GOP plays to veterans’ concerns

V.P. candidate Cheney strikes patriotic chord with first visit


Herald Writer

EVERETT — A patriotic crowd turned out Monday, on the eve of the general election, for Snohomish County’s first visit by a vice presidential candidate this year.

Republican Dick Cheney’s comments on bolstering the military were well received as he spoke in this Navy town to a group of about 1,500 people, including a heavy presence of veterans. Cheney was defense secretary under former President George Bush.

"The best way we know to get results is … (to) get ourselves a new commander in chief," Cheney said, encouraging everyone to vote today.

His wife, Lynne, spoke of a "new era of brotherhood from sea to shining sea," as the crowd waved red, white and blue pom-poms.

Republican organizers chose a medley of patriotic songs, including several played by the Snohomish County Christian School band, rather than the loud rock music Democrats favored for Al Gore’s rally in the same hangar two weeks ago.

Cheney also talked up the tax cuts he and running mate George W. Bush are proposing, a theme shared by Republican gubernatorial candidate John Carlson, who emceed the event.

When his 5-year-old son asked him what taxes are recently, Carlson said, he told him, "Taxes are when you have to give your money to the government instead of buying hamburgers and toys."

Carlson is running against incumbent Democratic Gov. Gary Locke.

U.S. Rep. Jack Metcalf, R-Wash., appeared at his last-ever campaign event. He’s retiring this year to honor his commitment to term limits.

The Republican who hopes to succeed him, state Rep. John Koster, R-Arlington, spoke of a GOP "tsunami" and "tidal wave" that he expects to sweep the country today. Koster’s competing against Democratic Snohomish County Councilman Rick Larsen for Metcalf’s spot.

U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., who’s running against Democrat Maria Cantwell, appeared with his wife, Sally, and led the crowd in a chant of "One more day. No more Gore."

Although it was the first stop in the county by a vice presidential candidate, presidential hopefuls have been here a handful of times. Bush has visited three times and Gore once. Washington has voted Democrat in the past three elections, but it’s considered a swing state this year, which has increased its national importance in the close race.

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