The Note: The Rule of Five

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9

NEWS SUMMARY

The Note was going to take a snow day off today, or perhaps (in the grand tradition of Prince William County) open two hours late because of some slush.

But it is the rare day when all five of the Five Basic Rules of Politics are on display at the same time, so we have borrowed mittens and blankets from some shivering Googling monkeys and banged out our last edition of the week.

THE FIVE BASIC RULES OF POLITICS:

1. When a Massachusetts pol makes noises about running for president, the Boston press builds him up and encourages him to walk on water; then, when he starts to sink, the Bay State press pushes him down and holds his head under. And then they laugh and laugh.

2. Nothing is scarier to politicians and strategists than the unknown in an election year, and nothing is more unknown than what steps prosecutors and cooperating witnesses might take.

3. No other state in the union besides New Hampshire has the political-media culture to support a serious vetting of presidential candidates that involves citizen participation and issues. (Iowa is a distant second, and no other state is even close.)

4. Time's Jim Kelly is more powerful than all but 23 United States Senators.

5. When a political party is losing a debate, the party's sharpies say, "We are the Stupid Party, with no message discipline and no unity."

Which hand would you rather play in 2006: the Republicans (with the facts on the Iraq ground) or the Democrats (with the Pelosi-Dean-Kerry-Murtha-Lieberman-blog-donor-Clinton-Edwards-Kerrey-Reid-Nelson-Nelson split)?

Which party is acting Stupider on Iraq?

Which party is exhibiting more message discipline on Iraq?

Which party is showing more unity on Iraq?

Packing his bully pulpit, smart hat, and a message that largely inspires party discipline and unity, President Bush travels to Minneapolis, MN today to help raise some money for Rep. Mark Kennedy's Senate campaign and the Minnesota Republican Party.

The President's remarks are scheduled for 1:20 pm ET, and there will be loud hootin' and hollerin' when the POTUS calls for staying the course and finishing the job in Iraq.

Democrats will hoot and holler over the latest public polling data in the state. On cue: the Minnesota DFL Chairman Brian Melendez will hold do some counter-programming at a 3:00 pm ET press conference.

Sen. Clinton (D-NY) was in New York City this morning calling on the "EPA to revise its plan for testing and cleaning indoor air contamination following the September 11th attacks."

Illinois Democrats Sen. Obama, Rep. Emanuel, and Rep. Schakowsky discuss protecting the Great Lakes at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL at 11:30 am ET. Sen. Obama then heads to the Steppenwolf Theater to appear on the Al Franken show live at 12:30 pm ET.

Gov.-elect Jon Corzine (D-NJ) is expected to formally announce his choice of Rep. Bob Menendez as his successor in the Senate at a 2:00 pm press conference today at the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

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