Uniter, not a divider

Published July 15, 2004 4:51PM (EDT)

John Kerry wasted no time at the NAACP convention today reminding everyone that George W. Bush was the first president since Herbert Hoover who declined to speak before the group. His opening remarks:

"Thank you for that wonderful introduction. I understand that youve been having trouble getting some speakers."

"Seriously, thank you for the invitation. Some people may have better things to do, but theres no place Id rather be right now than right here in Philadelphia with the NAACP." "As a campaigner, I know a little something about scheduling conflicts and hostile environments. But when youre president of the United States, you can pretty much say where you want to be. And when youre president, you need to talk to all the people -- and thats exactly what I intend to do. I will be a president who truly is a uniter, not one who seeks to divide our nation by race, riches or any other label. You know, the president may be too busy to speak to you now, but I assure you, hell have plenty of free time after November 2nd."

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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