The Note: Do a Good Turn Daily

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17

NEWS SUMMARY

On the Miers Problem, the White House has a plan:

A classic and smooth turn-the-page was executed in the last week ("Mistakes were made, but now we are back on track."), with today marking the true kick-off of the re-launch.

Focus on her professional qualifications to be on the Court (not her religion); stop insulting those opposed to her from the right; give the press positive things to write about her (get the questionnaire up to the Hill, flood the zone with surrogates -- all relentlessly focused on the Notion of "qualified"); keep any Republican Senator from coming out against her; deploy the nominee's legendary capacity for hard work and attention to detail and get her every bit of help possible to help her prepare for the confirmation hearings; and focus, focus, focus on getting a majority vote on the Senate floor.

Contrast that plan to what appears to be the flying-blind-without-a-net non-plan on how to deal with possibly devastating indictments from the Fitzgerald CIA leak investigation.

But appearances can be deceiving. Behind the scenes, surely the Most Organized White House of All-Time has done some work to get ready for what might happen.

In fact, over the weekend a secret, FAKE memo went to the White House from some of the best strategic minds in Republican politics (Note: no, it didn't.). Obtained exclusively by The Note late Sunday night (except for the fact that it is NOT real), the memo makes it clear that there is a lot of thought going into how to be ready in case Fitzgerald indicts top White House aides.

Here is the full text (of a SATIRE of a memo that doesn't exist, but with reportorial meaning embedded throughout):

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TO: Andy Card, Karen Hughes, Karl Rove, Dan Bartlett, Nicolle Wallace

FROM: Mike Deaver, Chris LaCivita, Ralph Reed

DATE: 10/15/2005

RE: preparing for the worst

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The conference call on Friday was discouraging and not very clarifying. These are the best ideas we came up with, given how little information we have.

1. Finishing the opposition research on Fitzgerald, Judy Miller, and Matt Cooper is essential. We think it is still an open question how you should put that out, but the RNC seems like the best idea of those suggested. The press is obsessed with divisions at the New York Times and we can use that to obscure things for a bit.

2. Definitely also finish the research on past presidential pardons. Those precedents will be invaluable.

3. The public hates how much money these prosecutors spend, so comb through the Fitzgerald disbursements and see if any of his deputies have been staying at the Ritz, etc.

4. We are going to need some Democrats to decry the politics of personal destruction and the criminalization of politics. Try Breaux, Lieberman, Begala, and Lanny Davis. And Zell Miller.

5. Scott should not be at the podium when this comes down. Give him someone to refer questions to and do a background briefing in the Roosevelt Room with Andy Card or someone else of high stature.

6. We can't figure out how Tate approved of the language Scooter used in that letter to Judy Miller. Make sure there isn't anything else like that out there.

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