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Morning Show Wrap

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10 days until the Republican convention 74 days until election day

NEWS SUMMARY President Bush: rest, write, read, plan, listen, meet, practice, watch, clear, ride.

Senator Kerry: travel, listen, seethe, plan, read, strum, ignore, shake, unpack, hire.

And for the staff of The Note, headed into the last quiet weekend, there are only three things:

1. Whither Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania?

2. Can we continue to publish with the help of only 500 of 1,000 Googling monkeys?

3. Today, who is more confident he will win 270+ electoral votes — George W. Bush or John F. "W" Kerry?

Following one of the biggest days of his campaign since the convention, at least in terms of the volume of press coverage, Senator John Kerry stops in Charlotte, NC, this morning before making good on his plan to visit Florida following his post-convention tour, a plan that he cancelled after Charley came ashore.

Following two early morning Charlotte events — a town hall meeting with unemployed workers at 8:15 am ET and a jobs creation speech at 9:00 am ET at Central Piedmont Community College — Kerry flies to Ft. Myers, FL, where he'll meet home state Senator Bill Nelson for a tour of some of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Charley.

Also in and around Ft. Myers? Gov. Jeb Bush, who's expected at the Charlotte Regional Medical Center in Punta Gorda in the early afternoon. Sorry to repeat the joke, but: watch the banks!

Everybody else stays down: President Bush at his Crawford ranch (engaged in convention prep), Vice President Cheney in Wyoming, and Senator John Edwards in Washington, DC.

And there are two new ads of Note: the second from the Swift Boat vets who oppose Kerry, and . . .

. . . the DNC also has a new TV ad to be announced today that we would describe as "timely."

According to our source, the ad is going up tomorrow in 21 states, with a focus on the commander-in-chief debate and it features retired General Merrill McPeak, saying something like, "As a fighter pilot, I saw my share of combat. As chief of staff, I led the Air Force during the first Gulf War. And four years ago, I endorsed George Bush for President. But this year, I'm voting for John Kerry."

And the DNC unveils its "America Can Do Better' bus tour leading up to the Republican National Convention.

Also today: both campaigns release their monthly and cumulative money totals — Kerry's of course telling us how much he raised for the entire nomination season — and the Labor Department releases the most recent state and regional unemployment figures.

The Democrats also will begin a new focus on new overtime rules, which go into effect on Monday, beginning tomorrow with Senator Edwards' Democratic address. While Kerry is in closed fundraisers on Long Island, NY, tomorrow, Edwards campaigns in West Virginia before heading to Charlotte, NC, for Sunday campaigning that will also include Milwaukee and Racine, WI.

On Sunday, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" will have loads to talk about — from Kerry economic adviser Gene Sperling and Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH) on the economy, to Iraq and Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

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