The Note

As President Bush sheds the trappings (in every sense of that word) of the White House and hits the hustings again today, he will be campaigning in all Blue counties today. Vice President Gore's margin of victory for these three counties across Iowa and Wisconsin ranged from as much as 14.6 percentage points to as little as 7.4 points.

2000 results were as follows:

Dubuque County, Iowa: Gore 55.4% Bush 40.8%

Crawford County, Wis.: Gore 54.2% Bush 40.9%

LaCrosse County, Wis.: Gore 51.2% Bush 43.8%

The La Crosse Tribune looks at the BC04 grassroots efforts in Wisconsin LINK

The Tribune's Reid Magny does his homework and previews what the President will say, based on Monday and Tuesday's bus tour events in Michigan and Ohio. LINK

The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa has a special section on the newspaper's Web site highlighting the President's visit. LINK

Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles the rural white voters who bucked the trend in 2000 and did not support George W. Bush -- the ones he's scheduled to visit today. LINK

On this Mother's Day weekend, President Bush might need to pick up more than a bouquet of flowers to thank his mother for her support and involvement in his re-election campaign.

First Mother Barbara Bush sent out a fundraising appeal to BC04 supporters this morning, an appeal for donations, written with "a mother's pride," that lists her sons' accomplishments in office and Notes the negative advertising from his opponent. "I've been particularly disappointed in the personal attacks," Barbara Bush writes.

And more Mother's Day-related campaign releases -- this afternoon, Karen Hughes -- "trusted advisor," political needler, and mother -- will bring her "unique perspective to the choice voters will face in November" to an online chat today on the Bush-Cheney '04 Web site at 4:00 pm ET.

Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times writes up the Bush Administration's further limiting of travel to Cuba and funding to promote democracy. Wallsten Notes the politics of the announcement, which "showed that Bush does not intend to let Democrats exploit exiles' complaints of administration inaction." LINK

The proposal came from a commission headed by Secretary of State Powell but Wallsten includes a recent comment by Powell's top aide, on the Cuba embargo:

"'Dumbest policy on the face of the Earth,' said Larry Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff, according to an account in the current issue of GQ. 'It's crazy.'"

AP writes that the Presidential commission recommended steps "to subvert" Fidel Castro's planned succession to his younger brother and to further restrict Cuban-Americans' access to Cuba. LINK

The New York Times' Marquis looks at the politics of the Cuba announcement: LINK

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick Notes "an annual address by President Bush marking the National Day of Prayer was broadcast Thursday night over several Christian television and radio networks as part of an evangelical concert, transmitting his message to a pivotal political constituency around the country." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

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