TODAY SCHEDULE AS OF 9:00 am (all times ET):
—8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the January Consumer Price Index —9:00 am: Sen. John Edwards campaigns in Johnson Square, Savannah, Ga. —9:45 am: Off-camera press briefing by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —12:30 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a Bush-Cheney '04 fundraiser at the Wyndham, San Juan, Puerto Rico —12:30 pm: On-camera press briefing by Press Secretary McClellan —1:00 pm: Sen. Edwards visits Prince George's Community College, Largo, Md. —1:00 pm: Politics Live on ABC News Live and AOL —6:00 pm: Sen. Edwards meets with voters at the Polish Cadet Hall, Buffalo, N.Y. —6:30 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a Florida Republican Party event, Tampa, Fla. —6:20 pm: Rep. Dennis Kucinich gives a presentation at Carpenter's Hall, Virginia, Minn. —9:30 pm: Rep. Kucinich gives a presentation at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minn. —10:30 pm: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers the keynote address at the California Republican Party Convention, Burlingame, Calif.
Here are today's most important quotes about the four people who -- it turns out in the end -- were the only ones with a chance to be elected president in 2004:
President Bush: "…(Bush campaign) strategists said elections are about the future . . ."
"A 1970 Harvard Crimson interview in which Kerry said that U.S. troops should be deployed 'only at the directive of the United Nations' will be fair game, the (Bush campaign) officials said."
-- from the SAME must-read Howie Kurtz Washington Post story on the BC04 ad strategy!! LINK
"For the first time some Republicans are facing the prospect that the president could lose."
-- from "a top staff member for a GOP senator" in a Boston Globe story -- one of several this news cycle in various places along these lines LINK
John Kerry: "The only other major delevelopment occurred at 12:01am EST as a three car Secret Service detail descended upon Senator Kerry's Beacon Hill home in Boston. Only moments prior to the body watch invasion, Kerry's minivan and home had been entirely unguarded."
-- from today's daily campaign report of ABC News' world-class Kerry reporter Ed O'Keefe, with his latest work of classic American journalism (More on this below.)
John Edwards: "But now I need a little give and take/The New York Times, The Daily News/It comes down to reality/And it's fine with me 'cause I've let it slide/Don't care if it's Chinatown or on Riverside"
-- from the Billy Joel classic "Hate New York City/It's cold and it's damp/and all the people dressed like monkeys"
-- from the Randy Newman classic "Some sweet day when blossoms fall/And all the world's a song/I'll go back to Georgia/'Cause that's where I belong
" -- from the Ray Charles classic "Why, oh, why, oh why, oh--/Why did we ever leave Ohio?!
" -- from the Broadway classic "Wonderful Town" LINK
"Avenge the patriotic gore/That fleck'd the streets of Baltimore,/And be the Battle Queen of yore"
-- from "Maryland, My Maryland"
Howard Dean: "I have to vent. I think he's nuts."
-- AFSCME's Gerald McEntee on Howard Dean, as quoted by the New York Times' Adam Nagourney, in what only Nagourney would call "a leisurely interview"
And build your weekend around this -- in an exclusive, this Sunday morning on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," get what every Democratic voter deserves and every political and media insider wants to see: John Kerry and John Edwards talking about the issues.
No process, no polls, no "who wants to be whose running mate?" Just the issues.
You'll see this nowhere else: the two men will explain in depth their views and plans for America on the big issues: jobs and taxes, trade, health care, Iraq, and the war against terror.
That's this Sunday morning on "This Week," with the two men talking to George Stephanopoulos.
Check your local listings for times.
Beyond his "This Week" appearance, Sen. Kerry is down in Boston today. He will spend Saturday in Georgia, Sunday in Georgia and New York, and Monday in New York.
Beyond his "This Week" appearance, Sen. Edwards is in Georgia and Maryland today. He will spend Saturday in New York, Minnesota, and Ohio, and Sunday in Ohio and New York.
Rep. Kucinich is in Ohio and Minnesota today. He will spend Saturday in Minnesota and Sunday in Minnesota and California.
President Bush has no public events today. He hosts the state dinner for the National Governor's Association at the White House on Sunday evening.
Vice President Cheney is in Puerto Rico and Florida today. He will be in Minneapolis and Wichita on Monday.
Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore speak at Florida and Idaho Democratic Party dinners, respectively, on Saturday night.
