The Note




Apparently, it is only May, but the candidates Bush and Kerry are out there campaigning incessantly in battleground states like it is October.

Blah, blah, blah, unpredictable world events might decide who wins in November, instead of the moves of the campaigns.

Blah, blah, blah, this President Bush has learned the lessons of his father's defeat and is working hard for re-election and to show he understands the economic concerns of the American people.

Blah, blah, blah, John Kerry might have waited three weeks (!) too long to start running bio spots.

Blah, blah, blah, national security is the President's big strength with the voters.

Blah, blah, blah, turnout will be key in this election, with a premium put on turning out "the base" and, simultaneously, appealing to the very small number of swing voters -- who live in just 17 (19?) states and who will be bombarded with commercials, direct mail, and phone calls all year.

Blah, blah, blah, the Bush campaign is going to try to paint John Kerry as a tax raising, weak-on-defense flip flopper.

Blah, blah, blah, the Kerry campaign is repeating many of the mistakes of the Gore campaign, and is headed by a Gore-like figure.

Blah, blah, blah, the Democrats will argue that Karl Rove and Co. will do ANYTHING it takes to win, while Republicans will claim that the coordination between the Kerry campaign and the liberal 527s is patently illegal.

Blah, blah, blah, those of goo-goo sentiment will claim that there is too much money in politics.

Goodness -- where does a working journalist go to have an original thought these days?

Speaking of original, what could be more so than to continue on a bus trip through the heartland, as President Bush does today . . .

He'll be in Ohio, speaking at a pancake breakfast in Maumee before participating in a Q&A session in Dayton. Bush then visits the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, then speaks at a rally at the Cincinnati Gardens in Roseland, Ohio.

Sen. Kerry visits a classroom at Longfellow Elementary School and speaks about increasing high school graduation rates in Albuquerque, N.M.

Teresa Heinz Kerry is in New York City.

The Senate resumes consideration of consideration of the corporate tax cuts bill. The Harkin Over-Time amendment will be pending. Roll call votes are expected.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The AP's Ron Fournier wraps Bush's day on the road, including his acknowledgement "that the region is still in the throes of an ailing economy" and his warning that "Democratic challenger John Kerry is not the steady leader America needs." LINK

According to Bush campaign advisors, Bush's "shift in tactics" from a heavy advertising campaign to a retail campaign "reflects concern that the trappings of the White House put Bush in danger of looking out of touch, and that crucial industrial states could slip out of reach because of unemployment," reports the Washington Post's Mike Allen. LINK

Allen couldn't resist a description of the campaign bus as "swank" -- a far cry from the Oldsmobile during the 1978 congressional campaign that First Lady Laura Bush reminisced about. Also revealed Monday: Bush is reading "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers.

The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller Notes that Bush had "the intensity of a man running as if the election were six days away rather than six months." LINK

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