Election Diary

* Those fearing the endless perpetuation of the Bush dynasty can relax. George Bush's brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida, told ABC television: "I'm not going to run for president in 2008. That's not my interest. I'm governor of this state. It's the best job in the world I have."

In the eyes of Republicans at least, part of that job is ensuring that the battleground state of Florida is won by his brother - ideally without all the controversy that raged four years ago.

* Every political season brings with it its own flurry of jargon and catchphrases, but how many of them persist? The US News and World Report says that the question being asked by the editors of the next edition of the Webster's New World College Dictionary in regard to "Deaniacs" (followers of the one-time presidential hopeful Howard Dean), "red state" (shorthand for a Democratic stronghold) and "big tent" (the notion of the political party as welcoming a wide range of opinions) which have been widely used by pundits, politicos and journalists. The editors are trying to assess if these terms were just a passing fad or whether they have genuine staying power.

* California may not be much of a battleground - Kerry is expected to walk it - but Democratic Party candidates still love going to the Golden State for replenishment - spiritual and financial. A fund-raiser over the weekend brought Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Howard Dean and others out to Santa Monica to lobby for several key senate candidates.

"What a great evening in Santa Monica," Senator Clinton said to an adoring crowd of rich LA liberals as she looked up into the clear evening sky. Then she added, with obvious wistfulness: "But then it's always a great evening in Santa Monica."

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