The Note

"Because of their past work for Bowles, Hance and Owens' decision to aid Burr has led to grumblings that Edwards' indecision is hampering the party's effort to hold the seat."

"Most observers do not ultimately expect Edwards to seek re-election to the Senate, a notion that was strengthened by the North Carolina Senator's impressive fundraising take over the first three months of the year. He raked in $7.4 million for his presidential effort, the most of any of the nine candidates during that time."

"Some state and national Democrats are hoping Edwards quickly greenlights Bowles, former state Rep. Dan Blue and any other Democratic interested in the race, allowing them to form campaign committees and begin raising money for a race that only becomes more difficult with time."

John Wagner's online column, "The Buzz," is chock full of nuggets today. Mr. Wagner provides details on some new Tennessee endorsements headed Senator Edwards' way. You'll also read about the campaign's attempt to woo voters for the MoveOn primary and plans for Elzabeth Edwards' trip to Manchester this Sunday to open the Edwards for President New Hampshire headquarters. LINK

Tim Funk of the Charlotte Observer offers a glimpse into the scheduling drama surrounding a Judiciary Committee hearing for 4th circuit nominee Allyson Duncan. LINK

"A political skirmish broke out Wednesday when Republicans suggested that Duncan's hearing was being postponed for a day to suit Sen. John Edwards' presidential campaign schedule."

"The Senate Judiciary Committee had sent out a notice earlier in the week announcing that Duncan's hearing would tentatively be held next Tuesday morning."

"That was apparently news to Democrat Edwards, who is a member of the committee. Edwards spokesman Mike Briggs said the senator's staff had been talking with the committee staff and Sen. Elizabeth Dole's office about finding a day that would suit all parties."

"But Republican Dole sent Edwards a letter Wednesday expressing her concern about moving the hearing day and attributing the delay to a 'scheduling conflict' that Edwards reportedly had."

"'While I certainly understand your desire to be present at the hearing,' she wrote, 'I am concerned that moving the date could potentially diminish the importance of this historic event' because fewer members of the Senate committee might not be able to attend."

"But Edwards campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Edwards doesn't have any campaign events scheduled for Tuesday -- at least so far."

"Under consideration, she said, is a visit to the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition gathering in Chicago."

GEPHARDT

Congressman Gephardt became the first presidential candidate to address the SEIU janitor's strike in Sacramento:

"Unfortunately, hard working people like Sacramento's janitors had to go on strike today simply because they want to ensure access to health insurance for every employee and their family. For less than a penny per square foot, Sacramento's janitors could get the security of health insurance so many of us take for granted. I can not be in Sacramento this week, but I want the members of the Service Employees International Union there to know that I support them in their struggle."

SEIU, as we've been telling you for months and months and months, will play a critical role in determining whether the AFL-CIO will endorse a candidate itself or allow its members to do so individually.

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