ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Washington Post tallies the Michigan Republican Party submitted more than 40,000 signatures last week in their drive to put Ralph Nader on the state's November ballot. LINK

David Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports, "Pennsylvania Republicans are salivating over the prospects of independent Ralph Nader joining the fray for president in the Keystone State." The Nader camp admits it will be tough to collect all 25,697 signatures by Aug. 2 to put him on the ballot. LINK

The Las Vegas Review-Journal opines that any national candidate with a theoretical chance should be allowed to take part in the presidential debates. LINK

A new Pioneer Press/Minnesota Public Radio poll shows Nader is "keeping the state pretty competitive." LINK

The Courier Post reports Ralph Nader has enough signatures to maker the ballot in New Jersey. LINK

Tom Teepen of Cox News Service puts the question to Ralph Nader, "Is this any way for a hyper-liberal to act?" LINK

Bob Anez of the AP reports the majority of Montana delegates to the Republican and Democratic national conventions agree Nader won't be a spoiler. LINK

And Ohio delegates think so too! LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Notes while officials continue to rebuff rumors of a reinstatement of a military draft Nader warns young people "a train is coming, and it could run over their generation." LINK

Media:

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz looks at CBS News' approach to making campaign rhetoric accessible to voters by telling them how the candidates' proposals translate to real lives. LINK

Weekend must-reads:

On Sunday, Dan Balz of the Washington Post looked at President Bush's failure to campaign on a second-term agenda beyond a promise to keep America safer.

The lackluster trifecta of proposals of manned space exploration, immigration reform, and a same-sex marriage ban notwithstanding, the president has offered few ideas in comparison to this point in his first run, Balz writes. White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett says the campaign will begin to "aggressively" talk about the president's "vision for the next four years" — after the Democratic National Convention. LINK

In Sunday's New York Times Week in Review, Adam Nagourney focused deftly on the importance of Boston to Sen. Kerry's campaign, and what the Senator will need to do to succeed there. LINK

Nagourney also described what makes the nominating conventions not only relevant but absolutely important to the election process:

"The American convention remains a singular moment in the nominating process — a relic of a bygone time, perhaps, but a relic that nonetheless keeps driving the story line of a presidential election. And that is no small matter for John Kerry, the likely Democratic nominee." It's the one time, Nagourney Notes, when a campaign has complete control over how the candidate is seen by the American public.

Philip Gourevitch's New Yorker piece on John Kerry is largely about foreign policy, but it contains:

— the fruits of at least two interviews with the candidate

— great, profanity-laced advice from Joe Biden about being direct

— the author inexplicably quoting from something he says explicitly was off the record from a Kerry staffer

— some Zen quotes from George Butler, Cam Kerry, and Richard Holbrooke

— nothing totally new, but a very nice look at the possibilities and limits of John F. Kerry (through the worldview of the Upper West Side by way of Brooklyn)

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