The Note

In Sunday's New York Times' Sanger and Halbfinger explored Kerry's foreign affairs views through the lens of hot spots around the world. LINK

"Mr. Kerry clearly has not yet mastered the Clintonian knack of engagingly breaking down complex problems into simple, accessible terms, no matter his audience. On the campaign trail he regularly indicts the administration's 'arrogant, inept, reckless, ideological' foreign policy and warns that 'even the United States of America needs a few friends on this planet.'"

"But when pressed for details, Mr. Kerry can veer into the dry, Latin-heavy jargon of policy journals."

The Washington Post's Laura Blumenfeld decided Sunday to make a Kerry profile around his decision-making style. LINK

The gal seems to remain in semi-full swoon over the presumptive nominee; poetry obviously gets to her.

Speaking of which -- Maureen Dowd finally got her time with John Kerry and MoDo administered her cultural pop quiz to the presumptive Democratic nominee and perhaps provided more fodder for the BC04RNC troops to paint the Massachusetts Senator (who does indeed like to wax poetic) as indecisive. LINK

The headline on Halbfinger's Saturday New York Times story posed a question that gets to the crux of the battle of who gets to define John Kerry for the American people: "Kerry's Shifts: Nuanced Ideas or Flip-Flops?" LINK

Time's Nancy Gibbs also looks at John Kerry's penchant for nuance and gets this piece of news out of him: LINK

"As for the gritty details-how many U.S. troops are needed in Iraq and for how long-Kerry tells TIME that he 'almost certainly' will send a team to Iraq 'within the next few weeks or months' to help him formulate the more detailed answers that will be demanded of a nominee."

Here's the full interview: LINK

On Sunday, the Boston Globe's Pat Healy outlined Kerry's effort to lose that whole "Massachusetts liberal" shtick. LINK

On Saturday, VandeHei wrote that Kerry has "one glaring, though surmountable, vulnerability: a pedigree and stands on social issues that southerners have rejected in recent elections, according to Democratic strategists and outside experts." LINK

In Newsweek, Melinda Henneberger looks at the relationship of Sens. Kerry and Kennedy, and runs through the pluses and minuses of that for the campaign. LINK

Bill Whalen of the San Francisco Chronicle sums up the President's rocky relationship with the Golden Gate city, ignoring the Bay area during his 12 visits to the state. LINK

The Raleigh News and Observers' own Golden Boy -- John Wagner -- post-mortemed the Edwards' campaign. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

"Rarely has Washington had such a large and diverse array of foreign policy problems to juggle as leaders of both parties hit the campaign trail. And rarely have those crises been so central to an election," write Robin Wright and Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post. LINK

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer forecasts the hostile race ahead. "It'll be a contest that mirrors the clashing priorities of a polarized nation, it'll surely cost more than any previous presidential election and it could inflame political passions like no other race in a generation." LINK

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