The Note

David Broder looks at Edwards, sounds impressed with the Senator's appeal and basically declares that it's do-or-die time. Either step up and challenge Kerry on his record, or make peace with a spot as a running mate on the ticket. And keep a close watch on what he does, not what he says, Broder cautions. LINK

"The senator from North Carolina probably has campaigned his way onto the Democratic ticket, and the question is how hard he will fight to gain the No. 1 spot, which seems to be almost in the grasp of John Kerry."

The New York Times' Randall Archibold reports that Sen. Edwards, looking forward to a possible head-to-head race with John Kerry, is pressing the argument that he is the best candidate to face President Bush focusing on the issues of jobs and trade. (And not just the best candidate for vice president, as the media keep suggesting . . .) LINK

USA Today's Susan Page writes about Edwards' strategy these days and Notes at the end of her story the moral support he's received from a certain recently former president lately. LINK

Rob Christensen and John Wagner at the Raleigh News & Observer report that Edwards is maintaining his "happy warrior" disposition. And they quote Fred Baron, the finance co-chair, "We will not lose the race for lack of funds." LINK

The Charlotte Observer's Don Hudson argues that John Edwards would not bring any electoral votes (not even North Carolina) to a Kerry/Edwards ticket. LINK

From ABC News' Edwards campaign reporter Gloria Riviera:

GREEN BAY, WIS., Feb. 11 -- They were prepared for a yucky day.

Headlines, headlines, who needs 'em? Well, a self-proclaimed underdog candidate running for president, for one. And headlines were in abundance in Milwaukee, where early Wednesday Sen. Edwards started an airborne criss-cross of the state keeping to an Iowa-esque campaign schedule.

But first, he was greeted with the Milwaukee Sentinel's headline, "Kerry victories extend dominance to the South: Clark drops out: Edwards, Dean see hope in Wisconsin."

Yuck.

Surprisingly, Edwards acknowledged the front page of the Sentinel at his first event in Janesville, Wis. But there would be no nod to his competition. Instead, Edwards referred to the right column headline, "500 jobs in city going to Mexico."

Throughout the day's three events Edwards focused on job loss and what he would do as president to right the wrongs currently committed in that America.

You know the one.

As the press corps inevitably scratches its collective head, wondering when it will be time to venture guesses on what theoretical tricks might be pulled out of a Raleighwood magic hat, the candidate and staff are resolute.

The fact that Kerry is not in the state is fortuitous for them, as exampled by the Journal Sentinel's front-page photo of a glowing Edwards greeting supporters under that Kerry headline.

So while the rest of the country continues what the Edwards camp might call an ill-advised coronation, the candidate, wearing his "fighting shoes" (his lucky black boots) is marching on under the impression that far from popular belief, his time is still ticking in the here and now.

Read more from the trail with Edwards on abcnews.com: LINK

Dean:

So much for accentuating only the positive:

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