The Note

TODAY SCHEDULE AS OF 9:00 am (all times ET):

—6:30 am: Rep. Dennis Kucinich tours the ISG Steel Plant, Cleveland, Ohio —8:30 am: Sen. John Kerry attends a rally at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md. —8:30 am: The Commerce Department releases the January report for personal income and spending —8:45 am: Sen. John Edwards attends a rally at the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio —9:00 am: Former Bush counselor Karen Hughes speaks at the Federation of American Hospitals annual conference, Washington, D.C. —9:00 am: Sen. Kerry appears on the Tavis Smiley Show —9:45 am: Off-camera press briefing by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: Teresa Heinz Kerry attends a "Rally for America's Future" event, Bronx, N.Y. —10:00 am: National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters releases President Bush's "National Drug Control Strategy," Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: Supreme Court convenes to release orders —10:30 am: Rep. Kucinich attends a health care rally, Cleveland, Ohio —11:00 am: George Washington University hosts the panel discussion "Election Countdown: The Race for the White House and Congress," featuring Hotline founder Doug Bailey, Washington, D.C. —11:15 am: Mrs. Kerry attends a rally at the Children's Hospital Columbia Presbyterian, New York, N.Y. —12:00 pm: Rep. Kucinich attends a forum at the City Club Building, Cleveland, Ohio —12:30 pm: Sen. Paul Sarbanes and Rep. Michael Oxley discuss recent financial scandals at a press conference, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: On-camera press briefing by Press Secretary McClellan —1:00 pm: U.S. Senate resumes consideration of S.1805, the Gun Liability bill, Washington, D.C. —1:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio —1:45 pm: Rep. Kucinich attends a rally with supporters in Cleveland Heights, Ohio —1:50 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a rally at the Ohio Union, Columbus, Ohio —2:00 pm: Rep. Kucinich attends a rally at the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center, Cleveland, Ohio —2:30 pm: Rep. Kucinich gives a presentation at the Helen S. Brown Senior Center, East Cleveland, Ohio —2:30pm Rev. Sharpton has lunch with black elected officials and community leaders, Buffalo, N.Y. —3:00 pm: Sens. Dianne Feinstein, John Warner, Charles Schumer and Mike DeWine hold a rally for reauthorization of the assault weapons ban, Washington, D.C. —3:15 pm: Rep. Kucinich campaigns at Eastside Market, East Cleveland, Ohio —3:30 pm: Rev. Sharpton visits Friends of the Elderly Community Center, Buffalo, N.Y. —3:45 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a rally, Cleveland, Ohio —4:15 pm: Rep. Kucinich speaks at the Croatian Club, Lorain, Ohio —4:30 pm: Rev. Sharpton takes a driving tour of Buffalo's eastside, Buffalo, N.Y. —4:30 pm: The Energy Department releases the latest gas price numbers —6:00 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a campaign rally featuring Hootie & the Blowfish and Boyd Tinsley, Macon, Ga. —7:00 pm: Rep. Kucinich attends a Rock the Vote event at the Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio —7:35 pm: President and Mrs. Bush attend the National Republican Senatorial Committee Reception, Washington, D.C. —8:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a rally at the Tabernacle, Atlanta, Ga.


From: ABC News

Sent: Monday, March 1, 2004 9:00 AM


ABC News

Office of The Note


For Immediate Release

March 1, 2004

This Information Subject To Change


Monday, March 1, 2004| Monday, March 8, 2004

All ET

Monday, March 1

Senators Kerry and Edwards campaign like there's no tomorrow (even though there is)

Senator Kerry is in Baltimore this morning and Columbus this afternoon, before ending the day in Atlanta.

Senator Edwards has three events in Ohio before traveling to Georgia for an evening event.

Rep. Kucinich is in Ohio.

Rev. Sharpton is in Buffalo, New York.

7:35 pm THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush attend the National Republican

Senatorial Committee Reception

Private Residence | Washington, DC


Tuesday, March 2

The Superest of Tuesdays

Possible gun votes in the U.S. Senate

10:00 am THE PRESIDENT makes remarks on the One-Year Anniversary of the

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center |

Washington, DC

For November, reporters practice memorizing LOTS of exit poll results

Wednesday, March 3

The Group of 19 continues its deliberations: should John Edwards be allowed to continue his presidential odyssey?

