The Note

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NEWS SUMMARY

Despite sweeping changes in the political media landscape over the last several decades, some rules have remained the same since time began.

Long before Leslie Goodman became a Disney executive and Fellow Cast Member, she learned and taught a simple lesson:

TV news coverage drives the rhythms and outcomes of elections, and TV news decision makers (executives, executive producers, anchors, reporters, producers, and, now, Googling monkeys) have their days shaped by reading the morning papers and listening to the radio (which also keys off of the morning papers).

So if winning the news cycle means winning the newspapers (and, thus, winning national and local TV), we can already chalk up Wednesday, May 19, 2004 for John Forbes Kerry.

Consider:

-- The New York Times' Robert Pear, who Notes that "in a twist this election season, many administration officials are taking credit for spreading largess through programs that President Bush tried to eliminate or to cut sharply." LINK

(This one could have been written by the DNC research shop -- it makes a point that has been a staple of their work for literally years. Let's see what the pickup is like . . . )

-- The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes' critique of President Bush's management style

-- The plethora of second-day gas prices coverage, including Los Angeles Times LINK and USA Today LINK, as well as so much more.

--The Washington Post's Wright and Ricks write up Paul Wolfowitz's acknowledgement to the Senate Armed Services Committee that mistakes were made. LINK

"Under tough questioning from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, a leading administration advocate of the Iraq intervention, acknowledged miscalculating that Iraqis would tolerate a long occupation. A central flaw in planning, he added, was the premise that U.S. forces would be creating a peace, not fighting a war, after the ouster of Saddam Hussein."

The story also takes almost for granted the disillusionment among many U.S. government officials involved in Iraq policy.

-- The GOP Chairman v. Chairman fight over Iraq and congressional oversight. LINK and LINK

-- The Kerry/Dean mutual admiration society, as immortalized by Pat Healy LINK; Dan Balz LINK; and Jodi Wilgoren LINK

-- Battleground state headlines (i.e., gas prices, gas prices, gas prices, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq)

-- The lovefest that is the DNC's platform committee hearings, as contrasted from some of the left-far left battle royales of the past

Of course, by sundown, after the two signature events of John Kerry's day -- his 2:15 tete-a-(giant)-tete meeting with Ralph Nader, and a lush sup with New York Timesmen and Timeswomen -- Kerry's Wednesday roll could be rocked and ruined, or, perhaps, it could lead to winning Thursday.

According to ABC News' Dan Harris: In the room will be John Kerry, Ralph Nader, Mary Beth Cahill, and someone from Nader's staff. The meeting is budgeted for an hour, and will be, per a Kerry source, "casual."

Will Kerry ask Nader to get out of the race? "Absolutely not," says a Kerry source, saying that this is "just the first meeting in what will probably be a number of meetings."

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