The Note




On this day when President Bush plans a big speech in Ohio to try to get his economic policy mojo back and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry meets with inevitable Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean and with the man from whom Dean tried to take his party back (Terry McAuliffe) -- on this very day, let us review all the things about which Howard Dean was right -- and wrong -- about the 2004 presidential election.

In both cases, in honor of Nigel Tufnel, the lists go to 11.

Things about which Howard Dean was right (from which John Kerry and George Bush can learn):

1. Ohio is the key to the general election outcome and the Democrats have a real chance there.

2. That Internet thingamajiggy is a pretty darn good way to raise money.

3. There exists within the Democratic Party and on the political left a lot of anger about President Bush -- harnessed simply by mentioning the notion of a one-way bus ticket back to Crawford, Texas -- or the beginning of the end of the Bush Administration.

4. That there are distinct parallels between the relationships between Joe Trippi and Kate O'Connor on the one hand, and Karl Rove and Karen Hughes on the other. (Okay: Dean was oblivious to this one, but it IS still true . . . )

5. Talking to voters like you are a real American (even if you went to Yale) is a good thing for a presidential candidate.

6. Jay Carson is as smart as he is sexycool.

7. Any smart (former) governor who was paying attention could warn even before the law passed that No Child Left Behind would be criticized on implementation by a bipartisan and broad range of state legislators.

8 . Busta Caps is the only way to beat MercerReynoldsJackOliver.

8. If you can't outflank President Bush on the right in some way regarding Iraq, you can't beat him.

9. Americans want to be engaged in and energized about public life again.

10. Zephyr Teachout and Karen Hicks have hearts as big as all outdoors and brains the size of Montana.

Things about which Howard Dean was wrong (from which John Kerry and George Bush can learn):

1. Vetting your own record is not important.

2. Orange hats are in.

3. Newsweekly covers are worth 50 electoral votes each.

4. Potential First Family, schmomential First Family.

5. Strident anger is VERY effective!!!

6. Being either a "strong supporter" of NAFTA or a "very strong supporter" of NAFTA -- either way, that's not such a commitment.

7. A doctor's God complex is very becoming in a public servant.

8. Having an economic message? Overrated.

9. George Bush is so captive to his (alleged) right-wing extreme agenda that the American people will NEVER vote for him.

10. Candidate-on-Jim-Jordan attacks work every time.

11. Clothes don't make the candidate.

As for the President's speech at noon ET today at the Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Forum in Cleveland, ABC News' Terry Moran and Karen Travers report that the White House is calling it a "new speech" that will address jobs and outsourcing -- clearly a topic that plays in economically hard-hit Ohio, where exports support more than 400,000 jobs.

The Bush-Cheney campaign offered this description of the stop:

"The president is taking his optimistic message about the strength of America's economy to Ohio today where he will take on critics of his pro-growth agenda. He will chide critics of free and fair trade by calling the old policies of 'tax and spend' the 'enemy of job creation' and describing economic isolationism as a 'recipe for economic disaster.'"

Moran reports that Bush will assert that trade is the path to growth, and will Note that 10 percent of Honda's international work force consists of U.S. workers, and that many thousands of Ohio workers are employed by overseas firms. The campaign looks at trade as a winning issue for them -- expect the world view through the Bush-Cheney lens to be that John Kerry, who he is not expected to mention by name this morning, is a dour protectionist in contrast to his optimistic policies.

The President, Moran Notes, "will say 'some in Washington' would hamper trade by restricting companies' ability to do business efficiently by, for example, imposing a waiting period on international movements (outsourcing). This, Bush will argue, is a 'fearful and pessimistic' policy that would 'mark a retreat to protectionism.'"

Some excerpts:

"That old policy of tax and spend is the enemy of job creation. The old policy of economic isolationism is a recipe for economic disaster. America has moved beyond that tired defeatist mindset, and we're not going back."

