The Note

Imagine how the press would treat an RNC chairman who said such things.

2. Another one in the Bernie Goldberg category: Even as Cruz Bustamante re-jiggers how he plans to spend his Native American money, the press's level of outrage and scrutiny over what this special interest is expecting in return for the cash is nothing like what a Republican interest group and politician would get.

3. We have no clue what will cause Howard Dean to ever be held to the same standard for consistency, clarity, and accuracy as the other leading Democratic presidential candidates, but whatever it's going to take hasn't kicked in yet.

Saturday, standing side by side with Gray Davis, Dean asserted that the White House was involved in orchestrating and pushing the California recall effort. Later, under questioning, Dean admitted that he had no evidence but that it simply was the kind of thing he believed the White House habitually does.

The Note is breathless.

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: A new WBZ/ Boston Globe poll write-up fronted the Boston Globe yesterday, but the Globe's tetchy online redesign and broken archive search engine prevented us from bringing you the original. So here's the AP story: "While Howard Dean continues to lead Senator John Kerry in the New Hampshire Democratic primary race, likely Democratic primary voters are closely divided over which of the two leading candidates would be the strongest candidate against President Bush, according to a Boston Globe /WBZ-TV poll." LINK

Roll Call 's Stu Rothenberg doesn't think the key to 2004 is mobilizing the base; for him, it's a necessary, but not sufficient condition to win in presidential years.

" … the 2004 electorate will be filled with casual voters who turn out only for presidential elections, pay less attention to politics, have weaker partisan attachments and vote less on issues than on personality. In short, it will include more non-core voters who require both persuasion and GOTV messages. Even if independents make up only 12 percent to 20 percent of next year's electorate, they will constitute a larger number of voters than the alleged 'core voters' who are turned out by 'red meat' appeals and additional get-out-the-vote efforts."

"And there is this: If base voters can't get excited by George W. Bush versus Howard Dean, Bush versus Senator John Kerry (Mass.) or Bush versus Rep. Richard Gephardt (Mo.), are they really base voters?"

"Unless the Democrats pull a fast switch and nominate Senator Joe Lieberman (Conn.) or Senator Evan Bayh (Ind.) for president, the 2004 fight for the White House looks as if it will have enough ideology and partisanship to mobilize most members of each party's base. "

Governor Dean and the Des Moines Register chatted Saturday, and by the shakes of the article, the only thing the doctor seemed to talk about was Senator Kerry.

"Dean said Kerry's comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" this week show Kerry is mimicking Dean's position on postwar Iraq … ..Dean said Kerry is simultaneously criticizing Dean's foreign policy background, although their positions are similar … … Although Dean claimed Kerry stole a line about the American flag from his June 23 campaign announcement speech in Burlington, Vt., there's evidence Kerry had made the comment before Dean's speech." LINK

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