The Note

The Note hears quite a bit these days from Americans who used to work in the White House for the last Arkansan to run for president with Bruce Lindsey's help.

Every day (except on days we don't) we will print the best e-mail we get in this category.

Today, a Clinton White House veteran of the scandal wars raises all of these insidery questions (assuming in some cases "facts" not necessarily in evidence) to The Note — some fun, some important, and some both:

"If 'Post' 2X6 is true, how could 6 reporters fail to see the significance of the White House 'outing'? Even a casual Langley observer understands that's not SOP."

"Again, if 2X6 is true, don't the leakers see the handwriting on the wall and out themselves? With Novak, Newsday and Andrea in the know, this is no Woodsteinian tight circle."

"Did Dana interview Mike for the passage in Tuesday's 'Post' or was it a non-'Postie'?"

"Finally, and most importantly, how did the White House 'learn' that she was a covert operative? In 5+ years at 1600, I never once heard/learned/read/happened upon the name of an 'operative'? Names are redacted in the PDB and referenced only as 'humint'; Agency reports are redacted for names, and even the briefers who show up every day presumably disguise their identities; you don't take them to lunch at Breadline. So, if you don't stumble upon this factoid, you were looking for it. If so, why?"

"How long before this appears on 'West Wing' or 'K Street'?"

Wilson, the Prince of Darkness:

USA Today 's Jim Drinkard writes about Bob Novak, and confirms that even though Novak won't do an interview right now, you have a good chance of seeing him on CNN (Cable Novak Network). LINK

And in the red corner, Salon takes on one half of "Evans and Novak" thusly: LINK

"Rather than sit back and watch the fireworks he helped set off, Novak, busy spinning on behalf of the White House and in classic damage control mode, is raising more questions than he's answering, and having a hard time keeping his stories straight."

"At least three key points of Novak's argument have all proven faulty: that the CIA officer in question is simply an analyst, not an undercover operative, so no harm came from making her identity known; that it was her idea to get her husband involved in investigation claims about Saddam Hussein; and that the unfolding leak investigation is 'routine.'"

Wilson, Wilson profiled:

The Los Angeles Times ' Paul Richter does half profile, half "GOP challenges Wilson." LINK

Wilson, thumb sucking:

USA Today 's Susan Page suggests that this White House could learn a thing or two from the previous administration on how to handle a special counsel. LINK

The Washington Post 's Ann Gerhart goes on and on and on on the theoretical point of the leak, when she could have simply read Walter Shapiro's tight explanation of it in his column yesterday. LINK

Richard Cohen of the Washington Post writes his column on Wilson and the paper's alleged White House whistle blower with Krugmanian outrage. LINK

The New York Times ed board fairly shouts "Free Novak," and walks the tightrope about leak investigations, independent counsels, and John Ashcroft. LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times turns in a must-read on the president's latest approval numbers and reports that Mr. Bush is in "the danger zone for an incumbent." LINK

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