The Note

The USA Today op ed page -- determined to maintain its reputation for silliness -- runs a piece by James Gannon, who covered Dick Cheney for the Wall Street Journal when Cheney was President Ford's chief of staff, offers a letter to Vice President Cheney asking him to step down, writing, "You must ask yourself now if your continued presence by his side will offer strength or weakness to the Republican ticket in November, and what it will mean for GOP prospects in the future." LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller's White House Letter in the New York Times will be equally derided by 41 and 43 as she attempts to put President Bush on the couch and explore his attachment to Saddam Hussein's pistol. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

The AP's Nedra Pickler previews Sen. Kerry's visit to Colorado today. "The Massachusetts senator also hopes to have special appeal because he was born at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital near Denver and can relate with his military background to the many veterans who live there." LINK

Pickler, with just a touch of irony, also writes about Kerry's vacation. The headline: "Campaigning for the poor paused to vacation with rich." LINK

Jodi Wilgoren's weekend travelogue of Sen. Kerry's Nantucket (non)adventure almost makes you feel like you were there too. LINK

Here are our favorite back-to-back sentences.

"Several members of Mr. Kerry's traveling staff flew their wives or girlfriends in to join them at a downtown inn."

"But with the wind coming from the north and then luffing, Mr. Kerry could not get airborne."

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan gets a scooplet: a relaxing, vacationing Kerry got a flat on his bike . . . and fixed it himself. LINK

The Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves wraps the AFL-CIO's mobilization effort to tout Sen. Kerry's message door to door. LINK

Accused of accepting a questionable $2,000 check "from the recently arrested son of South Korea's disgraced former president," who apparently wanted to involve himself in American politics, Sen. Kerry's presidential campaign is reportedly returning the funds "after learning the donor was charged with tax evasion," according to The AP's Solomon and Theimer. LINK

We wonder if the AP scribes were handed this one . . . and by whom.

The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold chews over Sen. Kerry's deliberational style, which very much favors chewing over ideas and lots of late-night phone calls to advisers (and thrice weekly chats with Sen. Kennedy). LINK

"Those close to the senator say his decision-making is one of his greatest strengths, demonstrating thoughtfulness, intellectual prowess and an ability to broker dissent. But because of his thoroughness, Kerry can also come across as overly cautious, some acknowledge."

Rush & Molloy report that only James Taylor and Bette Midler were unable to rearrange their schedules for the rescheduled Kerry/DNC fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall now set to take place on July 8. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein is wary of interlocuters who use Sept. 11 to justify permitting civil rights intrusions and harsh interrogations and wonders if Sen. Kerry's approach to homeland security will be seen by voters as a better alternative. LINK

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