ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Chicago Tribune's John McCormick looks at the record $185 million raised and $149 million spent by the Kerry campaign through the end of June, outlining the planned DNC ads between the party nominations of Senator Kerry and President Bush.

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ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Alan Borsuk previews Edwards' scheduled visit to Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday. LINK

In an interview today on "Good Morning America" with ABC News' Claire Shipman, Elizabeth Edwards defended her husband against charges by President and Mrs. Bush that he does not have enough experience to be Vice President, saying, "That's an odd response coming out of this president. John has six years in the Senate and four years on the Intelligence Committee and a lifetime of work and fighting and advocating for American families. That he doesn't have the kind of experience needed? This president had considerably less experience."

Working hard to counter what some voters see as an overly-liberal John Kerry, the Democratic Leadership Council yesterday "slammed the methodology behind National Journal's ratings system, in an effort to defend Senator John Kerry from the "'liberal'" charges levied against him by Republicans," The Hill reports. LINK

The Boston Herald's Kerry profilers of the week, Andrew Miga and David Guarino look at how Teresa Heinz Kerry's money has helped her husband's political career. LINK

And the two follow-up with a diddy on how they could be each other's match (a tad bit more flattering than the other). LINK

The Boston Herald's Guarino looks at the Heinz-Kerry past ties to Cheney-operated Halliburton. LINK

Mark Mellman comments in The Hill on the inundation of public polls today, Noting that while early polling does not always offer insight, it "certainly leads to confusion and perhaps a net loss of knowledge." LINK

Dick Morris claims the current divide within the Democratic Party is the Kennedy (and Kerry) vs. Clintons divide. He uses Chris Lehane (who, according to Morris, was "sent" to the Kerry campaign by the Clintons) and Mary Beth Cahill as well as Senator Clinton's initial omission from primetime convention speakers to buttress his overstretched thesis. LINK

William Keck writes in USA Today 's Life section about Bush-bashing by celebrities, over whom the Kerry campaign's Allison Dobson reminds us they have no control whatsoever. And there are a few interesting insights from historian Doug Brinkley here too. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank Notes President Bush's mix of positive and negative campaigning on the trail, including a new version of his stump speech stop that will be further unveiled tonight in a speech in Washington. LINK

Milbank's take on the presidential campaign tone:

"Bush, aiming to discredit Kerry without appearing unpresidential or gloomy, has been alternating between an optimistic message and a caustic assessment of Kerry. His advertisements have been overwhelmingly negative. But his speeches, though occasionally angry and defensive, more often have an upbeat and folksy delivery."

Milbank gets down and dirty with the president's stump speech and finds it breaks down like this:

"45 percent on war and security, 25 percent on the economy and taxes, 10 percent on domestic issues and 20 percent criticism of Kerry."

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