Three weeks until Election Day
1 day until the third presidential debate
How fitting and proper that on the day before another night that could decide who wins the White House, everyone (and everything) is playing to type:
The candidates are in pure battlegrounds -- President Bush in Colorado; Senator Kerry in New Mexico; Vice President Cheney in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota; and Senator Edwards in Wisconsin.
(What states REALLY are still in play?)
The press is obsessed with the "too close to call" storyline.
(How big a lead would a candidate have to have in several reputable national polls for the media to give up that cherished narrative?)
The AP's Owl Eyes — Ron Fournier — is big picturing the whole thing: "(T)he next three weeks will be even more negative and personal, a prospect likely to bring out the worst in both men." LINK
(Will there be any galvanizing events/moments after tomorrow night, or just battleground state slogging?)
Matthew Dowd and Stanley Greenberg are both exhibiting their normal professorial confidence in the outcome.
(Which presidential candidate is more afraid of losing, and which is more confident of winning?)
The Bush campaign's rapid response operation (new ad, POTUS and VPOTUS muscular language, talking points echoing galore, morning show and cable framing) turns a national security message that dominates the news cycle.
(Can it be counted as "rapid" response if the article that set it off was available 96 hours before the war room went into motion?)
New Media gambits abound — with the FLOTUS on Larry King and Edwards on Leno.
(Are either of the presidential candidates going to do Oprah or SNL before 11/2?)
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank is scrutinizing the President's record.
(Has Mike Abramowitz sold his TV sitcom pilot about Dana and Mike Allen yet?)
Milbank is also presenting one of the day's few must reads on a Tuesday redolent with calm-before-the-storm pacific — writing about the contrasts between Bush events and supporters and Kerry events and supporters. Read it: LINK
(If George Bush's currently-in-rhythm stump speech is rated 100, what score would Kerry's get?)
Paul Krugman is trying to be all macro-y about the President's record. LINK
(Where IS that Columbus Dispatch endorsement?)
Oil prices are up and there is violence in Iraq.
(Is John Kerry's capacity to make political hay over those things as limited as ever?)
Tucker Eskew and James Carville are proving they are both gentleman and scholars as they are partisan talking heads.
(Why is it that some surrogates still don't understand the importance of The Smile?)
The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein is elevating Springsteen over Shakespeare: LINK
(Can anyone offer any metrics to suggest if those rock concerts helped Kerry or not?)
The Wall Street Journal's Ms. Versatile — Shailagh Murray — writes in separate stories about Evan Tracey's world of bracketing and in-store bakeries.
(Will the Kerry ad team have figured out the cleverness of the Bush media buying strategy by election day?)
The New York Times' David Brooks is posturing as a non-partisan cross between de Tocqueville and Erma Bombeck. LINK
(Is there a possible outcome of this election in which the man who takes the oath of office in January can unite Red and Blue America?)