The Note




We know what the Washington press corps thinks of the President's performance last night.

We have no idea what the body language of the senior White House staff during the cut-aways meant.

We know what Bill Kristol thought of the President's performance last night (thanks to Ron Brownstein's West Coast deadlines).

We know that Rand Beers shares the White House reporters' lust to have a Bush apology over 9/11.

We have no idea what swing state voters thought of the speech/presser — although we do have a look at swing state newspaper headlines below.

So, while we wait for the next round of polls (all of us except the President, that is), and for the Bush-Cheney just-cause joint appearance before the 9/11 panel, busy yourself by not overreacting to the Los Angeles Times story on Bush-Cheney scaling back its media buy or (yet) another Boston Globe look at John Kerry's Vietnam past.

President Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and participates in a joint media availability at the White House.

Sen. Kerry holds several fundraising events in New York City and a political event with Sen. Clinton.

The 9/11 commission hears testimonies from CIA Director George Tenet and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The FEC debates the fate of 527s.

ABC News Vote 2004: The President faces the nation:

Press coverage of the President's press conference last night focused on similar points across the board: the lack of acknowledgment of mistakes, errors, or responsibility by the president; his tone during the question and answer period compared to his prepared remarks (defiant/defensive versus calm and methodical), and the questions that he did not answer — first and foremost why he and Cheney are appearing for questions before the 9/11 commission together.

The Washington Post's Mike Allen was able to sneak in a follow-up question to try to get an answer to that one, but the president just repeated that he was looking forward to meeting with the commission.

The New York Times' Stevenson and Jehl examine Bush's statement last evening night which "strongly reaffirmed his plan to transfer sovereignty in Iraq back to Iraqis on June 30," indicating that "the consequences of failing to follow through on his commitment to bring stability to that nation were unthinkable". LINK

The New York Times ' Sanger writes that Bush "acknowledged no error, no change of course, and he gave no ground to the critics, including his Democratic opponent for the presidency, Senator John Kerry, who argues that Mr. Bush's strategy has been flawed since the day he decided to invade Iraq without the blessing of the United Nations. But it was his tone that was most striking — a solemn, determined call for toughness that the country has rarely seen since the day Mr. Bush announced the war against the Taliban in 2001, and against Saddam Hussein a year ago." LINK

For those reporters who can't seem to develop sources in this Administration who ever deviate from the (Republican) party line, Sanger has this passage of pure taunt: "It is not difficult to find aides to Mr. Bush who question whether the intelligence about unconventional destruction was flawed. It is easy to find members of the administration who question whether L. Paul Bremer III … should have disbanded the army, or taken on Moktada al-Sadr . . . without a clear plan … ."

The Los Angeles Times' Reynolds echoes … , " … he acknowledged no errors in his handling of the war in Iraq or failings related to the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon." She also Notes it was the longest evening news conference of his presidency. LINK

Ron Brownstein had news analysis duties for the Los Angeles Times and he places George W. Bush in "the danger zone."

"Long on goals and short on means, his performance left even some supporters [namely Bill Kristol] wondering whether he had found a formula to reassure the growing number of Americans expressing doubt in polls about his course," Brownstein writes. LINK

"Although acknowledging disappointments with developments in Iraq and grief over the losses of Sept. 11, 2001, Bush said that there was no reason to apologize for the government's performance before the attacks and that he could think of no mistake he had made since the attacks," write the Washington Post's Milbank and Allen in their overview. LINK

Dan Balz turns in the Washington Post's analysis and doesn't mince words in his first sentence: "An unapologetic President Bush stood before the nation last night."

Balz writes that the press conference was less about a change in direction or thinking from the President, but instead, the purpose was "to restate his determination to stay the course and to argue anew that the war in Iraq will make America more secure."

Balz also looks at the political implications: "Bush expects to benefit from his handling of the war on terrorism and from the war in Iraq, but that depends on his ability to show the kind of progress on the ground that he has spoken of repeatedly. Last night, he offered a picture of where he hopes Iraq will be eventually, but whether he can lead the way remains an open question." LINK

The President's remarks last night "represent his most ringing defense to date of his decision to invade Iraq nearly 13 months ago," write the Wall Street Journal's Cooper and Cummings. The duo also Note the president's connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda — "In essence, Mr. Bush said that war in Iraq and war on terror are the same, and at one point referred to Iraq as 'a theater in the war on terror.'"

