The Note: From Sea to Shining Sea




Morning Show Wrap

Evening Newscasts Wrap

19 days until Election Day


Neither George W. Bush nor John F. Kerry has ever run for governor of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada, or New Hampshire.

But for the next 19 days, they are going to know what it is like to do just that.

The only differences: they have to run for all 10 simultaneously, and they will have budgets and armies that dwarf even Al Checchi's 1998 spending. (Those of you who don't understand that reference, click here. Note to Bob Shrum: nice to see the scarf in the spin room, and you know just what we mean with our Checchi reference.)

Here are the instant polls about the debate (all with differing methodology that we won't list here, but go to the links for that):

ABC : Kerry: 42% to 41% LINK

Gallup : 52% to 38% LINK

CBS: Kerry, 39% to 25% LINK

There will be candidate, spouse, sibling, offspring, and surrogate visits galore to the 7 to 10 states that will stay in play until the end. We can't imagine that anything that happened last night will expand the Electoral College playing field for either side.

On the ground, here are the known national players (beyond the campaigns and state and national parties — and yes, we know that some of these groups just do training; others work regularly with both sides of the Hill; some try to maintain scrupulously non-partisan veneers; some have non-partisan tax statuses; and others have endorsed candidates from the opposite side of the aisle... but we weren't born yesterday):

For Bush: National Rife Association, BIPAC, College Republican National Committee, Focus on the Family, Leadership Institute, GOPAC, National Right to Life, Christian Coalition, Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Concerned Women for America, NFIB, Chamber of Commerce, Gun Owners of America, NAM, NAR, NFRW, property rights groups, business groups, and many more...

For Kerry: AFL-CIO (AFSCME, SEIU, others), NEA, ACT, America Votes Coalition (includes ACORN, MoveOn, and many others, including some which follow), Grassroots Democrats, 21st Century Democrats, NARAL PCA, Democracy for America, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, organizations affiliated with the NAACP, US Action, Moving America Forward, Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, NGLTF, and many more...

In the paid media, here are the known players:

For Bush: America's PAC, Progress for America Voter Fund, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, November Fund, Move America Forward, Citizens United, Club for Growth, Americans for Job Security (they don't get involved in the presidential race, but...), and many more...

For Kerry: The Media Fund, Voter Fund, New Democrat Network, Texans for Truth; Fight Back Campaign;, and many more...

And believe us: we know there are "secret" players who will flood into those states below the radar now, to try to tip the balance.

Not to mention citizens from the other 40 states and DC who won't want to sit idly by and just watch. (Think of a certain accented actor-politician with ties to Ohio...)

With all three debates behind them, President Bush and Sen. Kerry begin an intense 19-day sprint to the finish line. (Hats off to us — we made it this far into The Note without a glaring cliché!!!!)

Kerry speaks to the AARP in Las Vegas at 2:30 pm. He joins up with Sen. John Edwards for a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA at 9:00 pm.

The AARP backed Bush's prescription drug benefit last year — legislation that Kerry opposed — and many AARP members never liked it.

Kerry's speech will focus on what his campaign calls "the middle class squeeze." Kerry spokesperson Allison Dobson tells ABC News that the Kerry campaign "will certainly point out that George Bush, while in Las Vegas…., can't find the time to stop by and talk to the AARP."

Kerry's Nevada speech kicks off a nine-day tour of seven swing states: Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Iowa, according to USA Today. LINK

Bush is skipping the AARP convention in favor of three re-election rallies with supporters. But the Bush family will not be unrepresented: First Lady Laura Bush will address the group at 1:00 pm — an hour and a half before Kerry.

Taking a page out of his own playbook from 2000, Bush campaigns with Republican governors at a 1:10 pm today in Las Vegas, NV.

In 2000, then-Gov. Bush barnstormed the country with his fellow Republican governors to burnish his credentials as a moderate and to underscore his executive experience — after all, four out of the last five presidents were governors before becoming president (a fact which takes on special salience as Kerry tries to become the first Senator elected directly to the White House since John F. Kennedy in 1960).

