The Note

Terry Neal and Travis Fox of take a (video) look at the Ohio economy and the perspective of voters in the first of a four-part series. LINK


In this weekend's New York Times magazine do check out the Jennifer Senior profile of Gov. Bill Richardson, which includes such nuggets from the Gov as:

''I don't think it's realistic for us to have a Southern strategy''...and "The Democratic Party needs to revitalize its outreach with Hispanic voters...We can't just appeal to them on immigration issues and civil rights and affirmative action." Some talk of Bill Clinton here, too.

The morning shows:

NBC and CBS led with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld under fire; ABC led with Brandon Mayfield. ABC's Barbara Walters previewed her 20/20 interview with Teresa Heinz Kerry. NBC's Lisa Meyers had an investigative piece looking at Kerry's shifting statements on the Vietnam War. On the "Rumsfeld under fire" front, Sen. John Warner appeared on ABC. Sens. Joe Lieberman and Saxby Chambliss appeared on NBC.

On ABC's "Good Morning America," Barbara Walters previewed tonight's Teresa Heinz Kerry "20/20" interview. Heinz Kerry tells Walters in the interview that when she was looking forward to a fourth child with her first husband, former Sen. John Heinz, she was told by her doctor that her child would be "a monster" because she was taking cortisone. Just before Heinz Kerry "made a choice," she tells Walters, "God was good to her," and she had a miscarriage. In tonight's interview, Heinz Kerry defends her husband against criticism "by people who evaded going to war." Asked if she has ever seen Kerry's medals, Teresa said: "Yes. Three medals, I think." Heinz Kerry flatly denies in the interview that her husband uses botox. She did, however, say Kerry is "too skinny" and that he should gain "about 20 pounds."

On the 34-year anniversary of Kerry's appearance on the "Dick Cavett Show," NBC's Lisa Meyers contrasted Kerry's shifting statements on the Vietnam War.

In 1971, Kerry was asked on the "Dick Cavett Show" why he agreed to go to Vietnam in the first place and Kerry said: "Because in 1965, voicing an objection, as I would have liked to have, at that point, would have been futile." Kerry was then shown saying on Meet the Press in 2001: "I believe it was a noble effort to begin with, I signed up. I volunteered. I wanted to go over and I wanted to win." In an interview, Kerry biographer Douglass Brinkley offered his opinion that there is a difference between those two statements and that it's not his understanding that John Kerry "ever thought Vietnam per se was a noble effort."

NBC also showed footage, originally aired on the Cavett show, that Kerry shot traveling on his swift boat in Vietnam and of huts burning. Kerry says on the tape that he put his camera down because he had a feeling that they were about to be ambushed. Meyers reported that according to Brinkley, Kerry filmed his experiences in Vietnam in order to bolster his case against the Vietnam War.

Pressed by ABC's Charlie Gibson to explain if the photos of abuse are exceptional or systemic, Senate Armed Services Chair John Warner said: "I do not possess any facts to lead to the conclusion that this is systemic."

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