The Note




Dynamics and developments to watch this week:

1. When does Powell speak? (And what does he say?)

2. What does tonight's ABC/Washington Post poll show? Lots of ground covered, from Iraq and pre-war intelligence to the issues and the campaign -- fasten your seatbelts.

3. When and how does the White House begin to trash in earnest a book for which the President did interviews?

4. As Congress returns, what strength and concern do Members take from their candidates' high-profile perfs (Bush presser and Kerry Meeter)?

5. Do we get that new Kerry ad?

6. Now the DNC has conceded that it hasn't figured out how to get contemporary footage of President Bush from public events like news conferences through channels it can use in spots, and the Kerry campaign has conceded that it wasn't able to get the vintage '70s "Meet the Press" footage itself, will somebody in the party take control and end the madness?

(Note how quickly BC04 got that Kerry $87 billion video in a usable form . . .)

7. Now the Dr. Rice showed up with oppo on Bob Kerrey, and General Ashcroft showed up with oppo on Jamie Gorelick, and Kerry showed up with oppo on Russert, will everyone in Washington assume that anyone they are facing off against in a televised appearance will be packing?

8. What time bombs (means testing, terrorism, the Heinz tax returns, the '70s?) exist in Kerry's otherwise-well-received "Meet" appearance?

9. What happens with everything on the ground in Iraq?

10. Does anyone else join the Spaniards in deciding against staying in Iraq?

11. Will the cable nets be swayed/pressured by today's Howie Kurtz piece to give John Kerry more "air" time?

12. Will Woodward stay in Kerry's stump speech, and for how long?

13. Will the blind quotes of one lobbyist in the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman's piece on the record-breaking pork in a bill supposed to include modest tax breaks for exporters scuttle the bill? LINK

(New York-based media executives will be outraged!!)

President Bush speaks about the Patriot Act and attends a fundraiser for Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania today.

He speaks about the Patriot Act in Buffalo tomorrow morning before attending a New York City RNC Victory 2004 fundraiser tomorrow night.

He speaks to the teachers of the year, the national newspaper association and at a National Race for the Cure reception Wednesday at the White House in addition to meeting with Jordanian President King Abdullah. He speaks about Earth Day in Maine on Thursday morning before giving youth environmental awards at the White House.

He speaks about volunteering and attends an RNC fundraiser in Florida on Friday.

Sen. Kerry attends a fundraiser with Sen. Joe Lieberman this morning in Juno Beach, Fla., before holding a town hall with Lieberman in Lake Worth. He travels to Atlanta for another fundraiser this evening.

He campaigns in Tampa tomorrow morning and holds three separate Miami and Bal Harbor fundraisers tomorrow night. He is in New Orleans on Wednesday, Houston on Thursday, and Washington on Friday.

Vice President Cheney speaks at a fundraiser for a candidate for Congress in Roanoke, Va., today before attending an RNC fundraiser in Chattanooga, Tenn.

First Lady Laura Bush attends an RNC fundraiser in Kentucky on Tuesday afternoon. She is in Tennessee on Friday.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday hears arguments in cases involving detainees in the Administration's war on terrorism.

Tuesday is also the fifth anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

Woodward and the White House:

A Note challenge: keeping track of all the sentences today that begin with or somewhere contain the phrase, "According to the Woodward book . . . "

The right distrusts Woodward; the press quotes his accounts as gospel, as do some Democrats.

The Washington Post prints its second installment of excerpts from Bob Woodward's book, "Plan of Attack," this time focusing on the push to war by CIA Director George Tenet. LINK

In case you missed the first excerpt yesterday: LINK

And stolen from the weekend must-reads, Woodward continued his portrayal of Bush as the master of his own political destiny and of Karl Rove as the builder and co-architect, rather than the all-knowing manipulator. In Sunday's Post, a Woodward excerpt shows Rove beginning to make the case against Sen. Kerry on the war. LINK

"The record was that Kerry had been all over the map. Sounding like a method actor who believes his lines, Rove offered some readings from the Kerry record."

