The Note

Cheney told CNBC's Gloria Borger that "the notion that there is no relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida just simply is not true."

More Cheney: "I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming."

Asked about his public image, Cheney said that he is there to serve the president and he doesn't worry about how he is perceived: "My job is to offer advice, which I do, to take on assignments which he gives me, which I do, but I say I'm there specifically to serve him any way I can and not worry a lot about what my public image might be. Am I warm and fuzzy or am I perceived as a tough guy? I really don't worry about that."

Laura Bush headed to battleground Pennsylvania yesterday for a BC04 rally and schmoozed the audience as if she were hosting a giant coffee klatch, urging them to call all their friends and get them to the polls in November," write Amy Worden and Carrie Budoff of the Philadelphia Inquirer.LINK

Worden and Budoff lead their article with the question that seems to come up frequently for Mrs. Bush — whether she is a "traditional" First Lady.

The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, having recently run into some controversy over an email to churches in Pennsylvania, is working to turn out conservative voters and is courting Southern Baptists, "urging pastors to do everything short of risking their churches' tax-exempt status to support the president's re-election," the New York Times Kirkpatrick reports.LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller wraps the president's jam-packed Thursday Noting that the schedule "showed how much effort the White House is devoting to his re-election campaign in the middle of the persistent debate about national security."LINK

The latest poll from the Pew Research Center found a boost for President Bush from the funeral of President Reagan and the situation in Iraq, as the deadline for the transfer of power gets closer. LINK

"Bush had a slight lead over Kerry in a three-way matchup; the president was at 46 percent, Kerry at 42 percent, and independent Ralph Nader at 6 percent. Bush and Kerry were tied in a two-way race."

In addition to keynoting a fundraiser designed to raise $2 million for the RNC, the president will have a "conversation on strengthening America's families" to discuss healthy marriages during next week's stop in Cincinnati. LINK

CNN White House correspondent John King defended the president yesterday, telling a Boston crowd that Bush is 'much more engaged . . . than most people think." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Senator John Kerry: Campaign sources say that Senator Kerry may return to the Buckeye State next week to visit Canton, reports the Columbus Dispatch. It would be Kerry's second trip to the state in as many weeks.

An article in the Washington Times suggests that outside advisers to Senator Kerry want him to "shut up" about religion. If that language sounds like it's coming from Bob Drinan, well … . read the article. LINK

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