ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Eduardo Porter of the New York Times looks at the expectations game played with job numbers, Noting that the job added last month would have been considered a disaster according to President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers forecast last December. LINK

Sebastian Mallaby writes in the Washington Post that President Bush admitting that there have been miscalculations in Iraq, that the war against terrorism may not be winnable, and that it may instead be a "long-lasting ideological struggle" may actually help the president get re-elected. LINK

US News' Washington Whispers reports that campaign aides have made President Bush a sort of mix tape to psych him up for his debates against Senator Kerry: "Aides cut a highlight tape of Kerry's personal attacks on the president. Bush listens to them--for inspiration." LINK

Can we suggest the "Rocky" theme song?

Check out the Wall Street Journal 's editorial on NCLB, which blames the Bush Administration for ignoring its own precepts and essentially turning the bill into an increase in education spending without accountability, which is what the WSJ's ed board feared it might be all along.

On Sunday, David Broder of the Washington Post wrote that President Bush's acceptance speech really was a mission accomplished — demonstrating confidence, giving an outline for a second-term domestic agenda, and adding sound assurance that the situation in Iraq is progressing. LINK

On Sunday, the New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank looked at the confident stance of the BC04 campaign, which is enjoying its bounce while keeping a wary eye on Iraq. LINK

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times' James Rainey took a look at how much Christian conservatives were encouraged by the Republican convention. LINK

"As a result, conservative activists have a number of plans for getting out Bush's message as Nov. 2 draws nearer. After distributing 70 million printed voter guides through church circulars in 2000, the Christian Coalition of America plans this year to use a similar approach."

"This time, however, the organization is likely to print about half as many guides and target them more precisely, into about 17 of the most closely contested states. The coalition has preliminary plans to increase its wallop in those states by distributing the guides not just in churches but in shopping malls and other public places where undecided voters might be found, said William F. Thomson, the organization's national field director."

The Washington Post 's Glenn Kessler on Sunday looked at the way that focusing on 9/11 draws attention away from Iraq for Republicans. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

One day after deploying the Sunday talk show troops to explain mistakes were made, the Washington Times ' Audrey Hudson Notes the Kerry campaign "is banking on a new round of paid television advertisements to catch up to Mr. Bush," including a negative ad accusing Bush of being "insincere on issues affecting senior citizens." LINK

Pat Healy of the Boston Globe pens an especially detailed piece on the complications of Senator Kerry using Vietnam to define himself politically — beginning with the decision to allow Douglas Brinkley to write "Tour of Duty." It seems the candidate knew it was a gamble, but surprises such as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have left a big question mark over whether Vietnam will define him as good or evil. LINK

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