The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Photo Field Day
Newspapers are having a field day with that photo of John Kerry in a so-called "bunny suit" while touring the Kennedy Space Center yesterday.
The New York Post, on its front page, says — "Boston, We Have A Problem." The Washington Times also put the photo on its front page. And the New York Daily News front page says — "Photo Follies."
The New York Times, however, doesn't carry a photo at all, or even a mention of the suit. As for Kerry's hometown newspapers, the Boston Herald calls Kerry, "Bubble Boy." Early editions of the Boston Globe, meanwhile, had a tiny black-and-white photo of Kerry in the "Bunny suit," on page B-10. But later editions killed the photo altogether, and any mention of the suit.
Five months after the AFL-CIO endorsed John Kerry for president, the head of the AFL-CIO's largest union now says the Democratic Party may be better off in the long run if Kerry loses in November. The President of the Service Employees International Union, Andrew Stern, insists the current Democratic Party is — "a hollow party," and if John Kerry becomes president, he would use the Democratic Party for his own political gain and hurt chances of reforming the party. Stern, in an interview with the Washington Post, says Democrats are, "in deep crisis."
A new Washington Post poll, as we noted earlier, shows John Kerry slipping in the race against President Bush. But the poll also shows that substantially fewer Americans now trust Kerry more to handle major issues.
Specifically, 37 percent of Americans now trust Kerry over President Bush to handle terrorism, compared with 47 percent a month ago. And 43 percent trust Kerry more to handle taxes, compared with 53 percent a month ago. Similar shifts away from Kerry occur in this poll on the issues of Iraq, health care — and on education, and the economy.
Consumer Confidence Climbs
Speaking of the economy, consumer confidence has now risen for four straight months — significantly beating expectations and marking the highest level in more than two years.
According to a survey by the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center, the consumer confidence index now stands at 106.1, up from 102.8 last month. In addition, the survey shows that slightly more Americans now say jobs seem plentiful. However, slightly more now describe the current business condition as "bad."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report