ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny takes an inside look at what the Bush-Cheney team is planning for 2004. Zeleny reports that the ball is already rolling on fund-raising, grass roots outreach, and a get-out-vote drive in critical states (even with the president and Vice President repeatedly saying that campaigning is on the back burner). LINK
Note the Names in lights among the "ten media-consulting firms" that have been retained by the campaign: "Harold Kaplan, a Madison Avenue advertising executive who met Bush when he owned the Texas Rangers baseball team," Fred Davis of Hollywood, Stuart Stevens of Santa Monica, Calif., and Alex Castellanos of Alexandria, Va. "At the same time, five polling companies have been hired."
On that same theme, AP's Scott Lindlaw reports that with a year to go before the election, Bush is "furiously" raising funds and campaigning. LINK
The Dallas Morning News' David Jackson heads north to the suburbs of Detroit to see which way the political winds are blowing for President Bush in this battleground state. LINK
New York Times ' Bumiller follows the trail to find out just who did come up with the idea for the Mission Accomplished banner on the USS Lincoln. LINK
And Time's John Dickerson looks at the bigger picture of the sign story:
"But while the banner business means little by itself, the shifting and shading could become a symbol of Bush's suddenly growing credibility problem, coming as it does in the wake of the controversy over claims in the president's State of the Union address and other pre-war speeches about Iraq's yet-to-materialize weapons of mass destruction and leaks from White House officials about the identity of a CIA operative." LINK
President Bush is in Birmingham, Alabama today for a $2000 per person BC04 fund-raiser. LINK
Georgia Senator Zell Miller, one of the first Democrats to endorse President Bush for reelection, writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (changing his tune from Merle Haggard to Hank Williams and throwing in a Larry Gatlin reference) that the Democrats running for his party's presidential nomination just don't get it.
In Roll Call , Stu Rothenberg looks at whether the Golden State will be "in play" for Bush in 2004 and concludes that "Bush's strategists ultimately will have to decide on priorities, and in 2004 there are at least five states carried by Al Gore in 2000 — Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Oregon — that are far better opportunities for the GOP than California will be next year."
The economy: The sizzling pace of third-quarter U.S. economic growth has larger implications worldwide, writes the Wall Street Journal 's Alan Friedman: Europe's economic health depends on the American economy. Economic underperformance in Europe not only makes independence and true head-to-head competition unlikely, but could also boost resentment of the U.S. — particularly foreign policy.