Political Recycling: Going Begging Edition

hes_fallllling Bush's approval numbers at new low; historical comparisons indicate Kerry will win; top advisors complain of "perpetual debate" about changing strategy. Matthew Dowd: "We're in that place where no presidential reelection campaign has ever been. . . It's both a referendum on the president but also a referendum on the alternative." [WP and NYT and LAT]


FEC rejects limits for 527s. Says commissioner, "The election of 2004 is going to be the Wild West. We are going to see a dramatic escalation of soft-money spending by organizations on both sides of the aisle." McCain, Feingold, Gillespie, Racicot warn of dangerous consequences. [WP and NYT and LAT]

Lawmakers complain about vagueness of military funds request; Wolfowitz takes heat from Democrats; $25 billion expected to be approved. [NYT and WP and WP]

Rumsfeld, in Iraq: "The United States government is going to take care of the people who end up being convicted of some wrongdoing. The justice system of the United States is serious, professional, and it's underway." [NYT and WT]

Bush campaign marks $200 million -- enough to send 5,000 students to Harvard or 3.5 million to Disney World. [USAT]

Bush on the defensive, talks education: "See, if you can't read, these jobs of the 21st century are going to go begging." [WP and WT]

Republicans see Democratic attacks backfiring. Terry Holt: "To blame the prison abuse on the president and the military as a whole is to blame all Americans for the actions of a few. It's really striking to see how easily Kerry can manipulate serious news into campaign fodder." [WT]

Roman Catholic bishop says communion should not be given to a Catholic who votes against church positions on abortion, marriage, and stem-cell research. [NYT]

Candidates' biggest policy difference is on health care; Kerry tries to stay on the issue. [NYT and USAT]

In Arkansas, Kerry tastes voters' admiration of Clinton. [LAT]

Unhappiness with Iraq does not translate to support of Kerry. [WT]

Democrats double number of gay delegates. [WT]

In fear, some Nader voters in New Hampshire switch to Kerry. [BG]

Swing town profile: Webster Groes, Mo. "It's hard to get engaged until there's an honest candidate and a real slate," says one voter. [NYT]

Bush's online store "overwhelms" Kerry's. [WSJ]

[AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]

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