Posted 4:00pm March 16
by Vanessa Maltin
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
While President George W. Bush officially clinched the GOP presidential nomination for the second time Tuesday, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry captured decisive victories in all four Southern primaries, giving him nearly enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination.
But as Bush sits comfortably on his $145 million war chest, the presumed Democratic nominee, Kerry is hard at work raising funds-over $7 million since Super Tuesday-and spreading his campaign message across the nation with more than 22 percent less money then the incumbent.
In addition to raising funds, the Kerry camp announced Monday the expansion of the campaign national headquarters to downtown D.C. The campaign decided it needed the new space after strong victories in Iowa and New Hampshire brought in a flood of volunteers to the headquarters in a Capitol Hill townhouse.
“The new headquarters will allow room for the thousands of volunteers from the area who want to be part of our efforts to defeat Bush in November,” said Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill in a statement to the press. “Our new downtown headquarters better complements our fundraising, internet activity, grassroots, and political efforts around the country. We’re very pleased to be moving into the new space.”
With a new workspace and assurance of capturing the Democratic nomination, Kerry campaign officials have been hard at work reaching out to college students across the country-a constituency that could potentially be very influential in November.
“We need the courage to stand up-make our voices heard-and say it is high time we made four years of college as universal and as affordable as a high school education is today. I know that students and middle class parents don’t have high priced lobbyists to do their bidding,” Kerry said in a statement to the press. “But I will not let the hope and dreams of millions of families be denied because the cost of going to college is out of reach. These kids and these families have the right to work for a better life-and they deserve a President who’s on their side in that fight.”
Danny Tobias, a senior economics major at the George Washington University said he is glad Kerry is working to help college students understand his message. He said that talking to students means much more than flashy television ads.
“The Democrats don’t need the vast amount of money that Republicans do,” Tobias said. “The Democratic message stands on its own-people are so unhappy with Bush right now that any change in direction will guarantee a vote for Kerry.”
Elizabeth Bostdorff, a senior double majoring in history and political science at Ohio State University agreed with Tobias.
“Public opinion is what matters to students because as much as we don’t admit it, most of us conform to each other,” Bostdorff said. “I don’t think the money or ads will matter as much as the actual physical presence on a campus.”
Already there are nearly 200 student organizations working for Kerry’s campaign on college campuses across the country.