The Note

Rep. Dennis Kucinich had an action-packed day in Michigan and Wisconsin Thursday, hopscotching from Ann Arbor to East Lansing to Detroit to Milwaukee. Kucinich's Michigan staff was thrilled with the higher than expected turnouts at the events despite cold weather and impending finals at the universities.

State Coordinator Bob Alexander claims his candidate has such a far-reaching Michigan organization that the Dean campaign is reacting by organizing more vigilantly recently. But despite Alexander's dedication and enthusiasm, Kucinich may have cause for concern about his track record. Of the primary campaigns Alexander has worked for since 1975, only Michael Dukakis actually went on to become the nominee.

Read more from the trail with Kucinich on LINK


The New York Times ' Slackman profiles the Reverend in a perfectly balanced mix of the positive and negative, today and yesterday — creating the analogy of Sharpton as a D.J.

"But while performers are busy mixing James Brown into their music, Mr. Sharpton is sampling a bit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a touch of the hip-hop impresario Sean Combs, who also goes by the name P. Diddy."

Slackman also examines the attention factor.

"If recognition is indeed what Mr. Sharpton craves, then stepping into the media klieg lights of a national race has provided him with an easy means of attaining it. In fact, his profile has risen so high lately that he was chosen as this week's host of 'Saturday Night Live' — a vehicle that, while not a proven vote getter, certainly brings him nationwide attention. He spent this week rehearsing for the show — a strong hint that this kind of limelight is more important to him than a hard week on the campaign trail." LINK The Washington Post 's sleeve-rolling article has an nice chunk on "Casual Al." LINK

Rush Limbaugh calls Donna Brazile a "kook" and claims that she drafted Carol Moseley Braun to run as to prohibit Sharpton's chances. LINK

The Reverend makes the New York Daily News gossip page two days in a row — this time because Paris Hilton may join him on SNL for a surprise visit. LINK examines the NBC affiliate problem with equal time and Saturday Night Live — particularly in California, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. — where Sharpton is on the ballot. LINK

From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

Reverend Al Sharpton's debut on Saturday Night Live will be unforgettable. Here's what you can expect:

Sharpton will be wearing wigs, safari garb and maybe even a dress.

He will, of course, play himself in a number of skits, but he'll also attempt a Johnnie Cochran impression and he'll play Michael Jackson's father.

AND (drum roll) … a "Hardball" skit with Rev. Sharpton playing Rev. Jackson!

Sharpton strolled onto the set of Saturday Night Live to rehearse on Thursday looking mighty fine. He's relatively svelte — he's dropped at least 10 pounds in the last two weeks. His hair is the shortest it's been since birth and slicked WAY back (perhaps to accommodate those wigs). His teeth are a new sparkling shade of white.

And while the other cast members rehearsed in sweats and jeans, Sharpton was decked out, as always, in that three-piece suit — joking with cast members between takes and asking, "How many takes did Al Gore do?" And, for the first time in quite some time, the Reverend had to take direction.

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