The Note

The Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei says former President Bill Clinton talks regularly with Eli Segal, chief of the Clark campaign. As many Clark supporters search for a signal from the Clinton's that their presidential campaign pick is Clark, Segal said: "I don't think he has done anything other than to indicate his strong enthusiasm for Clark." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Erik Slater: LINK

Joanna Weiss of The Boston Globe looks at candidate Clark's momentum issues in the presidential race with less than three months until the primary elections. LINK

The Sun Sentinel's Buddy Nevins Notes the Clark campaign's new Florida campaign director, Charles Dusseau. LINK

Roll Call reports that Clark will receive the endorsement of Senator Max Baucus, the first Senator from outside Arkansas to endorse the general.

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

General Clark has been a candidate for President for seven weeks now and while many stump lines have emerged over time, a stump speech has not. Instead, eligible voters who recently turned out for Clark's campaign stops have noticed a change. The General is becoming more comfortable in his new-found role as Clark the politician and straying from script.

At Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire yesterday afternoon, Clark had a few "out of sorts" moments when answering student and community members' questions. A couple:

--On troops doing their missions in Iraq: "We've gone into people's homes at night, kicked in doors, we don't speak the language, troops are nervous … they have night-vision goggles on, the Iraqis think they look through women's clothing with these things — I don't think they do."

--Responding to a question about a meeting with Serbian Commander General Ratko Mladic on August 26, 1994 where, as one student said in his question, Clark and Mladic exchanged military hats and took photos together smiling. The same student asked Clark — "is that the correct way we should approach genocidal leaders?"

Clark's summed up response? It was a "fruitful meeting diplomatically." But here's how Clark says the exchange played out:

"He wanted to exchange hats. So I thought to myself, I accepted gifts from the Muslims, he's not indicted, I don't want to be offensive here, I just want to follow military protocol. And I looked around, I said I guess I can do this, I don't see any cameras or anything. About that very moment, one of the Serbs, it's the kind of thing that happens to you when you haven't done this before — out comes a camera, Bang!, he's got it, and quickly releases it to the press to embarrass and so forth."

Read more from the trail with Clark on LINK


Robin Toner of The New York Times kicks off the Times ' series of presidential candidate profiles with hers on Congressman Gephardt. "Dick Gephardt wants to do it right this time. It is, in many ways, one last chance for political vindication — of his career, of the Congressional wing of the party, of a set of beliefs," Toner writes. LINK

The Des Moines Register 's Tom Beaumont focuses on yesterday's Gephardt endorsement and skims over Dean's. Of the Gephardt endorsement he reports, "David Neil, head of the UAW political committee, said the committee was deciding between Gephardt and Dean, but backed Gephardt, as it did in 1988, when Gephardt first ran for president." He also found Dean's support of NAFTA hurt him when the UAW voted for whom to endorse. LINK

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