The Note: When The Dog Bites

David Yepsen reviews the NGA guidelines for revamping high schools and/but urges Iowa districts to take their own initiative -- instead of waiting around for policy implementation -- towards boosting academic performance. LINK

The New York Times' Janofsky on the education standards. LINK

Meanwhile, Vilsack caught the eye of Quad City Times reporters Charlotte Eby and Dan Gearino. Also, it cannot go un-Noted that these governors can (and did) -- in oh-so-snazzy blue aprons -- grill LINK

Thomas Beaumont Noted in the Des Moines Register that Vilsack's fellow Democratic governors were cautious -- though visions of potential presidential candidacy danced in (some of) their heads -- not to step on his toes. Vilsack, though, doesn't seem to mind if other hopefuls cut in when they see an opportunity. LINK

The Des Moines Register's Tim Higgins reports on governors' queasiness over/prescriptions for controlling state health care costs. LINK

2008:

David Shribman's Sunday Post-Gazette column on why John McCain and Hillary Clinton are their parties' frontrunners belongs in that special category BEYOND must-read. We won't even try to summarize or quote it. Just….read…..it. LINK

The only reason it isn't 100% spot on: it makes too much of ideology and not enough of personality -- but that's ok.

Mike Glover of the AP continues to own his Hawkeye State beat. Note the Branstad consultations, Speaker Rants being "impressed" with Mitt Romney, and Gordon Fischer's touting of Mark Warner's future Iowa travel. LINK

Branstad is not the only Iowa GOP stalwart being consulted by potential presidential hopefuls. After meeting with the gathered governors in Des Moines, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told The Note that folks like Govs. Romney and Pataki have yet to reach out to him. "Only one potential candidate has met with me thus far and that is Sen. Sam Brownback," said Grassley. "But don't write that like I'm complaining that the others haven't, because I'm not," he added.

What advice does Grassley give about campaigning in Iowa? "I tell them they have to run like they are a candidate for sheriff."

Holding a news conference at the NGA, Gov. Mitt Romney joked with reporters about why Republican chairman Gov. Kenny Guinn of Nevada wasn't there -- he was ''trying to bat down rumors he's looking at a presidential run and, therefore, doesn't want to be in Iowa."

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said of Romney, "Mitt's one of the true leaders among us." LINK

Ron Fournier of the AP reports on the buzz and the substance. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Mort Kondracke asks in his Roll Call column, "The Senate's stem-cell debate forces a moment of truth upon Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.): Is he, at bottom, a doctor and scientist dedicated to saving lives, or just an ambitious politician out to advance his career?"

"At the moment, the evidence suggests the latter -- that he's working to peel votes away from legislation that would hasten stem-cell research, and in the process give himself and his party political cover."

M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Scripps Howard News Service pens a (retrospective) piece on Rep. Tom Tancredo's Iowa visit. David Yepsen wouldn't be surprised to hear a crescendo from this campaign -- if only to tone Republican campaign pitch to include immigration control.

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