The Boston Globe 's Kornblut writes that while the name Kerry never came up in the press conference, "the questions were delivered against a charged political backdrop, many of them drawn directly from criticisms Kerry and other Democrats have leveled in the campaign."LINK

Leading with President Bush's assertion that he would send more troops to Iraq if necessary, AP's Hunt writes that the president rejected comparisons to Vietnam but picking up on the political theme, he Notes that Bush addressed "matters of war and peace" but "election-year politics shadowed the proceedings."LINK

USA Today 's Keen and Benedetto wrap: LINK

And Keen turns around and joins Memmott for analysis: LINK

The Washington Times' Lakely and Sammon focus on the June 30 handover in Iraq: LINK

While the Times' Curl turns his eye on his colleagues, Noting that the "gaggle of White House correspondents finally got to ask President Bush what they have quietly been asking in the cramped press quarters just off the Oval Office." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Kemper Notes that "Bush's success Tuesday was a political imperative."LINK

Other write-ups of the press conference.

New York Post: LINK

New York Daily News: LINK

John Podhoretz sticks up for the president on the New York Post op-ed page: and gives Bush the win over the press corps: LINK

And on the New York Times ' editorial page, two questions remained unanswered from the president last night — "how to move Iraq from its current chaos, and what he has learned from the 9/11 investigations."LINK

The DNC was quick(ish) with its response to last night's press conference, sending out its key points within an hour from President Bush's exit from the East Room. The main thrust from the DNC: Bush failed to take responsibility, respond to questions, and continued to repeat "outright lies and distortions" on Iraq.

ABC News Vote 2004: The President faces the nation: the view from the states:

Some headline from the battlegrounds and elsewhere, indicating that the President was somewhat able to frame the press conference to his benefit.

Philadelphia Inquirer: "Bush Says Iraq Is Testing America's Will" and "President vows to 'finish the work of the fallen'" and "In a polarized U.S., tough to change minds."

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Bush: U.S. won't waver on Iraq"

Kansas City Star: "Bush Speech Relieves, Frustrates Iraqis" and "Bush Says Iraq Is Testing America's Will"

Detroit Free Press: "QUESTIONS ON THE WAR: More troops, resources will be sent if requested"

Orlando Sentinel: "Bush must clear up exit strategy"

Miami Herald: "Bush: 'Iraq is testing America's will'"

St. Petersburg Times: "Bush promises to finish job in Iraq"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Bush: 'We must not waver' on terror or Iraq"

Arizona Republic: "Bush gives no ground to his critics in speech"

Manchester Union-Leader: Bush: "U.S. will finish job in Iraq"

Banner Washington Times headline: "Bush holds to June 30 turnover" and "Bush parries reporters' thrusts on 'false premises,' 'mistakes'"

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a New York Times story with this headline: "Iraq, terror are testing the will of the civilized world, Bush says." LINK

The Portland Press Herald's Joshua L. Weinstein reports that members of Maine's congressional delegation offered mixed reactions to President Bush's press conference, with the Democrats critical of Bush, who he claimed "is incapable of admitting a mistake," and the two Republican senators generally supportive. LINK

The Seattle Times' Nguyen Huy Vu reports that Bush's announcement that the U.S. military presence might increase in Iraq was not a surprise to many families with loved ones in the military abroad. LINK

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Bush mixed an expression of concern about violence in Iraq with an absolute certainty that his course of action is the correct one in his news conference last night. LINK

The politics of war, Iraq and national security:

Susan Page of USA Today looks at the similarities and differences between Vietnam and Iraq, which have been compared recently by analysts, historians, political scientists and congressional Democrats. LINK

"The comparison has power because, 30 years after it ended, the war in Vietnam continues to stand as a symbol of a foreign policy gone awry. That war divided the nation and helped define attitudes toward presidential authority and the use of force ever since. Because of the Sept. 11 attacks and Iraq, foreign policy will again play a significant role in this year's election after more than 20 years when it mattered less."

Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe reports of Vietnam vets who question Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service — a focal point of his campaign — saying his Purple Hearts were for minor wounds and that he left the war more than six months early under regulations allowing soldiers wounded three times to go home. LINK

"A review by the Globe of Kerry's war record in preparation for a forthcoming book, 'John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography,' found that the young Navy officer acted heroically under fire, in one case saving the life of an Army lieutenant. But the examination also found that Kerry's commanding officer at the time questioned Kerry's first Purple Heart, which he earned for a wound received just two weeks after arriving in Vietnam."

The New York Times reports President Bush is expected to announce a "subtle but substantial" shift in the administration's Middle East policy when he meets with Prime Minister Sharon. LINK

The New York Times finally gets around to reporting what ABC News' Jonathan Karl reported way back when. Negroponte is expected to become the Ambassador to Iraq which the Times' Weisman portrays as a victory for Colin Powell. LINK

Politics and the 9/11 commission:

According to newly declassified information released by the 9/11 commission, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team had seen a "stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions," reports Dana Priest of the Washington Post . LINK

Today, as yesterday, the FBI/CIA wall war will undoubtedly continue to be battle number one.

David Johnston of the New York Times on the interim staff reports released yesterday: "The commission's reports described the F.B.I. as badly managed and insular, assuring national security officials in the Clinton and Bush administrations that it had a firm grasp of the domestic terror threat when, the reports said, it had only a tenuous sense of the overall risk." LINK

"Senior members of the Clinton and Bush administrations, perched on the hot seat, have pointed blame at each other, at their superiors, at their underlings, at the bureaucracy, at the Congress, at public opinion. Yesterday, two witnesses even tried to bounce the glare at certain members of the commission," analyzes David Von Drehle of the Washington Post. LINK

Jamie Gorelick wanted no part of John Ashcroft's gotcha game. The New York Times explores how former jobs held by the commissioners sometimes get in the way of their current work. LINK

We can add "the wall" to the list of buzzwords coming out of the 9/11 hearings. LINK

The New York Times' Shenon and Lichtblau did hear some agreement between the Attorney General and the former interim FBI Director. LINK

"Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Pickard agreed, however, that neither of them had been informed by the White House during the summer of 2001 that President Bush had taken an interest in the question of domestic threats posed by Al Qaeda and had received a special C.I.A. briefing on the issue on Aug. 6, after months of dire intelligence warnings that suggested an imminent, possibly catastrophic attack."

Another take: LINK

Walter Shapiro of USA Today toils with the idea that facts have become arguable by way of partisan politics in an election year. LINK

"In advance of George W. Bush's news conference Tuesday night, it seemed clear that the administration was facing a credibility crisis over its insistence that it had done everything reasonably possible to avert the terrorist assaults. But in this polarized political environment, perhaps the most trustworthy non-partisan documents on the time before Sept. 11 are the background papers prepared by the staff of the 9/11 commission."

On the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, Dorothy Rabinowitz questions how much longer will the public want to listen to the views of 9/11 widows.

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

From ABC News' campaign reporter "Wide-Eyed" Ed O'Keefe:

PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 14 — Sen. John Kerry's aides often boast of their candidate's town hall Q&A abilities.

The Senator with a reputation for long-winded, rather than spell-binding, speeches undoubtedly performs best under fire. Dubbed "Seabiscuit" (though he still hasn't seen the film) and "Comeback Kerry" after upset wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, Kerry has been far from the heat of an uphill political battle for months.

And while seemingly everyone in the Kerry camp — and even the candidate himself — are fond of reminding impatient press corps members that the election is still 7 months away, the question remains: how does an underdog wile away spring training?

Kerry's campaign schedule often plays to his Q&A strength, mixing town hall meetings with larger rallies and more personal, "unscheduled" drop-bys. The crucial difference between now and the Senator's most successful Iowa days is the lack of a consistent stump message.

Kerry's peak primary performance featured a razor-sharp and well honed two-to-six-minute "Real Deal" stump, sprinkled with memorable lines from "Mission Accomplished" to the now-(too?) famous "Bring it on."

