The talking point dissemination is impressive and disciplined -- to the point where it is hard to tell who is actually saying what.
Here's a weekend quote about Kerry from someone who wants President Bush to be re-elected.
"He's not a flip-flopper; he's like a political zealot (sic). He becomes whatever he is wherever he is. When he's with the Arab Americans, he says that the fence is a barrier to peace. When he's with Jewish Americans, he says it's a legitimate act of defense. When he's in Massachusetts on gay marriage, he's against the Constitution to ban them. When he's in a Southern primary, he's against gay marriage. Who is he? He would rather--I don't know. You just can't get a sense of this guy. He'd rather switch then fight. He's a political zealot (sic). Will the real John Kerry come down? We don't need that kind of person at the helm in these changing times. We need what we have, steady and steadfast."
Now, before you guess who said this, two things you should know:
1. Although every transcript we can find (including the official General Electric one) says the person used "political zealot," we are next to certain that the phrase was actually a movie reference, intended to compare the junior Senator from Massachusetts to Woody Allen's classic chameleon character (whereas The Note much prefers the Forrest Gump analogy . . . ).
2. To get the full flavor of the quote, you need to read it in a fast and (sorry) semi-hysterical Faulknerian stream-of-consciousness style.
So, who said the above? Was it:
a. Jim Dyke, practicing in front of the mirror alone?
b. 41, in the Kennebunkport horseshoe pit?
c. Jim Dyke, practicing in front of a crowd?
d. Mary Matalin, a woman with a range?
e. Dave Bossie, a man with limited range? LINK
f. Tom DeLay?
g. Rush Limbaugh?
h. John Fund, after an intense session with his thesaurus?
i. Marc Racicot, on a conference call after Nicole made him leave a meeting?
If you can't come up with the answer lickety-split, don't worry: it could have been any of them.
And, don't y'all worry there at 1600 and in Arlington -- we are going to be super-vigilant all year about what gets said on l'autre side too.
For instance, if President Bush had mangled the names and the facts of the James Byrd case (as Kerry did this weekend), we agree -- there would be heck to pay.
We're looking forward to today's new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which will give us the latest and greatest look, post-nomination battle, at the state of play between President Bush and Sen. Kerry.
Today's two must-reads:
1. Elisabeth Bumiller in the New York Times about the President's alleged (new) interest in polls and politics -- who would have thought???!!!! LINK
2. The AP's brainy Jennifer Loven on how the President is going to sports events galore lately. (Note to Jennifer: great story, but no mention of the Olympics!!???) LINK
(If Dick Morris worked for 43, one might be tempted to suggest there is a connection between those two must-reads . . .)
President Bush is in Texas today. He is in Virginia on Tuesday for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards Ceremony, in Ohio on Wednesday for Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Forum, and in New York on Thursday to fundraise and attend the opening of the Nassau county 9/11 memorial.
Mrs. Bush speaks in New Orleans today -- and holds a press conference after her speech.
Vice President Cheney attends congressional campaign events today in Iowa and South Dakota.