It’s Wednesday and the usual suspects are still in a tizzy over the Richard Clarke book. So we used this opportunity to take a day pass from the Wild Wild West of the poli-blogosphere and trot on over to the blogs of the candidates themselves.

Over at the John Kerry blog, Dick Bell sounds the fire alarm, writing, “it’s going to be harder and harder to find out on the White House web site what Bill Clinton did while he was President,” because of this intriguing error message, “Please note: Many files associated with the previous administration have been removed from this server.” While no one wants one administration erasing the record of the previous administration, we can’t help but think Bell is a bit alarmist with this post — especially since he failed to identify what crucial document he was trying to access when that error message appeared.

The Kerry blog is also hosting its very own March Madness contest. It promises to get crazy with this ballistic promotion: “March Madness is not just basketball this year! Until Thursday, April 8, John Kerry’s Massachusetts campaign is holding a March Madness contest. The person who gets the most online contributions for John Kerry through April 8 will win a FOUR DAY PASS to the 2004 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION!”

Be still, my heart.

The March Mayhem continues over at the Bush Cheney ‘04 blog with the “Students for Bush Volunteer Tournament.” The first round winners will be announced today and a quick look at the bracket shows that eighth seed South Carolina is set to take out top seed Florida. Wow! First the NCAA Tournament and now the Bush tournament. Florida chokes again!

Getting back to the issues and/or the talking points, the Bush blog also happily links to Instapundit who yesterday wrote approvingly about receiving a larger-than-usual tax refund check (to his credit, he notes that he’s among the better-off, income-wise). After sharing more letters from Bush supporters, the blog reminds its readers of the stakes in the upcoming election: “In the next few weeks, millions more Americans will be receiving expanded tax refund checks. We wish we could say this extra help wasn’t at risk — but thanks to the trillion dollar gap between John Kerry’s campaign promises and the huge tax increases he’s already proposed — they are.”

As for Gary Nolan, a Libertarian candidate, he uses his bandwidth quota to ask, “Who Can Americans Trust?” Not surprisingly, he answers, neither Bush or Kerry. “President Bush and Senator Kerry simply aren’t delivering the straight talk Americans are looking for.”

We’re not so sure, Gary. A case could be made that what Americans are interested in this spring is indeed … tax refunds and basketball games.

Thomas Lang

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Thomas Lang was a writer at CJR Daily.