The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Not Once, But Twice?
Though John Kerry has denounced President Bush's plan to withdraw troops from Europe and Asia as, “vague" and dangerous, it turns out Kerry has suggested the same thing not once, but twice.
We noted last night that Kerry said three weeks ago, "I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops. In the Korean Peninsula, perhaps. In Europe, perhaps."
Yet even earlier this year, he was much more explicit, saying, "the overall effort of a president right now ought to be ... [to] reduce the overexposure, in a sense, of America's commitments. A proper approach to the Korean peninsula, for example, should include deployment of troops, the unresolved issues of the 1950s and ultimately, hopefully, could result in the reduction of American presence."
Sticker-ing It to Her?
A social studies teacher in Traverse City Michigan obtained a valid ticket to a Bush-Cheney rally in that city because, she says, seeing the president speak was, "very important to me ... [and something] I truly wanted."
But when Kathryn Mead got to the door, Bush campaign staffers ripped up her ticket and refused her entry. Why? Because she was wearing a small Kerry-Edwards sticker on her blouse.
According to the Traverse City Record Eagle, the Bush campaign ordered that anyone with any stickers not be let in. But Mead says, "I can't imagine being denied [from] hearing the president of the United States speak ... Isn't this a democracy?"
A new Gallup poll shows the Bush-Cheney ticket gaining ground in the battleground state of Ohio. Kerry-Edwards is now leading by a margin of only 48 to 46 percent, compared with a margin of 51 to 45 percent last month.
Meanwhile, a new Quinnipiac University poll in Pennsylvania shows little change in that battleground state, with Kerry still leading by five percentage points, as he did last month.
Vote Count to Blame?
Doug Schoen, the Clinton administration pollster whose exit poll results in the Venezuelan recall election earlier this week came out exactly the opposite of official results, says the problem was with the vote count, not his firm's exit poll.
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, which interviewed more than 20,000 voters across Venezuela, said 59 percent of voters had backed the recall of President Hugo Chavez. Other exit polls came out with similar results.
And that's one reason some Venezuelans are challenging the official results, despite support from former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (search) for the results.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.