ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"President Bush trumpeted his record on education and portrayed his Democratic opponent as too indecisive a leader for a nation at war," the New York Times ' Ray Hernandez reports. LINK

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on President Bush's aerial tour of flood damage in Western Pennsylvania and campaign speech in Latrobe: LINK

O'Toole Notes: "For any incumbent in an election, the line between governing and politics can sometimes be tough to discern, but that wasn't the case later in Latrobe, as Bush basked in bright sun and full-throated cheers at a rally on the tarmac of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport."

Karl Rove and a few editors and reporters of The Washington Times sat down to a 90-minute luncheon interview at the Hay Adams yesterday. The Man from Behind the Curtain said the President is firming up the Red states, and slowly seizing hold in the Blue and boasted gains in the Senate would clear Bush-appointed judges for confirmation.

The Caesar-salad-eating adviser said the BC'04 campaign is making strong headway in West Virginia and Ohio [where Bush "under performed" four years ago] and Noted Dems had talked a good game in several states that now seem they will go for Bush. "A lot of states that were expected to be in close contention are floating out of contention: North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri; maybe Colorado, Arizona … .I mean, some of them are gone; North Carolina is gone," he said of the home state of Mr. Kerry's running mate, Senator John Edwards. "Arkansas is gone. If it's not gone, it will be gone on November 2nd." LINK

At the same luncheon Rove boiled the Bush plan to a 3" x 5" index card: "If you want three, I can give you three: win the war on terror, make the tax cuts permanent to grow the economy and reform fundamental institutions that have sort of gotten out of sync." LINK

George H.W. Bush gave Ohioans an 11-minute "folksy talk" yesterday "signaling his emergence on the campaign trail," reports the Columbus Dispatch. And 41 was able to illicit some boos at the mention of Dan Rather's name … ahhh the history! LINK

"The House voted to ease some Cuba travel and trade restrictions and to eliminate a two-year certification exemption for foreign-built trucks that travel in the U.S. Both measures are likely to be vetoed by President Bush," the AP reports. LINK

"The Bush administration said that it would simply send the cards to 1.8 million people with low incomes who are eligible but have not applied for Medicare," the New

York Times' Robert Pear reports. LINK

The New York Times ed board writes that Bush's Social Security plan would endanger the system. LINK

While the President campaigned in Pennsylvania, Vice President Cheney made a rare appearance at a stakeout on Capitol Hill, ABC News' Karen Travers reports.

Cheney's language was similar to what he says in his stump speech and he quickly left the microphones without answering questions.

The New York Daily News reports Federal officials are "examining comments made in online postings of interviews with Sue Niederer of Hopewell, N.J., who was arrested interrupting a GOP campaign rally in Mercer County featuring the First Lady." The now-freed New Jersey mom confronted Laura Bush last week over her son's death in Iraq. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

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