Do you get the feeling that this is a non-election year? Nothing is happening. The Carter campaign is paralyzed by Carter's miserable record, the Anderson campaign by the candidate's irrelevance, the Reagan campaign by fear. The people around Reagan are scared of losing and so will risk nothing. Notice that Carter is not pushing Reagan on RR's decision not to debate, afraid that RR might suddenly accept. Strauss has more confidence in RR than RR's own staff.
1. "A Classic Battle Becomes a Battle for the Center," The Washington Post's Dan Balz is on the money. Whatever happened to Jack Kemp? Homogenized by the Reagan Blender!
2. "Don't Waste the Black Vote," Raspberry is practically begging the Reagan camp to encourage black votes. The Reagan camp, though, will not consider running a TV spot aimed at the inner city, black voters.
3. Kevin Phillips and his American Political Report, the voice of the Old Guard GOP eastern establishment, reports almost gleefully that new ideas have been excised from the Reagan campaign, but also sets up "Kemp-Roth" for the blame in case Reagan loses. It has, you see, kept RR from taking full advantage of the 1980 recession.
4. "Running Mean" The Reagan campaign inches ahead, however, because Carter is fundamentally evil, as this Washington Post editorial points out. Jody Powell called it a "gutter editorial" on the MacNeil-Lehrer PBS program. The national press corps is now leaning to Reagan.
5. "What Polls Can't Tell You" John Sears. A magnificent essay. Save this essay, read it once a week for a year, then shred it into your Wheaties and you will really have a breakfast for champions.