The Note

The Washington Post's Mike Allen reports Administration "aides said the White House believes Rice's refusal to testify is becoming a political problem and officials are looking for a way out. The leading possibility is for Rice to submit to another private session with the commissioners and allow them to release a transcript, the aides said."LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Reynolds and Miller write up the political implications of the wrangling over Dr. Rice's potential testimony. LINK

"Some Republicans say they fear the controversy, if it lingers, could undermine Bush's chief rationale for reelection: his leadership of the war on terrorism. But two new polls released Monday suggested that Bush had not suffered significant damage from the controversy."

An "exasperated" Thomas Kean tells the New York Times ' Shenon and Stevenson that he would like to see Condoleezza Rice give her "testimony under the penalty of perjury" publicly before the commission, as did Richard Clarke last week. LINK

Peter Canellos of the Boston Globe writes of Condoleezza Rice, "her two roles this week — as the administration's chosen defender, but a policy maker with an oddly muted voice — pretty much sum up the duality that has marked her three years as national security adviser: She's a star, but few can say precisely what she has done or where she stands on crucial issues." LINK

The Washington Post's editorial board Notes "now the administration is reportedly seeking an arrangement under which some of Ms. Rice's answers from a closed session could be released. That might be better than nothing, but Ms. Rice is a key player in this piece of history. Her full testimony should be part of the commission's public record." LINK

Vince Morris of the New York Post reports Bill Clinton may testify before the 9/11 Commission "as early as this week" and Commissioner Bob Kerrey is ready to pound him with questions as to why he didn't declare war on Al Qaeda or bin Laden and whether or not the Lewinsky scandal distracted the former president from terrorist threats. LINK

The exchange is expected to have a slightly different tone than their 2001 dinner at Babbo. LINK

Franklin C. Miller, a senior aide to Condoleezza Rice who worked alongside Richard Clarke on Sept. 11, "is disputing central elements of Mr. Clarke's account of events in the White House Situation Room that day, declaring that it 'is a much better screenplay than reality was,'" writes David Sanger of the New York Times. LINK

The New York Times' Paul Krugman is unhappy with how the media and this country is getting away "with a campaign of character assassination." LINK

"This administration's reliance on smear tactics is unprecedented in modern U.S. politics — even compared with Nixon's. Even more disturbing is its readiness to abuse power — to use its control of the government to intimidate potential critics," he writes.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page points to Clarke's conceding that even if the president had followed all his recommendations since coming to office, the 9/11 attacks still could not have been prevented.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: the politics of gas:

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