The Note: Comes in 3s

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert reports on Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) popularity in the liberal blogosphere. LINK

On "60 Minutes" last night, Gov. Schweitzer got the kind of exposure that most presidential hopefuls can only dream about.

In her in-depth look at his "controversial" plan to turn Montana's coal into synthetic liquid fuel, CBS' Leslie Stahl described Gov. Schweitzer as a "half-Renaissance man and half a rodeo cowboy" who seems ready to "take on the world."

Asked about his description of people who sell the United States oil as "rats and crooks," Gov. Schweitzer let loose: "Hugo Chavez, the Saudi royal family, the leaders of Iran," he said on "60 Minutes." "How about the countries that end with 'stan'? Nigeria? You tell me. Sheiks, rats, crooks, dictators, sure."

On Sunday morning, Gov. Schweitzer took viewer calls on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal." A longshoreman from Savannah, GA told him: "This morning, to hear you, governor, speak out, reminds me of a little guy coming out of Little Rock, AR, a couple of years ago and becoming president of the United States. If you stay on track, governor, keep the message hat you're broadcasting right now. You're headed straight for Washington, DC because what you're telling America this morning is the breath of fresh air."

2008: Veepstakes:

Note to producers covering Veepstakes 2008: if Gov. Romney gets tapped to be the GOP's No. 2, be sure to pull the "Fox News Sunday" tape from Feb. 26, 2006.

Asked by FNC's Chris Wallace if he is "really running for vice president," Gov. Romney said: "Oh, I can't imagine anyone doing that (hearty chuckle). I've got a much better job and love the job that I have. It's great being governor of Massachusetts. It's a great state. It's a great state. I'm having great fun. You know, I'll keep the option open of running for national office, but I wouldn't get into something if I didn't plan on winning."

Dean's Democrats:

Sources close to the DNC tell The Note that later today, the DNC will announce that an "unprecedented" number of cities have expressed an interest in hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Eleven cities, more than double the number that applied to host the 2004 convention, will receive official "Requests for Proposal." The 2008 Democratic National Convention will be held from August 25 - 28, 2008.

The cities: Anaheim, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

DeLay:

The Washington Post's R. Jeffrey Smith reports that the IRS has audited Texans for Public Justice, a, "nonprofit group that was critical of campaign spending by former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX)," at the request of Rep. Sam Johnson, a political ally of DeLay. LINK

"This audit was political retaliation by Tom DeLay's cronies to intimidate us for blowing the whistle on DeLay's abuses," said for Public Justice Director and Founder Craig McDonald.

House of Labor:

Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times previews the AFL-CIO winter meeting in San Diego, CA. Greenhouse writes labor leaders "will once again be on the defensive, a situation made worse by the split the labor federation suffered last year." LINK

Politics of abortion:

The debate over access to Plan B contraception will hit nearly every state in 2006, reports Marc Kaufman of the Washington Post. Over 60 bills have already been filed in state legislatures this year. LINK

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