The Note

The Washington Post's Lois Romano wraps Kerry's comments yesterday that Donald Rumsfeld should resign, Noting that in the midst of a campaign swing to California to talk about education, he "savaged the Bush administration over its handling of the discovered abuses of Iraqi prisoners, saying that 'as president, I will not be the last to know what is going on in my command.'" LINK

"Kerry's comments -- at the end of a western education swing -- come a day after more measured criticisms of the administration, and at a time when Democrats are increasingly concerned he is too tentative. Some strategists believe the presumptive nominee is allowing Republicans to define him on character issues before the public has gotten a chance to know him."

The Wall Street Journal's Jacob Schlesinger thoughtfully examines the fundamental question of whether John Kerry can convince voters he is commander-in-chief material, writing that "polls continue to show that Americans wonder about the likely Democratic challenger's toughness when it comes to handling a national-security challenge -- even as their concerns about President Bush's policies in Iraq grow." LINK

Cox News' Scott Shepard writes that "there are gnawing concerns within the party that it may have rushed too quickly to the altar" with Kerry. LINK

Ryan Lizza's masterful Campaign Journal this week deftly weaves together the key elements for Sen. Kerry: Mary Beth Cahill's inner circle (not necessarily Kennedy-esque...just MBC-esque), Shrum (a "discreet" center of power, not necessary a Cahill ally), Stephanie "Brassy" Cutter (with Wolfson's departure, Ginsberg's hire et. al.), the White Boys and more. LINK

The New York Times' David Halbfinger reports on. Kerry's proposal to spend $30 billion over 10 years to "recruit, coach, and reward better teachers." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Notes Kerry's proposal "risks conflict with teacher unions, a key party constituency whose leaders offered general praise for the plan but did not endorse its controversial details." LINK

The Los Angeles Times writes that records of FBI surveillance of Vietnam Veterans Against the War suggest Kerry "was only an occasional target of the spying activity." LINK

The New York Post's Orin on the GOP's automobile attack on Kerry. LINK

Don't forget to tune in tonight to ABC's "20/20" at 10:00 pm ET, when Barbara Walters interviews Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee. Asked about the criticism of her husband over Vietnam, Heinz Kerry takes a shot at the President and Vice President, saying, "I tell you, if someone went to war and came back and didn't throw their medals in and criticized my husband, I'd say you have a right. But to be criticized by people who evaded going to war, I don't think is fair game."

She also discusses comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, and whether she or her husband make that comparison.

"John doesn't compare the two in the sense that we have a lot more communication and we see a lot more today than they did before they went… On the other hand, we were misinformed before going in too… And so, in that sense, there are similarities."

"Today, Iraq, although it was in terrible, terrible shape in terms of Saddam Hussein, had nothing to do with terrorism, nothing. Our first priority was terrorism. We have now made enemies of people who were our friends, and even our allies distrust us. And that's a terrible thing. I think terrorism becomes worse.

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