The Note




Good news for the college-aged Googling monkeys (and a certain President seeking to be re-hired by the American people):

The economy added more than 308,000 new jobs in March, exceeding the expectations of some economists and providing the White House a tangible, repeatable number to wave around.

According to ABC News' Ramona Schindelheim's tally, that's 513,000 new jobs since the beginning of the year. 759,000 since last August. Seven consecutive months of job growth, following seven months of job losses. The manufacturing sector did not lose jobs for the first time in 43 months.

The gains appear to be broad-based:

Per the AP: "Labor Department report released Friday showed widespread hiring in industries across the economy at a time when President Bush's re-election campaign, counting heavily on a pickup in hiring, jumped into high gear."

"For the first time in 44 months, the nation's factories did not shed jobs. But they weren't hiring either. March's figures show zero gains and losses for industries hammered by the economic downturn that began three years ago."

The unemployment rate nudged up to 5.7 percent.

Democrats are already saying "one month does not a comeback make" and "too little, too late," but in stark political terms, their weekends are now ruined.

Overall and thus — the best little talking point a White House could ask for.

We wonder what this does to the dueling Bush-Kerry radio address scripts!!!! And the new ad traffic!!!!!!

And in other news:

New TV ads released this cycle:

Kerry: Outsourcing and jobs, to air in 17 battleground states

BC04: Kerry's tax record, to air in 17 battleground states and on cable

AFL-CIO: Iraq, economy, to air in 11 states

Media Fund: Iraq, $87 billion, the economy, to air in battleground states TBD

Bush Administration investigative and legal flaps:

-- withholding of Clinton-era 9/11 documents

-- Dr. Rice slated for Thursday testimony

-- slow start-up of the WMD investigation

-- judge orders energy task force documents released

-- chemical industry-Administration collaboration

-- CIA agent leak investigation reportedly grows

-- Paul Krugman's complex narrative regarding Daryn Kagan, Wolf Blitzer, David Letterman, Dick Clarke, and Jim Wilkinson

Kerry on Imus: CANCELLED

Kerry fundraising shocker:

-- $43 million total (compared to BC04's expected $50 or so), per ABC News' Dan Harris.

-- $26 million+ on the Internet (compared with maybe a couple million for BC04 and way more than Howard Dean ever raised that way)

-- About $109 average donation (compares favorably to the BC04 numbers)

-- Around 250,000 contributors (ditto)

-- Just what can the man raise in the 2nd quarter?????

Hill business:

-- Democrats risk all by blocking the welfare bill

-- Republicans haven't solved their my-way-or-the-highway-bill problem

President Bush speaks about job training in West Virginia today before heading to fundraisers in Georgia this afternoon. He has no public events over the weekend. On Monday he is expected to throw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals' game against the Brewers.

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