The Note

Mellman brushed off Dean's latest attacks by calling the former Vermont governor "increasingly desperate" and saying that such "scurrilous attacks" have "no place in our politics."

The Boston Globe's Ellen Goodman and Joan Vennochi each ponder the dynamics of Bush v. Kerry. LINK

and LINK

And Mort Kondracke goes through the same kind of thing in Roll Call today.

While the Globe's Jeff Jacoby looks at Kerry v. many Kerrys. LINK

The AP's David Espo offers another tale of Kerry and the South. LINK

Knight Ridder's Kuhnhenn reports on Kerry's effort to broaden his message. LINK

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

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 11 -- Free from spending limits, the Kerry campaign has taken in over $5 million since Jan. 1, all but $500,000 of that amount pouring in post-Iowa. As late as January, top Kerry cash croppers publicly complained about their problems fundraising for the sagging candidate; a gathering in New York this month to welcome new donors and set future targets, they proudly wore "4JKB4IA" buttons.

And Kerry's congressional supporter list, which prior to Kerry's "surge" had been stagnant, now boasts a robust 58 House members and 11 Senate colleagues.

Perhaps more importantly, however, it seems Kerry is quickly slipping into the country's cultural consciousness.

Thanks in part to election success but also due to a Newsweek cover, "bring it on," a catchphrase four months in making, is not only greeted with boisterous cheers at every event, it's pre-empted. Crowds can hardly wait to chant the three magic words, often shouting it after every applause-baiting line.

At George Mason University on Tuesday, hundreds peered into the dark campus bookstore as Kerry prepared to do a round robin of network interviews. People of all ages waited upwards of an hour for an up-close encounter, prompting the stationing of Fairfax County police officers outside each exit.

And, of course, there was that public endorsement in front of a small audience of roughly 26 million from Coldplay's Chris Martin as he accepted a Grammy for "Clocks." Of the national exposure and endorsement, a source close to Kerry said, "It doesn't get much better than that."

The source added that several stars have supported Kerry in the past, including Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Don Henley, James Taylor, Carly Simon, and Shawn Colvin. And, Steven Stills, Peter Yarrow, and Carole King are already on board.

The musically-inclined Kerry source also acknowledged that Bruce Springsteen is aware that "No Surrender" is the official campaign song, though the source could not confirm an official endorsement from the Boss.

Read more from the trail with Kerry on LINK


Sen. Edwards did "Today" and Imus, and got a lot of chances to answer process questions -- with the sunny disposition that only the SoaMW can bring to the table.

"I'm not going anywhere near that."

That's what Edwards said this morning when Imus asked if he'd put his hand on the Bible and continue to deny any interest in running for vice president.

Asked if he could spell the last name of Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski, Edwards laughed and said: "Not even close."

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