Possible gun votes in the U.S. Senate

The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, presented by HBO, begins Aspen 5:00 pm

THE PRESIDENT makes remarks at the 11th Regional White House

Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Los Angeles Convention Center | Los Angeles, California

8:35 pm

THE PRESIDENT attends Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception

The Shrine Auditorium | Los Angeles, California

10:10 pm

THE PRESIDENT makes remarks at the Republican National

Committee Victory 2004 Dinner

Private Residence | Los Angeles, California

Thursday, March 4

The visual stylings of Mark McKinnon appear on a TV near you

12:35 am

THE PRESIDENT participates in a Conversation on the


Rain for Rent | Bakersfield, California

3:40 pm THE PRESIDENT attends Bush-Cheney 2004 Luncheon

Santa Clara Convention Center | Santa Clara, California

Friday, March 5

6:00 pm

THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush welcome the president of Mexico and Mrs. Fox

Bush Ranch | Crawford, Texas

Saturday, March 6

THE PRESIDENT blows off the Gridiron; Senator Clinton is hilarious

12:00 am THE PRESIDENT participates in a Joint Press Availability with the president of Mexico

Bush Ranch | Crawford, Texas

Sunday, March 7

A really good episode of "The Sopranos" kicks off the new season on HBO


Monday, March 8

1:05 pm THE PRESIDENT attends Bush-Cheney 2004 Luncheon

The Fairmont Hotel | Dallas, Texas

3:45 pm

THE PRESIDENT attends the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Reliant Arena | Houston, Texas

6:35 pm

THE PRESIDENT attends Bush-Cheney 2004 Reception

Hilton Americas | Houston, Texas

Forty-third street/Viacom debate: Lots of unbleeped F-words below. So watch out!

Robin Toner of the New York Times watched "a fast-moving, freewheeling and at times angry debate." LINK

How about feisty? Ah … here's one.

"A feisty John Edwards dropped his nice-guy persona in a bid to catapult his faltering Democratic presidential campaign," write Jacob Schlesinger and John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal in their summary.

Yesterday's debate may have raised fresh doubts about whether Kerry is a fan of Edwards--and whether a Kerry-Edwards ticket would work or, rather, whether these two could get along on the road, analyzes Dan Balz of the Washington Post . LINK

Kerry allies say privately that the Senator is not a particular fan of Edwards, and a question to Kerry about what he has learned from Edwards about how to be a more likable candidate must have rankled the man who is in control of the Democratic race."

The Washington Post 's Hanna Rosin writes on whether Edwards fits right at home in New York. LINK

The New York Times ' Joyce Purnick explains why Metro matters by Noting the appropriateness of the debate in New York City becoming the one where the politeness and friendliness of the past debates goes right out the door. Do Note the new Lincoln tome on its way to bookstores courtesy of Mario Cuomo. LINK

Walter Shapiro of USA Today flawlessly reviews the debate as a melodramatic finale to what may be the end of the Democratic presidential nomination fight. (All those Fs!) LINK

"In his willingness to mix it up with Kerry on Sunday, Edwards may have put to rest cynical claims that he really has been auditioning for the role of vice-presidential candidate. What appears to be happening with Edwards is more subtle than such conspiratorial interpretations of his motivation in continuing as Kerry's last plausible challenger."

USA Today 's Kasindorf and Page write that "The sharpest exchanges came over the two candidates' positions on free-trade agreements that have contributed to the loss of American manufacturing jobs to other countries." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Kornblut writes that the debate "gave the four candidates an opportunity to touch on the sensitive cultural and religious issues certain to play a major role in the election against President Bush."LINK

If you have some time on your hands today be sure to count how many times the fetching Ms. Bumiller's name is erroneously spelled with a "z" instead of an "s," something The Note hasn't done in at least 3 days.

The Los Angeles Times' Brownstein and La Ganga on Edwards' "combative" performance during the "final candidate forum." LINK

Here is what the Daily News' Maggie Haberman took away from the paper's ad hoc focus group: LINK

Deb Orin and Stefan Friedman of the New York Post call the debate "raucous" and do due diligence on exactly which fabulous gay wedding Senator Kerry attended. LINK

Finally, a smart point from Ryan Lizza:

"Some Kerry aides argue that Edwards's persistence in staying in the race has ticked off Kerry and harmed the North Carolina senator's chances of becoming vice president. But Kerry should be thanking Edwards, not punishing him. The main rap against Kerry since Iowa has been that he is simply the default beneficiary of the Dean implosion, a candidate who remains untested. By trying and failing to topple Kerry, Edwards may have put that argument to rest." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The race for the nomination: "John, you ignorant slut!"

