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The Presidential Campaign

Political imagery gets wild in TV ads

By wire services
Published October 23, 2004

PRESIDENTIAL RACE
Voter drives flood rolls
Protesters shadow Bush at fundraiser
Political imagery gets wild in TV ads
Clinton comeback, good for Kerry?

AT A GLANCE
Bush Kerry

POLITICS 2004
Lucy Morgan column: Vicious attack ads obscure vital issues in campaign home-stretch
Hillsborough: Lost votes should oust official, opponent says
Tampa Bay: Students complain of false party swap
State: Bradley, a third Senate candidate, for 'veterans and common man'
The nation: Ballot battles rise in the courts
Pasco: Returns look good for early voting plan
Citrus: Wooten says flier's fraud claim untrue

CAMPAIGN CALENDAR

TODAY: Hip Hop Summit Action Network Bus Tour 2 p.m., Tropicana Stadium Parking Lot, 1 Tropicana Drive. Headliners will include rap artists Akon and Styllion; ESPN sportscaster and former New York Jet Walter Briggs; Tampa Bay Bucs player Ellis Wyms; and Southern Style rappers Evening Riders, Ace Boon Koon, Black Jack Boys, Kream, and LK & Tom G. Shuttles will transport young voters to early voting locations until 5 p.m. Call 866-0873.

TUESDAY: Meg Ryan and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 6 p.m. , Tampa Theater, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. A discussion on President Bush's environmental policies. Free. Call 595-7314.

WEDNESDAY: Parent Forum on the Pinellas County School Referendum Ballot Question 7 p.m., McMullen-Booth Elementary School, 3025 Union St., Clearwater. Call (813) 884-3782.

WASHINGTON - It's Animal Planet in the presidential advertising wars.

In heavily symbolic television spots, President Bush's campaign uses prowling wolves to suggest that the country under Sen. John Kerry would be vulnerable to terrorists. The Democratic Party claims the Republican incumbent is a head-in-the-sand ostrich while his opponent is as strong as an eagle.

"Weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm," says an ominous voice in the president's ad as a wolf pack stirs from its resting spot. Countering, the Democratic commercial juxtaposes an ostrich whose head is buried with a soaring eagle and asks, "Given the choice, in these challenging times, shouldn't we be the eagle again?"

Both the Bush campaign and the Democratic National Committee say they have had their respective ads ready for months. However, both waited to air the spots in the closing days of the campaign when voters pay closer attention and the stakes are the highest.

On Friday, the Bush campaign rolled out its ad, prompting the DNC to accelerate plans to air its commercial.

Dole sticks with Bush; Gore takes Kerry in debate

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Former presidential candidates Bob Dole and Al Gore weighed in Friday on Iraq and other issues in this year's race.

Gore, the former Democratic vice president who ran unsuccessfully against President Bush in 2000, said during a debate at Regent University that he proudly supports the current Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry.

Dole, a Republican who lost to President Clinton in 1996, naturally said he stands behind President Bush.

Dole called the president a strong leader, saying, "I know he stays on message. I know he keeps his word."

Gore said he gave Bush credit for going into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to clear out the al-Qaida camps. But he said Bush should have remained focused on al-Qaida rather than invading Iraq, which did not attack the United States.

Regent, a Christian graduate university, was founded by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, a strong supporter of Bush.

Stem cell ad taped just before Reeve's death airs

SAN FRANCISCO - Even in death, Superman star Christopher Reeve is promoting human embryonic stem cell research.

The paralyzed actor stars in a new TV commercial in support of a California ballot measure that would devote $3-billion to stem cell experiments. The 30-second spot was filmed about a week before Reeve died of an infection Oct. 10.

"Stem cells have already cured paralysis in animals," Reeve says, referring to work with paralyzed rats that walked again after being injected with stem cells at the University of California at Irvine. "Stem cells are the future of medicine. Please support Proposition 71 and stand up for those who can't."

The spot was to begin airing statewide on Friday, the day after Reeve's widow endorsed John Kerry for president.

Conservative columnist hit with pie during speech

TUCSON, Ariz. - Two men ran onstage and threw custard pies at conservative columnist Ann Coulter as she was giving a speech at the University of Arizona, hitting her in the shoulder, police said.

William Zachary Wolff and Phillip Edgar Smith, both 24-year-old Tucson residents, were booked on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and assault and on felony charges of criminal damage, police said Friday.

In her half-hour speech Thursday night, Coulter trashed Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and derided liberals and Democrats while saluting conservative students who attended her speech.

Coulter writes a column for Universal Press Syndicate.

[Last modified October 23, 2004, 01:13:23]

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