The Note

The Los Angeles Times writes about 2004 as the "country's first $1-billion political campaign" and reports on the flush days for those who count campaign cash, chronicling "the RNC plans to pour at least $50 million into the presidential campaign; the DNC is confident it will spend at least that much as well. Another $100 million will be spent on the political conventions. Independent groups known as 527s say they will spend $145 million. And has announced a $50-million fundraising goal for its political action committee." LINK

However, as The Note's daily PSA, we caution against sticker shock and the breathless outrage of one BILLION dollars. It takes money to get out a message.

The New York Times' Halbfinger and Rutenberg report the Bush campaign "indicated Monday that they too might expand their advertising purchases to Louisiana and Colorado, and Democrats late in the day said the Bush campaign was indeed moving to go on the air in Colorado on Wednesday." One "prominent Democratic strategist who refused to be named" wrings hands loudly. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry: the ads:

The Howard Kurtz/Jim VandeHei write-up of Kerry's ad buy in the Washington Post disagrees with Mary Beth Cahill's assessment that Kerry has run a positive campaign, Notes that Kerry is borrowing Bush's optimism theme and gets Rep. Steny Hoyer to provide the requisite Democratic grumbling about Kerry. LINK

Hoyer spokesperson Stacey Farnen e-mailed us to clarify: "Congressman Hoyer actually stated to the Post that the Democratic concerns he has heard and was quoted as describing were 'unrealistic' and he didn't share them. He also said that he thinks that the Kerry ad buy is a 'bold move' that will be 'helpful'."

Note particularly this graf that precedes the notion of "growing pains": "Some of Kerry's surface wounds are self-inflicted, Democrats say. The candidate has tried to focus on a major theme each week -- the environment around Earth Day, job loss during a Rust Belt tour last week -- but he often gets pulled into fights picked by the GOP over national security. Kerry spent much of last week explaining whether he tossed away his war medals or ribbons and then questioning Bush's National Guard record."

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny Notes the pointed references to a privileged background and a call to serve his country in Kerry's new ads. LINK

Knight Ridder's James Kuhnhenn Notes, "Kerry's new ads are accompanied by a soundtrack of rousing martial music -- an original score composed for the campaign." LINK

The Boston Globe's Johnson and Kranish combine forces to report on the new television ads and the vocal combat between pro-Kerry and anti-Kerry Vietnam veterans. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry and Vietnam:

The Washington Post's Brian Faler reports that a group of Vietnam veterans plan to release a letter Tuesday calling on Kerry to release all of his military records and criticizing him for cladding himself "in the very medals" he "disdainfully threw away." Faler Notes that the letter will be released at an event sponsored by "the Dallas-based Spaeth Communications Inc. -- whose founder, Merrie Spaeth, is mentioned on the Bush White House Web site as a 'prominent' alumni of its fellows program."LINK

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