The Note

"That fact has angered some senior Democrats, who want Clark to state unequivocally his party affiliation as he openly explores a challenge to President Bush next year. … "

"He sidesteps questions about his political affiliation by saying he prefers to talk about the issues. And in an interview between meetings Thursday, the general said he doesn't have a specific time frame in mind as to when he will make up his mind whether to run for president."

Bush-Cheney re-elect, the money:

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(maybe)

Bob Novak acted like he was breaking the hot dog story on Sunday. LINK

Sunday, the New York Times ed board wrote something completely incomprehensible about President Bush and the $2,000 contribution limit. LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle's Marc Sandalow writes, "When the president rolls through Northern California late this week, it will be part of a 14-day, seven-city sprint during which Bush will raise roughly as much money as all nine of his Democratic opponents reported during the first 90 days of the year." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Anne Kornblut apparently wanted a weekend in New York, so she came in advance of tonight's money event to look at the re-elect's chances in the Empire State. LINK

Dick Stevenson gave Mercer Reynolds the fullish profile treatment in Saturday's New York Times . LINK

That's Mercer Reynolds III, in case you had any doubt.

Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Sunday, the Washington Post 's Dan Balz had a must-read on how the president wants to use '04 to make the GOP the dominant party. LINK

Read it all, but Note these two paragraphs:

"One part of the strategy calls for continued care and feeding of the party's tripartite base of economic, national-security and social conservatives, with a policy agenda that touts U.S. preeminence in the world, pours more resources into the war on terrorism, calls for additional tax cuts and supports party orthodoxy with its positions on abortion, guns and judgeships."

"A secure conservative base frees Bush and his advisers to pursue the other, more ambitious, element of their strategy, which is to use domestic and foreign policy initiatives, governmental appointments and symbolic actions to increase support among swing voters. Republican strategists believe they must move aggressively with Bush in office to reach out to nontraditional Republicans to offset demographic trends that would otherwise lessen the party's chances of sustaining power."

The New York Times ' Elisabeth Bumiller enjoys the view from Ken Mehlman's new office. LINK

Robin Wright sees "six pivotal" events that persuaded President Bush to wade deeply in the murky Middle East waters. LINK

Saturday, Dana Milbank's Washington Post story demonstrated Matt Brooks' unshakeable support for George W. Bush. LINK

In the Week in Review in Sunday's New York Times , David Rosenbaum cleared the president of the accusation of lying about Iraq or taxes. LINK

Mike Allen Noted this in Saturday's Washington Post , about the aftermath of the president's Friday Georgia money party: "In a very unusual move for Bush, he stopped his motorcade on the way back to the airport and shook hands with 30 or 40 onlookers." LINK

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