"Bush added that 'after months of questioning my motives and my credibility, Sen. Kerry agrees with me that, even though we have not found the stockpile of weapons we all believe were there, knowing everything we know today, he would have voted to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power.' Then, with sarcasm in his voice, the president concluded: 'I want to thank Sen. Kerry for clearing that up.'
Los Angeles Times' Maura Reynolds Notes: "Each campaign had planned to discuss other issues Tuesday — job training for Bush, nuclear waste for Kerry. But as has happened before, they came back to Iraq." LINK
Yet they approach the issue from two very different perspectives: "Bush uses the war to support his claim that Kerry vacillates. Kerry uses the war to buttress his claim that Bush lacks credibility."
Carl Hulse of the New York Times Notes that President Bush was "[s]etting out on one of his most extended tours of the campaign season" and said the BC04 campaign response to Sen. Kerry's Iraq comments were "another shift in position by the Democratic presidential nominee and an acknowledgement that administration policy on a crucial national security matter was correct after all." LINK
The Washington Times ' Bill Sammon says that "Mr. Bush took obvious delight in the concession" of Sen. Kerry on Iraq. LINK
Sammon likes that word, Noting: "The concession was welcomed by the White House, which used it to reinforce its portrayal of Mr. Kerry as an overly 'nuanced' flip-flopper."
Knight Ridder's Lesley Clark writes that "Bush launched a charm offensive, working the crowd without a tie or jacket [in Florida]." LINK
Giving ACT one more thing to write an e-mail about, Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News reports that people looking for tickets to see President Bush on Friday in Portland were told "the only way to get tickets was to volunteer to come in and make calls touting Bush to swing voters." LINK
Tracey Schmitt, BC04 spokeswoman for the West, tells the Daily News that "'someone misspoke' and that was not the campaign's policy."
USA Today 's Judy Keen writes about the relationship between President Bush and Gov. Schwarzenegger and how that could affect the vote in California (and other states) this November. LINK
The Seattle Times' Warren Cornwall previews a Friday fundraiser that the president plans to attend on the Washington coast that organizers expect to raise $1.75 million. LINK
The Joplin Globe (MO) welcomes Vice President Cheney this morning with this (sort of ominous) message on its editorial page:
"Traditionally, this area has been a Republican stronghold. But we should never be taken for granted. Times and attitudes can change." LINK
"On a less positive note, we wish that your appearance here could have been open to more Southwest Missourians, not just a few hundred of the GOP faithful."
But concludes on this upbeat point: "So let us once more say: Welcome to Joplin, Mr. Vice President."
And a day before Vice President Cheney heads to town, Ralph Reed sat down with the Battle Creek Enquirer Editorial Board and told it the race will be won "by the candidate who can get more of his fans to vote." LINK
The savvy Eric Greene Notes "Reed's assessment isn't exactly rocket science when it comes to campaign strategy."
Bill Salisbury, hailing from the Pioneer Press, does his best to capture the essence that is Laura Bush in Waite Park, Minnesota. LINK