush solely on abortion.  Unfortuntely, it did not do a lot of good for them as they kept on talking about Kerry's so-called Catholic roots, pro-choice = pro-death, Bush is pro-life, etc.      

        Never mind the silly little fact that abortions have gone up due to Bush's poor handling of the economy (the whole point of the article that you can't decouple abortion and other issues), no bother.  I rattled off a litany of responses and if I get any good tidbits, I will post them.  

        •  A stock reply for you.... (none)

          My usual reply to these types is "you've got to ask yourself not what a candidate stands for, but what you stand for. Bush has created conditions that increase abortion, regardless of what he wishes happened instead. Now decide if you want more of the same."

          They probably won't buy you a beer for your troubles, but it might make one or two of them think.

          "Why, a child of five could figure this out! Someone fetch me a child of five." -Groucho Marx

          by kiwifruit on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 03:45:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pro-Lifer for Kerry (none)
            That is me (except not a US citizen, unfortunately)!

            Whenever my Republican friends and relatives say that they vote for Bush because of being anti-abortion, I always ask what exactly has Bush done about abortion.  They never know.  Bush just talks about a culture of life and all that nonsense.  A culture of life means proper healthcare and dragging people out of poverty.  All that would reduce abortions - but Bush just panders to the unthinking extremists.  In fact all Bush has possibly done in realtion to abortion is possibly organise one back in the seventies!

            Kerry is absilutely clear on this one.  I disagree with him but prfoundly respect him and am praying that he gets elected.

            I am profoundly offended that some bishops say that it is a sin for Catholics to vote for Kerry.  I believe that that is a sin, for the bishops to say that.

            I look forward to Kerry creating a culture of life, a culture of equal chance for everyone.  A culture where medicine is not just for the rich.  A culture where the colour of your skin does not have an influence on your life expectancy.   A culture where, as Kerry quoted Lincoln, we pray that we are on God's side and not blapheme and claim he is on our side.

            My tuppence-worth!

  •  This is... (none)
    Excellent.  Show people Bob Smith's record, what he stands for and this document.  If a conservative like this is endorsing Kerry, it may swing some leaning Bush folks.
    •  I believe it was gary bauer (none)
      who said "A Republican party without Bob Smith, I'm not sure it's worth fighting for", when Smith left the GOP. Short of John Ashcroft, this is the last man I'd expect to endorse Kerry.

      "I'm the Vice-President. They know it, and they know that I know it." --Dan Quayle

      by BaltimoreDem on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:42:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This should put the IAEA seal on NH for Kerry (4.00)
      Bob Smith is a wingnut to a considerable extent, but I've always respected him for his sincerity.  He means what he says and says what he means and often looks like a damn fool doing it.

      He's not real sharp, and is too ready to believe things he'd like to believe, but as John McCain and John Kerry proved, he can and will reluctantly change his mind when confronted with evidence. He's the genuine article, not a Bill Frist anything-for-power clone, and people here know and respect that, whether they voted for him or Sununu or Shaheen.

      And he really is an environmentalist.  He's also absolutely and utterly pro-life.

      And yes, he probably was not exactly hindered in his decision by the opportunity to return a favor to Karl Rove, who gently slipped a stiletto into Smith's back in 2002, even while Rove himself came up to NH and publicly endorsed him -- the kiss in Gethsemane, if you will.

      What Congress needs is more people like Bob Smith: preferably not reactionary Neanderthals, mind you, but people who are willing to tell their party and their party's leader to take a flying leap, people who have a real personal set of beliefs that they refuse to mutilate to fit into a Procrustean partisan bed, and who do not worship an eternal incumbency as the Holy of Holies.

      Today, Bob Smith passes this test.  Whatever their occasional virtues, whatever sympathies I may have once had with them, John McCain and Colin Powell have cravenly and shamefully failed this test, and failed their country, in this our hour of greatest need.

      His loyalty to principle, not to party or to convenience, is why I've never felt antagonistic when voting against Smith.

      And it's why I supported Howard Dean. (Who, by the way, is showing up in NH on Monday at Dartmouth College at the "Top of the Hop" in the Hopkins Center at 11:45am.)

      •  That's a good summary (none)
        All I can add is that the message this sends to people is that character and temperment matter in a president. John Kerry has it, George Bush doesn't.

