The Note: The Boy Looking for the Pony

He answered about a dozen questions from reporters afterward, deftly deflecting a Jeff Gannon-like* query about why the labor movement was silent on Iraq and Afghanistan.

(* = the questioner was an impassioned pro-labor partisan, not an alleged purveyor of sketchy Web sites.)

Moments later, Dean, with bag in tow, left the press conference, skidded through Bally's without playing the slots, pushed open a door to Las Vegas Boulevard, and caught a taxi to McCarran Airport. He's in Mississippi today. His office announced that his next stops in his Red, White, and Blue tour will be March 22 and 23 in Tennessee.

Also Tuesday, Ron Stein, the enigmatic Democratic fundraiser/guru, narrated his famous power-point presentation on the conservative multiverse, wowing (and scaring) the labor crowd.

Here's a very good AP overview of the day: LINK

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Erin Neff picked up Dean's press conference comment that he thinks Dems can pick up Nevada. LINK

In Mississippi Tuesday night, the Governor actually uttered the sentence "The South will rise again," and toned down the whole "good vs. evil" talk, saying instead that Democrats need to focus on issues like health care and education to win back the region, the Clarion-Ledger reports. LINK


The Los Angeles Times' Jessica Garrison and Richard Fausset report that the candidates for Los Angeles mayor are at this point still holding their fire and not yet launching the anticipated negative ad war in the closing days of the campaign. But it sounds like they're itching to pull the trigger. LINK

Jim Rutenberg writes of Mayor Mike Bloomberg's efforts to attract African-American support.

"Mr. Bloomberg is working feverishly to make inroads among black voters, an urgent task which could determine whether he wins a second term, political strategists say. At the heart of the mayor's strategy is a keen awareness of subtle shift in the racial politics of the city: the gradual migration of black voters toward Republican candidates over the last several elections." LINK

Some very good poll numbers for Fernando Ferrer were released this morning by Quinnipiac University.

The former Bronx Borough President improved his standing (over a Jan. 19 Q-poll) in a head-to-head matchup with Mayor Bloomberg besting the billionaire 47 percent to 39 percent. Ferrer also trounces the mayor in the "cares about your needs and problems" category.

And as if that wasn't enough to make Roberto Ramirez smile . . . Freddy's at 40! Ferrer hits the magic 40 percent mark in the Democratic primary matchups that a candidate needs to avoid a runoff. Virginia Fields gets 14 percent and Anthony Weiner and Gifford Miller are tied at 12 percent.

Which Democrat will be the first to try to soften up Ferrer? Or will Team Bloomberg start taking care of that for them? Stay tuned . . .


Yesterday, we suggested that legendary AP Albany guy Marc Humbert had apparently been pulled off the politics beat and was now assigned to cover Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson full time -- with no Wolfson utterance too small to make the wire.

Falling right into our trip, Humbert has yet ANOTHER story about Wolfson this cycle, "reporting" that Wolfson and his talented colleague Gigi Georges have basically taken over spokespersoning duties for the New York Democratic Party, something that happened weeks ago. LINK

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