The final part of my interview with the president and a recap of the whole conversation, moments away. But first the "Talking Points Memo": Hope is on the way. That was the refrain you'll remember at the Democratic convention and how true it is. When Americans vote 34 days from now, all of us will be voting on what we hope will happen. Bush supporters hope the president is right when he says the USA will bring democracy to Iraq and that will hurt worldwide terrorism. Kerry supporters hope their guy can rally the nations of the world to help American in Iraq and other terror battlefields.
But, unfortunately, for all Americans, nobody knows what will actually happen, nobody. The anti-Bush press is already portraying Iraq as a lost cause. Of course, that's unfair and foolish. Iraq could be a big victory for America in the future. It could also be a defeat. Nobody knows. The anti-Kerry forces deride him as a dreamer and schemer. But it is possible the senator might convince some world leaders who don't like Bush to be more cooperative in the war against terror. That's possible, but not probable.
So we, the people, are caught in a situation where certainty simply doesn't exist. We have to vote on hope. Judging from the thousands of emails we've received and from our billoreilly.com poll asking you to grade the president's performance in the interview this week, Mr. Bush has helped himself by talking with us. Thousands of independents and even some liberals have written to say they have more respect for the president now that they've heard him field direct questions.
Senator Kerry would be wise to notice what has happened here for one big reason. He desperately needs to define himself and to clarify his vision. He might be able to do that in a debate but surely a one-on-one forum that challenges him is the best showcase. John Kerry's challenge is simple. He must convince independent voters that his vision is more realistic than the scenario painted by the president.
Again, the voters know Mr. Bush. They still don't know Mr. Kerry. So it is on to Miami. We'll be there tomorrow night. After speaking with us, the president does have a bit of momentum while John Kerry has a tan. "Talking Points" is looking forward to the big debate and also looking forward to talking with Senator Kerry.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Big day for the FOX News Channel. For the first time in our eight-year history, we beat all of our cable news competitors combined in the last quarter. That means that FNC had more viewers than CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Headline News all added up together. Wow, thank you.
In addition, the paperback edition of "Who's Looking Out for You" debuts at number eight on "The New York Times" bestseller list this Sunday, and then rises to number three the following Sunday. That will buzz them over there — better than throwing little apples at them. Again, I personally thank all of you for watching and reading. I could not do it without you, obviously. It's only ridiculous if you don't like us, and everyone does — well, not everyone. You heard those boos a little... I'm so misunderstood.