John Kerry’s campaign is in full-court press on national security issues today. Kerry’s status as a Vietnam veteran was a centerpiece of activities here as Kerry sailed in to Navy Pier and was joined by the men who served with him in Vietnam. Gene Thorson of Ames is part of that group of crewmates, and Thorson has campaigned extensively for and with Kerry over the past year. Back in Iowa, a group of Kerry backers stood outside Iowa National Guard headquarters to complain about the Bush Administration’s heavy reliance on part-time soldiers for the war in Iraq. John Norris, a Kerry campaign advisor, says it’s an issue that is gaining Kerry ground in rural America. Norris, who is from Ames, says there is a real question mark in rural Iowans’ and rural Americans’ minds about Iraq, why so many rural residents are serving overseas, and so many rural soldiers are dying. Delaware Senator Joe Biden told Iowa Democrats who’re in Boston at their party’s convention that it’ll be women worried about security who decide the fall election. Biden says he discovered the worry while campaigning for re-election in 2002. Biden says not one woman between the ages of 18 and 50 asked him about health care, education or jobs. Biden says they all asked about safety issues, like “is it o-k to fly?” Biden says the crucial “soccer mom” vote of the 2000 election – representing independent, suburban women – has turned into the “security mom” vote of 2004. Biden is a long-time friend of party nominee John Kerry and is rumored to be among those Kerry would consider naming Secretary of State if Kerry wins in November. Biden ran for president in 1987, but dropped out of the race before the ’88 election after he quoted from a speech given by a British politician without giving credit to the other politician.
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