The Note: Nine Stories

Rep. Pelosi met with President Bush yesterday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on March 7, and led a CODEL to Darfur in February. Also yesterday, the House passed the supplemental which included $439 million for humanitarian relief and security in Darfur.

The United States Institute of Peace holds an address by Ashraf Qazi, the UN envoy in Iraq, detailing the United Nations' work in Iraq at 12:15 pm ET in Washington, DC.

Earlier today, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) appeared on the annual "Kiss me I'm Imus" radio program at 6:20 am ET. He also attended a Nashua Wild Irish Breakfast at 7:30 am ET.

Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R-ID) -- who is serving as acting governor while Gov. Kempthorne is out of town -- holds a 12:30 pm ET press conference to discuss President Bush's nomination of Kempthorne for Interior Secretary and his political future. The press conference is scheduled to take place in the governor's office at the Idaho Statehouse in Boise, ID. Today is the filing deadline for the May 23 primary.

As Boise State University Professor Jim Weatherby observed to The Note last night, "It will be a very interesting year if we have an incumbent governor running for lieutenant governor."

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman participates in a fundraising breakfast for the Republican Party in Omaha, NE. He also participates in a fundraising luncheon for the Lancaster Republican Party in Lincoln, NE and will speak to Nebraska grassroots activists in Lincoln.

On Sunday, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" will have an exclusive interview on the 3rd anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq with the man who was responsible for planning and executing the US invasion: Gen. Tommy Franks.

Then, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), two combat veterans with very different views on Iraq, square off.

Plus, a This Week classic roundtable with Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, George Will.

GOP agenda:

In must-read fashion, the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei reports that the GOP's "irritation" with Bush has been long brewing and that they have privately felt "underappreciated, ignored and sometimes bullied by what they regarded as a White House intent on running government with little input from them." LINK

Dirk Kempthorne for Interior Secretary:

When Lt. Gov. Risch announced last November that he would not challenge Rep. Otter in a Republican primary for governor, but instead seek reelection to his current post, this is how the Idaho Statesman wrote it up:

"It would have been a blockbuster primary, but Risch's announcement confirmed what most politicos had been thinking: Otter's early entry into the race, his fundraising and support-gathering all but put him out of reach -- even for somebody like Risch, considered by some to have one of the wiliest political brains in Idaho."

Then the prescient Statesman included this graph: "Risch still has time to change his mind. If Gov. Dirk Kempthorne is appointed to a late-term spot by President Bush or takes a job in the private sector, Risch will finish Kempthorne's term as governor. The last day to file for office is March 17." (As we Noted above: THAT'S TODAY!)

As of Dec. 31, 2005, Jim Risch had $8,828.90 cash on hand in his campaign account. Rep. Otter had $453,266.94 in his campaign bank account.

The Spokesman Review's "Eye on Boise" blog Notes, if confirmed, Gov. Kempthorne will not be the first Idaho governor to serve as US Interior Secretary. LINK

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