The New York Times' Steven Weisman writes the story that all of Washington will be reading and re-reading, about the notion that Secretary of State Colin Powell's "apparent decision to lay out his misgivings even more explicitly to the journalist Bob Woodward for a book has jolted the White House and aggravated long-festering tensions in the Bush cabinet. Moreover, some officials said, the book has created problems for the secretary inside the administration just as the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and President Bush is plunging into his re-election drive." LINK

LOTS of blind quotes here -- the suppliers of which are all apparent to Woodward, Lynne Cheney, and Bill Casey.

USA Today's Judy Keen gets the most detailed White House response to the Woodward book yet, writing that "a high-ranking Bush adviser" thinks the book "debunks the idea that Cheney and Pentagon officials concocted and exaggerated intelligence" before the war, instead making "it clear those conclusions came from the CIA." Keen details the instances in which Administration officials have refuted portions of Woodward's book. LINK

USA Today's Mark Memmott writes that while the AP's scooping the Washington Post on Friday printing leaked information may have ruined the meticulously planned public relations blitz, it could have also driven up sales. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Schrader covers Condoleezza Rice's statement that contrary to what the book says, the President did not decide to go to war until March. LINK

AP's William Mann also writes up Rice's denial. LINK

The New York Times' Michiko Kakutani reviews Woodward's "engrossing" book, whose "harrowing narrative" shows the administration's mix of policy and politics, and "also underscores the role that fuzzy intelligence, Pentagon timetables and aggressive ideas about military and foreign policy had in creating momentum for war." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Greenberger and Rogers write that the "issues raised in Mr. Woodward's 467-page book are significant because stalwart leadership in the war against terrorism has been Mr. Bush's strongest suit, as he heads toward the November election" and Note John Kerry's charge that Mr. Bush "misleads his secretary of state about his own planning for a war."

The morning shows:

The morning shows led with a combination of Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack" and the situation in Iraq.

Woodward sat down with NBC's Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" to discuss his new book, telling Lauer that a top White House official defended the $700 million diversion of funds from Afghanistan to Iraq by saying the White House didn't want to disrupt "the karma of Congress." Asked if Gen. Tommy Franks' public denial that he was not planning war was a lie, Woodward said: "Well, it wasn't the truth." Woodruff will be on "Today" again tomorrow.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote the paperback release of her memoir. Sen. Clinton seized on some of the revelations in Woodward's book and aggressively challenged President Bush. "It goes back to credibility and competence and this President has neither," she said.

In particular, Sen. Clinton repeated Woodward's charge that the Bush Administration "diverted resources" to Iraq away from "the war in Afghanistan against our primary enemy, Al Qaeda and their allies." Sen. Clinton deftly worked in a reference to her husband's Administration being "obsessed with Al Qaeda" and that they "passed it on to the Bush Administration."

On the subject of her husband's forthcoming book, Sen. Clinton said she doesn't vet his book but that every now and then he will show her a passage and she'll tell him: "That's interesting. But that's now how I remember it (laughter)."

Asked if she regrets her vote authorizing the use of force in Iraq, Sen. Clinton sounded very Kerry-esque and said: "I regret the way the President has used the authority that I and others gave him." She once again denied interest in being Sen. Kerry's running mate and disputed the notion that a successful Kerry candidacy would disrupt her own presidential ambitions for 2008. "I don't care about that. I'm very happy that somebody else has taken on the responsibility of running for president," she said.

Weekend must-reads:

Time magazine's Joe Klein compares campaign styles and finds Sen. Kerry to be a "stylistic reactionary." LINK

"[Kerry's] campaign is experiencing something of a silent spring. Part of this is beyond his control and possibly beneficial to his cause: Iraq and the 9/11 commission have dominated the news and kept the President on the defensive. Another part has been tactical, intentional: Kerry's recent priorities have been fund raising (he brought in $13 million last week alone) and taking time to develop a careful strategy for the general-election campaign."

