Candidates to the Left of Me, Candidates to the Right...

Today's cuppa: Barry's Irish breakfast tea, chased with decaffeinated Irish breakfast tea (all the Irish, half the caf)

Barackobama_240_2 In case you've been in an Antarctic weather station for the last few months, there's a presidential campaign going on, and the presumptive nominees are Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the Democrats (that should become official during the Democratic NationalJohnmccain_whywefight_240_3 Convention, which starts on Aug. 25) and Arizona Sen. John McCain for the Republicans (that should become official during the Republican National Convention, which starts on Sept. 1).

Next week, cable newser Fox News premieres two one-hour specials on the personal and professional lives of each of the candidates, called "2008 Presidential Character and Conduct," airing Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 18 and 19, both at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Billhemmer_240_001_3 Bill Hemmer is anchor of the Monday special, which focuses on Sen. Obama. Ericshawn_4

Eric Shawn is anchor of the Tuesday special, which focuses on Sen. McCain.

But this isn't the last opportunity for voters to watch news specials that help them get to know the candidates.

Back during the Television Critics Association Press Tour in July, I spoke to CNN correspondent John King (click here to see that post, which includes audio Johnking_3 clips) and discussed two specials that cable newser is doing, one on each candidate, scheduled to coordinate with the two conventions.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, PBS airs "Frontline: The Choice" (click here for the official site), which profiles both candidates. During TCA, producer Michael Kirk appeared as part of a "Frontline" press-conference panel, YouTube video excerpts from which are posted here, here and2664949781_86cc98e827_3 here.

After watching the videos, you may wonder why there's so much conversation about former Bush advisor Karl Rove during the panel -- including Kirk's open invitation to Rove to sit down for an extended interview. It's because this panel took place the day before Rove appeared at Press Tour as part of a panel for Fox News, for which he works as a political analyst.

Don't know if Kirk will get that interview, since Rove said he has a book coming out in the fall of 2009, quipping, "If you pre-order on Amazon.com, you can get the personalized nameplate."

I also posted a blog entry about that day.

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