ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

USA Today's William Welch writes that "while more than a regional candidate, Sen. John Edwards' selection as Democrat John Kerry's running mate boosts his party in the Republican-leaning South, especially in Edwards' home state, North Carolina." LINK

Ivy-covered Jack Bass writes a poetic op-ed in the New York Times that claims "the choice of Mr. Edwards means that President Bush can no longer take the South for granted." LINK

Reaction to the Democratic ticket:

MoDo writes that "the John-John ticket might seem a bit off-putting -- a little too glib, a little too ingratiating, a little too forced, a little too expedient, a little too eager to please. But when the competition is two oilmen who don't seem to want to please anybody but Halliburton and the Saudis -- ask Pat Leahy, Old Europe and the 9/11 panel -- overeagerness is a relief." LINK

The Washington Post's dashing Tom Edsall writes that by choosing a trial lawyer as his running mate, Sen. Kerry has pushed tort reform to the forefront of the campaign, opening the Democratic ticket to both the support of trial lawyers and consumer groups and the opposition of big business and other lobbies. Edsall takes a look at the money that Sen. Edwards has raised from trial lawyers in his Senate and presidential bids -- $16.7 million of a total of $25.1 million requiring the disclosure of donors' occupations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. LINK

Joan Vennochi opines in the Boston Globe, "John Kerry has the right resume but lacks the Kennedy charisma. John Edwards has charisma but lacks the Kennedy portfolio. Like pieces of a puzzle, the two Johns might just make one Jack. That is the party bet."LINK

The New York Times' Elizabeth Rosenthal surveys the generally positive voter reaction to the newly-minted Kerry/Edwards ticket in a manner so subjective as to be wondrous. LINK

Jeff Miller of the Allentown Morning Call reports that Sen. Arlen Specter begged off yesterday's Republican attacks on Sen. Edwards. LINK

Stu Rothenberg recalls the first time he met Edwards and his first impressions of the man who would be number two in today's Roll Call. Rothenberg likes the pick but doesn't buy the assertion that North Carolina is in play -- just yet.

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen contemplates "what can't be measured, what is never mentioned in a résumé, is that quality I found in Edwards at lunch that day -- a fierce passion for social justice. It's something that does not come with experience but out of experience. In that sense, Edwards is ready." LINK

The New York Times' ed board posits "politics was once seen -- at least in myth -- as a career for poor kids with good people skills. Now we're getting rich recluses with ambitious handlers." LINK

The AP's Ron Fournier takes his stab at the Edwards experience issue. LINK

Recently debachlored Ryan Lizza says in the New Republic that Sen. Edwards adds many things to the ticket but perhaps most importantly -- he gives Kerry a tailor-made, battle-tested message. "...[T]he more Kerry emphasized the middle class economic anxieties from the Edwards primary campaign, the more it made sense to bring it on board." Also included: an intellectual history of the Two Americas concept.

Jeff Jacoby writes in the Boston Globe about Edwards' obvious weaknesses -- highlighted not by Republicans, but by John Kerry himself. LINK

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