ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi seems to think that the press traveling with the candidates ought to actually have access to them or something. What nerve. LINK

We pause for a moment to allow this irony break (bold and italics ours): "Advisers to both candidates say potential gaffes are not the reason they avoid news conferences — rather it is the risk of losing control of the scripted daily message. Kerry's aides are concerned that if he says something newsworthy at a news conference, he will crowd out the issues that the campaign is trying to push. By limiting media access to Kerry, the campaign ensures that Kerry's planned statements receive prominence in the daily news cycle."

The Washington Post 's editorial board shakes its head at the state of the health care debate between the two campaigns. We'd like to point out, however, that despite the distortions and the political ads that "stretch the truth," at least they're talking about an issue. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The president is in Minnesota today for two rallies and a "Focus on Health with President Bush" event. Per campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel, President Bush will talk with a community health center representative, a senior with a Medicare-approved Prescription Drug Card and a beneficiary of a health savings account at the health care event.

Vice President Cheney heads to Albuquerque, NM for a breakfast roundtable and a rally in Reno, NV. Here's your tease — keep your ears open for the Vice President to talk about another failed attempt by Senator Kerry to explain his position on Iraq.

The New York Daily News reports President Bush is "eroding" John Kerry's advantage in New York with BC04 deploying the FLOTUS to Jersey to further test the waters. A new Marist poll shows Kerry's 18-point advantage in New York has slipped — and he now leads Bush 48 percent to 40 percent. While New York remains Blue as can be, a Quinnipiac poll gives Kerry a mere 47-to-41 lead. LINK

AP previews Laura Bush's visit to New Jersey. LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen writes of President Bush's "unusual rebuke" of Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday. LINK

At an event for Hispanic Heritage Month, President Bush expressed concern for Putin's decision on elections in Russia. Bush said that the decision to not have a popular vote for governors in regions in Russia "could undermine democracy in Russia."

The Washington Post 's Wright and Ricks write that the administration plans to use Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's visit to the United States next week to mount a "vigorous election-year defense of its troubled Iraq policy." LINK

Vice President Cheney and his staff refused to answer the Los Angeles Times' questions about the Veep's draft deferments. LINK

The Washington Post 's Alan Cooperman writes long and bold that while President Bush's general faith is well documented, not even the president's aides know its details, including "whether the president believes that: the Bible is without error; the theory of evolution is true; homosexuality is a sinful choice; only Christians will go to heaven; support for Israel is a biblical imperative; or the war in Iraq is part of God's plan." LINK

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