The Note

Ed O'Keefe's Kerry campaign report:

RIVIERA BEACH, FLA., June 1 -- Halfway through an 11-day focus on national security, Sen. John Kerry came to the Port of Palm Beach to deliver his second of four defense-themed addresses, this one on the "nexus between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction."

Over the past six days and for the next five, the Kerry campaign aims to present a candidate who is strong on defense and capable of leading a post-9/11 world.

On a similar theme, Kerry went up with a new 30-second ad entitled "Optimists" in 19 states at a cost of $18 million.

Kerry also dispatched the Vet-heavy, 60-second "Service" to the not-quite-battleground Virginia, in addition to posting the spot on BET and in Hispanic media outlets.

Traveling en route to Portsmouth, Va.'s Memorial Day parade with Commonwealth governor and long-shot veepstakes contender Mark Warner, Kerry defended the curious ad buy, saying with a smile, "There's not much usual about this campaign."

And despite the fact that Warner, who insisted ticket talk "didn't come up," repeatedly told reporters he felt Virginia, would be a competitive state, some politicos suspected the Kerry camp was merely doing something former Vice President Al Gore couldn't do in 2000: bait Bush-Cheney into spending money in likely Red states.

As Kerry hits the national security stump, Teresa Heinz Kerry joins Sharon Rockefeller to meet with military families in Charleston, W.Va., on Wednesday.

Sen. Kerry meets with first responders in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, and delivers the third of four national security speeches at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Mo., on Thursday.

Kerry wraps up the week with a Minnesota rally, then takes a brief break before commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day on Sunday.

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