ABC News' The Note

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NEWS SUMMARY

At the halfway point of a politically critical 36-hour news cycle, we think it is important to take stock of lessons learned, and figure out how to apply them.

Lesson: On any given day in this election year, events in Iraq have the potential to overshadow things here at home.

Applied: Will the White House try to limit Kerry's veepstakes' bounce by conveniently unfurling some Iraqi development in the same time frame?*************************************************************************************************

Lesson: Just because Matt Drudge says "jump!," you people don't have to respond by saying "Yes, sir, high how, sir, and may we land, sir?!?"

Applied: Please don't call and e-mail us for confirmation every time Drudge runs something; his 37.8% accuracy rate and quirky sensibilities (that's a euphemism) can have a disproportionate impact on the election, if y'all let that happen.

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Lesson: In order, the three most intense and emotionally laden relationships that can exist between human beings are (i) landlord-tenant; (ii) mother-daughter; and (iii) United States Senator and big city mayor from the same party and the same state, in the midst of labor battles and on the eve of a big convention.

Applied: Calling Jack Corrigan and John Sasso — hey, fellas, 120 years of combined experience should maybe yield a solution, no?

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Lesson: Don't write anything down.

Applied: Will the Washington Post 's exclusive story on the Bush campaign ratcheting up its instructions to churchgoers about engaging in political activity get picked up by other media?

****************************************************************************************************** Lesson: Googling monkeys make mistakes.

Applied: Through lazy metaphor making, yesterday's Note might have given some readers the idea that Lee Kamlet and Walter Mondale didn't enjoy their professional association in the mid-1980s. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and The Note regrets leaving that impression.

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President Bush at 2:30 pm ET participates in the swearing-in ceremony of former Senator Danforth as the new U.N. ambassador, and at 4:00 pm ET Bush speaks on the 40th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the White House.

At 1:30 pm ET Vice President Cheney is in New Orleans to deliver his first speech about Iraq since the handover. He is later in Georgia for a fundraiser for congressional candidate Calder Clay.

Senator Kerry departs Pittsburgh for Washington today and has no scheduled public events.

This morning the latest manufacturing, construction, and mortgage rates reports are released. Don't forget tomorrow's state-by-state jobs numbers for June.

Veepstakes:

Yesterday morning, top political aides to at least several candidates who are thought to be leading contenders were contacted by a member of Jim Johnson's vice presidential search team and asked to provide detailed contact information for their principles, as well as their schedules over the next 10 days.

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