Conventional wisdom says that George Bush has had a terrible two weeks. The president has been taking a pounding in the mainstream media and has slid a little in some polls. But now, it turns out, John Kerry is the one who is getting worried. First was the Bush news conference, which again showed the president’s great strength: plain-spoken seriousness that Americans instinctively trust. Add to that, as Peter mentions below, the New York Times reports that the Bush campaign ads seem to have started to take a long-term toll by defining Kerry "as a waffling tax-and-spend liberal," especially among suburban voters in swing states.
And Kerry’s problem is not just about reaching swing voters: he also has some difficulties with his base. He went to Howard University, where he received "tepid applause, particularly on questions about race." Then he had a meeting with Cardinal McCarrick, who heads a Church panel deciding whether there should be penalties against Catholic politicians who support policies that are opposed to Church doctrines on matters like abortion. What will happen when he has to face the kind of media scrutiny Bush did this week?