Light, Clear, Not Odorless


With Exxon Mobil reporting a 7 percent increase in first-quarter profits with a net income of $8.4 billion, and the party's pollsters telling them that this issue sticks (and could stick them), Republicans will act (again) today.LINK

Look for a noon press event at which, a source familiar with gas prices says, Republicans will unveil a ten-point plan which includes provisions on both the supply and demand sides and $100 "gas tax holiday rebate" checks for every taxpayer, along with the necessary off-sets.

But DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer and DCCC Rahm Emanuel will do their best to keep people writing about the "pain at the pump" when they hold a press conference at DNC headquarters at 1:15 pm ET to "detail the impact of rising gas prices on Republican congressional candidates this year and to release a list of the ten worst votes on gas prices that the Republicans have cast."

President Bush participates in National Volunteer Week service projects in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) holds a press conference on the supplemental appropriations bill at 5:00 pm ET in the Senate gallery studio.

Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (MT), Ron Wyden (OR), and Blanche Lincoln (AR) hold an 11:30 am ET press conference in the Senate Radio and Television GAllery to introduce legislation correcting "problems that have arisen" in the implementation phase of the Medicare Part D drug benefit. The bill would require the HHS secretary to define "easily comparable benefit packages" so that seniors and people with disabilities can reach informed decisions about their Medicare drug plans. The bill also will outline uniform consumer protections for drug-benefit participants.

Expect questions on how gas prices and the housing market slide might affect the nation's economy when Fed Chair Ben Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on the economic outlook today.

George Clooney will add his star power to the effort to "stop the genocide" in Darfur at a 12:15 pm ET presser at the National Press Club where he will join Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

The House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee holds a 2:00 pm ET hearing on "The Constitution and the Line-Item Veto." Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Cristina Firvida, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center, and Charles Cooper, parner at Cooper & Kirk PLLC testify.

The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing, "Renewing the Temporary Provisions of the Voting Rights Act: An Introduction to the Evidence" at 2:30 pm ET in Dirksen 226. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) testify.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks at the Vital Voices 2006 Global Leadership Awards and Benefit at 7:30 pm ET at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Sen. Brownback, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Richard Land, and others participate in a panel discussion on "Faith, Culture, and Law in the Immigration Debate" at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC.

Gen. Wesley Clark is joined by George Soros at two fundraising events benefiting Clark's PAC in New York City.

The Log Cabin Republicans begin their four-day national convention in Washington, DC.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) testifies before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Disaster Prevention and Prediction some time after 10:00 am ET in Dirksen 562.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee releases its 86 recommendations at 10:00 am ET in the Senate Gallery, including the call for FEMA to be dismantled and replaced by a new agency. With hurricane season just over a month away, the report suggests the country remains unprepared for another storm of Katrina's size.

To mark National Crime Victims' week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) joins Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, San Bernardino District Attorney Michael Ramos, law enforcement officials, and crime victims at 1:00 pm ET in Santa Ana, CA to discuss "the importance of crime victim restitution programs."

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman participates in the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust before heading to Tennessee to raise money. (Will Mehlman get asked about Ryan Lizza's Allen story in the New Republic?)

George Mason University holds a 1:30 pm ET discussion with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the department's challenges, politics, and priorities in Fairfax, VA.

The House will consider the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act at 10:45 am ET.

Politics of gas:

The New York Times' Andrews and Janofsky go through the legislative solutions lawmakers are eager to apply to be seen as doing something to help lower gas prices, including the Grassley/Baucus letter to the IRS seeking tax returns from the nation's 15 largest oil and gas companies. LINK

However, the Times duo wisely Notes, "Both parties jockeyed for political advantage even as they were grasping for ideas. Most experts contend that the government has few options that would quickly reduce gasoline prices, and competing party agendas could block Congressional agreement on any meaningful legislation."

The Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey gives a solid roundup (nearing must-read status) of how Democratic congressional candidates around the country are seizing on the price of filling up at the pump as an election issue. LINK

In a move the Associated Press Notes is "highly unusual," the Senate Finance Committee yesterday announced it will undertake "a comprehensive review of the federal taxes paid" by the nation's largest oil and gas companies. LINK

Based on the size of cars they personally drive, Dana Milbank says lawmakers are clearly in "denial" over the high price of gases. LINK

The Patriot-News' Brett Lieberman writes up Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) and Gov. Bill Richardson's (D-NM) telephone conference yesterday "call[ing] on President Bush to do more to lower gas prices" and calling for "support for alternative energy solutions." LINK

The Washington Post's ed board scoffs at lawmakers and the President falling all over themselves over gas prices and says the only real change will occur if they stop making it "advantageous" to drive inefficient cars. LINK

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe reports, Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) faces pressure from fellow lawmakers on an alternative energy measure. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska (D), has already had one private meeting with Kennedy as they try to change his mind on the renewable energy idea. LINK

Fitzgerald investigation:

The Washington Post's Jim VandeHei laps the field on Rove reporting by relying on a source close to White House deputy CoS to say that he argued before the grand jury yesterday that "'it would have been a suicide mission' to 'deliberately lie'" about his role in the Plame affair. LINK

This same source says the upshot of the day is that Rove is still "unsure whether he would be indicted," but lawyers close to the case "expect a decision on Rove's fate soon."

No other story will give you a sense of what's going on, so Vandy is the One.

"Coincidentally or not, last week's action helped inoculate the White House against Rove's latest appearance before the grand jury. If Rove is indicted and forced to resign, the White House can say that Rove's substantive policy responsibilities have already been transferred," ominously write the Los Angeles Times' Schmitt and Hamburger. LINK

The New York Times ledes its paper with a newsless account and splashes a photo of Rove "beaming as usual" leaving the courthouse above the fold in many editions. LINK

"It was unclear on Wednesday whether the decision by the new chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, to remove domestic policy from Mr. Rove's portfolio preceded the scheduling of his latest grand jury testimony," suspiciously writes Anne Kornblut of Times.

The Chicago Tribune: LINK

The Tony Snow Era:

"Mr. Snow's appointment has been described by Democrats and Republicans as an acknowledgment by the White House that it needs, among other things, a whole new approach to dealing with the national press corps after years of trying to keep it at a distance," writes Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, in a brilliant homage to a double bylined Auletta-Kurtz opus. LINK

The Washington Post's VandeHei and Fletcher give the President the benefit of the doubt on the Snow pick, writing that the choice signals a consensus that Bush's West Wing operation has been too "insular," and that the strategy of bypassing the mainstream Washington media "was a mistake." LINK

And/but: "A variety of Bush advisers suggested that the president is not interested in altering his major decisions or philosophy, but that he recognizes he needs to do a better job communicating in Washington and beyond."

Former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer writes in the Washington Post of the good old days, before there were cameras in the Brady Briefing Room. LINK

Today, he writes, "The two sides talk past each other, and the viewing public gets to watch a good fight."

"One thing we know is that Tony Snow has to eat lunch in this town again. He is going to serve the president, but not sacrifice his reputation while he's doing it," says Tom Rosenstiel to the Los Angeles Times. LINK

The Los Angeles Times explores Tony Snow's outspokenness over the years and looks at his both his style and substance. LINK

Matea Gold of the same newspaper writes up the Snow announcement through the lens of the Fox/Bush Administration relationship. LINK

Mike Silva of the Chicago Tribune reports on Snow's appointment. LINK

Tony Snow promises to keep expressing strong views and "shooting from the lip". LINK

Carl P. Leubsdorf of the Dallas Morning News columnizes on the type of press secretary Tony Snow could be. LINK

G. Robert Hillman of the Dallas Morning News has Marlin Fitzwater, press secretary for Bush 41, saying that Snow's "unusual stature" as a conservative talk should hold could help him become a "player with the big boys in the Oval Office and the Roosevelt Room." LINK

The New York Post's editorial page on the introduction of Tony Snow to the briefing room: "An ineffective press operation isn't the only reason President Bush's approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks, but it has got to be close to the top of the list. Tony Snow, a professional and a patriot, can help change that." LINK

Stars and Bars:

In an absolute must-read, the New Republic's Ryan Lizza reports in a 5,000-word profile that Sen. George Allen's (R-VA) interest in the Confederate Flag goes back much further than previously thought.

