ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"Just who was shadowing whom was not quite clear, though each campaign accused the other of following it around the country. The mayor of Davenport, Charlie Brooke, a Republican, said city officials heard from the Bush campaign early last week that the president would be dropping by, and only later from the Kerry campaign. But Stephanie Cutter, Mr. Kerry's spokeswoman, said that the Kerry advance team was in town on July 19 to book the site for the forum and that 'we have hotel invoices to prove it.'"

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz and Amy Goldstein wrap the Close Encounter in Davenport on Wednesday, Noting the "dueling campaign events within blocks of each other where they painted sharply contrasting portraits of the economy and U.S. policy in Iraq" and the "Ocean's Davenport" bank robberies. LINK

The Washington Post 's Ann Gerhart Notes, few people in "this homogeneous slice of the heartland," i.e., Davenport, found it unusual when Kerry and Bush campaigned within blocks of one another; "these are Iowans, after all, smug and secure in their disproportionate political power." LINK

In their write-up of the showdown in Davenport yesterday, the Chicago Tribune's Zeleny and Zuckman write "In the end, after two hours of speechifying, the political landscape in Davenport may not have shifted, but the back-to-back events offered a window into the final 90 days of the campaign as both candidates concentrate on shoring up their supporters and fighting for a small set of undecided voters in highly targeted regions of the country." LINK

"And in a race that seems to be frozen in a deadlock, the game of follow-the-leader is just beginning."

AP's Nedra Pickler and Deb Reichman point out that "Bush lost Iowa to Al Gore by 4,144 votes in 2000 — and Scott County around Davenport narrowly as well — and wants the state in his column come November. So does Kerry, whose path to victory calls for holding all states that voted for the Democratic ticket in the last election while adding some that went the other way." LINK

Anne Kornblut of the Boston Globe looks at what it means for small towns like Davenport, Iowa when two dueling presidential campaigns descend upon them (It made the locals really start talking about the issues … ) and what it means for the campaigns. "[B]oth sides had a chance to hobnob with reporters covering the other team, offer up their admittedly biased spin about the symbolism of the events, and fire off zingers at close range." LINK

"Most importantly, the Bush and Kerry visits gave both sides a chance to prevent the other from dominating the local news."

The Des Moines Register 's Thomas Beaumont does his thing on the dueling Bush and Kerry visits to bustling metropolis Davenport. And because this is Iowa, he also takes Note that the visits "illustrate the state's place among the most contested states in the tight race for the White House." LINK

Beaumont and Register buddy Jonathan Roos also write up the "competing visions" the candidates offered. (And in case you were wondering, here's the Iowa plug: ". . . underscoring the state's significance to the general election.") LINK

Roos, for his part, writes up the Kerry event. LINK

While Beaumont takes on the Bush one. LINK

The Des Moines Register 's David Yepsen posits that the Davenport events failed to grab any voters for either side. LINK

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