Bush also holds rallies in Reno, NV at 4:35 pm and in Central Point, OR at 9:10 pm.

All eyes will be on the Vice President (and his spouse) when he campaigns in Ft. Meyers, FL at 12:30 pm and in Lakeland, FL at 4:10 pm.

Sen. John Edwards attends town hall meetings in Sioux City, IA at 12:00 pm and in Council Bluff, IA at 4:15 pm. At 7:00 pm, he appears on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.

As previously Noted, at 9:00 pm, Edwards attends a rally with Kerry in Des Moines, IA — the state which revived the political fortunes of the two men in January when they finished first and second in the Iowa caucuses.

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: first takes:

"After two debates about strength, President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry dueled to demonstrate compassion in their surprisingly subdued final encounter," writes Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

More Brownstein: "Based on the initial viewer reactions, this encounter seems unlikely to dent the conclusion that the debates have done far more good for Kerry than for Bush..."

"With the race nationally in a dead heat and so much riding on Wednesday's event, the TV networks appeared, in general, cautious about jumping to conclusions on a winner," writes the Los Angeles Times' Nick Anderson. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney and Robin Toner write that Bush and Kerry finally defined the distance between them in their third debate — over health care, tax cuts, and judicial appointments. LINK

"Unlike the first two debates, this third and final debate did not appear to have any dramatic moments that would sharply shift the dynamic of a race that most polls show as dead even. The two men were sharp and aggressive from the very first question, but both appeared more subdued than in their first two encounters; Mr. Kerry, though, seemed calm and in command as he talked evenly into the cameras on subjects that his aides have long viewed as his strong suits."

"In a crucible where voters measure the self-confidence, authority and steadiness of the candidates, Mr. Kerry delivered a consistent set of assertive, collected performances. Mr. Bush appeared in three guises: impatient, even rattled at times during the first debate, angry and aggressive in the second, sunny and optimistic last night," Todd Purdum writes in his analysis of the debates. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jake Schlesinger, Greg Hitt and John Harwood call the debate a caustic clash, Noting that "Mr. Bush was looking to recreate the aura of ridicule around Mr. Kerry that he had established through the summer," and that Sen. Kerry, who "gave as good as he got," "also used the debate to try and clean up some mistakes and misimpressions he had left in previous encounters."

"President Bush and John F. Kerry battled sharply over domestic issues Wednesday night in the final debate of the 2004 campaign. The Democratic nominee charged that the president has compiled a record of failure on the economy and health care, and Bush accused Kerry of a Senate record that is both out of the mainstream and lacking in accomplishment," write Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post. LINK

USA Today's Keen and Lawrence report, "A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken after the debate found most viewers thought Kerry won, 52%-39%, giving him an unbeaten streak in the three debates. Kerry had an advantage on health care, the economy and education and expressed himself more clearly, the poll found. But viewers thought Bush was more likeable." LINK

The Boston Globe's Anne Kornblut and Glen Johnson explore how the presidential candidates "sought to break the campaign stalemate" last night. LINK

Knight Ridder's Steven Thomma and James Kuhnhenn write that the two men "hammered" one another. LINK

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer does a great back-and-forth roundup of who said what and who took which shots at whom during last night's tempest. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Pearson and Zeleny writes that the two "presented diverging views over the loss of jobs, immigration policy and the nation's security. While Kerry painted Bush as insensitive to the plight of average Americans, Bush broadly defended his approach to governing and asked voters to give him another term in the White House." LINK

The New York Daily News quips "three's no charm for Bush or Kerry." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: analysis:

"On the defensive" ... "vulnerable incumbent" ... and "Bush was desperate to convince voters" ... are in the AP's Ron Fournier's first two paragraphs.

The political operatives:

• Republican pollster Fabrizio says Bush had no choice but to focus on Kerry's record given that he didn't want to focus on his own record.

