The Note

The ad script: "I'm Wes Clark and I approve this message because I want to tell you why I'm running for president. I'm not from Washington DC. My mom was a secretary and I understand the challenges that families face. I've spent my life keeping America safe. I'm a doer, not a talker. I'm a leader, not a politician. And I would like your support on Tuesday, because we need to focus on the next generation - not the next election."

And along the same theme, the campaign will hold an "electability rally" on Sunday in New Hampshire where former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth will formally endorse General Clark for President. Butterworth chaired Al Gore's Florida state campaign in 2000.

Also on hand to rally behind Clark this weekend will be steadfast Clark supporters: Wisconsin Lt. Governor Lawton, South Carolina's Governor Hodges, and close family friend Mary Steenburgen whose husband, Ted Danson, will introduce Clark at a rally in Derry, New Hampshire Friday night.

Read more on ABC LINK

The New York Times' Ed Wyatt writes up Clark's (lack of) responses to questions about abortion Thursday. LINK

As does The Washington Post's Paul Schwartzman. LINK

And's Terry Neal writes that the Clark abortion moment was part of the timeless art of Dodging the Question. LINK


The Los Angeles Times' David Lamb profiles the "precocious, pugnacious and ambitious" "Boy Mayor" of Cleveland to Note that his Muny Light stand was Rep. Kucnich's "political coffin and his eventual springboard to redemption." LINK

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal's Greg Ip writes that the jobless economic recovery is bringing with it a widening gap in wages between the highest and lowest earners -- affecting particularly young men, a key voting bloc. Labor Department statistics show that wages on the bottom of the scale dropped 3 percent, while the wages of those in the top 10 percent were unchanged.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus pick up on Vice President Cheney's NPR interview yesterday in which he asserted that the Administration has not stopped looking for WMD in Iraq and said "We still don't know the whole extent of what they did have. It's going to take some additional considerable period of time in order to look in all the cubbyholes and ammo dumps and all the places in Iraq where you'd expect to find something like that." LINK

President Bush said he would ask for major increases in funding for domestic security and previewed a campaign strategy that a senior political advisor calls "'a healthy mix of optimism and the fear factor,'" New York Times' Sanger reports. LINK

Two Senate Democrats have written Chief Justice Rehnquist to raise their concern about Justice Scalia's impartiality in Vice President Cheney's energy task force appeal. LINK

First Lady Laura Bush is gearing up for campaign season with fundraisers and trips but will take the Democrats criticism of her husband with a "grain of salt." LINK

From ABC News Bush-Cheney campaign reporter Karen Travers:

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 22 -- Sitting in the back of the large ballroom here, waiting to hear Vice President Cheney address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, sat Amy Sheen, wearing a $75 thrift shop wedding dress, and Martin Waugh, wearing his own tuxedo.

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