DICK CHENEY IN TAMPA - Mitch Perry

02/20/04

As the beginning of the work week saw traffic snarled in parts of Tampa as President Bush made an appearance at a glass manufacturing plant, traffic again has been slowed this afternoon, as Vice President Dick Cheney prepares for a campaign speech and fundraising event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel off the Courtney Campbell Causeway between Tampa and Clearwater this evening at 6:30.......

Cheney's visit is supposed to raise approximately half a million dollars to the already massive Bush Cheney Campaign Coffers, as the campaign's plan to raise $175 million dollars - which would be a record - appears easily attainable....

President Bush's visit earlier this week was his 5th in Tampa and his 19th overall in Florida, a state the Bush Administration desperately believes it needs to win re-election this year....But it is a rare appearance by Cheney, considered perhaps the most powerful Vice President in American history....It also comes at a time when Cheney's poll ratings have been tanking, and there has been more than just casual speculation that he could be considered a drag on the GOP ticket.

Darrell Paulson is a Professor of Government at the USF-St. Petersburg campus. He says such talk has eminated because - anything that could help the President is considered crucial in what is anticipated to be as close an election as was 4 years ago (roll tape#1 o.q."(roll tape#1 o.q."and bolstering the ticket")

Similar speculation was launched back in 1992, when President George H.W. Bush's running mate, former Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, was considered a tremendous negative presence on the President's re-election chances...But like 12 years ago, USF-St Pete Professor Daryl Paulson doesn't believe this BUSH will do anything so rash

(roll tape#2 o.q." own resume")

Not since 1976 has a president chosen somebody other than his Vice President to serve as a running mate...That year, Gerald Ford chose Kansas Senator Bob Dole after VP Nelson Rockefeller opted not to remain on the ticket...Rockefeller, like Ford, has been appointed to his job...

Analysts attribute whatever lack of popularity Cheney now has with the American public on his association with the Halliburton Corporatation, of which he served as that company's CEO for 5 years before leaving it to become George W. Bush's running mate in 2000..... Cheney still draws a pension from his association with Halliburton ,the oil services giant whose controversial contracts involving Iraqi reconstruction have included several reports of price gouging and illegal kickbacks.

Professor Darrell Paulson says the problems there is that Vice President Cheney has NEVER answered any of the criticism involving Halliburton (roll tape#3 o.q."it much stronger") So if the 63 year old Cheney is around for a re-election run, who will he square off against in the usual one debate between the Vice Presidential Candidates?

First the Democrats must elect a nominee....If it is infact, John Kerry, convention wisdom has it that he might want to add a Southerner to the ticket.....

Yesterday in a speech at the Tiger Bay Club in Tallahasee, outgoing U.S. Florida Senator Bob Graham said he's open to accepting the VP slot...

But USF-St Pete Government Professor Darrell Paulson says - Not so Fast, Bob Graham

(roll tape#4 o.q. " American electorate")

Florida's 27 electoral votes represents 10% of the amount needed to win the electoral college....

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