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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Coming up ...

Midweek, and convention preps are underway. These things are all about five bazillion details, all hard to handle. One difference between the GOP and Dem conventions, GOP delegates report, is that NYC retailers seem a lot more enthusiastic than the Boston folks were. Downtown Boston basically fled the convention -- not so midtown Manhattan. Delegates are being inundated with coupons and invitations to spend, spend, spend -- in a sales-tax-free week, no less. does this count toward the $20 billion President Bush promised after 9/11?

Vice President Cheney was in KC stumping for 3rd District candidate Kris Kobach yesterday -- remarks here. Kobach will be speaking to the Kansas delegation at the convention, no doubt networking the national GOP as well. Sam Brownback gets a mention in Lawrence Levy's Newsday column, in which he looks at the moderate-conservative split in the national GOP.

The point some conservatives are making is, why try to be something the party isn't anymore, moderate. Why champion left-leaning programs, such as No Child Left Behind and prescription drugs for seniors, when they haven't helped Bush win more votes?

There's a good chance the campaign is listening. And that New York may be the party's last stab at pushing moderate, undecided voters their way.

If the convention doesn't move their "numbers," there's an even better chance Bush will try to win with the minority of voters who have made up their minds to support him. That would be risky but doable - if Bush can make the undecideds so disgusted with him and Kerry that they stay home.

That, he says, will make a more negative campaign. We'll see.

Finally -- no surprise here -- editorialists are weighing in on Sen. Pat Roberts' intel reform proposal. Most writers seem to think the radical restructuring that would, among the other things, eliminate the CIA as an agency.

A representative sample from The Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

Clearly, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts is not afraid of igniting a massive Washington turf war. His sweeping plan to reorganize the nation's intelligence-gathering has something to offend almost everyone - the CIA, Defense, the FBI, at least four other Cabinet departments plus some powerful members of Congress.

It's tempting to say a plan that steps on that many toes can't be all bad, but the fact is, it's too early in the process to tell.

The Kansas Republican is also clearly not afraid to think big.

Roberts (no big surprise here) was named to the Senate's 9/11 working group yesterday.