        I suspect that a fair number of people in NH will go to the polls, vote Republican from bottom to almost the top, then choose a different path for president.

      •  There were only two places for Powell (none)
        His options were to fight PNAC from within the administration, where he's the only visible dissenter (in large part due to the fact that he's the only person popular enough to be immune from getting canned), or outside the administration.

        I don't know if he made the right decision, but it has to be the most difficult one he's ever had to make.

        "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

        by DWCG on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 01:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a disappointed Powell supporter... (none)
          ...he should have stepped down and unleashed some expatriate wrath at least a year ago.

          He lost all influence with Bush the day that troops set foot in Iraq.

        •  Powell (none)

          Why do people keep forgetting that Powell has a history of being a mouthpiece for people who want reality swept under the carpet? My Lai, anyone?

          The difference this time: instead of getting his ass covered from above, he's been left out to dry.

          "Why, a child of five could figure this out! Someone fetch me a child of five." -Groucho Marx

          by kiwifruit on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 03:56:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is a big shock. (none)
        Bob Smith was one of the most extreme rightwingers in the Senate.
    •  Thanks Bob! (none)
      This is the gift that keeps giving...

      It nicely encapsulates the feelings of many "true" conservatives whom I respect (although respectfully disagree with).

      Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.

      by northof45 on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:06:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A beautiful reminder... (none)
    ... that there are many principled conservatives in the world.  May they all see clearly enough to vote for the principled candidate.

    Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

    by stillnotking on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:04:25 AM PDT

    •  More likely this... (none)
      Smith is a fiscal conservative, and has seen how much undivided government has caused fiscal irresponsibility, and supports the idea that a divided government to restrain spending.

      "Nothing carries the spirit of this American idealism more effectively to the far corners of the earth than the American Peace Corps." - John F. Kennedy

      by Khun David on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:19:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looney (none)
        This guy is a right wing looney.  He's mad at the republicans for the unheard of move of Challenging him in the US senate primary on his own re-election!

        He left the state of NH and moved to FL to run for senate.  Guess he didn't do very well in Fl.

        I don't think he has much respect from republicans.  He's sort of like Nader. Where Nader is mad at the democrats for keeping him off of the ballot, that he is soliciting support from republicans.

        Well, this seems like his revenge at the republicans.  He does have support from pro-life christians here in NH though. I doubt they would be swayed.

  •  Excellent! (none)
    I'd counted him as anti-Bush for a while, but this was an excellent endorsement. Every paragraph has something to offer.
  •  It is a Kerry weekend (3.66)
    when all of the conservatives that care about America and its values realize that Kerry is the only choice for President.  The key is constructive debate leading to what is best for our Country.  I see many jumping ship this weekend.  Sen. Smith is the first this weekend, but will not be the last.
  •  I love the smell of endorsements in the morning. (4.00)
    Smells like LANDSLIDE
    •  What's that sound? (none)
      It's the sound of the door SLAMMING on BC04's New England strategy!

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
      Ow, my blog.

      by Corax on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I said 364 (none)
      I said Kerry was going to win 364 electoral votes not so long ago and someone accused me of being a Republican operative, sent here by Rove himself to inflict complacency in the Democratic activists.  LOL!

      The reality is a lot of the people going into that booth who are telling pollsters they're voting for Bush are going to be honest with themselves.  The economy is not doing well, health care costs are through of the roof and the war in Iraq isn't going well.  People watch the news, read the papers, want change, and the debate performances cut the legs out of Bush's attempts to cast Kerry as a person incapable of holding the job.  Enough people are willing to give someone else a chance.  And to be victorious it only takes a handful in the close states of:
      -New Hampshire
      -New Mexico
      -North Carolina
      -West Virginia

      By 9:10 p.m. EST anchors across the country will be sayiing, "President-elect Kerry."

      The only swing states I don't think Kerry will pick up are Arizona, Tennessee and Missouri.  Though I wouldn't be surprised if he picked up two of those three as well.

      I also think Kerry will take the womens and Hispanic votes by a bigger margin than Gore.

      I really like the final Kerry ad by the way.

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 12:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Always campaign as if you are 10% behind: GOTV! (none)
      I'm as happy as the next kossack, but we could still use a few more house seats.  Onward!  I'm phoning Alabama and Oregon.
  •  Oh man! (none)
    This is great.  That is a great, humanizing endorsement.  It is an endorsement for Kerry the man, not Kerry the candidate.

