The American Staff

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Purple People Watch

Florida. Florida is never far from the minds of either campaign's top strategists, but Floridians had bigger fish to fry than the presidential campaign this August as the state suffered much devastation at the hands of Hurricane Charley. Conventional wisdom has it that then-President George Bush Senior and then-Governor Lawton Chiles both suffered mightily at the polls for what was widely seen as an inadequate response to 1992's Hurricane Andrew, so both Bush brothers pulled out all the stops last week to show that they feel hurricane victims' pain. According to an August 20-22 USA Today/Gallup Poll, they succeeded, with 70 percent of respondents expressing satisfaction with this year's hurricane response.

Purple People Watch

Arizona. Is Arizona really still purple? That's the question on everyone's mind these
days. When last we checked in, the state's rock-star senior senator, John
McCain, had just reverted to good soldier and commenced stumping for George W. Bush in
earnest -- and that seemed to torpedo John Kerry's Arizona prospects for good. (Two
polls in late June and early July showed Bush creaming Kerry by twelve
points.) McCain has only gotten tighter with W. since, recently accompanying
him on a tour of key swing states that culminated in a massive rally last
Wednesday at Phoenix's Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which drew a crowd of

Devil in the Details

Bush Flips and Flops

On August 3, 2000, in Philadelphia, Republican candidate George W. Bush accepted his party's nomination for president and delivered a stirring address. As we await the president's upcoming convention speech four years later, let us reflect on the promises he made then and the realities he's created. Can you say “flip-flop”?

Flip: “America has a strong economy and a surplus. We have the public resources and the public will, even the bipartisan opportunities, to strengthen Social Security … .”

Purple People Watch

Colorado. Pragmatism triumphed over principle in Tuesday's dual Colorado Senate primaries. As expected, state Attorney General Ken Salazar, a pro-war moderate, easily defeated more liberal educator Mike Miles to win the Democratic nomination. The race on the Republican side was harder-fought. After the surprise retirement of incumbent Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell made the race competitive, the GOP establishment recruited beer magnate Pete Coors to be its standard-bearer in November.

Purple People Watch

Iowa. This morning the city of Davenport exists, for a brief period, at the very nexus of the race for president, as both candidates make appearances only a few blocks away from each other. (John Kerry meets with business and labor leaders in the River Center at 10:00 a.m. and George W. Bush leads a rally in LeClaire Park at 10:40 a.m.) Kerry was last in Iowa eleven days ago. Bush has been slacking; he hasn't stopped by since July 19.