FOX Commentator Pokes Fun at Presidential Race

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WASHINGTON -- Conservative commentator Tony Snow promised politics-weary telemarketers a "fun" presidential race during a humor-laden lunch keynote speech at the American Teleservices Association's annual legislative conference here yesterday.

Snow, a FOX News talk show host and former speechwriter for President Bush, predicted a neck-in-neck election campaign in which the Republican incumbent faces off against Sen. John Kerry, D-MA. Coincidentally, Kerry was scheduled to hold a press conference yesterday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency in a room across the hall from where the ATA was meeting.

"If you look at the map, it's going to be close," Snow said. "My gut is telling me that in the final days of the election, it's going to swing hard one way or the other."

Bush and Kerry both have strengths and weaknesses, Snow said. Bush's foreign policy has been an overall success, but he has no domestic policy beyond cutting taxes and has a habit of twisting his sentences.

Bush speaks English and Spanish in the same way -- as a second language, Snow said.

"When the president's mind races ahead of his mouth, comical things come out," Snow said.

Kerry, on the other hand, whose visage Snow compared with that of an Easter Island statue, rarely gets animated about anything besides his military experiences, Snow said. Kerry introduced little legislation in his 20 years in Congress and now says he opposes Bush administration measures such as the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq for which he voted in favor as a senator.

One item on the Kerry platform that affects telemarketers is overseas business outsourcing, currently a hot topic in the industry. Kerry, who favors restrictions on U.S. companies moving operations overseas, is weak on this issue because the jobs being sent overseas are typically low-wage and manufacturing jobs that no longer represent the bulk of U.S. employment, Snow said.

"Americans are going to have real distinct choices," Snow said of the presidential race. "It's going to be a blast."

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