Another senior Kerry aide, Mike McCurry, made it clear in an interview that Mr. Kerry had no intention of using these last hours of his campaign to talk about Mr. bin Laden.
"I think there's going to be a real reaction if news organizations try to make this the only story for the last few days," he said. "There's a lot at stake in this election. Theres' going to be a a lot of visible anger at the American media if this is the story for the whole weekend."
...And some Republicans even suggested that the White House would try to portray the videotape as an endorsement of Mr. Kerry - a bit of a stretch, no doubt, but hardly out of keeping with the tenor of this surly contest for president.
And here's Dan Bartlett yesterday:
Speaking to reporters outside the campaign rally here, White House communications director Dan Bartlett said that the tape should not affect the way Bush campaigns but that Kerry should have marked a 12-hour truce.
"You would think that there would be a, maybe, 12 hours to let the American absorb what has just happened today," he said.
Prodded on why, if the tape ought not to affect the campaign, Kerry should have stopped criticizing the president, Bartlett revised his statement, saying that the problem was that Kerry's attack had been "discredited."