A decidedly mixed week for the candidates. Kerry again was out of sight and out of mind. Is he even making appearances now? The only news out of the Kerry camp was an embarrassing and distracting revelation that Teresa Moneybags Heinz57 Kerry had adamantly refused to release her tax returns. Here is how this drama will play out. The Republicans and their media surrogates will not let go of it. It will dog Kerry endlessly. His sanctimonious taunting of a previous Senate opponent will be replayed endlessly. Kerry pompously declared that the rich have a special obligation to disclose their finances because of the unfairness of the tax system. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Kerry helped himself to a mortgage on his wife's, oh sorry, "the couple's" Boston mansion. He can't even pay the interest on his income. But "her" return is off limits? Thsi will be a good test of the liberal media's fairness. We know how they would react if Laura Bush was hyper rich and wouldn't disclose her return. The President again had to deal with an increasingly out of control Iraq and the media circus that has surrounded the 9/11 Commission. Score it half and half. The Iraq commanders seem unable to get it in their heads that we are there to win and that one cannot negotiate with the likes of al-Sadr. A couple of days of all-out bombing and this "insurrection" is history. But they seem to prefer to drag it out, maximize American casualties and allow the insurgents time to regroup and rearm. Strange. The 9/11 Commission was put on the defensive by John Ashcroft's production of a bombshell memo drafted by Commissioner Jamie Gorelick when she served as Clinton's number two at Justice. Basically, she was responsible for the very inefficiencies and failure to coordinate intelligence that she had disingenuously been accusing Republican officials of. Amid calls for her resignation on conflict of interest grounds, the Commssion suffered a serious erosion of authority and credibility. Bush's primetime news conference was another mixed bag. While most Americans seemed to be impressed by his earnest demeanor and resoluteness, his unimpressive performance answering hostile media questions left some shaking their head. At this point Iraq is the key. Kerry's only real hope is a continuing bleeding sore there. For some reason, the Bush team seems completely unable to get a handle on things there, adn until they do, his candidacy is on thin ice.