"The stodginess is compounded by the Senator's public performances. In an effort to seem positive, he has removed the 'Bring It On' red meat from his stump speech and replaced it with Spam. It is not uncommon to see audiences leaving his fund-raising events in droves while he is still speaking. Often he'll talk about the need for a new style of campaigning, a 'conversation' with the American people, and then he'll proceed to relaunder a list of Democratic nostrums ('Health care is a right, not a privilege') that were clichés when Dukakis slogged the trail. There is nothing conversational, or comforting, about his candidacy."

Newsweek's Howard Fineman and Tamara Lipper report on Bush's press conference last week, where -- encapsulated in prime time -- the President's campaign, presidency, and world view emerged in full, depicting him as an individual "who often would rather preach than answer questions-or ask them. He leads and runs unapologetically on faith, dividing the world and the presidential campaign into two discrete spheres: one for patriots who believe in his policies and vision, and one for everyone else." LINK

The Washington Post's Farhi and Harris spent a good deal of time analyzing the ACT/BC04 mobilization efforts on the ground in Ohio. LINK

Key stat: "Bush-Cheney Ohio campaign says it so far has captains in more than 5,000 precincts, has recruited 22,393 volunteers toward its goal of 52,000, and in tandem with the state GOP has registered 30,000 new voters, with a goal of 91,000. ACT, meanwhile, reports it has so far registered about 45,000 new voters."

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny spent some time in Wisconsin looking at battleground states through the prism of the war in Iraq and the causalities from the battleground states. LINK

Steve Hayes, who served with Kerry in Vietnam, wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post on serving in war with the Senator. Wrote Hays, John Kerry "saw real combat, and no one should diminish his service. By the same token, no one should make it out to be more than it was." LINK

The Boston Globe's Mooney on Bob Shrum's increasing influence in the Land of Kerry. LINK

The Washington Post's Mike Allen portrayed Vice President Cheney's NRA speech as a bid to recover credibility among gun voters. Interesting, oblique post-modern quote from a Democratic strategist about manliness, and a great explanation for why it's blind. LINK

"'There's a testosterone threshold -- a cultural debate over manliness,' said a Democratic official who refused to be identified so he could talk candidly about Kerry's strategy. The official said that because of primary opposition from Bill Bradley, Gore 'ran so far to the left on guns that he left the political center wide open to George Bush.'"

Jamie Gorelick wrote in Sunday's Washington Post that her 1995 memo allowed more information sharing between criminal investigators and intelligence analysts, not less. LINK

The New York Times' Nagourney and Lichtblau evaluated the winners and losers of the 9/11 Commission hearings. "In Washington, devotees of the hearings -- and there were many -- saw jockeying among Democrats who might like a place in a John Kerry administration, White House aides seeking to protect their reputations at the expense of other aides, and Washington lions contemplating what the consultant James Carville has called 'the comma' -- the life-summarizing subordinate phrase that follows a name in an obituary." LINK

The New York Times' Johnston and Dwyer took an in depth look at the impact of the 9/11 Commission and what can be taken from them -- including that "after three weeks of extraordinary public hearings and a dozen detailed reports, the lengthy documentary record makes clear that predictions of an attack by Al Qaeda had been communicated directly to the highest levels of the government." LINK

David Broder (with an assist from the CPBP) favors keeping middle class tax cuts while getting rid of the rest. LINK

The Boston Globe's Mishra updated Sen. Edwards' underwater veepstakes campaigning, detailing his PAC activities, harsh rhetorical broadsides against Bush, and an assessment of his strengths and weakness. LINK

The New York Times profiled the Ragin' Cajun James Carville who has "largely by dint of energy and personality, has blended politics, entertainment and celebrity into a lucrative empire with a single product to sell: James Carville." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

The Washington Post's Dan Balz wraps Kerry's appearance on "Meet the Press," highlighting Kerry's criticism of President Bush's "stunningly ineffective" foreign policy and his defense of his vote against the $87 billion supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan. LINK

If you missed Sen. Kerry's appearance on "Meet," read Glen Johnson's recap in the Boston Globe. LINK

Note particularly:

"Kerry incorrectly said a law requires candidates to make their tax returns public, as he has done."

