The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—7:05 am: Rev. Al Sharpton appears on CBS's "The Early Show" —9:00 am: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks (9/11 Commission) holds its sixth public hearing, Capitol Hill. —9:15 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —9:30 am: House convenes for legislative business —9:35 am: Rev. Sharpton appears live on Fox News Channel —10:00 am: Supreme Court convenes, Capitol Hill —11:10 am: President Bush signs the Medicare bill at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, D.C. —12:00 pm: Gov. Howard Dean attends a campaign fundraiser at The Foundry, Queens, N.Y. —12:30 pm: On-camera White House press briefing with Scott McClellan —1:00 pm: Gen. Wesley Clark speaks about leadership and his plan to increase family income levels, Contoocook, N.H. —1:00 pm: League of Conservation Voters holds press conference to unveil 2004 presidential candidate profiles, Concord, N.H —2:00 pm: President Bush and Mrs. Bush attend a children's Christmas reception, White House —2:00 pm: Gov. Dean receives endorsements from New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and other local Democrats, New York City —3:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry unveils a job creation and technological investment plan, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. —4:30 pm: Rev. Sharpton appears live on CNN's "Crossfire" —5:30 pm: Rep. Dennis Kucinich receives the endorsement of Dr. Patch Adams, D.C. —6:45 pm: Sen. John Edwards hosts a town hall meeting to discuss education at Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, Okla. —7:00 pm: Gen. Clark appears MSNBC's "Hardball: Battle for the White House" —7:00 pm: Ambassador Moseley Braun attends a campaign fundraiser, Chicago —7:45 pm: Rob Reiner hosts a roast of Howard Dean at Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City —8:00 pm: Sen. Lieberman attends a private campaign fundraiser, New York City —9:00 pm: Gov. Dean attends a reception with celebrity comedians, including Janeane Garofalo, at Metropolitan Pavilion North, New York City —9:00 pm: Sen. Lieberman attends a fundraiser at private residence, New York City —10:00 pm: Downtown Dean Fundraiser at the Roseland Ballroom, New York City —10:20 pm: Rev. Sharpton appears on FNC's "On the Record with Greta Van-Susteren"

NEWS SUMMARY

The dirtiest little secret of the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination is that the pros running Dean's campaign know full well that the criticisms of The Doctor being made by the press and his opponents are often spot on.

They know he is regularly careless, volcanic, dismissive, self-important, mercurial, hypocritical, patronizing, and politically tone deaf.

(Even Bad Santa Joe Trippi wouldn't object to that. Neither would Trish, we bet.)

George Will turns in a must-read look at what he sees as Dean's maddening intellectual inconsistency. LINK

Tomorrow night's ABC News/WMUR debate in Durham, New Hampshire (featured on an hour-long Nightline and shown live on WMUR and on C-SPAN at 7:00 pm ET) is the last big-time 2003 chance for Dean's rivals to try to convince Democratic voters that they have a better vision for America, that they can beat George Bush, and, well, that Dean is careless, volcanic, dismissive, self-important, mercurial, hypocritical, patronizing, and politically tone deaf.

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