Focused and Pensive, Not Peevish or Irritated

The Boston Globe 's Rick Klein reported on Sunday that "the Christian Coalition's voting guides will ship out shortly. And pastors across West Virginia are making the case — sometimes explicitly, sometimes less so — that President Bush is a better choice on spiritual grounds than Democrat John F. Kerry." LINK

"An unscientific survey of U.S. military personnel shows they support President Bush for re-election by a 4-to-1 ratio. Two-thirds of those responding said John Kerry's anti-war activities after he returned from Vietnam make them less likely to vote for him," reports USA Today 's Dave Moniz. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson writes about how the two candidates use sports, sports enthusiasts, and sports celebrities to score points. LINK

William Safire looks back at Kerry's debate performance and declares him the newest neocon. LINK

Cheney versus Edwards:

Well, apparently, one is bald and the other has good hair — if the cookie-cutter newspaper curtain-raiser on the veep debate are to be believed.

Also, apparently, their styles couldn't be more different.

The New York Times ' Dick Stevenson and Randal Archibold outline the challenges for both Vice President Cheney and Sen. Edwards in the vice presidential debate (along with some tough blind quotes from BC04!) and Note that the debaters will talk about themselves and each other much less than about their ticket mates. Cheney is likely to speak to Kerry more than engage Edwards, and Edwards may be looking take a shot at Cheney as emblematic of a stubborn Administration. LINK

The Washington Post 's Allen and Harris lead strongly in their vice presidential debate preview that Republicans are "depending on Vice President Cheney to halt the ticket's slide in momentum." LINK

"Kerry's aides are hoping that at the debate in Cleveland, Edwards will summon his skills as a trial lawyer to cast Cheney as the architect of the administration's worst policy judgments, as well as a symbol of corporate excess because of his former position as chief executive of Halliburton, which has received huge Iraq contracts but has also faced accusations of improper billing there."

"Cheney does not lack for advantages of his own. Although he is hardly a charismatic politician in the traditional sense, he has some skills that make him well suited for television. These include an articulate command of issues that Democrats acknowledge is superior to that of Edwards, as well as a cool and subdued style that allows him to score even tough points in a conversational style."

The Los Angeles Times on the drastically differing styles of the Numbers Two. LINK

Not adding to the hype or anything, Helen Kennedy Notes tomorrow night's Dick Cheney-John Edwards face-off "has the potential to be a debate for the ages." LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller on the Bush and Kerry debate doppelgangers, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Washington lawyer Gregory Craig (D-way cute). LINK

The New York Post 's Ian Bishop writes that "all eyes will be on the boyish Edwards to see if he can counter Cheney's experience." LINK

The Raleigh News & Observer's Rob Christensen has comments from North Carolina attorneys about what it's like to face Edwards — complete with a 1997 courtroom photo! LINK

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