The Note

"No one doubts that Bush has a broad policy agenda in Washington. No one doubts that he's trying to get that agenda enacted into law. But Bush is all but alone in refusing to acknowledge that 'the political season' is well underway. And he's one of its biggest players. LINK

New York Times ' Toner reports that President Bush is losing support among seniors, a critical swing voting bloc. While Congress negotiates a Medicare bill that will affects 40 million elderly and disabled and could be a major campaign issue, "analysts in both parties cite the economy, the stock market and the situation in Iraq as major factors in the slippage" among older voters. LINK

BC04 Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman showed up in Iowa last week to announce the campaign's state leadership team and build support for the president's re-election effort in a state where the Democratic contenders have a ubiquitous presence before the caucuses in January.

"Evidence of the GOP's campaign push in Iowa can be seen in the parade of national Republican leaders headed to the state to energize the party faithful and counter Democrats' attacks on Bush's record." Vice President Dick Cheney will be at an event for Rep. Jim Leach today in Cedar Rapids.

Cheney was in Des Moines earlier this month and Attorney General John Ashcroft and RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie were there in September. LINK

In Sunday's Washington Post , Howie Kurtz looks at Bush-hating, the recent wave of books by liberal authors that beat up on the president and what this means for Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

"To hear conservatives tell it, the liberals are being self-destructive by constantly and fervently denouncing the president … .To hear liberals tell it, the fury at Bush could fuel a Democratic surge in 2004 and helps explain the improbable success of Howard Dean. In this view, the party doesn't need milquetoast Democrats who blur their differences with Bush as much as two-fisted candidates ready to punch him out." LINK

If David Broder's second-day take on the Arab American Institute meeting in Michigan was even close to right in Sunday's Washington Post , all that work Karl Rove did with Arab Americans for 2000 needs to be re-done big time. LINK

Roll Call 's Chris Cillizza reports President Bush is getting quite a bit of help from his friends in the legislative branch.

"Nearly 100 Republican House Members and Senators dipped into their campaign accounts or leadership political action committees in the past three months to contribute to President Bush's re-election campaign."

Time updates the White House leak investigation and reports that "the FBI has interviewed more than two dozen more than two dozen officials in several Washington offices, including White House press secretary Scott McClellan and Bush political adviser Karl Rove as well as other West Wing aides." LINK

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Ip writes that the Fed might be inching toward an inflation target, despite Chairman Greenspan's long-held opposition.

The loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has become a major theme for Democratic presidential candidates — and others — looking to blame the White House for workers' economic woes. But manufacturing jobs are disappearing worldwide, reports the Wall Street Journal 's Jon Hilzenrath and Rebecca Buckman.

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