The Note: The Streaming Note

"Overall, it's an astonishing turnaround for the mayor from his moribund poll numbers of just a year ago. Bloomberg has turned out to be a pretty decent politician (or at least been smart enough to hire people who know their politics)," writes the New York Post's Eric Fettman. LINK

Given the good poll numbers, the paper's editorial board asks, "why all the cheap shots" at President Bush? "Discretion, Mr. Mayor. Discretion." LINK

The New York Daily News says the new Quinnipiac poll has one bright spot for Ferrer: "Voters believe Ferrer cares more than Bloomberg about their personal issues." LINK

Stefan Friedman Notices that Bloomberg's campaign features more blue than red. LINK

2006:

Democratic Senators used their caucus meeting yesterday to hear from strategists McCurry, Begala, Sosnik, and Bing (!), with some basic talk about how to combat the White House and win back the Senate in 2006. According to someone who heard an account of the meeting, Senators Obama and Lieberman displayed particular message savvy.

Senate Democrats have identified five issue areas on which they will campaign next year, but are still sorting out who will spearhead each issue and what the overarching message theme will be," Roll Call reports. "The party's message 'focuses on strength, not just our [national] security, but a strong energy policy, a strong economy,' said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin following a special meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Wednesday to talk about the 2006 election message strategy."

The Washington Post reports that Maryland Republicans decried news yesterday that Democratic researchers obtained Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's [R] credit report, suggesting that it showed how seriously the Democrats are taking Steele's likely bid for the U.S. Senate." "'If they're trashing you, they fear you,' Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) said. "'You don't go to this sort of extreme if you're not fearful.'" LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The Los Angeles Times' Magnier writes a totally straight news story about how a Chinese company is now selling condoms named after Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The company's general manager is, apparently, the Norm Ornstein (and the Jackie Mason) of the Communist world. LINK

"'We chose the name because we think Clinton is a symbol of success and a man of responsibility. And Lewinsky is a woman who dares to love and dares to hate,' said Liu Wenhua, the company's general manager."

"'We haven't told Clinton about this yet. Can you help us find him?' Liu added. 'We'd like to tell him how respected he is in China, so we can boost his confidence and help his career. . .'"

"'Clinton is not only successful, he's also humorous and loves life,' he said. 'Jokes mean you should love life.'"

Tina Brown thinks Bill Clinton has found his role as "facilitator-in-chief." LINK

Former President Clinton and Sen. Bob Dole came together last night at a North Carolina fundraiser. LINK

New Hampshire:

The Union Leader's John DiStaso reports that the state Democratic party has added the RNC to its existing civil case over the 2002 Election Day phone-jamming scandal. Party Chair Kathy Sullivan says it is now "crystal clear that the phone-jamming was planned by the Republican Party to help win John Sununu's Senate seat." Her Republican counterpart, James Dowd, who is named in the case, said the charges are bogus. The federal criminal investigation is continuing. LINK

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