"When he appeared Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House with President Bush, China's president, Hu Jintao, heard 'stop the torture and killings' from an Epoch Times newswoman sympathetic to the outlawed Falun Gong religious sect. But it's the full-throated critique the Chinese president isn't hearing that has one Democratic presidential hopeful worried," report ABC News' Teddy Davis and Dan Nechita. LINK
"'There is no question that our indebtedness to China weakens America's hand,' Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., told ABC News. 'Our negotiating leverage with China on trade issues and Iran is severely limited by the amount of debt they hold.'"
2006: New Orleans:
The Wall Street Journal Notes that a Tulane University poll of 571 potential voters shows Landrieu with 25.9 percent, Nagin with 21.4 percent, and Forman with 17.9 percent. Another 17 percent were undecided.
"As the city headed into the final two days before its first post-Katrina election, state and local election officials blanketed New Orleans in an all-out effort to ensure the legitimacy of an election in anticipation of threatened court actions," reports the New Orleans Times Picayune. LINK
More from the Times Picayune on the excitement in the suburbs for tomorrow's vote. LINK
Per the Washington Post's Tom Edsall, the DSCC continued to outpace the NRSC in fundraising, "bringing in more contributions and finishing the quarter with twice as much money in the bank, according to Federal Election Commission reports released yesterday." LINK
More Edsall: "In an equally significant development," the DCCC "reported having $23 million in the bank, almost equaling -- for the first time in memory -- the cash balance of the" NRCC, "which was $24.4 million."
In explaining DNC Chair Howard Dean's energized attitude of late, USA Today's Chuck Raasch writes that "unless Bush can turn the. . . crisis around -- perhaps with troop withdrawals that don't look political or with Osama bin Laden's capture or death -- one or both houses of Congress could be in Democratic hands after the fall elections." LINK
Bloomberg's Laura Litvan reports that the high-flying campaigns of Sen. Clinton and Eliot Spitzer "might help the Democrats pick up as many as six New York congressional seats – more than one-third of the 15 they need nationally to gain a House majority." LINK
Looking at the new campaign ads released by Gov. Blagojevich (D-IL) attacking challenger Judy Baar Topinka (R-IL), Rick Pearson and John Chase of the Chicago Tribune write that the ads represent "what may be the earliest attempt by an incumbent governor to try to define a November challenger." LINK
Per a campaign release, Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA) is launching the first Iowa gubernatorial television campaign ad of the cycle today, with popcorn and pop for the media.
The Schwarzenegger Era:
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday put California's troubled prison system in the hands of a new leader who vowed to improve relations with the guards union, a powerful political force partly blamed for the departures of the last two corrections chiefs," reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK
Sen. Kennedy's book: