The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Election "In Process of Tipping Right Now"?
Polls may show President Bush (search) with a substantial lead over John Kerry (search), but, before they came out, Al Gore insisted the election is, "in the process of tipping [to Kerry] right now."
Gore, in the newest issue of The New Yorker, says, "The real distinction of this presidency is that, at the core, [Bush] is a very weak man. ... His weakness is a moral weakness. I think he is a bully, and like all bullies, he's a coward when confronted with a force that he's fearful of [such as] ... wealthy interest groups."
In addition, Gore says that President Bush's faith is, "the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in Kashmir, in [many] religions around the world."
John Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley, who had exclusive and unrestricted use of Kerry's letters, journals, notebooks, and personal accounts from Vietnam, is now calling on Kerry to release his full military file.
This after the Navy announced it's investigating whether Kerry's medal citations, posted on his Web site, are accurate. Brinkley says, “Is it sloppiness, is it purposeful intent, is there an easy explanation for [any discrepancies]? ... Right now it's unclear."
Brinkley says if the investigation finds evidence of deliberate distortion, that could be the end to Kerry's candidacy.
Saudi Support, And A White House Cover-up?
Florida Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, the co-chairman of a congressional investigation into 9/11, has released a new book, accusing the Saudi government of financially supporting terrorists in the U.S. before the attacks ... and President Bush of trying to cover it up afterward.
In the book, Graham says the White House blocked congressional staff from interviewing people related to the case, and suggests, "the president's loyalty lay more with Saudi Arabia than with America's safety."
The Saudi government, however, calls the allegations, "unsubstantiated and reckless," insisting, "It is irresponsible of the senator to make [such] statements." The 9/11 commission, by the way, found no evidence to support Graham's allegations.
The North Dakota National Guard says it named new land for military training exercises, "Dakistan" to ensure it won't be confused with any "real-world entity," and to make a little reference to their home state. But the editorial board of The Forum, a daily newspaper in Fargo, has condemned the name as, "insensitive and offensive" to Middle Easterners and Native Americans.
Specifically, the paper says the use of "istan" is an inappropriate reference to nations in the Middle East and central Asia, and the name "Dakistan" perverts the Sioux word "Dacotah." So The Guard has now dropped the name.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report