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It's the Economy

Vice President Cheney gives an interview to CNBC's Larry Kudlow today; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice does Kudlow tomorrow.  CNBC's Patti Domm notes that the markets have been shrugging off the war in Iraq.  (Voters obviously have not.)  This is also a big week for economic data, Domm says.  Consumer confidence, auto sales, and chain store sales will be capped off by the October jobs report due out on Friday.

Bloomberg looks at the GOP's problem as they try to get voters to focus on positive developments in the economy: "Middle-class voters... aren't inclined to celebrate upbeat economic statistics...  The reason, some analysts say, is the gap between a statistically strong five-year expansion and strapped family budgets...  The skeptical mood among such voters has undermined the strategy outlined by" Karl Rove in a May 15 speech in which he "said then that the continued strength of the economy would override the 'sour' national mood created by the Iraq war." 

The Wall Street Journal takes its turn pointing out that despite the GOP rhetoric, a big tax increase via rollbacks of the Bush tax cuts is unlikely with a Democrat-run House, at least in the next two years.  "That isn't to say that Democrats don't want to make changes in tax policy if they win a majority in the House or Senate on Nov. 7, or that their influence won't be felt."  But for "all the tax talk in the 2006 campaign, it is the 2008 election that will have more significant implications for tax policy."