TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)
The week ahead: the President hits the economy and the pitcher's mound , and then does a long "back at the ranch" spell; John Kerry (re)focuses on the economy; Dr. Rice fixes to own Thursday; and the debate over Iraq policy (and the June deadline) takes place within a context of violence and death.
But we have to take a rare look back, because the last 72 hours -- since the last Note -- had so much packed into them, and we suspect that some of you may have missed a thing or three (what with NCAA men's basketball, the Inner Circle dinner, Tony and Adriana almost making out, and the true beginning of the baseball season).
-- In personnel moves that were as big as they were bold, John Kerry installed the incomparable John Sasso at the DNC and the equally-incomparable Jim Margolis stepped down from the campaign's creative ad team. The jury is out on how the second move will effect Kerry's chances of being elected president (We have our suspicions . . . ), but (Note bene, Ken Mehlman) the former will almost certainly greatly enhance the prospects.
-- Some of you laughed when Team Kerry said it could raise $80 million in pre-convention 2004. Now, after a $50 million first quarter, the Boston Globe slipped this sentence into the end of its Friday story: Kerry's pre-convention fundraising goal "will be now be pushed to well over $100 million," according to a Kerry adviser.
-- Much of the political press corps declared the election over (oooops!!!) because of Friday's employment numbers.
-- The New York Times' Adam Nagourney broke the veepstakes story wide open, with a Sunday story featuring an apparent short list and a sprint of a timetable.
-- After last week's strange Karl Rove phone call to CNNs "Inside Politics" to correct the record on negative advertising and John Kerry's numbers, Elisabeth Bumiller recycled her underNoted Laura-Bush-on-Rove quote, and John McLaughlin used his prediction on The Group to take a stand on Mr. Rove's political future.
-- Dr. Rice became the most over-chronicled national security adviser since Henry the K. And some (including Doyle McManus) set up her "audition" for a cabinet-level position! LINK
-- The House passed a $275 billion version of the highway bill, assuring a tussle with the White House and its $256 billion preferred ceiling.
President Bush advocates increasing the number of people trained under Workforce Training Act today in a Charlotte speech today before attending a fundraiser and throwing out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals-Milwaukee Brewers opening day game. Tomorrow he speaks about training for high school and higher education students in Arkansas before heading to the ranch for the rest of week with no public events. On Sunday he holds a press conference with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Sen. Kerry releases a report today that claims President Bush's tax cuts would increase the deficit, holds reporter roundtables on the economy and tapes remarks to the UFCW. Tomorrow he speaks about jobs and outsourcing in Ohio. On Wednesday he delivers a major economic address advocating a return to the "pay as you go" budget rules of the 1990s and holds a series of meetings with SEIU and UNITE leadership and with African-American reporters. On Thursday he speaks in Madison, Wis. before attending a fundraiser in Chicago. He returns to Boston on Friday for the Easter weekend.