The Note: Pumpin' Up the Volume, Breakin' Down to the Beat

Gov. Dean will chat with various caucuses at 12:15 pm ET, 12:45 pm ET, 3:40 pm ET, 4:35 pm ET, 5:00 pm ET, 5:20 pm ET, 5:40 pm ET, and 8:00 pm ET.

A plenary session at 10:00 am ET includes speeches by Terry McAuliffe, Sen. Harry Reid, Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. John Edwards and more.

Tomorrow, Dean is expected to receive a near-unanimous vote to be DNC chair and holds a press conference.

Today, President Bush attends the swearing in ceremony of Mike Leavitt at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington today at 10:40 am ET. He returns to the White House and attends a performance of "Lincoln: Seen and Heard" with actor and Nation reader Sam Waterston playing the role of Lincoln.

Tomorrow, in Anaheim, CA, the National Religious Broadcasters convention kicks off. You can get there's a Republican Connected With The White House in attendance. LINK

And the Grammy Awards are on Sunday.


As one of his first acts as DNC chair, Gov. Howard Dean plans to appoint Lindsey Lewis to be his top finance aide, according to two Democrats with knowledge of Dean's decision. Lewis, a former Gephardt hand, has more than 10 years of experience in Democratic fundraising circles and is well-respected. Lewis did not return calls for comment yesterday, and Steve McMahon, Dean's close adviser, said he would not comment on personnel matters.

As he accepted applause from the Association of State Democratic Party chairs yesterday, Dean warned them that he expected a lot from the state party group over the next four years. It's been a knock against Dean that he won the DNC chair's race by pandering to the state party chairs, promising them money and lavishing them with visits, phone calls, and praise. Many in the party think those chairs and their state organizations are among the biggest pathologies the party needs to exorcise, so they are unsure whether Dean truly understood the nature of what ails the DNC.

To whom much is given, much is expected is what Dean essentially said yesterday. He told the state chairs that he would hold them accountable for their performance; he told them he'd visit them regularly and seek to inspect their books (Yes -- Mark Brewer was an inch from Dean as he said this.). And he said that as chair, he'd visit Red States more than Blue states, which is "where we really need attention." (See Deb Orin's take: LINK , and start your stopwatch to see how long it takes for a gimmicky RNC press release in which Ken Mehlman offers to pay Dean's airfare.)

Nina Easton of the Boston Globe has today's must-read article on how Dean looked to the Christian Coalition for organizational inspiration. LINK

"Dean's decision early last year to follow the Christian Coalition model grew out of his own aversion to a Washington establishment that first underestimated and then resisted his presidential candidacy, despite a volcanic outpouring of Internet donors and grass-roots volunteers who were drawn both to Dean's antiwar stance and his stinging condemnations of Republican opponents."

Easton Notes that still-squeamish big-pockets donors may direct their cash to Democratic organizations other than the party.

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