The Note

"Specifically, in 11 of the last 13 presidential elections, the major party nominee leading in the Gallup Poll conducted immediately after the second national convention went on to win the popular vote in November."

Truth and credibility.

On the former, The AP's Ron Fournier writes, "Truth is trailing distortion in the White House race," citing examples of the candidates' accusations of each other.LINK

"Few of their assertions are patently wrong; most reside in the murky gray area between correct and incorrect — a rhetorical margin of error."

On the latter, Jill Lawrence of USA Today shows how both Senator Kerry and President Bush are using the same issue against each other: credibility. With one of those just plain great lead's she writes, "Anyone listening to the Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns this week might wonder how two men with such disregard for truth got this far." LINK

In one of his most politically charged appearances yet, Vice President Cheney delivered a 28-minute foreign policy speech yesterday at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California - and spent over nine and half minutes focusing on Senator Kerry.

The Washington Post 's Harris and Allen wrap Cheney and Kerry's back and forth accusations on Wednesday. Cheney "assailed the national security credentials" of Senator Kerry, while Senator Kerry accused Bush of leaving U.S. troops overextended. LINK

"Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday portrayed the Democratic presidential candidate as weak, inconsistent and a threat to the security of the nation," writes the New York Times ' Madigan and Seelye, Noting that "some television news programs used a split screen to show both Mr. Cheney's speech, which was under way, and the scene of devastation in Baghdad." LINK

"The split-screen image underscored the volatility, in domestic politics and foreign policy, that lurks in the background of the White House campaign."LINK

The dueling speeches "marked an escalation in the vituperative tenor of the campaign" and also "spotlighted the large role foreign policy and national security concerns were likely to play in this year's election," writes the Los Angeles Times' Gerstanzang and Gold.

The Times ' duo Notes the locations of the two speeches - Kerry's just five blocks from the White House and Cheney's at the Reagan Presidential Library, "a setting connecting the Bush presidency with the 40th president and his muscular readiness to confront Communism."LINK

Deb Orin of the New York Post leads her Cheney speech wrap-up thusly: Vice President Cheney "ripped into Democratic nominee John Kerry as a weak waffler with lousy judgment who'd have left Saddam Hussein in power and is insulting steadfast allies like Britain … " LINK

More Orin: "Cheney launched his anti-Kerry salvos in a methodical, matter-of-fact way that could give the Kerry camp pause as it contemplates Kerry's choice of a vice presidential running mate who'll have to debate Cheney in prime time."

The New York Post ed board sizes up the Cheney speech: "A partisan attack? Absolutely. There's an election on, after all. Unfair? Not in the least. Anything less than the truth would be a disservice to America and its allies in the War on Terror. And to the cause of peace." LINK

The Washington Times duo of Curl and Dinan recap the Cheney/Kerry back-and-forth:LINK As does the USA Today duo of Drinkard and Lawrence:LINK And Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe : LINK

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