Election Recycling: Isn't Zell Miller a Republican Yet Edition

dude At the 9/11 panel, Richard Clarke testifies amid partisan tension about Bush's alleged missteps in homeland security: "Your government failed you. Those entrusted with protecting you failed you. And I failed you. . . I believe the Bush administration in the first eight months considered terrorism an important issue but not an urgent issue. . . There was a process underway to address al Qaeda. But although I continued to say it was an urgent problem, I don't think it was ever treated that way." Clarke says he will not be involved with a Kerry administration; the White House goes on the defensive. [WP and NYT]


Condoleezza Rice disputes Cheney's claim that Clarke was "out of the loop." [NYT]

Bob Kerrey give the performance of a lifetime: "The bottom line for me is, it just pains me to have to say that on the 11th of September that 19 men and less than half a million dollars defeated every single defensive mechanism we had in place -- utterly. It wasn't even a close call." [WP]

Cultural issues --from the pledge to gay marriage to "The Passion"-- could dominate the election and play to Bush. Says a campaign official, "On so many of these 'cultural issues,' what is true in Bethesda is not true in most of America. In fact, in most of America, a thoughtful, culturally conservative position that is based on principle is one that consistently is also good politics." [WT]

Everyone is a friend on panel dominated by former government officials. [NYT]

Criticism of the Bush administration by testimonies at 9/11 panel could harm Bush's strongest asset; MoveOn.org plans ad based on Clarke's testimony. [LAT and USAT]

Testimony of Medicare's chief actuary about the cost of prescription drug benefits leads to charges of an administration coverup. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.): "We know you would not have had the votes to pass this bill if the true cost of the bill was known." [WP and WT]

Bush's immigration plan has little support. [WT]

Zell Miller launches Democrats for Bush: "I remember when most Democrats were in favor of projecting America's power abroad, because we believed that America was a great force for good over evil. . . For decades, the Democratic Party maintained peace through strength. We worked with Republicans to ensure that freedom and democracy would not falter in the face of any threat." [WT and USAT]

Bush faces tough economy in Michigan. [USAT]

Kennedy helps Kerry, publicly and privately. Douglas Brinkley: "Friends are stunned to see how Kennedy is being so selfless to help John Kerry. They never thought they'd see the day when he would be a willing foot soldier for his junior senator. It's unique for Ted Kennedy." [USAT]

Clinton, Carter, Gore, and other prominent Democrats join in rare unity to raise $10 million at a Kerry fundraiser, to be followed by a fundraiser with OutKast, Ginuwine, Babyface, and Q-Tip. Kerry has the challenge of building enthusiastic support. [NYT and LAT]

Paul Maslin on his Atlantic Monthly article on Dean: "I was critical of a lot of us, including myself. If someone wants to criticize me for writing anything, fine, I plead guilty. I think I was fair and tough." [WP]

[The flower pull-tab is a nice touch. AP Photo/Elise Amendola]

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