WASHINGTON, Mar. 28
Insta-analysis from the vast majority of the Gang of 500 of Andy Card's departure and replacement as White House chief of staff by OMB heavy Joshua "Josh" Bolten:
-- A story about process, personality, and possible Bush weakness!!!! Let's GO!!!!
-- More changes are coming blah blah blah.
-- Bush caved to his critics, but not enough blah blah blah.
-- The President needs a gray-beard old hand with gravitas on Capitol Hill blah blah blah.
-- Andy Card was tired blah blah blah.
-- Sherman Adams blah blah blah.
-- Crank up the twin "Man in the New" pieces:
* Card: long hours, Bush loyalist, 9/11, Miers, Katrina, javelin catcher, impossible job, well-liked, low-key, "good man"
* Bolten: long hours, Bush loyalist, Bo Derek, motorcycle, banker, bachelor, impossible job, well-liked, low-key, "good man"
Second-blush analysis by the same group:
-- Bolten and Rove, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, which is to say, they get along very well.
-- Not even a hint of a change in policy direction.
-- As smart as Bolten is, White House chief of staff is one of those jobs that you don't know if someone can do it until they do, no matter how much experience they have.
-- Who gets OMB?
-- John Podesta as Bill Clinton's chief of staff was plenty modern and quirky too, so let's not all overreact.
-- Stay tuned for more speculation from the "Bush caved" crowd sitting around tonight at the Cap. Grille.
Impervious to the views of the Gang, what they are saying in the White House:
-- President Bush and Andy Card could not care less what the "Bush caved" crowd thinks.
-- Some high-profile errors notwithstanding, Card quietly solved hundreds of problems a day that no one ever saw. He will be missed on that level.
-- But he will also be missed because he is without question one of the most beloved people to ever run a White House, thought of by his staff as one of the most selfless, kind-hearted and hard-working people in politics and government.
-- There is sincere hope that Josh Bolten, equally respected and admired by his colleagues, will help the team get back some of the mojo they need to turn around this ship of state.
-- Someone in the White House press office is going to have to be assigned to work full time on "Bolten: The Bachelor" profile pieces.
A House Republican leadership source tells The Note about Bolten: "It should be received very well....Bolten really worked with the Members this year and has their respect. We were wondering why he was spending so much time at the Members retreat in Maryland."
The Chattering Class, consumed through about 8 am ET this morning with immigration, will now be obsessed with White House personnel for at least a day.
In other meaningful news that will be treated as nearly meaningless in some quarters:
The Senate debates immigration reform at 9:45 am ET.
Sergio Bendixen, Sandy Close, Wade Henderson, and Dan Restrepo hold a press conference at 10:30 A.M. to discuss the findings of their poll of legal immigrants on immigration.
The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld at 11:00 am ET. Chief Justice John Roberts, who heard the case when he sat on the DC Circuit Court, has recused himself. The case tests the constitutionality of the military commissions set up by President Bush. Georgetown Law Prof. Neal Katyal will argue on behalf of the petitioner (Hamdan). Paul D. Clement of the US Solicitor General's office will argue no behalf of the respondent (Rumsfeld).
Beginning at 9:00 am ET, the Senate Judiciary Committee was holding a hearing on "NSA III: War Time Executive Power and the FISA Court" with four federal judges.
A Senate panel held a hearing on nuclear and radiological threats to US Port Security at 9:30 am ET with 9/11 Commission Chair Tom Kean and others.
NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) addressed the Association for a Better New York after being introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 8:30 am ET in New York City.
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Pastor Laurence White address the lunch session of the "War on Christians" conference from 12:30 to 2:00 pm ET. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) speaks at 4:45 pm ET.
This morning's speakers at the third annual African American Leadership Summit included Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson gives the keynote address at 12:00 pm ET.
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman delivers remarks to the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology at 1:30 pm ET at The George Washington University.
Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) meet with Treasury Secretary John Snow at 11:00 am ET to discuss China trade policy in S-321 Capitol.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) unveils a new Web site aimed at "making it easier for entrepreneurs to start a new business in California" while speaking in the Bay Area at 1:00 pm ET.
Politics of immigration:
Sen. McCain and ABC News' Charlie Gibson sparred over whether the bill that that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday amounted to "amnesty."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist made clear earlier that he would not consider adopting any guest worker program without a Republican majority vote but with negotiations last night between Frist and committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Washington Times' Charles Hurt Notes that it is unclear whether or not Frist will consider the committee's bill. LINK
The Washington Times story was written up under a "Panel OKs 'amnesty' bill" front-page header.