"In high school, Allen's 'Hee Haw' persona made him a polarizing figure. 'He rode a little red Mustang around with a Confederate flag plate on the front,' says Patrick Campbell, an old classmate, who now works for the Public Works Department in Manhattan Beach, California. 'I mean, it was absurd-looking in our neighborhood.' Hurt Germany, who now lives in Paso Robles, California, explodes with anger at the mention of Allen's name. 'The guy is horrible,' she complains. 'He drove around with a Confederate flag on his Mustang. I can't believe he's going to run for president.' Another classmate, who asks that I not use her name, also remembers Allen's obsession with Dixie: 'My impression is that he was a rebel. He plastered the school with Confederate flags.

"Politically, Allen's years in Palos Verdes were dominated by the lingering racial tensions from the riots in nearby Watts in 1965 -- when that neighborhood was practically burned to the ground -- and the nationwide riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, which left other parts of Southern California in flames. It is with that context in mind that four former classmates and one former administrator at Allen's high school described to me an event for which Allen is most remembered -- and the first glimpse that the château-raised Californian might grow up to become a defender of the South's heritage."

"It was the night before a major basketball game with Morningside High.The mostly black inner-city school adjacent to Watts was coming to the almost entirely white Palos Verdes High to play. When students arrived at school on game day, they found graffiti spray-painted on the school library and other places. All five people who described the incident say the graffiti was racially tinged and meant to look like the handiwork of the black Morningside students. But it was actually put there by Allen and some of his friends. 'It was something like die whitey,' says Campbell. The school administrator, who says he is a Republican and would 'seriously consider' voting for Allen for president, says the graffiti said, 'burn, baby, burn,' a reference to the race riots."

While Noting the efforts Sen. Allen has made to try to "make amends for his old pro-Dixie stances" (like sponsoring an anti-lynching resolution in the Senate and traveling to Birmingham, AL on a "civil rights pilgrimage,") Lizza reports that Allen is wearing a Confederate flag pin in his Palos Verdes, California high school yearbook—a fact which Lizza later gets Allen's staff to confirm.

This Lizza profile will eventually become a part of a book of profiles on '08ers that TNR writers are hoping to get published in mid- to late-2007. The piece will be on the web today.


The much-maligned Medicare prescription drug benefit has another downside, USA Today reports on its front page: "There are millions for whom the plan is increasing" – not decreasing – drug costs. LINK

The Bush Administration addressed "one of the chief criticisms of the Medicare drug benefit" by issuing an order protecting beneficiaries from losing coverage for a particular drug if insurers drop it from their plan. Robert Pear of the New York Times has that story. LINK


The Washington Post says that the Senate report's suggestion to replace FEMA with a new National Preparedness and Response Authority is likely to run into trouble at the White House, with Scott McClellan yesterday reiterating the administration's commitment to keeping FEMA "where it is." LINK

"Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the committee's ranking Democrat, faulted President Bush as well, for lack of action during the crisis and for not cooperating with the committee investigation," writes Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

DHS spokesman Russ Knocke tells USA Today that the FEMA reorganization plan is unnecessary and that it is "time to stop playing around with organizational charts and starting focusing on" the upcoming hurricane season. LINK

Politics of immigration:

The Senate voted to add $1.9 billion for border security to the wartime spending bill yesterday, reports Michelle Mittelstadt of the Dallas Morning News. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt follows up yesterday's news of President Bush's closed door meeting with a few select Senators with news that there maybe some confusion on what exactly he is behind. While Sen Lindsey Graham believes the President is backing the Hagel-Martinez proposal, Sen John Cornyn, who chose not to attend the President's meeting, is confident the President did not support the measure, "I'm extremely confident that they were told, 'I'm not endorsing the bill.' " It seems the dispute will all come down to the interpretation of "automatic citizenship." LINK

The divide over whether immigrants should walk off their jobs next Monday is exposing a "rift" in the movement, reports the Washington Post's Brulliard and Williams. LINK

A Noteworthy nugget from today's Wall Street Journal that may reveal President Bush's thinking on the immigration issue: it's a legacy thing. "I think he is really going to lean into this one," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who said Mr. Bush had read -- and urged him to get -- the book "Judgment Days" by Nick Kotz, which details the relationship between another Texan, Lyndon Johnson, and Martin Luther King Jr. running up to the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Big Casino budget politics:

Drawing on the power of obscure procedural motion, Sen. Coburn emerged a leader among the group of unhappy Republicans by going after members of the Appropriations Committee to take control of the debate over a supplemental appropriation bill by forcing days upon days of difficult votes.

