The Note

A Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette editorial says that "honor and respect have been hurt by Bush's shallow plunge into a war that wiser thinkers would have avoided." LINK

The Arizona Republic's Robert Robb questions why liberals detest high gas prices. LINK

The Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board thanks California Democrats for helping Nevada's economy. LINK

Veepstakes:

The Des Moines Register's Lynn Campbell reports, "Flanked by firefighters wearing 'Firefighters for Kerry' T-shirts, Gov. Tom Vilsack on Tuesday criticized the Bush administration for what he said are plans to cut spending for homeland security." LINK

Tom Vilsack plays a mighty good Governor of Iowa, even while preening to be the next VP every step of the way, opines Rob Borsellino of the Des Moines Register. LINK

The Naples Daily News reports that Sen. John Edwards hits southwest Florida June 12 to raise a hoped-for $250,000 for Sen. Kerry's campaign. LINK

Cindy Adams's gossip on veepstakes and the Boston convention could be true, or it could be gossip, but, our darlings, Mommy has pretty good Democratic entertainment sources, so you be the judge. LINK

The politics of Iraq:

The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran lays out the process of choosing Iraq's new interim government, the competing interests of all the parties involved, and the atmosphere in Baghdad as the preparations for the June 30 handoff begin. LINK

The Washington Post's Robin Wright and Mike Allen lay out the complications facing both the interim government and the Bush Administration as it tries to push the new U.N. draft resolution, Noting that President Bush was "almost giddily buoyant" at his Rose Garden news conference Tuesday as he talked about the new Iraqi interim government -- more upbeat than he's seemed since the May 1, 2003 declaration that major combat operations were over. LINK

The two Note that the resolution comes at an opportune time for the President -- when his approval ratings have slumped.

"Bush aides contended over the weekend that the president has bottomed out politically. They told White House allies in Washington that the new government would mark a turning point by showing progress and would strengthen Bush for his meetings with European leaders later this week by putting Iraq's postwar future on a multinational track."

Look for the President to talk about the resolution and the handover in his address to the Air Force Academy today.

The Washington Times' Bill Sammon leads with President Bush's comment yesterday that he had nothing to do with selecting the members of Iraq's new government. LINK

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice heads to Capitol Hill today to brief Senate leadership, the Armed Services Committee and House leadership on the new Iraqi Governing Council. LINK

"Reflecting the dominant role of Iraq in his presidency and political fortunes, Mr. Bush got only one question on a domestic issue during the 36-minute news conference," writes the New York Times' Dick Stevenson. "[A]nd that was on oil and gasoline prices, a topic linked directly to the Middle East. Five months from Election Day, he never mentioned his presumptive Democratic challenger." LINK

The New York Times' James Risen and David Johnston look at the specifics of the communications between Iraqi exile leader Ahmed Chalabi and Iranian intelligence. LINK

The politics of national security:

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