The Note

Former Senator Durkin is no longer supporting Howard Dean due to his post-caucus performance. The defection may not have become public if CNN's Bill Schneider and a "frantic producer" hadn't bumped into the senator at the Merrimack Restaurant. LINK

Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe writes a play-by-play of yesterday's Dean strategy at reinventing himself and his temperament in the eyes of voters. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's John Harwood and Jake Schlesinger detail the efforts of a wounded Gov. Dean to rehab his image and take command of the shifting dynamic in New Hampshire that has voters asking Dean how he'll bounce back from Iowa and his negative press.

Greg Hitt of the Wall Street Journal assesses the avenues for Dean damage control before Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold writes that the Primetime and Letterman appearances "were designed to give a more lighthearted and intimate portrait of Dean as he tries to contain the fallout from a frenzied speech he delivered on caucus night in Iowa." LINK

The Post's Charles Krauthammer is despondent over Dean's fall this week: "The future looked so bright, and now it is so clouded." LINK


From ABC News Lieberman campaign reporter Talesha Reynolds:

MANCHESTER, NH Jan 22 -- At the last debate, JIL bungled the moment that was intended to make him look good - his invitation to the other candidates to sign a letter in support of the Help America Vote Act, a reminder that he (and Al Gore and all Democrats) were wronged in Florida in 2000.

At Thursday night's debate there were no gimmicks. No letters to sign, just his own message that avoided slighting anyone else on the stage. Thursday night, the attack dog rolled over and played nice.

During the two hour debate, Peter Jennings gave Lieberman a few opportunities to criticize his competitors, but the Senator never took the bait. Every answer was about himself and he even managed to get in a few jokes and earn some applause. During the event and at appearances in recent days his speech has been littered with the words "affirmative" and "positive," perhaps to try to counteract his high unfavorability ratings in polls.

At his after party in a smoky pool hall adjacent to his Manchester headquarters, Lieberman told supporters, "Praise be to God, this was a great night. And you know what, we all needed it. This was the best debate I've had." He added that he hopes "that here in NH, it's going to lead to just the same kind of popular uprising that happened last week in Iowa."

Lieberman was so happy he grabbed Hadassah and cut a rug in the middle of the crowd of supporters. The song they danced to was one that often plays at Lieberman's events, Bryan Adams' "Can't Stop this Thing We Started."

For more from the field, go to ABC LINK


From ABC News Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

MANCHESTER, NH, Jan. 22-With only four full days of campaigning left before the primary, the Clark campaign continues to search for a message for their candidate. On Friday, the campaign will put up a new ad in the New Hampshire market to run through the New Hampshire primary, called "Families." The television ad focuses on Clark's electability as president and will air in Manchester, Boston, Portland, and Burlington.

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