"No such requirement exists, which campaign aides later conceded."

"Kerry also said he has released all his military records and they are available for review at his campaign headquarters, although aides could not immediately confirm the scope of records available."

And/or the AP's Glover write-up: LINK

The New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren highlights Sen. Kerry's backing away from "contentious statements he made three decades ago after returning from the Vietnam War, saying his long-ago use of the word 'atrocities' to describe his and others' actions was inappropriate and 'a little bit excessive.'" Says Kerry, "'I think some of the language that I used was a language that reflected an anger.'" LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Gold writes up Kerry's criticism of the "'way the president went to war.'" And Notes the candidate's answer to questions about his wife's tax returns. (Note Gold didn't find Kerry's comment on his disappeared dark hair nearly as awkward as Wilgoren . . .) LINK

Mickey Kaus asks, has Kerry signed on to Social Security means testing? LINK

The New York Sun's Gerstein writes that Kerry "made at least two factual errors" during his Sunday show appearance, on a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and on the issue of whether or not candidates are required by law to make public their tax returns. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan leads with Kerry's declaration that he would run the war on terror as primarily -- that's "primarily," if you didn't catch the Senator's emphasis -- as a law-enforcement action rather than a military one. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers wraps Kerry's campaign stops in college towns in his attempt to appeal to younger voters, Noting that to win, Kerry "must expand the Democrats' base, and the courtship of younger voters is a case study of this dynamic."

Note Rogers citation of poll results suggesting that young people have gone from the age cohort MOST supportive of the war against Iraq to the LEAST.

And Note that David Rogers is a sucker for a vet with an idealistic message.

AP reports that late Saturday night retired General and Kerry backer Wesley Clark said, "I believe it is the job of the president as chief executive to provide focus and direction" and that "Bush did not do that with respect to 9/11." LINK

USA Today's Jill Lawrence focuses on Sen. Kerry's assertion that more troops -- and a new President (wonder who he thinks that should be?) -- could be needed to secure peace in Iraq. LINK

Roll Call's Mark Preston writes that the addition last week of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) to Kerry's inner circle indicates he's keeping a much closer eye on Congress and will give it larger influence than former Vice President Al Gore did in his campaign.

The Boston Globe's Brian C. Mooney looks at the unprecedented unity among Democrats in Massachusetts after many Kerry supporters defected and worked for Gov. Howard Dean, and have now been welcomed back. LINK

"Kerry loyalists might have been expected to hold a grudge against the defectors. After all, this is the Democratic Party of Massachusetts, famous for feuds and infighting. But there have been no recriminations or finger-wagging since Kerry cleared Dean and his other serious opponents from the field, say those on both sides of the temporary divide. It's a local version of a national phenomenon -- party activists of many stripes coalescing quickly behind Kerry in the effort to defeat President George W. Bush."

The Miami Herald was with Sen. Kerry yesterday as he began his third visit to the Sunshine State. "While Kerry's TV comments on Iraq drew the most attention nationwide, his brief remarks on Cuba and the United States' embargo against business with the island likely will be scrutinized in South Florida." LINK

Wilgoren Notes Kerry's predilection for bringing up Sen. John McCain's name on the trail. (And uses the word "kerfuffle!") LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

President Bush heads to Pennsylvania today to stump for Sen. Arlen Specter and for the Patriot Act. AP's Riechmann Notes that the trip is the President's 27th to the Keystone State as President.

