The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:30 am: House Energy and Commerce Committee hears testimony from energy executives on the blackout, Capitol Hill —10:00 am: House convenes for legislative business —10:00 am: First Lady Laura Bush speaks about education at Savannah Grove Elementary School, Effingham, S.C. —11:30 am: First Lady Laura Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Florence, S.C. (closed press) —11:45 am: Congressman Dick Gephardt meets with seven of the Texas Democratic state senators in hiding, Albuquerque —12:30 pm: President Bush makes remarks on the economy, Kansas City, Mo. —1:30 pm: Governor Bill Richardson, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Ciro Rodriguez hold media availability, Albuquerque —1:30 pm: Senator Joe Lieberman holds meet and greet, Albuquerque —3:00 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger makes remarks to Inland Empire residents and helps to register new voters, Riverside, Calif. —3:30 pm: First Lady Laura Bush tours, makes remarks, and participates in a ribbon cutting dedication ceremony at the National First Ladies Library Education and Research Center, Canton, Ohio —5:00 pm: Governor Gray Davis makes remarks about funding for school construction and modernization, San Diego —5:30 pm: Former Governor Dean holds pre-debate rally, Albuquerque —6:00 pm: Congressman Kucinich holds pre-debate rally, Albuquerque —8:00 pm: Democratic National Committee presidential debate hosted by Governor Richardson and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque —10:00 pm: New Mexico Democratic Party post-debate event at the Albuquerque Hilton


In print journalism, there are two kinds of headlines.

Good headlines — by which we means ones that sum up the story and are actually accurate. And then there are bad headlines — those that are misleading or wholly unrelated to what's going on.

Leave it to the Associated Press overnight headline writers to completely master what's happening with our two big September political stories in only 13 words.

"Dean Braces For Criticism In Dem Debate" and "Schwarzenegger Hit By Egg, Avoids Debate"

There are plenty of print big feet congregated in Albuquerque for what could be the most significant multicandidate Democratic presidential event since the candidates collided in Columbia.

Ever since that May day, there have been, by our count, more than a dozen times when all nine of the candidates or most of them have come together in one place.

What's different about tonight's event, which kicks off at 8 pm ET, is that it's being labeled a "debate" and it has the Democratic National Commmittee imprimatur as the first of six planned for 2003.

So we wouldn't be surprised if major news occurred. But we'd place bets (hedging, of course) that there'll be no news because of the math with which we're all now familiar: ( 90 minutes — moderator verbiage ) / 9 candidates simply doesn't = much time for any 1 candidate to make too many points.

The political press corps is salivating at the prospect of a gang-bang gang-up on Howard Dean. But it's not easy to see someone pulling that off effectively, with an attack just as likely (if not more so) to reflect badly on the attacker than it is to do damage to the Doctor.

And it's not as if Howard Dean isn't fully prepared, both substantively and stylistically, to bat stuff back.

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