The Note

Deborah Orin of the New York Post writes, "Dean's comments came after analysts agreed the Confederate-flag flap marked the first time rivals really laid a glove on him … " LINK

Dick Gephardt might disagree with that characterization.

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny reports how Dean's decision to apologize for his Confederate flag remarks underscores the need for a reliable base of black voters. LINK

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times discusses why Dean, under ever increasing scrutiny from his rivals, won't be getting away with his usual barrage of verbal conundrums. LINK

The Washington Post 's Richard Cohen writes, "Somewhere in his past as a physician, Howard Dean must have faced a hypochondriac who not only diagnosed a nonexistent disease but self-prescribed the course of treatment. If so, Dean was prepared this week for the absurdity of taking moral instruction from Al Sharpton." LINK

USA Today 's ed board draws parallels between the Dean's flag comment and the "CBS dust-up" over the Reagan movie to talk about the First Amendment. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Joan Vennochi has a very interesting take on the Dean flag comment, the Rock the Vote confrontation, and the discussion that continues. LINK

Governor Dean appears for a discussion on today at 10:15 am ET. LINK

Sharpton: From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

While on the way to the airport Wednesday, Reverend Sharpton's cell phone rang. Who was on the other end? Howard Dean. Campaign sources said Dean "simply apologized" to him. Still, it's too soon to say whether this will be good enough. Sharpton will wait to see if Dean will "walk the talk."

In a pre-personal-phone-call presser, Sharpton responded to Dean's apology in a too-little-too-late fashion.

"I think that it is about time … And I think that if he had done it from the beginning, he wouldn't have given the people the perception that he was false to do it or was in some way pushed to do it. But I think the apology is the right thing. I told him that last night — that he must apologize — he said he wouldn't … Maybe at midnight the Lord spoke to him."

Reverend Sharpton "filed" paperwork in Washington, D.C., Wednesday amid much media fanfare — which, clearly, was the purpose. For the D.C. primary, all nine "national" candidates are on the ballot automatically; there is no need to file anything. During the "filing," Sharpton was handed a document to sign. However, the document was already signed, so, essentially, he just looked at it and handed it back … .and then held a press conference.

On Sunday, at approximately 2:00 pm (or, perhaps, 3:00 pm Sharpton time), the Sharpton campaign headquarters will open on 25th Street in Washington, D.C.

Reverend Sharpton said yesterday that he does not support the filibuster of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals-D.C. Circuit — going against the NAACP's criticisms of her. The Washington Times has more. LINK

The Washington Post 's Richard Cohen has an op-ed, in case you didn't see it above, that takes a shot at Sharpton too, arguing that the Reverend should not be doling out any moral advice. "Sharpton is to the debates what the clown is to the rodeo … But humor turns dark indeed when Sharpton starts moralizing." He includes a mention of Tawana Brawley. LINK

The Post 's Metro section has a brief mention of Sharpton's D.C. Primary "show." LINK

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