The Note

"The Treasury tapped civil servants to calculate the cost of Senator John Kerry's tax plan and then posted the analysis on the Treasury Web site. A federal law bars career government officials from working on political campaigns." Rob Nichols says it is "proper" for Treasury to analyze various tax proposals on the table.

More Davis: "Because the power of the government is so vast and can be a formidable political weapon, the actions of an incumbent president of either party, and of his cabinet, often come under scrutiny during election years. Mr. Bush has been criticized for using the government to pay for trips when he flies to battleground states in the U.S. on Air Force One. His predecessor, Bill Clinton, faced similar criticism.

President Bush's visit to Appleton, Wis. yesterday prompted no less than 10 articles in the Appleton Post-Crescent, most of which focused on the positive aspects of having Air Force One touch down in its area.

Ed Culhane's lead article focuses on the president's speech but also all the accompanying details of the visit, including the protestors, motorcade speeds, and the president's surprise visit to emergency management workers.LINK

Kerry was on MTV last night reaching out to young voters but two Appleton West High School columnists with opposing political views both found the president's visit "thrilling," the Post-Crescent's Nufer reports.

"Justin Sykes, the conservative, and Nathan Hoft-March, the liberal" had differing opinions on the speech — "Sykes called it inspiring, while Hoft-March thought it scary and lacking substance" — but were both excited to be so close to the political process.LINK

The Post-Crescent's Wallenfang and Bach had speech duty yesterday, saying that the president succeeded in his goal of coming as the "economy's cheerleader-in-chief."

Along with "his agenda of protecting tax cuts and eliminating trade barriers," President Bush brought optimism.LINK

Steve Wideman goes through two hours in the life of President Bush, from 11:08 am when Air Force One touched down in Greenville, Wis. to 1:00 pm when it took off again for Washington.LINK

WBAY-TV in Green Bay Notes that protestors and supporters mingled together on the streets near the president's speech.LINK

In his ninth visit to a state that he lost by just 6,000 votes in 2000, President Bush "touted free trade and lower taxes yesterday as the cure for Wisconsin's ailing industrial sector," AP's Scott Lindlaw reports. LINK

Bringing up a topic that caused significant controversy and embarrassment at the White House last month, Treasury Secretary John Snow told the Cincinnati Enquirer this week that "is part of trade" and that "there can't be any doubt about the fact that trade makes the economy stronger."

The New York Times' Andrews' observes that the comments "reflect a growing willingness by the Bush administration to defend global free trade even in hard-hit industrial states like Ohio." LINK

While promoting her new book in Stamford, Conn. yesterday, uber-adviser Karen Hughes went after Kerry on domestic and foreign issues, the New York Post's Friedman reports. LINK

Former President George H.W. Bush "appeared to fight back tears" yesterday as he complained about media coverage of his son and defended the Iraq war in a speech in San Antonio.LINK

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