    You have to ask yourself, "What wood Poland do?

    by enozinho on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:07:51 AM PDT

  •  Endorsement (none)
    What an outstanding endorsement.  This man sounds like a true patriot, a true politician, in the best sense of the word.  Regard for country, rather than party.  

    My due respect to this gentleman for his love of country - the residents of NH are lucky to have him.

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Man...that was fun!"

    by Miss Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:07:58 AM PDT

  •  One of two things (3.75)
    Bob Smith's endorsement is...

    - not unexpected as more paleoconservatives realize that George W Bush isn't one of them


    - a sign the apocalypse is near

    I don't care which as long as it gets us a few more votes in Florida (where Smith now lives).

  •  Don't forget the dKosopedia (4.00)
    A number of us have thrown together a huge list of Republicans for Kerry.  Send it to your GOP friends if they have doubts about W.

    "Vote for John Kerry or Dick Cheney will kill you and eat your skin!"

    by Jugwine on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:09:42 AM PDT

  •  wow (none)
    I remember growing up cringing pretty much whenever Smith opened his mouth.. Hopefully this'll give the hard-righties something to think about before they cast their votes. With Ventura and Smith on our side, I think the more independent-minded republicans might think twice about who to vote for.
  •  Umm...welcome? (none)
    I kind of feel torn about someone like this coming out for Kerry. Half of me wants to say "Great, this will mobilize conservative Democrats and independents. We need all the help we can get", but the other half of me thinks "Great, now the David Duke of anti-choice has our backs, so what?"

    by Antioch on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:09:56 AM PDT

    •  Goes beyond anti-choice (none)
      Smith ranks right up there with Jesse Helms when it comes to homo-hatin'

      If the misery of our poor is caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. **Charles Darwin

      by MAJeff on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:20:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (4.00)
      This isn't an enlightened George Wallace; just an ultracon who finds that his party no longer stands for his ideals.  The guy still makes me want to barf, but overall it's a positive because it is illustrative of the fact that there are a LOT of so-called conservatives looking past party affilliation this election.  I give him credit for doing that; it's not easy.  For a brilliant exposition on the same topic, do yourself a favor and read the statement of my state's beloved former governor, Republican William Milliken.  I could not have written it better myself.

      •  Milliken's a stud. So was McCall. (none)
        If at least one out of every 10 Republicans I ever talked to put their arguments in the same terms as Governor Milliken did, there, I'd have to think about my own party allegiance.

        Oregon, too, used to have many beloved moderate-to-liberal Republicans. Back in the day, the debate seemed to be all about spending, and ways to raise revenue (sales taxes, etc.). Whether a program was worth having or not for the money it took taxpayers to sustain it. People didn't snipe at each other across the aisle, and work got done, even in a bipartisan legislature. In fact, the late Tom McCall is one of the few people most Oregonians agree on as a true hero of this state.

        I don't just blame the religious right in this state for the intense hatred that has built up over the years: the Goldwater movement, then Atwater had a lot to do with this, too - but nothing draws a line in the sand between citizens better than the word, "infidel."

        And trust me in this: even if you go to church somewhere else, if you're not one of them, you're the enemy. Fundamentalists bring their children up to hate you.

        In my state, this first reared its ugly head when the Oregon Citizen's Alliance came into being. Fundamentalism, homo hatin', and general ill will first ran against the Republicans, then consumed them from the inside of the party, out.

        I'll always be a Democrat, but people like Milliken are doing their part to not make me want to cold-cock the next R I have words with; and for that, I thank them.

  •  Think This Will Be Enough (none)
    To counteract Bush's Curt Schilling endorsement?  :-)

    All kidding aside, I'm pleasantly flabbergasted.  This is outstanding news.

    Canis lupis packs
    And herds of chelonians
    Spell doom for Dim Son

    by JJB on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:09:57 AM PDT

  •  Some people do not forget (3.75)
    The GOP fucked with Bob Smith, and now he delivers a well timed shiv.

    Good for him.

