The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—9:30 am: Senator Joe Lieberman tours Costa Manufacturing Corporation, Claremont, N.H. —10:00 am: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver tape today's appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Chicago —11:00 am: Senator John Kerry holds a press conference on corporate responsibility, Cedar Rapids, Iowa —12:30 pm: Commerce Secretary Don Evans speaks to the Detroit Economic Club, Detroit —12:30 pm: Vice President Cheney makes remarks at a fundraiser for Representative Shelley Moore Capito, Charleston, W.Va. —12:45 pm: President Bush makes remarks at the Detroit Edison Monroe Plant, Monroe, Mich. —12:00 pm: Governor Howard Dean holds two town hall meetings at Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, Ala. —12:00 pm: House convenes for a pro forma session —1:00 pm: Senate convenes for morning business —1:00 pm: Senator Kerry speaks to students at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa —2:30 pm: Governor Gray Davis joins former President Bill Clinton at the opening of William Jefferson Clinton Elementary School, Compton, CA —2:30 pm: Senator Lieberman participates in a roundtable discussion with small business owners, Nashua, N.H. —3:30 pm: Governor Dean launches "Generation Dean" at a town hall meeting, Atlanta —5:00 pm: Senator Lieberman attends the N.H. AFL-CIO's Conversation with the Candidates session, Hookset, N.H. —6:35 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Drexel Hill, Pa. —7:00 pm: Senator Bob Graham holds a media availability, Phoenix —11:00 pm: Senator John Edwards appears on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


To paraphrase Potter Stewart, at the ABC News Political Unit, we Note it when we see it.

Which is to say, with so much going on in politics, we try to bring you the stuff we think you need to know that is going on in politics on any given day.

There are thousands of barriers to getting this done, but two stand out.

First is the whole tip-of-the-iceberg thing. Even when we think we know what is going on (say, with a campaign in disarray), we generally only have in our ken at most 10% of what is ACTUALLY going on.

So what we end up telling you is woefully incomplete.

Second, so much happens so fast in the inside game of political people and political reporters that things are changing even as we type, and we can't possibly capture it all.

Compounding things today is that since we did Friday's Note, so very, very much has happened.

For our lead, we had been intending to sit down and chronicle the last 80 hours in the life of Howard Dean, but we looked at the Googling monkey output when we came in (not to mention at our in boxes) and we made a decisive judgment that to do justice to the tale would take 15,000 words.

The president's political health — seen through the prism of the must-read ABC News/ Washington Post poll, some sweeping takes on the Bush budget, the efforts to feel the nation's manufacturing job pain, and the Iraq puzzle — is also quite politically hot, as is the recall (Clinton/Davis/Schwarzenegger/Oprah/Bustamante/McClintock), and there was a Boston Globe story about John Kerry yesterday that was like the Rosetta Stone.

But we think the events with the most lasting impact involve the whirlwind that was DeanforAmerica from Friday through today.

Suffice to say, this weekend was (potentially) a major turning point in Howard Dean's hold on the frontrunner status, or, at least, in his relationship to the media.

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