The Note

"Dean was there to answer questions from a select group of business and community leaders in south Los Angeles, and sketched out some ideas on job creation and community development: 'We've got to make capital available for small businesses,' he said. Dean said he would also double the money available for community block grants."

"Dean opened the floor to questions, asking the group to 'Tell me what part of this agenda you'd like me to change.'"

"So someone did, producing the sort of unvarnished, unscripted moment that makes some campaigns blanch."

"'Good afternoon Mr. Presidential Potential,' began the questioner, Malik Spellman."

"Spellman, a self-described activist and a reporter for a community publication, spoke for several minutes about his relatives in jail, his experiences with poverty and incarnation and the bleak outlook for his daughter."

"Then he said, 'I want to know this: what are you going to do to include the black media in your campaign? You can see what America consists of when you see whites on one side and blacks on another,' referring to the event's unusual press seating arrangement, were the local south L.A. media, consisting mainly of black publications, were separated from the Dean's traveling media, who were all white."

"And, then, referring to help for poor, black communities, Spellman asked, 'Will they ever see the check?'"

"Dean began to answer programmatically, citing his desire to every child get health insurance and his record in Vermont."

"Spellman interrupted. 'When you have a household with the father locked up, what do you need child prevention [for]?'"

"'Mr. President,' he continued. 'Let this be a let this be a sting to your chest … . If you want to make it to the hereafter, do something for the people, please.'"

"'Thank you,' was all Dean said."

"Later, Dean hit The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He did not consult with a professional comedian, as politicians going on these shows are wont to do, but picked up plenty of advice from his staff, who, at various points, wanted him to play the harmonica, wanted him to jokingly announce he was running for governor of California, and wanted him to mention the next national MeetUp."

"The campaign, we're sure, liked Leno's first Dean joke:"

"'You know, it's interesting,' Leno said. 'We wanted to keep it a secret … but somebody in the Bush White House leaked it.'"


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Deirdre Shesgreen writes, "In the wake of Sweeney's decision, Gephardt allies within the AFL-CIO moved quickly to form their own separate group — dubbed Labor for Gephardt — to work for his election." LINK

"They didn't quite make the Guinness Book of World Records" but Gephardt supporters "joined en masse around the country and at 12 places in New Hampshire Tuesday night to watch a message from Gephardt, raise funds and, well, party," reports Sam Youngman of LINK


From ABC News' Lieberman campaign reporter Talesha Reynolds:

"About 10 protesters, members of Jews Against the Occupation, staked out a Lieberman fundraiser in Manhattan Tuesday evening. The group opposes Israel's construction of what they call the 'apartheid wall.' Those present held up a large tarp 'wall' with anti-settlement graffiti and passed out flyers to passersby, calling the wall 'a theft of Palestinian land' that 'isolates and displaces Palestinian people.'"

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