NBC's First Read has a trick up their sleeves: embedded reporters in each of the Dem primary candidate's campaigns. Their reports most mornings are really worth a read, and the entire blog is working hard to compete with ABC's blogger-bible-baby, The Note. My first thought? It fails. But the more I read it, the more I realize that it really isn't trying to be The Note, but rather something different. It's great to compare ABC's and NBC's various takes on the day's news -- and trust me, there are gonna be lots of breaking stories originating with the embeds. Must be the best job in politics! Competition is always good -- and ABC has been the only game in town for some time. The Washington Post (Kurtz seems so yesterday) and The New York Times have missed the boat thus far, but I bet they ain't far behind.
Oh and P.S. --- It would be nice if us bloggers could easily discover on your page how to link to First Read without the [http://www.msnbc.com/news/924508.asp?0ql=cip -- compare to The Note] crap as I've a feeling that link won't lead to the current edition everyday. I mean, if you want us to link to you from our links lists, make it easy! And hey, if you REALLY wanna do ABC up-one, how's about permalinks and daily archiving, huh? Now that would be awesome....
Kerry Cries, Punches Dean, Acts Wistful
DERRY, N.H. (Reuters) - Maybe it was the ginger tea or the homemade brownies, but Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry ran a gamut of emotions on Wednesday, angrily denouncing President Bush as "dead wrong" on Iraq and shedding tears at a jobless woman's story.
Crying in New Hampshire, site of the first major primary of election seasons for the past half century, proved disastrous to another Democrat's White House campaign. Edmund Muskie's 1972 presidential bid sank after he teared up because of media attacks on his wife. But times have changed. Both the current and previous Presidents Bush are well known for struggling publicly with tears. [...]
"I don't care how many jobs I have to work, those kids are going to college," she said. "And if I can, I'll do whatever it takes to make this country stronger." Kerry, sitting beside her in Mary Ann's Diner, a popular small-town New Hampshire stop for 2004 presidential candidates, choked up and his eyes watered.
"That's very moving. It really is," he said, wiping away a tear. "No, it's tough." (NOTE: Funny, all the crying references seem to have been excised from most versions of this story. Chris Lehane screaming in your ear can do amazing things, I suppose.)[...]
Kerry's campaign has been fighting slippage in the polls and the perception it has been too detached, too flush with old-guard Democratic advisers and too slow to retool. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has eclipsed Kerry in early polls in New Hampshire, although the primary is more than four months away and the general election 14 months away.
Kerry's announcement speech was intended to reignite his White House bid by distilling what he has been saying for nine months into 30 minutes of "straight" talk (NOTE: Oh, please!) and he had plenty of that for both Bush and Dean on Iraq.
"I say to America, we deserve a president who gets it right from the beginning before young men and women are killed," he said. "They were wrong. Dead wrong. They should have listened to (Secretary of State) Colin Powell. They didn't and now they're trying to recoup."
Kerry, who voted in the U.S. Senate for the war in Iraq but has since criticized Bush's handling of it, has taken political heat for trying to have it both ways, especially from Dean, who was against the war from the start.
"Howard Dean's opposition to the war was wrong," Kerry told reporters. "You can't just walk away. All along I said you had to hold Saddam Hussein accountable but do it right." (NOTE: Isn't it really Kerry who's "trying to recoup?" He still can't get the Iraq story straight. No, Mr. Kerry, on Irag YOU were wrong!)
"There's something about September," he said. "The sky's bluer, the air's clearer ... and this campaign has plenty of gas."
(NOTE: Isn't it fun to use petroleum product metaphors and "blue sky, clean air" phraseology all at the same time?)