The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—7:30 am: Senator Joe Lieberman attends a "Lawyers for Lieberman" campaign fundraiser, New York City —9:00 am: Senator Lieberman attends a "LieberWomen" campaign fundraiser, New York City —9:15 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —10:00 am: Senate Appropriations Committee holds full committee markup of the 2004 emergency supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, Capitol Hill —10:00 am: SEC Chairman William McDonough testifies to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on the state of the securities industry, Capitol Hill —10:45 am: Governor Howard Dean attends breakfast at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, Los Angeles —12:25 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks to the State of Commerce Luncheon during the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference, D.C. —12:30 pm: House of Representatives convenes for morning business —1:05 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 luncheon fundraiser, Chicago —1:30 pm: Senator John Kerry delivers remarks at the Brookings Institution on the future of American operations in Iraq, D.C. —2:00 pm: President Bush meets with business leaders, Chicago —2:30 pm: Governor Gray Davis and DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe greet volunteers at a phone bank to get out the vote, Los Angeles —3:15 pm: Senator Kerry holds a conference call to announce former Senator Gary Hart's endorsement —3:15 pm: Senator Bob Graham meets with the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, San Jose —3:30 pm: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers testify to the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Capitol Hill —4:00 pm: California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley tours Sacramento County elections office to review election preparations such as absentee ballot processing —4:30 pm: General Wesley Clark holds private meetings with members of Congress, Capitol Hill —5:00 pm: Maria Shriver makes brief remarks after touring the Hollenbeck Youth Center, Los Angeles —5:00 pm: Senator Lieberman attends a campaign fundraiser reception, New York City —5:30 pm: Governor Davis signs a comprehensive workers' compensation legislative package, Los Angeles —6:00 pm: State Senator Tom McClintock holds a press conference to announce an endorsement from Professor Bruce Herschenson, Los Angeles —6:05 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 private fundraiser reception, Cincinnati —6:30 pm: General Clark participates in a conference call with the anti-recall "Stand for California" —7:00 pm: State Senator McClintock appears on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews — 7:00 pm: Representative Dick Gephardt takes part in "Gephardt Parties Across America," Philadelphia —8:00 pm: Senator Kerry attends a campaign fundraiser at Regional Food & Drink, D.C. —8:30 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a press availability at the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco —8:30 pm: Senator Graham attends a private campaign fundraiser reception, San Jose —11:00 pm: Governor Dean attends a "September to Remember" celebration at Union Station, Los Angeles —11:35 pm: Governor Dean appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno


The following notice was sent to all White House employees:

PLEASE READ: Important Message From Counsel's Office

We were informed last evening by the Department of Justice that it has opened an investigation into possible unauthorized disclosures concerning the identity of an undercover CIA employee. The Department advised us that it will be sending a letter today instructing us to preserve all materials that might be relevant to its investigation. Its letter will provide more specific instructions on the materials in which it is interested, and we will communicate those instructions directly to you. In the meantime, you must preserve all materials that might in any way be related to the Department's investigation. Any questions concerning this request should be directed to Associate Counsels Ted Ullyot or Raul Yanes in the Counsel to the president's office. The president has directed full cooperation with this investigation.

Alberto R. Gonzales

Counsel to the president

ABC News has now been told that the preliminary investigation is over, and that this is now a full-scale investigation being conducted by the Justice Department.

We would still like to see Attorney General Ashcroft come out publicly and explain how this politically charged investigation will be conducted.

The president and Karl Rove departed by chopper this morning from the White House, ABC News' Peter Doherty reports, but that familiar whirring sound kept the shouted questions from being heard — or, at least, answered.

In all our back-and-forth history(onics) about the Wilson matter yesterday, we inadvertently left out one really important notion, which we insert here now high up:

The press and the opposition party should NOT go around assuming that because someone MIGHT be guilty of something that they ARE guilty of something.

Karl Rove's name was out there yesterday, but there are bound to be others, and there is just no reason to rush to judgment (even in our current 24/7 media culture) just because someone hears a name, or even if someone hears that someone else has hired a criminal defense lawyer.

If you care even a whit about America having a civil national public discourse (during this time and forever), read every word of David Brooks' brilliant New York Times column, and thank Arthur for hiring him. LINK

Now: before this morning's blockbuster White House announcement, we were all prepared to tell you that on this last day of the presidential campaign fundraising quarter and one week before the California recall, only one American newspaper broke new news on the Wilson story this cycle.

(For some important Wilson investigative work done overseas, check out our new Egyptian version of The Note — one of the first two of many international daily editions we are rolling out in the coming weeks. You can find it at

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen and Dana Milbank — not Priest — have these three key paragraphs, and if you aren't sure you will get why they are key, you need to read s-l-o-w-l-y. LINK

"Another journalist yesterday confirmed receiving a call from an administration official providing the same information about Wilson's wife before the Novak column appeared on July 14 in The Post and other newspapers."

"The journalist, who asked not to be identified because of possible legal ramifications, said that the information was provided as part of an effort to discredit Wilson, but that the CIA information was not treated as especially sensitive. 'The official I spoke with thought this was a part of Wilson's story that wasn't known and cast doubt on his whole mission,' the person said, declining to identify the official he spoke with. 'They thought Wilson was having a good ride and this was part of Wilson's story … .'"

