ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Klein also gets in a reference to Cheese whiz as an example of the president being "better able to connect with average Americans on a personal level."

Bob Novak writes that "Everybody expects that Bush at Madison Square Garden will propose tax reform. But will the details be scored by the Congressional Budget Office in language that warriors in the class struggle can use?" LINK

The Washington Post 's Hanna Rosin offers up a ringside look at the canned candor of the meet-the-people events of both the Bush and Kerry campaigns, focusing on the remarkably unified crowds at the BC04 "Ask the president" events, and including this paragraph, which we enjoyed — once we picked ourselves up off of the floor: "The campaign insists that the audience is not heavily screened and the questions are not planted. And if protesters are weeded out, that's only a question of hospitality." LINK

Rosin also Notes the way the KE04 camp gets in on the act, just to make sure you didn't think those stories popped up all on their own: "After each 'Ask President Bush' event, the Kerry campaign delights in local press accounts of people kept out."

Does E! have a Raleigh-based correspondent? The Raleigh News & Observer's Lynn Bonner and J. Andrew Curliss report that BC04RNC video of Kerry's statements on the war is going local, with Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) unveiling it at state GOP headquarters in Raleigh. LINK

How many more articles have to be written about Laura Bush being a "surprise star" or secret on the campaign trail before the secret is officially out?

We hope just one more today from the Dallas Morning News' Rena Pederson who Notes: "First lady Laura Bush, once stereotyped as a demure librarian, is barnstorming the country on behalf of her husband with a dogged determination, giving speeches and "working the crowds" until her voice grows husky by the end of the day." LINK

The First Lady sat down with the Washington Times ' Bill Sammon and "laughed incredulously when asked whether the press was fair and impartial in its coverage of a conservative such as President Bush." LINK

"The first lady said she has resigned herself to the reality that conservatives seeking the presidency must work harder than liberals in order to compensate for the liberal bias of the press."

The First Lady told Sammon that her twin daughters would not be making speeches at the Republican convention, saying that her girls were different than the Kerry daughters: younger and new to the campaign trail.

We like that Sammon Noted that the campaign considers the First Lady "their not-so-secret weapon" considering she has been employed "extensively in TV ads and on the campaign trail."

Laura Bush gave a You Go Girl! speech to women entrepreneurs yesterday at the loading dock of an engineering firm in Colorado. John Ingold of the Denver Post reports recent polls show John Kerry leading President Bush "by as many as 11 percentage points among women." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

The New York Times ' Jodi Wilgoren wraps Senator Kerry's speech to the VFW Wednesday during which he indicated that "President Bush's plan to move 70,000 troops out of Europe and Asia was vague and ill-advised in view of the North Korean nuclear threat." LINK

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