ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"So brace yourselves. Any mention of John Kerry's votes for higher taxes and against vital weapons programs will be met with the worst kind of personal attacks. Such desperation is unbecoming of American Presidential politics, and Senator Kerry will pay a price for it at the polls as we stay focused on policies to continue growing our economy and winning the War on Terror."

The politics of Iraq:

The Los Angeles Times on the death toll hitting 1,000: LINK

"President Bush did not directly comment on the tally, but Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cast the death toll as evidence that the U.S. was aggressively engaging terrorists around the world. At a Pentagon news briefing, he said that in the overall scheme of the Iraq war, the losses were 'relatively small.'"

The Chicago Tribune's Neikirk and Zeleny look at how the 1,000-person death toll played in politics yesterday and even before then. They even touch on how it could play in key states. LINK

"A senior Republican adviser said the Bush campaign had been warily watching the casualty count, fearful that it might hit the 1,000 mark during the Republican convention last week and interrupt the heavily scripted event dedicated to praising the president's Iraq policy and the war on terrorism."

"Four states eyed by Republicans and Democrats as potentially pivotal to the election have endured more than their share of war deaths on a per capita basis, a Tribune analysis shows. The number of deaths per million residents is among the highest in Arizona, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."

The Hartford Courant's David Lightman looks at why certain milestones are important and meaningful. LINK

The New York Daily News marks a "terrible milestone in the controversial war" as the death toll in the war in Iraq grows. On Tuesday President Bush told a crowd in Missouri, "My promise to them is that we will complete the mission so that their child or their husband or wife has not died in vain." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

Script of the new ad:


"George Bush.

$200 Billion for Iraq.

In America, lost jobs and rising health care costs.

George Bush's wrong choices have weakened us here at home.

The Kerry Plan.

Stop tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Lower health care premiums by up to a $1000 per family.

Reduce the deficit to protect Medicare and Social Security.

Stronger at home. Respected in the world."

John Kerry:

"I'm John Kerry and I approved this message."

Once again, Mary Dalrymple of the AP previews Sen. Kerry's speech today on the president's broken promises. "The speech showed Kerry shifting from a defensive stance, fending off charges of inconsistencies on the war, to an aggressive challenge of Bush's decisions in the run-up and aftermath of war." She Notes the aftermath means domestically and internationally. LINK

Previewing today's speech, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Greg Korte reports that Kerry will have a smaller audience and a smaller stage than President Bush had when he addressed the Chamber of Commerce in 2002. LINK

Glen Johnson's synopsis of yesterday clearly illustrates how Sen. Kerry is not following the don't-talk-about-Iraq warnings. LINK

Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post writes that Kerry's comments in August about the war in Iraq are now coming back to haunt him. LINK

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