The Note: Storm Before the Calm

"McCain's choice not to request Secret Service protection has been mentioned on some blogs and was the subject of an article in the Arizona Republic newspaper. But it has not been reported by most news organizations, in part because of requests from his aides not to draw attention to the situation."

While Clinton and McCain hit Memphis to commemorate MLK, Obama campaigns in Fort Wayne, Ind., where Robert Kennedy famously announced King's assassination to the crowd. And North Dakota gets its moment in the (still cold) sun Friday night, with both Clinton and Obama addressing scheduled to address the North Dakota Democratic-NPL State Convention in Grand Forks.

Get all the candidates' schedules in The Note's "Sneak Peek."

Also in the news:

Been there . . . "For the first time since ending his presidential bid, former Senator John Edwards says he will not accept a vice presidential nod on the Democratic ticket in 2008," ABC's Raelyn Johnson writes. One word did the trick: "No."

Clinton's latest ad takes her back where she started. "So let's have a conversation," she says in an ad hitting the North Carolina airwaves. "Just go to, and then I'll be getting back to you here on TV to answer your questions and offer some solutions. Thanks. It's nice talking with you."

Half of a North Carolina debate, to air on CBS, is in place: "A Democratic presidential debate in either Raleigh or Charlotte seemed to be taking shape Thursday, after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to a televised faceoff with her rival, Barack Obama, a week before North Carolina's primary May 6," Rob Christensen writes in the Raleigh News & Observer.

A piece loved equally by HRC and the RNC: ABC's Jake Tapper notes that, while Obama slams McCain on energy policy, he voted for the 2005 energy bill, while McCain and Clinton voted against it. "It takes some moxie for Obama to make an argument that McCain offers a third Bush term on energy when of the three presidential candidates, he's the only one who voted for what was widely perceived to be a Bush/Cheney energy bill."

This could also be heard from again: "A key adviser to Senator Obama's campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office," Eli Lake writes in the New York Sun. "The paper, obtained by The New York Sun, was written by Colin Kahl for the center-left Center for a New American Security."

In case you feel like trading . . . "Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist met with Colombia's ambassador to the U.S. on Monday to discuss a bilateral free-trade agreement, a pact the presidential candidate opposes," Susan Davis writes in The Wall Street Journal. "Attendance by the adviser, Mark Penn, was confirmed by two Colombian officials."

More NAFTA fun and games: Gene Sperling, "Hillary Clinton's closest economic advisor," "writes favorably of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while noting its critics," per McClatchy's Kevin G. Hall.

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