The Note

In his speech to the Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century summit, President Bush will acknowledge the "tough economic times" but will "convey a message of optimism as well," Cleveland Plain Dealer's Koff reports, with hometown curtain raising. LINK

The Plain Dealer's Eaton Notes that "Bush needs to deliver more than a pep talk in Cleveland at today's summit on women's entrepreneurship if they are to help reverse a slump that has cost the state nearly 265,000 jobs since 2001." LINK

Washington Post's Allen reports that the White House has backed down and the President will now "submit to open-ended questioning" in front of the independent commission looking into 9/11.

When asked if the change was a result of attacks from Sen. Kerry, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said: "'I don't think [Kerry is] someone who lets the facts get in the way of his campaign.'" LINK

The New York Times' Shenon on the 9/11 commission: LINK

USA Today's Benedetto and Keen look at how President Bush has polarized the electorate: "To the extent that Republicans love Bush, Democrats loathe him."

"In a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll last weekend, 91% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats approved of the job Bush is doing. No other president has had as big a gap since Gallup began measuring job approval by party in 1948." LINK

The New York Daily News fans the flames on the Bush-Cheney ad flap on Sept. 11, writing that the RNC's Ed Gillespie "angered 9/11 families again yesterday by saying only a 'small segment . . . who are very anti-war' objected to President Bush's use of Ground Zero scenes in his reelection ads." LINK

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's ed board follows up on a New York Post editorial tracing Democratic ties to the "Peaceful Tomorrows" group of Sept. 11 families who protested the recent Bush-Cheney ad.

The President will be in East Meadows, N.Y. on Thursday to attend a 9/11 memorial service. LINK

In a bi-partisan effort the "Senate appears ready to adopt strict new budget rules this week that would make it more difficult to permanently extend President Bush's tax cuts, a potential blow to the centerpiece of the president's election-year economic agenda," writes the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman. LINK

Congressional Republicans, worried about the deficit as an election issue this year, are reworking the President's budget, "with some taking aim at his planned increases for the military and even considering steps to make it harder to extend the tax cuts that expire in 2011," reports Hulse and Oppel of the New York Times. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes reports on the President's "fizzled" push for Hispanic votes and writes the White House's immigration "plan has become a lightning rod both for conservative Republicans, who lament that it would reward lawbreaking foreigners, and for Democrats, who complain it wouldn't go far enough to help hardworking immigrants become Americans. But it also is a victim of presidential inattention, as even some allies contend."

The economy:

The Los Angeles Times' Lee wonders if a jobless recovery is now "the norm?" LINK


the AP's Mike Glover recaps Kerry's four victories over "phantom rivals" yesterday. LINK

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