In light of President Bush's 135th veto threat, San Francisco Chronicle's Edward Epstein looks at the numbers in the emergency spending proposal, having "conservatives warning that Republicans are spending their way into losing control of Congress in November," and "Republicans [being] increasingly nervous about November." LINK

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times Notes the shift of funds away from Iraq and toward border security in the supplemental being considered by the Senate. LINK

Wednesday's vote against cutting the total size of the Senate version of the supplemental represents the "diminished clout" of President Bush on Capitol Hill, report the Los Angeles Times' Simon and Reynolds. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

In the midst of the negotiations over the emergency spending bill, a Congressional Research Service prediction this week that the cost of the Iraq war will more than double before the war's end provoked "sticker shock" on the Hill yesterday, per the Washington Post. LINK

The New York Times' Weisman and Cloud on the Rice/Rumsfeld confidence in the new Iraqi government. And be sure to Note the Iraqi National Security Adviser comments on troop levels. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Some good news for the White House this morning: a sunny page-one Wall Street Journal piece that predicts first-quarter growth at a healthy five percent, citing low unemployment, solid consumer spending, and a better-than-expected housing market.

Despite this bullish economic outlook, 77% of respondents in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll say they are uneasy about the state of the economy. In fact, they seem to be uneasy about almost everything, including gas prices, President Bush's foreign policy, and Congress, who got a mere 22% approval rating.

Roll Call's Executive Editor Morton Kondracke on whether the President's new stance on energy policy and White House communications is too little too late.

GOP agenda:

"In a rare slap at a top administration official," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) called yesterday for President Bush "to fire the nation's drug czar, John Walters," writes Des Moines Register's Jane Norman. LINK

Democratic agenda:

The Democrats have a strong foreign-policy storyline, but they'll have to look back to the 1940's and 50's to find it, according to the New Republic's Peter Beinart in a New York Times Magazine article based on his new book, "The Good Fight: Why Liberals – and Only Liberals – Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again."

"Liberals don't have a script because they don't have a Reagan. Since Vietnam, they've produced two presidents: Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Carter's foreign policy is widely considered a failure. Clinton's foreign policy is not widely considered at all, because he governed at a time when foreign policy was for the most part peripheral to American politics. Ask liberals to describe a Carteresque foreign policy, and they tend to wince. Ask them to describe a Clintonesque one, and you'll most likely get a blank stare."

Politics of leaks:

David Broder concludes "there are sometimes legitimate national security considerations for withholding information," but sometimes, "the only way for the public to learn of questionable policies or actions is for conscientious individuals to break that official code of silence." LINK

2006: Senate:

In what The Providence Journal calls "one of the most spectacular flame-outs in Rhode Island's long and florid political history," one-time Democratic up-and-comer Matt Brown has withdrawn from the race to nab Lincoln Chaffee's Senate seat and endorsed his rival, Sheldon Whitehouse. The paper writes that the Secretary of State's campaign suffered a "death blow" after questions were raised about his fund-raising protocols. LINK

Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times has Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) touting state House Speaker Allan Bense's possible Senate candidacy and writes that however, "taking on one of the biggest Republican celebrities in the GOP primary could be daunting even for a challenger backed by Gov. Bush and the White House." LINK

Adam Bense "is changing his tune on a potential Senate run," writes Andrew Barr of the Hill, having Bense spokesman Towson Fraser saying that "a Senate run is 'definitely something he is considering' and that it is 'at the top of his list' of options when the Florida legislative session ends May 5." LINK

' "Frustrated with President Bush and angry that the United States remains at war against Iraq, New Jersey voters gave an edge to the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in a poll released Thursday," writes the AP out of the Trenton, NJ bureau on the 40 percent - 34 percent (Menendez over Kean) Quinnipiac University poll results. LINK

The AP reports that "Sen. Debbie Stabenow's campaign has corrected her campaign finance reports to show that some donations from 2002 and 2003 came from an Indian tribe then represented by now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, not an individual as she reported at the time." LINK

2006: House:

The DCCC will likely have something to say about Rep. Rogers' (R-KY) earmarking and it clearly appears that Mr. Rogers won't have the Administration to back him up. LINK

The NRCC is criticizing Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), an opponent of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, for attending a meeting with pharmaceutical-industry lobbyists, report Kaplan and Marcum of the Hill. LINK

Democrats have hand-selected the first group of 22 House challengers worthy of receiving the DCCC's golden ticket as part of its Red-To-Blue program, providing its most promising candidates with campaign cash and a mentor from the ranks reports Steve Kornacki of Roll Call.