"An article that appeared on the Time magazine Web site the same week Novak's column was published said that 'some government officials have noted to Time in interviews . . . that Wilson's wife, [...], is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.' The same article quoted from an interview with I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, saying that Cheney did not know about Wilson's mission 'until this year when it became public in the last month or so.'"

One obvious implication of this is that the oft-press shy Libby was taking journalists' calls during the period when [Wilson's wife]'s name was named, but, of course, that doesn't mean that Libby had anything to do with it.

Of course, the Post printing that pretty much non-sequitarial paragraph COULD suggest two things:

A. The Post has its suspicions … .

B. Maybe Mr. Libby should have played nicer with the intel boys during the run-up to the Iraq war … .

The story is also interesting because it demonstrates the clear animus that the administration felt toward Wilson contemporaneously with the leak of the name:

" … Administration officials have taken public and private whacks at Wilson, charging that his 2002 report, made at the behest of U.S. intelligence, was faulty and that his mission was a scheme cooked up by mid-level operatives … ." LINK

"George Tenet, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took a shot at Wilson last week as did ex-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Both contended that Wilson's report on an alleged Iraqi effort to purchase uranium from Niger, far from undermining the president's claim in his State of the Union address that Iraq sought uranium in Africa, as Wilson had said, actually strengthened it."

And we really don't like to fight with Bob Novak — besides being a fellow journalist and Terps fan, he is our hero.

But we don't understand why

1. Bob thinks it matters that he was told the name of Wilson's wife in a conversation he initiated, as he claimed yesterday. It is a classic political hit strategy, Bob, to take the call from the reporter, and work the negative information into the call.

2. Newsday quoted Bob on July 22 saying, "his sources had come to him with the information. 'I didn't dig it out, it was given to me,' he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.'" LINK

("I'd say the story's changed," says IF Stoner Josh Marshall.)

3. Bob seems to be somewhat mischaracterizing what Wilson's wife's job was.

Senator Kerry delivers remarks at the Brookings Institution on the future of American operations in Iraq this afternoon.

He also holds a conference call to announce, ABC News' Ed O'Keefe has learned, former Senator Gary Hart's endorsement, which will also be Webcast this afternoon. He will attend a fundraiser tonight at Regional Food & Drink in D.C. along with Senator Kennedy and more than a dozen House members.

President Bush attends a luncheon fundraiser and later meets with business leaders at the University of Chicago's business school in Chicago today. Later on, he goes to Cincinnati to attend a campaign fundraiser reception at a private residence. His aides continue to say he wants this Wilson matter dealt with.

Vice President Cheney speaks to the State of Commerce Luncheon during the National Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference today in D.C.

Governor Dean attends breakfast at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Los Angeles this morning. He also attends a "September to Remember" celebration at Union Station. He appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.

General Clark is in D.C. today. He will do a one-on-one interview with Josh Marshall of the Talking Points Memo. He also will meet with members of Congress in closed meetings on Capitol Hill. Later, he will participate in a conference call with members of the anti-recall "Stand for California."

Congressman Gephardt takes part in "Gephardt Parties Across America" tonight in Philadelphia (see below for more on that).

Senator Lieberman attends breakfast fundraisers with "Lawyers for Lieberman" and "LieberWomen" in New York this morning. He has another fundraiser this evening at Smith & Wollensky in New York City.

Senator Edwards attends a meet-and-greet at Light in New York City tonight

Senator Graham is in San Jose, California. He will meet with the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group at the San Jose Mercury News and also attend a private fundraising reception.

Congressman Kucinich is in D.C. with no public events scheduled.

Reverend Sharpton is in New York City with no public events scheduled.

Ambassador Moseley Braun is in Chicago with no public events announced.

In the recall:

DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe will join Governor Davis today in Los Angeles to greet volunteers at a phone bank to get out the vote. He also will sign a comprehensive workers' compensation legislative package at Los Angeles International Airport later today. His administration will release the state's HMO report card this morning in Sacramento.

Lieutenant Governor Bustamante has no public events scheduled for today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will call into the Steve Harvey radio show in Los Angeles in the morning, and later he'll hold a press availability at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. "Assemblywomen for Arnold" will hold a conference call today to discuss the effects of the car tax.

Maria Shriver will make brief remarks at the Hollenbeck Youth Center in Los Angeles today.

State Senator Tom McClintock holds a press conference in Burbank to announce an endorsement from Pepperdine Professor Bruce Herschenson. He also appears live on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and in a recorded interview on KTLA in Los Angeles.

The Conference Board report released this morning shows unexpectedly low consumer confidence. ABC's Schindelheim reports, "two employment components of the index were at their lowest levels in more than a decade: The "jobs plentiful" index fell 1.3 points to 10.0, the lowest level since December 1993. At the same time, the "jobs hard to get" index rose 1.2 points to 35.3, its highest level since December 1993."

Wilson is more than a volleyball:

Asks one Democrat of The Note this morning, post-Gonzales:

"There's absolutely no basis for that kind of heads-up. (Imagine if that was the Clinton White House.) Unprecedented, completely out of line and over the top. DOJ should not have given any direction to the target of an investigation about when they should preserve documents."

