ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Here's the nut graf: "Kerry has strongly criticized the Bush administration's competence in handling the war, principally its failure to enlist other nations to its cause in Iraq. But he has not questioned the basic tenets of the policy, nor has he outlined a course of action substantially different from the one Bush is pursuing to shore up the interim government and prepare for national elections. While he has said he would substantially cut troop strength in Iraq by the end of his first term, he has not provided details on how."

The Wall Street Journal 's Robert Greenberger looks at Kerry's position on medical malpractice (or, as the Chamber folks say, medical liability reform) and Notes that "to many doctors, Mr. Kerry is carrying heavy baggage on his metaphorical trip to China: his running mate, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina."

Still, the Kerry-Edwards tickets has some pretty detailed proposals that at least deserve a closer look, such as the one the Journal takes today.

The AP's Willy Baird writes up Senator Edwards' visit to Tennessee and Notes this week's focus on the South. LINK

The Washington Post 's Lois Romano wraps Senator Edwards trip to Little Rock, Ark. "just 24 hours after Vice President Cheney made his pitch to smaller, targeted crowds." LINK

The Arkansas News Bureau on Edwards' visit to North Little Rock: LINK

The Washington Post 's David Broder revisits his Notes from the Democratic convention, including his iconoclastic stance on Kerry's speech performance, Noting he "was not surprised at the apparent lack of progress by the Democratic challenger." Read on carefully, Mr. Devine, as surely your BC04 counterparts are. LINK

"Left largely unanswered — or only vaguely outlined — was the question of what Kerry had done with his life in the decades since he came home from Vietnam, particularly in his 20 years of Senate service. … As for indicting the incumbent administration, Kerry and other speakers soft-pedaled their criticism — or couched it in cliched terms."

George F. Will poses the questions he doesn't think Senator Kerry answered in his acceptance speech — and throws in a deliciously nasty class-and-values jab. LINK

Of course, substitute "Kennebunkport" for "Sun Valley" at the very end, and we sort of would like to see the president answer these same questions!!!

The Washington Post 's Michael Shear reports "Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said he believes business leaders who supported his efforts to raise taxes and balance the state's budget will also support John F. Kerry for president because they are concerned about the economy and the size of the federal budget deficit." LINK

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman wraps Senator Kerry's list of business backers. LINK

The Boston Globe takes a closer look today at the woman from New Hampshire Senator Kerry mentioned in his convention speech — Mary Ann Knowles. LINK

Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe Notes the latest effort by Senator Kerry to localize his speeches. Some speech-goers like it, and some don't. LINK

Pat Healy of the Boston Globe Notes Senator Kerry seemed to be on the defensive yesterday. LINK

Music Makes (Some of) the People Come Together: Politics and show biz: are there two words in the English language as sexy as that to a news organization?

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