The Note: Mom vs. Messiah

Obama hold a morning campaign event in Norfolk, Va., then heads to New York to tape a Letterman appearance that will air Wednesday night. He ends his day in Washington, DC, at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Annual Awards.

McCain and Palin are in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday for an 11 am ET rally, and then Palin breaks off on her own.

She heads home to Alaska on Wednesday, arriving in Fairbanks about 11 pm ET -- to be in town in time to see her son ship off to Iraq on Thursday (which -- have you heard? -- is happening on 9/11).

Palin's interviews with ABC's Charles Gibson take place Thursday and Friday in Alaska, with the first portion to air during "World News" Thursday -- and much more on "Nightline," "GMA," and elsewhere.

Also in the news:

Vote no, says Dr. No: "At a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, [Rep. Ron] Paul plans to urge voters to support one of the third-party candidates for president," Michael Falcone reports in The New York Times.

Paul will be joined by Ralph Nader, Bob Barr, and Cynthia McKinney at the National Press Club -- and the foursome will sign a pledge to end the Iraq war and repeal the Patriot Act, per ABC's Z. Byron Wolf.

Al Franken is good enough and smart enough, at least to win the Democratic primary in Minnesota: "After trouncing their primary opponents, Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, DFLer Al Franken and Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley are squaring off for a three-way free-for-all that promises to be one of the costliest, most vigorously fought high-stakes races in the country," Patricia Lopez and Kevin Duchschere write in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Congress is back -- with low expectations. "The session ahead is likely to create nothing more than further finger-pointing and accusations of who is to blame for a do-nothing Congress," Reid Wilson writes for Real Clear Politics. "From energy legislation to a second economic stimulus package, both parties could score big political victories over the coming weeks. Instead, each party will use the other's inaction and reluctance to negotiate as excuses to hammer the other over the head."

The Kicker:

"I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative." -- William Ayers, in a comic strip (of sorts) explaining his actions, and not necessarily helping Barack Obama.

"Lightsabers. " -- John McCain, to Marie Claire, on his weapon of choice if Barack Obama challenged him to a duel.

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