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The Democratic convention continues 33 days until the Republican convention 97 days until election day


"What did you think?"

If we had an extra Googling monkey for every time we were asked that last night and this morning, The Note could be published by 7:30 am each day.

Without seeming ungrateful for your interest in our views, what WE think doesn't matter.

What does matter is what persuadable voters in Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, and other battleground states think about Boston — and so far, we have seen no data on that.

We bet some corporate interests and unions are gathering such research, but at this writing, no one has come by our Fleet digs to drop it off.

With all due respect to Graham, Kucinich (!), Sharpton, Rendell, Richardson, O'Malley, and Granholm, what matters today is John Edwards' acceptance speech — everything else is just under card.

Although we decry the game of expectations setting, it is a mortal lock that Edwards won't fail tonight.

Loved by the delegates; articulate; a high wattage smile; adorable family; so ready for this fight; cuter every time we see him; and with a great personal story to tell — really the only question is will Johnny Reid Edwards be outstanding or revelatory.

DNC secretary Alice Germond will begin the roll call of the states and territories shortly after 11:00 pm ET. That's after Sen. John Edwards speaks.

The states and territories will be called in alphabetical order.

It is traditional for the nominee's home state delegation to put him over the top officially delivering the nomination. (In this case that takes 2,162 votes.)

If you missed ABC News Now yesterday, you missed a lot, including gavel-to-gavel coverage of the convention, hot music, Peter Jennings, and ABC News coverage of politics and news 24/7.

Lots of AOL viewers are watching (see: LINK) — so why aren't you?: LINK

Can't figure out this new-fangled technology? Let Robert Krulwich explain. LINK

And if you want the best, up-to-the-minute convention news, tidbits, and insight, log on to Noted Now: LINK Senator John Kerry attends a noon rally at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Charlestown, Mass. To top off the evening, Sens. Kerry and Edwards, along with their wives, attend the 11:30pm "Pops on the Bay" concert.

President Bush is at the family ranch in Crawford, Texas, with no scheduled public events. Michael Moore screens Fahrenheit 9/11 at a football stadium nearby. Vice President Cheney visits Salt Lake City to attend a 2:30 pm luncheon for congressional candidate John Swallow.

The morning shows: Elizabeth and Cate Edwards appeared on the three network morning shows. They made no real news, but Elizabeth Edwards responded in a few ways to Teresa Heinz Kerry's telling a writer from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to "shove it."

"Sometimes the press can be pretty annoying, and sometimes they can get under your skin," she said on Good Morning America, thereby (re)joining the national left-right coaliton that taps into public disdain for we the media.

Asked on CBS' Early Show whether Heinz Kerry was being unfairly scrutinized, Elizabeth Edwards said "It must have been kind of a slow news day for that to have gotten the kind of attention it did. It's the normal frustration that somebody feels when somebody won't let up on their preconceived notion."

On "Today," Elizabeth Edwards criticized the media, saying if Heinz Kerry's work for the people around her received "the same kind of play" as the "shove it" comment, "I'll be very pleased."

The Bush campaign's Nicolle Devenish and the Kerry campaign's Stephanie Cutter were interviewed by ABC's Charlie Gibson about women in campaigns. Asked about George Stephanopoulos' observation that Heinz Kerry's speech last night was the most feminist speech he's ever heard at a convention, Cutter said, "Oh, I don't know if it was that."

Democratic National Convention: tonight: Tonight beginning at 9 pm, the campaign will unveil 12 flag officers of the U.S. military who have endorsed Kerry and Edwards, including Ret. Gen. John Shalikashvili, who will speak to the delegates. Other general and admirals will appear in a video. They include: Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark, Ret. Adm. William Crowe, Ret. Gen. Joseph Hoar, Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, and Ret. Gen. Johnnie Wilson. Some will appear on stage after Gen. Shalikashvili speaks.

ABC's Mark Halperin reports: Steven Spielberg was an adviser on John Kerry's convention biographical video that will be shown Thursday night. Spielberg made recommendations to James Moll, who produced the film. Spielberg, who had been contemplating producing the biopic himself, screened a rough cut recently and offered up his ideas.

If you weren't in the hall post-gavel last night to see Senator and Mrs. Edwards do their podium walk through, you missed quite a show.