Also, "Some politicians in Washington see this new challenge and want to respond in old ways. Their agenda is to increase federal taxes, build a wall around our economy and isolate America from the rest of the world."

Travers Notes that this is the second time this week Bush has taken on his critics, and is trying to go on offense on the economy in a state where the Democrats have certainly gotten their licks in.

Speaking of trade, ABC News' Ramona Schindelheim reports that according to Commerce Department and Census Bureau numbers, the trade deficit rose to a record $43.1 billion in January. Imports and exports both dropped, Schindelheim reports, though imports had their second-best month ever. Consumers continue to buy cheaper foreign-made goods, and businesses increased their imports of parts, engines and industrial supplies. The growing trade deficit with China, Schindelhiem Notes, is the source of much of the larger trade deficit overall.

The Associated Press -- with loud understatement -- says "Bush's latest visit to Ohio suggested he was not entirely confident about keeping the state in his column this November. He has returned there again and again to reassure workers he is trying to stem job losses." LINK

Kerry has a full day in D.C., as he continues to don the cloak of presumptive nominee, after winning 256 (thus far) of 465 delegates last night.

The Bay Stater starts the day in Chicago, where he addresses the AFL-CIO Executive Council Meeting by satellite. Then when he hits the Nation's Capital, he sits down with his former rival Howard Dean at 3:00 pm ET and then with the good folks over at the Democratic National Committee at 5:00 pm ET.

Meanwhile, the papers cover the various manifestations of what happens when a general election breaks out near full force in March in the post-McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan world:

-- The New York Times' Adam Nagourney reports on the President's aggressive engagement, including that official BC04 ads that will "directly" take on John Kerry are "about to start." LINK

-- Nagourney's Times colleagues Justice and Rutenberg (LINK) and the Washington Post's Balz and Edsall (LINK) size up the outside Democratic groups (that's "shadow campaign" to some of you) and the ads, ads, and more ads we look forward to seeing on the air -- starting with that great big Media Fund buy. That is, until the FEC makes a ruling . . .

The Post does the much better job at getting at the ground war piece of all this.

A quick look at the delegate tote board . . .

Delegates so far (pledged delegates and superdelegates combined)*: Kerry 1796 (roughly 83 % of the total delegates needed to secure the nomination) Kucinich 23 Sharpton 23

Delegates needed to win the nomination: 2,162

Delegates at stake March 9: 465

How the March 9 delegates have been allocated thus far: Kerry 256 Edwards 24 Kucinich 0 Sharpton 0

The ABC News delegate estimate includes both pledged delegates who are allocated according to their home state's primary and caucus results as well as "unpledged" delegates, known as "superdelegates," made up of state party leaders and activists, Democratic governors, members of congress, former presidents, vice presidents, and national party chairmen.

As if it were in doubt, President Bush wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination last night, the AP reports, racking up a total of 1,309 delegates -- well over the top of the 1,255 he needed to win the nomination. He went into last night with 985 delegates and picked up all 333 at stake. LINK

President Bush is in Cleveland, Ohio to tour Thermagon and to deliver a speech on the economy, jobs, and outsourcing at the Women's Entrepreneurship Forum.

Sen. Kerry is in Chicago this morning and Washington, D.C. this afternoon, when he will meet with Gov. Howard Dean and DNC officials.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rev. Al Sharpton and Ralph Nader have no public events today.

And happy birthday to one of the great political reporters of the late 20th century and one of the great international affairs reporters of the early 21st century (and one of the best fathers in the Dupont Circle area) -- Bill Nichols of USA Today.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:

The Boston Globe's Pat Healy reports that Kerry offered the idea of monthly debates with President Bush for the rest of the year, and he reveals that Kerry's proposal "was not quite a gauntlet-throwing challenge but a 'spontaneous [sic] idea,' a senior aide said, that the Massachusetts senator offered in response to an 11-year-old student reporter asking how the eight months till the general election might unfold." LINK

