ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"Doctors at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital waited to perform surgery because Clinton was given the so-called super aspirin Plavix when he was seen by doctors at Westchester Hospital with his chest pain. Plavix increased the risk of bleeding during surgery, and studies show the risk of bleeding decreases if surgery is done after five days. Some heart specialists told ABC News that they like to wait at least 72 hours for surgery after Plavix is given."

A key question, Sergel Notes, is whether or not Clinton will have "off pump" bypass surgery, which keeps the heart beating during the operation rather than putting the patient on a heart-lung machine and stilling the heart to perform the bypass procedure. Dr. Craig Smith, who will perform the operation, is a well-known advocate of off pump, which would also reduce the risk of bleeding."

"The question of which operation would produce the least risk of short-term mental decline might be important if Clinton hopes to resume campaigning after surgery and before the election and would want to be mentally sharp in public appearances," Sergel reports.

The Washington Post 's Shankar Vedantam walks through Clinton's surgical options. LINK

On CBS' Early Show, the Kerry campaign's Joe Lockhart talked about President Clinton, saying he was pretty nervous when he first went in for the angiogram, but he has taken the last couple days to learn about the process and he feels better about it now. When asked how much Clinton will be missed on the campaign trail, Lockhart Noted that he will certainly be missed, but if the doctors tell him to take four weeks off, he will take two.

The New York Post reports Clinton and his family was playing "Boggle" in the hospital while awaiting his surgery. LINK

The Boggle-playing ex-Prez is in good spirits. LINK

The New York Times ' Lawrence Altman reports in Monday's paper that the Columbia-Presbyterian Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital where former President Bill Clinton is being treated has the "highest death rate for the operation in New York State, according to the state's Health Department. While the death rate is quite low — less than 4 percent of all bypass operations — it is still nearly double the average for hospitals in the state that perform bypasses." LINK

ABC News' Sergel points out that "the doctor quoted [in this story] is from a competing hospital, who happened to do Dave Letterman's surgery. Competition over heart surgery patients is intense in every city."

The New York Daily News profiles "Bubba's Lifesaver," a 55-year-old former fullback for the Williams College football team and master of tiny robots. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. Kerry layers and re-adjusts:

Key graphs from the New York Times ' Adam Nagourney and David Halbfinger, some of which are tonally or factually disputed by some Kerry aides — and we like any story that forces Shrum to go on the record:

"People close to Mr. Kerry said he was receptive to the counsel and was moving to widen his circle of advisers in the face of mounting concern among prominent Democrats about the potency of Mr. Bush's campaign. They noted that Mr. Clinton and his strategists were architects of the only winning Democratic presidential drives since 1976. Even so, some of Mr. Kerry's aides insisted that their seeking help from Mr. Clinton was not a reflection of flaws in their campaign." LINK

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