The Note

7. With no winner-take-all events and no one with a real clue as to how the Big Media will weight the results of the various February contests, don't be surprised to see a muddy field going into March, unless Dean sweeps Iowa and New Hampshire. Check out Kevin Phillips' math and Gore scenario from yesterday's Los Angeles Times!!! LINK

(Wachs; Terry McAuliffe; Alongi; the McAuliffe children) [David Axelrod; Craig Smith; Nick Baldick; Steve Murphy; Paul Johnson; Mary Beth Cahill]

8. Watch Democratic fundraising in the fourth quarter. If Wes Clark really raises over $10 million, and Dean raises around $15 (give or take several million), what does that do to everyone else's buys in January and February? (station owners in major markets; Bill Carrick) [Jamie Whitehead; Eli Segal]

9. The Note was snookered by Burlington when we previously bought into the notion that Busta Caps was being done almost exclusively as a bet on the come to have money in the spring and early summer to compete with President Bush. Turns out, it is a LOT about flooding the zone in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Laura Capps; John Lapp; Bill Burton) [Joe Trippi; Joe Trippi; Steve McMahon; Joe Trippi]

Adam Nagourney of the New York Times took us to school over the holiday weekend on this. A true must-read. LINK

10. We have yet to see if the new Team Kerry can turn things around, or how much of his own money the Senator will plow into this deal, but both are key open questions. LINK

See Glen Johnson's wicked good Sunday Boston Globe profile of Michael Whouley — an excellent piece except for the glaring omission of the words "corporate clients." LINK (Karen Hicks; Reardon; the Shaheens) [Cam Kerry; DSG corporate clients]

11. When are the Bill-Frist-turn-around stories going to start? (Bill Frist) [Bill Frist]

12. All December, White House and Cabinet policy aides will be working on the budget, to be unveiled in January amidst the huge new deficit figures.

And all December, White House and Cabinet communications aides will be working on a sequencing plan for how to do approved leaks of different aspects of the budget for maximum political effect and to take advantage of the laziness of the press corps. (the DNC communications and research shops; Cabinet secretaries; bored Wall Street Journal reporters) [Robert Pear; Judy Keen]

13. How should we square Wes Clark's stated unwillingness to attack his Democratic rivals with his attack on Howard Dean's post-collegiate skiing? (Gert; the volunteers; the RNC research folks) [Mark Fabiani; Chris Lehane; Kym Spell]

14. What's going on with those two criminal investigations with political potential — the DOJ look at the Edwards' campaign fundraiser at that Little Rock law firm and the DOJ look at the Wilson leak? (Jennifer Palmieri; Andy Card; Tom Edsall) [Tab Turner; The Davids]

------------------------------------------------CLIP HERE------------------------------------

President Bush speaks about the economy in Dearborn, Mich., and speaks at two fundraisers today.

Gov. Dean appears on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" tonight.

Senator Kerry campaigns and speaks about Attorney General John Ashcroft in Iowa today.

Rep. Gephardt speaks about homeland security in Iowa and speaks to the press in Las Vegas.

Gen. Clark campaigns and announces his AIDS policy today in Florida.

Senator Edwards campaigns in Iowa today.

Senator Lieberman is in New Hampshire.

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