The Note

"Trish Enright, Dean's communications director, called the charge 'ridiculous.'"

"'What Dean supported was what Bill Clinton eventually signed,' she said."

"Dean told reporters later that he was 'farsighted' to support the type of budget trimming in 1995 that Clinton signed two years later."

"'I believe Medicare had to be saved, and I believe … I … supported the plan that ultimately saved Medicare,' he said."

"Over the weekend, Dean's Iowa staff members and several of his supporters discussed whether Gephardt's Medicare charges — what Dean called 'Medi-scare' — would seed doubts in the minds of older Iowans."

"'Iowans don't buy ghost stories from desperate candidates,' Sarah Leonard, Dean's Iowa communications director, said of Gephardt."

"But State Senator Joe Bolkcom, an influential politician in Iowa City who Saturday endorsed Dean, said it was 'too early to tell.'"

"'If the attacks don't work,' he said, 'the governor is successfully appealing to the populist instinct in people.'"

"'That core message is going to trump what he said about Medicare previously.'"

"One prominent Iowa Democrat who supported Dean wondered 'when the statute of limitations' for what Dean said years ago would run out."

"David Redlawsk, a political scientist at the University of Iowa, said that while Iowa is still an 'older' state in demography and temperament, 'it's also a more urban state than it was.'"

"'New economy questions,' Redlawsk said, 'are starting to connect more than more.'"

"But, he said, 'for the last two years, we've been really put upon by the Medicare re-imbursement [system], and it's one thing that people really care about.'"

"Dean's campaign would not say what their internal polling on the question shows."

"And despite that polling shows, no one really knows who'll turn out for the caucuses."

"A copy of the speech given to reporters Saturday night did not contain a reference to the SEIU; a glowing phrase about the union found a prominent place in what Dean delivered. The governor, in fact, was introduced by an SEIU nurse."

"Never forget Steve Rosenthal"

"The title of the health care policy speech was 'A New Partnership For America's Families.' Take 'A New' away and you've got the name of Steve Rosenthal's GOTV outfit for working families."

"Dean met privately this weekend with Reg Weaver and some officials at the National Education Association. A crew filmed an interview with Dean, which will be distributed among top NEA members for the purposes of considering an endorsement."

"Dean told ABC News Sunday that the campaign would decide 'by' November whether to accept federal matching funds (and thus, abide by spending limits) for the primary."

"And finally:"

"Maybe it was the second-hand smoke from the nearby riverboat casinos, but a Saturday night rally outside of Union Station in Davenport, Iowa attracted what the campaign thinks was its first streaker."

"Luckily for everyone, he was young and handsome."

"A few minutes before Dean spoke, a young man in the crowd began to take of his clothes. First, he stripped off his shirt and began to dance with a gaggle of students from the University of Texas at Austin. Then, he took off his pants and boxer shirts, did a full circle with an improvised conga line, threw his hands in the air, screamed 'wahooooo' and then literally ran off into the night."

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