The Note: "God Is Not a Republican"

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9

NEWS SUMMARY

The Note has many goals -- first and foremost, of course, is to avoid spending the day responding to e-mails.

By which we mean two kinds of e-mails.

First, angry ones from partisans who want to make sure we know that The Note is totally off base.

Second, "helpful" ones from relatives and friends, making sure we know that we have been attacked in the blogosphere (again).

Achieving our goal today is a challenge, since we face a choice -- a choice we are self-consciously avoiding for another second or two as we type these words.

The question boils down to: how much cosmic significance should we attach to yesterday's election results and how long should we go on about it?

Our view:

--the midterms are a year a way;

--President Bush has gone from being an unalloyed asset to being a mixed bag (at best) and in some places an obvious drag for GOP candidates;

--Kilgore and Forrester are not great candidates;

-- Democrats can now (again) plausibly argue that they can win by advocating bigger government programs for things such as health care and education;

-- the Democratic victory lap that starts today will jazz up their donors and help candidate recruitment;

-- the discipline of the Rove-Mehlman team in keeping negative the-sky-is-falling quotes out of the papers today is remarkable (but just wait until tomorrow);

-- if the Republicans can avoid mass retirements in Congress, even a politically weak Bush probably won't cost them control of either chamber (but they will obsess about all this for quite some time);

-- the Washington Post Metro staff needs some deprogramming to get over its Mark Warner Stockholm Syndrome;

-- thank goodness that the Schwarzenegger political consultants aren't afraid of Maria Shriver;

-- Terry McAuliffe and Howard Dean are friggin' geniuses;

-- winning is better than losing;

-- if John Kerry could talk as comfortably about his personal faith as Tim Kaine can, he would be the President of the United States right now;

-- if Howard Dean could talk as comfortably about his personal faith as Tim Kaine can, he would have been the Democratic nominee in 2004;

-- and, one of the few positive trends in American political journalism is the vast curtailing of the practice of over-reading the results of off-off-year elections.

Everybody happy now?

Let's hope so.

All of this will get a grand romp around the dance floor today, when Democrats head to the mics. First up at 12:15 pm ET (formerly a pen & pad, now made tv-camera friendly) is the DSCC/DCCC joint Schumer/Emanuel press briefing at DNC headquarters followed by the 1:30 pm ET on camera DNC/DGA briefing with Chairman/Gov. Dean and Chairman/Gov. Richardson, also taking place at DNC headquarters.

Virginia Gov.-elect Tim Kaine holds a 10:00 am ET press conference at the Marriott Hotel in Richmond to announce his "Moving Virginia Forward" transportation town hall tour as well as his transition team.

The AFL-CIO holds a 1:30 pm ET conference call to discuss union members' GOTV efforts in California, New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio.

Washington's "other" big moment occurs today when the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hold a joint hearing on energy pricing and profits at 9:30 am ET.

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