President Bush travels to Sen. McCain's home turf today and Jon Kamman of the Arizona Republic Notes that in Phoenix tonight, "thousands of frenzied supporters will raise the roof with cheers while backers of Democrat John Kerry may chortle that with friends like McCain, Bush doesn't need enemies." LINK
Kamman reprints some of the points that ACT made in a press release on the differences between the president and McCain, but Notes that "Through it all, however, he has unequivocally backed the president for a second term."
And The Note officially L-O-V-Es the forehead kiss!!!!
The Washington Post 's Mike Allen and Jonathan Weisman look at the "unenviable" choice that his strong push for tax cuts now gives President Bush: "He can either concede that his $1.7 trillion tonic has not worked as advertised, or he can insist that the economy is strong despite the slowdown in growth and job creation." LINK
The Post duo look at the effectiveness of the tax cuts in jump starting the economy: "But to many, that kick is starting to look more like a sugar high than a cure for the economy's underlying weaknesses."
The issue could be a political hot potato for the president's re-election strategy: "Republican strategists say Bush is so closely associated with the tax cuts that he has no choice but to defend them."
Boffo local coverage for Bush in Florida: LINK
The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny wraps his look at the Bush campaign's day in Florida with a description of the new Bush-McCain buddy movie. LINK
Key graf: "Few leading Republicans have aggravated the Bush administration more in the past three years than McCain. But through his wide appeal to independent voters and his indisputable military credentials, few Republicans can be more of a symbolic help than McCain."
Bob Hillman looks at the Bush/McCain day slightly differently than the other national political reporters: "Despite their big bear hug at the start of the day and the president's invitation for the Arizona senator to spend the night at his Texas ranch, their sometimes-frosty relations have not entirely thawed." LINK
Hillman picks up on one interesting sign to support that observation: "Usually on these campaign bus trips, Mr. Bush has local reporters aboard for a chat … There were second thoughts, though, what with Mr. McCain incensed at a new television ad by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."
"'It's a really busy day,' said Bush campaign press secretary Scott Stanzel, adding the president has 'a lot of stops today in a short amount of time.'"
"President Bush mocked rival John Kerry's stand on the Iraq war Tuesday and rejected the Democrat's timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops as the Republican campaigned with Kerry pal and Vietnam War hero Sen. John McCain," writes the AP's Scott Lindlaw. LINK
The Washington Post 's Dan Balz Notes President Bush "taunted" Sen. Kerry "over what he called another Kerry reversal on Iraq, seeking to put his challenger on the defensive over the central foreign policy issue of the election as he campaigned through heavily Republican territory in this battleground state." LINK