—Undermining ONE of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charges — such as William Rood did — does not undermine them all. The reporting on Rood by many news organizations over the weekend — painting him as repudiating all the charges being made after "dramatically breaking his silence" — was embarrassing.
—Kerry's truthfulness is significantly more in question on the Cambodia "issue" than it is on any of his medals, which is why the anti-Kerry group returns to Cambodia whenever its credibility is challenged.
—The traditional media can never cover this story in enough volume to satisfy Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
—Bob Dole knew exactly what effect his statements would have on keeping the story alive.
—Kerry and his campaign have been inconsistent on the question of whether President Bush's National Guard record should be and will be an issue in this race.
— The unwillingness of the Bush capaign and the White House to directly answer questions focused on the CONTENT of the Swift Boat Veterans attack on Kerry's war record (rather than their view of 527s) should ashame and embarrass the whole nation -- despite reporters' best efforts.
—Is the president getting ready to change his posture? The Boston Globe 's well-wired Anne Kornblut, with an intriguing Houston dateline, says this, "Republicans are divided over how Bush should respond, with some officials fearful that his failure to condemn the ad keeps the president in a defensive stance and could reinforce allegations that Bush operatives are actively supporting the attacks on Kerry."
—If President Bush is so upset about the failure of McCain-Feingold to stop all 527 advertising (as he claims he thought the law he signed would do), why doesn't he propose some new First Amendment restrictions that he would be willing to sign into a new law?
—If the terrain switches to Kerry's protest-era statements, the story will be kept alive even longer, and Kerry's capacity to win the "truth" war will be more limited.
—The new Bush ad going after John Kerry on taxes is almost certainly more likely to work, now that Kerry's "trouble with the truth" reputation has been stoked by the Swift Boaters.
—The effectiveness of the counter attack by veterans who support Kerry has yet to be measured. The Kerry campaign has more waves of veterans coming out today to support Kerry and is making sure local stations in key states have access to their new real and Internet ads.
—For what is the "mainstream" press a bigger sucker — accusations that the president and Karl Rove are engaged in a secret smear, or anything involving John McCain? (It's a close call, but marry them up, the Kerry campaign knows, and you have something potentially potent!!)
—Kerry having to spend general election money on ads in August to combat the SBVfT is not that big a deal — given the amounts involved — but it ain't nothing, either.
—We'll wait to see if, as expected, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth go up with their new ad in three new states tomorrow, and Kerry matches them with HIS new ad.
—Look for Kerry to give a big speech in New York tomorrow; for Thursday's poverty and health insurance numbers; the Republicans continue to try to finesse their platform contretempts under the media radar; more Iraq developments; and for cable TV and talk radio to ignore everything but Swift Boats.