The Note

Kerry:

Hitting on every Democrat's favorite target, John Kerry plans a speech in Iowa today going after the Ashcroft Justice Department.

Kerry plans to talk about how he says he would better protect individual liberties while stepping up the war on terrorism. Kerry will try to out-Gore Gore in talking about how America has changed in these areas in the wake of 9/11.

In the week the Democratic candidates make their pitch to the Florida Democratic Party, Philip Gailey opines in the St. Petersburg Times that Kerry's biggest problem is Kerry. LINK

Out of a sense of lingering Thanksgiving cheer, we aren't going to give you the link to Scott Lehigh's latest column that looks into the soul of Senator Kerry.

Clark:

The New York Times ' Ed Wyatt previews Clark's $30 billion plan that would double the United States' commitment to fighting the AIDS and other diseases in developing countries over a five-year period. LINK

James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News writes about Clark's comments on CNN's Wolf Blitzer yesterday when he pronounced himself the best candidate to win the war on terror, while also tacking a jab at Dean and his anti-war stance. LINK

AP picked up the comments too. LINK

Matt Taibbi writes an unflattering profile of Gen. Clark in Nov. 26 issue of The Nation. Taibbi adopted an assumed name and volunteered with the Clark campaign, gaining insight into The General's world. LINK

Taibbi writes: " … paying close attention is not really what the Clark campaign is about. In fact, it's very much about the opposite: squinting your eyes, blurring out the margins and focusing on the one main goal on the horizon — beating George Bush. In my time around the campaign I got the sense that this 'blurring out' is central to the thinking of the Clark supporter — a desire to dispense with the moral nitpicking of the Post -1960s era and get behind the man for the Big Win."

And: "The problem with the Big Win strategy is that Wesley Clark is a candidate with whom it is absolutely necessary to pay close attention. No candidate on the campaign trail is better at saying two opposing things at once, and no candidate's true intentions are harder to discern."

The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein Notes a past slip-of-the-tongue by Clark during an New Hampshire Public Radio interview early last month when he used the offensive word, "Chinaman." LINK

Knox News' Georgiana Vines writes about actor David Keith's role in the Clark campaign and previews a Clark trip to Knoxville, Tenn., on Dec. 12. LINK

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

Weeks after Gen. Clark's announcement that he supports the Flag Amendment, he's integrating the flag into his stump speech in a more pronounced way than ever — touching it, holding it out, and speaking about it — and the campaign is listening, watching, and wondering if this is too dramatic or plays right to a sense of American patriotism and South Carolina's large veteran community.

At the Beaufort County Democrat's Harvest Moon Ball on Saturday evening near Hilton Head, S.C., Clark previewed the "grasp the flag and talk" move. "This is our flag," he said. "This is a flag that does not belong to Tom DeLay. It does not belong to Bill Frist. And it does not belong to George W. Bush. It belongs to the American people and we have every right to this flag and I'm gonna claim it for the Democratic Party and for the United States of America, and I want your help to do that."

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