The Note: Comes in 3s

"But in a mild slap at the governor's fiscal leadership, party delegates voted to drop language from another resolution that would have lauded him for 'signing balanced budgets.'"

Our favorite moment from Gov. Schwarzenegger's MTP interview was the pro-longed silence that followed when Tim Russert read a San Francisco Chronicle quotation from Bob Mulholland saying that Gov. Schwarzenegger had gone from being a "pit bull" before the Special Election to an "old French poodle."

Schwarzenegger: "You want me to respond to that? I don't respond to Bob Mulholland," which is not Garry South's policy, yet.

Lobbying reform:

If Congress doesn't start policing itself more seriously, federal prosecutors say they might step in, report Time Magazine's Bennett and Burger. LINK

"The guilty plea on Friday by Mitchell Wade, a defense contractor who paid more than $1 million in bribes to former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA)," will create increased scrutiny of contributions to Reps. Virgil Goode (R-VA) and Katherine Harris (R-FL), writes Roll Call's John Bresnahan.

At a time when Congress is considering regulations on privately-funded travel for members of Congress, lawmakers are also racking up huge costs in commercial and military transportation that are paid for by taxpayers, report the Houston Chronicle's Levine and Hedges. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Elisabeth Bumiller's "White House Letter" in the New York Times looks at President Bush's itinerary for his quick jaunt to India and Pakistan and Notes his lack of love for sightseeing. LINK

David Jackson of USA Today on the President's trip. LINK

In a piece that describes President Bush as being as Wilsonian as he is Carteresque, Time Magazine's Joe Klein writes that the President is "acting like a Democrat, standing for abstract principles and high-minded long-term projects in the face of a public demanding easy answers and immediate results." LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman contends that President Bush governs from a bubble, Noting that, "even political allies and Republican observers believe Bush is prone to the bunker syndrome; symptoms include tone-deaf politicking, a refusal to fire or discipline failed subordinates, and a reluctance to acknowledge bad news that conflicts with core beliefs." LINK


The New York Times' Adam Nagourney used the NGA as his peg for his Sunday look at the Democratic Party's best chance to become a majority party in 2006 - in the 36 gubernatorial elections for statehouses across America. LINK

On Saturday, the New York Times' David Chen wrote up the star-studded GOP support heading Tom Kean, Jr.'s way (at what Norm Ornstein wisely calls a "critical time") in his battle for a US Senate seat from the Garden State. LINK

Roll Call's David Drucker breaks down Texas' 22nd and 28th district primary battles, set to conclude March 7.

Gebe Martinez of the Houston Chronicle reports that, incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) faces stiff primary competition from Ciro Rodriguez and Victor Morales in Texas' 28th District. LINK

Roll Call's Stu Rothenberg predicts a disappointing November for the GOP.

According to Morton Kondracke of Roll Call, Republicans say the Medicare drug plan will be an advantage in November, despite constant Democratic criticism.

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