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The Candidates:
• George W. Bush
• John Kerry
• Ralph Nader
• Third Parties
Showdown States:
The Conventions:

How would you rate the Kerry team on convention preps?
CNN analysts offer their assessments.


Tucker Carlson
Political analyst

James Carville
Political analyst
B+ B I* A

Robert Novak
Political analyst
C- D I* B

Carlos Watson
Political analyst
B+ B I* B+
NOTE: *Incomplete

Tucker Carlson
He gets an absolute F for bollixing up the Hillary Clinton speaking deal. It caused needless bad publicity, it hurt him among Democrats it made him look foolish. The convention hasn't started yet, but I can tell you that it takes more than an hour to get anywhere in Boston -- including to the men's room. So whoever thought of having a convention here in a city where the construction isn't even finished downtown and the main arteries are only half open ought to be out of a job. It hasn't started yet. But if the food's good, I'll give them a B.

James Carville
I think they're good speakers. You don't know until they get up and speak, but I think Barack Obama is a superb choice. Sen. Cleland is going to do fine, but it's hard to give somebody a grade before an exam. * I don't know (about logistics), I just got to town. It is hard to say.

Robert Novak
I don't think they have a lot of the new faces in the party out there. They've got all the expensive people, but they aren't very interesting. And I think bringing Ron Reagan in is pretty cheesy. * Logistics are always bad for conventions and it remains to be seen how bad it will be when it actually happens. So I'll give them an incomplete. I'm not much for evening themes. I think that doesn't mean anything. The way conventions are now, they are pep rallies. We'll see how well it does.

Carlos Watson
The overall theme "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World" and evening themes are pretty straight-forward. Kerry's team still lacks a dynamic and distinctive overarching theme (e.g. "Compassionate Conservative," "New Democrat"). Both Bill Clinton and Al Gore should be popular with the Democratic faithful. Keynote speaker and Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama is a fresh face. Al Sharpton may steal the show on Wednesday, depending on when his speech airs. John Edwards will be strong -- nice twist having him focus on foreign policy, not just domestic policy. * We'll have to see on the logistics: Did the lights, microphones and other basic necessities work flawlessly? Will the overall convention design be colorful and telegenic? How do protests and picketing get handled?

• July 30: How would you rate the Democratic National Convention?
• July 29: Did Sen. John Edwards make the case?
• July 28: How would you rate Senate candidate Barack Obama's keynote address?
• July 27: How would you rate former President Bill Clinton's speech?
• July 26: How would you rate the Kerry team on convention preps?
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