The Note

An aide tells ABC's Snow that Cheney "will talk about 'the clear choice that Americans face in the year ahead between the president's strong leadership in the war on terrorism and contrast that with views and track record of Kerry.' In explaining 'the choice', Cheney will be specific and will talk about Kerry by name quite a bit. It will be more explicitly anti-Kerry than Cheney has been to date. But, the aide quickly assured me, this is 'not an attack speech' and not a campaign stump speech, but a foreign policy speech (that just happens to be riddled with political criticism)."

Elsewhere today, President Bush participates in St. Patrick's Day festivities in Washington, D.C.

Rev. Sharpton is in New York.

Rep. Kucinich's schedule is TBD.

Ralph Nader is in Washington, D.C.

And someone somewhere is bound to put out a release urging senators to grill Justices Kennedy and Thomas on some topic unrelated to their testimony today.

ABC News Vote 2004: the new ad and the politics of national security:

Welcome to Bizarro Kerry world!

Bush-Cheney '04 campaign manager Ken Mehlman yesterday described a "parallel universe" where Sen. Kerry says one thing but his actions say another and to allow a glimpse into this universe, the campaign introduced a new ad in West Virginia, hitting the airwaves just in time for Kerry to arrive in Charleston.

The new ad, titled "Troops," questions Kerry's commitment to military funding and brings up the familiar chorus that Kerry is a flip-flopper.

Howard Kurtz describes the new ad: "'The ad features pictures of soldiers — who are either actors or appear in stock footage — while a narrator says that Kerry voted in October 2002 for military action in Iraq but "later voted against funding for soldiers.' Over the sound of a Senate clerk calling 'Mr. Kerry,' the ad says: 'No body armor for troops in combat. No higher combat pay. No to better health care for reservists and their families. No — wrong on defense.'" LINK

In 1986, the Senate drafted regulations for televising floor proceedings and passed a resolution sponsored by Sen. Byrd.

Under the rules, the Senate "prohibits the use of tape duplications of radio coverage for political purposes. Prohibits the use of tape duplications of television coverage for any purpose outside the Senate unless the Senate provides otherwise."

Does the use of the Senate floor footage for political purposes by a presidential re-election campaign count under this legislation?

ABC News' Tom Shine reports that the Senate Rules Committee chief legal counsel and staff director were told yesterday about the improper usage of the Senate floor video and this morning Sen. Byrd's office confirmed that the use of the video is against the rules as it interprets them.

Shine Notes that there are no fines or penalties for violation this resolution.

Bush-Cheney campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said that all the video used in the ad was either stock footage, SAG actor or in the public domain. "We believe that the ads appropriately examine Senator Kerry's vote against body armor, higher combat pay and better health care for reservists. The images and materials we use in ads is carefully examined and used appropriately." And the voice of the Senate clerk in the ad is the actual Senate clerk, according to a senior Bush adviser.

We'll see where this one goes.

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