  •  Go, Bob! (none)
    Cha-Ching!  Another prominent Republican for Kerry.  This isn't the first time Smith has bucked the GOP leadership.  I've never been a fan of his politics, but I admire his bravery and outspokenness.
  •  Real Nice. (none)
    That is a glowing, non-hyperbolic endorsement from the far right. It speaks to the character of the man from someone that knows and has worked with the man.

    Very Nice indeed.

    Is it being reported widely in New Hampshire papers?

    "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:11:08 AM PDT

  •  Bush's week just keeps getting worse... (none)
    and when he really needed it the most.

    the pro of this endorsement: obvious.  support.

    the con: doesn't the flood of Republican supporters show, in part, how non-liberal Kerry really is?  I think we'll win this one (crossing fingers, making it difficult to type) but if/when we do, we have GOT to KEEP ON KERRY and CONGRESS on our ISSUES, and not keep letting McAuliff et al continue to conservatize our "liberal" party.  

    No matter how cynical you become ... you can never keep up.

    by LegalSpice on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:11:41 AM PDT

  •  The man has some class (none)
    (although I don't care for the plastic fetus thing) -- this is excellent.  I'm not surprised to find that Kerry's colleagues hold him in high esteem.

    "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa." (Casey Stengel)

    by cinnamondog on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:12:24 AM PDT

  •  Rhetoric (none)
    Let's see whether the Bush campaign says this is sour grapes for the establishment support for John Sununu in 2002.

    "We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality." I have a blog!

    by Marshall on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:12:38 AM PDT

    •  even if they do (none)
      there's a clear message there about 1) kerry's vietnam service and 2) his ability to work across party lines that kicks those issues in the teeth.

      We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

      by yankeedoodler on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 12:46:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Walk the talk -- Kerry Wins! (none)
    Now is the time to stop beating on the prez and start the victory march.  Put on a Red Sox cap and smile like the winner.  Folks on the fence, or just slightly over, will flock to the winning side.  Everyone wants to say they had a hand in picking the winner.  

    JFK in a Landslide!

  •  Holy Schmitz (none)
    Between this letter and the Red Sox, there is definitely some ice skating going on in hell today.

    I'm sending this to my mom ASAP, so she can pass it around all the Reagan Democrats in her rural Missouri county.  They vote solidly Democratic in local races, but march with the Republican line on those damned wedge issues, abortion leading the list.  This is an endorsement that will mean something to them.

    What is that delightful cologne you're wearing, Kos?  Do I smell "Landslide?"

    "I'm sitting here completely surrounded by NO BEER!" Onslow

    by Helena Handbag on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:15:02 AM PDT

  •  Embarrassing Bush Screw-Up in New Hampshire (none)
    George W. Bush is having everything go wrong this week, behind in NH, losing an old NH wingnut to Kerry... and now even his phoney photo-ops go haywire:

    BUSH EVENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: Event workers had been told to fire off confetti pods when Bush said, 'God Bless'... his normal closing line. But 5 minutes before the end of his speech, Bush offered a "God Bless" to Arlene Howard, mother of George Howard a Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Police Officer killed in the World Trade Center... BLAM!!!!! Everyone first ducked -- hard -- then looked up to see confetti falling. Bush looked momentarily stunned, then plain unhappy, then just went on with his speech as the confetti rained to the floor of the Verizon Wireless Arena... Developing...  

    From 'notorious liberal Bush-hater' (snicker) Matt Drudge.

    Whenever the Chicken Little Brigade starts up, just keep on fighting. Its always easier to run than it is to stand, win or lose, for what's right.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:16:25 AM PDT

  •  This is Big! (none)
    Send this story to all your Republican friends. Although "friends" might be too strong a word.
    •  Not too strong. (4.00)
      I have Republican friends.  The friendships are pretty strained right now, but, they exist...

      I showed them links to the tape of the sealed bunker, and they said "That's ridiculous, the explosives had already been taken by the Russians. Bush SAID so."

      I show them evidence of GOP voter suppression, and they say, "BOTH sides are doing that, tut-tut."  From some source in the Eighth Circle they've gotten the idea that ACORN is responsible for the missing absentee ballots in Broward County.

      I weep for their gullibility, but they have good souls and they think they're doing the right thing, no matter what I say to the contrary.