• While Democratic consultant Dane Strother called the face-off "a draw" because Bush forced Kerry into "awkward territory on social issues" ... Fournier is critical of the "gauzy, conservative" language Kerry used when talking about abortion and gay rights.

• After quoting what Kerry said about abortion, Fournier asks: "Does that mean he's personally opposed to abortion? Kerry didn't make it clear."

All three previously undecided voters that Fournier quotes in his story give quotes suggesting they are moving in Kerry's direction.

Newcomer David Broder thought "Kerry, as unruffled as he has been throughout his confrontations with the president, did nothing to damage his prospects. Neutral observers, including some who gave Bush a narrow edge, predicted Kerry would maintain the momentum that has brought him from an underdog's position at the start of September to rough parity with the incumbent." LINK

Tom Shales of the Washington Post thought Bush smiled a lot but lost it on substance. LINK

USA Today's Susan Page explains how they both "displayed their strategies for the next 19 days." LINK

Peter Canellos of the Boston Globe concludes the debate last night left both candidates in a fighting position for the last 19 days of their campaigns. LINK

Kerry, he writes, achieved "aggressiveness in the first encounter, likeability in the second, and command of policy in the third, seeming to grow in credibility as a prospective president with each performance." Meanwhile, "President Bush, who was widely perceived as inarticulate and at times surly in the first debate, recouped somewhat in a feisty second debate and reinforced his conservative credentials on domestic issues last night — a performance that may well deliver more core supporters than he attracted four years ago."

Yvonne Abraham of the Boston Globe surveyed some political analysts who seemed to find last night's debate performance more "civil" and more "revealing" than the last two. Interesting Note from a Boston College psychology professor, Joseph J. Tecce, "Both men looked down more than they had in previous debates, indicating they were to keep themselves under control, Tecce said. In last night's debate, as in the first one, Bush's blink rate skyrocketed during his closing address, with 101 blinks per minute to Kerry's 61 per minute, revealing a higher stress level than the Democrat's." LINK

John Aloysius Farrell of the Denver Post accesses "Kerry uses debates' stage to turn campaign around," scoring the challenger as last night's winner. "For a third, and final, presidential debate Wednesday night, Sen. John Kerry matched or bettered the president of the United States before a national television audience." LINK

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at last night's blatant opponent attacking and how Bush and Kerry persevered. However, he also points out that both candidates missed many opportunities to correct each other's mis-statements. "Undoubtedly, their respective campaigns will be mourning these lost opportunities, and seeking to recoup by competing for supremacy in the post-debate spin." LINK

Bob Novak calls last night's debate a dud. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: battlegrounds:

The impact in Orlando: "iffy": LINK

Al Hunt writes that neither side did much to sway voters in the debate, but their respective ground games in Ohio — particularly the Democrats' improved efforts — in the battles rural southeastern Ohio and Franklin County just might. LINK

Sarah Schweitzer of the Boston Globe spent time with some first-time voters at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. While the 5 students were plagued with indecision and frustration, "One point of consensus emerged: Bush performed well, better than Kerry." LINK

USA Today's Kathy Kiely has this headline: "Viewed from Wisconsin, Kerry gains some ground." LINK

Jon Sawyer of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that last nights debate was high on the pleasantries and low on substance. "What was missing was much in the way of sustained, detailed discussion on the fiscal and social issues on which these two candidates are so divided. And even in this debate, ostensibly limited to domestic issues, Iraq remained the elephant in the room." LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bill Lambrecht has a nice debate-wrap up. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: not that there's anything wrong with it:

On "Fox and Friends," Bush strategist Matthew Dowd harshly criticized Kerry.

DOWD: "When Sen. Kerry brought up the Vice President's daughter, I think it's about one of the lowest point that I've seen … This is a concerted thing. They did at the vice presidential debate. That's one thing with the Vice President sitting there... Being a father... I think it was a very low point in Sen. Kerry's career."

Then Fox's Steve Doocy brought up Mary Beth Cahill saying yesterday that Mary Cheney's sexuality was "fair game" and asked Dowd to react to that.

