The Note

--"Activists staging a massive online Democratic presidential primary ran into some technical problems Tuesday as a flood of Internet voters briefly overwhelmed the Web site and halted the voting process for more than an hour." LINK --"Contending candidates cried foul," notes the Von Drehle/Faler duo. LINK

MoveOn PAC director Zack Exley blamed the delay on "a little bit of a line at the polls."

He said the MoveOn server was sluggish due to a larger-than-expected number of people seeking their ballots.

"There will be problems here and there," he said. "There will some people who don't get their ballot because of incorrect spam blocking."

MoveOn set up a reclamation page to allow folks who haven't been sent their ballots to request new ones individually. Exley said that everyone who requested a ballot would get one before the "polls" close tomorrow morning at midnight ET. Ballots returned after midnight won't be counted, Exley said.

MoveOn will release its results sometime Friday after comparing the raw totals to a Stan Greenberg-conducted exit poll.

Exley wouldn't say how many ballots had so far been cast.

Incidentally, MoveOn got a full-throated endorsement from an ailing-throated Ron Brownstein on IP; Exley got kid-glove awe-inducing questions from Lester Holt on MSNBC.

Here's some news we can advance: Exley told us that MoveOn was not 100 percent committed to staging another primary if no candidate gets more than 50 percent this time around.

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary, foreign policy:

Before Howard Dean's foreign policy speech, The Note conducted one of those modern e-mail interviews with Alton Frye of the Council on Foreign Relations about The Doctor's address.

In 2000, the CFR maintained one of the best political resources on the web, with lots of carefully crafted and cutting-edge use of the medium to provide information about the candidates' positions on foreign policy.

Check out their impressive 2004 site here, which does for foreign policy and the presidential candidates what somebody smart somewhere should be doing for domestic stuff. LINK

You'll be blown away by how deep and thorough it is.

So: here's our interview with Frye, who is the presidential Senior Fellow and Director for Congress and U.S. Foreign Policy at the CFR.

He is an expert on national security strategy and arms control. He often consults both the legislative and executive branches on these matters. LINK

The Note: How well does the foreign policy community in Washington know Governor Dean? Has he been active in the Council's world?

Frye: "Governor Dean remains a largely unknown quantity in the foreign policy community, but he is arousing a degree of curiosity comparable to that in the wider political world. He certainly got attention for his early and insistent challenge to the justification and wisdom of the war in Iraq. It is possible that that are some aspects of his experience that will emerge as relevant to current international issues — obviously, his medical background might give him a purchase on the global crisis in HIV-AIDS."

The Note: "Bill Clinton got to the 'right' of the first George Bush on the issue of China and human rights. Is that something that Governor Dean or another Democratic could or should do?"

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