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31 days until the Republican convention 95 days until election day


Here's what to look for today:

Now that they have finished their first post-convention event in Boston this morning, the now officially nominated duo is scheduled to make stops in Scranton at 2:00 pm ET and Harrisburg, Pa. at 8:00 pm ET.

President Bush travels to Springfield, Mo. for a 9:55 am ET kickoff to his newsily named "Heart and Soul of America" tour. Bush also makes stops today in Grand Rapids, Mich. at 4:10 pm ET, speaks to athletes at the Int'l Children's Games in Cleveland at 7:15 pm ET and ends his day at a "Victory 2004" dinner in Kirtland Ohio at 9:10 pm ET.

Vice President Cheney continues his campaign trek today, attending a BC'04 rally in Yakima, Wash. at 5:00 pm ETand in Central Point, Ore. at 7:30 pm ET.

In Washington, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will meet at 11 am to examine the recommendations of the final report of the 9/11 Commission. Thomas H. Kean, Chair, and Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chair, will appear before the committee.

And with personality and national security front and center last night, there is this this morning:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 3 percent in the spring, a dramatic slowdown from the rapid pace of the past year, as consumer spending fell to the weakest rate since the last recession, the government reported Friday.

Here's what to look for in the days ahead:

First and foremost, the new Bush stump speech, ads, policy ideas, and campaign slogan, along with the dueling bus tours.

Second and foremost, the public and private polling and focus groups that begin in earnest early next week. So far, we see nothing meaningful or reliable. We ask you all to be patient until at the earliest the beginning of next week.

Bump estimates from the media seem to top off at 6 percent. (Stop saying "bounce" — because of that whole gravity thing, it's never been the right metaphor.)

But also there is this stuff:

1. The DNC independent expenditure committee goes up with a $6 million buy this weekend.

2. The favorable spotlight on Kerry daughters glows even warmer.

3. Does the anti-war base begin to chafe at pro-war rhetoric? (How many times have we asked this question?)

4. Who develops into the top anti-Bush surrogate in Camp Kerry?

5. What does Kerry do in the second half of August?

6. Will American athletes be booed at the Olympics? (courtesy of the incomparable Chuck Todd)

7. Does this become the theme of the campaign: Restore Trust v. Ownership Society?

8. Republican 527s gear up.

9. Early voting preps by parties, candidates, and interest groups.

10. "Mary Beth, hey hey, ho hay, how much of your $75 million did you spend today??!"

Here's what worked in Boston:

1. At least six great speeches (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Alex and Vanessa Kerry, and Kerry himself).

2. Explaining to America what Sen. Kerry accomplished up to 1980.

3. The press didn't hate it.

4. Democratic activists who leave Boston more united, more fired up, and even better trained than when they arrived — and yet … not angry to the outside world.

5. Speakers masking pretty harsh anti-Bush rhetoric with warm rhetorical flourishes and Sheehan-esque delivery.

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