ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"The differing stances by Kerry and Bush on troop redeployment help bolster both men's military credentials. Bush, who did not see combat in Vietnam but served in the Texas Air National Guard, can show his empathy for soldiers by bringing them and their families home. Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, can appear tough on military issues by saying the troops need to stay abroad, while demonstrating his interest in maintaining cooperation with allies."

Sen. John Kerry calls President Bush's plan to recall troops from Europe and South Korea dangerous and shortsighted, Notes Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times .

"The president's vaguely stated plan does not strengthen our hand in the war on terror. It in no way relieves the strain on our overextended personnel. It doesn't even begin until 2006, and it takes 10 years to achieve," Kerry told a VFW convention in Cincinnati. "This hastily announced plan raises more doubts about our intentions and our commitment than it provides real answers." LINK

Doug Feith argues on the Washington Post 's op-ed page that President Bush's plan to restructure the military will make the forces stronger, and help U.S. relationships with American allies. The undersecretary of defense for policy also says changing deployments in East Asia will allow more flexibility in dealing with threats from North Korea. LINK

The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank reports that the Bush and Kerry camps are coming to they-said/they said blows over the terms for the intelligence briefings that Sen. Kerry would typically receive, delaying overview. Bush people say Kerry's logistical preferences — i.e., out of Washington — and the request for advisers to participate is a problem, while Kerry people say the administration is dragging its heels on OKing security clearances for the meetings. LINK

"The result is that at a time when access to sensitive intelligence is more important than ever for national leaders, a skirmish between the White House and the Kerry campaign has postponed the sort of intelligence-sharing that has been standard during presidential races over the past half-century."

Milbank's last graf takes a historical peek at how the briefings have been run in the past. Clip and save, everybody!

Looking for the women who don't fit the mold — Ron Fournier looks at women voters and who the campaigns are targeting. "Polls show that single women generally favor Democrats, married women lean Republican, elderly women are more Democratic. Bush and Kerry are targeting swing-voting women such as Burnosky who defy categorization with their independence."LINK

USA Today 's Rick Hampson reports on the efforts to get young eligible voters registered AND voting. The skepticism in this piece is heavier than that felt by a test audience for an M. Night Shyamalan film. LINK

Hampson also looks at the Homeric journey of Rock the Vote. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Bill Clinton and John Kerry will both read this one with interest:

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