The Note: A Soul, a Spirit Capable of Compassion

"While there were sharp partisan divisions, even Democrats favored Roberts' confirmation, albeit just by an eight-point margin, 42-34 percent. Independents favored him by a 26-point margin; Republicans, by a huge 77-point gap, 83-6 percent."

The Hill's Elana Schorr writes that 25 Democrats could vote for Roberts. LINK

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne opines that by "proposing that Roberts lead the court, Bush has given liberal groups a chance to regroup and argue that this battle is no longer a practice session for the next round. It is the next round." LINK

How, exactly, that "regrouping" will bare fruit is beyond us.

In a Washington Post op-ed, George Mason Law Professor Ronald D. Rotunda defends Roberts' decision not to recuse himself in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. LINK

Morning Show summary:

After agreeing to participate in a town hall meeting on ABC's "Good Morning America," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) took a lot of heat from constituents who wanted to know why more had not been done to shore up the levees. After she pointed to the future and said that the Army Corps of Engineers budget had been cut and that the feds "have more of the answers that I do," a Louisiana woman told the governor, "I don't think that's a good answer."

When, at the top of NBC's "Today" show, the headline out of Matt Lauer's mouth is "progress" accompanied by a lower-third banner reading "turning the tide," it is probably the beginning of a better news cycle for President Bush than the last seven have been.

NBC's Russert spoke of the President's continued efforts at replacing "callousness" with "compassion" in terms of his perceived response to Katrina. Russert also went on to say that, in the wake of Katrina, some moderate Republicans may be looking for a moderate/consensus nominee to replace O'Connor on the Supreme Court, but he didn't name a one of 'em.

Recapping an earlier conversation, Imus mentioned to Tim Russert that he told Newsweek's Evan Thomas: No, you don't expect the President to be God. "But you do expect him to be Rudolph Giuliani."

The politics of Katrina: Bush test:

The Wall Street Journal's must-read lead editorial that:

-- Says Katrina threatens the President's entire second term.

-- Demands Mr. Bush acknowledge that DHS and FEMA failed.

-- Sounds a Hastertian Note on the rebuilding of New Orleans.

-- Says Katrina buried Social Security reform for now: "Katrina makes reform impossible in the near term."

-- Calls on the President to watch over the taxpayers' interests during rebuilding, champion tax cuts, and exercise more visible leadership.

In the news pages, the Wall Street Journal's McKinnon and Preciphs look at the economic planning of the White House, with a focus on jobs and rebuilding -- and African-American outreach.

"But just how well Mr. Bush would endure the political challenges posed by the hurricane, much less prevail over them, remained a question on Monday," writes Todd Purdum of the New York Times. And don't miss Bill Kristol pining away for Bill Clinton (well, sorta pining). LINK

USA Today's Keen and Benedetto vaguely reference some internal White House emails from Saturday night and then say this about Bush aides: "They concluded that for Bush's remaining 40 months in office, they should expect almost anything, said a top adviser who works closely with Bush. 'We've just kind of realized that if things are going to happen, they're going to happen to this president,' he said…." LINK

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