The Note

4. Al Gore will endorse a candidate at some point in the cycle; we got press releases from Dean, Lieberman and Edwards, in that order, praising Gore.

The Washington Post says a White House aide brushed off Gore's criticism. LINK. The New York Times Notes that some Democrats questioned the timing of the speech; Gore aides insist they didn't mean to suck any oxygen from the '04 race. LINK

More than one Democrat wistfully asked why Gore won't run … .

Dean thanked Gore for his "integrity" in the speech: "He should be applauded for that by all who seek a return to truth, integrity, and compassion in our government," he said in a statement.

Edwards said, "Al Gore continues to be an important voice in our national debate and is uniquely positioned to critique" the Bush Administration.

Lieberman: "Today, [Gore] offered yet another reminder of why the ticket he led got more votes than any Democratic ticket in history."

Senator Bob Graham Graham talked about his "astute voice," saying, "I look forward to following Al Gore's lead and beating George Bush again in 2004."

The AP's Nedra Pickler writes about Gore and the Clintons sorta overshadowing the candidates. LINK

5. Says the New York Times of the Democrats: "The party is perilously out of touch with a large swath of black voters — those 18 to 35 years old who grew up after the groundbreaking years of the civil rights movement. It is a group too important and complex to ignore, many strategists caution, when analysts are predicting another close election. LINK; Will Lester on Democratic disaffection: "Six in 10 Democrats are dissatisfied with the party's performance on core issues such as helping the poor and aiding the average worker, according to a poll that also found Democrats noticing the presidential candidate who often rails against Washington — Howard Dean." … "Just 38 percent of Democrats said their party is doing an excellent or good job in protecting the interests of minorities, aiding the needy and representing working Americans, down from 47 percent in May 2001, according to the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released Thursday." LINK

Please also read:

--Paul Krugman's next column before it's written. LINK

--The New York Times on Pataki and Bloomberg. LINK

--John DiStaso's entire MUL column, including his rare-on-the-record interview with Nick Baldick about Edwards' new ads; and this teasing line: "Gephardt consultants will film pieces of the ads during his weekend trip to the state, which begins tomorrow." Also: Ed Gillespie will visit NH on Aug 27. LINK

-- David Lightman on Joe and Labor LINK

-- Edwards meets with black Baptists. LINK; and meets with North Carolina textile workers. LINK

--Bob Graham's quirky summer tour. LINK

--James Pindell on new office openings in New Hampshire. LINK

California recall, what the insiders are talking about:

1. Where will the candidates get their money from?

2. Who will do IEs? (That's "independent expenditures, for those of you who just stumbled into The Note today … )

3. The Walsh vs. Schnur dream/death match that will make Leslie and Kathleen giddy with excitement.

4. Just how big a role is Bill Clinton going to play as Butch to Gray Davis' Sundance?

5. And, as the AP's Scott "California Dreamin'" Lindlaw reports, 41 might come on out for Arnold, to pay him back for his past help (Note to PAs: pull the '88 and '92 tape!)

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