ABC News' The Note

Several sources close to the process tell ABC News that the campaign has plans to introduce the country to Kerry's pick by the middle of next week. Advance teams have scouted out a half dozen locations in states like Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Iowa. Tuesday, July 6 will probably not bring the official announcement speech; Kerry has two, long-planned addresses in Indiana and Washington. Wednesday, July 7 is wide open.

We know who has been hired as chief of staff to the incoming vice presidential team, but, we are keeping it to ourselves for now — but you know who you are, and expect a call from us as soon as we get this Note thing published today.

Schedules and contacts have been requested of Senator John Edwards, Rep. Dick Gephardt, Gov. Tom Vilsack, and a few others, according to Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Democrats quasi-close to the process also believe that former Defense Secretary William Cohen, former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware and Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana might remain prospects, although, alltogethernow — nononebutJohnKerryknowsforsure.

The flurry of activity yesterday prompted a common veepstakes ritual — a reverse wave of phone calls — from sources to reporters, seeking their own clues. The loop of those in the know at this point was described yesterday as being fewer than 10 people, including Senator Kerry, his campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, Johnson, one or two close friends of Kerry's, and a very few select other aides who are involved in briefing the Secret Service and advance teams.

After the announcement itself, it's expected that the presumptive vice presidential nominee will campaign with Kerry and attend a few fundraisers — and then take a few days off to organize their lives for the next (8?) years.

Other Democrats and Kerry campaign officials say that nothing has been set in stone and that Kerry would well decide to postpone an announcement for a week — or even until the week before the convention.

In the Boston Globe , Glen Johnson and Pat Healy add these details:

--"The campaign has also reserved a second charter jet and added support staff in its campaign travel office to facilitate travel for the running mate and his entourage, according to Kerry campaign aides." LINK

--"Kerry has asked a select few of his closest supporters to reserve Tuesday and Wednesday to travel with the campaign, which would allow for a barnstorming tour by the Democratic duo in advance of a gala fund-raiser next Thursday in New York City."

The Des Moines Register Notes that Gov. Tom Vilsack argued with Republican legislative leaders over proposals regarding tax cuts and business issues yesterday. LINK

USA Today 's Jill Lawrence Notes a new poll suggests Democrats are more concerned with beating Bush than whom John Kerry picks to help him do it. "But his choice could affect how the ticket plays with independents and moderates." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The Wall Street Journal 's John Harwood reports a new Wall Street Journal /NBC poll shows "midway through a dismal election year, President Bush finds the underpinnings of his political support badly eroded. But they haven't collapsed."

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