The Note: Credit Where Credit Is Due

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10

NEWS SUMMARY

A "Bush White House optimist" is someone who thinks they can make it through to the holidays without any more political damage, more indictments, or more mega-bad news out of Iraq.

Such a person thinks that the press might finally be bored reporting that the President's polling numbers are his "worst ever," and that it will be true for the foreseeable future that Democrats will, as John Harwood writes in the Wall Street Journal today, "lack either a singular national voice or a clearly defined agenda for voters to seize on." (Something up with which Rahm will not put. . .)

And, finally, the "Bush White House optimist" thinks the pony in the manure is the President's State of the Union, where good things -- and real page turning -- can happen. (If they can make it until January. . .)

And what is a "Bush White House pessmist"?

Someone who can't even utter the word "Snowe," someone who looks at the Presidents' numbers in the WSJ/NBC poll on "honest and straightforward" and gets physically sick, and someone who reads this blind kicker quote from a Republican strategist in Dan Balz's Washington Post story and realizes that it accurately sums up Republican angst (and reality?) heading into 2006:

"'We're tapped out on taxes,' he said, asking not to be identified to offer a more candid analysis. 'We failed on Social Security. We're nowhere on health care. Medicare didn't do it. The war's not going well. The economy's in fact going well, but we're not getting credit for it.'" LINK

With no curtain raising whatsoever, Karl Rove headlines the Federalist Society's convention with a 7:00 pm ET speech at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. It has been awhile since Mr. Rove has spoken in public in a Washington venue besides his driveway, so attention must be paid. The revovery begins here, some say.

(The Feds are hearing from a whole group of other luminaries, as well. For instance, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) delivers 11:30 am ET remarks at the Mayflower Hotel.)

For the other team (to use Grover's phrase): DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, DGA Vice Chair and West Virginia Gov. Joe Machin III, and National Conference of Democratic Mayors Chairman and Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer kick off the Democrats' coordinated campaign for the 2006 mid-term elections at a 10:45 am ET press conference at DNC headquarters in Washington, DC.

Today's event is designed to "show the American people that while Republicans are so consumed with their own ethical problems, Democrats are working together to address the priorities of working families." The news conference takes place after Democratic congressional leaders meet to discuss their party's "strategy for success."

Members of the GOP's Main Street Partnership who helped broker the deal to eliminate ANWR from the budget reconciliation bill hold a 1:30 pm ET press conference at the Capitol Hill Club.

Judge Samuel Alito continues making the rounds on the Hill today. He meets with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) at 9:15 am ET, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) at 11:00 am ET, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) at 1:15 pm ET, Sen. John Warner (R-VA) at 2:30 pm ET, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) at 5:00 pm ET.

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