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Media parrotheads bemoaned John Edwards for not picking a fight with Kerry in the debate, not going for the jugular, not attacking, and all the other stuff that gets their blood and ratings up. They saw it as surrender, since some combination of horserace and warfare is the only way the simpleminded can understand politics.
But one media sage had a different point of view---Bill Schneider, the resident political bobblehead at CNN, the one with the gnomeish half-grin and ability to do political analysis in soundbite size chunks. He saw the civility and high level of discussion at the debate, the four personalities (all different and all attractive in their own way) and their common attacks on Bush as helping the Democrats. In the week that many parrotheads were crediting Bush with retaking the political initiative with his "proposed" anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, Schneider awarded the debate his Political Play of the Week as a strong plus for the Democrats.
Also on Friday, Edwards picked up some support from Howard Dean activists in Minnesota, making that state's caucuses now his best chance to win something on Tuesday. (Still, Kerry has a lot of strength there, with AFL-CIO backing and organization. There is also the wildcard of Dennis the K who may appeal to the Greenish Dems more than Edwards.) Edwards got some good news in a poll in Maryland that shows him pretty close, but bad news from a poll in Georgia which shows Kerry with a 20 point lead among likely voters. (In other polls the race is tighter.) Kerry also got an important newspaper endorsement in Ohio.
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