If we all expect it, is it still an October surprise? —

Here’s a roundup of the most “popular” October surprise theories; here is the site where you can weigh in. With polls like this, and with the likes of David Broder suggesting that Bush will be a one-termer, you can almost hear the administration hoping for something that will “rally Americans around their president” or give them a reason to postpone elections…

Troubled Times —

I’m having a terrible time linking to the New York Times today; everytime I click on a story link, my browser freezes. If you’re able to get through, this Bob Herbert piece is a chilling read — Jeb is trying to intimidate elderly black voters, now.

And on the subject of October Surprises and Block the Vote! efforts, Molly Ivins says we could more profitably spend our time contemplating the truly diabolical feats the Bushies have already pulled off…

Kerry’s tricky position on the Iraq War —

Is simplified here by Kevin Drumm and others. (If you suffer the same kinds of challenges as the leader of the free world, you’ll find Bob Somersby’s explanation particularly useful: “What is Kerry’s stand on Iraq? Readers, get ready for some real brain-work! Here goes: Kerry says Bush should have had the authority to go to war, but then went to war prematurely. Wow! Have you finished scratching your heads about all the nuance involved in that statement?”)

Bush Love-Ins —

Bush is particularly effective campaigning among hand-picked crowds teeming with evangelicals and pre-screened questioners who submit loyalty oaths. If you read things like Left At The Altar, you’re probably not invited…

Yes, clothes do apparently make the man —

WaPo’s John Harris proves it in one of the most idiotic pieces of campaign reporting I’ve yet read. I mean, really. This is fluffier than anything by Jodi Wilgoren – who at least laces her stories with malevolent misinformation. The Daily Howler finds it ironic that a press that couldn’t cut Gore any slack and in fact spent many pages mocking his clothing selections, seems smitten with Bush’s “shirtsleeves.”

Finally —

I’ll have more to say, later, on an important series of articles running in the Washington Post. Stay tuned. (If you have any luck getting an article pulled up on the Times site, try to read the piece by Elizabeth Busmiller on those Bush Love-Ins.)

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