The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:45 am: Governor Howard Dean unveils his higher education proposals at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. —10:00 am: Congressman Dennis Kucinich speaks at Metro High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa —10:30 am: Doro Bush Koch officially files papers for her brother, President Bush, to be a candidate in the New Hampshire Republican Primary, Concord, N.H. —10:45 am: Senator John Kerry holds a news conference to discuss clean air, Concord, N.H. —11:45 am: General Wesley Clark takes a downtown walk, Portsmouth, N.H. —12:00 pm: Senator John Kerry visits Verano's Restaurant, Manchester, N.H. —12:05 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser luncheon, Buena Vista, Fla. —12:30 pm: Governor Dean officially registers to be a candidate in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, Concord, N.H. —1:00 pm: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice briefs reporters on the President's upcoming trip to the U.K., White House —1:30 pm: General Clark holds a "Conversations with Clark" town hall forum featuring Kosovar Albanians to discuss national security, Portsmouth, N.H. —2:05 pm: President Bush makes remarks on Medicare, Orlando, Fla. —3:00 pm: Congressman Kucinich visits the Center for Active Seniors, Inc., Davenport, Iowa —5:00 pm: Governor Dean holds a town hall meeting on education at Winnacunnett High School, Hampton, N.H. —6:05 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser dinner, Ft. Myers, Fla. —7:00 pm: General Clark attends the Merrimack County Fall Harvest Dinner, Bow, N.H. —7:00 pm: Congressman Kucinich attends a meet-and-greet, Davenport, Iowa —8:00 pm: Reverend Al Sharpton speaks to Broadway Democrats, New York City —11:35 pm: ABCNEWS' Nightline profiles Vice President Dick Cheney (check local listings)

NEWS SUMMARY

Issues, smishues.

Try as it might to care about the interstices of Robert Pear's love affair with the details of a Medicare compromise, The Note lives and breathes ELECTIONS.

Wins and losses, tactics and strategy, checks and checkmates, gaffes and pratfalls — these are the political dynamics that make up our very biorhythms.

No truly authentic (or are they?) campaign memos today from us (The cutie at Kinko's claimed there were none lying around last night.).

Instead, our focus is on two elections — three if you count the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, along with next November's battle royale, and what appears to be a new Administration effort to, in effect, call for snap elections, Brit-style, in the 51st state of Iraq.

Your must must-read is a Wall Street Journal front-pager by Schlesinger and Cummings that adopts a relatively bullish Vilmanian world view casting the Democrats' prospects of beating President Bush as easy as 1-2-3-4-5.

"Now the Democrats' battle plan is starting to take shape, with five main objectives. Neutralize Mr. Bush's national-security edge by fanning doubts about his Iraq policy. Craft economic attacks that can work even if the economy keeps improving. Dent the president's reputation for honesty and competence. Mobilize Democratic partisans in 17 states that Mr. Bush barely won or lost in 2000. And maneuver around the new campaign-finance law by redirecting now-banned big donations away from the Democratic Party to a new set of groups that will coordinate attacks on Mr. Bush."

(Note how the Dow Duo sneakily obtained an on-the-record Bob Shrum quote!).

What else is there in this news cycle?

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