The Note: The Silver State of the (Political) Union

More Fournier: ". . . the possibility of losing Congress doesn't seem as remote as it once did. Many tried-and-true Republican voters are disenchanted with party leaders in Congress, and the sulky mood could suppress turnout in November, RNC members said."

Even more Fournier: "Separately, private polling for Republicans suggest that government spending and political fallout from the Iraq war are causing anxiety among GOP voters. Senior party officials inside and outside the White House fear that Washington scandal may hurt GOP turnout if average Republican voters believe that Congress' spending habits are partly the result of corruption."

Some of the high drama at the RNC winter meeting is centered around the intra-party division on immigration. The Los Angeles Times' Wallsten delivers a must-read on the committeeman from Arizona's push for an immigration proposal which does not include a guest-worker program, as President Bush has suggested should be part of any immigration reform. An alternative measure -- more in line with White House strategy -- is being offered in hopes of defeating the Arizona proposal. LINK

"The proposed resolution does not directly affect the Republican Party platform or the congressional agenda, but any vote by leading GOP activists directly countering White House views sets a particularly awkward stage as Bush seeks to make immigration a top-tier issue for 2006."

At this writing, how that debate (and vote) will go is anyone's guess.

The AP's Will Lester Notes the proposal which allows for a guest-worker program (though, no amnesty) "was unanimously passed by the resolutions committee and would give RNC members a strong alternative to the Pullen measure." LINK

ABC's Ann Compton reports that Rove indicated earlier today during an energetic session with politically-friendly radio hosts that he will remain in the West Wing for the remainder of the Bush presidency, but then he will steer clear of presidential campaigns.

"I love my wife" Rove told WMAL Radio in a live interview, "and I have a feeling she wouldn't be my wife if I said 'Hey, here I come. We're gonna do this again, Baby!'"

Rove served up a team-player's defense of Bush policies, using many of the same economic statistics the President and the press secretary used this week on growth and job creation.

He's one of a galaxy of WH officials stopping by the Administration's Radio Day -- staged this year at the Treasury Department, not the White House North Lawn, where it has been held in the past.

The grand jury investigating the CIA leak case is scheduled to meet at 9:30 am ET. Speaking of the leak investigation, some College Democrats and others are expected to be on hand at the Capital Hilton to welcome Mr. Rove to the RNC meeting by wearing tool belts and waving wrenches and plungers.

As for the Democrats, they can be confident of exactly one thing:

Republicans are (still) from Mars and Democrats are (still) from Venus.

How else to explain Senator Harry Reid's (D-NV) extraordinary apology yesterday to his Republican colleagues?

Last year Democrats laughed and laughed when George Bush was unable to think of a single mistake he had made as President. Today Republicans are quadrupled over in hysterics because of Harry Reid's apology to his Senate Republican colleagues for sending out a negative research document from his office.

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