"Both liberals and conservatives in Congress are threatening to allow some of the act's provisions die. Republicans have joined liberal Democrats in introducing multiple measures because they believe parts of the law are too intrusive on Americans' lives," writes Riechmann. LINK

Bob Novak looks at the "left-wing all-star team" that supports Sen. Specter, and the dichotomy Specter and President Bush face -- Bush stumps for Republican candidates (and heads to Pennsylvania for a fundraiser today), and the distance Specter needs from his Bush-bashing supporters -- including George Soros and Harold Ickes. LINK

John Glionna of the Los Angeles Times reports that "cracks have surfaced in President Bush's once-solid rural constituency" and in key battleground states, "some Republicans are so concerned about crop prices and high unemployment that they're considering voting Democratic for the first time."

"Perhaps Bush's greatest strength with rural voters is an emotional bond based on cultural values. They view him as someone who thinks like they do -- a president who speaks their mind on issues like property rights, abortion and gay marriage."LINK

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick leads his piece about President Bush's conservative support strongly and succinctly: "A growing faction of conservatives is voicing doubts about a prolonged United States military involvement in Iraq, putting hawkish neoconservatives on the defensive and posing questions for President Bush about the degree of support he can expect from his political base." LINK

In the end, however, it isn't clear how deep the disillusionment is, beyond some Washington salons.

The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller wraps the thinking behind President Bush's prime time news conference and Notes that the President's staff prepared him to be asked whether he should have taken out Moqtada al-Sadr four months ago. LINK

Note to EliSabeth -- regarding the visages of Rove and Rice in the cutaway: we have seen Rove with a "worried expression," and that wasn't it.

And the Apprentice's Omarosa working for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign? Well, almost, but not quite, US News & World Report's Washington Whispers Notes. "We will not be uttering the words, 'You're hired!'' says spokesman Terry Holt."LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The Washington Post's Howie Kurtz Notes that President Bush has "drawn more than three times as much live cable coverage" as Sen. Kerry, according to the Post's own analysis. LINK

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal reports the Fed isn't likely to raise rates before August, but when it meets next month it is likely to "continue what officials refer to as 'verbal tightening' of monetary policy: altering the statement that follows the meeting to convey that conditions for such an increase are falling into place. Fed policy makers' purpose is twofold: to be candid in their economic views, and to adjust investors' expectations so that when the Fed finally does lift rates, it isn't a surprise."

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick argues on today's Washington Post op-ed page against union's opposing free trade laws, adding that "were we to adopt the standards of the economic isolationists, it's not clear we could even have interstate commerce." LINK

Donald Lambro of the Washington Times rounds up encouraging economic news, from homebuilding and home ownership to consumer spending and retail sales, with economists predicting continued recovery by the election. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Miami Herald writes that when both presidential candidates are in their state this week, the Cuban Americans in Florida really want to hear both candidates be tough on Castro. While the President has been losing ground with this group on the subject, Democratic strategists say Sen. Kerry still needs "to prove that his recent anti-Castro vitriol is not just an election-year conversion from a liberal Cuba record." LINK

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert reports on the tumultuous opening stages of the presidential race, where the two contenders stand pretty much where they did a month ago -- "at near-perfect parity, with neither side gaining the upper hand." LINK

The Portsmouth Herald's Shir Haberman reports on the job losses in New Hampshire since Bush assumed the presidency in 2000 and the local labor and advocacy groups that contend the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration have created the current situation. LINK

The Las Cruces Sun-News' Charlotte Tallman reports on the local effects in New Mexico of Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation, where some wonder if it is being implemented as well as it is written, while others are praising aspects of the three-year-old law. LINK

The politics of national security:

USA Today's Komarow and Squitieri report that, "In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties." LINK

The Wall Street Journal goes page one with a we-deem-a-must-read story analyzing the early decisions made in and for post-war Iraq, and their reverberations now. The timeline is very nicely done.

