The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:00 am: General Wesley Clark speaks to Queens County Democrats, Queens, New York —9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:45 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —10:00 am: House convenes for legislative business —10:16 am: Senator John Kerry holds a campaign event, Concord, N.H. —10:30 am: Senator John Edwards holds a town hall meeting, Swanzey, N.H. —11:00 am: Senator Joe Lieberman attends a town hall meeting with seniors, Lauderhill, Fla. —11:00 am: President Bush makes remarks at the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, D.C. —12:00 pm: Lynne Cheney makes remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser luncheon, Allentown, Pa. —12:00 pm: Laura Bush makes remarks at a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Norfolk, Va. —12:15 pm: On-camera White House press briefing with Scott McClellan —1:05 pm: President Bush signs the emergency appropriations supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, White House —2:00 pm: Senator Edwards officially files to be a candidate in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Concord, N.H. —2:00 pm: General Clark delivers a speech on America's role in Iraq at South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, S.C. —3:00 pm: President Bush makes remarks and presents the National Medals of Science and Technology, White House —3:00 pm: SEIU President Andy Stern holds a press conference to announce the union's presidential endorsement, D.C. —4:00 pm: Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun attends an endorsement event, Chicago —6:30 pm: Governor Dean holds a town hall meeting with undecided voters at Daniel Webster College, Nashua, N.H. —8:00 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a fundraiser for Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Denver

NEWS SUMMARY

Everywhere you look today, political/media elites have stuff to say about Howard Dean.

In a 100%-proof must-read Wall Street Journal column, Al Hunt says, "More than ideology or issues, there are three qualities voters look for would-be presidents to convey: competence, strength and optimism. Dr. Dean, … (Democratic) party professionals fear, instead exudes inexperience, anger and pessimism." LINK

On Dean's overall trajectory and campaign funding para-decision, Schwarzenegger chief of staff emeritus Michael Murphy tells the Washington Post , "Dean is trying to combine McCain's insurgent appeal with Bush's huge resource advantage. It makes him very formidable."

In remarks you will read nowhere but The Note, John Kerry, acting like he was alone with Andrew Kirtzman, says about Dean, "The Governor moves faster in more different directions, tells more stories than anyone I've met in politics. This is not a straight talker; this is a guy looking for the new angle every time he can."

And/but (major props to the AP's Leigh "Who's Greenhouse?" Strope), union boss Andy Stern of SEIU should have something nice to say about Howard Dean later today.

(If you don't know how big that is to the Dean campaign, please go back and re-read Chapter 7 of "The Note for Dummies.")

And, it just might turn out that in the next fortnight we learn that the Burlington tent is big enough to fit Gerry McEntee under it as well.

(Chapter 8 of the same book for those of you who are wondering why this is in the summary.)

Al Sharpton is talking about Howard Dean — see ABC News' Beth Loyd's reporting below on a Dean-to-Sharpton phone call.

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