John McCaslin

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry can't escape the "Swift Boat" wake, although CBS News anchor Dan Rather's "bias" tops all political buzzwords in the Global Language Monitor's September PQ (Political-sensitivity Quotient) Index.

Neither of the above sagas is helping Kerry's campaign - "in many cases overshadowing the key messages of the Democratic nominee," according to the index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks politically sensitive words and phrases in the media.

"With five weeks remaining in the campaign, there is a very real danger that Kerry's key messages continue to be swamped by the 'Swift Boats' and 'Rathergate' issues," says Paul JJ Payack, president of the California-based language monitor.

"Swift Boats" actually is getting more media hits and citations than all other key Kerry messages combined, according to the index, including "two Americas," "Bush the misleader," "jobless recovery" and "global outsourcing."


Stumping for votes in Wisconsin, President Bush traveled by motorcade through the town of Walworth, where, according to the official White House Pool Report, there was an eye-catching group of ladies on hand to welcome him: "(I)n the parking lot of the Vegas Gentlemen's Club, the talent stood on the back of a flatbed truck and offered waves to the president."


They are a most unique group of eight Americans, each a public servant who touched countless lives. Tuesday night they were honored by the Partnership for Public Service with its 2004 Service to America Medals. Receiving the award during the gala at Washington's Union Station were:

- The Energy Department's Nicole Nelson-Jean , who, at a mere 28 years of age, led a U.S. delegation to the Arctic Circle to negotiate an agreement with Russian officials to better secure Russia's nuclear materials and weapons.

- Eileen Harrington, who led a team at the Federal Trade Commission that developed and implemented the national do-not-call registry, reducing the number of telemarketing calls for more than 60 million Americans.

- Ambassador Prudence Bushnell, now dean of the State Department's Leadership and Management School. Bushnell guided the U.S. Embassy in Kenya through its deadly 1998 bombing and was a leading voice urging a response to the ethnic genocide in Rwanda.

- Brad Gair, federal coordinating officer with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, who oversaw the government recovery efforts in New York City after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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