The Note: And Don't Forget Health Care, Part IV

"'Nothing coming out of the Senate was good enough to survive reconciliation with the House bill,' said one veteran civil rights organizer. 'Our hope is to go back into the streets to get something better.'"

Some former Clinton officials (who are not overwhelmed with the DNC's Hispanic outreach) see in the Senate's failure to pass an immigration bill "an opportunity to roll back President Bush's close to 40 percent support among Hispanics in 2004," and to convert "the high political energy among Hispanics into Democratic votes," writes Alexander Bolton of The Hill. LINK


Democrats are working hard to spin Francine Busby's 44 percent vote total as a moral victory. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has reacted to yesterday's vote by calling it a "dramatic win" which shows that "Democratic, independent, and Republican voters simply want change."

But non-partisan handicappers are taking a more restrained view. Busby improved upon her 2004 performance when she captured 36 percent of the vote against then-Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA), and she won more votes than anyone else on the ballot yesterday. But that had more to do with the fact that the GOP vote was fractured among 14 Republicans than anything else.

Going into yesterday, the consensus among non-partisan handicappers was that Busby needed to win it outright (or at least finish in the high 40s) in order for Democrats to be able to look at these results and persuasively argue that they are a sign that a tidal wave is coming in November.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), after all, won 44 percent of the vote in this district against President Bush in 2004.

Carl Forti, the spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Noted that the Democratic candidates received 45.42 percent of the vote yesterday as compared to 53.33 percent of the vote for the GOP candidates.

As Richard Cohen, the co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, has written, "in the spring of 1994, the GOP actually won the two long-time Democratic-held seats. Those were more than moral victories." LINK

Busby will face off against former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) in a June 6 run-off. The Los Angeles Times on the results and a look ahead to the Busby-Bilbray runoff. LINK

The Washington Post's John Pomfret highlights that Busby received more votes than the combined totals of her three closest Republican competitors. LINK

We'll keep watching to see how much money the DCCC decides to spend here between now and June to determine if they think they've got a real shot at this seat.

Not to mention the interest groups on all sides.

Politics of Iran:

Anonymous "lawmaker" sources tell the New York Times' Sanger and Schmitt that, in a meeting with President Bush, he "all but dismissed" the possibility of military force as a near-term option for dealing with Iran's nuclear program. LINK

The New York Times offers lots o' details on yesterday's uranium enrichment announcement in Iran (complete with dancers wielding vials of the stuff), and what it means for international relations. LINK

Ahmadenijad's announcement got Maureen Dowd's blood boiling: "While Dick Cheney was getting booed as he threw out the first pitch for the Nationals -- it bounced in the dirt and Scooter wasn't even there to catch it -- Iran was jubilantly welcoming itself to the nuclear club and spitting in the eye of the U.S. and U.N." LINK

Politics of Iraq:

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