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The world of political reporters cleaves neatly into two groups: those who wonder about the short term and those who wonder about the long term.

On this day, the short-term questions include:

-- What song will John Mellencamp play at the big Kerry-Edwards Radio City Music Hall event tonight?

-- Will the dominant media coverage of the Ken Lay indictment have a pro-Bush or anti-Bush tinge?

-- Is Deborah Orin right about the return of the word "liberal"?

-- To how many states, besides the Tar Heel one, does the selection of Edwards extend the TV ad war battle?

-- In the first round of reputable polling, will the presidential-led effort to suggest that John Edwards isn't ready to be the commander in chief move the needle?

-- Will the Kerrys remember to wear bibs tonight during their Larry King taping?

-- Will we soon start to see any impact on the presidential race of bad news from Iraq having receded from the headlines dramatically for quite some time? (Surely, you've Noticed . . .)

-- How much touching will the Senators John do on camera during their "60 Minutes" taping?

-- Which presidential campaign is seeing more polling not done or paid for by them on what impact, if any, the Edwards pick is having on the race?

-- Have Pataki and Giuliani talked to Al D'Amato this week?

-- Will someone who loves John Kerry make him watch video of himself telling those jokes on the stump yesterday?

-- Does the cover of Time and the feature in People magazine mean that veep rollout will indeed last two weeks?

-- Will the Senate gay marriage amendment debate and vote bring floor speeches from either Kerry or Edwards (who is very pro-gay)?

-- What will John Edwards' campaign schedule look like once the ticket mates go their separate ways? How about Elizabeth Edwards?

The longer term questions include:

-- Who will marry Jack Edwards?

-- How will the moderator of the Cheney-Edwards debate divide the time between domestic and foreign policy questions?

-- In his introductory on camera shot during that debate, how broadly will Mr. Cheney smile, as compared to the instructions he has been given about how broadly to smile?

-- By election day, how many Nexis and Google News hits will the search "Kerry Edwards overshadow" yield, as compared to the number of times any actual voters think about the concept?

The Labor Department reports a steep decline in jobless claims last week, marking the lowest level of people applying for unemployment since October 2000. According to the jobless report 310,000 workers applied for unemployment for the first time, 39,000 fewer than the week prior. LINK

AP's Jennifer Aversa points out that the decline could be exaggerated by adjustment problems stemming from seasonal auto plant closings. In addition, the number of people who remained on state unemployment after collecting benefits for a week fell to 2.87 million at the end of June.

Sens. Kerry and Edwards continue their rollout with a 11:00 am ET rally in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. before traveling to New York City for a gala fundraiser tonight with Dave Matthews, Paul Newman, Wyclef Jean, Meryl Streep, and many others. Sen. Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry also appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" on tape.

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