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19 days until the Republican convention 83 days until election day

NEWS SUMMARY

The President, having announced his intention to nominate Porter Goss to head the CIA, heads to Florida to campaign with John McCain.

John Kerry, who at this writing hasn't reacted to the Goss news, does Vegas, with an emphasis on homeland security and Yucca Mountain.

Dick Cheney plays Iowa; John Edwards rests.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates.

House Democrats highlight intelligence; Kean and Hamilton go back to the Hill; voters in Colorado and Georgia vote; and the Googling monkeys gear up for their very favorite thing -- a confirmation battle.

Based on his resume, Goss is a perfect candidate for the job.

But based on recent history, Goss's PR "skills," and Democrat gauntlet-laying, it's not clear what the White House has in mind with this pick.

Will Senate Democrats -- who were not particuarly consulted in advance -- turn this into a battle? Will the White House welcome such a thing? Will there be a vote that Kerry and Edwards actually have to attend?

As Matt Cooper would write, only time will tell.

President Bush is in northwest Florida, one of the most reliably Republican parts of the state, with Sen. John McCain today. They begin with a rally at the Civic Center in Pensacola, FL at 11:40 am ET; participate in an "Ask President Bush" event with Sen. McCain at the Oskaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, FL at 2:00 pm ET; and address a final rally at the Marina in Panama City, FL at 5:45 pm ET.

Shortly after the AP broke the news that Bush would tap Porter Goss as the new Director of the CIA, on C-SPAN Representative Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the party caucus chair, told penetrating questioner Steve Scully the pick is "a mistake," because Goss comes from a partisan background. Menendez said that on more than one occasion, Goss has "shown himself to be a partisan." He said he admired Goss' service, but was largely negative about the pick.

Sen. Kerry is in Vegas making hay about his opposition to using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site. At 2:00 pm ET he meets with first responders and community leaders at a middle school near the proposed site to accuse the Bush Administration of manipulating Yucca Mountain for political gain. Kerry finishes the day with a 9:00 pm ET rally at UNLV.

We know he is on holiday, but who will ask Sen. Edwards whether his Yucca Mountain vote was incorrect?

Vice President Cheney is in Iowa today to speak at the Seven Flags Event Center at 12:55 pm ET. America Coming Together will sponsor a Halliburton lemonade stand outside the event.

First Lady Laura Bush is also in the Midwest touting ownership, the new Bush economic message, via female-owned small businesses. At 10:15 am ET in Grafton, WI, she tours SEEK, Inc. and speaks about the economy. At 1:30 pm ET she does the same at Gruber's Quilt Shop Waite Park, MN. And at 4:15 pm ET she speaks to a group of female small business owners at the Crowne Plaza in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Colorado holds its Senate primaries today, featuring Rep. Bob Schaffer vs. Pete Coors and Attorney General Ken Salazar vs. Mike Miles. Georgia holds its Democratic primary, with Rep. Denise Majette facing off against businessman Cliff Oxford. In Colorado polls open at 9:00 am ET and close at 9:00 pm ET and in Georgia, polls open at 7:00 am ET and close at 7:00 pm ET.

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