The Boston Herald's Andrew Miga writes that Kerry and Bush "traded barbed shots over who could lead the nation's sluggish economy to recovery yesterday as their battle for the White House took yet another contentious turn." LINK

The Boston Globe's Robert Kuttner watches the mud-slinging that could boomerang in some cases. LINK

By one account, so much for all that talk about record turnout in the nomination contests -- although keep in mind that we are talking about small numbers of voters making the difference between a high and a low turnout. A study by the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate said that turnout through the Super Tuesday was the third-lowest on record, reports the Washington Times' Donald Lambro. LINK

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

In his speech to the Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century summit, President Bush will acknowledge the "tough economic times" but will "convey a message of optimism as well," Cleveland Plain Dealer's Koff reports, with hometown curtain raising. LINK

The Plain Dealer's Eaton Notes that "Bush needs to deliver more than a pep talk in Cleveland at today's summit on women's entrepreneurship if they are to help reverse a slump that has cost the state nearly 265,000 jobs since 2001." LINK

Washington Post's Allen reports that the White House has backed down and the President will now "submit to open-ended questioning" in front of the independent commission looking into 9/11.

When asked if the change was a result of attacks from Sen. Kerry, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said: "'I don't think [Kerry is] someone who lets the facts get in the way of his campaign.'" LINK

The New York Times' Shenon on the 9/11 commission: LINK

USA Today's Benedetto and Keen look at how President Bush has polarized the electorate: "To the extent that Republicans love Bush, Democrats loathe him."

"In a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll last weekend, 91% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats approved of the job Bush is doing. No other president has had as big a gap since Gallup began measuring job approval by party in 1948." LINK

The New York Daily News fans the flames on the Bush-Cheney ad flap on Sept. 11, writing that the RNC's Ed Gillespie "angered 9/11 families again yesterday by saying only a 'small segment . . . who are very anti-war' objected to President Bush's use of Ground Zero scenes in his reelection ads." LINK

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's ed board follows up on a New York Post editorial tracing Democratic ties to the "Peaceful Tomorrows" group of Sept. 11 families who protested the recent Bush-Cheney ad.

The President will be in East Meadows, N.Y. on Thursday to attend a 9/11 memorial service. LINK

In a bi-partisan effort the "Senate appears ready to adopt strict new budget rules this week that would make it more difficult to permanently extend President Bush's tax cuts, a potential blow to the centerpiece of the president's election-year economic agenda," writes the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman. LINK

Congressional Republicans, worried about the deficit as an election issue this year, are reworking the President's budget, "with some taking aim at his planned increases for the military and even considering steps to make it harder to extend the tax cuts that expire in 2011," reports Hulse and Oppel of the New York Times. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes reports on the President's "fizzled" push for Hispanic votes and writes the White House's immigration "plan has become a lightning rod both for conservative Republicans, who lament that it would reward lawbreaking foreigners, and for Democrats, who complain it wouldn't go far enough to help hardworking immigrants become Americans. But it also is a victim of presidential inattention, as even some allies contend."

The economy:

The Los Angeles Times' Lee wonders if a jobless recovery is now "the norm?" LINK


the AP's Mike Glover recaps Kerry's four victories over "phantom rivals" yesterday. LINK

The Miami Herald's Peter Wallsten and Lesley Clark report, "More than one in five Florida Democrats who showed up at the polls voted not for Kerry but for rivals who left the race days and weeks ago but remained on the presidential preference ballot -- raising questions about Kerry's ability to fire up the base in a key state." LINK

The Tampa Tribune's William March and Ted Byrd report, "In random interviews outside polls across the Tampa Bay area, many Democratic voters said Kerry would have been their pick even if the contest had remained wide open." LINK

The Boston Globe's Anne Kornblut writes, "Turnout in the Democratic primaries, heralded by party leaders as a strong showing of unity and outrage against President Bush, was actually in line with past primaries, lower than many recent Republican contests, and included some record lows in later states, according to a full accounting released yesterday." LINK