Returning to New Hampshire Monday, Kerry delivered a rambling 23-minute stump and topped that figure on Tuesday, giving a 24-minute version in Rhode Island before engaging 200 students in a lively 15-question discussion.

In Boston Tuesday night, Kerry raked in over $4 million from the hometown crowd of 2,000. Roughly 200 in the crowd seemed more transfixed by Sen. Ted Kennedy than the presumptive Democratic nominee, talking through Kerry's entire 20-minute address, and refusing to acquiesce to shouts of, "Quiet!"

An elected Massachusetts state official remarked of the rancor, "He just talks a little too long sometimes."

On the lighter side, Ben Affleck, Saturday Night Live's Kerry impersonator Seth Meyers, and rocker Stephen Stills didn't seem too bothered by the length of Kerry's address. Although Stills made the unusual choice of offering "Love the One You're With" featuring the familiar refrain, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with," as a symbol of Kerry's Democratic Party unity.

Though the Senator's general election message is still forming, the Kerry camp's point is well taken: it's still early. While at present the candidate looks reminiscent of Kerry last October, it's a long political distance until this October.

In this undefined time, the Senator has mounted an impressive fundraising effort, exceeding expectations by raising $50 million in the year's first quarter. Kerry has several marquee fundraisers remaining through the month of April, including a New York City event on Wednesday which could take in over $5 million in a single night.

Kerry continues his college tour this week, visiting City College in New York, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Pittsburgh.

He then heads to the battleground state of Florida for a mix of events and ever more stops on the money hunt.

Matea Gold has been traveling with a more aggressive John Kerry when it comes to talking about Iraq. LINK

"The Massachusetts senator's increasingly sharp remarks about Iraq are in marked contrast to the more tentative approach he first took after violence exploded there early this month. Initially, Kerry stressed his support for the troops and reiterated his call for more international cooperation."

"On Tuesday, however, he was more pointed and sought to make a direct connection between the attacks by Iraqi insurgents and Bush's handling of the situation."

Welcome-Back Halbfinger heard Kennedy-esque (as in John) echoes from Kerry yesterday. LINK

Dan Balz on Kerry's day: LINK

Three Pro-Jo articles on Kerry's visit: LINK, LINK, and LINK

Mike Glover on his education proposals: LINK

The Boston Globe's Johnson on last night's fundraising haul: LINK

In an op-ed, Scott Lehigh of the Boston Globe Notes the light turnout at Kerry's campaign stop at UNH on Monday, surprising even the students, and remembers that when he was in college, a campus visit by a presumptive presidential nominee was a big deal. LINK

Robert Kuttner of the Boston Globe predicts that the honeymoon period of Democratic unity "could founder on three key questions — his budget strategy, Iraq, and his choice of running mate." LINK

William Safire moves beyond the "boring" veepstakes parlor game and ponders what a Kerry cabinet might look like. LINK

Teresa Heinz Kerry stopped by Cindy Adams' Manhattan pad just after the columnist's pooch pooped on the Secret Service agent's shoe. LINK

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

Ron Brownstein offers a must-read story on the soon to be less prevalent Bush campaign ads. LINK

"In the next few weeks, viewers in the 18 states where the ads have aired since early March will see about 30% fewer a week, one ranking GOP strategist said."

"Republicans say that the ad reduction was planned all along and that the commercials succeeded in planting doubts about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry. And they say that although Bush's overall advertising budget will shrink, more of the ads that air will criticize Kerry."

More Brownstein: "Pointing to recent polls that generally show Kerry at least even with the president, these Democrats say the Massachusetts senator has taken what could be the Bush campaign's hardest punch and is still standing."

A top Bush campaign adviser confirms the basics of the Brownstein story to ABC News' Kate Snow. They will reduce advertising by 30% in the 18 states because, he says, "that's been our plan for months. Advertise the most when they are paying attention — right after the nomination. Then scale down as people pay less attention."

Do not expect the Media Fund, for one, to fundamentally change its strategy. But we wonder what the Kerry campaign will do in reaction to this, what with continuing Democratic pressure to get a bio spot up and up quick.

