A month ago, Democracy Corps released a survey showing that Democrats were showing remarkable strength in the most competetive 49 House races. On a conference call announcing the results, James Carville quipped that Dick Cheney must be coming out to stump for Jim Ryun in Kansas because that’s the only place he could go.
Now the President is on his way (perhaps already on the ground. I won’t be attending the event (it didn’t seem worth trying to get the Ryun people to give me press credentials), so I’m glad to see that Joel Mathis is live-blogging events inside the Expocenter, and WIBW will have a live feed online of the President’s speech.
I went to the Boyda rally earlier in the day, and I have to say I was very impressed. Her stump speech has gotten quite polished, and the crowd was jazzed about her. A Capitol Journal photographer and I joked about the futility of the Ryun staffer passing out press releases.
A speaker from VETPAC explained why they endorsed Nancy Boyda. Soldiers sent to war without adequate planning or even body armor, arrogance in the management of the military, and an unethical, morally untenable occupation with no end in sight. It’s hardly surprising that the VFW has decided not to endorse Jim Ryun, even though he’s a member of the Armed Services Committee and has had more opportunities than most to help soldiers and veterans.
A speaker from Vietnam Veterans of America made some of the same points, calling Ryun “one of the worst lapdogs” for the President and “the best example” Randy Barnes had seen “of a very poor representative … and a very good, knowledgeable candidate.” The Bush administration and Mr. Ryun are, according to the Barnes, “hostile to veterans.”
Nancy Boyda got loud applause when she told the crowd that the “failure in Iraq is not a failure of soldiers, but a failure of leadership.” She repeated her slogan “Nothing will change until we change Congress.”
Meanwhile, according to the liveblogging of the President, Ryun and gang stood strong for the status quo. More spending without finding ways to pay for these projects. More invasions of civil liberties. No change in Iraq, no need for fiscal responsibility, nor even personal responsibility for anything that’s gone wrong. It seems the two men may be the only ones left who think everything is hunky-dory.
We did learn though, that George Bush is not the funniest man in the world. Apparently his opening zinger was: “So Jim Ryun says, ‘Do you want to race?’ I said, ‘No, but I want to see you re-elected to the United States Congress.’ ”
The day has not been without amusement, though.
Apparently, at the Bush event, Kansas GOP Executive Director Freeman said that Nancy Boyda’s “answer on Iraq is a bipartisan commission. Jim Ryun’s answer is to support the generals and the troop on the ground.”
But that press release being handed out at the Boyda event? The title was “Boyda endorses Ryun-supported Commission.” Apparently Ryun was for the commission before he was against it.