The Wall Street Journal's June Kronholz reports that "even with the president's backing . . . immigration overhaul faces an uphill fight this week when it reaches the Senate floor . . ."
While the guest worker program made it out of committee, many hurdles remain, reports ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf. Hurdle number one is making it onto the Senate floor. Hurdle number two is coming to an agreement with a House of Representatives diametrically opposed to a guest worker program. Hurdle number three will be the White House. It remains unclear if President Bush will support the comprehensive immigration act as passed out of committee today.
The Los Angeles Times puts no fewer than three immigration-related stories on its front page.
The main story which describes the White House reaction to the committee vote as "upbeat." LINK
The 40,000 students marching in protest on the highways: LINK
The critical role Spanish-language radio DJ's played in promoting the protests in Southern California: LINK
Inside the A-section, Janet Hook looks at the political perils for the GOP in potentially turning off Hispanic voters. LINK
". . . we need a comprehensive new law that respects immigrants and protects our nation," writes Gov. Schwarzenegger in a Los Angeles Time op-ed. LINK
"It's not a majority of the majority, but it's a good number," said Chairman Specter of the committee vote in which 4 of the 10 Republicans joined all 8 Democrats in voting for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, per the New York Times. LINK
Michael Fletcher and Shailagh Murray write in a Washington Post analysis that legislators on both sides may lose support while finding "balance" on the immigration issue. LINK
Kathy Kiely from USA Today details the complexities of the guest worker program, which will be cause for much of the "explosive" Senate debate. Critics of the guest worker program point to worker abuse and wage shams, Kiely writes, while supporters argue that immigrant labor helps keep companies afloat. LINK
The AP lays out in bullet-point fashion the differences between the McCain-Kennedy bill, the Frist bill, and the Sensenbrenner bill. LINK
Jane Norman of the Des Moines Register writes up yesterday's immigration protest on Capitol Hill, where "members of the clergy spoke at a rally on the west lawn of the Capitol, then marched in their handcuffs, two by two and singing 'We Shall Overcome.'" LINK
Coverage from the Houston Chronicle: LINK
Washington Post: LINK
USA Today: LINK
Chicago Tribune: LINK
Washington Times' editorial backs Bill Frist's "enforcement first" bill. LINK
David Savage of the Los Angeles Times curtain raises the Hamdan case set to be argued before the Supreme Court today. LINK
The Schwarzenegger Era:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief strategist Matthew Dowd announced the Schwarzenegger campaign's first television ad of the 2006 election during a conference call yesterday. The ad focuses on economic improvements in California over the last four years. The ads will air in the Bakersfield, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Sacramento markets, as the governor speaks about the economy in these areas during the week.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci on Schwarzenegger's ad debut. LINK
Schwarzenegger added two media consultants—National Media head Alex Castellanos and Strategic Perception Fred Davis III—who both helped Bush win reelection in 2004 to his Bush team, writes the AP. LINK
Politics of global warming:
The Wall Street Journal's John Fialka reports that the global warming debate in the Senate Energy Committee is shifting from "whether" the federal government should impose stricter emissions to "how."
Bush Administration agenda:
The Boston Globe's Savage on House Democrats' efforts to have President Bush rescind "his assertion that he can ignore portions of the USA Patriot Act. . ." LINK
Kit Seelye of the New York Times reports that President Bush has begun a series of off the record sessions with teams of reporters covering the White Houses for various news organizations. The New York Times has declined to participate in such a session with the President. "As a matter of policy and practice, we would prefer when possible to conduct on-the-record interviews with public officials," said Washington bureau chief Taubman. LINK
The New York Times isn't meeting with the President. But according to Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp, yesterday's meetings included the Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and Cox Newspapers. Another meeting is scheduled for today. LINK
More from the Washington Post: LINK
Legislation to change the rules for earmarks and lobbyist disclosure continues its roller coaster ride through Congress on Tuesday, when Senators may get their last opportunity to pass the legislation before summer, CQ reports.
Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) agreement to postpone his proposal for an amendment on foreign ownership of ports has cleared the way for the Senate to start working on the lobbying reform bill, writes Roll Call's Tory Newmyer. However, if the bill is not ready by tomorrow, "it could be weeks before they return to it."
