ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Notes ABC News' Ed O'Keefe: "Kerry, who prefers to write longhand, insisted he was toiling away on his nomination acceptance speech and finalizing plans including late addition speakers to the impending convention."

"The Senator acknowledged that top aides such as Terry Edmunds, Miles Lackey, and David Wade would eventually be allowed to take their blue pen filled hands to his work but Kerry explained, 'It's pretty personal. I'm not sharing much of it right now.'"

"And, the Democratic nominee-to-be's process does not lend itself to modern day editing. Sans Blackberry, laptop or desktop, Kerry described, 'I cut and paste, the old scissors and paste, write it out, have somebody type it up, read it, sleep on it, see how sh-tty it is in the morning.'"

"Moments later, the cautious politician corrected, 'Sorry, wrong word, bad it is.'"

From ABC News' Gloria Riviera with Sen. Edwards: "Edwards seems to be closing in on making his own separate peace with his new role. By the end of day two the speech flowed a touch more easily, a tad more naturally and entirely structured along familiar lines right down to word for word phrases he's been preaching for the last year such as, 'The American people will reject the politics of hate' Could it be the Senator is benefiting from the works of wordsmithtress Wendy Button, newly minted Head Speechwriter for her old boss? And so, while the phrase, "Introducing the next VICE President" certainly has a different ring than it may have sans the vice, it seems just fah-hine to JRE."

Yin: The AP reports "Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said Wednesday that conflicts of interest plague Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and make it difficult for him to take clear positions on health care, education and other issues." LINK

Yang: Raphael Lewis of the Boston Globe reports, "The Massachusetts Democratic Party will file an ethics complaint today against Gov. Mitt Romney, accusing the Republican of illegally spending taxpayer dollars on a trip to raise money for his party and to bash Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry." LINK

The Boston Globe's Brian C. Mooney Notes an apparent boost to Kerry since becoming Kerry-Edwards in the South, citing Zogby and Mason-Dixon polling. LINK

The Boston papers are reporting that U.S. Ambassador to Canada and former Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci is planning on resigning his post to potentially run for Sen. Kerry's seat should the Democrat win the presidential election. LINK

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

The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" has this:

"RUNNING SCARED: Republicans feel fretful at midcampaign."

"Some voice dismay about defensiveness on Iraq in Bush speeches and time spent courting conservative base. 'There hasn't been a lot of talk about the future yet,' gripes one insider. White House aide Dan Bartlett counsels patience: 'We will really focus on this once the public is listening, and when the Democrats' convention is over.'"

(Note Note: we can't wait for the second term agenda in all its particulars and to see if it makes it into any new TV ads!!)

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