      "And I would've got away with it...if it wasn't for that meddling Kos!" --George W. Bush, 11/3/04

      by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:37:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who's Next - Laura? (none)
    Wow.  That's all I can say.  
  •  Man, (none)
    I really don't know much about Bob Smith, but I never thought I'd see the day when I had more respect for him than McCain.

    This is the thing - a true conservative would ABHOR Bush and his policies -- his radical, "aggressive isolationist" foreign policy and his "deficits don't matter" fiscal policy.  A conservative worth his/her salt would wretch at the idea of voting for Bush and should (and would) feel much more comfortable with a President Kerry.

    On domestic policy, Bush's party is that of the plutocrats and the kleptocrats. On foreign policy, well, we refer to crowd that Bush has fallen in with as the "neo-cons" -- but let's face it, they are really the "neo-imperialists."

    It feels good to see a conservative, even someone as iconoclastic as Bob Smith, step forward and speak from his values.

    •  That's the conservative party I used to know. (none)
      I miss the true conservatives of Teddy, Goldwater, and Reagan.  They could be debated with, compromised with, reasoned with. They lived in reality and simply differed in philosophy with the other side of the aisle.

      I hope Bob Smith and other true conservatives like him regain control of their party.

      •  You miss Teddy? (none)
        Teddy Roosevelt?  How old are you?
        •  Not To Mention (none)
          That TR (if that's who "Teddy" refers to) was in no way, shape, or form a conservative.

          Canis lupis packs
          And herds of chelonians
          Spell doom for Dim Son

          by JJB on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:49:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But TR was absolutely a Republican (none)
            At least until Taft sold out the progressive Republican principles for which TR stood. Teddy thought he could turn the Republicans back to that progressive path it had taken from its inception.

            Outside the Northeast, there haven't been many Republicans who come close to the Republican Party of TR for a long time.

            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Emerson

            by freelunch on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:21:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually (none)
              Wisconsin had two (Robert LaFollette, and RL, Jr.), and you also had Earl Warren in California.  Harold Stassen in Minnesota was also a politician in this vein.

              Prior to 1946, California's GOP was probably the exemplar of the progressive strain in the Republican party.  Things sure can change fast.

              Canis lupis packs
              And herds of chelonians
              Spell doom for Dim Son

              by JJB on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:40:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Wait a second, do we have (none)
    Film?  Do we have all the facts?  Don't want to jump to conclusions that this is real.  It smells like an endorsement, it looks like an endorsement, it walks like an endorsement, but are there satellite pictures of Bob Smith actually signing this letter?  Are these Mary Jo, Jason, Bobby and Jenny people actual members of the Smith family?  We don't want to denigrate the Smith family now.  Speaking of the Smith family, how long have they resided on the left bank of the American mainstream?

    God Bless the man, his spouse, and his family.  If our patriotic brothers and sisters on the other side just stop and think how much our current president has put our troops in peril, our economy at risk, and our global position as a super power in jeopardy, then they will vote in mass, not against our president, but for a true patriot with a plan to make us strong again at home and respected again in the world.

  •  There's A Lotta Talk Going (none)
    around about the wheels falling off the Chimpmobile.

    Looks like the engine blew up too.

    You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

    by mattman on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:20:21 AM PDT

    •  CNN takes a change of direction (4.00)
      CNN all day has been all over the missing high explosives story.  They had David Kay on, speaking quite bluntly, then they had the reporter from Seattle who popped the story that they'd been there and SEEN the material there in the post-war period, and they had the video to back it up.  As it happens, this young guy Staley(?) is an old colleague of one of the CNN morning anchors, who clearly likes and respects him tremendously, hence is very open to hearing what he has to say.  

      To his credit, the reporter is stating what he knows, and what he doesn't know, in a manner that all other reporters could profit from watching.  It is as professional and impressive a performance as is imaginable, and looks very much like his first step on the road to a national news job.  Really, he comes across that well.  Sort of like a young Walter Chronkite.  You heard it here first.  The lady at CNN seems to sense what is happening, and is backing the story in both word and her manner.

      All that I can think of is the term "tipping point".   I always thought it was inevitable, now it appears to have happened.

  •  Outflanked! (none)
    From the right:  Bob Smith
    From the left: Lincoln Chaffee

    My oh, my!!!!

    Here's my Election Night Party menu:

    Boston Clam Chowder
    Boston Baked Beans
    Brown Bread
    Ham for the meat eaters

    Boston Cream Pie

    Watered down with lots of boooooooze!

