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

While in Baghdad on Thursday, Sen. Kerry "called the Iraqi elections 'very successful' despite the reports of fraud and said the next year would be crucial to the future of the country. 'This will not be resolved by our military,' Kerry said. 'This will be resolved by the Iraqi political process. This si crunch time for everything we've invested.'" LINK

2008: Republicans:

AP Political Writer Glen Johnson reports that Gov. Romney may use a Turin visit to reconnect with his Olympics notoriety. LINK

Johnson has a Romney adviser saying: "It's what provided the rocket fuel in 2002, and if he's going to do anything after his term, he's got to reconnect with his Olympic experience a little bit. Going to Turin allows that."

Scot Lehigh Notes on "The State of Mitt," writing that Gov. Romney may be able to claim his "kudos." LINK

Under a headline that reads, "Pataki Prez Bid A Fia$co," the New York Post runs the AP follow to the New York Times story yesterday on Pataki's PAC fundraising numbers declining each successive quarter in 2005. LINK


Pat Healy of the New York Times writes up a Spitzer-supporting civic group's complaint that it is inappropriate for Tom Suozzi to finance his potential gubernatorial campaign by accepting a large percentage of his contributions from associates, friends, and family of a man being sued by Attorney General Spitzer. LINK

The New York Post's Fred Dicker writes up the latest Quinnipiac University gubernatorial race poll numbers and determines that Spitzer is sitting on a comfortable lead despite some recent not-so-flattering stories about his style and temper. LINK

"She's behind on fundraising, she's behind on high-powered endorsements and now Minnesota's favorite mom may be about to put her U.S. Senate campaign behind her," writes the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Stassen-Berger in a story which hints at a possible withdrawal speech from Democrat Patty Wetterling today. LINK

If true, this will be music to Democratic ears as they try to defend a competitive open seat. Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) has announced his intention to challenge Sen. Akaka (D-HI) in a Democratic primary, despite having "the deepest aloha for Sen. Akaka." LINK

Clintons of Chappaqua:

Clinton spokesguy Jay Carson calls the allegations of a cover-up in the Barrett report "nothing short of laughable," reports the New York Times. LINK

No one really explains how Barrett explains why the Bush Justice Department was in on the "conspiracy."

The Washington Post's Eggen and Crenshaw report that Counsel Barrett alleged that a "a coverup at high levels of our government" prevented him from bringing further charges in the case of Henry Cisneros, the former secretary of housing and urban development. LINK

Jerry Seper of the Washington Times on the same. LINK

House and Senate committees are reviewing the final Cisneros report and "weighing whether to pursue the independent counsel's allegations that he had been stonewalled by Clinton officials," reports Jackie Calmes of the Wall Street Journal.

GOP senators are dying for a full release of Barrett's report on the Clinton years, writes Brian McGuire of the New York Sun. LINK

Republicans are considering forcing the three-judge panel into releasing the report for the Senate "to make a judgment on its potential value to the public interest" or sneaking in language into unrelated legislation, writes McGuire.

South Carolina:

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