The Note

On Market Street in Philadelphia today at about 12:00 pm ET, Patti LaBelle will sing the national anthem with President Clinton on stage as well to campaign with Mayor John Street. Dana Milbank need not worry. The FPOTUS certainly knows how to eat a Philly cheesesteak correctly.

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe will campaign with Mayor Street tomorrow at a Penns Landing rally where the DNC expects labor to make a large showing. Former Vice President Al Gore is set to rally the base with Street on Sunday.

The Mayor's wife sent Sam Katz's wife a bouquet of flowers to "ease the embarrassment caused earlier this week by a union official who made a sexual comment about her husband." LINK

The politics of national security: Saddam Hussein is back in the news. Despite White House statements that he is "no longer a threat," seems he is indeed being seen as a major force in the continuing and deadly attacks on American soldiers.

The New York Times on reports that Saddam Hussein is playing a key role in the attacks on American forces in Iraq. The paper Notes "a leadership role by Mr. Hussein would go far beyond anything previously acknowledged by the Bush administration, which has sought in its public remarks to portray the former Iraqi leader as being on the run and irrelevant." LINK

Score another win for the White House as the president scored his $87 billion supplemental request. In the end, only five of his own voted against the bill, with Congressman Zach Wamp telling the AP, "I'm going to grit my teeth and vote yes tonight and say that we cannot afford to fail in Iraq."

Is it just us, or does the Senate Intel Committee's letter to State sound a lot like ones that used to get sent to Iraq? Give it a look:

"We have made numerous requests for documents which have not yet been provided, and we have sought to interview certain State Department employees without success. You must expedite our access to the outstanding documents and immediately make available for interviews the individuals identified."

The Pentagon and the National Security Council also received committee letters demanding documents.LINK

National Journal's James Kitfield follows along on Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's recent Baghdad trip and finds the "United States has not faced a moment such as this since January 31, 1968, when the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched an early-morning offensive in South Vietnam to coincide with the Tet Lunar New Year holidays."

And the Wall Street Journal 's editorial board weighs in against Vietnam analogies and Democratic contenders whose "criticism" of Administration policy is "so virulent and unconstructive that it is clear they won't let themselves believe that America could win."

ABC News' Brian Hartman reports Pentagon officials next week are expected to announce the next round of call-ups, sending more than 20,000 troops from communities all across America to replace those serving in Iraq.

Deconstructing reconstruction: The Center for Public Integrity says the majority of government contracts for billions of dollars of reconstruction work in Iraq and Afghanistan went to companies run by executives who were heavy political contributors to both political parties. (We are not surprised by this, but find it interesting nonetheless.) And that neither State nor the Pentagon is so eager for transparency in the contracting process. LINK



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