ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Will Senator Kerry address the (what strikes us as mostly meaningless) Cambodia question?

Or wait for Brinkley to do so in The New Yorker?

How much free media will the new SBVfT ad get?

Will other veterans emerge to contradict Senator Kerry or fortify his claims?

Does Michael Meehan ever get asked questions raised by this blog? LINK

Or Hugh Hewitt's? (LINK)

What does Joe Lockhart say in the morning meetings about whether to release Senator Kerry's full medical record?

Does the story peter out on its own over the weekend, or does the now opened-can of worms continue to bear … well, worms? Does a focus on Kerry's credibility (even as it relates to Vietnam) really help Kerry in the long run? Is this the reason for the equivocal BC04 response to the simple question about whether President Bush thinks the allegations themselves are true?

The Los Angeles Times has this nugget: Stephanie "Cutter said that if charges about Kerry's service continued, the candidate would 'talk comparatively' about his military record and that of Bush, who has been shadowed by questions about whether he fulfilled his service while in the Texas Air National Guard."

Ms. Cutter confirmed this sentiment to The Note this very morning.

ABC News' Jake Tapper reported today on "Good Morning America": "In addition to the involvement of Perry, other GOP donors, and former Reagan White House media liaison Merrie Spaeth, O'Neill told ABC News that when his group was forming, he sought and received free legal advice from Jan Baran, an expert on election law who … was the former counsel for George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign, and for four years counsel to the Republican National Committee." LINK

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: Kerry pushback:

In describing the Senator's pushback, Deb Orin writes John Kerry "went ballistic." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' news of day story is chock-full, including the Lockhart and Johnson hires, but our favorite is this three-graph tick tock. LINK

"Kerry reversed course Wednesday night after arriving in Boston from a campaign trip to Cincinnati. As his motorcade pulled up to his Beacon Hill townhouse, he asked senior adviser David Morehouse, communications director Stephanie Cutter and press secretary David Wade to come inside."

"With campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill on the phone, Kerry told his aides, 'I think it's time to go at this.'"

"Aides hired a delivery service to drive through the night from Washington, D.C., to Boston with thick, bound copies of Kerry's naval records to distribute to reporters traveling with the candidate."

From the Wall Street Journal 's Washington Wire: "Though Kerry hit back yesterday at a Bush 'front' attacking his military service, one outside Democratic strategist says failure to do that days ago evokes "a bad case of Dukakis déjà vu." Bush aides say they aren't involved. Kerry beefs up communications team with former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart."

"Some Vietnam crewmates of Kerry's urged him over the last week to personally condemn the swift boat ads, a task he left until yesterday to spokesmen and friends like McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam. But according to aides, Kerry was particularly incensed Wednesday when he heard reports that Bush donor Perry had written a second $100,000 check to continue financing the group and stayed up late that night writing eight new paragraphs to insert into the speech," reports the Boston Globe 's Pat Healy. LINK

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