"Who at DOJ notified Gonzales?"

"Why didn't Gonzales act to preserve material earlier?"

The Washington Post 's Ed Walsh and Sue Schmidt look at the rarely invoked, reportedly never prosecuted Intelligence Identities Protection Act. LINK

Read the last paragraph for a nice guesstimate of how the investigation is likely to proceed now that it has hit 1600.

The Wall Street Journal 's Tom Hamburger and Gary Fields write a straightforward chronicle of what happened when and what the implications are, including the potential nasty tangle for Attorney General John Ashcroft.

"The problem may be especially acute for Mr. Ashcroft, who earlier this year created a task force to review sanctions governing leaks of classified information. 'Leaks of classified information do substantial damage to the security interests of the nation,' he said at the time. 'As a government, we must try to find more effective measures to deal with this damaging practice, including measures to prevent it.'"

The New York Times ' Lichtblau and Stevenson write it straight up and powerfully. LINK

Greg Miller of the Los Angeles Times doesn't advance the Wilson story any, but does a pretty masterful job of setting the Washington scene. LINK

"The issue has metastasized into a mini-scandal with such speed that many in Washington, including the White House, appear to have been caught off-guard."

"The allegations suddenly threatened to pose a major problem for an administration that prides itself on avoiding the culture of leaks and swirling criminal probes that waylaid its predecessor on Pennsylvania Avenue."

Richard Benedetto and Judy Keen of USA Today write a fancy wire story. LINK

And Keen does a (newsless) mini Rove profile that is serviceable and contains an apparent (brief) interview. LINK

The Houston Chronicle 's Roth does up Rove, too, with the normal Texas-political-reporter-writing-about-Rove edge.

And the Nation's Newspaper has a timeline. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Wayne Washington and Bryan Bender review the calls from Capitol Hill for an independent investigation. LINK

Salon's Jack Shafer examines the Who-Named-Game at length, and finds that "unless some startling news surfaces about the leakers, their identities, and their motives, I doubt this summer scandal will ripen into delectable fall fruit." LINK

The Hill reports many lawmakers are taking a wait-and-see approach as Congressional Democrats seek a special counsel. LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

More news that will have those over on Wilson Boulevard popping political Pepto:

Robert Pear picks up on the Census report showing "the number of people without health insurance shot up last year by 2.4 million, the largest increase in a decade, raising the total to 43.6 million, as health costs soared and many workers lost coverage provided by employers." LINK

While Tommy Thompson says "the nation must do more," Pear Notes no congressional action is imminent.

And Robin Toner looks at lack of health insurance as a "middle class issue," citing a Kaiser Family Foundation report showing soaring health costs and double-digit premium hikes. Our thanks to Bill McInturff, who smartly sets up the political equation for us:

"People still don't get how big an issue this will be. The numbers and the state of the economy and the relationship between the cost of care and what's happened to the uninsured will be addressed in the 2004 campaign cycle, because it's what people care about." LINK

Fred Barnes takes the long view and incorporates some of Matt Dowd's memo in a Wall Street Journal op-ed about President Bush's vulnerability, Noting:

"A more accurate word for President Bush's political condition is 'normal.' Mr. Bush has slumped in his third year in office just as most recent presidents have. A slump is the rule, not the exception."

Despite the wrong-headed, over-simplistic predictions of the press, Barnes writes, this President Bush's timing is far different than his father's, and odds are that both the economy and Iraq will recover — at least enough to keep him afloat.

"President Bush has two other factors working for him. One is the unpopularity of the Democrats. Mark Penn, the pollster for Bill Clinton, found recently that the percentage of Americans who identify with the Democratic party (32%) is the lowest since before the New Deal, 70 years ago. The other is President Bush's current condition. If he's even with Democratic rivals now, with recovery just beginning and a spate of bad news from Iraq, imagine where he'll be when the recovery sets in and Iraq quiets down. When President Bush gets there, the media will have a new word for him: 'favorite.'"

President Bush is "roughly halfway to his goal of raising $150 million to $170 million for his re-election campaign," the AP reports. LINK

The New York Post looks at the BC04 "massive money edge" and "super-size haul" in the third quarter, using lots of large adjectives: LINK

President Bush is in Chicago and Cincinnati today for fundraisers on the final day of the third quarter. The president will first speak at a fundraising luncheon at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers and then travel to Cincinnati for an event at the home of Reds owner Carl Lindner. LINK

"Cincinnati also has been one of the top sources of money for Bush's campaign. The 45243 ZIP code has provided more money for his re-election than all but one other in the nation," reports Carl Weiser of the Cincinnati Enquirer. LINK

The Cincinnati event "will mark Bush's 12th visit to Ohio since his inauguration," the Ohio News Network reports. LINK

Vice President Cheney was in Memphis yesterday for a fundraiser at the home of Morgan Keegan chairman Allen Morgan. The event, a $2,000 per person luncheon, was also hosted by FedEx Corp. chief Frederick Smith. Cheney spoke for about 20 minutes, focusing mainly on terrorism and the Post -9/11 world. LINK

Then Cheney toured the Chickamauga Battlefield for almost four hours. Cheney's great-grandfather, Lt. Samuel Fletcher Cheney with the 21st Ohio Infantry Regiment, fought with Union troops during the Battle of Chickamauga on Sept. 20, 1863. LINK

