Sunday, August 22, 2004

Bush Promises to Offer Detailed Plans at Convention. Republicans also plan on portraying street demonstrations as Democratic-sanctioned displays of disrespect for a sitting president. By By ADAM NAGOURNEY. [The New York Times > Home Page]

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 - President Bush will present what aides say will be a detailed second-term agenda when he is nominated in New York in 10 days, part of an ambitious convention program built on invocations of Sept. 11 and efforts to paint Senator John Kerry as untrustworthy and out of the mainstream.

Mr. Bush's advisers said they were girding for the most extensive street demonstrations at any political convention since the Democrats nominated Hubert H. Humphrey in Chicago in 1968.

But in contrast to that convention, which was severely undermined by televised displays of street rioting, Republicans said they would seek to turn any disruptions to their advantage, by portraying protests by even independent activists as Democratic-sanctioned displays of disrespect for a sitting president.

And after months in which Mr. Bush stressed issues of concern to conservative supporters - from restrictions on stem cell research to a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage - the convention will offer its national television audience a decidedly more moderate face for the president and his party.

If "strength" was the leitmotif of the Democratic convention in Boston, "compassion" will be the theme in New York, marking the return of a mainstay of Mr. Bush's 2000 campaign, party leaders said.

Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat from Georgia who has become increasingly estranged from his party, will lead a prime-time televised lineup of speakers as notable for who is not there (conservative Republican leaders) as for who is (Mr. Miller and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the moderate Republican governor of California).

To a large extent, Mr. Bush's aides said, they were orchestrating a convention that would be as much about celebrating the nation and what they portray as its success at weathering the attacks of Sept. 11 as it would be talking about Mr. Bush's tenure.


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