The Note

Roughing it to see the president: Bush's fundraiser in Seattle last night on behalf of Senate candidate Rep. George Nethercutt was "far from luxurious," reports the Seattle Times, despite the event's $1000-a-plate price tag. "Donors nibbled on salmon and other hors d'oeuvres outside the ballroom, but for security reasons were not allowed to bring food or silverware inside. There were no chairs or tables, and the ballroom was decorated only by a Nethercutt banner and a dozen American flags." LINK

In Fort Lewis, soldiers and their families are eagerly anticipating today's morning visit by the president, reports the Associated Press. LINK

Though election-year politics killed Oregon's legislature's efforts for tax reforms, the Oregonian speculates that had the committee not disbanded after 5 months their report may have read: "We agree that Oregon's tax system is unstable and that a rainy-day fund and spending limit might help; we're not sure yet how to do it. " LINK

In an effort to ensure the Columbia River is made more accessible to ships, Portland businesses are still asking Bush and Congress for the 15 million they say is needed to start deepening the channel. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: ad traffic highlights: Kerry has no changes on the ad front, but the Bush camp plans to take a break from its ad campaign beginning next Thursday; until then, Bush continues airing only one ad — "Pessimism"

MoveOn launched a new ad this week knocking the Bush Administration for its ties to Halliburton

The New Democrat Network adds three markets to its Spanish-language ad buy

The Media Fund launched a new radio/print ad in Reno, Nevada criticizing the president for his Yucca Mountain decision

Citizens United debuts in some markets an anti-Clinton ad on Sunday during the former President's Sunday "60 Minutes" interview launched an ad earlier this week on Arab TV stations apologizing for the prison abuses in Iraq

By the numbers …

1 Bush ad touting the good news of his Administration and quickly reminding viewers of what he sees as Kerry's pessimism

2 Kerry ads promoting his vision for the country

4 ads from the New Democrat Network supporting Hispanic unity behind Democrats

1 anti-Bush ad each from and the Media Fund

1 anti-Clinton ad from Citizens United

1 ad by apologizing for the Iraqi prison abuse incidents airing on Arabic language television

Veepstakes: It's that time again. The selection nears, and so editors demand flashy, juicy veepstakes stories and the trifecta of Kerry, Johnson, and Cahill refuse to cooperate.

In the high-stakes veepstakes game, you have facts and you have speculation. There is a paucity of former; a surplus of the latter.

Which leads even the most conscientious and talented of American political reporters to write sentences like this:

"It was not known whether any of these candidates were on Kerry's short list — or even whether there was a short list." But the very model of a modern major wishy-washy veepstakes story comes courtesy of the Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei and Lois Romano, who contend that the "process is revealing much about how the Massachusetts senator views his strengths, his leadership style and the role of vice president." LINK

Their word count: 1,654; Instances of the word "close": 11; Instances of the word "friend" 9; Instances of the word "private" 5.

To wit:

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