Opinion polls aren't supposed to mean much this early in a presidential campaign when only the professionals are paying attention.
Still, there is nervousness in Republican and Conservative ranks that President Bush (search) has fallen behind on points to a strong puncher and has not yet begun to fight. He's been nice to all sorts of Democrats, who end up calling him a liar, a fool and an idiot.
In Florida this week, presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry (search) was scaring old people with the usual Democratic line. He said President Bush will cut off their entitlement checks. It isn't true, but the lie has worked well for Democrats in the past.
The late Gov. Lawton Chiles (search) beat Jeb Bush the first time Jeb ran for governor of Florida. Chiles later apologized for the lies in his own campaign commercials, but he kept the job anyway.
Congressman Bob Wexler (search), who defended Bill Clinton against every charge imaginable, warmed up the Florida crowds for Kerry. Wexler kept alive the lie about the 2000 election, falsely claiming again it was stolen from al gore.
The fact is no matter how many times those Florida votes were counted, George W. Bush still won. And he won in spite of all of the illegal immigrants and ex-convicts who voted for gore and whose votes should not have been counted.
In every race he's run, George W. Bush has been the underdog and underestimated. He has beaten some formidable opponents, including Ann Richards for the governor's office in Texas and a sitting vice president for the job he holds now.
Karl Rove, the president's strategist, is no dummy. He has a plan.
It's just that many Bush supporters wish the president would stop playing the role of punching bag and start pounding a man who is like floor wax — all shine and no depth.
And that's Column One (search) for this week.
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