DOWD: "I heard that last night. I think that's unfortunate. I also heard Wes Clark say Mary Cheney is a public official... They ought to be sitting down regretting this... they ought to talk to Bill Clinton who thought that the children of public officials should stay out of the limelight — don't use them. Whatever you think of Bill and Hillary Clinton (they did a good job with that). It says something about John Kerry and his values... Just out of the blue."

Following the Dowd interview on Fox, Kerry spokesperson Debra DeShong defended Kerry saying:

• VP Cheney talks about having a gay daughter (Cheney talked about his daughter once – on Aug. 24 in Davenport, IA).

• Kerry and the Democrats see nothing wrong with having a gay member of your family

• If Lynne Cheney has a problem, it's something that she needs to work with her family

• The Republicans are the ones who use gay issues to divide American and cited West Virginia mailer regarding Bible and gay marriage

Late on Wednesday, Vice President Cheney told NBC affiliate WHO during a satellite interview: "I would have said Sen. Kerry was out of line to bring my daughter into it. I thought it was totally inappropriate."

Lynne Cheney also reacted to Kerry's comments, telling a post-debate rally in Corapolis, PA: "The only thing I could conclude is that this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I'm speaking as a mom. And a pretty indignant one. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick."

Elizabeth Edwards, during an interview with ABC News Radio this morning had the following response:

"It makes me really sad that that's Lynne's response. I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter's sexual preferences that I'm certain makes her daughter uncomfortable. That makes me very sad on a personal level."

She called Kerry's response "very thoughtful" and "extremely sensitive." She also said Lynne Cheney has been a "wonderful advocate for her daughter," but feels "she has over-reacted to this" and "that's a very sad state of affairs."

During the debate, Kerry said: "I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as."

So liberal gay rights activists and social conservatives who e-mailed us last night seem to agree with Lynne Cheney: John Kerry's mention of Mary Cheney last night was, well, discordant, to say the least.

Some went so far as to suggest that the Kerry campaign deliberately wants more conservative swing voters to know that the President is associated with a capital-L-Lesbian... others said it was simply too personal to mention.

One gay rights activist did tell us that Kerry's mention sounded much less political than John Edwards' mention, although we suspect the Cheneys themselves would strongly disagree.

The Bush campaign is clearly trying to make this an issue by using it to question Senator Kerry's fundamental decency.

On the one hand, the Bush campaign has a nice hook to keep talking about gay issues, which Democrats fear they will demagogue to rally their base and conservative-leaning swing voters in the next three weeks. And we're relatively certain that at least one group of swing voters that were asked about this — for ABC's Good Morning America — found Kerry's statement tasteless.

On the other hand, it does serve to remind voters that the Vice President disagrees with the President about a fundamental issue, and it reminds the Vice President's base that he has a gay daughter. And Democrats say it is a bit weird to see the President's surrogates so vigorously defending someone who is openly gay.

The Democrats have a strong case on the personal being properly the political.

The Second Lady's s implied argument (aside from her perfectly understandable parental outrage) is that the scurrilous aspect is that Kerry dragged her daughter into this, not that it is scurrilous to mention that she is gay.

But it's also the case that Vice President Cheney has talked about it on the campaign trail. Andrew Sullivan ( has an interesting take.

Let the voters decide, we say.

And watch to see if Lynne and Dick Cheney continue to drive this theme.

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: checking the facts:

Fact checks:

Washington Post | ABC | LA Times | LA Times | LA Times | Fackcheck

Watch for more on ABC News all day!!!