The two leading candidates for the nomination do their biographical point/counterpoint on the op-ed page of the New York Times . LINK and LINK.

The AP's Fournier writes of the steep uphill battle facing Senator Edwards in these last few hours before voters in the 10 Super Tuesday states go to the polls.LINK

"Many Democrats believe the route is strewn with obstacles and dead ends at nearly every turn … The Massachusetts senator has an almost insurmountable lead in delegates, the support of the Democratic establishment and the knowledge that no front-runner has lost his grip on the nomination this late in the election season."

Break out your delegate calculators. The New York Times ' David Rosenbaum delves into the Democrats proportional allocation rules and explains Edwards' extremely difficult task. Note to Professor Mayer: As David Yepsen and Dante Scala can attest, it will be easier to remain in make-up all day during the convention rather than repeatedly reapplying. LINK

Although the candidates have not focused much on Maryland, their field staffs were taking nothing for granted this weekend as they hit the streets to get their message out to the voters, writes Mary Beth Sheridan and Eric Rich of the Washington Post . LINK

Ron Brownstein sizes up John Edwards and John Kerry's commitment to the country's labor force and determines that the two leading Democrats clearly side with labor in the labor/business divide. LINK

"This impassioned identification with the cause of union organizing marks a movement away from President Clinton's inclination to find a middle ground wherever possible between labor and business."

The Washington Post 's Al Kamen reports on the Kerry campaign conference call that had many reporters up in arms. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny writes that Bush foes are warming well to Senator Kerry's message. LINK

USA Today 's Drinkard writes of the Democratic presidential candidates' fight for what may be the most valuable prize of the nomination season — well, besides the nomination — that list of Dean supporters. LINK

Roll Call reports of a potential Howard Dean visit with congressional supporters as early as this week to look at how Democrats can harness his grassroots support to help take back the House and the Senate.

A pox on both their houses … so says the New York Post editorial board which just may endorse President Bush in October. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: Time's Matt Cooper and John Dickerson Noted the strategy of BC '04 in "high gear" … and the president in his own smoke and brandy room. LINK

Note the presidential edict (obeyed in the breach only!) that "liberal, liberal, liberal" not be the manner used to go after John Kerry — although the president might not have read his new National Journal yet.

Newsweek's Debra Rosenberg and Mark Miller profile the "'Austin 12,' an informal group of gay Republicans who advised the Bush 2000 campaign, serving as a sounding board on gay issues."

The group was not consulted on last week's decision on the gay marriage amendment and "many of the 12 say they won't vote for Bush at all. That could cost him not only the estimated 1 million gay voters-a quarter of the gay vote-who supported him in 2000, but like-minded swing voters too."

One member of the group, DC City Councilman David Catania, a BC04 Maverick who has raised nearly $80,000 for the campaign, said he would work to take Bush out of office in November. "'You know the concept of buyer's remorse? I've got it,' he says. 'I want my money back.'"LINK

Scott Lindlaw of the Associated Press previews President Bush's week, with four fundraisers and a trip out West to California. LINK

President Bush may have said all he plans to regarding gay marriage, writes Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times today, as she also Notes the president's "record of tolerance in personal situations." LINK

The New York Times ' Richard Stevenson wrote on Sunday that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expecting to trail Senator Kerry in the polls through the summer. LINK

Ohio … so hot right now … Ohio's David Moberg looks at how labor and political groups in the Buckeye State are working to defeat President Bush in November, as the battleground state becomes the new Florida. LINK

"An advocacy group that opposes President Bush's environmental policies e-mailed nearly 60,000 Interior Department employees Thursday to seek help in identifying White House initiatives that could threaten national parks and wilderness areas," writes Christopher Lee of the Washington Post . LINK

Washington Post 's Slevin and Allen report on Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide stepping down and how his departure on an U.S. military aircraft developed behind the scenes in Washington. LINK

Georgia: In 1992, a little known underdog, Bill Clinton won the Georgia primary and was transformed overnight into the top contender, writes the New York Times ' Andrew Jacobs, as Senator Edwards hopes history repeats itself. LINK

The Los Angeles Times on Edwards' search for independent and Republican support in Georgia's open primary. LINK

New England: David Rosenbaum of the New York Times takes a look at Kerry's advantage in the four New England primaries. LINK

