Election Recycling: The Exhaustion of Power Edition

is_he_on_stiltsBush to decide whether more graphic photos are released. Lindsay Graham: "It's clear to me that we had systemic failure" within the military. McCain: "It would be terribly premature to call for [Rumsfeld's] resignation at this time." [WP and NYT and WT]

Bush aims to avoid his father's problems: loss of Iraq and his reelection. Rove says he will paint Kerry as a condescending elitist; Rice says Bush should not be underestimated. [WT]

With abuse scandal, McCain takes spotlight. McCain: "I have seen a lot of people die. I've seen a lot of terrible things in my life. But to see it done by Americans to human beings is what's so appalling. It's so outrageous, I can't describe it." [NYT]

If Rumsfeld survives, it's because of Bush. Senior administration official: "Rumsfeld's relationship with Bush is based on performance, not personal factors. When the performance was there, the relationship was fine." [NYT]

Conservative intelligentsia complain politics distract from sound policies. George Will: "This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and, having thought, to have second thoughts." Said one intellectual conservative, "It's the exhaustion of power. Ideology has confronted reality, and ideology has bent. On the domestic side, it has bent in terms of the expansion of the government embodied in the Medicare prescription-drug law. On the foreign policy side, it has bent because of what has transpired in the last few weeks in Fallujah." [WP]

In state-by-state analysis, Bush and Kerry each have 205 electoral votes, the remaining 128 are up for grabs. [USAT]

21 million single women--most with liberal views--did not vote in 2000. [LAT]

Bush comes out swinging for free trade. [WSJ]

Kerry begins health care tour: "It's not acceptable to do nothing while those premiums are rising four times faster than workers' earnings." [USAT]

Some see gay marriage initiatives in swing states as push for Bush vote. [WP]

Nancy Reagan calls for stem cell research. [WP]

Bob Graham's 4,000 diaries are seized by Kerry staff for VP vetting. [WP]

Ad experts give bad marks to campaign ads; "These, to me, are just wallpaper," said an executive. [LAT]

Jenny Backus, democratic strategist: "There's definitely a Beltway maelstrom [of complaints about Kerry]. There are a whole bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks who live in Washington and feed a lot of these reporters. People use the press as a giant instant-message board." [WP]

[AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]


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