The Note

It seems to be paying off. Former candidates Sen. John Edwards and Gen. Wes Clark have already allowed Kerry to pitch their donors, and Rep. Dick Gephardt plans to. "The early salvos signaled an expensive pre-convention period that Democrats appear ready to subsidize. 'I've been in politics for 25 years, and I've never seen this kind of cooperation,' says Nancy Parrish, who was national vice chairman of Clark's campaign."

The AP's Jennifer Kerr writes that Howard Dean, a bitter rival of John Kerry's during the campaign, "praised the Massachusetts senator as someone who will 'make a far better president' than George W. Bush," during his appearance on that Sunday show on that other network yesterday LINK

The AP reports that Kerry's support of NAFTA may cause problems for him in one of those uber-important battleground states, Ohio. LINK

The New York Times ' David Halbfinger Notes that Kerry's quick response ad last week offers a glimpse of how the campaign will try to face the challenge of "redefin[ing] a president about whom most voters have very strong opinions, in the face of Mr. Bush's huge financial advantage." The Kerry strategy will include policy specific town hall forums, the portrayal of Kerry as a fighter not willing to take the president's attacks unanswered, and (as a means to free media) the use of the news of day to highlight what Kerry sees as flaws in Bush Administration policies. LINK

The New York Times ' Bill Safire winces at Kerry's grammar and calls his second-day response to the "crooked" off-the-cuff remark a form of "phony tough." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers writes up Kerry's health care proposals and Notes that the recent attack on its likely $900 billion figure "puts him on notice that he must be clearer about what portion of his plan's funding will come from taxes and what from cost savings in other areas."

The Des Moines Register sums up Iowa Gov. Tim Vilsack's prospects as a Veep pick. "[He] is an outsider, at a time when a governor is seen as a better choice than a congressman by many, particularly given Kerry's longevity in Washington." LINK

And with Matt Paul back on his team, he cannot help but go far.

ABC News-TIME Magazine-BBC: "Iraq: Where Things Stand":

This evening on World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, ABC News will release the results of the first media-sponsored national public opinion poll conducted in Iraq — a groundbreaking project jointly sponsored by ABC News, the German network ARD, the BBC, and NHK in Japan, with field work by Oxford Research International of Oxford, England.

The poll consists of in-person interviews conducted Feb. 10-28 with a random, nationally representative sample of 2,500 Iraqis, covering topics including views of the U.S.-led invasion; its impact on the daily lives of Iraqi citizens; and their hopes for the future.

The poll will be an important component of the ABC News series "Iraq: Where Things Stand," a comprehensive reporting project including ABC News, TIME Magazine and the BBC.

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