New York: The New York Times on the candidates' days in the Empire State. (Note Note: We wonder at what point mainstream media outlets will stop giving credence to endorsements by political operatives with no base of electoral support.) LINK

Elizabeth Benjamin report from the Albany Times Union that John Edwards visited yesterday and argued that the federal government should provide more homeland security funding for New York. John Kerry was in Buffalo yesterday. LINK

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle's John Machacek says that both Edwards and Kerry have been discussing lost jobs in upstate New York. He also has this to say about the enthusiasm of the union foot soldiers Kerry is relying on tomorrow:

"Although New York's AFL-CIO unions are supporting Kerry, a 'lot of people' in the labor movement like Edwards, said Jim Bertolone, president of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Labor Federation. Putting Edwards on the national ticket as vice presidential nominee would be a 'natural marriage,' he said." LINK

New York Magazine's Greg Sargent reminds his readers that the New York Democratic Establishment was not all lined up behind John Kerry when he looked like a loser.LINK

"Steadily flummoxed by the race's surprising twists and turns, New York politicos backed the wrong candidates with unerring consistency. They were forced to eat crow and clamber aboard with the front-runner-of-the-moment not once but twice-Dean last fall, and now Kerry. The result has been that the New York Establishment, which likes to think it has great sway over national affairs, has had almost no impact on Campaign 2004."

O-HI-O: The Dayton Daily news states "'Kerry won because he didn't lose." LINK

Kerry will stump at Ohio State University today. LINK

Vermont: The Burlington Free-Press reports on a movement by Deaniacs to secure a Super Tuesday win for their former governor in his home state of Vermont — supporters are looking to thank him as well as win him more delegates for the national convention this summer. LINK

Connecticut: Family surrogates hit the Connecticut campaign trail on Sunday in advance of Super Tuesday. Teresa Heinz Kerry and Cate Edwards stumped through Joe Lieberman country on behalf of their men. LINK

California knows how to party: The Boston Globe 's Mary Leonard writes that Gov. Schwarzenegger's seeming revitalization of the California GOP is forcing Senator Kerry, who is likely to win there tomorrow, to look ahead at November and how to take back the previous Democratic hold on the Golden State. LINK

Still a touch wishful thinking for Republicans there, no?

The San Francisco Chronicle endorses John Kerry. "During the campaign, he has been getting decidedly better at translating his grasp of policy into language that connects with Americans who don't know the acronyms or intricacies of Washington." LINK

The Los Angeles Times duo Barabak and Rainey lament California's lack of influence on the nomination process even with more than one-sixth of the delegates needed to win. LINK

The weekend must-reads: CW has it that President Bush wants to get of the Democratic Party's traditional (or perceived) issue advantage among swing voters on health care and education and hopes an improving economy will render the Democrats mute on what could be a key issue.

But despite his tax cuts, his Medicare expansion, and his No Child Left Behind legislation, the public hasn't caught on, a dynamic Los Angeles Times duo reported Sunday.

"To Republicans' distress, Bush has run into trouble on all those fronts. The economy's recovery has been stubbornly slow. The president's tax cuts are not universally popular. His education changes have drawn criticism from educators and state officials in both parties. And the Medicare bill has failed to impress elderly voters." LINK

Some Republicans argue that it's a matter of salesmanship — and that progress will be made.

But others …

"Minnesota's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty noted a second, more troubling problem: So far, Bush's domestic accomplishments are mostly on paper."

"'People have not felt the benefit yet,' Pawlenty said. 'Every economic indicator is headed in the right direction. But it's a question of will the economy recover quickly enough for people to feel not only the statistical benefit, but the emotional benefit as well.'"

"Pawlenty said he was confident Bush could win Minnesota and other swing states this fall, but only if he could reassure voters on pocketbook issues."

Diamond J. VandeHei and B-Brian Faler looked at Kerry's proposals and concluded that his numbers don't add up. LINK

Howie Kurtz's Sunday Style tour-de-force on Kate O'Connor and Joe Trippi is made ever-the-more precious for us because it quotes the super Joe Drymala. LINK

The story teases out Dean's core difficulty with his campaign manager, his campaign manager's perception that the candidate didn't trust him, and the tactical and strategic confusion that resulted.

Kurtz's take is the definitive top-down account of what went wrong, at least until Kate O'Connor decides to bare her soul. The bottom-up account — whether there was ever a there there — is left to others.

