ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Howard Kurtz takes a look at the much-anticipated Kitty Kelly book about the Bush family. In the article, Kurtz quotes Peter Gethers, vice president of Random House and editor of the book saying, "Some things didn't make it, and we're 100 percent confident of the things that made it in. We erred on the side of caution because we knew how hard she was going to be hit." LINK

The New York Post 's Deb Orin looks at Barbara and Jenna Bush's poll ratings and declares Karen Hughes "vindicated." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The New York Times ' Sanger and Halbfinger wrap of yesterday includes this: LINK

"In citing Dr. Dean's words to mock Mr. Kerry, the president was clearly trying to associate the Massachusetts senator with a candidate whom the White House always hoped that it would face. Mr. Bush's campaign officials have viewed Dr. Dean as the personification of the liberal pacifist wing of the Democratic Party, a candidate they could use to excite Mr. Bush's base and to make undecided voters deeply uncomfortable at a time of threat."

"Cheney's remarks distracted attention from Kerry's blunder in using a new line on Iraq — 'the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time' — that was stolen from antiwar Democrat Howard Dean and made Kerry look like a flip-flopper," writes Deb Orin of the New York Post . LINK

Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal writes the Bush and Kerry are making a mistake by focusing their foreign policy debate on the past and Iraq when there are so many other challenges to face in the future.

Walter Shapiro writes that "no presidential campaign since liberal Walter Mondale took on Ronald Reagan in 1984 has offered the stark ideological choice of Bush vs. Kerry." LINK

Richard Stevenson does his best Teddy Davis impression (we kid . . . ) LINK

(See: LINK)

Andrew Bushell of the New York Times reports on the political battle over ketchup. LINK

The debate about debates:

After announcing yesterday that its debate team will be led by James Baker, the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign may skip one of the three presidential debates, Mike Allen reports in the Washington Post . LINK

While Bush aides "refused to discuss their opening position," Allen learned from "[o]fficials familiar with the issue" that Bush will accept the first debate on domestic policy and third debate on foreign policy.

Why not the second debate? The audience would be a group of undecided voters picked by the Gallup Organization and Allen reports that "campaign officials were concerned that people could pose as undecided when they actually are partisans."

ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports that "According to a Bush campaign official, the president just met with James Baker for the first time to discuss the negotiations over debates. . . . The Bush campaign, not surprisingly, denies it has made any decisions about the number of debates. "'I don't know who is talking to Mike,' this official said, 'but the president just met with Baker for the first time . . . we are just starting the process.'"

And the Washington Post editorial board rips the Bush campaign for considering skipping one of the scheduled presidential debates. LINK

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