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
The Washington Post's Kurtz has a chock full report this morning about the Bush campaign's ad strategy. It will focus "not only on John F. Kerry's record as a senator but also on his days as an antiwar activist, a House candidate and Massachusetts's lieutenant governor." LINK
"'The beauty of John Kerry is 32 years of votes and public pronouncements,' said Mark McKinnon, the chief media adviser. McKinnon suggested a possible tag line: 'He's been wrong for 32 years, he's wrong now.'"
"Campaign officials said in interviews that they plan substantial positive advertising about the president, focused on his proposals rather than accomplishments, when they begin spending tens of millions of dollars on the airwaves next month. But they made it clear that many of the ads will accuse the Democratic front-runner of 'hypocrisy,' in McKinnon's word, in part by reaching back into his early career."
"A 1970 Harvard Crimson interview in which Kerry said that U.S. troops should be deployed 'only at the directive of the United Nations' will be fair game, the officials said. If they run ads about that period, they will probably focus on Kerry's high-profile opposition to the Vietnam War and comments about U.S. atrocities that could neutralize his record as a decorated veteran."
[Zach Seward and Samuel Z. Goldhaber, stand by for booking calls.]
"'We have a job to do to correct the false impression given about us and the false impression about Kerry himself,' said Matthew Dowd, Bush's director of polling and media. 'This guy did 15 attack ads on us in the last few months.'"
And perhaps the most astonishing paragraph in the piece, especially if you're Erik Smith, David Sirota or Mike Lux:
"Acknowledging that Bush has received major financial support from corporations, McKinnon said: 'The issue is hypocrisy in saying you're going to take on the special interests, not who took the most special interest money. You don't hear the president in the Oval Office railing against the special interests. You do hear John Kerry railing against the special interests.' The campaign has previewed this theme in an online video calling Kerry 'unprincipled' and 'brought to you by the special interests.'"
By the sheerest of coincidences, the Kurtz piece appears on the same day as two pieces serving as lagging indicators of the restiveness that has existed in Republican circles for weeks.
AP's Ron Fournier writes this in a must-read on whether BC04 allies are getting restless: "In nearly two dozen interviews, GOP leaders across the country said they were equal parts confident and concerned about Bush's political prospects, united in their belief that the president has time to recover from the pounding by Democratic candidates." LINK
And Boston Globe's Wayne Washington reports that some Republicans are concerned with President Bush's prospects -- not just because of the beating he has taken over the course of the Democratic nomination season but also because of self-inflicted wounds related to job creation, WMD, spending and that Sunday morning interview. LINK
President Bush held another "conversation" on the economy yesterday with recipienets of his tax cut, but the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller reports that the event was closed to journalists and the participants in the conversation did not speak for themselves on the merits of the tax cut.
Bumiller Notes: "Mr. Bush's remarks represented the third time in four days he has spoken out about the economy at a time when Democrats have stepped up their attacks on what they call Mr. Bush's dismal economic record." LINK
When did the recession start? Washington Post's Mike Allen looks at the timing of the economic slump and how that factors into the current political debate about job creation and outsourcing. LINK
Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News heard Laura Bush call Terry McAuliffe a liar on ABC News. Mr. DeFrank also tells us to expect to see Mrs. Bush stumping twice a week come the fall. LINK
"…one Bush source said she is expected to make two solo campaign appearances a week in the fall."
Christian conservative voters are not feeling any love from President Bush and are hopping mad over a long list of grievances, and at the top of the list is "what many consider the president's failure to strongly condemn illegal homosexual "marriages" being performed in San Francisco," the Washington Times Hallow breathlessly claims. LINK
Says one leader on the right: "If there is a rerun of 2000, when an estimated 6 million fewer evangelical Christians voted than in the pivotal year of 1994, then the Bush ticket will be in trouble, especially if there is no [Ralph] Nader alternative to draw Democratic votes away from the Democratic candidate."
