The Note: Focused on Winning

Michael McAuliff of the New York Daily News writes up Democratic efforts to paint the Administration as incompetent and out of touch. LINK

Boston Globe's Rick Klein writes that Dem skeptics from swing states such as New Mexico and West Virginia think Dean's top objective of rebuilding state parties, which has cost the party a whopping $61 million, is paying off. LINK

Port politics:

While appearing on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Sen. Frist suggested that the Dubai port deal could come back if DP World is unable to find a buyer and if the 45-day review period addresses all security concerns.

Gridiron:

While speaking to Saturday's Gridiron dinner, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made fun of his recent dust-up with Sen. McCain by singing "if I only had McCain" to the tune of "if I only had a brain." LINK

President Bush told Gridiron: "You know there are all these conspiracy theories that Dick runs the country, or Karl runs the country. Why aren't there any conspiracy theories that I run the country? Really ticks me off." LINK

Katherine Harris:

The Orlando Sun Sentinel reported over the weekend that Rep. Katharine Harris (R-FL) cancelled her trip to Memphis, TN for the SRLC and is planning a "major announcement" about her candidacy for the US Senate amid rumors that she may leave the race. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

In a front page news analysis, David Sanger of the New York Times writes of President Bush's evolution from his 2000 vision as a president with a "humble foreign policy" to urging Americans to resist isolationism and embrace globalization and interdependence, despite the "mushy Clintonianism" that may evoke. LINK

Peter Baker Notes on the fatigue factor in his Washington Post article today. "Of all the reasons that President Bush is in trouble these days, not to be overlooked are inadequate REM cycles. LINK

The AP reports that Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley may be called to the stand in the case of two Israeli lobbyist accused of spying. LINK

The New York Times offered a Sunday one-two punch to the Bush White House.

Elisabeth Bumiller and David Sanger looked at the President's business-as-usual style despite GOP calls for a staff shake-up and how Iraq dominates all. LINK

"The bottom line, Republicans say, is that the war continues to overshadow the domestic agenda that Mr. Bush put forth in January in a State of the Union address that was supposed to reinvigorate his presidency."

"'Roughly one out of three people say that the country is on the wrong track, and the reason they give is the Iraq war,' said Bill McInturff, a leading Republican pollster. 'How will that situation be changed unless Iraq is resolved in the next few months? So the White House can do all the good things they're doing with renewable energy and health care and all their other initiatives, but that doesn't move that chunk of people with very hardened attitudes.'"

And from the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, TN, Adam Nagourney's Sunday story focused on the degrees to which the various Republican speakers embraced the President and distanced themselves from him. LINK

The Washington Post reports on President Bush's frequent and closed-door meetings on what to do about Iran over the past week. LINK

Medicare:

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