The New York Times ' Purdum study of Kerry's "complex" anti-war words in 1971 included a must-see photo of a svelte Teddy Kennedy and a young John Kerry on May 1, 1971. LINK

2 of the 19 weigh in: Balz and Broder wrote on Sunday that Kerry is "poised" to win the nomination "effectively if not mathematically" in tomorrow's contests. LINK

The New York Times ' Richard Stevenson wrote on Sunday that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expecting to trail Senator Kerry in the polls through the summer. LINK

The New York Times ' Nagourney Noted on Sunday the Edwards campaign's "signs of distress." LINK

Time's Karen Tumulty profiled that "working class Catholic girl" at the head of the Massachusetts Senator's campaign. Do Note a certain Bob's nicorette wrappers and the "10:30 scream." LINK

Kerry: From ABC News Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe:

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 29--To look at Senator John Kerry, one might expect a town hall meeting in Buffalo's Ellicott Square Building, better known as the hotel at which the mysterious Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) inexplicably shoots Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) in The Natural, to be, well, a bit unnatural.

Instead, the 6'4" long-jawed politician works best in the round, surrounded by question-filled voters, rather than delivering more Senate-inspired podium pontificating.

Building on the cinematic theme, the Kerry advance team benched U2's "A Beautiful Day" in favor of Randy Newman's "The Whammer Strikes Out" as the Senator entered to speak with (not at) 600 mostly upstate New Yorkers. The often long-winded Senator Noted the occasion saying, "We're going to make history here tonight. This is the shortest speech I'm going to give in this campaign."

Indeed, Kerry lived up to his promise, clocking in at just over two minutes.

Later, Kerry, whose staff has become increasingly superstitious as the possibility of actually winning the nomination grows, bucked luck and tried his hand at numerology.

Having just reunited with a fellow Vietnam veteran, Kerry described the identifying numbers of his two swift boats.

"One of them was 44 boat, and the other was the 94 boat," the Senator described.

"And it occurred to me this afternoon … I am running to be the 44th President of the United States and I was on the 44th boat. I think that's a pretty good sign. And the other boat I was on was the 94 boat, and that has a 4 in it, and I'm running in November 04 and that's a pretty good sign," Kerry concluded.

Aside from the numerological assertion that Kerry will still be running in November, staff members steadfastly refuse to discuss mid-March schedule, or even take questions assuming Senator Kerry as the hypothetical nominee.

Kerry, however, showed no fear in making predictions. The Senator, whose recent campaign stops in Los Angeles and Brooklyn have drawn the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie Brinkley, boldly stated as he walked up his campaign charter plane, "Lord of the Rings. That's the one. Best Picture, Lord of the Rings. You can take that to the bank."

Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, he was unable to join the press corps Oscar pool as he was unable to post the $5.00 entry fee. When an identity protected press traveler asked the candidate, who narrowly avoided a discussion of his extensive means in Sunday's debate, to ante up, Kerry admitted he had no money and to emphasize his point, reached into his pockets and pulled the insides out.

Alas, whatever Senator Kerry's predictive powers, it is now certain Kerry will campaign through Super Tuesday with stops in Maryland and Georgia. Senator Kerry will also make his first appearance in the Senate since last fall, bringing Secret Service and a 50-person press corps in tow as he votes on the assault weapons ban Tuesday.

The Kerry campaign holds its "Super Tuesday celebration" in Tampa, Florida, and the Senator intends to campaign in each of contested 3/9 states regardless of Tuesday's outcome.

Read more from the trail with Kerry on LINK

The New York Times ' Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiles Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, a woman rarely seen on the campaign trail or name read in news releases, who is beginning to draw the spotlight as Kerry's march to the nomination continues. LINK

John Kerry got in touch with his roots when he told dozens of Jewish leaders in New York yesterday that he would veto "any United Nations Security Council resolutions seen as one-sided against Israel" and reiterated "that the barrier Israel is erecting to separate Palestinian territories from Israeli ones is a fence, not a wall," writes New York Times ' David Halbfinger. LINK

The Boston Herald reports that hometown boy and state Senator John Kerry "has missed every one of the 22 Roll Call votes in the Senate this year and was absent for 292, or 64 percent of the Roll Call votes last year" but is still collecting a paycheck," as is Senator Edwards who's record is a little better. LINK

Edwards: From ABC News' Edwards campaign reporter Gloria Riviera:

NEW YORK, NY, Feb. 29--So what is a candidate do when he finds himself, once again, facing poll after poll boding nothing but bad news? Repeatedly cite one poll that bears good news, that's what. And so it is that John Edwards has added a new (new!) line into his standard campaign speech, citing a Survey USA poll that has Edwards beating George Bush in a general election in North Carolina. From Atlanta, Georgia to Cleveland, Ohio to Albany, New York Edwards delivered this news to crowd after crowd who reacted, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, with cheers and nods.