ABC News Vote 2004: the Tempest in Tempe: op-eds and editorials:

While Jeff Jacoby's great analysis of the debate(s) should be Noted, his last line overshadows every point he made. "No more debates, and almost no more campaign. Election Day is in sight at last. Hallelujah!" LINK

Thomas Oliphant concludes "To get reelected, Bush's strategy is to bury Kerry in a blizzard of attacks via his speeches and paid television advertising. Two weeks ago it was to bury Kerry with a strong performance in their first debate. Bush failed, opened the door, and Kerry has come storming through it." LINK

"Stitched together, these three extraordinary exchanges amounted to a powerful indictment of the president's leadership," writes the Los Angeles Times editorial board. LINK

The Washington Times seems to think that Bush dominated. "An energized President Bush and Sen. John Kerry battled over who is tougher on illegal immigration and a stronger proponent of tax cuts in their third and final debate, a domestic-policy clash that spilled over to the war on terrorism." They also Note the president made amends with conservatives for his earlier in the year proposal to change restrictions for illegal immigrants from Mexico by contrasting his plan with Kerry's. LINK

Michael Goodwin Notes no "Thrilla in Tempe" in New York Daily News. "President Bush and John Kerry performed competently last night, but neither man rose so far above the other to claim clear and convincing victory. Neither made a blunder or a gaffe or spilled his water." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

"Hydraulic fracturing" may soon enter into Terry McAuliffe's talking points. LINK

More on the new Swiftie ads: LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe talks to Ken Mehlman who lays out the "choice" theme for BC04's final days. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

The KE04 folks have a battle plan: the ground war. Pat Healy of the Boston Globe reports. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

The New York Times' Abby Goodnough offers up a good look at the confusing maze of election lawsuits already underway in Florida, over counting provisional ballots, touchscreen voting machines and manual recounts, and voter registration. LINK

Alma Gonzalez, a lawyer for AFSCME involved in many of the Florida suits, told ABC News that she expects a ruling from the state supreme court on provisional ballots by the end of the week. Gonzalez also tells us that the suit filed Tuesday by unions against the state to judge more than 10,000 voter registration forms as valid is set for a 10 a.m. hearing in a Miami courtroom.

Also expected soon: a final version of draft rules for manual recounts of touch screen machines.

By our count, there are now about seven significant ongoing lawsuits in Florida.

"U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler and a coalition of unions and civil rights groups offered Tuesday to drop their ongoing lawsuits against the state if Florida would give all voters the choice of using a paper ballot on Nov. 2," the Miami Herald's Gary Fineout reports. LINK

The Nevada voter registration story that you probably received an e-mail about got little attention in the national media, aside from a few mentions on the cable networks. Both parties are using it to make political claims about the other. And we're still trying to get to the bottom of it all. LINK

Other casting and counting articles:

Arguments before SCOFLA: LINK | LINK | LINK

A good look at the check box controversy in Florida: LINK

Can Broward County reprint absentee ballots if they need to?: LINK

The Washington Times turns the nation's eye to Colorado where there is increasing concern over the state election process "amid an overwhelming flood of new voter registrations." LINK

Peggy Lowe of the Rocky Mountain News writes about partisan finger pointing in Colorado where "Secretary of State Donetta Davidson said Wednesday that she has been left 'out of the loop' on voter fraud by the attorney general - and she will call for a grand jury if abuses aren't prosecuted." But Attorney General Ken Salazar, [who is also the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate] said he's "already doing exactly as the governor suggested: fully investigating and prosecuting allegations of voter wrongdoing," reports Lowe. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Big Four battlegrounds: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin:

Target: Pennsylvania. The Note will dispel any rumor you have heard. Pennsylvania is close, and BC04 is not pulling out.

Read the Philadelphia Inquirer's Parmley and Moore's both-candidates-are-coming-and-spending here piece for more proof. Even Karl Rove told them so!!!!

"'We're adding to our TV buy in Pennsylvania, and the President will be making three stops there next week,' Rove said in a phone interview from Washington. 'We're stepping it up... . We want to win Pennsylvania, and we feel confident about our chances.'" LINK

Karl Rove chatted Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just before the debate. LINK

"In a phone interview shortly before the candidates took the stage, Bush strategist Karl Rove called it a contest between 'a compassionate conservative who believes we ought to have limited government that works for people so they can make their own decisions, and an old-style Massachusetts liberal who believes in big government spending.'"

