Today, George W. Bush is talking the economy in a state Karl Rove lost in '00 (but wants to win in '04); John Kerry is in New Hampshire (and dealing with the aftermath having said something maybe iffy-squishy on the war); Joe Lieberman is in Manhattan (raising cash and picking up another endorsement); Governor Dean is in San Francisco (in his element); Scott McClellan's ascension to press secretary is official; (and that's on the record).
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And Mark McKinnon and Carter Eskew plan to sit side-by-side in Silver Spring tonight — and almost all is right with the world.
(We say "almost" because we're going to give you some evidence this morning that Democratic interest groups are actually (amazingly!) cooperating and working together. ABC News has learned that Cecile Richards, who is now deputy chief of staff in Minority Leader Pelosi's office, will leave to become the grassroots coordinator for that coalition of center-left interest groups who will pool resources for the 2004 election.)
Slight cognitive dissonance aside, it's tempting to luxuriate in what is a day of events that is pure comfort to our gentle Note readers. But, forward thinking people we are, let's push you forward to a trio of Invisible Primary cattle calls that start tomorrow.
Call it the Midwest Marathon.
Most of the candidates will appear on Friday before Democratic Party officials; on Saturday with local (and rural) party faithful in Iowa — a key caucus state; and on Sunday before the national political organization synonymous with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is still arguably America's most prominent black leader.
What to expect?
--a lot of lovey-dovey nicey-nice toward each other, maybe, with plenty of venom for the White House (the Columbia Colliding is still viewed by the campaigns as a mistake of intra-party overaggressiveness)
--the potential for last-minute cancellations because of pesky, important, Senate votes
--games of chicken about who might show up and why others won't
We begin in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, a rocket-propelled stone's throw away from where President Bush speaks today.
Tomorrow, the Association of State Democratic Chairs and the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party will host individual candidate forums with six (6) presidentials.
(Howard Dean; 2:15 pm ET-- Senator Joe Lieberman; 3:00 pm ET-- Representative Dennis Kucinich; 3:45 pm ET-- Senator John Kerry; 4:30 pm ET-- Reverend Al Sharpton; 5:15 pm ET-- Representative Dick Gephardt (via videoconference))
On Saturday, 7 presidentials plan to attend the presidential Candidate Forum presented by Jasper County Democrats in Newton, Iowa.
Governor Dean, Senator Edwards, Representative Gephardt, Senator Graham, Senator Kerry, Representative Kucinich, and Reverend Sharpton will be there. Senator Lieberman will not participate because of his religious observance. Ambassador Moseley Braun has not committed to attending, organizers say.
After the group forum, candidates will disperse into "break-out" rooms to speak informally with local Democrats attending the forum. Candidates may also be in the "break-out" rooms before the event starts.