ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman has a memo (wink, wink) from Karl Rove to John Kerry. (And The Note just wants to make sure that Chapman is prepared for all of the yahoos out there who will write on their blogs about the amazing and demoralizing words that Rove has for Kerry and wonder how he managed to acquire such a key document!) LINK

The Washington Post looks at why women view Bush as stronger than Kerry on national security. LINK

And the gender gap isn't just getting play on the national stage.

"In a brief interview Wednesday during a stop in Cleveland, it was easy to get the impression that [Planned Parenthood's Gloria] Feldt would like to grab Kerry by the shoulders and tell him to start talking about these issues," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. LINK

"'He has an excellent agenda on women's rights issues, and I'm sure if he were to talk about that agenda, it would be helpful to him,' she said.

If a television ad was announced yesterday, you can be sure you'll find mention of it in Nick Anderson's latest Los Angeles Times dispatch on what many Americans will be seeing on their television screens this week. LINK

Anderson includes Karen Hughes defense of the windsurfing ad as "'a lighthearted way of making a very serious point. [Kerry] may have a case of selective amnesia when it comes to some of the things he's said.'"

"Sponsors of the nation's latest campaign finance law, outraged over the millions of dollars being spent by independent "527" organizations on this fall's elections, joined forces again yesterday to propose legislation barring the groups from raising and spending unlimited sums on federal campaigns," the Washington Post reports. LINK

This Jim Jordan quote courtesy of the Los Angeles Times is actually referring to his current capacity with America Coming Together, not (as some may think) a remembrance of his days with the Kerry campaign. (Insert rim shot here.)

"'Suffice to say that the ground we've been operating on has been soft and the guidance has been murky,' he said 'We've behaved very cautiously and with the advice of lawyers.'" LINK

Michael Finnegan informs his Los Angeles Times readers that California remains oh so Blue despite Gov. Schwarzenegger's 67 percent approval rating. LINK

News of day from Anne Kornblut: LINK and Maura Reynolds: LINK and Dick Stevenson: LINK

Al Hunt reasons that if Bush and Kerry are closers, they haven't done it yet. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney '04:

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Simon writes that the extension of some middle class tax cuts provides "President Bush a victory on a centerpiece of his economic stimulus program that he can trumpet on the campaign trail in the final weeks before the election." LINK

On his 37th visit to Pennsylvania yesterday, President Bush hit Sen. Kerry hard on Iraq, saying that "mixed signals are wrong signals."LINK

Bush told supporters in King of Prussia, PA: "you cannot lead the war against terror if you wilt or waver when times get tough."

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Suzanne Parmley leads with those comments. LINK

Parmley Notes that what was billed as a Focus on Education event evolved into "a sweeping campaign speech that underscored what has become his strongest advantage over his Democratic challenger: dealing with terrorism."

Dale Mezzacappa of the Inquirer takes a more in depth look at the issue President Bush was going to address — education. LINK

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