  •  Jeez, who's left to endorse ... (4.00)
    ...Kerry, George Herbert Walker Bush?

    Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:22:02 AM PDT

    •  Re: Jeez, who's left to endorse ... (none)
      ...Kerry, George Herbert Walker Bush?

      Heh. "I told you that it'd be stupid to invade Iraq. Did you listen? Of course not. No vote for you, Junior." Maybe Dubya would take another swing at his dad.

      Actually, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Barbara voted for Kerry. She seemed like a reasonable person when she was First Lady.

      Another reality-based voter for Kerry/Edwards

      by Bearpaw on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 11:09:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  barbara? no way. she's the one (none)
        who blows a gasket if anyone criticizes her "children" - said so herself. ghwbush is also quoted after the first debate as saying, "well, i handled it better than barbara. she gets so angry." tell you something about all those criminal sons of hers?

        We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

        by yankeedoodler on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 12:50:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  barbara? yeah right. (none)
          barbara bush is something that rhymes with witch, just like geraldine anne ferraro. she's damn proud of his son, altho if i were her, i'd disown shrub right away......

          Elect him once...shame on you elect him can't get shamed again.

          by jeff06dem on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 09:45:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Heartfelt endoresement or leading indicator? (none)
    Call me skeptical, but I can't help but wonder what pollsters/campaign insiders Mr. Smith has been talking to.

    Nice letter, though.

  •  WOW (4.00)
    Even though this guy differs from me on probably almost everything and I have to object to the fetuses, it's reallly comforting to know that not all Republicans have completely forgone their principles in support of Bush. This is how politics used to be before the Gingrich-Rove guys.
    Two sides that could honestly disagree and could work toward some compromise to govern our country.
    I can only hope that the  moderate republicans can get some traction in this election.

    Have you made phone calls today at GOTV

    by marysk on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:26:05 AM PDT

    •  Gingrich is a liberal. (none)
      Compared to the lunatics running the GOP today. Pat Buchanan? A bleeding heart socialist.
    •  There's nothing conservative about: (none)
      -Record deficits
      -Elective wars
      -Growing the federal government by 10-12% (?)
      -Amending the constitution
      -The Patriot Act
      -Doing nothing to combat outsourcing

      Oh the fight that will ensue in the Republican Party 2008 primary as the christian right (small "C" as I refuse to recognize these people with the teachings of Christ), led by Santorum? and the sensible right, led by Pataki? go at it.

      Depending on how strongly it divides the party it might pave the way for Jeb Bush to cruise to the nomination.

      "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

      by DWCG on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 01:37:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vietnam (none)
    Do not overlook the Vietnam connection. Kerry and Smith worked very hard on Vietnam POW/MIA issues. Smith of course served in the Navy during that war.

    But part of this has to be personal. Smith clearly did not like Bush; and based on the way Rove and gang undermined him in 2002 for Sununu, who can blame him ?

  •  Wow (none)
    This is also VERY interesting because Smith co-chaired the Senate POW/MIA committee with Kerry.  I read that he disagreed with Kerry's conclusions as to the existence of live POWs in Vietnam and in fact wrote a really scathing minority report on the topic.   He is regularly cited by RW nutties as proof that Kerry "betrayed" those POWs.
    •  a response to Swifties from this?? (none)
      You wrote " He is regularly cited by RW nutties as proof that Kerry "betrayed" those POWs"

      But now we have Smith's words endorsing not only JFK's service but his efforts on behalf orf Vietnam vets.

      Sounds like, to quote from another thread today, "game, set, match"

      Those that can, do. Those that can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 12:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I miss the days... (4.00)
    Bob Smith is/was someone you could have a knock down drag out fight with over policy and issues, but you could still believe had a genuine belief in democracy.

    The stark difference between a lot of the paleo conservatives and the Mayberry Machiavellis.  

    I wonder, when chimpy loses this election, if he will have any class about it.  

    His father said "The majesty of the American Voter has spoken" - a bit of an overblown phrase, but appropriate and humble given the context.

    Chimpy will probably say "In light of recently uncovered terrorist threats raising the alert level to crimson, I am declaring martial law...."

