The Note

President Bush hits the road this week for four campaign fund-raisers before the busy holiday season picks up, including stops in key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. LINK

USA Today 's Keen looks at how the president's trip to Iraq will play out over the next month and whether he successfully can ride the PR wave into the new year. LINK

Get ready for the arrival of the BC04 "supersurrogates," reports U.S. News & World Report.

As the primaries gear up next year, the campaign will send out a team of national, state and local officials to defend the president, including such boldface names as New York Governor George Pataki, ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and "former administration big shots" like Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Ari Fleischer, former Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clarke, ex-State aide and daughter of the VP Liz Cheney, and outgoing strategist Tucker Eskew. LINK

Robert Novak writes that President Bush cannot avoid taking a stand on gay marriage: "This is a yes-or-no choice for the president, with a middle course not possible. Without a constitutional amendment, gay marriage will become part of the fabric of American life. Bush must decide, therefore, whether that is truly important. Christian conservatives who support him say that it is, transcending abortion in shaping the country's culture." LINK

Boston Globe 's Denniston reports that the Supreme Court justices could be close to a decision on "whether they will hear an appeal by Vice President Dick Cheney, who is defending his refusal to disclose files of the task force that he headed in developing the administration's energy policy, which is now stalled in Congress. LINK

Bush Administration strategy/personality:

USA Today 's Barbara Slavin and Bill Nichols profile the State Department's John Bolton. LINK

Republican National Convention:

The New York Times on the floating Norwegian Dawn — a ship critics say will lift the stakes of the GOP's big-tent image. LINK

The politics of national security:

Time looks at the president's surprise Turkey Day visit to Iraq with this admiring quote from The Other Side:

"'It was masterful,' says a top Democratic political operative. 'It's pretty hard to criticize this one.'" LINK

Howie Kurtz got some less loving quotes from one Joe Lockhart (who had a nice fire going on Saturday morning!): "'There's no way to do this kind of trip if it's broadcast in advance, for security reasons. My problem with this is not that he misled the press. This is a president who has been unwilling to provide his presence to the families who have suffered but thinks nothing of flying to Baghdad to use the troops there as a prop.'" LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen writes "Bush's Thanksgiving Day surprise ties him, for better or worse, ever more tightly to the outcome of the Iraq struggle." LINK

And Rich Bond agrees!

The New York Times ' Nagourney on Friday Noted the president's visit "stunned and confused his rivals, who struggled — in the midst of Thanksgiving dinner — to balance praise for the president's gesture with renewed criticism of his Iraq policy, which they said would be among his greatest vulnerabilities in next year's election."LINK

But in a show of just how fickle Hearts and Minds can be, USA Today 's Judy Keen says this morning the "afterglow" of the president's trip has "started to fade." LINK

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