Attack dog in the lion's den

Published July 28, 2004 8:34PM (EDT)

Weirdest sight of the day in Boston: Ed Gillespie inside the Fleet Center. The Republican National Committee chairman and Bush-Cheney attack dog said he'd been given a press credential by media organizations eager to hear his views.

But if Gillespie was wandering through the lion's den, he was the one who was de-clawed. The mild tone of the convention has left the Republicans with precious little to rage about. One Republican opposition researcher told the Boston Globe that the GOP was disappointed by the lack of ammunition coming out of Boston -- particularly by the calm performance that Al Gore turned in Monday night. "I was hoping he'd show a little more anger," RNC research director Tim Griffin told the Globe. "It's so entertaining to watch when the hair starts flipping."

In interviews conducted along "Radio Row" on the first floor of the Fleet Center, Gillespie said: "We just want to get some facts out there and make sure that the president's record isn't distorted in the process." He quibbled with some budget figures tossed out at the convention, but he didn't argue much with the tone. The best he could do: The Democrats had "flip-flopped" by saying they would run a positive convention and then focusing not just on Kerry's plans for the future but also on Bush's performance in the past.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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