ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

First off, the new Bush-Cheney TV ad — "Solemn Promise" — out this morning. LINK

The entire ad has the same setting: just a shot (from a side angle) of George W. and Laura Bush. George W. Bush is looking casual in a short-sleeved shirt and Laura Bush is in green. There are occasional close-ups of Bush's hand gestures and then a close-up of his face. Through the ad, Laura Bush looks onward as George W. Bush speaks and nods. They seem to be sitting on a couch and appear to be in a home office of sorts (There's a vague view of a desk in the background.).

The spoken words of the Commander-in-Chief:

"My most solemn duty is to lead our nation, to protect ourselves. I can't imagine the great agony of a mom or a dad having to make the decision about which child to pick up first on September the 11th. We cannot hesitate, we cannot yield, we must do everything in our power to bring an enemy to justice before they hurt us again."

We don't mean to diminish the power of 9/11 or the President's bond with many of the American people over it, but surely there will be for some a whiff of the desperate in using this thematic now, on the eve of the New York convention and when the Bush-Cheney second term agenda is supposed to be being fleshed out.

We know, we know, we know that the pledge to keep us safer is part of that second term agenda, but what else?

We think that issue of who will keep America safer is a perfectly legit one for both sides to argue, and maybe battleground state voters will like to hear about it in a dollop of thirty-second orchestral emotion, but we think it is possible that this will be seen (at least by The Filter) as over the top.

There's also the president's (self-consciously true?) stump line that the best reason to re-elect him is four more years of Laura Bush as First Lady. We think the verbal irony of that speaks for itself.

And there is also the now daily using of Drudge (and Fox and the New York Post ) to try to juice the news cycle with various blasts-from-the-past-into-the-present about John and Teresa Heinz Kerry that we find so transparently desperate that it makes us feel more indignity than that which wells up when John McCain and John Weaver share a booth at Clyde's and reminisce about 2000.

That ALMOST speaks for itself. More on that to come.

Trying to push this boulder up a hill, President Bush, with Sen. John McCain, participates in an "Ask President Bush" event at 3:50 pm ET in Albuquerque and speaks at a rally with Sen. McCain at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 9:00 pm ET in Phoenix.

Vice President Cheney and Mrs. Cheney participate in a Town Hall Meeting at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Joplin, MO at 1:20 pm ET. The Vice President then speaks at a BC'04 rally at Lake View High School in Battle Creek, MI at 5:55 pm ET.

Sen. Kerry meets with seniors at the Valley View Recreation Center to discuss the Kerry/Edwards plan to reduce prescription drug prices in Henderson, NV.

The campaign hopes to make prescripton drug costs a big issue today. We wonder why the president hasn't made bragging about his Medicare bill with that huge new spending a big part of his stump speech (Actually, we think we know why … .).

Sen. Edwards is vacationing at his family home in North Carolina until Friday.

In Florida, counties will conduct public tests of their voting equipment. And "Unfit for Command" is in bookstores everywhere today.

ABC News Vote 2004: the politics of Porter Goss:

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