Primary Dolor: Flashback Edition

i know you are but what am i?Ralph Nader announces his entrance into the presidential race on Meet the Press. He will run as an independent. Will the Green Party assist him? "That depends on whether he is going to actually campaign," says spokesman. [BG, LAT, USAT and WP]

Candidates react to Nader entrance. Pot, kettle; kettle, pot: "The only reason he's running is either he's an egomaniac or as a Bush contract," says Al Sharpton. [NYT]

Seeking Howard Dean's support, John Edwards turns the charm on: "I want to acknowledge a man whom I have enormous respect for, who brought new people into the political process, a man who changed the face of the American political process forever -- Howard Dean." [WP and NYT]

Meet the new populist in town: "You can't love jobs and hate the people who create them," says Kerry. This message may lack crossover appeal. "You're missing the right wing: the Republicans, the rich people," observes one voter. [WP and NYT]

Kerry challenges President Bush to a debate on the war -- the Vietnam War. [LAT and USAT]

Bush's speech tonight at the Washington Convention Center is the beginning of "a new period of engagement" with voters, signals beginning of real campaigning for the president. Bush advisors assume their opponent will be Kerry. Paid ads begin airing March 4. [WP, LAT and USAT]

Where does the money go? Kerry and Edwards run through their campaign treasuries; the Bush campaign says that through January it had raised over $143 million, with more than $104 million of that unspent. Sharpton campaign is debt for $485,696, has just $1,039 on hand. Former fund-raising phenom Dean will owe over $500,000. [LAT, WP and USAT]

Dems hope to tar Bush with deficit brush, GOP laughs off the approach: "It's kind of like Bonnie and Clyde complaining about banking laws." [USAT]

Has Bush alienated Republicans? At least a few: "I could vote for Kerry. I could vote for any Democrat unless he's a real dummy." [NYT]

Edwards needs to prove his foreign policy bona fides: "He's bumping up against his background and résumé." But Edwards says he's not inexperienced, he's an outsider. [WP and USAT]


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