There's surprisingly little newspaper curtain raising for tonight's star turn for the Man from Robbins.

What little there is:

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Rick Lyman look at the top-of-the-ticket confidence Senator Edwards projects. LINK USA Today 's Joan Biskupic reports "Wednesday night in Boston, as he accepts the Democratic nomination for vice president in a nationally televised speech, Edwards and his velvet hammer will embark on what will amount to a 14-week closing argument for a different type of client: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry." LINK The paper's ed board writes that his "speech is likely to sound a bit like a Charles Dickens novel." LINK The Washington Post 's Lois Romano and Dale Russakoff write a complementary bio of Senator Edwards. LINK Walter Shapiro writes, "For all the emotion, the cheers and the breathless analysis of the opening days of the convention, everything here — even John Edwards' speech tonight — is merely prelude to that moment when John Kerry will be crowned by a balloon-and-confetti drop." LINK From the St. Petersburg Times: "'Officials from John Kerry's campaign and the Democratic Party got an advance look at the speech Senator Bob Graham will deliver tonight and gave him some advice: Tone it down.' They said Graham's speech was too critical of the Bush administration. 'They don't want it to be very confrontational, so we've had to make a few adjustments,' Graham said Tuesday." LINK

Democratic National Convention: Tuesday:

The Los Angeles Times' Barabak and McManus lead their convention Tuesday' wrap up with Mrs. Heinz Kerry's commitment to her outspokenness. And, yes, that liberal lion description for Senator Kennedy gets some ink here too. LINK

Deb Orin of the New York Post writes that she spoke "with deep intensity in a 23-minute speech in which she barely mentioned her husband for the first 13 minutes," which is the kind of thing that positively obsesses Deb Orin. LINK USA Today writes up each of the big speeches from last night:

— Page writes that some "of Reagan's language seemed almost Reaganesque." LINK — Hampson writes that Mrs. Heinz Kerry's remarks were "unusually policy oriented for a speech by a candidate's wife." LINK USA Today 's Jill Lawrence reports that Gov. Dean had some more interesting things to say earlier in the day. LINK David Broder says this of Senator Ted Kennedy: "Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), who was first elected in 1962, shared the oratorical burden at FleetCenter with the two newcomers, but, to the surprise of many, failed to electrify the partisan audience as he had done so many times before." LINK Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun says that the Democrats ceded the podium to progressives. LINK

The Washington Post 's David Maraniss observes "a new meaning has permeated the [Democratic] party: Fear of Bush." LINK The AP's Beth Fouhy Notes "Twelve-year-old Ilana Wexler had some advice for Vice President Dick Cheney: You need a timeout. The Democrats loved it." LINK

Iowa beams with pride over Fist Lady, Christie Vilsack. LINK And the Des Moines Register comments on how she reaches out to swing-state rural voters. LINK

Democratic National Convention: Obamania:

(This section created to drive Robert Gibbs absolutely nutso).

The ghost of Cicero thought Obama did "wonderful." LINK "A happy life consists in tranquility of mind. And Barack Obama," the Roman orator said.

Jeff Zeleny wraps yesterday for Obama's hometown paper and Notes "The Tuesday evening address was Obama's first using a teleprompter. Because of that, he practiced several times in recent weeks using the device and carried with him to the podium a written copy of the speech in the event of a technological failure." LINK The New York Times ' Kit Seelye takes a look at the message Obama delivered Tuesday night — different from the civil rights, race or pictures "of the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a black America still in despair," as African-American speakers had done in years past. LINK Bill Nichols in USA Today writes that "Democrats were electrified" by Obama. LINK Page and Despeignes describe Obama as speaking "with apparent ease and confidence." LINK

The Chicago Sun-Times' Scott Fornek throws in some details on what Obama ate on the day he talked with reporters and prepared for the biggest political speech of his life thus far. LINK Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell looks at why she thinks Obama has become a rising star. LINK Bob Novak opines that the real reason Democrats are so fascinated with Obama is their hope of turning out the African-American vote. LINK Note to the Illinois GOP and Karl Rove: it would probably be smart to get this guy an opponent that makes him have to work for it, or he could spend parts of October in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Cleveland working on turnout.

