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

Failure to find weapons of mass destruction? No apology required. Nasty research document? A thousand pardons please.

And that different approach sums up the difference between the two parties: as effective as Manley/Singer/Cutter have been in their war rooms, the Democratic Party leadership still has not internalized the rules of modern politics at a time of war and terror in the way the GOP has.

(Of course, the Republicans are right: why didn't Reid's operation have that sent out by the DNC or the DSCC?)

Look to see if Reid's apology is inserted into the final drafts of the Mehlman and Rove speeches before they take the podium.

President and Mrs. Bush have no public events on their schedules other than their departure from the White House for Camp David at 1:05 pm ET.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan gaggles at 9:45 am ET.

After his Thursday meeting with Gov. Schwarzenegger, HHS Secretary Leavitt meets with Gov. Bob Taft (R-OH) about the Medicare prescription drug benefit. They will hold a press availability at 1:30 pm ET at the statehouse in Columbus, OH.

Today may well be Justice O'Connor's last closed-door conference with the other Justices. Two very important cases have been "relisted" a couple of times and are sure to be brought up during the conference: the Padilla case and partial-birth abortion.

At 10:00 am ET in Washington, DC, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) holds a briefing on the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and others hold a "Democratic hearing" on the ramifications of the NSA warrantless wiretapping program at 11:00 am ET.

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) will discuss poverty at 11:00 am ET at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) attend the Douglas County Republican Party's "Elephant Remembers Dinner" in Omaha, NE -- which, for the geographically uninitiated, is very close to Iowa.

Sen. Biden (D-DE) is in Delaware for the weekend.

Sen. Feingold (D-WI) will be in Wisconsin this weekend. He has a "listening session" in Sheboygan County tomorrow and will then be speaking before the Wisconsin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce tomorrow night.

Sen. Bayh (D-IN) is in Washington, DC this weekend.

As is Sen. Kerry who will be George Stephanopoulos' guest on "This Week" Sunday morning to discuss his recent trip to the Middle East, Bin Laden, and much more.

Reid's apology:

Sen. Reid apologized to 33 Republican Senators yesterday for a hard-hitting news release that accused them of ethical and legislative lapses, in an "awkward about-face that tripped up Democrats' effort to keep the GOP majority on the defensive over alleged corruption." LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan Notes that Reid's apology came just a day after announcing a campaign for clean government. LINK

The New York Times on the apology. LINK

The liberal blogosphere has already started to weigh in:

"I'm tired of the Democratic leadership taking a pass every time Republicans seem on the ropes," writes Marisa McNee at Daily Kos. LINK

"What was Reid thinking exactly?" asks Josh Marshall. LINK

Will bloggers still be talking about the alleged "about face" when Sen. Reid addresses the June "Yearly Kos" convention in Vegas?

Politics of Osama bin Laden:

The New York Post editorial board on the bin Laden tape: "Who writes his stuff -- Howard Dean? John Murtha? Sure sounds like it." LINK

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