The Note

8. How many stories will Ron Brownstein write about the four open, currently Democratic Southern Senate seats if Bob Graham retires?

9. Would Trent Duffy prefer to go back to talking about the size of the deficit?

10. What explains Zell Miller's vote for Tom Daschle for leader?

What a shotgun weekend in the Invisible Primary — literally.

Senator Edwards was catching heat on Saturday for almost selling his house to someone who did public relations work for the Saudis while Edwards sat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The deal fell apart, but Edwards still has the $100,000 deposit in escrow, and the whole thing is raising some eyebrows not necessarily because Edwards did something wrong, but because he didn't disclose the information or check in with the Senate Ethics Committee to make sure he didn't do anything wrong. LINK

Amazingly little pickup on that one.

There was more pickup, but not at the morning-show level, of another weekend brouhaha:

Trying to recover from a hit on guns, Howard Dean told the Des Moines Register on Saturday (LINK) something he had only said before in front of really small groups like the Democratic National Committee — that he wants people who aren't offended by the Confederate flag to consider voting for him.

Dean, who never represented Florida or North Carolina in the Senate, made no mention of NASCAR, hunting, the "Dukes of Hazzard" or "values." Nor was there any sighting or quoting of anybody with a nickname involving wet dirt and/or felines.

All of Dean's eight Democratic opponents (including pheasant-blasting John Kerry) decided to outflank him on the anti-Confederate side of the issue, having been assured by their pollsters that that played well with Democratic primary voters and caucus attendees.

Dan Balz and Jonathan Roos run down the responses. LINK and LINK.

The Wall Street Journal 's ed board comes to Dr. Dean's defense today, writing, "Democrats usually smear Republicans with this kind of race-baiting politics, but it isn't any more justified when Democrats use it against one of their own. Dr. Dean is hardly sympathetic to the Confederacy, or Jim Crow, or apartheid or any other kind of racial discrimination. He was merely saying he'd like to win the support of Southerners who over the years have fled the Democratic Party represented by the Kerrys and the Dick Gephardts."

President Bush makes remarks on the economy and attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, today. He's in California on Tuesday. He's back in D.C. on Wednesday to meet with the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to sign the Partial Birth Abortion Act. The president makes remarks at the celebration of the National Endowment for Democracy's 20th anniversary on Thursday, and will also pass out the National Medals of Science and Technology on Thursday in D.C. On Friday, the president will attend a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser and make remarks on jobs and the economy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Rock the Vote and CNN present a town hall forum for presidential candidates to speak with younger voters on Tuesday night at Faneuil Hall in Boston. All candidates except Congressman Gephardt are scheduled to attend. Andrew Miga previews the event in today's Boston Herald, Noting, "The show poses a hipness test of sorts for the candidates, who are mostly white, male, middle-aged and decidedly unhip." LINK

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