THE NOTE: Rudy, Mitt Rumble on Fred's Night

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The "pledge" must not apply to the man who's charged (in part) with enforcing it: DNC Chairman Howard Dean was in Florida yesterday for a fund-raiser, and he addressed the tiny little dust-up that has senators and congressmen suing the Democratic Party and has Floridians issuing angry denunciations. "Do I wish this fight weren't happening? Yes," Dean said, per Jennifer Liberto of the St. Petersburg Times.

Another snippet of buzz around Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-N.Y. "A small band of enthusiasts is trying to keep interest in a candidacy alive and says it is being aided in the effort 'behind the scenes' by City Hall," Raymond Hernandez writes in The New York Times. The effort's New York chair "said that her group was receiving advice on how to run the organization from former aides to Mr. Bloomberg, though she declined to identify them."

With Al Gore in the running for a Nobel Prize, comedian Mo Rocca reminds the former veep that he has some competition for his award sweep -- and blogs that Gore should go for the Tony instead of settling for a trip to Stockholm. "Jimmy Carter already has a well share in an Oscar for Jonathan Demme's documentary 'Man From Plains'. An Emmy could soon follow. (Carter has always been fiercely competitive. Pundits long ago dubbed him the Chita Rivera to Gore's [Rita] Moreno.)" Rocca writes. "For Gore to secure his singular status -- winner of the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Nobel ('The Gore Crown'?) -- he needs to grab his dance shoes and head to the Great White Way."

The kicker:

"Can I tell you how amazing it was to me to realize that, after I'd been doing this for nine months, October rolled around? My husband did not announce for president until October of 1991. I could have had a baby." -- Clinton, in one of those sentences that could not have been uttered by any other presidential candidate.

"If I were some of these guys, I'd have to be sitting in a warm tub of water with razor blades." -- Huckabee, optimistically (sort of) handicapping his chances after the debate.

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