Notes: Whatever else you think of George W. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, he is very good. Rove is also one of those people blessed with the good luck of a winner. After a bad month in July, a Time poll on Friday had Bush ahead of Kerry by 11 points. Democrats are talking about Kerry's team needing a shake up.

Bush has the talent of derision which he came by honestly through his mother, Barbara. He's like that class bully who uses words instead of physicality to beat up classmates, giving them nicknames they don't want and ridiculing them with the knack of getting other classmates to join in. Rove has had Bush use derision to great benefit in campaigns and is having him use it to effect against John Kerry. Bush's opponent, Kerry, is better spoken and brighter, but unfortunately, you can't successfully answer derision with logic. It must be answered in kind.

However, here's an example of Rove's talent in deciding not to use derision. In Bush's Texas campaign against Gov. Ann Richards, also a talented derider, Bush was restrained. I remember Texans thinking that she had gotten too vicious leaving bush looking like a nice, restrained guy.