Bush vs Guardian: 1–0

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  • Published 20061205
  • ISBN: 9780733319396
  • Extent: 266 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IT STARTED AS “a quixotic idea dreamed up last month in a north London pub”, wrote Ian Katz, feature editor at the Guardian newspaper and mastermind behind Operation Clark County. The idea was to reduce President George W. Bush’s vote in the November 2004 election by persuading Americans in an important swing state not to vote for him. Introducing the operation, Katz wrote: “British political life may now be at least as heavily influenced by White House policy as by the choices of UK voters.” His colleague Oliver Burkeman wrote that many described the 2004 presidential election as “the most important in living memory”, and the British seemed keen to see Bush removed. This was certainly reflected in the newspaper’s poll, which showed that only 22 per cent wanted him reelected. One can surmise that far fewer Guardianreaders wanted a second Bush term. The newspaper’s Operation Clark County became a small part of a global campaign to unseat the president.

Instead of feeling powerless, the newspaper urged readers to write to registered independents in Clark County, Ohio (Americans have the choice of registering as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent), and set up a website where they could receive the name and address of a registered independent voter. Each reader was urged to write a personal plea and encourage a vote for John Kerry.

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