USA Today 's David Lynch writes, "Ahmad Chalabi picked the wrong day to sleep late." LINK The AP reports on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's comments that the president's "Iraq policies show incompetence and that the only conclusion to draw is that 'the emperor has no clothes.'" LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
USA Today 's Judy Keen reports that the Bush campaign will launch a new 30-second TV ad next week "attacking Kerry's stance on the Patriot Act." LINK The 30-second ad will air in 19 states and "will accuse Senator John Kerry of 'playing politics with national security.'"
Keen: "The campaign will reinforce its message in the next few weeks with a speech by Vice President Cheney and a news conference in key states with Republican governors, former state attorneys general and law enforcement officials supporting the Patriot Act."
ABC's Kate Snow reported this morning that President and Laura Bush won't attend their daughters' college graduations this weekend but will instead host dinners in Austin and New Haven. Laura Bush has talked about maintaining Barbara and Jenna Bush's privacy, and the White House has done a pretty good job at shielding them from the press for the last four years — despite lots of tabloid headlines. Now that they're done with school, Barbara and Jenna Bush plan to work on their father's campaign and shack up with their parents, who have a few extra bedrooms.
The Washington Post 's Milbank and Babington wrap President Bush's trip to Capitol Hill Thursday, which "gave Republicans a chance to circle the wagons as the violence and prison-abuse scandal in Iraq have pushed Bush's standing to the lowest of his term, and beneath that of Democratic challenger John F. Kerry." LINK The Boston Globe 's Washington Notes: "The president's need to maintain support among increasingly divergent factions of his political base is especially vital this election year, with Bush relying on strong backing from his fellow Republicans to offset plummeting support among Democrats and Independents. LINK
The New York Times ' Bumiller and Hulse wrap Bush's "pep rally" on the Hill and Note what he did not address: "the abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison, calls for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation or the raid by what witnesses said were Iraqi and American authorities on the Baghdad offices and home of Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader once embraced by the United States." LINK Make sure to read the quotes from lawmakers at the bottom of the Los Angeles Times' Simon and Shogren article on the jaunt to Capitol Hill. LINK
The quotes may help explain that "current quagmires" that "come from within the GOP ranks."
The New York Daily News' Kennedy and DeFrank write "the presidential exhortation may have been a harder sell than White House optimists contended. The Bush handlers 'were worried that people were getting weak-kneed on the foreign policy agenda,' said a GOP Capitol Hill source." LINK The Washington Times ' Bill Sammon and Stephen Dinan wrap Jano Cabrera's statement into their pep rally story, along with a colorful statement from House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's protesting comments by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling President Bush "incompetent." LINK Gebe Martinez of the Houston Chronicle reports that during his meeting with lawmakers yesterday, the president "renewed his push for an energy bill that has lost steam on Capitol Hill amid party disagreements." LINK