As Sen. Trent Lott's (R-MS) bill regulating travel and limiting the ability of placing "pork-barrel" spending into conference reports gets debated today, the Washington Times reports that Sen. Frist says the Senate is "very close" to completing a bill on lobbying reform. LINK
In a post-Abramoff world, sporting venues in Washington fear the loss of business sans government employees. LINK
The "on-again off-again" partnership between AARP and Congressional Republicans appears to be on again, as AARP is launching a "several million dollars" print and radio campaign to promote the Medicare prescription drug benefit, writes Ben Pershing of Roll Call.
Keying off of Gov. Romney's trip to Phoenix, the incomparable Glen Johnson of the Associated Press looks at the rivalry developing between Romney and McCain. LINK
In addition to Romney raising money in McCain's backyard, Johnson Notes that Romney has questioned the "unintended consequences of McCain-Feingold in "repeated interview." Romney's staff questions McCain's age (by 2009, McCain would be 72). McCain's staff "labels Romney a johnny-come-lately to conservative Republican and national security causes."
"Last year, the Commonwealth PAC relied principally on a small coterie of donors. The expansion is a sign that Romney, with the 2008 primary getting closer, is taking the necessary steps to broaden his name recognition among key donors around the country and raise the kind of money that will put him in the top tier of Republican hopefuls," writes the Boston Globes' Helman of Gov. Romney's trip out West. LINK
(Gov. Romney speaks at AEI on Wednesday about education reform at 2:15 pm ET).
Sen. McCain, who once labeled the Rev. Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance," will be Liberty University's graduation speaker on May 13. LINK
Mark today as the day that Cindy Adams dedicates a portion of her New York Post gossip column to debunking the Giuliani myth. LINK
"Polls favor McCain and Rudy in the Republican race for the Oval Office. While Rudy hasn't yet locked up Iowa or New Hampshire contacts, McCain has quietly tied down large blocks of GOP real estate - commitments from governors, Senate colleagues, Bush moneymen who opposed him in 2000."
The Washington Post's E.J Dionne opines that Sen. McCain is losing his 2008 appeal as a "maverick" candidate. LINK
"If McCain spends the next two years obviously positioning himself to win Republican primary votes, he will start to look like just another politician. Once lost, a maverick's image is hard to earn back."
Michigan's GOP wants to reshape the 2008 GOP presidential primary map by sending voters to the polls the same day as South Carolina, the AP reports. "But Katon Dawson, the South Carolina Republican Party chairman, said Monday the state doesn't want to share its early primary date with Michigan." LINK
Leading with "Brownback Can Kiss '08 Run Goodbye," an upset Robert Bluey of the conservative Human Events writes that "Brownback's vote . . . with Senate Democrats on an amnesty bill should put an end to any remote chance he had at the White House." LINK
Virginia Senate candidate Harris Miller (D) responded to Sen. George Allen's (R-VA) statements about the slow pace of the Senate by calling on the Senator to resign, saying that, "if George Allen is bored with that job, he should get out of the way."
"If George Allen spent less time traveling the country looking for a new job," said Miller, "he'd be better at the one he has now," Miller said while speaking to reporters.
Miller made frequent allusions to Sen. Allen's travel to key states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, arguing that this is not the way to represent the Commonwealth.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch has Sen. Allen denying that he's bored with the Senate. LINK
"There needs to be more action," Allen said of the Senate. "There is too much concern with process."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) sought to move attention from her presidential aspirations to what she'd done as a New York Senator, but the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle's Joseph Spector won't have any of it. LINK
Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) is moving in on New York with a fundraiser next month at 21, the New York Post reports. LINK
(The New York Post write-up of the Warner event identifies him as the "man often touted as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's top Democratic 2008 presidential rival").
Sen. John Kerry will be hitting the stump for Democrats in the race for Massachusetts Governor, reports the Boston Herald's Kevin Rothstein. LINK
It's no surprise, but Dick Cheney isn't the only picky traveler. The Boston Herald summarizes the Kerry campaign rider acquired by thesmokinggun.com requesting plenty of name brand foods including Quaker oatmeal and Poland Springs bottled water. Teresa requested a "Heavenly Bed when possible (Starwood Preferred Hotel)" LINK
Des Moines Register's Tim Higgins has Gov. Tom Vilsack tying in his friend's death with memories of his childhood shadowed by addiction in order to support "a tobacco tax increase that he believes will save lives." LINK
The AP on the same: LINK
Sen. Feingold's PAC (the Progressive Patriots Fund) announced on Monday that Navy and Marine Corps veteran Bill Winter is the second winner of Sen. Feingold's "Pick a Progressive Patriot" contest. Winter is running against Tom Tancredo in Colorado's 6th District.
