The Note

When asked if Cheney should stay on the ticket for 2004, 51% agreed, including 69% of GOPers polled. But 28% of Republicans would prefer a different VP candidate on the ticket.

Gallup notes: "This level of Republican interest in replacing Cheney might give the vice president some pause given that Bush has already committed to keeping him on the ticket, and there is no evident move afoot by anyone to alter that. Republicans' backing of Cheney on this measure is only slightly stronger than the support they showed for Dan Quayle at a comparable point in his tenure as the elder Bush's vice president."LINK

"The survey also quells the notion set forth by persistent critics that Mr. Cheney lurks behind the scenes as a kind of White House puppet master and power broker," the Washington Times reports. LINK

President Bush marked Veterans Day at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Later in the day, the president spoke at the Heritage Foundation and said "Our men and women are fighting terrorist enemies thousands of miles away in the heart and center of their power, so that we do not face those enemies in the heart of America. LINK; LINK; and LINK

Police in New York City are not the only ones gearing up for the GOP Convention, to be held at Madison Square Garden next summer — well-organized protesters are already making plans for demonstrations and rallies during the four-day event, the New York Times reports. LINK

And it looks as if the "GOP luxury booze cruise" will not be happening during the convention, the New York Post reports. "Several Republicans said the image of partying on a luxury liner docked in the city harbor — promoted by Reps. Vito Fossella (R-Staten Island) and Tom DeLay (R-Texas) — was inappropriate during wartime." LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

The New York Times ' Robert Pear on the Bill Thomas-backed Medicare compromise in which "direct competition" between traditional Medicare and private plans "would start only if the cost of Medicare drug benefits exceeded projections made by the Congressional Budget Office." LINK

The House and Senate are putting a happy face on Medicare negotiations, write the Wall Street Journal 's Sarah Lueck and David Rogers, Noting that the optimism has spurred predictions of a prescription drug compromise this week. Expected compromise issues: using private insurance plans to boost premiums in the fee-for-service; outpatient spending; a brake requiring Congress to take action if more than 45% of Medicare is funded by the government's general revenue; and health care savings accounts.

And for our money, nobody can pull off a sports metaphor quite like Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-La.).

"'We've gone the distance,' said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican. 'The game is all played now. It's just a matter of lighting up the scoreboard.'"

While Senator Hatch predicted yesterday the prescription drug bill could be finished today, Democrats were more reserved, writes the Washington Times ' Amy Fagan. LINK

A conservative, business-backed seniors group is refusing to pull ads praising Senator Russ Feingold on Medicare drug benefits. LINK

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman Notes the 12.5% increase in federal discretionary spending in FY03, and the president's demand that it be capped at 4%. LINK

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