The Note

The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei preview Kerry's plan intended to reduce auto fuel costs. "Kerry will argue that diverting oil intended for U.S. reserves directly to the market will help depress gas prices, though analysts say that probably would have only a negligible effect. Kerry also intends to reiterate his longer-term plans for decreasing the country's dependence on foreign oil and increasing its reliance on cleaner-burning alternative forms of energy." LINK

"Kerry will argue that diverting oil intended for U.S. reserves directly to the market will help depress gas prices, though analysts say that probably would have a negligible effect. Kerry also intends to reiterate his longer-term plans for decreasing the country's dependence on foreign oil and increasing its reliance on cleaner-burning alternative forms of energy."

"As summer approaches, soaring gasoline costs are emerging as a top pocketbook concern of consumers and businesses with steep transportation costs, with prices at the pump topping $2 a gallon on the West Coast and averaging a record-high $1.80 nationwide."

"The Democrats believe that the price of gas could become a major flash point in the presidential debate over oil, the economy, and even Iraq and broader Middle East foreign policies. As one measure of the political sensitivity of the issue, a group of House Republicans, looking ahead to Memorial Day visits to their districts, has formally asked the White House to do what Kerry is calling for — ease pressure on prices by suspending shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the government's emergency stockpile of oil."

"The issue is likely to remain at the forefront of the campaign in coming days, as the Bush camp responds to Kerry's proposal and both sides try to persuade consumers that they would do more to bring down prices," writes James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

The AP's Liz Sidoti writes up the new Bush ad, which hits Kerry on backing higher tax prices 11 times. LINK

"The new Bush ad comes in the wake of Kerry's claims that the incumbent Republican's administration is to blame for gas prices rising to record levels. It is meant to shift the focus from that criticism and put Kerry on the defensive on an issue the Democrat has been trying to control."

Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe explains the Cheney v. Kerry fight over gas prices, tax policy, and job losses yesterday. LINK

The Wall Street Journal editorial page writes that there is "no economic need" to draw from our oil reserves. "The economy is humming along and panicking would only create other dislocations. The oil reserve was not designed, nor should it be used, to relieve consumers at the pump for a few weeks."

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

Sen. Clinton threw on her pundit hat for Cindy Adams. LINK

"'It will be outside forces — something unforeseen that suddenly happens — that tilts the election one way or another.'"

Like Bill's book?

Or this one? Lloyd Grove on the upcoming Woodward book. LINK

"I hear that "Plan of Attack," supersleuth Bob Woodward's still-secret study of President Bush's war on terrorism, will be very bad for the Bush reelection campaign … "

The Los Angeles Times' La Ganga picks apart Vice President Cheney's claim that Kerry has voted "at least 350 times for higher taxes." LINK

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