The Note

As reporters tried to pin him down on how well he needed to do in the next set of primaries to stay in the race, Lieberman said he plans to do well and is looking beyond Feb. 3 to the next week of contests. Despite having just $350,000 on hand after debts at the end of 2003, Lieberman says his campaign has a "nest egg" sufficient to carry him through Feb. 10.

Read more from the trail with Lieberman on LINK


"In a state where as many as half the registered primary voters are black, Mr. Sharpton chose to make his stand here, hoping a solid showing on Tuesday will elevate his status from vanity candidate to a credible leader within the Democratic Party," writes the New York Times' Michael Slackman. LINK

Carl Chancellor at Knight Ridder saw Al Sharpton promise to keep his delegates and influence the Democratic platform this summer for his supporters.">LINK

From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 1 -- Rev. Al Sharpton kicks off his last South Carolina tour today beginning with a "From Property to President" Rally at the Charleston Slave Market.

The Sharpton campaign put all of its relatively few eggs into two baskets -- the Washington, D.C. basket and the South Carolina basket. (The campaign currently has three radio ads on the air in South Carolina -- including one with Johnnie Cochran and another with Russell Simmons).

The non-binding primary result in Washington, D.C. was quite satisfying for the campaign and all are hoping for the same here. Although it is unspoken, a third place or better finish would qualify as a victory and the campaign hopes it will provide them some much-needed momentum heading into Michigan and Virginia.

After the town hall meeting in Aiken on Sunday, Sharpton joked around with Rep. Clyburn and then was approached by a woman who was in attendance. She handed the Reverend a flier that her mother had given her. It was an advertisement for "the boy preacher" that her mother had saved all these years. It was certainly "a moment."

Rev. Sharpton is planning to file a court challenge to get on the Louisiana ballot -- a state he has visited more than a few times. The deadline was Friday and although the campaign met the deadline it used a personal check, not an accepted form of payment. The Secretary of State tried to contact the campaign, but failed numerous times -- the phone number listed on the paperwork was wrong.

Meanwhile the FEC is not recognizing Rev. Sharpton's request for federal matching funds, which the campaign desperately needs. While campaign manager Charles Halloran says he will work out the dispute, it turns out the campaign owes the FEC money, in the form of a $5,500 civil fine for failing to file a statement of candidacy and late submission of financial disclosure forms.

Read more from the trail with Sharpton on LINK

Politics of national security:

The New York Times' Sanger reports that President Bush's decision to back an independent commission investigating intelligence failures "came after a week of rising pressure on the White House from both Democrats and many ranking Republicans." LINK

The Washington Post's Milbank writes an absolutely amazingly toned story in which he says that the President "is implicitly conceding what he cannot publicly say: that something appears to be seriously wrong with the allegations he used to take the nation to war in Iraq." LINK

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