The Note: Not for the Faint of Heart




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13 days until Election Day


Much will happen between now and Nov. 2 — and we mean more than just battleground state campaigning, an endless profusion of polls, and the cable news obsession with showing that same "hanging chad" video over and over (the shot of the guy in Florida holding up the ballot and eyeing it like it is a severed hand).

We are pretty sure that ALL of the following things will occur, but, in classic Note style, we'll hedge by doing it as a quiz -

Which of the following things will happen before John Kerry or George Bush concedes the 2004 presidential election:

— a profusion of Red Sox metaphors (win or lose tonight)

— Charlie Gibson's exclusive interview with President Bush on next Monday's "Good Morning America" (Just to be clear — this one IS happening!!! — and it's his only morning interview before the election.)

— a high viz national poll that is out of whack with the rest of them and gets tongues wagging

— the Columbus Dispatch endorsement

— Peter Jennings' continued reporting tour of battleground states (tonight: Cleveland, OH)

— John Kerry goes hunting

— either Matthew Dowd or Stan Greenberg has to admit error, and explain why

— at least two Drudge-inspired events that bring newsrooms across America to a halt

— a helicopter ride of Note

— Nightline's "day in the life" with John Edwards tonight (Again — there's no doubt about this one!!)

— a hockey game of Note

— wide-spread false, negative advocacy phone calls will be made and detected and nearly every news organization in America will wrongly deem them "push poll" calls

— a series of lame, unoriginal movie-title-driven plays on words when Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigns for President Bush in Ohio

— undisciplined, foolish political reporters will begin to go on television shows galore and make predictions about the popular and electoral vote outcomes

— The Note will begin to publish on weekends

— Ralph Nader will have one moment in the sun of an indeterminate nature

— at least one major candidate sibling, spouse, or parent will commit a newsmaking gaffe

— the CBS News National Guard investigation will NOT be completed

— Bill Clinton will hit the campaign trail and the mixed reaction — vis a vis John Kerry — will at once surprise, and confirm the worst suspicions of, Al Gore

— we are unlikely to read any quote we like more than the one that appears in this morning's New York Times from corporate spokesguy Eric Anderson regarding his company pulling ads from Sinclair stations: "Burger King wants to maintain neutrality during this election."

— the surfacing of at least one robo-call, one radio ad, and one mass e-mail that the press will inadequately scrutinize and still deem illustrative of elevating the level of personal negativity

— final spending figures will be tallied up and the campaign media will for the most part (wrongly) equate spending on political speech with evil incarnate

— campaign war rooms will increasingly be populated by can't-handle-the-pressure-of-a-tight-race staffers who assume the fetal position upon entry each day

— lobbyists and PAC directors will suffer creeping doubts about whether they bet on the right pony or not

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