More Gilbert on the resonant issues for Wisconsites:

"The Kerry campaign has watched closely as health care has zoomed to the top of the list of concerns in Wisconsin polls, and believes the senator's far more ambitious plans to expand coverage are a clear asset. In the debate, Kerry cited statistics on declining numbers of Wisconsinites with coverage."

And this:

"At the same time, Bush strategists believe taxes are a potent issue for the president in high-tax states (Wisconsin is one). It hasn't ranked as high as health care among voter concerns in state polls, but it's an issue that has boosted Republicans in local races in traditionally Democratic areas, in southeastern Wisconsin especially."

"Bush, Kerry: Once more, with feeling," reads the Columbus Dispatch headline over Mary Darlymple's AP story.

Add Republican Governor Bob Taft's opposition to the list of Ohio GOP elected officials coming out against the proposed same sex marriage ban on the November 2 ballot. LINK

"He signed the state's Defense of Marriage Act this year, but Gov. Bob Taft said yesterday that he opposes State Issue 1 because it is unnecessary, overly broad and may harm the state's economy."

"A left-leaning newspaper in London is having readers hand- write letters to undecided voters in Clark County in an effort to deliver the state to the Democratic contender, Sen. John Kerry," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Vote-by-mail in Oregon starts tomorrow. LINK

When Bush talks terror… do his chances in New Jersey improve? LINK

Jon Kamman of the Arizona Republic looks at how, though the KE04 ground troops have made great and Notable progress, Arizona remains Bush Country. LINK

For the first time since 1999 Democrats out-register Republicans in Nevada, reports the Reno Gazette Journal. LINK

West Virginians have until 5pm today to register to vote. LINK


Tonight, Ralph Nader makes an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. With several guest appearances on Saturday Night Live, Da Ali G Show, and Real Time with Bill Maher on his resume, the independent candidate is no stranger to comedy. LINK

The situation for John Kerry in Pennsylvania may have improved a little yesterday when a Commonwealth Court Judge ruled Ralph Nader should be taken off the ballot in the Keystone Commonwealth. After a laborious review process, (involving in their last phase 11 judges in four courtrooms who meticulously reviewed the signatures for about two weeks) the court found Nader fell short of the required number of signatures. Of the more than 51,000 signatures submitted by his campaign — 18,818 were found valid. LINK

The LA Times quotes Commonwealth Court President Judge James Gardner Colins who issued a 15-page ruling. "I am compelled to emphasize that this signature gathering process was the most deceitful and fraudulent exercise ever perpetrated upon this Court."

Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese says the campaign is not ready to give up. "If there is any justice and sense of democracy in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, we expect this decision to be reversed on appeal."

Of the thousands of signatures deemed fraudulent, the New York Daily News Notes Mickey Mouse and Fred Flintstone stood out in particular. LINK

Note: Nader also had a set-back in Ohio Tuesday where a federal judge ruled he should remain off the ballot. The Ohio Supreme Court will have the final word — possibly early next week. The case is on an expedited schedule with a target decision date of Oct. 21, though it may be decided much sooner.

Nader is on the ballot in eight important battleground states. Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. He OFF the ballot in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Nader campaign does a pretty good job of keeping it all updated on their website: LINK

Free Matt Cooper — again:

The New York Times' Michael Janofsky reports that Federal District Judge Thomas Hogan held Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper in contempt for not disclosing sources for a story he wrote about government officials revealing the identity of a CIA agent. LINK


Year of the women? LINK

Free Matt Cooper — again:

As was revealed earlier this week, SILVERDOCS will be hosting a special screening Saturday night of that brilliant, Academy Award winning 1974 Vietnam War documentary "Hearts and Minds" at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Only now we have more news. Not only will the post-screening discussion include the film's director Peter Davis and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation President Bobby Muller, but now (drum roll please) Daniel Ellsberg will be participating as well. LINK

It's a classic film — you should go if you can.


The winners from yesterday's Note contest. Thanks to all of you who played.

