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Ken Mehlman

Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, and several of his colleagues were the guests at a Monitor lunch on Friday. Here are excepts from his remarks:

On press reports he will take over as chairman of the Republican National Commitee:

"One thing I learned a long time ago was not to make important decisions when you are tired. I'm tired. When I am less tired, I will make important decisions...."

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On whether the president's election victory will translate into gains for future republican candidates:

"Our challenge is to take the passion behind a candidate and behind an agenda and make the agenda reality. And that's how ...you build a durable majority."

On the president's failure to capture a greater share of the black vote:

"Ultimately, we as a party have not done as good as job as we need to do over the last several elections reaching out to the African-American community.... We have to make a long term investment and we will."

On the president's offer to reach out to democrats in his new term:

"There is an effort to involve Democrats and there will be an effort to involve Democrats at every level in this process.... We very much will make them involved - early, late, and often."

On campaign press coverage:

"[F]rankly many times [it] was not objective.... [W]e get fairer coverage in regional media and local media...."

On mistakes the Kerry campaign made:

"[W]e had tremendous motivation [in get-out-the-vote efforts] and we had mechanics. And what they had was just mechanics."