ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The New York Daily News well-wired Tom DeFrank reports the same thing — President Bush only wants two debates and will push for a seated format that he believes plays to his strengths, according to a senior GOP source. He also says Bush hopes to eliminate a town hall-style format for the second debate, "where the contenders would be questioned by undecided voters." LINK

Watch closely the expectations game here — not just how the candidates will do, but what kind of tinkering with the Commission plan the Bush campaign goes for.

Can you say "trial balloon"?

Congress returns:

The Washington Post 's Helen Dewar and Chuck Babington look at how addressing the United States' intelligence concerns tops the priority list for Congress as members return to session. LINK

USA Today 's William Welch has a list of things Congress has on the docket for this fall: taxes, energy reform, drug imports, highway funds, and gun control. LINK

President Clinton's health:

The New York Times ' Dr. Lawrence Altman updates the condition of President Clinton. LINK

"The breathing tube inserted into his lungs before surgery had been removed, and Clinton was talking with his wife and daughter in the intensive care unit" reports David Brown of the Washington Post about the former president's condition post surgery. LINK

USA Today 's Charisse Jones reports that "heart specialists said Tuesday that [Clinton] could experience mild depression as well as pain in the days ahead but could be back to work in a few weeks." LINK

Maki Becker and Adam Lisberg Note Now Yorkers are coming down with a case of Bill Clinton Syndrome. While 42 recovers from quadruple bypass surgery, prominent cardiologists report "a spike of as much as 50% in calls from concerned patients yesterday because of the former President's lifesaving operation." LINK

The New York Post looks at how Bill Clinton's surgery is increasing awareness of heart disease. LINK

" … the ex-president has gotten so many bouquets of flowers, hospital officials are now having them delivered to another building, where some are being distributed to other patients," reports the New York Post . LINK

The politics of the 9/11 commission:

9/11 commission chairs Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, respond in the Washington Post today to two major criticisms they have heard over their recommendations to reorganize U.S. intelligence operations. Kean and Hamilton make no reference of President Bush but they Note that three years has passed since 9/11, and in that time there has been another intelligence failure, this time in Iraq, before warning "the time has come to act." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The AP reports that Nevada's primary, where voters were the first in the nation to use computerized voting machines that leave a paper trail for records, was successful. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

ABC News' Marc Ambinder reports that today, the Iowa Democratic Party will send out mail to more than 300,000 voters in Iowa to urge them to vote absentee, either in person or by mail. On Sept. 23, what the party calls its Ballot Chase begins — calls and door-knocks to make sure those voters who requested ballots send them in, and to urge those who haven't requested ballots to do so.

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