The New York Times' Wilgoren on the Kerry-Bush to-and-fro Tuesday. Oh, yeah, and Kerry won some primaries, too. LINK

Without a major Democratic opponent threatening John Kerry, he is now being faced with a new opponent: boredom, writes the Washington Post's John Harris. LINK

The Chicago Sun-Times' Andrew Herrmann and Ana Mendieta wrap up Kerry's Illinois visit Tuesday, and Note that "In the general election in November, Illinois should be friendly territory for Kerry," based on a poll by the Daily Southtown showing Kerry leading Bush 52 percent to 39 percent. LINK

The Dallas Morning News leads with "SOUTH BACKS KERRY -- FOR NOW." LINK

The Austin American-Statesman reports that after Kerry's victory in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry labeled him "the most conservative senator from Massachusetts." LINK

In a real read-between-the-lines tale, the New York Times' Greenhouse from his Bal Harbour perch Notes the naming of (now-kingmaking!) Harold Schaitberger, "president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, as a committee vice chairman" of Labor for Kerry, a position that will "give him a major role in helping shape labor's efforts to elect Mr. Kerry." For those Laborologists seeking to discern Gerry McEntee's fate, he's not been deposed. And we're even told he'll be at today's John Sweeney/Karen Ackerman newser! LINK

The Los Angeles Times' La Ganga on Kerry's focus on foreign oil. LINK

Day 3 of the New York Post's Orin's Kerry and Arafat stories. LINK

the AP reports that Kerry now calls Arafat an "outlaw." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman writes about Kerry's, er, colorful description of an appropriate punishment for Osama bin Laden, Noting the Senator's exception to his opposition to capital punishment: terrorists. It's another weapon in the Bush campaign's "flip-flop" arsenal, yet Kerry maintained in an interview Tuesday that he has not changed his position. LINK

"'I think it's specious,' he said of the criticism. 'I think it's silly. It's just not true, like many of the things that they say. I've never changed. If I was going to change, I would have changed entirely. But terrorism is war. And I have always understood the law of justifiable homicide in the context of war -- self-defense.'"

Joseph Curl of the Washington Times reminds us that if John Kerry heads to Iraq, he would be the first presidential candidate to visit a war zone since George McGovern went to South Vietnam in 1971. Which has RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie finds interesting, given the presumptive Democratic nominee's criticism of the Bush Administration in Iraq over the last six months. And the flip-flop charge returns . . . LINK

The Boston Herald's Tom Keane looks at what a Kerry White House win would mean for Massachusetts pols and would-be Senators. LINK

From ABC News' Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe:

CHICAGO, March 9 -- As Sen. John F. Kerry stood at the base of the Great Hall's grand steps in Chicago's Union Station train depot accepting four more primary wins, one could almost envision Kerry communications director Stephanie Cutter grasping the Senator and insisting in her best Sean Connery accent, "You want to get Bush? Here's how you beat him. He trots out your votes, you wallop his record. He sends one of your surrogates into retirement, and you send him back to Texas. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Bush."

Alas, even after Southern landslides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida, the Boston Brahmin is not quite untouchable in Democratic nomination race, requiring Illinois' delegates to put him over the top.

Nevertheless, the Kerry camp and candidate continue to make the tricky transition from primary contender to full-fledged nominee.

En route from Tampa to Chicago, Kerry said, "Every stage is different." When asked if his campaign was in a new stage the candidate replied, "No, just adjusting."

Most distinctly, Kerry, who often professes difficulty in distinguishing between "on the record," "on background" and "off the record," has quickly learned in a plane of 60 rotating journalists, there is almost no such thing as "off the record."

Having long-delayed a charter flight to make a phone call Tuesday, Kerry popped into the press cabin (coach) from his perch (first class) to smooth over the delay. The Senator was quickly asked to whom he made the call. When a reporter guessed Jim Johnson, the leader of Kerry's vice presidential search team, Kerry stopped and raised his eyebrows.