John DiStaso reports that President Bush is "expected to make his fourth visit to the Granite State as the nation's chief executive on Thursday, Oct. 9, with the prime event expected to be a business luncheon at Manchester's Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn." LINK

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that President Bush "has seen a slight drop in his approval rating among Kentuckians during the past seven months, but he still rates higher in the state than in the nation as a whole." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Peter Canellos reports from Martinsburg, W.Va., where people "are generally willing to trust the president on his concern about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction … .But one number is stuck like a chicken bone in the throats of dozens of Martinsburg residents: $87 billion." LINK

Lloyd Grove reports in the New York Daily News that BC04 has "issued a helpful 'Frequently Asked Questions' memo to its New York fund-raisers." LINK

The Bush campaign also announced several more national leadership posts: Governor Sonny Perdue and Senator Saxby Chambliss will serve as Co-Chairmen of the BC04 Georgia Leadership Team. Peter Cianchette will serve as Chair of the BC04 Maine Leadership Team and Senator Susan Collins and Senator Olympia Snowe will serve as Vice Chairwomen.

The politics of national security:

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman Notes that despite all the complaining, lawmakers may end up adding to President Bush's $87 billion request for reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. LINK

While questioning expenditures in Iraq including highway construction and tax collection, Senate Democrats are talking about added measures for more Humvees and more troops, as well as increased health benefits for National Guard members. And they want to do it by raising taxes on the richest 1 percent of Americans.

USA Today 's Andrea Stone reports that "Senate Republican leaders rejected calls from Democrats and some in their own party Monday to make major changes in President Bush's $87 billion request" and that the request "has fired up Democrats." LINK

Deconstructing Reconstructing:

We are glad to see the revolving door still on its track, even in times of national challenge. The New York Times on Joe Allbaugh's lobbying firm that is ready to help clients exploit the "opportunities evolving in Iraq today." LINK

Paul Krugman watches the door go round and round and warns that "cronyism is warping policy: by treating contracts as prizes to be handed to their friends, administration officials are delaying Iraq's recovery, with potentially catastrophic consequences." LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: 3rd quarter fundraising:

The Note has long thought that no Democrat besides Howard Dean would raise $5 million this quarter, and that Howard Dean's number would be closer to $15 million than, say $13 million, and, thus, that Dean would triple (not double) the next closest Democrat.

Based on what we have been told in the last 24 hours, we are more confident of that than ever.

And we have been pretty confident.

The Los Angeles Times spends a paragraph or two on fundraising totals other than Dr. Dean's. LINK

"Among the other nine Democratic candidates, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts announced through an aide Monday that he was expecting to raise $4.5 million to $5 million for the third quarter. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was expecting about $4 million, a spokesman said. An aide to Senator John Edwards of North Carolina said he was expecting less than $4 million."

"Aides to Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, Senator Bob Graham of Florida and retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas declined to discuss fund-raising totals."

Not to diminish Governor Dean's fundraising prowess in any way, but the Washington Post 's dashing Tom Edsall reminds that even a record-smashing $13 million (so far) just ain't $50 million — which, incidentally, is what the Bush-Cheney camp is looking to haul in for the third quarter. LINK

Edsall looks at the slowdown in contributions to virtually all the Democratic contenders except for Dean and, of course, Wesley Clark, whose aides said they expect to raise about $2.5 million by midnight tonight, although some expectation-setting Clark aides think/say otherwise.

As for the others, "Edwards's aides said he will raise about $3 million, Kerry's aides said he will raise between $4.5 million and $5 million, and a spokesman said Lieberman will raise from $4 million to $5 million."

The Des Moines Register 's Jane Norman writes, "Democratic candidates for the presidency were sprinting toward a campaign finance deadline that looms tonight, but President Bush zipped past them all with $48 million to $50 million raised during the last three months." LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: Per the AP, "Howard Dean topped John Kerry by 9 points in the latest poll of voters who say they will cast their ballots in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Newcomer Wesley Clark and several other presidential candidates battled for third place." LINK

Dean was the choice of 26 percent, followed by Kerry with 17 percent and Clark with 10 percent, according to the poll conducted by Suffolk University and WHDH-TV of Boston.

Lieberman had 7 percent and Edwards and Gephardt were at 6 percent. The remaining candidates were at 2 percent or fewer.

Knight Ridder's Matt Stearns gives the green light to his version of the "NASCAR Dads" story. LINK


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

"ABC News has learned former Senator Gary Hart (D-Colo.) plans to endorse Senator John F. Kerry's presidential bid in a Tuesday conference call with reporters. The Kerry camp will promptly Webcast the Hart endorsement on LINK following the call."

"Hart, a leading contender for the Democratic party's 1984 nomination, withdrew his name from consideration after flirting with a second run this year. Having gained further prominence as a part of the Hart-Rudman Commission investigating terrorists threats prior to 9/11, Hart will likely lend further strength to Kerry's national security credentials."

"Tuesday's endorsement marks a strong September of endorsements for the Massachusetts Senator, ranging from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), environmental activist lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and just last week, the International Association of Fire Fighters."

