Vol. 5 Num 64 Fri. July 30, 2004  

Democrats Formally Nominates Him for Presidency
Kerry seeks to restore US world image

His moment at hand, John Kerry claims the Democratic presidential nomination and asks Americans for the chance to build a country "stronger at home and respected in the world."

In a curtain raiser, running mate John Edwards praised Kerry as a born leader tested in Vietnam and now ready to protect the country in the age of terrorism.

"He wants to serve you your cause is his cause," Edwards said Wednesday night as a parade of Democrats tried to focus voters' attention on Kerry's qualifications to be commander in chief.

The Massachusetts senator, arriving here Wednesday in the company of 13 crewmates he fought with in the Mekong Delta, watched from his Beacon Hill home as Democrats formally nominated him for the presidency in a boisterous, late-night roll call. Ohio put him over the top, just as he hopes it will on Nov. 2.

"I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my opportunity a little more than 24 hours from now to share with you and all of America a vision for how we're going to make this country stronger at home and respected in the world," Kerry told supporters.

In his acceptance speech Thursday night, Kerry seeks to introduce himself to a larger audience, mostly unaware of who he is, polls show, and somewhat suspicious that his positions are too liberal.

The polls also show a tight race, and in a sign of the tough fight to come, President Bush taped new TV commercials, with his Texas ranch as the backdrop, in preparation for the resumption of a campaign ad war next month. The Democratic Party also is preparing $6 million in ads for launch this weekend, pitching the Kerry-Edwards ticket in more than a dozen battleground states.

Hours after the final gavel at the convention, Kerry will begin hitting every key state on a two-week cross country trip by train, bus and boat.

Flanked by his family, Edwards, whose Southern charm and oratorical skills are viewed as strengthening Kerry's weaknesses, criticized negative attacks by Republicans trying to portray Kerry as a waffling Massachusetts liberal who has failed to support US soldiers in a time of war.

The North Carolina senator urged voters to "reject the tired, old, hateful, negative politics of the past" and "embrace the politics of hope" instead.

Like dozens of other speakers at the convention, Edwards' script stressed the overriding national security theme.

Democratic presidential candidate US Senator John Kerry (D-MA) greets supporters Wednesday at the Charlestown Navy Yard across the bay from the FleetCenter in Boston, Massachusetts. Kerry made his entrance into Boston ahead of formally accepting his party's presidential nomination yesterday. PHOTO: AFP