The Note

NOTED NOW

TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)

FUTURES CALENDAR

NEWS SUMMARY

As The Note goes to the printing press each day, a series of conference calls and morning staff meetings at the White House, the campaigns, the party committees, congressional offices, and those shadowy 527s (NFTSOTTC . . . ) are just ending.

Each side emerges from those sessions with certain cards they plan to play throughout the day to reach the voters through the national and state media.

What the Rs and Ds are holding today:

ELEPHANTS:

POTUS Air Force Academy speech -- CiC in a friendly crowd, playing to his strength.

Show Me State Senators Bond and Talent bracketing Kerry in, well, the Show Me State.

Continued barely-contained-glee over the apparent progress with the Iraqi government and at the United Nations.

Patriot Act and Kerry (cont.).

Friday's job figures (in their back pocket).

DONKEYS:

Kerry hits two battleground states in a day -- playing offense on homeland security.

The Herseth win in South Dakota's special House election.

The Halliburton-Cheney push.

The Accenture contract.

The seemingly successful to-date national security tour.

The new Kerry TV ad's little girls, who are every bit as cute and adorable as the little girls in the Bush spots.

It's an exciting Wednesday, because, based on those lists, we don't know who is gonna win the news cycle!!!

President Bush gives his second major speech leading up to transition of power in Iraq at the United States Air Force Academy commencement in Colorado Springs.

Sen. Kerry holds a conversation with first responders and public health officials at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla. and meets with local supporters at the Kansas City airport.

Teresa Heinz Kerry meets with military families at the Humphreys Pine Room, Charleston, W.Va.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice heads to the Hill today to brief Congressional leadership on the new Iraqi government.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flies to Singapore today.

The Senate resumes debate on the defense budget today after Majority Leader Bill Frist tabled discussing a bill that would place limits on class-action lawsuits yesterday.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

More than 1,600 religious leaders and social workers from across the country met Tuesday at the White House National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to support President Bush, reports Mike Allen of the Washington Post. LINK

"The plan is a crucial part of Bush's reelection strategy, because aides believe it will encourage evangelical Christians to mobilize to keep him in office and could give the ticket inroads in African American communities."

Elisabeth Bumiller writes up the "pep talk" the President gave to the religious groups, Noting that parts of the speech "sounded like a revival meeting." LINK

"I will tell you, the cornerstone of any good recovery program is the understanding there is a higher being," Mr. Bush said.

"Yeah, yeah," audience members responded.

"To whom you can turn your life and therefore save your life," Mr. Bush continued.

"That's right," an audience member said, while the rest of the crowd applauded.

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