Kerry "turned his recent endorsement by national and state firefighters into a fresh opportunity Monday to criticize President Bush for letting down those who protect America's communities," the AP reports. LINK also has the firefighters event. LINK

DNC meeting:

On Monday, the DNC released the speaking schedule for the presidential candidates at their meeting this weekend in D.C.

Dean, Lieberman, Clark, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Kerry will speak in that order on Friday beginning at 10:30 am ET. Sharpton, Edwards, Graham, and Gephardt will speak in that order beginning at 10:30 am ET on Saturday.

The DNC Noted that Leaders Daschle and Pelosi and Democratic Caucus Chairman Menendez will also speak on Friday morning.

District of Columbia:

The Note, some of you might have Noticed, sometimes has a whimsical tone.

Sometimes, all of our readers like it; sometimes, not all of them do (or so we gather).

So let's try again: we are on a daily basis impressed by the energy and passion the organizers and promoters of the District of Columbia's January Democratic presidential primary have shown.

Their commitment to making the delegate-less event a serious election that focuses on the District's problems — particularly the lack of full voting representation in Congress — has been truly extraordinary.

It is obvious that they have already achieved candidate interest and support far beyond what some predicted, and — no matter what the results of the primary — they have already focused a great deal of public, politician, and press attention on the disenfranchisement of the city's residents.


The Des Moines Register 's Lynn Okamoto reports on Governor Vilsack's comments about The General on Inside Politics yesterday (before the show was truth-squadded by Dan Balz during a commercial). LINK

Okamoto reports that "Vilsack questioned Gen. Wesley Clark's allegiance to the Democratic Party during an interview Monday on national television, stepping up criticism that has plagued the retired general for the past week."

"'People in Iowa do not know much about him. I think they are concerned about his Democraticness,' Vilsack said on CNN. 'One of the questions that Iowans are asking about General Clark is whether or not he even voted for Vice President Gore in the 2000 election.'"

"Neither Vilsack nor CNN's Judy Woodruff could answer that question during the live TV interview."

Those of us watching Monday know that Ms. Woodruff reported after a commercial break, courtesy of freelance producer Dan Balz, that it was reported over the weekend that Clark voted for Gore in 2000.

Kym Spell told Okamoto that party affiliation is different in Arkansas because the state has open primaries, but "Vilsack said party affiliation matters to Iowa caucus-goers, who endure several hours in a gym, church basement or neighbor's living room arguing about politics."

Kym won't like the hard copy headline: "Vilsack: Is Clark a Democrat?"

David Keene of the Hill calls Clark's "new patriotism" political balderdash. LINK

Slate raps Gen. Hugh Shelton for recent comments criticizing his former subordinate The General, saying "Shelton ought to explain why, if sneaking around your boss to go to the media is a grave character issue, sneaking around your former subordinate to go to the media with an unfalsifiable insinuation about him isn't." LINK

Clark was in Texas Monday and "repeated his call for an independent investigation into reports that a Bush administration official leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent. Clark said the name was released 'in violation of law, in violation of good sense, in violation of protection of the American intelligence system,'" the AP reports. LINK

"'It's wrong, it's shady, it's cheap. And we're calling for an independent commission to be established,' Clark said, to cheers from the crowd."

As Clark visits Capitol Hill today to drum up support, House Democrats say they will question him on everything from Iraq to the economy reports Peter Savodnik of The Hill. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Peter Canellos writes that Clark is "going to have to do something few previous general-politicians have had to do: fight." LINK

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes up Clark's call for an independent investigation into the Wilson matter and gets Clark to say in an interview that "he envisions a blue-ribbon-style commission whose members would include former military leaders such as retired Gens. John Shalikashvili and Norman Schwarzkopf, along with former Defense Secretary William Perry." LINK

One of the photos that accompany the story show Clark with Congressman Martin Frost.

Marc Racicot calls Clark the "flavor of the month." LINK

From ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton:

"General Clark stood in George Bush's home state of Texas Monday afternoon speaking to close to 300 supporters in downtown Austin's Woolridge Park about all the reasons they should dislike Bush and love him. Before the event began, campaign staffers happily told press how The General would be addressing the White House leak and how it is perfect that The General was speaking on this issue in 'Bush country.' And to pump up the mood, Representative Richard Raymond of South Texas introduced General Clark by saying: 'Wesley K. Clark is a man who can beat George W. Bush.' Rep. Raymond also said, 'No matter what Jeb Bush does in Florida this time, we'll keep his brother here.'"

"Following General Clark's address, people in the crowd threw flower bouquets onto the stage, and General Clark worked the rope line shaking hands, signing his newly released book, holding babies, and listening to praises from supporters (many of them military veterans). One woman said to General Clark, 'I was a Republican, than you came along.' And when his body people ushered Clark quickly over and behind the stage to go towards the car, General Clark stopped them saying, what about all the people down there (referring to all the people they skipped going around the rope line) — he told his body people, 'They're all down there, I want to see them.' He then lead the way back towards the part of the crowd he almost missed greeting, his body people dutifully following their General in command."

"In Clark fundraising: The General continues to attend one to two fundraisers a day, but the campaign remains quiet about how much The General will raise by the time the third quarter FEC deadline."

