The Note

Teamster Government Affairs Director Mike Mathis says the ad "represents working families who have lost their jobs in Iowa because of bad trade deals" and says there will be more spots to come. On the question of whether the SEIU-AFSCME alliance hurts their guy considerably, Mathis says, "They were never in our equation. We represent over 50,000 members in Iowa, which is more than SEIU-AFSCME combined, and we are going to gain more."

As for whether the ad is aimed squarely at the Vermont Governor, a source close to the Alliance says, "He is the guy to beat, and he is the guy that's horrible on trade."

So you do the math!

All this news comes as the AFL-CIO's John Sweeney tells the AP's Leigh Strope that Gephardt is "tough enough to really continue to fight as hard as he can for the nomination," despite the SEIU-AFSCME Dean embrace. LINK

(We are sure these are very soothing words to Erik Smith's ears … )

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary:

Steve Murphy owns a better razor than Chris Lehane — so learned viewers of Fox News Channel this morning at 9:40 am.

Rebecca Lieberman has a smile as big as all outdoors — so learned viewers of MSNBC this morning at 9:45 am.

The Washington Post 's Laura Blumenfeld profiles both George Soros and his money, Noting that "Soros's contributions are filling a gap in Democratic Party finances that opened after the restrictions in the 2002 McCain-Feingold law took effect." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's David Bank looks at the $5 million pledge by Soros and Peter Lewis to team up with's "voter fund," which is paying for ads criticizing President Bush on the war in Iraq, the economy and education. Banks reports that the first spot is running in West Virginia, to be followed by four others that have been produced.

The goal of the voter fund is to raise $10 million from small donors — and raised about $2.4 million from two e-mails sent to's 1.7 million members, Bank writes. Soros and Lewis have promised matching funds of 50 cents to every dollar raised toward the goal — up to $5 million. The 527 is just the latest recipient of a Soros pledge, after his $10 million check to Americans Coming Together and his pledge of $1 million per year for the Center for American Progress.

Thus: more Ed Gillespie talking points!

Howie Kurtz reports that the "Macs or PCs" question at the Rock the Vote! forum wasn't just stupid, it was planted too! LINK

The Boston Globe 's Peter Canellos writes about why the Rock the Vote! forum was a "missed opportunity." LINK

The Washington Post 's Jay Mathews has a very informative write-up of 10 myths about the No Child Left Behind Act. LINK


The New York Times ' Halbfinger and Nagourney serve up lots of crunchy details in his story about just how Kerry crossed the river Jordan (and we can't be alone in thinking the vivid picture painted of the candidate is not exactly a portrayal with which the Senator will be delighted … ) LINK

James Gerstenzang and Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times have this blind quote from a Democratic strategist: LINK

"'This has been brewing for a long time. You want a presidential campaign that can move on a dime, and this one was turning around like an ocean liner … '"

Senator Kerry will no doubt enjoy the historical perspective Gerstenzang and Brownstein provide.

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