On Sunday evening in Albany, Anna Engle came to hear Edwards speak. "I don't understand how Kerry won in Iowa and New Hampshire," she said, "I think he drones on and on. I noticed when Edwards talked to newspapers, they started to endorse him. I wondered, 'Who is this guy?'" Engle is just the kind of person the Edwards campaign is desperate to reach in these last few days. Undecided voters who may have heard more about Kerry than their guy, but what they have heard they see as positive and inviting. Still, after seeing Edwards Engle was still not sure who she would vote for come Tuesday.

Asked by reporters over the weekend just what he makes of the uphill battle the polls present, Edwards said with a smile, "Sound like Wisconsin."

Asked by reporters if he has to win something, anything, to go on after Super Tuesday acknowledging plain old mathematics Edwards said, "We have to continue to win delegates and at some point we have to start winning more delegates than Senator Kerry."

And what is the deadline for that table to turn? One thing holding reporters back from booking post-campaign fantasy vacations is the fact that most have been here before. Two days before a primary; Edwards is down in most polls. One day before the primary; Edwards is still down. Primary day; surprise! Better than expected results open the gateway to carry on the campaign. But never has there been this many delegates or these many states at stake all in one go.

Over the past week select senior aides have allowed that they believe they have a shot at winning more than one state. The agreed upon best chance for a win is Georgia, as such the campaign has decided to watch results from Atlanta. They also allow that yes, despite that fact their candidate tells reporters on the trail he does not have to win anything to go on, it would certainly be a better Wednesday run of the morning shows with a few wins to discuss with Charlie, Katie and Harry.

And so we wait. Headlines announce that Bush strategists now plan for a tough fight against Senator Kerry, but we wait. And while we wait the Edwards camp has mapped out a run up to March 9 schedule that takes their candidate through the Southern states he eyes as a very much still possible battle ground. On each of the previous primary nights except Wisconsin, Senator Edwards and the travel press corps were off and running to the next battle ground. So it will most likely be this Tuesday. Additional evidence the campaign is determined to continue: money. Over the last week Edwards has held fundraisers in three of the four March 9 states he hopes to play in (Louisiana, Florida and Texas). Sunday the campaign announced post-Iowa funds of $5.7 millions raised, and their goal is $6 million by Super Tuesday. The campaign notes only that the majority of those funds are matchable.

Read more from the trail with Edwards on LINK

Many have noticed the similarities between Bill Clinton and John Edwards while on the campaign trail this year but it may be the differences that are most key, writes John Harris from the Washington Post . LINK

"Even stylistically, the differences between Edwards and Clinton run deeper than superficial likenesses. On the campaign trail, Edwards has proved himself vastly more disciplined and controlled — but also far less conversant in the details of public policy."

"Clinton's speeches were often larded with the finer points of legislation he was debating with Republicans, or free-ranging meditations on the social consequences of phenomena such as the Internet or genetic engineering. Sometimes he would hold forth on movies he liked, such as 'High Noon' or 'American Beauty.' Reporters who covered him learned the hard way not to drift off during late-night speeches inasmuch as these were often the source of newsworthy unscripted comments. When a frustrated aide once asked Clinton why he could not simply repeat the prepared comments he delivered in the afternoon, Clinton replied that this made him bored."

USA Today 's Susan Page profiles Robbins, NC — home to a certain son of a millworker turned U.S. Senator turned Democratic presidential candidate still known by locals as "Johnny." Page talks to Bobbie and Wallace Edwards, Johnny's parents, football teammates, as well as a few Robbins citizens about Edwards' upbringing in this mill town and how the town's make-up has influenced his campaign policies. LINK

Special bonus: the article links to Johnny Edwards', age 11, essay entitled "Why I Want To Be a Lawyer."

Funny: at age eleven, we wrote an essay entitled "When I grow up, I want to write the political racing form that Wonkette hates to love to read."

