The Note: The 2008 Invisible Primary Ratings

The New York Times editorializes on how fundraising is already "trumping innovative ideas" in the nascent 2008 presidential race -- which, the Times says, takes politics "back toward the Watergate era." LINK

2008: Republicans:

Rudy Giuliani's upcoming May 1 fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle (R-IA), his first visit to Iowa since 2004, "shows a heightened interest in making a decision about running for president," writes Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register -- or so Iowa GOP activists say. LINK

The New York Post and New York Daily News on the former mayor's Hawkeye State return, with Sunny as sunny as ever: LINK and LINK

The AP reports that Governor Romney is "irking" pro-choice Bay Staters by "declining to issue a proclamation recognizing a landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people -- the first time in 10 years a Massachusetts governor has taken a pass on the proclamation." LINK

Republican National Committeeman Tom Rath (a/k/a the Granite State's cross between Tony Soprano and Tom Korologos) sees nothing but support from Republican '08ers for keeping the present primary system intact, according to John DiStaso of the Union Leader. LINK

Note to Maureen Dowd: We wanted to make sure you are all set to cover this event. Let us know if you need help with travel arrangements. LINK

Knight-Ridder writes up Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-CO) calling Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) "as left as they come" on the issue of immigration. LINK

2008: Democrats:

The New York tabloids have a field day with Sen. Hillary Clinton's immigration speech yesterday, in which she said the House/Frist immigration bills are "certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures" and "would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan - and probably even Jesus himself."

The headline on the New York Daily News: "Hil has a holy cow over immigrant bill." LINK

The headline on the New York Post: "GOP would have booted Jesus: Hill." LINK

The New York Times story, complete in the metro editions with a giant B3 photo, points out that Clinton's speech may have been more politically shrewd than it looked to some: "Mrs. Clinton had been criticized by some immigrant activists for saying little about the issue until March 8, and then speaking at an Irish-only rally, rather than at a forum more representative of immigrants. But yesterday all seemed forgiven." LINK

Columnist Richard Cohen writes of the "Marie Antoinette-ish treatment of Hillary Clinton" that has made Clinton into a figure far larger than life. LINK

"Just as Marie came to personify all that was wrong with the aristocracy, so Hillary has come to personify all that is wrong with Bill, the Democrats, liberals, working women, independent women and women of a certain kind - which is any kind you don't happen to like."

As was the case in Oregon and Florida, Sen. Clinton is again receiving some local criticism (this time in Missouri) for grabbing some campaign cash for her reelection bid to the Senate from New York instead of allowing that money to be spent on the local contests. LINK

Even though the censure call "hasn't won much support in Congress," Sen. Feingold "won a backer tonight in Jon Stewart," writes the AP. LINK

This coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine has a bunch of letters on the recent Mark Warner story, along with a mini reproduction of the controversial art.

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