The headline Karl Rove wants to see Thursday morning: _________

"Kerry Chokes on Burrito. Debate Cancelled"

"Karl Rove wins MegaJackpot Lottery"

"George W. Bush declared going to Yale was a mistake"

"Swift Boat Vets Have Tape of Kerry in Love Nest with Madame Binh"

The headline Mary Beth Cahill wants to see Thursday morning:__________

"Bush's iPod explodes. Shoulder blades scorched"

"Karl Rove wins MegaJackpot Lottery; retires immediately to own desert island"

"Kerry Avoids Verbosity, Answers Questions in Short Sentences."

"Bush Wets Self at Debate"

The headline Michael Whouley wants to see Thursday morning:_____________

"It doesn't matter as long as Michael Whouley is mentioned"

"Karl Rove wins MegaJackpot Lottery; Mary Beth Cahill so caught off guard that Michael Whouley's tactics are able to save the day!"

"Steinbrenner Fires Torre!"

The headline Laura Bush wants to see Thursday morning:__________________

"Kerry chokes on Pumpkin Spiced Cookies" ... (heh)

"Prez Looked Sharp, Awake"

"Teresa Heinz Kerry divorces John in Search for a Poorer Man."

"Twins Spend quiet night at home"

______________ (state name(s)) will fully drop off John Kerry's target list after tonight's debate.


"All French Provinces"

"New Jersey"

Either John Kerry or George Bush will concede the election on _____ (month) _____ (day)

"1/20/2005. There will be a fist fight in Washington on Inauguration Day. Winner takes all."

"November 3, 2008"

"WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER (or when the Eagles tour again)"

Saturday Night Live will lampoon George Bush's _______________ (characteristic) this weekend.

"Rectangular back tumor"

"Brilliant oratory"

"Wide-eyed pause while being fed answers"

"Wire & wood & internets savvy"

Achieving success in Iraq is ________ (adjective)



"As likely as George Bush displaying brilliant oratorical skills."

"Hard work."

Karen Hughes, Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove, and Ed Gillespie will give each other __________ (body actions) as they bound into the debate room twenty minutes before the debate ends to win the initial body language spin contest.

"Butt cheek slaps like football players."

"Chest bumps and high-fives"

"Haven't you guys learned anything from the latest FCC obscenity fines? Those kinds of gestures aren't allowed."

Re: Bob Novak's reporting that suggests the Bush Administration will conclude early next year that the best course of action in Iraq is a phased pull out. It's ____________ (predicate noun indicating relative degree of truthfulness).

"It's a fact that…"

"It's obvious"

"It's clear I am vindicated as a wartime commander in chief."

"It's A SLAM DUNK!!"

________ (election super lawyer) will be a household name before December. (Note: Ben Ginsberg is ALREADY a household name!)

"Bob Bauer"

"Ralph Nader. (hee-hee)"

"Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer"

John Kerry would strike preemptively if the U.S. action _____________ (specify condition).

"...Was approved by the country we were attacking"

"...Wouldn't break any furniture"

"… Saved the world supply of Botox."

"… Was signed off on by the United Nations, NATO, G8 Members, and the full council of Keene, New Hampshire"

The United Nations is a force for ________(noun) in the world.

"Oil Money"

"Too many gaudy blue flags"

"Employment of diplomats and bureaucrats"

George Bush will make ____________ (number) different facial expressions tonight.

"7.625 (But Cheney will make 666)."

"Three — smile, shrug, and frown."

"Someone should tell him that Botox would reduce his ability to make different facial expressions"

John Kerry will _____________ (verb) his message tonight.

"Continue to decide on"


"Is "pontificate" too Catholic a verb for this one?"

"Screw up"

Campaign reporters will say "_________________ (name) showed exuberance and enthusiasm at tonight's post-debate rally."

"The Bush twins"

"Karl Rove"

"Bob Schieffer"

"Not John Kerry"

_______________ (debate location) had the best Anheuser Busch press grub tent center. (Note hint: Tempe is going to have to really shine to beat St. Louis...)

"St. Louis, I'd bet."


