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

In her write-up of President Bush being asked about Loudoun County's "pressing" traffic problems, the Washington Post's Amy Gardner Notes that the President "arrived by helicopter." LINK

As reporters push White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan for more information regarding "staff-level meetings" with Abramoff in the White House, John Dickerson of Slate suggests that "Potomac Fever" may be hitting Bush's staff. LINK

"Clay Johnson, the head of White House personnel in the first term, set up a special Web site to inform White House aides about the symptoms associated with the disease." LINK

Politics of immigration:

Securing US borders is a priority for the Bush Administration, but the New York Times' Swarns reports that it falls into that 'easier said than done' category. LINK

2008:

Peter Brown of the Orlando Sentinel takes a good look at his crystal ball and predicts Clinton vs. McCain in 2008. LINK

Speaking of Clinton and McCain, Ken Bazinet of the New York Daily News writes up the latest Hotline/Diageo poll showing McCain defeating Clinton in a hypothetical match-up 52 percent to 36 percent. LINK

"'McCain needs Hillary to run because that's what keeps the Republican coalition together,' [Hotline editor-in-chief Chuck] Todd said. 'She helps unite the Republican base.'"

2008: Democrats:

The New Republic's Marisa Katz tries to debunk as myth that Sen. Clinton's performance in upstate New York is a model for her ability to win over Red States across the country. LINK

". . .before the Hillary-can-do-it-because-she-did-it-upstate narrative gets any more airtime, it's worth pointing out its fatal flaws. Namely, upstate New York is not that conservative. Clinton hasn't done all that well here--in fact, she lost the region in 2000 and remains a highly polarizing figure. And, when she has won people over, it's been through retail politics at a very local level. Ultimately, if she's going to do well as a presidential candidate, she and her advisers must accept that her Senate campaign doesn't count as a dress rehearsal. She's going to have to bring something else to the national stage."

The Washington Post's Dan Balz has Clinton and Bayh, (two fellow DLCers), issuing "get-tough" warnings over Iran this week. LINK

Maureen Groppe of the Indianapolis Star on Bayh -- and Clinton – actions with respect to Iran. LINK

Bayh: "Time is running out. It may be measured in months before Iran has the technical capability, not actually production but the technical know-how, which will lead it down the path to becoming a nuclear power, and that is unacceptable."

In his New York Post column, John Podhoretz writes Sen. Clinton's "plantation" remark may serve her well. LINK

"She played the race card on Monday because she was being grilled about her votes in favor of the Iraq war and subsequent defense appropriations. It was her way of making clear to her audience that, despite her hawkish votes, she was really one of them in spirit and in her heart of hearts."

A Granite State source tells The Note that Sen. Kerry will be the featured guest at a Hillsborough County Democratic Committee and Nashua City Democrats fundraising dinner on March 11 at the Nashua Country Club. The usual pre-dinner receptions will also be on the Senator's schedule that evening.

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