Snapping Into Action

For months, George W. Bush has opened his lucrative fund-raising speeches with the same line about where he is in the race for the presidency, telling politely chuckling audiences, "I'm just getting warmed up." Now, with his poll numbers falling--last week a survey of likely voters found him trailing Democratic front runner John Kerry 43% to 55%--he seems ready to acknowledge that a little sprinting may be in order.

Until the end of last week, his advisers insisted that their boss would engage his political adversaries "later rather than sooner." That has changed--mainly because these advisers now worry that Bush's opponents...

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