The Democratic nomination season has been tough on President Bush, a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds. The President's overall favorability rating of 53 percent is the all-time low of his presidency, and his approval rating dropped to 48 percent, the first time it dipped below 50 percent. LINK
The President's support for the Musgrave amendment banning gay marriage could be coming sooner rather than lather… or so Bay Buchanan heard Karl Rove say. LINK
The Tampa Tribune writes that the illusive vice president will emerge from his "undisclosed location" and is expected to raise $500,000 at an event in Tampa this afternoon. LINK
In a letter to the American Hospital Association, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson encouraged hospitals to give discounts to uninsured patients and Medicare recipients, the New York Times' Pear reports. Pear also Notes "Nore than 43 million Americans, including nearly one-third of Hispanics, are uninsured." LINK
From ABC News' Karen Travers:
The Bush Cheney '04 campaign raised $12.8 million in January 2004, according to the January report that it will file with the FEC today. The campaign says it added 50,000 new donors last month and pulled in $8.6 million from events and $3.8 million from direct mail/phones. One key number in the FEC filing - the campaign will report that it has $104.4 million cash on hand.
(So when will we start to see the money put to use in ads?)
BC04 added 15 new Rangers and nine new Pioneers in January, for a total of 165 donors who have raised at least $200,000 and 250 donors who have raised at least $100,000, respectively.
"Grassroots excitement for President Bush's steady leadership is building and the largest grassroots campaign in America is ready for the tough election ahead," BC04 campaign manager Ken Mehlman said in a press release. "The 50,000 new contributors in January continue the strong and growing support for the President that we saw in 2003."
Big Casino budget politics:
The Washington Post's Weisman reports that Congressional budget writers next month will "effectively ignore President Bush's call to extend his tax cuts beyond their 2010 expiration date." LINK
"The decision to draft five-year budget plans -- rather than the 10-year plans of recent sessions -- would mean that any effort this year to extend the cuts will take 60 votes to block a Democratic-led filibuster in the 100-member Senate. That is a hurdle that even Republicans say is insurmountable in an election year."
The Washington Wire takes a look at Republican legislators worrying about funding for domestic programs in an election year.
"Expecting Bush to seek postelection supplemental funds for Iraq, Republicans in Congress weigh shifting fiscal 2005 defense funds -- Bush seeks a 7% increase -- to domestic needs. Then the later supplemental could be used to fill any defense gaps that arise."
ABC News Vote 2004: The race for the nomination:
Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News explains why we are hearing so much about jobs on the campaign trail recently. LINK
"Job creation has suddenly become the top issue in the race as polls show voters care more about economic security than national security."'
So true: David Lightman of the Hartford Courant leads his AFL-CIO story thusly: "The AFL-CIO gave John Kerry its blessing Thursday, but it didn't give him its heart. 'We're just following the trend,' said George Jones, government relations representative for the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department…" LINK
The Washington Post's VandeHei and Harris Note that while Kerry received the AFL-CIO endorsement, Edwards, "hoping not to be outdone," released a statement on his position on trade pacts. LINK
We think Edwards, in fact, was outdone on that one.
The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny Notes that the labor group will give Kerry a ground-game boost in the Super Tuesday states. LINK
The New York Times' Halbfinger and Lyman Note that UNITE (which has endorsed Edwards) and UAW abstained from the AFL-CIO vote. LINK
The Baltimore Sun's Davis Notes that Kerry's relationship with labor unions "is more complicated than rousing chants and social placards may suggest... [Kerry] is under intense pressure to prove himself worthy of labor's support." LINK
As we reported above, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney reports that Gerald McEntee decided that Gov. Dean was "nuts" shortly before deciding to withdraw AFSCME's support of the former frontrunner. LINK
Dean's spokesman, Jay Carson, could easily have responded, "Well, isn't that a case of the concavity calling the scuttle a nincompoop."
But he didn't. Mercifully.
Walter Shapiro of USA Today writes "Voters in the 10 states that will hold primaries and caucuses on March 2 still hold only hazy impressions of the two survivors of the Democratic demolition derby. Since Kerry and Edwards do not have the money to launch full-blown ad campaigns in New York, Los Angeles and other major media markets, they can only hope that their sound bites forge a connection with voters." LINK
USA Today's Jill Lawrence writes that while Sens. Kerry and Edwards's policies differ, well, not much at all, they are now competing for to be the candidate who most sympathizes with the pain of the working class. LINK
The Globe team of Mishra and Kornblut do not let Sen. Edwards get away with his "son of a millworker" and "opposed NAFTA" stuff - pointing out Sen. Kerry's point that Edwards never voted on NAFTA, as he was still a trial lawyer in the Tar Heel state. They take it one step further to report that "Edwards has been more flexible on trade than his rhetoric suggests." LINK
The New York Times' Seelye and Becker point out that Kerry's and Edwards' differences on trade "are fairly small and stem mainly from their voting histories rather than where they are now or how they say they would handle trade agreements in the future." LINK
Washington Monthly's Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris writes on the New York Times' op-ed page that Gen. Clark, not Gov. Dean, ultimately infused the Democratic party with "informed legitimacy" that it used to criticize President Bush on national security. LINK
Our favorite four words in the English language:
ABC's Ann Compton reports:
"The US Secret Service confirms this morning that protection began at midnight for Senator Kerry."
