Video: Will Kerry accept nomination?

updated 5/25/2004 5:32:33 PM ET 2004-05-25T21:32:33

John Kerry is expected to decide this week whether he will delay accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, his timetable moved up under pressure from party officials.

Several advisers want him to forgo the nomination at the Democratic convention in late July and wait five weeks until President Bush accepts the GOP nod. That would give both candidates the same time to spend $75 million in public money set aside for the general election.

Kerry had planned to wait several weeks before deciding what to do, but word of his deliberations leaked last week, forcing his hand. Campaign officials began telling fellow Democrats on Tuesday that a decision should come in the next day or two.

They did not say which way Kerry was leaning. His advisers were split, with some saying the tactic looks too political — even if it makes strategic sense.

No matter what he decides, the Democratic convention will be held in Boston July 26-29. The question is whether Kerry technically postpones the nomination, which he secured in early March after a series of primaries and caucuses that began in January.

Once nominated, Bush and Kerry must decide whether to accept the $75 million each would receive in public money for the general election campaign. Both are expected to do so, because raising that much money would be difficult and time-consuming.

Kerry's disadvantage
By scheduling their convention five weeks before the Republicans, Democratic leaders put their nominee at a disadvantage: Kerry would have to stretch the same $75 million over a longer period of time.

Kerry and his advisers are considering other ways to reduce Bush’s financial advantage, including launching a massive fund-raising blitz for the Democratic National Committee. Aides say donations have shot up since The Associated Press reported on Friday that deliberations were under way.

The downside to that strategy is that Kerry and his advertising team would have little or no control over television ads bought with that money.

Democratic convention delegates seem open to the idea of delaying the nomination, although some say it would rob the July gathering of some of its luster. Boston officials and business owners have been more open in their disappointment that Kerry may leave town without the formal nomination.

Kerry advisers who back the idea said it’s the smartest way to close the gap on Bush. Those opposed noted that Bush’s campaign already has accused Kerry of being both for the nomination and against it — a charge that fits into their overall flip-flopping critique of the Democrat. The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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