The Note: The Turtle Is Back on the Fence Post

Former Gore campaign manager (and New Orleans native) Donna Brazile tells ABC News she is eager to see a Southern state get the chance to play early in the process, but she also concedes that when the committee decides on which states will be in the pre-window, many minds will be thinking about picking states that have a strong shot at being in play in November. Brazile also said that the primary in New Hampshire in 2004 was very likely a factor in helping turn that state from Red to Blue in November.

Harold Ickes, the Rules & Bylaws committeeman who pressed the presenters from the states with the toughest questions about Democratic past performance, diversity, and experience in running caucuses said he hopes the decision of which states will play early will not be made until after the 2006 midterm election. Ickes is concerned that there could be political fallout for Democratic candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire if their supporters feel they contributed to the diminishment of nomination stature. (Of course it is out of those officials control and Iowa will still be the first caucus and New Hampshire will still be the first primary.)

On moving up 2-4 states in the pre-window period, Ickes told ABC News, "I'm not sure it is going to make one bit of a difference in who ends up being the nominee and whether or not it is a stronger or less strong nominee."

As for the presentations, we recommend the excellent recaps below:

The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny highlights Rep. Clyburn's pitch for South Carolina as the "perfect laboratory" for the Democrats, Michigan Democratic Chair Mark Brewer's appeal for his industrial Midwest state, Arkansas' festival circuit, and Nevada's splashy presentation despite its obvious avoidance of all things Vegas. LINK

Dan Balz covers similar ground on the "beauty contest" of states and includes Gov. Napolitano's (D-AZ) admission that should Sen. McCain be the Republican nominee in 2008, an early nomination contest in Arizona will do little to diminish his favorite son status. LINK

The AP's Sidoti's account: LINK

"The Rules and By-Laws Committee of the Democratic National Committee did not decide what new states it would recommend for an early role in the process. That decision is expected to be made at a summer rules committee meeting, probably in Washington. The full Democratic National Committee will make the final decision, probably in the fall," reports the New Hampshire Union Leader. LINK

Politics of Medicare:

"As the deadline for enrolling in the Medicare drug plan approaches, the government has announced that seniors and disabled beneficiaries may have to pay as much as 7% more for their benefits next year," reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK

FEC fun:

When FEC reports come out, goo good groups typically look first to who's giving.

But the (woefully) underpaid Googling Monkeys like to know how the '08ers are spendin' it. To wit:

The candidates who received the most attention from Democratic '08ers this quarter are: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senate candidates Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), House candidate Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-OH).

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