The process begins with a request from the candidate, cleared by a five person leadership committee in Congress, and then a recommendation to the Secy of Homeland Security (which now has the USSS instead of Treasury.)"
"I am told other candidate protection is "under discussion" which does not sound immediate."
"And to The Note: what code name would YOU suggest for each of the contenders? Rules traditionally dictate they are simple, two-syllable words easily heard in two-way radio traffic.... all Democrats used to have names starting with 'D' and Republicans with 'R.' And the codename expresses some characteristic of the candidate (Dole-Ramrod, Reagan-Rawhide, Carter-Dasher.) Wives and children also get names. Family members all start with the same letter. Hillary Clinton, for example, was Evergreen. Codenames are changed for an elected President. Bush 41 was Timberwolf, Barbara Bush was Tranquility. And presidential son George W. was at one time 'Tumbler.'"
"Before my time, JFK was Lancer and Jackie was Lace."
"Weirdest choices which were soon replaced were 1977:"
"Carter-Lockmaster, Rosalynn-LotusPath, Amy Carter-Lemondrop (ouch!)"
(Out of respect to protective ops, we'll leave out 43's current code name.)
Please send your Kerry/Teresa code names to email@example.com.
We have already picked out one for Chris Heinz, but we'll reveal it Monday.
The political implications of this:
Even with a small detail (a car, a follow-up, a chase car), being surrounded by hard-bodied Armani-wearing men and women with clear-coil ear pieces, flashy lapel pins lends an aura of importance to anyone.
Plus, crowd control is easier.
Plus, Kerry will get to and from events more quickly . . .
Plus, and most obviously, an important political figure is protected from harm by some of America's finest.
On the downside... wait for those arguments about who gets to sit where, from where does Kerry enter, why can't Kerry attend open air crowd events . . . etc. . .
And then there's the whole danger of effecting a Gore-like distance from real people, and the potential blowback from closed roads and magging galore.
The Senator from North Carolina showed a deft understanding in how to get the attention of the New York press as evidenced in Deb Orin and Stefan Friedman's New York Post lead. LINK
"Democratic underdog John Edwards kicked off the battle for New York yesterday with A-Rod quips and a charge that President Bush is trying to 'exploit' the 9/11 tragedy at this coming summer's Republican convention here."
However, Edwards may not have garnered exactly the kind of attention he was seeking. The New York Daily News' Maggie Haberman writes that Mayor Bloomberg was none too pleased with the Senator's comments. LINK
Mark Johnson of the Charlotte Observer reports on what he believes are Edwards' consistently vague remarks about NAFTA, claiming the senator boasts to nearly every audience that he opposed it, yet never says exactly when or how. LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Martelle looks at John Edwards' all out push for as many debates as possible between now and Super Tuesday. LINK
But, oddly, Martelle Notes that Edwards doesn't actually seemed to have accepted any of the pending offers himself, beyond the Los Angeles Times/AOL debate.
According to Rush and Molloy, Rush Limbaugh was not all that impressed with a recent smooch between Senator Kerry and his wife. LINK
Lloyd Grove writes up the Glamour magazine panel at Columbia University yesterday featuring an Edwards daughter, two Kerry daughters, and a Cheney daughter. We can only hope Lloyd does some more reporting and lets us know what Alexandra was mouthing to Vanessa from the other side of the stage. LINK
The Boston Globe reports that Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is not happy with moves by state Democrats to block his duty to appoint a replacement should Sen. Kerry be elected president and resign his seat. LINK
The Los Angeles Times watched Kerry's interview with Judy Woodruff on CNN and writes up his denial that he was doing anything in return for campaign contributions. The Senator says he was simply fighting for Massachusetts jobs and that if you look at the total of his campaign contributions over his political life that only one percent will come from lobbyists. LINK
The story's details about a Kerry fundraiser make the Gore Buddhist temple event seem straightforward!!
The New York Times' Rick Lyman reports on the "Bermuda triangle" between Wisconsin and Super Tuesday into which next week's contests -- Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii - have disappeared. LINK
The Boston Globe writes of a possible hold Gov. Dean and Rep. Kucinich may have on the Feb. 24 state of Hawaii. LINK
The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Sister Souljah will be in town on Saturday. The Note wonders if any candidates will be in the area. LINK
The New York Times' McKinley and Hernandez write that New York has become an "unexpected battleground" that may offer Edwards "a last-ditch opportunity to slow Senator John Kerry's momentum." LINK
"But it is far from certain Mr. Edwards's tactic of going after voters in economically hard-pressed regions upstate will work because most of the state's Democratic primary voters come from New York City and its suburbs, political strategists say."
The AP reports that Sen. Edwards's name will not appear on the Vermont ballot Super Tuesday because of a decision made in January to not appear on then-front-runner Howard Dean's home state ballot. My, how things change. LINK
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes Edwards speaking out against the Confederate emblem in the Georgia State flag issue. LINK
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wraps Teresa Heinz Kerry's Atlanta appearance with a quote from an attending college student. "'She's soft-spoken but super intelligent...She's not at all how you picture a first lady. She's got her own mind, her own issues.'" LINK
The Minneapolis Start Tribune quotes Kerry's Minnesota director. "Quite a few folks will still come out for Howard Dean...but I hope they take a look at John." LINK
The Marist poll of New York voters:. LINK
The New York Post's Deborah Orin climbs inside Howard Dean's head and comes up with an imaginary internal debate the former Vermont governor may be having about whether to endorse Edwards or Kerry. LINK
The Washington Post's Faler writes that Dean's use of the Internet will live as pundits "try to divine the lessons of Dean's innovative if, ultimately, unsuccessful bid." LINK
The USA Today editorial page looks at whether the post-Dean candidates can harness his energy and ideas - and how "the same passion and outspokenness that contributed to Dean's downfall also helped focus and energize a race that easily could have seen Democrats continue sleepwalking in their contest against a popular incumbent." LINK
House of Labor:
Yesterday was a big day in The House. No question Kerry was the day's winner as the signs behind him waved in praise. Sheet Metal workers, Laborers, Teamsters, Firefighters, Painters, they were all out of The House and standing in the sunshine to greet their new candidate.
AFL-CIO Pres. John Sweeney said the AFL-CIO is "unified in our support of a presidential candidate" and the pledged the labor movement would "mobilize earlier, and on a larger scale, than ever before in its history for the 2004 elections."
There were a few abstentions during the meeting and we heard from a few who felt the process was just a bit rushed. Among those who still have yet to endorse Kerry are the Dean-backing SEIU and AFSCME, as well as UNITE, which backs Edwards, and the UAW, which has yet to endorse a candidate this cycle.
One source close to the process stressed to us that labor was not so unified as it was billed.
"This doesnt pass the smell test," said this labor official close to the process. "If you want to unify the labor movement, you wait 'til the labor movement is unified."
Whatever the case, the AFL-CIO now has spoken, and we bet Bal Harbour will be plenty of fun next month now that this endorsing business is all put away.
And in another unquestionable highlight of our Thursday, AFSCME's Gerry McEntee spoke to ABC's Gayle Tzemach about the Kerry AFL endorsement and AFSCME's own much-chronicled endorsement process thus far.
McEntee Noted that AFSCME now plans to return to reviewing the candidates and aims to sit down with both Kerry and Edwards in the coming days before its executive board gives its official nod to one or the other.
So does this mean Edwards indeed has a chance to win AFSCME's backing? Stay tuned!
"It is kind of stirring to see that surge he comes up with in each state at the end," McEntee said of Edwards, "so we want to talk with both of them and make what we hope is the best decision."
As for what the AFL-CIO's endorsement means for the Senator from Massachusetts, McEntee discussed the AFL's potent voter mobilization program and said, "I think it comes down to money and it comes down to resources, particularly field resources in terms of putting people on the ground."
Addressing the question of why the AFL-CIO would endorse Kerry when he had supported NAFTA and other trade agreements, McEntee said, "The great energizer for working families in America, for the American labor movement has been the awful, ungodly record of George Bush in the White House. He has that kind of charisma that brings us all together."
McEntee did acknowledge that during Thursday's AFL meeting, "there was a discussion about Sen. Kerry and about NAFTA and about his trade record." But, added McEntee, "John Edwards wasn't in the Senate when they did NAFTA, but on all the other trade agreements, as I am told, he has the same record as John Kerry." The bottom line: Labor leaders "believe that Kerry has the better opportunity to win."