"Tuesday, General Clark comes to Washington, D.C., where he will drive from Dulles airport to Capitol Hill with 'blogger' Josh Marshall, who manages the Web site 'Talking Points Memo' (LINK). After last Friday's town hall in Manchester, N.H., General Clark was asked by a reporter if he himself would have a daily blog and The General said definitely yes — perhaps this is The General's first step into that foray. One Clark campaign source told me that they look at the Clark/Marshall face-to-face meeting as a 'convergence of traditional politics and 21st Century opinion blogging.'"


The Boston Globe 's Brian Mooney reports that Dean had a big day as he "passed $13 million yesterday, had 1,500 house parties around the country last night, and has launched a massive Internet drive." LINK

Dick Morris writes in the New York Post that through his Internet fundraising, Dean is "ending the oligarchy of monied power in the Democratic Party typified by Terry McAuliffe," the DNC chair "whose sole qualification is his ability to raise big bucks." LINK

In the Boston Globe , Tom Oliphant writes that Gephardt is actually right about Dean and Medicare, he just made Newt Gingrich "a lightning rod for disbelief — a distraction, really." LINK

The record setting conference call and the online bat get their due in the Los Angeles Timescoverage of Dean's fundraising totals. But not everything went smoothly. LINK

"Still, Monday's event had its share of glitches."

"When Dean sat down to start the call, the sound from the speaker phone, linked to the thousands of supporters, was a cacophony of voices and static."

"Dean tried to gain control, saying: 'All right, who's keeping order on this call. Does anyone know which button to touch, guys?'"

Pindell writes up "AT&T Powered Howard." LINK

From ABC News' Dean campaign reporter Marc Ambinder:

"According to an estimate provided to the campaign by AT&T, more than 3,550 separate people called in to a single fundraising conference call for Dean tonight; if that estimate holds true, then this event will more than shatter the Guinness World Record for the largest conference call in recorded history. Dean participated in the call from Los Angeles."


On CNN's "American Morning," Congressman Gephardt was asked about the Wilson matter and said: "If the people who talked to Novak know who they are and I'm sure they do, then they will have to come forward and say what they said. Look, it doesn't matter whether they called him. If they responded to a question by offering information, they were revealing the identity of a CIA officer. That probably is a violation of the law."

Gephardt also repeated his charge that Dean "cooperated and agreed with the Republicans when I was leading the fight to stop the big $270 billion cut in 1995."

"Gephardt on Monday called for a congressional investigation into whether the Bush administration leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent," the AP reports. LINK

"Gephardt says he's gaining ground, but not because of attacks on Dean," reports Sam Youngman of LINK

"'If (Dean's) fresh approach is cutting Medicare … then that's not the approach we need,' Gephardt told reporters."

From ABC News' Gephardt campaign reporter Sally Hawkins:

"Tuesday evening in Philadelphia, Congressman Gephardt will attend a house party with 20-30 people at a private home. The party, on the night of the third quarter fundraising deadline, is part of the grassroots support and low dollar fundraising effort the campaign has aptly named 'Gephardt Parties Across America.'"

"There will be about 300 parties held in all 50 states. About two dozen people will attend most of the parties will but some will likely gather up to 50 partiers. Kim Molstre of the Gephardt campaign says 'there are 50 house parties in the state of Iowa alone.'"

"Many of the people attending the parties are friends and/or relatives of the hosts. Some are already supporters of Congressman Gephardt, but the campaign is hoping to win over many others."

"This event has been in the planning stages for several weeks and has morphed from being a 'live interactive telecast' to being taped and later possibly airing on cable television."

"Now, the plan is final. There will be a series of three telephone conference calls that Gephardt will hold with partiers around the country at various times throughout the event. The campaign also hired an outside media firm to produce a half-hour video profile of Congressman Gephardt that includes material from a previous house party and two campaigns ads. Each of the 300 hosts received a copy of the videotape. They have been asked to show the video to their guests prior to dialing in to one of the calls."

"The parties will mostly take place between 7:30 pm-9:30 pm ET but West Coasters are free to hold their party later in the evening."

"For more:"


From ABC News Lieberman campaign reporter Talesha Reynolds:

"The $4 million estimate the Lieberman campaign put out for third quarter fundraising is a conservative one. The campaign will likely exceed that figure, but there's no way to tell by how much."

"The final days of the quarter are crucial to fundraising, and the campaign is trying to convey a sense of urgency to potential contributors. They have put out the call to raise $300,000 by midnight Tuesday. Senator Lieberman's letter to supporters reads, 'You have done a lot already, over the next two days we need you to reach out to everyone you know and ask them to give to our campaign.'"

"Team Lieberman has reined in its spending in an effort to keep more money in the bank. They have not spent money on ads, so their cash on hand figure should be higher than that of some of the other candidates. Once the money is in and the total is tallied, the campaign will have to decide how to divvy it up to greatest effect. Adviser Tony Podesta says, 'How well you spend money is sometimes more important than how you raise it.'"

The New Haven Register reports that DeLauro's Clark dinner has been canceled. The headline reads: "DeLauro not abandoning Lieberman." LINK

Yesterday we Noted a little shot across the Lieberman bow by one Mark Fabiani, who called the Senator "desperate" for, as one would say, pointing out the policy differences between himself and his Democratic rivals.

