The best color about alleged CBS News source Bill Burkett (as profiled by the Washington Post 's Sylvia Moreno):Tie: "He and his wife are regulars at the Whistle Stop Cafe, ordering bacon cheeseburgers with jalapenos and fries or the pork chop special on Mondays" and "Burkett has frequently posted notes to an Internet message group for Texas Democrats, urging other members to work harder to defeat Bush in the election, but also lambasting Democratic nominee John F. Kerry for 'one of the worst run campaigns I've seen in my lifetime … .Many of us have risked everything on this election,' Burkett said in a message posted on Aug. 31. 'The disappointment is deep and difficult to manage. But we fight on, in spite of incompetence at the top.'")
(Question it gives rise to: Is there ANYTHING that would cause the cast and crew of "Fox and Friends" to check the accuracy of something on Drudge before blurting it out on the air? A. Apparently not.)
The best debate-about-debates story by a former ABC News Political Unit intern: Jonathan Greenberger's piece on the Commission on Presidential Debates continued Maytag repairperson status, in the Washington University in St. Louis' Student Life. LINK
(Question it gives rise to: Will there be a debate deal announced today? A. In our heads, we say "yes"; in our hearts, we say "no" — a hedge more masterful than even Mitch Bainwol could come up with!!)
At 8:00 am ET, the Florida Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments and by all accounts will declare their answer as to whether or not Ralph Nader should be on the ballot in the Sunshine State today — given that overseas ballots must be mailed by tomorrow. (Yesterday, John McCain said Nader should be allowed on the ballot: LINK)
A little north of there, President Bush comes to North Carolina, a former quasi-battleground state in which the Kerry campaign is no longer running ads, to hold a 3:45 pm ET "Focus on Women's Issues" event in Charlotte. The event comes as President Bush is doing better than expected among women in recent polls and as strategists in both parties say, as the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny writes, "there are a growing number of suburban, independent-minded voters who believe Bush would do a better job securing America."
Bush also has two RNC fundraisers today: one that is open press in Washington (12:45 pm ET) and one that is closed in Charlotte (5:50 pm ET).
Senator John Kerry today will highlight Vice President Cheney's connections with a "golden parachute" from Halliburton in an ad and during Kerry's 11:00 am ET Albuquerque town hall. Kerry will, according to the campaign's preview, unveil "new reforms" that will end the "Era of Halliburton" of "rewarding special interests and big contributors with no bid contracts and special deals."
(And the same preview borrows from a certain primetime show: "As President, John Kerry will make sure that we tell companies that cheat the U.S. military and American taxpayers: 'You're fired.'")
Kerry later flies to the city of his birth, Aurora, CO, for a 5:25 pm ET town hall on health care the day after his campaign released the fourth health care ad from the campaigns and parties in the last week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the regional and state unemployment figures for August at 10:00 am ET: LINK.
Elizabeth Edwards is also in North Carolina (Winston-Salem and Greenville).
Vice President Cheney has two events in Oregon.