The Buzz

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IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORAL TERMS September is the new late October, which is why it's not surprising that both President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry are taking time to talk issues with a well-known magazine that will hit newsstands next month. Time? Newsweek? Cat Fancy? No, no, and no. They'll grace the cover of Time4Media's Field & Stream. The mag promises-natch!-a special newsstand cover of both candidates hunting in the great outdoors. (No, not together.) Such are the perks, for the 1.5-million circulation F&S, of a Democratic candidate who-gasp-hunts, and targets rather than writes off rural male voters.

Of course, as candidates prefer the cozier confines of "Larry King Live" to, say "Meet the Press," they haven't shunned lifestyle mags. In its August issue Ladies' Home Journal ran covers featuring the president and his missus as well as Sen. Kerry and his Teresa. And Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing's Family Circle hosted its fourth first-lady bake-off. The winner, the mag claims, correctly predicts which husband will prevail in November. Ms. Heinz Kerry has brilliantly lowered expectations,saying her cookie is actually "not mine" and "a nasty recipe." No word, yet, on whether Sen. Kerry told F&S the president "hunts like a wuss," or if the president claims that the senator's lost numerous chances to bag big game via waffling over which weapon to employ.

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