The reporter immediately ventured, "Is that a yes," to which Kerry just smiled and said, "Ahhhhh."

Two steps back into first class, Kerry returned to clarify, "That's not a 'yes', that's an 'ahhhh.'"

At a prescription drug event in Evanston, Ill., Kerry listened to a questioner describe a family member's service in Iraq then said, "I'm not going to ask you your name, purposefully."

And when detailing the circumstances surrounding an 82-year-old Iowa woman's prescription drug costs, Kerry, who often recounted the elderly woman by name in the Hawkeye State, did not use it before the Illinois crowd and national audience.

In a lighter moment during that same event, Kerry reached out to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying, "We are both Elvis fans."

The Massachusetts Senator, who offered no homage to the King during campaign stops in Tennessee, elaborated, "When I was younger, I could do the snarl, curl the lip, flip the collar up. I'd have my hair combed and get out there and gyrate."

Kerry even concluded the rare Electra-filled flashback with an Elvis impression offering, "Thank you, thank you very, very much everybody."

But, when an audience member suggested Kerry reenact the "gyration," the New Englander pointed to the press and cautioned, "You see those people out there? I know better than to make a complete ass of myself."

Apparently, however, the Senator has no qualms about subjecting his stalwart and faithful traveling press aide David Wade to public humiliation. (And, for this, The Note thanks him.)

Having just declared, "E-mail may be one of the worst modern inventions," Kerry acknowledged to gathered members of the press that Wade, who is addicted to his Blackberry, depends on it.

Kerry remarked, "He's on that Blackberry all the time."

To which, a network news producer declared, "He needs a Blackberry intervention."

Kerry, however, disagreed, suggesting, "No, he needs a Blackberry enema."

Wade, Blackberry in hand, looked up to shout over the laughter, "Off the record! Off the record! Off the record!"

Kerry just smiled.

Read more from the trail with Kerry on LINK


The Los Angeles Times' Gold Notes Edwards picked up a few delegates last eve, perhaps boosting his chance at No. 2. LINK

Roll Call's Erin Billings and Mark Preston report that James Johnson "has begun meeting privately with Democratic Congressional leaders and senior Members to get their advice on who should join [Kerry] on the party's presidential ticket."

More: "Senior-level aides and sources close to the Kerry campaign said the meetings are the beginning of a multi-tiered process in which Johnson and other campaign officials plan to reach out beyond the Senator's inner circle for counsel on the No. 2 pick. They touted the effort as a savvy political move that demonstrated both Kerry's willingness to work hand-in-hand with Democrats in Congress and their interest in drumming up early support for -- and consensus on -- his eventual vice presidential pick."

In a conversation about the steroid hearings he is holding today, Sen. John McCain was asked by ABC News' Charlie Gibson today on "Good Morning America" whether he would accept an offer to become John Kerry's running mate. McCain Noted that it is "impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life, free-trading, non-protection deficit hawk. . . . They would have to be taking steroids."

When pressed by an amused Gibson, McCain said "I see no scenario -- no scenario -- no scenario -- I see no scenario where that would happen."

And when asked whether he would campaign against his "good friend" John Kerry, McCain said, "I have campaigned and will continue to campaign for the President of the United States. I think we ought to spend more time campaigning for the people we support rather than against them. This so far is the nastiest campaign so far that we have seen and the American people deserve a lot better than what they have gotten so far."

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

The ad heard round the world: The Ickes' Media Fund folks launch an ad and the political world stops long enough to watch it.

