ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"In truth, Mr. Bush has always had a strong taste for politics, and was an important player in his father's presidential campaigns of 1988 and 1992, as well as in his own race in 2000. But his intense involvement this time reflects what aides said was his concern about his prospects, a determination not to repeat the mistakes that he watched his father make in 1992, and lessons he drew from the close election of 2000."

Additional interesting aspects of the story:

1. The help the reporters were given in writing it, with background and on-the-record cooperation from the usually process-averse Bush team.

2. And details such as this: "By 7 a.m., when he is in the Oval Office, aides say, Mr. Bush will frequently tell them about an article they have not seen and tell them to call the reporter and complain." (Guess that settles the question of whether he reads the paper or not . . . )

In an interview with Nagourney, Karl Rove seeks to debunk the myth that he is "the brains behind an intellectually challenged president," and per Nagourney, Rove is the one who raises the Swift Boat issue. LINK

Newsweek's Howard Fineman writes about how the Bush-Rove team this week "reaches the final mile of its own extraordinary pilgrimage, one that began with a chance meeting at the Republican National Committee in 1973," with a moderate convention and having governed right, looking to pull off a bonafide, non-asterisk victory in the fall. Fineman also Notes that the Jedi master has maintained he has no connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, despite how nicely the messages of both the group and the campaign dovetail. Newsweek/">LINK

Newsweek's Evan Thomas, Tamara Lipper and Rebecca Sinderbrand offer up a profile of President Bush, a man of confidence who still gets "the deer-in-the-headlights look that still pops up at press conferences, and that annoying smirk, possibly meant to convey an air of disdain or superiority, but showing the defensiveness of a teenager." The trio posit that while Bush "partied hard, dried out, and found a fierce determination," it hasn't been a road without struggle, but once he found the way from chaos to resolution, he has never looked back. Newsweek/">LINK

Part of Thomas and Lipper's Bush interview aboard Air Force One: Newsweek/">LINK

Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs and John Dickerson offer their interview, exploring the virtues of "knowing when not to change." LINK

Gibbs and Dickerson's interview: LINK

The Washington Post's John Harris and Mike Allen identify Bush's decision to sign the prescription drug bill and the "missed opportunity" of his 2004 State of the Union address as two specific misjudgments that have resulted in the "mostly downward arc of Bush's political strength over the past year." LINK

"Same road, very different style." The Los Angeles Times' Abcarian looks at how 43 has found his way in 41's shadow. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Ron Hutcheson compares the George Bush of today to the George Bush of yesterday, four years younger, four pounds lighter -- and what didn't quite work out the way he thought it would. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish on Bush the risk-taking wildcatter. LINK

The New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank refers to President Bush as "Rambo." LINK

DeFrank has a Sunday double-whammy, the second on the Vice President. "Today, even some of the vice president's biggest fans concede he has become a political liability for his boss." LINK

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