Bob Novak has the alleged goods on what he terms the "Edwards loophole" in the tax code. (But it's not that unusual). LINK

The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney writes his second pre-obit of the Edwards campaign in as many days including a tiny nudge out of the running for the number two spot on the ticket. LINK

"If Mr. Edwards wants his party's vice presidential nomination — he said vigorously on Sunday that he did not, though those kind of assertions tend to be forgotten come convention time — the tenor of his attacks could make him a less attractive running-mate."

Mark Johnson of the Charlotte Observer reports on Edwards early experience with segregation in the town of Thomson, GA, Noting that the painful friction he felt underscores the personal responsibility Edwards says he feels to build equality for blacks and other minorities. LINK

Pulling triple duty, Maggie Haberman of the Daily News writes up John Kerry's controlling damage with New York Jews. LINK

"The Democratic front-runner assured the group that, contrary to a speech he gave in December, he wouldn't seek out former President Jimmy Carter or former Secretary of State James Baker as his envoys, sources said."

The New York Post 's Deborah Orin was there too. LINK

Nader: While erstwhile celebrity 2000 Naderite Tim Robbins buffs his new Oscar, one wonders when, if at all, he and wife Susan will throw their star heft behind Ralph's crusade. Inquiring minds want to know.

But while we wait …

The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg credits Nader with a smorgasbord of achievements, saying that because of Nader, "baby foods are no longer spiked with MSG, kids' pajamas no longer catch fire, tap water is safer to drink than it used to be, diseased meat can no longer be sold with impunity, and dental patients getting their teeth x-rayed wear lead aprons to protect their bodies from dangerous zaps."

But Hertzberg (and most everyone else) also credits Nader with the election of George Bush, and for this, Hertzberg says, "he'll be lucky to get half of the 685,000 [votes] he got in 1996."

But despite the near certainty of low votes, Hertzberg then warns us that, "if Nader once again succeeds in making himself the decisive factor in a Bush victory, then his legacy will be less than zero." LINK

The Sun Times' William O'Rourke calls Nader's run the "butterfly wings" that will affect the "larger climate of the campaign." In the face of Nader's claims that third parties make democracy more robust, O'Rourke says that "minor parties are often pawns the two large parties use in the chess game of elections, both local and national."

He warns of "shadowy back-room figures" whose dirty tricks could affect the election. LINK

Looking to Nader's candidacy for etymological inspiration, the Boston Globe 's Jan Freeman takes a close look at the word "spoiler" and finds Ralph wearing the "scarlet S": LINK

The Miami Herald 's opinion page warns Nader that his Presidential run risks destroying his legacy.

"Unlike his entry in 2000, Mr. Nader's candidacy this year is superfluous and self-centered, unworthy of a man who can lay claim to founding the modern consumer movement." LINK

Sharpton: Fred Dicker of the New York Post sets the 15 percent expectations bar for the Reverend. (And Note Dicker's good news for Senator Schumer as well.) LINK

The economy: Michael Schroeder of the Wall Street Journal reports that lobbyists and "big business" have had just about enough of the election-year free trade bashing.

"Some of the best-financed trade groups in the U.S. have formed a coalition to beat back federal legislation that would restrict foreign outsourcing by government contractors and limit visas for non-American workers with technology skills."

Gene Sperling talks free-trade-with-a-human face-consensus in the Washington Post . LINK

Politics: The Wall Street Journal 's Murray looks at the Keystone State Toomey/Specter showdown.

"The April 27 Senate primary here will see the only major intraparty fight this election year, and is being closely watched as an indication of how deep conservative sentiment is running. 'It's the best battle for the soul of the GOP this year," says Toomey consultant Keith Appell … "

If Mann and Ornstein think campaign finance "reform," whatever that means, is working, then suffice it say … the conventional wisdom is … whatever campaign finance reform may be, it's working. LINK

Roll Call 's Chris Cillizza reports of conservative groups' concern over George Soros' willingness to contribute money to progressive 527 groups. Republicans are saying that "GOP groups must find a "sugar daddy" comparable to Soros in the near future if they hope to fight pro-Democratic groups to a financial draw come November."

Author and soon to be Bean Town resident Kristin Gore chatted with that wild and crazy Steve Martin and gave Lloyd Grove an LA story to boot.LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Paul Pringle spent some time with a looser Gray Davis, who is looking to have some fun. (You'll love how Governor Deukmejian was fooled by Davis' CBS star turn during a recent Lakers game.) The story will leave Peter Ragone wondering if he should have scheduled more interviews with the Governor walking rain soaked California streets. LINK