A Race Is What We've Now Got

SPIN ALLEY IS ONE OF THE WEIRDER VENUES OF MODERN U.S. politics. It is the room where reporters gather after a debate to be serenaded by the respective candidates' handlers and allies. There is a Roman Colosseum feel to the scene: each gladiator is trailed by a lackey carrying a large placard with his or her name in big block letters, so you can track ROVE and LOCKHART working the room. Which was how I found out that John Kerry had won last week's first encounter with George W. Bush.

An hour after the debate, all the Kerry spinners were gone...

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