So was there no concern about Edwards' Wisconsin showing in the Presidents Room there on 16th Street?
"Whether or not everybody in that room (was) sure that Kerry is going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party, I am not sure," said McEntee.
And don't you fret, we did indeed ask Mr. McEntee why he pulled out of the Dean camp on the eve of its last stand in Wisconsin.
To that, McEntee answered that AFSCME had spent "probably five to five-and-a-half million dollars" on independent expenditures and member mobilization on Dean's behalf and campaigned for him in a slew of states.
"We had put up everything that we thought we could put up," said McEntee, "and to go into Wisconsin, where we have 45, 46,000 members and spend a million dollars of their dues to possibly get Dr. Dean another point in the polls seemed rather poor judgment on our part." That money, said McEntee, could be better spent on the general.
As for whether AFSCME or McEntee's credibility had been tarnished by the Dean withdrawal or the footsie with Clark and Kerry early in the process, McEntee said he hoped that if anyone would take the hit, it would be him, not his union.
"I think our mission and goal was the right one, to find, on behalf of our members, the best candidate to run against George Bush."
From ABC News campaign reporter Erik Olsen:
It is almost March and Ralph Nader has still not decided whether he is running for President. Even his staff seem frustrated by his indecision. His campaign manager, Theresa Amato, sighs when asked whether Ralph is going to run and if so, when is he going to announce?
He hasn't made up his mind, she says.
So what's Mr. Nader's status?
1. He has pushed back his announcement decision date several times since December, promising each time a decision will be forthcoming in two or three weeks. Lately he has said "soon."
2. For months he has had a We bsite up and running naderexplore04.org, which has been seeking donations and volunteers, and is now offering a signed copy of Nader's book Crashing the Party for a $75 donation. At one point he was soliciting comments, but the form was pulled down, reportedly because they were getting too much irate mail telling Nader not to run. Nader's staff will not confirm this.
3. Nader has said he is not going to run as a Green. He said if he runs it will be as an independent and that his campaign will be "an innovative campaign. It will be a very adaptable and flexible campaign."
4. Despite saying he won't run as a Green, there is a Green-based movement trying to draft Nader. One example among several: a letter was sent on Monday to the Florida Greens from a group of prominent Greens urging them to put Nader on their ballot.
5. Many past supporters have started web and email-based campaigns urging Nader not to run, including sites called Ralph Don't Run and repentantnadervoter.net. These have gotten a lot of press and the people who run them that claim they get "thousands" of visitors.
The AP reports that Sen. Bob Graham is interested in taking the #2 slot on the Democratic ticket. LINK
The Democratic National Convention:
Boston is gearing up for the Democratic nomination this summer, designating areas where protesters will be and all. The Boston Globe reports that those planning on demonstrating are unhappy with the proposed location. LINK
Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes Notes that some Republican state legislators are in favor of raising taxes.
"Worried about declines in schools and basic services, many Republican leaders in the states say they have little choice. Not enjoying the luxury the federal government has of running deficits, they are less worried about the national party's antitax dogma than getting through the year."
"The upshot is that taxes are creating a new divide between Republicans at the national level and those in the states, one that transcends the more familiar ideological rift between ascendant antitaxers and traditional budget-balancers."
We've always have a special interest in Erik Smith, but he's just up the ante on us. He'll be the new executive director of Harold Ickes' Media Fund. So watch out John Kerry... wait... force of habit. Watch out, George W.!
Rudy Giuliani makes a major endorsement on the New York Post op-ed page. The former mayor is strongly in favor of the Yankees recent A-Rod acquisition. LINK
Rush and Molloy pick up The Hill's reporting that Senator Schumer wasn't thrilled with Senator Corzine's recent joke poking fun at Schumer's penchant for press coverage. LINK
"'Frankly, sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey,' said the Garden Statesman. 'Take a little bite of it, and he will throw his own feces at you.'"
The AP Notes the California Republican view of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: live action hero, saving the party from political extinction and despair. But since this is not a movie, there's real life that follows the end, "the question of whether Schwarzenegger is a political novelty or a figure who can transform the party into a long-term competitive force in the nation's largest state is far from clear." LINK
The Los Angeles Times looks at why it is a tiny bit easier to set up shop and make some money as a lobbyist when your father is a Congressman. LINK