The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—7:30 am: Senator Joe Lieberman speaks to the Concord Chamber of Commerce, Concord, N.H. —8:30 am: Congressman Dennis Kucinich attends an "Eggs and Politics" breakfast, Bedford, N.H. —9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:40 am: Off-camera White House press gaggle with Scott McClellan —10:00 am: Senator John Edwards meets with Appanoose County Democrats, Centerville, Iowa —10:15 am: President Bush meets with the president of Romania, White House —10:30 am: Congressman Kucinich speaks to preschoolers, parents, and teachers at Mont Vernon Kindergarten, Mont Vernon, N.H. —10:45 am: Governor Howard Dean attends a campaign rally at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo. —11:00 am: General Wesley Clark delivers a speech on health care, Durham, N.H. —11:15 am: President Bush holds a news conference in the Rose Garden, White House —11:30 am: Senator Edwards meets with Monroe County Democrats, Albia, Iowa —11:30 am: Congressman Kucinich speaks to students at St. Anselm College, Manchester, N.H. —11:35 am: Senator Lieberman takes part in a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital presidential candidate forum, Lebanon, N.H. —11:50 am: Congressman Kucinich has lunch with students and faculty at St. Anselm College, Manchester, N.H. —1:00 pm: Senator Lieberman attends the grand opening of a local campaign headquarters, Lebanon, N.H. —1:30 pm: Congressman Dick Gephardt delivers a health care policy speech, Des Moines —1:50 pm: President Bush signs the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, White House —4:30 pm: Senator Edwards holds a town hall forum on health care, Las Cruces, N.M. —6:00 pm: Senator Edwards meets with Hispanic community leaders, Las Cruces, N.M. —6:00 pm: President Bush attends the Iftaar Dinner with ambassadors and Muslim leaders, White House —6:00 pm: Congressman Gephardt meets with Story County Democrats, Ames, Iowa —6:00 pm: Senator John Kerry attends a house party with supporters, Plaistow, N.H. —8:00 pm: Senator Kerry attends a house party with supporters, East Kingston, N.H. —8:30 pm: General Clark attends a fundraiser with New York Young Professionals for Clark, New York City —8:30 pm: Congressman Gephardt meets with Hamilton County Democrats, Webster City, Iowa

NEWS SUMMARY

Daily political journalism doesn't leave much time for introspective contemplation.

It takes an agile mind (and bosses who revel in your big-foot status) to occasionally step back and write something that is bigger than just, say, "Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes brought his message of hope, growth, and opportunity to Davenport, Iowa, today, promising to end 'the corruption of the Clinton years' through a flat tax system."

With Johnny Apple trying to find the best scallion pancake on three continents, the biggest of big feet this cycle belong to a handful of diverse white men from various publications and media — and two of the best weigh in today with major pieces that explain why — even in a 50-50 nation, and even with today's Iraq Quagmire stories filled with quotes more-41-than-43 — the Democratic presidential nominee TBD remains an underdog.

Brownstein's Los Angeles Times must-read makes two main points: LINK

a. Howard Dean's success on the Iraq issue is driving the field to the "left" on war and peace.

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