Just check out the coverage:

The New York Times' Rutenberg and Justice sum up the outside games that are just beginning, even making a mention of 888 16th St. (We can't wait to see exterior shots of the building in TV pieces on the 527s that are sure to come . . .) Note the two, "Mr. Bush's campaign lawyers said they had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying some of these commercials are illegal because they effectively oppose Mr. Bush, and were paid for with unlimited or "soft money" donations, which they say is a violation of campaign finance laws." Ickes says there's no there there. And in better news for the Dem side, the Times reports two of the groups from their side "already have a total of $70 million in pledges" and "have moved to set up expansive voter drives while at the same time fighting the president on television using issues like jobs, the deficit and health care policy." LINK

Money Reporter Extraodinaire Thomas B. Edsall and Note favorite Dan Balz report on the ad and write "the Democratic groups have created five organizations to oversee facets of the campaign: paid advertising; voter identification and turnout; communications, polling, research and rapid response; fundraising; and the coordination of the operations of more than two dozen liberal organizations." Ellen Malcolm and Cecile Richards appear here, too! But this was the sentence we Noted most: "Republicans say that if the Democratic 527 activity is ruled legal, GOP groups will be quickly formed to match the opposition." LINK

Balz follows up with a live discussion on at 11:00 a.m. ET. LINK

In a write-up of the ad in the Times, the scorecard says "the advertisement could help in establishing the Democrats as the party of the middle class, and it does complement" Kerry's "accusations that Mr. Bush's policies cater to corporate interests more than they do to regular, working people." But some folks may find the ad confusing as they might have no idea who the heck is behind it. LINK

Bill Sammon of the Washington Times leads with the Bush campaign's challenge of the ad, with Terry Holt calling the spot "illegal." Three mentions of the name "Soros" can be found here. LINK

The New York Post's Blomquist gets the Soros spokesman to say his boss will be adding more cash to 527 coffers. And Ben Ginsberg to say the Media Fund is just going to "flout the law." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Anderson writes up the ads, AND Notes the Log Cabin Republican's "$1 million" ad campaign criticizing the President's push for an amendment banning same-sex marriage. LINK


There's some good news and some bad news. the AP reports "election officials are recommending that Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton receive $100,000 in federal matching funds -- and be the subject of an investigation into whether he deserves the money." LINK

The politics of national security:

In a story sure to get Dem tongues wagging, the CIA's George Tenet says he has corrected Vice President Cheney on his statements on intelligence. Reports the New York Times' Douglas Jehl, "Mr. Tenet identified three instances in which he had already corrected public statements by President Bush or Mr. Cheney or would do so, but he left the impression that there had been more." LINK

"Tenet defended the administration against charges by Democratic senators that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other officials exaggerated intelligence reports when they characterized the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's weapons arsenal," writes the Washington Post's Dana Priest and Walter Pincus. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz writes up the Log Cabin ad campaign "attacking the administration for trying to ban same-sex marriage." LINK

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that "public support appears to be growing for legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples, as well as for allowing states to make their own laws regulating gay marriage," write the Washington Post's Morin and Deane. LINK

USA Today's Dennis Cauchon reports on the new USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll that shows a majority of Americans favoring "legalizing civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriage." LINK

The Boston Herald's Elisabeth Beardsley reports on the assertions of black community and religious leaders that the issue is about "'special rights,' not civil rights." LINK

Ed Meese writes on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal that "we must now act on our basic principles and deepest convictions -- to preserve constitutional government and protect marriage."

The politics of the Hill:

As a result of the Bush Administration's efforts increase their support of faith-based initiatives, the "federal government gave more than $1.1 billion in competitive grants to religious organizations in fiscal 2003," writes Alan Cooperman of the Washington Post. LINK

The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly reports that Democrats blocked the nomination of Mark McClellan to run the federal Medicare program to protest the Bush administration's "refusal to permit the importation of low-cost prescription drugs from Canada." LINK

Democratic National Convention:

The Boston Globe's Rick Klein reports, "Boston's largest police union is asking Democrats nationwide, including presumptive presidential nominee John F. Kerry, to boycott the Democratic National Convention in July, a dramatic escalation of tactics in the union's quest for a contract." LINK

The Boston Herald's Ellen Silberman reports on the help Mayor Menino is hoping for help from national labor leaders. LINK

Writes Silberman, John Sweeney and Gerry McEntee are making calls already . . .

