The Note

9. Stealing from Carter the week your campaign has been taken over by Ted Kennedy is fascinating.

Bargain round limerick:

Once Kerry seemed far far ahead

Without even the fortune he wed.

But in voting troops to Iraq,

Then giving Jordan the "sack,"

He was firing on his own foot instead.

And a children's tale:

Johnny, Johnny, ranked high in the pack;

Johnny, Johnny, stumbled over war in Iraq.

Then all the Heinz money

And all the genius of Shrum

Could not restore the "front" to his run.

The Chicago Tribune's Zeleny and Pearson wrap up Kerry's whirlwind blitz on Dean in Iowa, as the candidate questions the Beltway "outsider" role of his rival and pummels Dean's proposed tax cuts in an effort to revitalize his campaign. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Patrick Healy writes up John Kerry's new stump speech, which he unveiled on Saturday night. LINK

Diane Cardwell and Ben Weiser write up Kerry's decision to reject public financing. LINK

As does Tom Beaumont. LINK

Jonathan Saltzman reports that Kerry is leading his political opponents in Boston area fundraising. LINK

The AP writes that Kerry plans to beef up his presence in New Hampshire. LINK

The Washington Post 's Hanna Rosin takes a walk with John Kerry in the New Hampshire woods as part of a series of Granite State campaigning profiles. LINK

On Sunday, the Boston Herald's Noelle Straub wrote, "Political analysts say that to right his ailing campaign, [Kerry] must answer one simple question: why he's running in the first place." LINK

If Helen Kennedy has anything to do with it, this week won't be so great for John Kerry either. LINK

"Senator John Kerry, whose political obituary already is being written, has launched a last-ditch effort to compete in Iowa," writes Kennedy.

I did not … advise … that candidate, says Joe Klein of Senator Kerry. I never told anybody to fire their staff — not one time, never. LINK

From ABC News' Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe:

Senator Kerry's no good, very bad week, in which a national audience witnessed the termination of one campaign manager, the departure of two additional staffers, and the addition of Cahill and Cutter to make up for it all, ended with a bang as Kerry announced he will forgo public financing and unveiled the eagerly anticipated "new dynamic" at Saturday night's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Iowa.

As of last Friday, only one potentially "dynamic"-distracting decision remained for the Kerry campaign: whether or not to reject $19 million in federal funds and go wallet-a-wallet with chief rival Howard Dean.

In a hastily called news conference in Des Moines, Kerry placed the blame for his opt-out squarely on the former Vermont Governor saying, "(Dean) changed the rules of this race and anyone with a real shot at the nomination is going to have to play by those rules."

The Massachusetts Senator did not take the use of personal money off the table, but later insisted he would most likely take out a loan rather than dip into the ketchup fortune of his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Though the details of the loan remain unclear, there is precedent for such an action in Kerry's own past. In the Senator's heated 1996 re-election bid against former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, Kerry, who has never accepted any PAC or soft money in his Senate races, took out a $1.7 million dollar loan.

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