President Bush will explain the state of the economy as ____________ (adjective).

""Turnin' di cornr."


"Ohio. Er, um, I mean insanity. Er, um, really, really, cheerleading level peachy keen swaggeringly good."

"Growing by the hard work of the American spirit"

"One of the many places I have traveled to and met many, many good hard working people who share my thoughts."

_________________ (Nicolle Devenish or Stephanie Cutter) is walking around Tempe with the most confidence this morning.

(Stephanie Cutter received the most votes)

"Karl Rove. Amazing what a lottery ticket in your pocket will do for you."

_____________________ (Judd Gregg or Greg Craig) did the best role-playing of this debate prep season.

(The winner is Greg Craig)

Voters will feel most comfortable with John Kerry's plan for _________________ (domestic policy subject) after tonight's debate.

"Declaring that he has a plan"

"Housing in Vail and Nantucket"

"Shutting up"

________ is the handsomest campaign staffer in the land. "The Bartlett Dude"

"Howard Dean"

"I'm doing phone banking for a congressional campaign. Does that count as being a campaign staffer?"

"James Carville"

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:00 am: Women in Aerospace host a discussion on "The Aerospace Platforms of the Presidential Candidates: A Debate Between Representatives of the Bush-Cheney & Kerry-Edwards Campaigns," Washington, DC

—8:00 am: Rep. Robert Matsui holds a pen-and-pad briefing with journalist members of the National Press Club to discuss the 2004 congressional elections and other issues, Washington, DC

—10:00 am: Cate Edwards attends early voting with students at the Wake County Board of Elections, Raleigh, NC

—12:00 pm: Sen. John Edwards attends town hall meeting at Morningside College, Sioux City, IA

—12:00 pm: The Federalist Society holds a panel discussion on the effectiveness of the new campaign finance laws, with Craig Engle of Arent Fox, Craig Holman of Public Citizen, Michael Malbin of the Campaign Finance institute, Allison Hayward of the FEC, others, Washington, DC

—12:00 pm: The Washington College of Law holds a forum on "Electoral Flashpoints: Threats to a Free and Fair Election in the United States in 2004," with Jamin Raskin of the law school, Lillie Coney of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Estelle Rogers of America's Families United, Washington, DC

—12:30 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a Victory 2004 Rally at Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Meyers, FL

—1:00 pm: Laura Bush delivers remarks at the AARP National Meeting at the Sands Expo Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

—1:10 pm: President Bush makes remarks at a rally with Republican governors, Las Vegas, NV

—2:00 pm: Elizabeth Edwards holds a town hall discussion at the Sons of Italy Lodge #731, Brownsville, PA

—2:30 pm: Sen. John Kerry speaks at an AARP event at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

—3:00 pm: Sens. Susan Collins and Joseph Lieberman hold a closed meeting with Mary Fetchet, the Founding Director of Voices of September 11th, and other family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks, Washington, DC

—3:00 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry holds a conversation on rising health care costs at the Neil Road Recreation Center, Reno, NV

—3:30 pm: Laura Bush delivers remarks at a Victory '04 Luncheon, Lake Tahoe, NV

—4:10 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a Victory 2004 Rally at the Florida Air Museum at Sun-n-Fun, Lakeland, FL

—4:15 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a town hall meeting at the Mid-America Center, Council Bluff, IA

—4:35 pm: President Bush makes remarks at Victory 2004 rally, Reno, NV

—7:00 pm: Sen. Edwards appears on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews

—7:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a Kerry-Edwards Victory Fund Reception at the Hotel Fort, Des Moines, IA

—8:15 pm: Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer speaks about the campaign, sponsored by American University, Washington, DC

—9:00 pm: Sens. Kerry and Edwards hold a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA

—9:10 pm: President Bush makes remarks at Victory 2004 rally, Central Point, OR

—10:15 am: Elizabeth Edwards holds a town hall discussion on health care at the Cispus Attucks Community Center, Lancaster, PA

—11:30 pm: Ralph Nader appears on Late Night with David Letterman