Today we bring you Part II: The Lieberman Response, from spokesman Jano Cabrera:

"Sound like a fun game. I'm more than happy to compare Senator Lieberman's political fighting spirit to Clark's any day of the week. In fact, let's pick a day at random and see what both men were doing then. Ah yes, May 10, 2001 works. On that day, Joe Lieberman — along with Senators Kerry, Graham and Edwards — stood up and voted against Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Wes Clark, on the other hand, was preparing to keynote a Republican fundraiser, one to help raise funds to further George W. Bush's agenda."

Over to you, Fabs.


The Miami Herald 's Wallsten had a big interview with Senator Graham in which the Senator:

--"acknowledged for the first time that meeting his $15 million fundraising goal for the year would be a struggle."

--"would not dismiss rumors that he might be forced to reduce his staff."

--expressed frustration with "the fact that if I had been able to get into the race in January and therefore had been able to talk about why I voted against the war, I think I would have gotten some of the uplift that Howard Dean has gotten."

--said he hasn't given a thought to dropping out. LINK

The New York Times profiles the Florida Senator's presidential campaign and its "dire position," and offers a Jarding quote on the importance of foreign policy this cycle. LINK

The St. Petersburg Times reports that the Graham campaign "buckles under an array of troubles." LINK

"Graham's late start, the campaign's lack of funding and political missteps are blamed for his lackluster performance in the presidential race."

"Former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Monday, saying that Florida needs a senator who will help President Bush fight terrorism," the Sun-Sentinel reports. LINK


There was no Roger Mudd moment for John Edwards in Texas on Monday. LINK

When 8-year-old Cooper Watson asked Edwards: Why does he want to be president?

The San Antonio Express reports that "Edwards gave a plain answer."

"'Because I want to give more people a chance to do well in America,' he told the youngster."


From ABC News' Kucinich campaign reporter Melinda Arons:

"Kucinich pleaded his case to about 16 potential fund raisers at a Los Angeles breakfast this morning organized by ANGLE (Access Now Gay & Lesbian Equality), regarded in Southern California as the preeminent LGBT interest group in the region (that's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, as anyone running for the Democratic nomination must learn to say ten times fast if they're going to have a chance in California). Conventional wisdom dictates that an endorsement from ANGLE wraps up the area's LGBT vote, not to mention (perhaps more importantly) its hefty donations, making it a must-stop on the campaign circuit."

"While the attendees were clearly warm to Kucinich's pro-gay stances, the electability question seems to hound him wherever he goes. The scrappy Congressman responded as usual, reminding the group that he's beaten a Republican incumbent in every election in which he's run and has made a career of turning around so-called lost causes … he claims tackling Bush is just another obstacle he can overcome. The group nodded in response but seemed unconvinced."

Moseley Braun:

From ABC News' Moseley Braun campaign reporter Monica Ackerman:

"Billie Paige, Ambassador Moseley Braun's campaign treasurer says financially, 'they're not doing as good as the rich guys, but we're holding our own.' Will they do better than the first two quarters? 'About the same.' What about the NOW and NWPC endorsements? Paige says they're just beginning to see the results from those endorsements, so it probably won't show on this quarter's filing. Last quarter Moseley Braun's campaign pulled in just under 145,000; a significant amount less than most of the other candidates."

"This past weekend Moseley Braun attended events and mingled with friends at the Congressional Black Caucus convention. Will those same friends from the CBC support her? 'I have not asked my colleagues for endorsements per say,' said Moseley Braun. She said Congressman Davis had endorsed her, but that it's too early for the rest of the members. 'They all have political issues in their home state, so I really haven't asked, but I'm getting a lot of support from them and they're sending the checks, so that I guess is what matters.'"

"Early Friday morning she was scheduled to speak at a forum on Iraq, but was a no-show. An organizer later told me the ambassador had called in saying she wasn't feeling well. Perhaps it was for the better since the CBC had her sitting right by one of her nine political rivals, Al Sharpton; he stole the show with a speech that put the crowd on its feet. She also missed out on Senator Ted Kennedy who briefly plugged her, but then proceeded telling everyone how much he admires Al Sharpton."


From ABC News' Sharpton campaign reporter Beth Loyd:

"Reverend Sharpton spoke to more than 50 local black ministers at the Baptist Minister's Convention in Washington, D.C. Monday. He mini-stumped for about 10 minutes focusing his words on the power of the black church."

"'We can win in D.C. The power in D.C. is in the hands of those in this room,' he said. 'Everybody else is going to City Hall but I first came to where I know the strength is. We should not be endorsing drive-by candidates. We ought to support those who live with us or among us or are with us.'"

"After the speech, Sharpton expressed his outrage at the recent allegations of a leak by a Bush administration official, revealing the identity of a CIA operative."

"'There's nothing more antithetical and there's nothing more unpatriotic and nothing more criminal than what we've heard in these reports. And they ought to be investigated and if there's any truth to it, Mr. Rove ought to face the harshest prosecution and the harshest punishment if he, in fact, has done this.'"

"Sharpton has spent most of his time campaigning in South Carolina and Washington, D.C. but he says he's not worried about Dean's Washington endorsements."

