Sunday Blather part 2

Fox News: boring stuff with party hacks from both sides, first at Presidential level, then Senate. Florida, South Dakota, North Carolina, etc. Nothing new -- very little factual. A waste of time -- why blow 30 minutes on that? If you're going to belabor this stuff, at least have informed, critical, civilized people to discuss it instead of the usual party hacks spouting the usual, predictable guff.

Beneath the Fold (usually my favorite part, but weak today):
Cheney's heart-disease related flu shot & Kerry's neglect to mention that Clinton got one too.
WaPo correction re: party paid for, with refreshments, and pix posed by WaPo was reported on as if it were news. Oops.
Sinclair & Vietnam film -- showed only 4 minutes of the Kerry Expose, after all the brouhaha.

Today's Panel: Brit Hume, CiCi Connelly, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams
Chris Wallace cites RealClearPolitics.com and shows their map! Repeatedly! An excellent nod to the power of amateur punditry. 234B to 211K (RCP calls PA for Kerry, IA for Bush)
Brit: R should worry about FL, OH; Dems: Minnesota, WI, IA
CC: claims state polls are within margins of error. Charles No they're not, CC yes they are.
Brit: don't forget that if Bush wins just the states he had before, he wins, because they have more electoral votes now
Bill: these polls are still too far out, always lots of movement in the last 9 days. Could widen for Bush or we get a break for Kerry and then key states will likewise make it again not a squeaker, electoral-college wise
Juan: Surprised at RCP map, Pres won't carry Iowa, they're a local-issues place and a Democratic machine state. Similarly surprised about Wisconsin, thinks it will go Kerry too.
Juan: Kerry is the one on the move, Bush is entrenched where he is. Kerry has all the new voters registering, etc.
Chris: surely you jest
Juan: Nope, I'm serious, dood. Those scary wolves are like, Hallowe'en, man.
Bill: Cultural issues are helping Bush a lot, especially in some of these key states. Florida is dead even, [because it's] less culturally conservative.
Bill Kristol prediction: Bush - "He's going to win the whole thing by 5 points, it's not going to be close."
Juan: What about abortion, stem cells? Social issues will break for Kerry

CiCi: Pres is sitting about where he stood in 2000. Kerry has to pick up Nader column in key states, hasn't grabbed them yet.
Brit: Nader factor. Fox poll of Ohio only: showed Bush even better with "registered voters" than "likely voters"; we thought there was something wrong with the poll. Pollsters say, Nader voters are furious with Dems for trying to keep Nader off the ballot, either won't vote or will vote but not for Kerry.

Chris: Kerry keeps saying he'll pivot to domestic but still stuck on the international scene; he hasn't been able to nail down the safe-on-security factor; people don't trust Democrats on terrorism.

CiCi: He's still on international issues because he keeps being overtaken by events, such as Iraqis being shot this morning. But he does often turn to Edwards to attack, with Kerry trying to be more upbeat.
Brit: But he can't do that, really. Bush campaign is banking on idea that people will go in on election day and just won't feel safe voting for Kerry. Otoh, if people think, well we haven't had another terrorist attack and Iraq was a mistake, then that's over.
Juan: put tribalism aside, Bush is a loser.
Brit: The Q isn't whether or not they think Bush is strong on war on terror: they do. The Q is whether or not they're still worried about it. Could be a paradox in the result, if he loses because he's succeeded too well in making Americans feel safer.

Chris: flu shots
Bill: I totally agree with Brit; if people are thinking about this, Bush loses. I cannot believe that people are going to vote on November 2nd on flu vaccines.
Juan: [tries to break in, something about Pat Robertson?; Chris squelches him (finally) to give the floor to Cici.]
Cici: gets back to flu shot topic, major issues here.
Brit: Three key problems: litigation, regulation, and what amounts to price controls. Until we fix these, flu vaccine situation won't be resolved.

Letters ... nothing much. A request for Juan and Brit to hug; instead they blow kisses up and down the table (Chris is kinda grossed out).

Power Player of the Week: Red Auerbach? Was it just last week that they ran one on Wallace's dog trainer? And now it turns out he has lunch/dinner with a bunch of old guys like Auerbach. Look, Wallace is okay and all that, but this is plain silly. They rilly rilly need to retire this "feature". Please.

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