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Election Recycling: We're Still Hypnotized by That Tie Edition

there_is_nothing_funny_about_this Bush in East Room: "There's no question it's been a tough, tough series of weeks for the American people. It's been really tough for the families. I understand that. It's been tough on this administration. But we're doing the right thing. . ." Kerry: the president "offered no specific plan whatsoever. Rather, the president made it clear that he intends to stubbornly cling to the same policy that has led to a greater risk to American troops and a steadily higher cost to the American taxpayer." [WP and NYT and USAT]


August 6th PDB was among a steady stream of warnings; FBI faulted by 9/11 panel, Clinton administration blamed by Ashcroft. Tenet: "The system was blinking red." [WP and NYT and WT and WT]

Shales: "It was a peculiar performance; Bush would look down, read a sentence, look up, look around, pause slightly, then look down and read another sentence. . . He might as well have been reading letters off an eye chart. . . In contrast to the emotionless delivery of his prepared remarks, during the Q&A Bush appeared passionate at times, answering journalists' questions with an almost religious fervor." [WP]

Balz: "From his opening statement to his final answer an hour later, it was clear that the president's objective was less to lay out new details of the path forward. . . Instead, it was to restate his determination to stay the course and to argue anew that the war in Iraq will make America more secure." Biden: the president offered "platitudes every American agrees with, yet there wasn't one hint that I could detect of a plan of how to accomplish the goal." [WP]

Sanger: "It is Mr. Bush's sense of mission that sustains him these days, his friends say. But that trait may also explain why he was so unwilling to directly engage the reporters who kept asking him whether he had regrets about failing to do more." [NYT]

Brownstein: "For all the attention President Bush devoted to the war in Iraq at his news conference Tuesday night, his message boiled down to three words: Stay the course. . . Bush's performance is unlikely to stem anxiety among Republicans."[LAT]

Editorial: "The United States has experienced so many crises since Mr. Bush took office that it sometimes feels as if the nation has embarked on one very long and painful learning curve in which every accepted truism becomes a doubt, every expectation a question mark. Only Mr. Bush somehow seems to have avoided any doubt, any change." [NYT]

Editorial: "Nowhere in the president's rosy vision did he acknowledge the inconvenient fact that truly free elections in Iraq, with its entrenched and warring factions, might mean results that the Bush administration couldn't embrace. How well the eventual transition works will depend heavily on diplomatic skills that the administration has yet to demonstrate and on reliable intelligence that U.S. agencies have yet to provide." [LAT]

Kerry blames Bush policies for high college tuition, encourages youth to enter politics, says Iraq war must involve other nations: "You have to recognize that the war on terrorism is not what George Bush wants you to believe it is. He wants you to think it's Iraq. The war on terror is al Qaeda and a much more complex kind of struggle of ideas against radical extreme fundamentalism." [WP and NYT and LAT]

BC04 to reduce TV ad spending after $40 million worth of spots. [LAT]

Bush, Cheney, Kerry release their tax forms. [WP and NYT]

Some veterans question Kerry's medals. [BG]

FEC to hear complaints about 527 committees. [NYT and LAT]

Cheney says Taiwan is part of "one China." [WP and NYT]

[Pre-conference confidence. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert]

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