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Presidential Kerry hits his stride

Page 2 of 2 -- Joy of uncommitted. If reincarnation is real, I want to come back as uncommitted voter. I want to be oblivious to world around me and get asked again and again what I think. In CBS poll, undecideds gave last debate to Kerry, 39-25 percent. Another 36 percent called it a draw -- obviously still waiting for their free toaster from Bush or Kerry.

New Hampshire upset? In 2000, Granite State went for Bush by 7,211 votes. Its four electoral votes could be crucial again. Despite suffocating barrage of television spots, GOP Governor Craig Benson is tied for lead. Presidential poll now shows Kerry ahead by seven points. Boston consultant Mike Shea has congressional candidate Paul Hodes moving up, thanks to funny TV spot showing GOP congressman Charlie Bass literally in Bush's pocket. Bass's lead fell from 30 points to 13.

Who's got Bush's back? Expert who makes devices for military told Salon.com he thinks bulge under Bush's jacket in debate No. 1 was designed to receive electronic signals and transmit them to hidden earpiece in Bush's ear canal.

"It's a pretty obvious one," said Alex Darbut of Resistance technology. Darbut thinks device provided by Secret Service. But White House says Secret Service has not outfitted Bush with hidden device. Salon.com ran photo of bulge under Bush's well-tailored jacket after Wednesday's debate.

Battle of the bulge. New York Daily News found master tailor who looked at photos of bulge and said, "There's definitely something there, in between the shoulder blades. I can't say what it is, but it's not hidden very well. They should have come to me. I can hide a pistol." New York tailors know their customers.

Now he tells us. Bush's manager, Ken Mehlman, tried to laugh off bulge. "The president is an alien. . . . He's been getting information from Mars." Don't toy with us, Ken.

Dan Payne is a Boston-based Democratic media consultant who has worked in John Kerry's Senate campaigns in the past but is not affiliated with his presidential campaign. He does presidential campaign analysis for NPR. His column appears regularly in the Globe. 

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