The Boston Globe's Kevin Joy reports, "Hoping to borrow some limelight from the Democratic National Convention and draw attention to liberal issues, two city councilors, community groups, and a local activist are planning a three-day forum for protesters, academics, and religious organizations the weekend before the convention." LINK


Karen Crummy and Julia Martinez of the Denver Post report that Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is running for the retiring Ben Nighthorse Campbell's Senate seat. LINK

Religious conservatives, meet the non-believers. Cox News Service reports that atheists have established their own political action committee -- the Godless Americans Political Action Committee (GAMPAC) -- and Noting that the group has just a $1,000 contribution in the bank. LINK

Texas redistricting claims a congressional Democratic victim, reports the AP. In last eve's primary, Re. Chris Bell "was upset by Al Green, the former head of the Houston branch of the N.A.A.C.P." LINK

In Tuesday's primary the Texas Democratic Party tried to oust state representatives who aligned "with the state Republican leadership." LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The New York Post covers FPOTUS' comments that he's now leaving the running to Hillary. Of course, we love this sentence: "I'd love to be mayor of New York." LINK

Jack and Bobby:

Steve "Scoop" Cohen and partner Brad Meltzer's new potential WB series, "Jack & Bobby" -- no, not that Jack and Bobby -- will embark on its first day of shooting today.

The one-hour drama for the WB is the story of two teenage brothers, Jack and Bobby McCallister, being raised by a single mother (played by Christine Lahti), and one of them grows up to be . . . you guessed it! The President of the United States of America. In true television style, the show will alternate telling the story of the two teenage brothers getting through adolescence and the two adults getting through leading the free world.

It's a little "West Wing" meets "The Wonder Years," with a little "Twilight Zone" tossed in.

"The show is designed to take the viewers on the full journey of watching the boy become a man and the man become a president," writes Scoop. Sounds exciting!

The executive producers for the show are the "West Wing's" Tommy Schlamme (a.k.a. Mr. Christine Lahti) and "Everwood" creators Greg Berlanti and Vanessa Taylor. Shooting begins today in Austin, Texas.

TODAY SCHEDULE: —9:30 am: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on steroids with the commissioners of baseball and football, the directors of the baseball and football players unions and the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: Sen. Kerry addresses the AFL-CIO Executive Council Meeting by satellite from Chicago, Ill. —10:00 am: Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies before the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The House Ways and Means Committee holds a joint hearing entitled "Social Security Number and Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Mismatches and Misuse," Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The House of Representatives convenes for legislative business —10:00 am: The Democratic State Treasurers Association holds a news conference about the President Bush's effect on the economy, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The Log Cabin Republicans hold a news conference to announce its new ad campaign against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Elijah Cummings and Bobby Scott hold a news conference to discuss the effect of the President Bush's budget on African Americans, Washington, D.C. —11:30 am: President Bush tours Thermagon, Cleveland, Ohio —11:30 am: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Sen. Paul Sarbanes hold a news conference on funding for firefighters at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:45 am: Rep. Mike Turner holds a news conference to discuss the Social Security Fairness Act, Washington, D.C. —11:55 am: President Bush speaks at the Women's Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Forum at the Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland, Ohio —12:00 pm: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer holds a pen and pad briefing with reporters at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —12:40 pm: Sen. Hillary Clinton holds a news conference to discuss gun safety and domestic violence, the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: Politics Live on ABC News Live and AOL —2:00 pm: Sens. Bob Graham and Hillary Clinton hold a news conference to discuss voting at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —2:00 pm: The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing about the economic and trade policy in the Middle East, Washington, D.C. —2:25 pm: President Bush returns to the White House —3:00 pm: Secretary of State Powell meets with ambassador-designate of Mexico, Washington, D.C. —3:00 pm: Sen. Kerry meets with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Washington, D.C. —3:30 pm: Sen. Joe Biden holds a news conference and reception in honor of the Connections Campaign to stop domestic violence at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —5:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry meets with DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe at DNC Headquarters, Washington, D.C.