The Note: Cash and Carry

WASHINGTON, Apr. 5

The obvious twin ledes: what Tom DeLay's departure and Mitt Romney's health care plan mean for 2006, 2008, and the future of public policy in America.

But those have to wait, since our twin ledes are Note exclusives from the Empire State.

ABC News has learned that Senator Hillary Clinton is planning to give a major speech on the major topic of the economy, and that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a plan to apply his normal system of leverage and incentives to solving New York City's donor-city problem, whereby Washington and Albany pols use Manhattan as an ATM and then fail to vote consistently for policies that benefit Gotham City.

As Mike Sneed of the Chicago Sun Times reports, next Tuesday, the Clintons of Chappaqua will become the Clintons of Cook County as they head together to the Windy City for Her and His speeches. LINK

His is a private deal address to a biotech outfit.

Hers is the Junior Senator from New York's "first economic address of the year" in the important venue of "the powerful Economic Club of Chicago."

As she runs for re-election in 2006, prepares the Democratic Leadership Council's issues agenda (remember that?), and considers her, uhm, future opportunities, Hillary Clinton is still a policy work in progress. Try to recall the last time she gave a major speech on the economy, recall how important the economy is as an issue, and recall that the Democratic Party is still searching for a positive agenda to trump lowertaxesandlessgovernment and you will understand why this speech will be what Bill Clinton would call a "big deal."

The Note has learned from a source familiar with Seamus' favorite dog toy that the speech -- set before a prestigious full house of several thousand Midwesterners clad in black tie -- will allow the Senator to offer her 2.3 cents (2 cents adjusted for inflation since 42 left office) and pose the question: How does America succeed in a global economy?

While still taking shape, the speech will reportedly look at what policies the Unites States needs to pursue to secure the future for America's middle class and for the nation's manufacturing base.

The policy wizards are still working their magic, but those looking in advance for clues (Attention: Anne Kornblut.) would be smart to look at the work of the Manufacturing Caucus that Clinton has worked on with South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and of the New Jobs for New York gig she has done with the clear-thinking Roger Altman.

So book your flights now, Jeff Zeleny and Dan Balz.

As for Mayor Bloomberg's gambit -- the man likes to solve problems using his business acumen. According to our own eyes, the Mayor is sick and tired of his constituents filling the coffers of politicians from Albany and Washington and then watching said politicians head to various capitals to vote against the interests of what is called "The City." So, per usual, Mr. Bloomberg has a plan to solve a previously unsolved problem.

Today at the plush Four Seasons restaurant at 12:45 pm, the Mayor will join with some big bundlers from both parties to announce the kind of accountability plan that pols and donors from both California and New York have long dreamed about (but not implemented).

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