NYT Columnist: Kerry Would Have Won Ohio in ’04 if All The Votes Were Counted

In the ongoing left-wing saga of “They Stole The Election From Us,” New York Times columnist Bob Herbert (hat tip to Raw Story) wrote Monday another gratuitous piece about how George W. Bush swiped the 2004 election from John Kerry.

This stuff is really delicious. But, I caution the reader to not have food or drink in his or her mouth while reviewing this information, for uncontrollable laughter can erupt at any moment and without warning:

“Republicans, and even a surprising number of Democrats, have been anxious to leave the 2004 Ohio election debacle behind. But [Robert F. Kennedy Jr.], in his long, heavily footnoted [Rolling Stone] article (‘Was the 2004 Election Stolen?’), leaves no doubt that the democratic process was trampled and left for dead in the Buckeye State. Kerry almost certainly would have won Ohio if all of his votes had been counted, and if all of the eligible voters who tried to vote for him had been allowed to cast their ballots.”

Now, remember folks…the key, much as it was in Florida, is to count all the votes. Of course, most of us remember what that looked like. Comically, the article continued: “No one has been able to prove that the election in Ohio was hijacked.” Actually, Bob, this is a great point you make. Why is it lost on you?

Not recognizing the irony, Herbert continued: “But whenever it is closely scrutinized, the range of problems and dirty tricks that come to light is shocking. What's not shocking, of course, is that every glitch and every foul-up in Ohio, every arbitrary new rule and regulation, somehow favored Bush.”

Yep. Every one, Bob. Tell us some more of your bedtime story: “Walter Mebane Jr., a professor of government at Cornell University, did a statistical analysis of the vote in Franklin County, which includes the city of Columbus. He told Kennedy, ‘The allocation of voting machines in Franklin County was clearly biased against voters in precincts with high proportions of African-Americans.’"

Ah. The old “racially biased voting machine” scandal. Can’t get enough of that one around my house. Is there any more of this yarn, Bob:

“Mebane told me that he compared the distribution of voting machines in Ohio's 2004 presidential election with the distribution of machines for a primary election held the previous spring. For the primary, he said, ‘There was no sign of racial bias in the distribution of the machines.’ But for the general election in November, ‘there was substantial bias, with fewer voting machines per voter in areas that were heavily African-American.’"

Yet, an Editor & Publisher piece today refuted much of Herbert’s contentions, as well as Kennedy’s:

“But for many in Ohio who covered the presidential race, which was not decided until the following morning after John Kerry gave up any attempt at challenging the Ohio results, the Rolling Stone allegations are unfounded.

"'We looked at the Rolling Stone piece and we didn't see anything new in there,’ says Eva Parziale, Associated Press Ohio bureau chief, who held that post in 2004 when the election occurred. ‘They were things we already reported on and issues we did not see to have substance.’

"Carl Weiser, government and public affairs editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer, agreed. ‘I read it and nothing in there was really new,’ he said. ‘The folks who know Ohio elections best checked into it and found there was no conspiracy.’"

The E&P article continued:

“Joe Hallett, a longtime political reporter and columnist at the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and previously the Plain Dealer, took his own shot at Kennedy's theories in a Sunday column. He declared that ‘Democrats still haven't met the burden of proof’ that the election was stolen. He also urged readers to look at a lengthy follow-up story in Salon.com by Farhad Manjoo, which point-by-point countered a number of Kennedy's arguments.

"Manjoo, Hallett writes, ‘spent a year exhaustively studying the Ohio election rather than, a la Kennedy, dipping his toe into it 19 months later.’ Writes Manjoo, 'If you do read Kennedy's article, be prepared to machete your way through numerous errors of interpretation and his deliberate omission of key bits of data.’"

Other Ohio journalists were cited in the E&P piece:

“Doug Clifton, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, said he had not read the Rolling Stone piece, but stressed that all of the arguments raised since the election have been properly reviewed. ‘We tracked down every allegation and we did as much checking as you can check,’ he said. ‘In the end, there were some problems, but they were not of the magnitude that would have made any difference.’"

Even the Washington Post didn’t find problems in Ohio: “‘It was looked at quite a bit at the time,’ Washington Post veteran political reporter Dan Balz said Monday about the 2004 election. ‘The [Democratic National Committee] did a study and it concluded that there were irregularities, that there were not enough machines in some places and some confusion about ballots, but the Ohio newspapers seem to have investigated and did not conclude that this was necessarily partisan-inspired.’"

Yet, the Times isn’t willing to let this issue die. What a shock.

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