    When he does, folks like Bob Smith will be on our side.  We can get back to disagreeing with him on issues that affect the American after we've taken our country back.

    •  Has he ever had class before? (none)
      I wonder, when chimpy loses this election, if he will have any class about it.

      Watching footage of shrub's smirk at his inauguration -er- installation last night, I couldn't help but wonder what expression would be on his face at President Kerry's swearing in.

      Vice harms the doer ~ Socrates

      by kdub on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 10:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impact (none)
    Most people won't know who Smith is and really won't hear about this.  But the letter itself is very strong--speaks about Kerry's character and is based on years of working together in the Senate.  This is great stuff to be sent around to Republicans--and that is it's value.
    •  If there's any impact at all (none)
      It would be in New Hampshire, which has switched from being a Kerry state to a swing state and vice versa several times.  It might not affect that many people, but I don't really think it has to to sew up that state and it's 4 EVs for our guy.
  •  When this is over (none)
    We have to give credit for the help of the few gutsy Republicans who have stood up to the thugs. It can't be easy and its important to remember that they are not all evil

    Is there anyone who has put together a list of these people so we can thank them when we win?

  •  not to rain on this parade (none)
    but are we sure of the sourcing of this document?
    Where did it come from?
    Don't former Congresspeople often have their own letterhead?

    I am NOT saying this is faked, but I'd feel a lot better if I knew how Kos came to get this letter.

  •  This photo says it all (4.00)


  •  It's scary when Bush is frightening Repubs (none)
    I didn't know Repubs could be frightened into breaking ranks.

    Now I, myself, am even more scared of Bush.

  •  Amazing (4.00)
    This just makes my day. Bob Smith had a lot of positions I strongly disagreed with, but he never gave rise to questions about his moral integrity. His environmental record was good enough to win the support of the League of Conservation Voters, and his 'maverick' reputation plays well in independent-minded New Hampshire.

    Even the notoriously right-wing ideologue newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader, had to concede a lead for Kerry after even their Republican-slanted poll came back showing Kerry up 50-46, after Bush entered October up 50-45 in their poll.

    The same poll gave a statistical tie to Benson and Lynch in the governor's race, putting Benson up by 3 with a 3.6% margin of error - and another 'likely voters' poll with a right-leaning sample. More importantly, Benson fails to break 48%, while Lynch wins women, independents, undeclared voters, and swing voters.

    With Smith's endorsement (IMHO) giving Kerry the last nudge needed for me to call NH a blue state this year, that leaves Lynch's gubernatorial battle as the tightest race in the state this year. It's not too late to contribute to him!

  •  yeah, to be honest (none)
    I'm not sure why we're all that excited about this. Smith is a nutcase, and he's only endorsing Kerry because he's mad at the GOP for knocking him off. I don't think he's exactly a respected figure in NH.
  •  The only Republicans I know who were... (none)
    ...still considering voting for shrub -- well, I've sent all of them this endorsement.

    They are all 'fiscal conservative, pro-life, Lincoln Republicans' [i.e., that is how each of them describe themself].

    I think Sen Smith's endorsement of Kerry might be the lever. Let's hope so.

  •  Well... (none)
    It's nice to get a Repub endorsement, of course.  But Smith is such a whack-job that I wonder if it might hurt us more than help us in NH.  How many incumbent senators gets kneecapped by their own party in the primary?
  •  I know Bobby Smith (none)
    Though its a little weird seem him referred to as "Bobby" since he must by in his mid-20's.  I went to college with him.  Didn't know him overly well, but what I knew was that he was a really good person.  He was good friends with some friends of mine.  Very funny, actually, and just genuinely nice.  I knew of his father before I knew they were related (though they do look alike, its not like "Bob Smith" is going to set yourself apart) and though I'll say that I have little to agree with him, he raised a good son and I respect that.  Nothing I'd ever cast a vote over, but it tells me something about his character.  He's got nothing to lose, so I can't say this was couragous of Bob Smith, but its clearly genuine and that seems to be a trademark of his.
  •  Told before, told again (4.00)
    I've said it before but it bears repeating. My Step Father, a man who I love and respect, has been a Republican since Ike. He is 75ish and believes that dubya is the worst President of his lifetime, if not all time. He comes right out and calls dubya stupid, usually with the comparrison of IQ and shoe size.

