The Note

The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller highlights the part that Sen. Hagel played in the objections to Raimondo. (Note to 1600: Ignore your own party's senators at your own peril. The Empire can Strike Back.) Writes Bumiller, "Mr. Raimondo's withdrawal represented an early tactical victory by the Kerry campaign, which moved aggressively to undercut Mr. Bush in a week when he was trying to strike back at Mr. Kerry on an issue -- the shifting of American jobs overseas, or "outsourcing" -- that has become a major political problem for the White House." LINK

The Washington Times' James Lakely and Jeffrey Sparshott write up the withdrawal of Anthony Raimondo from consideration as President Bush's manufacturing jobs czar after the Kerry campaign's attack that he has outsourced jobs from his own company to China. The nomination, said one nameless Republican consultant, "'played right into Kerry's hands.'" LINK

The economy:

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan endorsed a plan that would extend the amount of time people can receive jobless benefits and urged Congress not to restrain trade in light of outsourcing, the Washington Post's Nell Henderson reports. Greenspan said that though there are signs the economy is picking up, "'new job creation is lagging badly.'" According to the Labor Department, February brought the highest length of unemployment in more than 20 years -- 20.3 weeks from 19.8 weeks in January, Henderson reports. LINK

Reports the New York Times' Andrews: Alan Greenspan warned Congress not to go protectionist, wading "deeper into the battle over jobs and trade" by saying "'We can erect walls to foreign trade and even discourage job-displacing innovation...Tensions might appear to ease, but only for a short while. Our standard of living would soon begin to stagnate and perhaps even decline as a consequence.'" LINK

The New York Times' Krugman columnizes that the President "does deserve blame for the fact that all he has to show for three years of supposed job-creation policies is a mountain of debt." LINK

The latest Wall Street Journal survey of economists tries to figure out why jobs aren't spurting as expected, and/but finds that outsourcing just isn't the "prime culprit" some make it out to be.

Kerry:

The New York Times' Wilgoren wraps up Sen. Kerry's comments yesterday, when he refused to apologize for his comments made a couple of days ago including the words "crooked" and "lying." As for the Edwards-Kerry alliance, "several people" who were at the meeting of the two senators said "Mr. Edwards, who spent 45 minutes alone with Mr. Kerry earlier, offered unequivocal support, while the donors told Mr. Kerry how much they would like to see their first pick in the No. 2 slot." LINK

The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson reports that Kerry, "for years branded a loner in the Senate, was embraced with a standing ovation yesterday when he returned to the chamber's weekly meeting of Democratic members for the first time since the Massachusetts senator emerged as the party's presumptive presidential nominee." LINK

And, yes, we Noticed along with many of you that Sen. Schumer somehow found his way into the stakeout shot!!

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