Top congressional Republicans are going off their cautious Bush-Cheney message to now claim that President Bush holds the reins in the presidential race, not Sen. John Kerry. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and a lot of his colleagues think it's in the bag. "It's our race to lose," Hastert told the Bulletin and U.S. News.
Hastert claims that Bush has the momentum coming out of the convention and that Kerry has already peaked. Former Republican Party Chairman Jim Gilmore agrees. "That's right," he says. "The movement is to the president," he says, adding, "Kerry hasn't offered anything to close the deal." Rep. Ernest Istook, chairman of a House appropriations subcommittee, explains that the Bush bounce can be explained by the laws of physics: "A body in motion continues in motion." Paul Bedard, U.S. News