The Los Angeles Times reports "three congressional committees have scheduled hearings that Republican lawmakers hope will produce information they need to explain President Bush's Iraq policy to increasingly restive constituents. Democrats say the hearings will provide a forum for criticizing what they say have been the administration's missteps." Minn. Gov. Pawlenty, an "ally" of the President who last week called Iraq a "mess" says, "'Are people anxious about Iraq? The answer is yes.'" LINK

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times looks at this week's hearings and raps Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar, writing that "too often over the last year, the Foreign Relations Committee has been silent on the choices America faces in Iraq." Writes Brownstein, "Lugar's position obligates him to pursue the answers Americans need to know, not just this week, but week after week." LINK

Administrator L. Paul Bremer said yesterday in a statement that Iraqi security forces would not be ready by the June 30 deadline to hand over power in Iraq. LINK

AP reports that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced that he is pulling his country's 1,300 troops out of Iraq, as promised, by June 30. The timetable has not been announced, though unnamed officials said the withdrawal could begin as early as 15 days. LINK

Spain's new prime minister orders his troops now in Iraq home "'as soon as possible,'" reports the New York Times' Simons, who writes White House officials "made little secret that the decision was a bitter moment for President Bush. They fear that it will make it more difficult to continue to internationalize the forces in Iraq as the June 30 date approaches for the transfer of sovereign power to an Iraqi government." LINK

The New York Times' Sanger writes up National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's warnings Sunday of election-time terrorist threats. LINK

The New York Post picks up on Bill Clinton's statements to the Sept. 11 commission that "he personally warned incoming President Bush to watch out for Osama bin Laden and his terrorist plots." LINK

Shaun Waterman of United Press International reports that warnings about specific terrorist threats like that of the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB date back to the Clinton Administration, according to commission executive director Philip Zelikow. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt reports that former acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard privately expressed surprise to the 9/11 Commission that Jamie Gorelick was on the panel, given her role in setting the Clinton Administration's counterterrorism policies, and that she had "resisted efforts by the FBI to expand the counterterrorism effort beyond simple law enforcement tactics and agencies." LINK

The Washington Post's John Mintz writes up Condoleezza Rice's insistence that the Administration had no advanced knowledge of Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Aziz Rantisi. LINK

The Washington Post's Bradley Graham reports that the President Bush is launching a five-year, $600 million drive aimed largely at Africa to "train, equip and provide logistical support to forces in nations willing to participate in peace operations." LINK

The land of 5-plus-2-equals-7:

The Kansas City Star's Rick Montgomery reports that the Sierra Club is fighting off internal splits as members vote on whether the group should oppose expanded immigration. LINK


AP wraps Ralph Nader and Sen. Kerry's references to each other during their TV appearances. LINK

The politics of the Supreme Court:

USA Today's Joan Biskupic takes a detailed look at the politics and the legal precedent surrounding the two cases the Supreme Court will hear beginning Tuesday focusing on whether a president has the authority to lock people up to protect national security. "Together, the cases raise fundamental questions about judges' ability to check presidential power, and about basic legal protections for captured foreigners and for U.S. citizens accused of betraying this country." Biskupic takes a good look at the Bush Administration's argument, the precedent set by previous wars, as well as the personal stories shadowing both cases. LINK

Republican National Convention:

The AP's Sarah Kugler reports: "President Bush's effort to ban gay marriage is driving gay rights activists to plan protests and other attention-grabbing events in New York City this summer during the Republican convention." LINK

The New York Times' Joyce Purnick on Rep. Charlie Rangel's threats to disrupt the Republican National Convention "if Washington Republicans did not modify a law requiring some public housing tenants to work in community service" and the bevy of other protest possibilities that exist come GOP convention time. LINK

The New York Daily News on the measures being taken to protect New York during this summer's convention. LINK

Fashion and politics intersect! Seems those fashionistas over at Bryant Park are "fretting over plans for a Republican National Convention event in Bryant Park on a day the fall Fashion Week tents should already be under construction." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

The Washington Post's Helen Dewar reports that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has made the historic decision to campaign against Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) in the latter's home state. LINK

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza writes that though fundraising picked up for the eight open Senate seats in the first three months of 2004, "Neither party had an edge in overall fundraising in open seats, with a Democrat leading in cash on hand in four contests, and a Republican with the advantage in the remaining four."

