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Mean Mr. Miller
A Land of Opportunism

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2004, NEW YORK -- I wonder what Zell Miller will be angry about eight years from now, when he presents his blistering keynote address to the Constitution Party, or the Green Party, or whoever will have him on to promote his latest book. Wednesday night he was mainly pissed off that John Kerry is not more like Wendell Willkie, so clearly Zell is not too choosy about his topic.

For once, Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe is on they money: Zell Miller is selling books. The most honest words of Miller's speech were surely "my family is more important than my party," assuming that he was referring to his clan's economic well-being. His year-old book, A National Party No More, is number 21 on today. Amazon has the book paired with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth screed, Unfit for Command; buy both for $34.45. That pretty much says all you need to know.

If I had three precious hours of free across-the-board prime-time network television to pitch George W. Bush to the American public, I admit that I would not have immediately thought to call up a nearly-retired politician, relatively unknown outside of the South, incapable of turning the corners of his mouth upward, who as recently as three years ago gave a speech praising John Kerry, and ask him to pine for the GOP of the 1940s and bitch about the word "occupier." But Karl Rove and friends presumably know more about this sort of thing than I do. It was red meat to the faithful at least, and apparently that is much of who is watching -- Fox News outdrew any of the networks for viewership during Tuesday night's prime-time hour.

I don't know how swing voters in Ohio, if they were watching, reacted to Zell's trashing of the United Nations, protesters, France, Massachusetts, the Red Army, poets, and the media. I'm also unclear what any of it had to do with the evening's theme, "A Land of Opportunity." I suspect some viewers might have been moved by his listing of weapons systems for which Kerry has in the past voted to cut funding. Perhaps the speech was worth a few votes for the Bush team. It was almost certainly worth a few dollars to Zell Miller. Be sure to look for his next book, Both Parties Suck, available in the lobby as you exit the Reform Party 2008 convention.


Issue Date: September 2, 2004
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