A noun, a verb...and POW

Tomorrow's news today -- a sneak peek at my article in tomorrow's DN:

Before he was Barack Obama’s running mate, Delaware Sen. (and ex-candidate) Joe Biden was famous for one moment in the 2008 race — when he delivered a body blow to Republican Rudy Giuliani by calling his campaign “a noun, a verb...and 9/11.”

Now, as Obama, Biden and the Democratic Party’s heavyweights descend on Denver to kick off the party’s 2008 convention tonight, there’s a new phrase increasingly on the lips of party activists looking to bring the fight to John McCain.

A noun, a verb...and POW?

In other words, with Democrats long seeking a more aggressive tone after John Kerry’s underwhelming 2004 race, how far will they take their attack now that the foe is a decorated war hero in McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 5 1/2 years?

On the other hand, will the GOP’s presumptive nominee go too far in using his time as a POW as a defense for all manner of allegations, most having absolutely zero to do with his time at the notorious “Hanoi Hilton”?

Some say McCain has already overplayed his hand, including New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who typically surfs across the top of the froth generated by the Beltway pundits and insiders. Yesterday she wrote:

“[McCain’s] campaign is cheapening his greatest strength — and making a mockery of his already dubious claim that he’s reticent to talk about his POW experience — by flashing the POW card to rebut any criticism, no matter how unrelated.”

Read the whole thing -- when tomorrow's paper comes out.