The Note

Rest assured, IF John Kerry is the nominee, there will be all sorts of new things coming out about him -- including about fundraising -- even though he has run in competitive Senate races in the past and has been running for president for months. But the notion that "Senator Takes Money From Rich People" is a story is not one we quite get -- even about candidates who rail against special interests.

5. On the other hand, this Kerry quote from the Boston Globe is going to make some people at HQ quite dizzy:

"'What happens is, you have a fund-raising team and you might have breezed into some particular fund-raiser in Washington or somewhere, an event, and met somebody, and [aides] will bring a letter and say, "You met him at so and so." You write a quick note; that's part of the fund-raising contribution,' Kerry said."

That's why the Kerry campaign's position that someday it will release all the Senator's lobbying meetings when all the records are collected is both suicidal and destined NEVER to happen. (Although Terry Holt is working as we speak on buying http://www.wewantKerry'slobbyistmeetingrecords.com and putting up some sort of "DAY X" counter.)

President Bush meets with his Cabinet and kicks off American Heart Month in Washington, D.C.

All candidates except Sen. Edwards and Rev. Sharpton speak at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention tonight in Phoenix, Ariz.

Sens. Kerry and Lieberman are both in Albuquerque this morning before heading to Arizona. Kerry is in Washington and Lieberman is in Oklahoma, Delaware, and Virginia tomorrow.

Gov. Dean is Santa Fe this morning. Dean will spend Tuesday in Washington state, Wednesday in Wisconsin and Thursday and Friday in Michigan.

Sen. Edwards and Rev. Sharpton are in South Carolina today and tomorrow.

Gen. Clark is in Oklahoma and New Mexico in the morning and afternoon and in Las Vegas following the forum.

Rep. Kucinich is in Arizona all day. He is in Arizona and New Mexico tomorrow and in Washington state Wednesday and Thursday and in Michigan on Friday.

And all the Democrats will be talking about Iraq and deficits, as far as the ear can hear.

ABC 2004: The Democratic nomination fight:

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein asks: "Has a frontrunner at the height of the race for a party's presidential nomination ever had an easier two weeks than John F. Kerry since the Iowa caucuses last month? Since Iowa, three of the remaining major candidates in the race -- Sens. John Edwards and Joe Lieberman and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark -- have chosen to raise virtually no argument against Kerry's possible nomination or even establish any sharp contrasts with him on issues. The other remaining major candidate, fallen frontrunner Howard Dean, has tried to frame a case against Kerry, though in such a hyperbolic fashion that he has undercut his own effectiveness." LINK

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg Notes that the gloves haven't come off yet in ads running in South Carolina, "Yet it is safe to say that they are, at least, being unlaced." The question is, "How do you upset John Kerry's momentum without driving up your own negatives?" asked "one strategist." LINK

The Boston Globe's Tom Oliphant thinks that the Democratic candidates' choosing not to run in all seven Feb. 3 states has proven to be Kerry's biggest advantage. LINK

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