The Note

"Surrogates attack. They defend. They insulate. Think Karen Hughes for President Bush or Max Cleland for John Kerry. But when a kinder, gentler touch is needed, cue the first lady. She's warmer than Dick Cheney, more congenial than Donald Rumsfeld. Plus, she can stay on message."

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

The New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren contemplates "how far would a presidential candidate travel in one day to not cast a vote on an issue critical to his campaign? For Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts on Tuesday, the journey was 3,910 miles." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman writes up Sen. Kerry's stop back on Capitol Hill to vote yesterday, and up high throws in a snarky comment by Sen. Sununu -- then Notes that Kerry has missed 119 roll call votes out of 135 cast so far in 2004. She also tick-tocks what actually happened to the vote -- i.e., it didn't happen, providing a civics lesson on just how miserable it can be to be in the minority party. LINK

The Washington Post's Paul Farhi and Helen Dewar Note the "cascade of blame" that rained down in between Sen. Kerry's cancellation of events in New Mexico and his trip to the Senate for the vote that wasn't. LINK

Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe Notes two small political gains Sen. Kerry made yesterday by returning to the Senate for a vote: "a useful new weapon to fight opponents who are pressuring him to step down for skipping 89 percent of Senate votes so far this year," and the Senate class picture, which had he not been in, could have been used against him. LINK

If John Kerry loses New Mexico's five electoral votes will Bill Frist get one of those election night BC04 bouquets?

The New York Post's Vince Morris provides his readers with a wrap up of Kerry's Senate stewing day. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Gold and Simon write that Kerry was simply "outmaneuvered . . . " LINK

And then add this:

"A senior Kerry campaign aide said that the likelihood of a Senate vote in mid-July on a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage will influence the timing of when the campaign rolls out Kerry's choice for vice presidential running mate. Because of that vote, Kerry will likely announce his pick in early July, or close to the Democratic National Convention at the end of the month."

Mark Mellman uses his Hill column to hit the same points as yesterday's conference call with reporters about his view of the President's recent poll numbers. LINK

Massachusetts lawmakers are in the midst of duking out what to do with Sen. John Kerry's Senate seat should he win the presidency, per the Boston Globe. "Democrats have crafted a bill that calls for a special election within 120 to 145 days after a senator declares he or she is vacating the seat. The Democrats' legislation strips Romney of his authority to name a senator who would serve until the next statewide election in 2006. The bill, scheduled to be taken up today in the [state] Senate, also bars a temporary appointee until voters can choose a replacement."LINK

THK in Florida: . . . . she "courts" LINK . . . and "woos" LINK

Martin Kasindorf of USA Today Notes the fundraising power of Hollywood stars who will be coming out soon to help Sen. Kerry's campaign in the two, bi-coastal, rescheduled concerts. "The concerts are expected to bring in at least $10 million for the Kerry campaign, adding to its total collection of more than $140 million. President Bush has raised at least $216 million since May 2003." LINK

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