The Note

In case you missed the must-see "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" yesterday, The Note on TV featured a demonstration of what we here at The Note find to be a rather uncanny father/son campaign message resemblance between Bush 41 and Bush 43 — we thought the similarities were just so striking, they needed to be highlighted.

41: And Governor Clinton tries to be on every side of every issue. And you cannot have that as President of the United States.

43: In fact, Senator Kerry's been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue.

41: Today, America's economy is working its way through an era of profound change.

43: As the economists say this is a time of transition, it's a time of change.

41: Think of this in terms of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He said, well, I agree with the minority, but I guess I would have voted with the majority. What kind of leadership is that?

43: Once again, Senator Kerry is trying to have it both ways. He's for good intelligence. Yet he was willing to gut the intelligence services. And that is no way to lead a nation in a time of war.

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

From ABC News campaign reporter Karen "Ed Needs a Break" Travers:

"I won the beer!" declared Sen. John Kerry in the Kerry campaign press corps ping-pong tournament in historic Quincy, Ill.

Kerry traveled to the small town on the Mississippi River to capture a bit of history and announce a proposal to President Bush that the two participate in monthly debates throughout the election year but also indulged his competitive side for a few brief minutes.

Using Quincy as the backdrop for his debate challenge allowed Kerry to invoke the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates in the 1858 Senate election, the sixth of which took place just blocks away from the junior high school where Kerry addressed supporters.

In an appearance in the press filing center after the event, Kerry picked up a paddle and took on the closest reporter in an impromptu game of ping-pong. The athletic Kerry didn't need long to slice a shot past the reporter and declare himself the winner of the free beer that was promised on a poster board hanging in the gym.

The ping-pong tournament would prove to be a good warm-up for the back and forth that Kerry got into at a town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pa., yesterday that was billed as an "honest discussion on health care," but veered off onto other topics for much of the event.

The Kerry campaign rolled back into Washington DC late last night and is taking advantage of having the Senator in one place today — Kerry has back-to-back-to-back meetings scheduled today with Philadelphia Mayor John Street, AFSCME President Gerry McEntee and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Campaign officials have said that there is no specific agenda for the meeting with Sharpton today, just a chance for Kerry to meet up with another opponent on a rare day not on the campaign trail. So it seems that all those waiting with bated breath for a Sharpton endorsement and photo op will have to hang on a little longer.

Jim Drinkard of USA Today writes of Kerry's big push to tap into key fundraisers for his former Democratic rivals in order to reach his goal of raising $80 million before the Democratic convention. LINK

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