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NEWS SUMMARY Every Aug. 5, for the last 17 years, The Note has handed out its annual "Best in Politics Awards."

So, without further ado, here are the 2004 Awards:

Best Mark McKinnon quote: "We think it's unfortunate these particular fine musicians have decided to affiliate with a hate-filled fringe group like MoveOn.''

Best capacity to stay on message: Steve Schmidt of the Bush campaign.

Best ability to hide seething anger: George W. Bush and John Kerry (tie).

Best ability to make a party salivate before winning a statewide race: Barack Obama.

Best ability to withstand political ads every 0.25 nanoseconds: the voters of Ohio and Pennsylvania (tie).

Best political reporter you (probably) aren't paying enough attention to: Jeff Zeleny of the Chicago Tribune.

Best case of not instantly referring another reporter to the PR department: Carl Cameron of Fox News Channel.

Best attempt to deflect annoyance away from a colleague: Cara Morris of the DSCC.

Best Bush advance person: Greg Jenkins.

Best Kerry advance person: Greg Hale.

Best capacity to collegially share a beat: Pat Healy and Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe .

Best examples of entertainers supporting BC04 that Mark McKinnon could come up with: Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, and Jessica Simpson.

Best list of states that will determine who wins the White House: Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Best unwritten newspaper story: "Barack Obama's Very Liberal Voting Record."

Best congenial quotemeister of the cycle: Jano Cabrera of the DNC.

Best job staying off of TV: Karl Rove.

Best political reporter of the cycle: the one who first writes the definitive early voting story.

Best bet to piss off the Service: Vince Morris of the New York Post .

Best back-to-school gift for the young children of those busy with the 2004 campaign: the fantastic new Disney Dream Desk PC. Link

Best ratio of quality stories to number of stories: Davie Maraniss and Blaine Harden (tie).

Best August headline on a Jennifer Steinhauer story: "Foreigners Shun New York, Keeping Hotel Rates Down."

Best headquarters security: Bush-Cheney '04.

Best professional synergy: David Lightman and Joe Lieberman.

Best leveraging of a Bush Cabinet job towards future White House ambitions: n/a.

Best bad job of vetting of the cycle: whoever hired Dr Brenda Bartella Peterson, the DNCS' first-ever director of religious outreach, and one of the co-signers of an amicus brief filed to support Michael Newdow's plea to get "under God" removed from the pledge. (Note news: She resigned yesterday.)

Best on-message regional press shop: BC04, bar none.

Best job keeping his background quotes anonymous: Richard Armitage.

Best high-volume prolific ACT spammer: Minnesota's Meighan Stone.

Best luck of the Bush Administration: Henry Kissinger stepping down as head of the 9/11 commission.

Best manipulation of the adolescent sensibilities of some of America's leading political reporters: the deployment of Bruce Springsteen.

Best ability to hide quality Jonathan Weisman and Jeff Birnbaum stories from public view: the Washington Post business section.

Best badge of honor achieved in a Bob Novak column: Ginny Wolfe, who is today branded "supremely uncommunicative to this column"!!!

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