Yesterday's departure of Katherine Harris' most loyal political adviser for more than 12 years, Adam Goodman, "raises questions about how long the struggling Harris campaign can stay alive," write William March and Keith Epstein of the Tampa Tribune. LINK
Rep. Jim Nussle's (R-IA) gubernatorial run thrills Republicans who are "excited at the prospect of winning the governor's mansion for the first time since 1998," and believe that Nussle's "cross-party appeal, and voters' existing affinity" for Nussle are going to help the GOP in other Iowa races as well, writes David Drucker of Roll Call.
Gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin (D-IA) plans on demonstrating a "basic philosophical difference" between him and Nussle serving soup throughout Iowa "to those who can't afford tickets to the April 11 Bush/Nussle fundraiser," reports the Cedar rapids Gazette. LINK
Usually it's the other way around, but wealthy Republican challenger Dave McSweeney (R-IL) may have difficulty attracting financial support from lobbyists who are leaning towards the pro-business Democratic incumbent, Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL), per Josephine Hearn of the Hill. LINK
David Drucker of Roll Call points out that former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) is being hit hard and often from its right "as the conservative Republicans in the race seek to overtake him and earn their party's nomination in a likely June 6 runoff."
NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) is likely to face a rematch with his 2004 opponent, reports the New York Times. LINK
CQ.com asks it's arsenal of political analysts: Will military service provide an edge in November? LINK
2006: New Orleans:
The New York Times reports the federal judge's refusal to postpone and reschedule the New Orleans mayoral election set for April 22. LINK
?pagewanted=all "The dispute is occurring against a backdrop of sharp debate over who among the 297,000 registered voters will participate, how many are in the city now and the racial makeup of the city."
"Some 8,800 people have asked for absentee ballots, a relatively small number that continues to grow, state officials said Monday."
"Mayor Sharpe James entered his sixth race for mayor 11 days ago with the flourish of a Las Vegas heavyweight, arriving at City Hall astride a police bicycle to deliver his petitions in gym shorts. He dropped out on Monday, with a letter delivered to the city clerk only minutes before the ballots were to be sent to the printer," writes the New York Times. LINK
Josh Benson of the New York Times writes how Sharpe James' withdrawal from the race instantly moves his opponent Corey Booker from insurgent to frontrunner. LINK
More than 260 friends, relatives, and associates have written letters on Jack Abramoff's behalf, pleading for leniency from a federal judge who is set to sentence him tomorrow. Here's the AP's John Solomon: LINK
"The letters, along with the filing by the defense in Miami, sought to portray Mr. Abramoff as a man devoted to his family and to his faith who, while acknowledging that he defrauded Indian tribes and other clients of millions of dollars, deserved leniency because so much of his money had been given to charity," writes the New York Times' Shenon. LINK
"Abramoff's 12-year-old daughter, Sarah, wrote how she burst into tears when actor George Clooney derided her father on the Golden Globes awards show this year," writes the Los Angeles Times' Schmitt. LINK
The New York Times' Nagourney writes up the broad victory for bloggers with the FEC's decision to create an exemption from the 2002 campaign finance law for their online political activity. LINK
More from The Hill's Alexander Bolton. LINK
The Washington Post: LINK
Casting and counting:
Problems using voting machines in the Texas and Illinois primaries this month have reinforced fears that the 2006 elections may be beset with glitches, reports USA Today's Jim Drinkard. LINK
The New York Times reports that Lauren Maddox and Stuart Roy have bagged a big new client for themselves and their respective firms. Google is heading to Washington. LINK
Julia Duin from the Washington Times writes that the Catholic and Jewish activists' "Values Voters' Contract with Congress" modeled after the GOP party's "Contract with America" signals that congressional members ought to keep the religious voter base in mind. The contract highlighted 10 goals, including legislation to keep the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, banning human cloning and embryo research, and a "right to life" guarantee before birth. LINK
Lyn Nofziger, press secretary and political adviser to President Reagan, has died at 71. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carol Dahmen and the rest of her extended family. LINK