Democratic National Convention: Kerry-Edwards 2004:

Take the time today to read the Boston Globe 's Glen Johnson as he discusses the incredible power and influence of the "Magic Michael Whouley" and the Dewey Square Group on the Kerry-Edwards ticket. LINK

The story is wicked smaaat.

The nation's leading newspapers always prefer to lead with some hard quasi-convention related news and so they did — mostly focused on Kerry's crafty proposal to extend the public life of the 9/11 commission.

The Los Angeles Times: LINK

"Some commission officials questioned whether Kerry's suggestion was practical. Though panel members plan to tour the country pushing their proposals, the commission's charter expires Aug. 26, and it wasn't clear where the money would come from to keep the group intact for so long or whether its members and staff would agree to do so."

"The election-season fight over confronting terrorism escalated Tuesday, as John F. Kerry called for the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission to be extended by 18 months to help implement its proposed intelligence reforms and pressure the White House and Congress for fast action," reports the Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei and Charles Babington. LINK The Wall Street Journal 's Jake Schlesinger takes a look at Senator Kerry's deliberative decision-making style.

Ron Brownstein gets some Republicans to lick their chops over John Kerry's decision to place national security in the convention spotlight when most polls show that issue is a winning issue for President Bush. LINK

Carla Anne Robbins of the Wall Street Journal details the broad foreign policy themes that Senator Kerry uses, and his reliance on his own military service as a way to showcase an expertise on national security. And there's that deliberative way about him again: "Advisers say that Mr. Kerry is by temperament and conviction a moderate who is not going to be pushed into more extreme positions simply to draw attention, such as setting a date for a U.S. pullout from Iraq."

The New York Times ' Roger Cohen writes that Kerry has an uphill battle in selling a tough foreign policy — which he must do to persuade voters to give him the job. LINK Johnny Apple cautions that Kerry has a delicate balance to achieve between the image of himself as a war hero and what he — and his fellow Democrats — think about the war in Iraq. LINK

Since Matea Gold is still writing about the misguided space suit photo, we think it is safe to say some advance folks might be coming off the road. LINK

Was the Kerry flight suit photo leaked? The Washington Times takes a look. LINK The Wall Street Journal 's Gerald Seib warns Democrats not to get too excited in the midst of their nominating convention frenzy over Senator Kerry. After all, polls show the race still even. Three things to watch, Seib writes: (1) Kerry hasn't yet sealed the deal on convincing voters to support him; (2) the dog days of August are a GOP advantage this year; and (3) anger toward President Bush only goes so far. LINK

Democratic National Convention: the Democrats:

The Washington Post 's Mark Leibovich profiles DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, noting "it would be understating things to say that McAuliffe is prone to overstating things. To deprive him of hyperbole and exaggeration would be like depriving a mathematician of numbers." LINK The New York Times ' Steven Greenhouse looks at the shifting strategy of liberals. LINK The New York Times ' Carl Hulse Notes that not all candidates for office this fall are clamoring for spotlight time at the Dem convention. LINK Gail Collins of the New York Times Notes: "These are the great themes of the Democratic convention: 1) This is the most important political contest in the memory of man, and 2) it will be decided by six people in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The issues are cosmic, and the candidates are addressing a population the size of Toledo." LINK Daniel Golden of the Wall Street Journal looks at the power of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, and how the "rise of nonunion teacher associations is helping erode the longstanding clout of the NEA." As Golden lists the states where such non-union groups are growing, Note the battlegrounds among them (Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, and if you're feeling a certain way, Virginia).

The Wall Street Journal 's June Kronholz looks at the quid pro quo on No Child Left Behind that the NEA is expecting from Senator Kerry in exchange for its support.

"Democratic congressional candidates seem to be embracing an old political adage: If your opponent is self-destructing, don't get in the way," write the Washington Post 's Charles Babington and Brian Faler. "Buoyed by polls showing that most Americans feel the nation is on the wrong track (with Republicans controlling the House, Senate and White House), Democratic campaign leaders seem largely content to let anti-GOP sentiment run its course and, ideally, carry their party back to control of the House after a decade in the minority." LINK All signs of convention treatment point to delegates from George Bush' Texas being discounted — an airport hotel, lack of breakfast speakers, and more. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Convention Wire reports that the Iowa delegation is now loving Howard Dean. But more importantly (relative to where you are), Carl Bialik reports that the Secret Service has lifted its ban and declared umbrellas safe to bring into the Fleet Center compound!! We who are about to be rained on salute you. (Now we wonder when hairspray and makeup will make it off the banned list.)

