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NYT's Political Blog "The [Democratic] Caucus"

Editor Kate Phillips: "And with the controversy over Senator John Kerry's 'botched joke' presumably (please) leaving the airwaves and the front pages after today...."

Kate Phillips is a Times editor who runs the Times campaign blog, "The Caucus," which given Phillips' clear political preferences may as well be named "The Democratic Caucus."



She writes this snide commentary in a Wednesday post, "The Joke Is Over, Part 2."



"Of course, we do want to mention that between Mr. Snow and Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush, they have had a talking point for more than a day over the original 'botched joke' by Mr. Kerry. Here's the text of Mr. Cheney's remarks, excerpted again as advance text as though it were a summit speech rather than a stump speech for Senator Conrad Burns of Montana....Or Mr. Bush on Rush Limbaugh's show. Yep, it's like a tiger gnawing on red meat."



Phillips ends by positioning that non-partisan champion Sen. Hillary Clinton as the voice of reason, agreeing with Clinton's surely objective plea not to refight Campaign 2004.



"We'll end on this note. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, out campaigning for re-election called Mr. Kerry's initial remarks 'inappropriate.'



"More important, she said that elections are about the future, and 'we don't have to be re-fighting the 2004 election, as much as President Bush would like that.



"Or anyone else.



"Enough said."



Phillips' Thursday morning post, "The War as Foreground," has more of the just-make-it-go-away tone felt by liberals in and outside the media, again expressing hope we'll soon forget about Kerry's seeming insult of U.S. troops while crafting each party's arguments in a pro-Democratic way.



"And with the controversy over Senator John Kerry's 'botched joke' presumably (please) leaving the airwaves and the front pages after today, the final stretch toward next Tuesday may provide a focal point for voters to decide whether support for the troops also means staying the course in Iraq, even as that course changes, or whether, as in the Democratic campaign slogan, a 'new direction'' or a change in direction will be required."