Vice President Cheney is seeking to advance the United States' relationship with the relatively new Chinese leadership, reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The AP's Leigh Strope writes up the results from some focus groups conducted by the AFL-CIO on the presidential race showing Kerry has more work to do to win over the undecided union members. "Results show that Kerry's reputation for aloofness remains a hurdle for the presumptive Democratic nominee — even among his party's core constituencies. And despite the acidity labor leaders direct toward Bush and his policies, the president still appeals to a segment of union members, namely the Reagan Democrats." LINK

The Washington Post's Harold Meyerson asks the question, "Is the Bush administration creeping toward John Kerry's position on Iraq?" LINK

President Bush's tax payment dropped 15% on his 2003 return, as a result of the Bush tax cut reports Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post. Kerry's taxes tripled due to a surge of income from the sale of a million-dollar painting. LINK

The New York Times take on taxes: LINK


John Harwood makes an impressive case for returning to an era when vice-presidential picks were made to boost a candidate's electoral vote count. Harwood seems to settle on Gephardt and Richardson as solid choices by that calculus.

"A top student of vice-presidential picks, William Mayer of Northeastern University in Boston, says a strong running mate can add 3% to the ticket in his or her home state. If November patterns resemble those of 2000, that would tip any battleground."

The Hill's Nichols reports an attempt by Edwards supporters to have the North Carolinian score a victory in his home state caucuses this weekend aimed at reminding Jim Johnson that he's a winner. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Washington Times picks up the story of a tasteless anti-Bush ad in Florida. The state Democratic Party insists it had no advance knowledge of the ad and would never have approved of it. LINK

The Seattle Times' Shirleen Holt reports that Seattle job growth results were weak in March, with the statewide unemployment rate improving from 6.2 to 6.1 percent, and only 800 jobs gained during the month in the metro area after seasonal variations were factored into the assessment. LINK

The Denver Post's Manny Gonzales Notes that Colorado was abuzz with the sounds of politics Tuesday as Dems and Republicans turned out in their neighborhood caucuses to debate issues and candidates for public office. The two hottest topics? The presidency and the local race to fill the seat of retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. LINK

Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star looks at the latest battle, over education, in the race for Missouri governor between incumbent Democrat Bob Holden and Republican challenger Matt Blunt. LINK

The FEC and political committees:

The heart of the hearings over two days: whether many of the 527s as presently constituted are required to register with the FEC as political committees, and thus subject themselves to strict guidelines on raising and spending money, if their "major purpose" appears to be the influencing of federal elections. And whether the FEC has any say in the matter at all. Or whether its proposed rules are too broad and sweep in too many non-political entities.

All the big names will present their case: Gold, Baran, Simon, Tobin, Bopp, Bauer, Noble, Potter, Sandler, Pope …

"Proposed rules to restrict the fundraising and spending activities of independent political organizations have prompted unusual new alliances of convenience, pitting the GOP and campaign watchdog groups against a coalition of conservative family advocates and liberal abortion rights groups," Notes Thomas B. Edsall of the Washington Post. LINK

Glen Justice nicely overviews the landscape for the Democratic donors who read the New York Times. LINK

As does Ms. Theimer: LINK

The Santa Fe New Mexican's Steve Terrell reports that Gov. Bill Richardson is in Washington today to support the 527s. LINK

Follow this, as we will, on Rick Hasen's site: LINK

And Bob Bauer's site: LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Did you catch that anti-Daschle Club for Growth ad on CNN?

Brian DeBose of the Washington Times looks at how conservative money is splitting in the Pennsylvania Senate race between Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Pat Toomey. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era

The Los Angeles Times delivers a must-read look at the Schwarzenegger routine. LINK

"In the nearly five months since he took office, Arnold Schwarzenegger's days have begun to take on a familiar, if not entirely predictable, shape. And Schwarzenegger, in interviews and public statements, has given enough glimpses of his habits and schedule to provide a picture of what it is like to be a world-famous bodybuilder turned movie star turned businessman turned governor."

