The Democrats are striking the set at the Fleet Center, and we're also wrapping up our convention week coverage from Boston. But before we head home, here's what John Kerry and John Edwards are up to: Taking the requisite post-convention bus tour. Actually, they'll be crossing the country by bus, train and boat and covering 3,500 miles and 21 (battleground) states in 15 days. First stop: Scranton, Pa. In a few days, polls will show what kind of a "bounce" Kerry got from Boston. All we have so far is this Zogby poll showing Kerry with a 5-point lead during the convention week, but the lead is within the margin of error, meaning it's statistically insignificant. What's changed in this poll, though, from the last time it was conducted, is that the percentage of undecided voters increased and support for Bush-Cheney decreased. Support for Kerry-Edwards stayed the same. On a micro-scale, the pollster Frank Luntz conducted a "swing voter" focus group and found that Kerry's speech went over swimmingly. One of the focus group's favorite lines: "I want an America that relies on its ingenuity and innovation, not the Saudi royal family."
Not to be outdone by the Kerry-Edwards tour, Bush shot out of Crawford to embark on a Heart and Soul of America tour, a direct and intentional reference to Kerry's remarks at the celebrity-studded Radio City Music Hall event that got Whoopi Goldberg canned from Slim-Fast. Bush's reaction to the Boston convention: Mighty "clever speeches."
Finally, we'll leave you with some odds and ends links:
Values: E.J. Dionne says Dems are finally striking back.
Pony-up: DNC wants $1 million a day between now and Nov. 2.
Gay marriage: Aside from Barney Frank, little talk about gay marriage from the podium.
Protests: Demonstrations weren't overwhelming, despite some Thursday activity outside the fortified cage-like Free Speech Zone. On to New York.
Payback: RNC chair Ed Gillespie was in Boston this week to counter the Democratic message, but apparently got little sleep because Dems were prank calling him at all hours.
Ralph Nader: "I'm staying in the race. Here's why. Get used to it."
Strategery: Will Ferrell does GWB again, in ad.