ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"Mr. Kerry's aides insisted that the Clinton advisers were augmenting the staff as it headed into a difficult period, and did not represent another instance in which Mr. Kerry was shaking up his campaign staff."

"Still, some Democrats described what was taking place as a slow-motion shake-up as Mr. Clinton's former advisers assume increasingly powerful roles."

"[Stan] Greenberg, who was Mr. Clinton's pollster in 1992, resigned Tuesday as the pollster for independent Democratic groups that have been running advertisements attacking Mr. Bush so that he would be permitted, under the law, to play a more prominent role in advising Mr. Kerry's campaign."

"The notion that the campaign was settling on a new message for the fall came as news to some senior staff members."

'That's really groundbreaking,' one senior aide said sarcastically when told about the focus on Mr. Bush's policies outlined by Mr. Johnson. 'I think our negative frame should be that George Bush is a liar. He misled the country on Iraq. And then everything else that he lies about, bring it back to that.'"

The Washington Post 's Lois Romano and Dan Balz report that former President Clinton told Senator Kerry over the weekend that he needs to get both his offensive and defensive acts together, hit President Bush harder on his record, and (bold italics ours) "offer voters a more compelling case in his own behalf if he hopes to win the election in November." The dynamic duo also look at the passel of veteran Clinton operatives Kerry has added to the payroll — look forward to seeing John Sasso on the plane, and Michael Whouley manning tactics at the DNC, where Howard Wolfson will help run communications. LINK

Joe Lockhart hit the morning shows today to downplay President Bush's bounce and try to turn the post-Labor Day focus to domestic issues. Bush has "no sense of reality" and that "reality is something people feel" in their jobs, in their health care, and in their schools that are "not performing," Lockhart charged. He said morale is great in the Kerry campaign and that the new additions are simply a part of a "large operation" becoming a "huge operation."

On Sunday, the New York Times ' Adam Nagourney and Jodi Wilgoren took an ominous must-read look at how Democratic governors, senators, fundraisers and strategists are urging the Kerry campaign to amp up and be a little quicker on the draw in responding to attacks by the Bush campaign and other Republicans. Of course everyone loves a good smackdown, but Dems seem to be particularly worried that all their work at unity and strategy could go to waste if Kerry can't turn around its less-than-zesty performance of the past few weeks and get the conversation back on firm footing for the Senator. LINK

"Kerry shook up the internal dynamic of his organization Sunday," write Maura Reynolds and Matea Gold in their Los Angeles Times recap of what's becoming the president's regular Sunday visit to West Virginia and the goings on at Camp Kerry. LINK

The Kerry-Edwards campaign is hoping John Sasso can earn his political Bronze Star and rescue Sen. Kerry from himself. Pat Healy of the Boston Globe serves up a few good blind quotes to explain just how Sasso's arrival on the Kerry campaign plane is a strong attempt to turn things around. LINK

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