    I've asked him to refile as a dem but he says that he is a Republican until he is dead.

  •  I was going to thank him . . . (none)
    I thought that was a VERY civilized endorsement from Bob Smith.  So, I went on my Metacrawler search engine (I HIGHLY recommend it) and quickly found all kinds of entries for him.  In trying to find one that might provide an email address through which to send him a thumbs up and respectfully tell him that it is great to see such a class act.

    Then I saw some of the things he is about, and I thought better of it . . .

    So, from afar (FAR, FAR AFAR), Senator Smith, I applaud your good judgement on this.  Thumbs up.  Can you see it from WAY OVER THERE??

  •  Positioning (none)
    Maybe I'm looking at this situation with rose-colored glasses, but I honestly believe that in the trend of Smith and many other Republicans distancing themselves from Dub that we're seeing (in part) these people positioning for the post-11/2 civil war that's very likely to erupt in the Republican party.

    The Republicans have been good little soldiers for a long time, and their "reward" has been seeing hideous damage to their country and their party.  Once Bush goes down in flames on 11/2 (and likely takes the Republican majority in the Senate with him), there will be a lot of VERY unhappy pachyderms.

    I don't have a guess as to how this will play out after their civil war.  I don't know whether the Republican party will actually split, rebuild itself around a different set of leaders (shunning the neocons), or trudge along with the neocons' hands over their eyes.

    I have the feeling that the 2006 election could be even more interesting than 2004.

  •  Awd Bob (none)
    With the departure of Smith from the senate in 2002, the GOP had finally completed its transformation to a corporate entity charged with maintaining our "culture of lies". Though his opinions were often extreme, Smith never let them get in the way of the truth. His constituent services were par none (he was my senator for those 12 years), and his endorsement today shows that he still upholds the principes of public service... I can tell you NH is completely out of play now (there are thousands there who still view Smith as a prophet), and I think we're gonna win this thing!
  •  Wow (none)
    As a New Englander I remember Bob Smith.  This guy was such a right winger he belonged in Alabama.  The fact that he is voting for Kerry astonishes me, and I am very proud of him!  I guess not all Republicans are bad.
  •  that's swell, but (none)
    where are the endorsements from lugar and tom kean?

    Fight the bastards, rock the kids.

    by flatulus on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 12:57:32 PM PDT

  •  Anther Republican Goes Kerry (none)
    You know, one would think that at some point a critical mass would arrive with all this anecdotal evidence of Bush backlash.

    Many have compared the 2004 election with the 1980 Carter/Reagan election, what with significant Democratic unrest with Jimmy Carter.  So disgrunted were many of us in 1980 that we supported the insurgent (can I use this word?) candidacy of Edward Kennedy.

    But in 1980 -- I think I remember this right -- the internals of both candidates showed Reagan in a landslide at this point prior to the election.  The whispers of the internals going Reagan huge were all over the place -- even way down here in Texas.

    This 2004 election continues to be too close for comfort, and I don't understand it.  I guess all we can do is GOTV and see what happens.  We better continue to GOTV because we would damn sure know it by today if a Kerry landslide were in the making.

    BTW, I drove a client to the early voting place today after I ascertained he would follow his lawyer's advice.  :)

    Onward through the fog.

    •  Not true (none)
      The Carter internals according to his pollster Pat Caddell went as follows,

      Friday: Carter +1
      Saturday: Reagan +1
      Sunday: Reagan +3
      Monday: Reagan +6
      Tuesday: Reagan +11

      Carter made a Sunday speech regarding the hostage crisis that really backfired.  Perhaps Carter would have lost by 7 instead of the 10 that he ended up losing by.

  •  I'm glad Smith endorsed Kerry (none)
    but he's still a nutcase.
  •  This is Huge (none)
    This endorsement from Bob Smith is huge.  This just goes to show that there's more than democrat vs. republican, there is common sense.  Bob like so many other individuals in this country have realized that Bush isn't doing it for them and they need a change.  Kerry is the best bet for the environment, economy, homeland security, war in iraq, war on terror, scientic advancement, and virtually every issue under the sun.  Let's not go back into the darkness, let's step out into the sunlight and elect John Kerry as President.

    You never get anywhere in Life unless you stick your neck out.

    by Warlock311 on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 07:00:17 PM PDT

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