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Special Report

Reagan Redux?

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

Reagan Redux?

One person who thought last week's debate went badly for President Bush was President Bush himself, who is said by sources to be unhappy not only with his own performance, but also with the way he was prepared for it.

Some around him now believe that what happened was similar to what happened to Ronald Reagan in the first debate in 1984 when he lost to Walter Mondale after being heavily overprepared.

Some around Bush now think he was left far too preoccupied with staying on message and not making mistakes, and that his normal instincts failed him.

That new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll shows that a huge majority of Americans believe John Kerry won last week's debate. And nearly twice as many now describe Kerry as "intelligent."

But, in the past two weeks, the president's job approval has actually ticked upward a few points. A clear majority describe Bush as the tougher of the two candidates, and more Americans say he is "genuine."

Plus, more Americans say the U.S. will be a safer place if President Bush, not Kerry, wins in November.

Madison Not Bush Country?

The college town of Madison, Wis. — known as one of the country's most liberal — is proving to be a hard place for Bush supporters these days.

Homes sporting Bush-Cheney 2004 signs in their yards have been vandalized, and one has had an eight-foot swastika burned into its lawn with grass killer.

That home's owner says he is "appalled," but that it won't stop him from putting Bush-Cheney signs back up.

And even in death, a woman's efforts to defeat President Bush are moving ahead, with her obituary asking mourners to refrain from sending flowers, and instead "do everything you can to elect John Kerry."

The obituary for 64-year-old Jane Buffett says she was "outraged that any politician who... would invade a foreign country and then expect her grandchildren to pay the bills could claim to be a 'compassionate conservative.'"

Scalia Didn't Say That?

It turns out the uproar over comments by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia last week was based on a distorted quote.

The Harvard Crimson quoted Scalia as saying at an on-campus event, "I take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."

But, in fact, Scalia never said he believed that, only saying "I even accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."

The Harvard Crimson has since issued a correction.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report