The Note: End Game

The New York Times' Michael Cooper got a hold of a fundraising letter sent by Speaker Hastert to help fill the coffers of Gov. Pataki's PAC. LINK

Paul Kane reports in Roll Call that Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) used his family's founding of HCA Inc. as a rags-to-riches story in stump speeches in South Carolina and Iowa last week.

2008: Democrats:

Sen. John Kerry's call for President Bush to withdraw 20,000 troops over Christmas if the December elections are successful is part of the first item of the Wall Street Journal's "What's News: World-Wide" section.

In his Georgetown speech, Kerry cited such voices as former Nixon administration defense secretary Melvin R. Laird to argue that the U.S. military presence in Iraq in "vast and visible numbers has become part of the problem, not the solution," the Washington Post's Cillizza and White report. LINK

In his sketch of the same speech, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes that "the good news" is that Kerry settled on his Iraq policy yesterday. But Notes that the "bad news" is that he did so "51 weeks after losing the election." LINK

The Washington Post's David Broder dubs the DLC the "thinking branch of the opposition" and favorably reviews their call for striking a bipartisan bargain that would involve "some short-term tax increases in return for long-term savings on entitlement programs and improvements in the administration of government." LINK

New Hampshire:

In his Granite Status column in the New Hampshire Union Leader, John DiStaso has an uncommitted Steve Murphy on whether or not the DNC should approve a calendar with nominating contests taking place between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. DiStaso also Notes that tomorrow Hillary Clinton heads to the Harvard Club in Boston to headline a fundraiser for Gov. John Lynch. Finally, if you can't make it to New Hampshire's Jefferson-Jackson fundraiser this weekend for a glimpse of Evan Bayh, you can catch his speech live on CSPAN. LINK


The New York Times has this progress report on Mayor Bloomberg's effort to improve the city's schools: "The corporate-philanthropic world is thrilled. Parents are guardedly optimistic. Elected officials are skeptical. Much of the teaching force is deeply demoralized. Principals are torn. Policy experts are fascinated but undecided." LINK

Why did Mayor Mike Bloomberg keep a Metropolitan Republican Club event off his public schedule on Monday? The New York Post speculates Bloomberg is doing "everything he can" to keep from being identified with the GOP. LINK

Bloomberg is turning to Rudy Giuliani for help in the closing days of the New York mayoral race. LINK

Juan Gonzalez previews Sunday's Bloomberg-Ferrer debate, the first of two scheduled TV debates between the candidates. LINK

Iraq became an issue yesterday in the New York mayoral race. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

Minority-advocacy groups are starting to actively fight the Schwarzenegger ballot issues, claiming they would weaken the power of California's blacks and Latinos, reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK

George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times previews a Public Policy Institute of California poll set to be released on Friday that shows every one of the Schwarzenegger propositions failing among likely voters. The numbers for Schwarzenegger's own performance are not much better. LINK

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