Kerry may delay accepting official nomination


Eric Boehlert
May 22, 2004 12:57AM (UTC)

Trying to maximize every privately raised dollar it can in its campaign against President Bush, the Kerry camp today acknowledged it may delay, by a few weeks, officially accepting the Democratic nomination come this July. That's because once that nomination is received, it limits how much money the Kerry camp can spend -- $75 million -- between the time of the convention and the general election. Scripps Howard explains it this way: "Bush and Kerry have agreed to participate in public funding during the general election campaign, with each receiving a $75 million check from the federal Treasury. By doing so, both sides agreed to limit the amount of money they can raise. The trouble for Kerry comes immediately after the primary campaign, which ends when he accepts the nomination. Under a long-standing agreement, the party out of power holds its convention first. The Democrats are slated to gather in Boston from July 26-29, with Kerry formally accepting the nomination on the final day.

"The Republicans, meeting in New York, are conducting their convention at a much later date -- Aug 30-Sept. 2. That means Bush will enter into the public funding phase five weeks after Kerry. The implications are obvious. Bush will be able to continue raising and spending money for five weeks after Kerry is required to halt his operation. And Kerry will be forced to dip into his $75 million account five weeks before Bush is required to make a similar move."

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Of course the Democratic Convention would still be held as scheduled. It's just that "Kerry's handlers are figuring a provision could be included to permit the party's choice to officially accept the nomination at a later date, hence delaying the start of the general election phase and leveling the playing field," according to the article.


Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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