The Note

--Both parties' bravado about throwing out the "business as usual" convention rule books will turn out to be just that — bravado.

--Ken Mehlman will not deliver his homestate electoral votes for George Bush; Dick Cheney will.

--Jonathan Epstein will not deliver his homestate electoral votes for John Kerry; Mary Beth Cahill will.

--John Kerry and Mary Beth Cahill will assign a top, well-known Democratic strategist to run Ohio, and the Bush campaign will know it.

--Paul Begala will use words on "Crossfire" that, if one of his boys used them, Diane Friday would wash the offending mouth out with soap.

--Ralph Nader will realize just how many of his old friends he has alienated. (Just kidding about this one.)

--The front-of-the-book political coverage of Time and Newsweek will continue to converge to the point that Time adds a "Watching Conventional Wisdom Watch," with up and down pitchforks (instead of arrows).

--Rick Berke will come out of retirement (or whatever it is he does now … ) to write two important pieces in the New York Times : one about how the word "STAR" insidiously appears in three frames of an RNC attack ad against Kerry; and one about where Bush advisers sit at the White House political meetings (complete with boffo graphic).

--The President will sign the highway bill, or he'll veto it.

--One of the two leading presidential candidates will go on Oprah and, in a desperate attempt to save his campaign, will cry while talking about his wife.

--The Bush campaign will bungle the debate about debates.

--Jay Matthews will trot out the latest version of his quadrennial "the taller guy always wins" essay.

--The Kerry campaign, having been given the gift of the Bush campaign bungling the debate about debates, will mess it up even more.

--John King, Bob Novak, Claire Shipman, John Cochran, Dan Balz, and Ron Fournier will all claim to have broken the story of who Kerry picks as his running mate.

--The President will appear with gold-medal-winning athletes from the Olympics; John Kerry will appear with Silver Star medal-winning veterans from the Vietnam war.

-- Clever travel writers will compare the B&Bs, ice cream choices, and lobster entrees of Kennebunkport versus Nantucket.

--Travel writers who are even more clever will tale-of-the-tape Nantucket versus Crawford.

--The winning presidential candidate (or, at least, the one who gets the best coverage) will be the one whose campaign first figures out the importance of well-spiced chicken fingers constantly available on the press charter upon boarding.

--An entire day of political coverage will be dominated by some Midwestern congressperson's quote/sound bite about what his/her state's economy is doing to the President's re-election chances.

---------------------------CLIP HERE-------------------------------

Today,

President Bush is meeting with the Prime Minister with the Netherlands at the White House.

Vice President Cheney is in Denver, Colo. to speak at a luncheon for Rep. Bob Beauprez.

Sen. Kerry is in West Virginia.

Ralph Nader is in Washington, D.C.

ABC News Vote 2004: "foreign leaders" for Kerry:

All right, Mr. Healy … make that:

ABC News Vote 2004: "more leaders" for Kerry:

Perhaps not surprisingly, Jodi Wilgoren's article drips with contempt for the pool system. LINK

Glen Johnson's article seems to suggest, and we'd mostly agree, whether Kerry said "foreign" or "more," the context is roughly the same.LINK

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