ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

ABC News' Teddy Davis's final thought of Monday: "Final thought: when Kerry wanted to bolster his fiscal responsibility credentials, he identified in a Georgetown University speech two promises — universal pre-school and national service — that he would be willing to scale back if necessary to meet his goal of cutting the deficit in half. But out on the stump, Teresa Heinz Kerry touts on almost daily basis Kerry's national service plan with nary a mention that Kerry has said that it may prove unaffordable."

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Kerry will continue to use the story of John and Mary Ann Knowles, to highlight problems with health care under Bush. The problem, the Union Leader reports, is that Mary Ann Knowles actually did have access to health care. LINK

Here's the AP's take on the Knowles "myth." LINK

In a shameless and successful attempt to make The Note, the Kansas City Star's ultra-talented Deann Smith writes that John Kerry just loved "Barbecue baron Ollie Gates's" ribs, and Bill Burton emphasized the point that for the Senator — Kansas City barbeque is tops. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: SFVfT: Kerry swift boat compadre Jim Rassmann ends his Wall Street Journal op-ed thusly:

"But when the noise and fog of their distortions and lies have cleared, a man who volunteered to serve his country, a man who showed up for duty when his country called, a man to whom the United States Navy awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, will stand tall and proud. Ultimately, the American people will judge these Swift Boat Veterans for Bush and their accusations. Americans are tired of smear campaigns against those who volunteered to wear the uniform. Swift Boat Veterans for Bush should hang their heads in shame."

Vince Morris and Ian Bishop of the New York Post describe the new book criticizing John Kerry's Vietnam service, "Unfit for Command," as both "startling" and "explosive," but there isn't much in the New York Post excerpts that you haven't heard before. LINK A separate story by the New York Post duo is solely dedicated to the dispute over John Kerry's Cambodian Christmas. LINK And here is the link to the New York Post editorial chastising Kerry and Democratic lawyers for trying to get stations not to play the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad. Note the inclusion of John O'Neill's initial presidential preference. LINK The Charleston Gazette says the book and TV ads questioning Senator Kerry's war record are a "cruel smear." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney v. Kerry-Edwards: Tom Oliphant writes of single women and those issues important to them according to a new study. "They are not only a huge demographic, they are also notorious nonvoters — largely, research has shown, because they do not think politicians understand or address their concerns. If they voted in the same proportion to eligibility as their married counterparts, Kerry's margin over President Bush would approach 10 percentage points." LINK

Peter Canellos crunches the history of war-time presidential elections. LINK

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