"Fundraising was more sluggish among the 26 incumbents seeking re-election, many of whom built huge war chests in 2003." Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) were two of seven incumbents who brought in more than $1 million.


Ann McFeatters of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Jewish and Arab voters appear to be realigning this election cycle, with Jewish voters more likely to support the President for reelection than in 2000. LINK

New York Gov. George Pataki urged attendees of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference to vote for President Bush because Democratic failures led to Sept. 11. LINK

The Houston Chronicle's Kim Cobb reports on a movement growing in New York City to grant the vote in local elections to legal immigrants in the city's next mayoral election, giving them a voice on local issues for everyone who pays local taxes. LINK

The politics of guns:

Some members of the NRA are not as solidly in President Bush's corner, the Chicago Tribune's Susan Kuczka reports. LINK

A particularly interesting quote from NRA member Ray Jennings, who attended this weekend's convention: "'There's no good third-party candidate, so it's going to be like picking between the lesser of two evils,' he said."

The Chicago Sun-Times' Frank Main looks at a poll released today showing that Illinois voters support making permanent the federal ban on assault weapons and requiring background checks at gun shows. LINK

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Monica L. Haynes reports on the credo of Ted Nugent, displayed at this weekend's NRA convention. LINK

The Schwarzenegger era:

The Washington Times' Ralph Z. Hallow writes about the workers' compensation overhaul that Gov. Schwarzenegger will sign today, calling it "the fourth major victory for the former action-movie star since he became governor barely five months ago." Hallow talks to Democratic strategist who admit that Schwarzenegger has done better and worked in a more bipartisan way than they had expected, and Republican conservatives who had been worried about his more liberal views and have ended up relieved because of what's he's accomplished. LINK

TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—7:00 am: Bob Woodward discusses "Plan of Attack" on NBC's "Today Show" —8:30 am: Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman attend a breakfast fundraiser, Juno Beach, Fla. —9:45 am: Off-camera press gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: Tribute to 200 Americans who died prematurely because of non-combat injuries and emotional suffering caused directly by Vietnam War but whose names are not eligible for inscription on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The National Foundation for American Policy holds a briefing on the constitutionality of proposed legislation to restrict outsourcing by U.S. companies, National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —10:02 am: The White House Commission on Remembrance holds a wreath laying ceremony to remember the 168 Americans who died in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Arlington, Va. —10:30 am: Sens. Kerry and Lieberman hold a town hall meeting at Palm Beach Community College, Lake Worth, Fla. —12:30 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a luncheon fundraiser for congressional candidate Kevin Triplett at the Wyndham Hotel, Roanake, Va. —1:15 pm: President Bush presents the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the United States Naval Academy Football Team, the White House —2:55 pm: President Bush speaks about the Patriot Act at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, Pa. —3:30 pm: The Pew Forum and the Brookings Institution host a discussion of the veil controversy caused by France passing into law a prohibition on wearing Muslim headscarves and other overt religious insignia in public schools, Washington, D.C. —3:45 pm: Sen. Kerry is greeted by veterans upon his arrival at the airport, Atlanta, Ga. —3:50 pm: Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee Chairmen Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe appear at an MTV Choose or Lose event with correspondent Gideon Yago at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. —4:00 pm: The Energy Department releases its weekly gasoline price report —6:10 pm: President Bush attends a fundraiser for Sen. Arlen Specter at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pa. —6:30 pm: Vice President and Lynne Cheney attend an RNC Victory 2004 fundraiser at the Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, Tenn. —7:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a reception fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, Ga. —7:00 pm: Karen Hughes signs copies of her book, "Ten Minutes from Normal," at the Friends Select School, Philadelphia, Pa. —8:40 pm: President Bush returns to the White House —9:00 pm: Attorney General John Ashcroft appears on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" —9:00 pm: Bob Woodward discusses "Plan of Attack" on CNN's "Larry King Live" —11:00 pm: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) discusses "Why Courage Matters" on the Charlie Rose Show