The politics of immigration:

Barry Newman of the Wall Street Journal looks at H-2B as a model for President Bush's immigration policy.

"The problem is that 9.3 million foreigners, by the Urban Institute's most recent estimate, already live in the country illegally. Mr. Bush proposes giving temporary visas to those with jobs. Immigrant-rights activists want them to get a shot at citizenship, too. Social conservatives, largely responsible for the hold-up in Congress, call that an amnesty for outlaws."


A headline that will warm the cockles of Virginian James Carville's heart: "Republicans in Virginia Help Advance Tax Increase" LINK

Cindy McCain's prognosis after a minor stroke is "cautiously excellent." Get well soon, Mrs. McCain. LINK

The economy:

The Washington Post editorial page writes, "the nation's budget deficit is roughly twice the size it would be if tax collection were watertight, and that the strain on honest taxpayers — the vast majority — increases unfairly." LINK

"U.S. retail sales increased in March by the largest amount in a year, a sign the economy is back in the groove," reports the Associated Press' Jeannine Aversa. LINK

Yes, Alan, we read your entire column; it's the Harwood columns that we skim.

TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the Consumer Price Index for March —8:30 am: The Commerce Department releases the February international trade report —9:00 am: The 9/11 commission reads a staff statement titled "The Performance of the Intelligence Community" —9:00 am: The Coalition to Protect Nonprofit Advocacy hosts a rally outside the Federal Election Commission, Washington, D.C. —9:30 am: CIA Director George Tenet testifies before the 9/11 commission, Capitol Hill —9:30 am: The FEC begins its hearings on the status of 527 organizations and meets with representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, Democracy 21 and the Congressional Black Caucus —9:30 am: Pollsters Celinda Lake and Ed Goeas announce the findings of their new survey sponsored by George Washington University on the attitudes of the direction of the country at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —9:30 am: Energy Information Administration administrator Guy Caruso releases the International Energy Outlook 2004 with forecasts of world energy demand, Washington, D.C. —9:45 am: Off-camera gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: The American Enterprise Institute hosts a discussion on "Haiti: The Road Ahead," with Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The Center for Strategic and International Studies holds a panel discussion on the current situation in Iraq, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: Sen. John Kerry is greeted by veterans at LaGuardia Airport, Queens, N.Y. —11:10 am: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meets with President Bush, the White House —11:30 am: The FEC continues its hearings and meets with representatives from the Alliance for Justice, the National Right to Work Committee and Public Citizen —12:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry participates in a town hall at City College of New York City with Sen. Hillary Clinton and Rep. Charlie Rangel, Harlem, N.Y. —12:00 pm: Military families, veterans and Iraqi-Americans hold a news conference to urge that U.S. forces be brought home from Iraq at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —12:30 pm: EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt speaks about "The Next Chapter in Americas Commitment to Clean Air" at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: MAS Freedom Foundation holds an anti-war protest in Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: Politics Live on ABC News Live and AOL —1:20 pm: President Bush participates in a joint press availability with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the White House —1:45 pm: The FEC continues its hearing and meets with attorneys —2:00 pm: The 9/11 commission reads a staff statement titled "Reforming Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection in the U.S." —2:30 pm: The 9/11 commission hears testimony by FBI Director Robert Mueller —3:30 pm: The FEC continues its hearings and meets with representatives from Citizens United, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the NAACP National Voter Fund and the American Federation of Government Employees —4:30 pm: Commerce Secretary Don Evans holds an online chat contrasting President Bush's and John Kerry's tax policies at —5:45 pm: Sen. John Kerry holds a reception fundraiser at the Sheraton, New York, N.Y. —6:30 pm: The American News Women's Club hosts an award ceremony and roast for Bob Schieffer, recipient of the 2004 ANWC Helen Thomas Award for Excellence in Journalism or Outstanding Public Service, Washington, D.C. —7:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a fundraiser gala at the Sheraton, New York, N.Y. —7:30 pm: The Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins University holds a symposium about reaching Hispanic voters featuring Bush-Cheney consultant Lionel Sosa and New Democratic Network Vice President Maria Cardona —9:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a Late Night with John Kerry event at CROBAR, New York, N.Y.