The Note

"Kerry said Bush made his case for war based on at least two pieces of U.S. intelligence that now appear to be wrong — that Iraq sought nuclear material from Africa and that Saddam's regime had aerial weapons capable of attacking the United States with biological material."

"Still, Kerry said it is too early to conclude whether or not war with Iraq was justified. There needs to be a congressional investigation into U.S. intelligence on Iraq, he said."

"'I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America's credibility and credibility to me because if he lied he lied to me personally,' he said."

"Addressing senior citizens in Hanover later in the evening, Kerry said he supported a congressional investigation because it was not clear whether Bush acted on poor, distorted or politicized intelligence."

"I don't have the answer," he said. "I want the answer and the American people deserve the answer. I will get to the bottom of this."

Mickey Kaus ( calls the comments Romneyesque:

(From the Salt Lake Tribune 3/31/02 LINK ) "George Romney, popular governor of Michigan, was a leading contender for the Republican nomination in the presidential sweepstakes more than three decades ago. On Sept. 4, 1967, he told a Detroit television reporter that he had been 'brainwashed' by U.S. generals supporting the war in Vietnam. The comment and the ensuing media feeding frenzy destroyed his campaign, clearing the way for Richard Nixon to win the GOP nomination and the White House. "

Look for Republicans in New Hampshire and Washington to go on the offensive in this, with reference to Kerry's previous regime change remark.

The good news for Kerry, however, remains the Boston Globe series, with Part V running today. The positive effects are at least two-fold.

First, Kerry's bigger-than-life life story is being seen all over (southern) New Hampshire, and we bet some local pols whose endorsements have been long sought will come over the fence after reading this stuff.

Second, the Globe is putting out all these stories now, so months from now, when the country is paying attention (or, at least, early-state voters are), the Jordan-Lehane-Gibbs-Wade-Benander phalanx can say "old story, old story, old story," and that is often the best defense.

Reporter: "Did John Kerry do such and such?"

Jordan: "Do you mean to tell me that you are chasing a story that appeared SIX MONTHS AGO in The Boston Globe ?


If the Kerry campaign didn't steer the Globe to a lot of this stuff (even the negative stuff), they should have.

Bloomberg News reports that "2 administration officials" said Scott McClellan has officially been tapped to succeed Ari Fleischer. LINK

"McClellan has stood in for Fleischer at crucial times during Bush's first three years in office — most recently when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded over Texas on Feb. 1. Fleischer, who makes a practice of declining comment on administration personnel matters, said when asked who would succeed him that McClellan would have to be on anyone's guess list."

Bush-Cheney re-elect, the money:

Speaker Hastert is not just third in line for succession, he's also on his way to becoming a Ranger according to Roll Call 's Ethan Wallison and Paul Kane.

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