If the names Bill Clinton, Roger Porter and Alex Blenkinsopp excite you (and they DO indeed excite more than the average Harvard Crimson alum), you will absolutely want to read this article: LINK Democratic National Convention: the money:

The Washington Post 's Jeffrey Birnbaum and Thomas Edsall highlight the large donations of lobbyists at the Democratic convention, which also means a large presence. LINK USA Today 's Kathy Kiely and Jim Drinkard report, "The outside political groups that have drawn attention this year for their fundraising on behalf of John Kerry are looking a lot like insiders this week at the Democratic convention." LINK

Democratic National Convention: outside the hall:

"The convention is only half over, as [Tom] Menino, 61, is quick to point out, but the rehabilitation of the popular mayor's image here is close to complete," Notes the Washington Post 's Jonathan Finer. LINK

Democratic National Convention: the media:

The belle of the ball is local news. As Ken Goldstein tells the Los Angeles Times, local news "dwarfs" other means of information absorption for most Americans. Terry McAuliffe's "operation area code" is in full effect. LINK

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi takes a look at the planning and production of the Democratic convention. LINK The Washington Post takes Note of the tabloids' depiction of Senator Kerry as "an out-of-this-world figure." LINK

Democratic National Convention: opinion pieces and editorials:

The Washington Post 's Harold Meyerson posits "Ever since Ronald Reagan became president, the Democrats have had a challenge: They've needed to reinvent populism." LINK Dickinson College political science professor Crispin Sartwell takes to the Los Angeles Times op-ed page to declare John Kerry's stance on abortion "self-serving and obvious[ly absurd]." LINK

William Safire calls Kerry the "great straddler." LINK

The Big Four: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin:

Florida delegates: blamed for 2000: LINK And the belles of the ball: LINK The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert reports that "Wisconsin sits persistently on everyone's tossup list, one of perhaps six or eight states in which neither side can convincingly claim a serious advantage and which just about every political actor that matters (candidate or group) is targeting." LINK

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Katherine Skiba leads with Mrs. Heinz Kerry and then writes about Kennedy, but doesn't write about Obama. LINK

The Columbus Dispatch's Jack Torry focuses on Senator Kennedy taking it to President Bush and sorts out whether anyone will vote for or against Kerry based on Kennedy. LINK The Pittsburgh Post Gazette's take on the THK speech. LINK

A 1922 wedding portrait confirms Elizabeth Edwards' deep roots in western Pennsylvania. LINK

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ann McFeatters of civility in politics and Vanessa Kerry "near tears." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The Wall Street Journal 's John McKinnon reports that the Bush Administration is expected to project a federal budget of $420 billion or more this year. Expect to hear about that in campaign commercials and rhetoric.

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

The touch screen lawsuit has been filed.

AP: "A coalition of election reform groups asked an administrative law judge Tuesday to strike a state rule that prevents counties using touchscreen voting machines from conducting manual recounts from the machines." LINK And here's some evidence: "Detailed electronic records from Miami-Dade County's first widespread use of touchscreen voting machines were lost in computer server crashes last year, prompting more questions about the use of the machines. The crashes occurred in May and November of 2003, erasing information from the September 2002 gubernatorial primaries and deleting some records of other elections, Miami-Dade elections officials said Tuesday." LINK The New York Times fronts the story: LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

The AP's Ron Jenkins reports "Former three-term Rep. Tom Coburn won the Republican nomination Tuesday for the seat of GOP Senator Don Nickles, trouncing a popular Oklahoma politician after a bruising and expensive campaign marked by allegations of backstabbing and shady land deals." LINK The world awaits Carson v. Colburn.

On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine will profile the heated Senatorial campaign in South Dakota. Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes that conservatives around the country are trying to knock off Senator Tom Daschle, a man the Club for Growth's Stephen Moore says "is seen as the Darth Vader of American politics by conservatives."

ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states:

Reporters in Michigan live to talk to Tait Sye's mother. In this clip, she rubs the Buddha. LINK A former Republican Party official in New Hampshire accused of plotting to jam Democratic phone banks on election day 2002-when Republican Rep. John Sununu beat outgoing Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for U.S. Senate-will plead guilty today. LINK

Like all the other swing states, Arkansas is basking in its glory as both campaigns work tirelessly to court its voters. LINK Vice President Dick Cheney will visit Reno Saturday morning, marking BC04's third trip to Republican friendly Northern Nevada in seven weeks. LINK

The controversial — and politically significant — Yucca Mountain project took center stage at the Democratic convention yesterday, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. LINK This on the same day that a new poll finds support among Nevada voters for fighting the Yucca Mountain project is growing. LINK

The read in Detroit is that the Democratic platform adopted yesterday is made to appeal "directly to Michigan's status as a labor union state, an embattled manufacturer and a crossroads of world trade." LINK

Chris Andrews in the Lansing State Journal continues the convention-shows-how-important-Michigan-is theme, writing that it's "the little things here that tell you that Michigan is big in Democrats' plans to elect Massachusetts Senator John Kerry president." LINK

Look what makes headlines in West Virginia during the Democratic Convention: "W.Va. can be [terror] target, U.S. attorney warns." LINK

New jobs created, old jobs destroyed in North Carolina: Network Appliance, Inc. will bring more than 360 new jobs to the Research Triangle, with an average salary of $115,000; at the same time, State Farm said it will cut at least 500 jobs in the Mid-Atlantic states. LINK and LINK

The Hill looks at Senator Kerry's prospects in Missouri and makes the claim that Kerry cannot win the state without winning St. Louis County; and he can't win the County without County Executive Charlie Dooley's help. LINK

TODAY'S CONVENTION SCHEDULE (all times ET): Beginning at 4:00 pm ET: — Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), a 2004 presidential candidate, addresses the convention. — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a 2004 presidential candidate, addresses the convention. — Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) addresses the convention. — Senate Minority Whip Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) addresses the convention. — Al Sharpton, a 2004 presidential candidate, addresses the convention. — Ed Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania, addresses the convention. — Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, addresses the convention. — Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) addresses the convention. — Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley addresses the convention on the burden of homeland security on American cities. — Retired Marine Lt. Col. Steve Brozak, a candidate for Congress from New Jersey, addresses the convention. — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, addresses the convention. — Cate Edwards, daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards, addresses the convention. — Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Senator Edwards (D-N.C.), introduces her husband. — Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), accepts the Democratic nomination for vice president and addresses the convention.


— 12:00 pm: Senator John Kerry attends an America's Freedom Trail Rally at Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass. — 10:00 pm: Senator John Edwards addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Fleet Center, Boston, Mass. — 11:30 pm: Sens. Kerry and Edwards attends "Pops on the Bay Concert Fireworks" at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Mass. — 12:15 am: Senator Edwards attends a DNC post gavel reception at the Wang Center, Boston, Mass.


— 7:45 am: Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Illinois U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama, James Carville, and others speak at the New York State Delegation Breakfast, Boston, Mass. — 8:30 am: Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) addresses the Arizona delegation, Boston, Mass. — 9:30 am: Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) addresses the Washington state delegation, Boston, Mass. — 9:30 am: Daily DNC Convention press briefing is held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, Mass. — 10:00 am: RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and other Republican leaders hold a news conference to discuss the opening day of the Democrat convention, Boston, Mass. — 10:00 am: Tipper Gore hosts a vice presidential nominee's spouse brunch, Cambridge, Mass. — 10:30 am: Teresa Heinz Kerry visits a meeting of the Hispanic Caucus, Boston, Mass. — 11:00 am: Teresa Heinz Kerry visits a meeting of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, Boston, Mass. — 11:30 am: Teresa Heinz Kerry visits a meeting of the African-American Caucus, Boston, Mass. — 12:00 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry and Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) speak before the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus, Boston, Mass. — 12:30 pm: CNBC's Tina Brown hosts a lunch with Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Boston, Mass. — 1:30 pm: Former President Bill Clinton attends a book signing, Blytheville, Ark. — 12:45 pm: Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.), Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), and Rock The Vote hold a news conference on voting reform, Cambridge, Mass. — 9:00 pm: Michael Moore screens Fahrenheit 9/11 in Crawford, Texas.