The Note




On this day when President Bush plans a big speech in Ohio to try to get his economic policy mojo back and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry meets with inevitable Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean and with the man from whom Dean tried to take his party back (Terry McAuliffe) -- on this very day, let us review all the things about which Howard Dean was right -- and wrong -- about the 2004 presidential election.

In both cases, in honor of Nigel Tufnel, the lists go to 11.

Things about which Howard Dean was right (from which John Kerry and George Bush can learn):

1. Ohio is the key to the general election outcome and the Democrats have a real chance there.

2. That Internet thingamajiggy is a pretty darn good way to raise money.

3. There exists within the Democratic Party and on the political left a lot of anger about President Bush -- harnessed simply by mentioning the notion of a one-way bus ticket back to Crawford, Texas -- or the beginning of the end of the Bush Administration.

4. That there are distinct parallels between the relationships between Joe Trippi and Kate O'Connor on the one hand, and Karl Rove and Karen Hughes on the other. (Okay: Dean was oblivious to this one, but it IS still true . . . )

5. Talking to voters like you are a real American (even if you went to Yale) is a good thing for a presidential candidate.

6. Jay Carson is as smart as he is sexycool.

7. Any smart (former) governor who was paying attention could warn even before the law passed that No Child Left Behind would be criticized on implementation by a bipartisan and broad range of state legislators.

8 . Busta Caps is the only way to beat MercerReynoldsJackOliver.

8. If you can't outflank President Bush on the right in some way regarding Iraq, you can't beat him.

9. Americans want to be engaged in and energized about public life again.

10. Zephyr Teachout and Karen Hicks have hearts as big as all outdoors and brains the size of Montana.

Things about which Howard Dean was wrong (from which John Kerry and George Bush can learn):

1. Vetting your own record is not important.

2. Orange hats are in.

3. Newsweekly covers are worth 50 electoral votes each.

4. Potential First Family, schmomential First Family.

5. Strident anger is VERY effective!!!

6. Being either a "strong supporter" of NAFTA or a "very strong supporter" of NAFTA -- either way, that's not such a commitment.

7. A doctor's God complex is very becoming in a public servant.

8. Having an economic message? Overrated.

9. George Bush is so captive to his (alleged) right-wing extreme agenda that the American people will NEVER vote for him.

10. Candidate-on-Jim-Jordan attacks work every time.

11. Clothes don't make the candidate.

As for the President's speech at noon ET today at the Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Forum in Cleveland, ABC News' Terry Moran and Karen Travers report that the White House is calling it a "new speech" that will address jobs and outsourcing -- clearly a topic that plays in economically hard-hit Ohio, where exports support more than 400,000 jobs.

The Bush-Cheney campaign offered this description of the stop:

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