"'You know, when Reverend Jackson ran 20 years ago, most of the Congressional Black Caucus did not support him. Most black mayors and governors didn't support him but he got three and a half million votes and over two-thirds of the black community's support. I believe in going to the people, I'm not looking for endorsements'."

California recall:

Robert Salladay of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "Gov. Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger entered the final week of the recall campaign at each other's throats Monday, in a fevered attempt to win over the small number of still-undecided voters." LINK

The Los Angeles Times account of Monday on the campaign trail including the California GOP Executive Board endorsement of Arnold and Arianna Huffington's decision making on the future of her candidacy. LINK

It's come down to a two-man race in California: Davis v. Schwarzenegger, the Washington Post 's William Booth and Rene Sanchez write. The duo work in the (GOP-quoted) phrase "Hail Mary Pass" with regard to Davis, and Garry South essentially agrees. LINK

Anne E. Kornblut of the Boston Globe reports that the White House has kept their hands off of the recall, despite what the Democrats may be saying. LINK

"Contrary to accusations by Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, that the recall is a national Republican crusade to oust him from office, there is no evidence the Bush team is engineering the effort, and recent polling data suggest voters do not believe the recall has anything to do with Bush. If anything, the issue has been troublesome for the Bush administration, energizing Democrats nationally and giving presidential hopefuls yet another platform on which to campaign."

And for a conversation about the recall that for once isn't breathless, political press corps dean David Broder is online today to talk about California's electoral madness. LINK

The Latino community is split over whether to support the recall or Bustamante, the Washington Post 's Sanchez writes. LINK

La Opinion reports on McClintock's decision to stay in the race, California labor's moves to shore up Davis support, and labor's efforts to convince Hispanic voters that Schwarzenegger in Sacramento is only bad news for them. The paper Notes Peter Ragone appeared irritated by the fact that four spaces were reserved for Schwarzenegger allies at Monday's Univision forum. LINK

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is today. LINK

California recall, Arnold:

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be winning over the California GOP establishment — or at least its board of directors, the Washington Times reports. The board unanimously decided to support Schwarzenegger yesterday. LINK

When he announced his bid for governor, Schwarzenegger talked about representing all the people of California — but you'd never know it from the politics-as-usual campaign he's running, writes the Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes. Schwarzenegger has raised money nationwide and has kept his campaign appearances to either short stops or TV ads.

"'Just out of sheer necessity, it's a much different campaign than the one we were led to expect,' says Republican strategist Dan Schnur, an adviser to former candidate Peter Ueberroth. Davis adviser Tom O'Donnell, recalling Mr. Schwarzenegger's 'Tonight Show' remarks, says, 'The only untraditional thing is the crowds he's getting.'"

Schnur and others credit Mike Murphy — evidently a favorite of Maria Shriver — with helping the campaign grow up, Calmes writes.

"Arnold has killed the kangaroo": The Hill reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for Governor is being covered in his native Austria, where he is considered one of the 20 most popular Austrians. LINK

USA Today does the MOS thing about Arnold's candidacy at Gold's Gym. And since this is Hollywood, the MOS features actor James Caan. LINK

Salon examines whether past steroid use harms Arnold's current political fitness. LINK

California recall, the governor:

Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times sizes up the "risky strategy" being employed by Governor Davis. LINK

"In a final bid to save his job, Gov. Gray Davis is hoping to recast the recall election in its last few days as a different sort of referendum: a vote on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."

"After trying out various approaches — indifference, anger, contrition and, now, confrontation — the beleaguered incumbent and his strategists are hoping that an added element, fear, can help achieve the 50%-plus-one vote he needs to stay put."

More Barabak: " … the real problem Davis faces in these waning days of the campaign is persistent defections within his own party ranks. It is among those drifting Democrats that Davis hopes to raise fears of Schwarzenegger as governor."

California recall, the Democrat:

Carla Marinucci and Mark Martin deliver a must-read in the San Francisco Chronicle: Whither the Bustamante campaign? Lots of good stuff in here including a pleading phone call to Terry McAuliffe and a possible upcoming campaign ad featuring Bill Clinton. LINK

"'He's being hit from all over the place,' mostly because of the news stories surrounding his campaign finance troubles with Indian gaming, said Torres. In an unusual frank critique of a Democratic candidate, Torres — who had urged Democrats to stay united in the race — said Bustamante created his own problems. 'Should he have financed the campaign a different way?' said Torres. 'Absolutely.'"

California recall, the counting:

The Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle on the possible overtime that may occur in a close election. LINK and LINK

From the Chronicle: "As many as 1 million ballots could go uncounted on election day next Tuesday, throwing into doubt for days or weeks the outcome of California's historic recall and replacement elections against Gov. Gray Davis."

"An unprecedented number of absentee ballots have been requested by Californians in the recall — 2.7 million — but fewer than half have been returned by voters thus far, leaving a huge number of ballots likely to be handed in at polling places or arrive in the mail at local elections offices next Tuesday."

"Those votes will not be counted until after election day, when officials verify the authenticity of each ballot."

Politics: The Chicago Sun-Times Sneed reports it is a Dunn deal: Bill Bradley will emerge from political hibernation and play windy for state Senator Barack Obama's Senate bid on Thursday. LINK