At least two candidates are giving health care policy speeches today, and we're sure that at least a few more will utter the words "health" and "care" at some point today (in no particular order). Everyone please read Julie Appleby's report in USA Today where she writes, "Health insurers announced deals Monday that if approved will consolidate coverage for about 46 million U.S. residents — nearly 27% of all those who have private health insurance — under two companies." LINK
The Concord Monitor and washingtonpost.com announced Monday that they will cosponsor a week of Web chats beginning November 3 with all of the Democratic presidential candidates confirmed to participate so far except General Clark.
According to a release, "Each participating candidate will appear individually for up to 60 minutes, and will answer questions submitted by washingtonpost.com and concordmonitor.com users and selected by a washingtonpost.com moderator." You can find the schedule here: LINK
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson Jr. backs the "straight-talking" Howard Dean. LINK
Dean supporters expect an upcoming endorsement from Jackson to broaden his appeal with black voters according to the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny and Rick Pearson. LINK
Dick Morris thinks Howard Dean is likely to be the Democratic Party's nominee next year. If Mr. Morris' prediction proves prophetic, he says it will be less about money and image and more about Dr. Dean's ability to win "the activist primary." LINK
Dean supporters prepare to welcome their candidate to Jacksonville next Monday. LINK
The California Teachers' Association and the painters' union endorsements made it into the Los Angeles Times today. LINK
The Des Moines Register 's Jonathan Roos reports on Dean's endorsement from the Painters. LINK
From ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder:
"With 3,000 active Iowa members and 1,000 retirees, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades may not be a match for the potent union coalition that Dick Gephardt is building in Iowa. But IUPAT, will try to match Gephardt's numerical strength by setting an ambitious shoe-leather goal."
"'We might be only one-tenth of that crowd,' said James Williams, IUPAT's president, of Gephardt's union endorsements in the state, 'but our feet on the ground means a lot of us will be out there.'"
"Williams told ABC News said the union has pledged to devote to Dean's election a quarter of a million activist days. That, for a union with less than half that number of members."
"IUPAT endorsed Al Gore in 2000 and Bill Clinton in 1992. Three years ago they were a ubiquitous presence at Gore events around the country, surprising other unions with their political aggression, and even received an internal AFL-CIO award for it. But they've never endorsed this early, Williams said."
"Sean McGarvey, IUPAT's political director, said he was skeptical of Dean at first."
"Earlier in the year, campaign manager Joe Trippi had shown IUPAT's leaders the Powerpoint presentation outlining Dean's grassroots goals."
"'I thought they were wildly optimistic,' McGarvey said."
"But then came the $7.6 million second quarter, a rapid rise in the polls, and a surprising show of strength in the union's internal balloting."
"'We had assumed,' said McGarvey, 'that [the union members] would be for their champion, Gephardt.'"
"But Gephardt came in second."