Despite ties to Abramoff scandal and questions about his campaign practices, Rep Doolittle's chances of being reelected in his conservative California district are as solid as they come, says David Drucker of Roll Call.

Stuart Rothenberg outlines the nine House Races along the Ohio River that could determine the fate of the House of Representatives.

The Hill also reports on the DCCC's list of chosen Democratic challengers. LINK

Jeremy Wallace of the Herald Tribune has UVA Center for Politics director Larry Sabato arguing that "one of the races that could be affected" by Katherine Harris' image "is the re-election bid of Rep. Clay Shaw … If Harris dampens the Republican vote in that Palm Beach County district, it could be the difference in unseating Shaw." LINK


George Will on the "baroque" and "inscrutable" process underway in California as San Diegans search for a replacement for Duke Cunningham. LINK

You thought the goofily-named yacht was the most embarrassing detail in this sordid affair. Now, there are hookers involved. The Wall Street Journal reports that providing prostitutes – along with hotel rooms in which to cavort with them—was among the favors contractor Brent Wilkes allegedly performed for former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. FBI investigators have been questioning local escorts to determine if other lawmakers may have benefited from their services.

2006: Gubernatorial:

The Columbus Dispatch reports on the latest salvos – including nasty TV ads, nasty Web sites, and nasty phone calls – in the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Ohio. LINK

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says some Ohio G.O.P. leaders worry the rancorous campaign will leave turnout at the primary "suppressed" – and more importantly, the "winner will be wounded as he heads into the general election." LINK

One Ohio Republican candidate for lower office predicts the cost of the negative gubernatorial campaigning will be "20 to 30 percent of Republican voters sitting out the primary." LINK

Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton bemoans the money being thrown about in California's gubernatorial contest. LINK


This weekend's Parade will carry the results of a poll conducted by the White House Project showing Sen. Clinton as the top pick among eight female "contenders" for Commander-in-Chief.

Parade will report that Sen. Clinton garnered 43 percent of the vote as compared with Secretary Rice who received 29 percent. Mayor Shirley Franklin (D-Atlanta) tied Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) for third nationally with 6 percent of the vote, followed closely by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) with five percent, Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) with four percent, and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) with three percent.

Sen. Clinton beat Rice in 11 of 14 "swing states" represented in the poll.

2008: Republicans:

Newt Gingrich addressed the immigration issue before the likes of Irving Kristol and other conservative public intellectuals at AEI yesterday. Speaker Gingrich's overall plan is: 1) border security - including a fence in heavy trafficked areas, 2) enforcement crackdown on illegal employers, and 3) a worker visa program.

Gingrich said the House border security bill passed in December needs to be altered to get rid of the felony classification. He said every illegal immigrant must go to their home country first, obtain an ID card (a program he proposed Visa or MasterCard should run) with a retinal scan, and then be allowed back in to participate in his vision of a worker visa program.

The bills in the Senate are "disasters," according to Gingrich and he declared McCain/Kennedy as nothing short of "amnesty." In light of recent comments about the importance of border security by Sen. Clinton and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Gingrich challenged his Republican colleagues in the Senate to force a vote on a border security-only bill. ". . . give Sen. Clinton a chance to either vote for it or filibuster it and see if she really meant what she said last week. The Democrats are reading the same data that I gave you. Democrats understand that if they become the party that is for illegal immigration and anti-border control, they will be the minority for two generations," he said.

Although Gingrich denied he was endorsing his potential rival for the GOP nomination in 2008, the former House Speaker had heaps and heaps of praise for Rudy Giuliani. "If you said to [former Giuliani police chief] Bratton and Giuliani tomorrow morning, 'what would real border control look like?' and they went and did it, my guess is a year from now you'd be startled at how relatively quiet the border is," said Gingrich. He also revealed his estimate that due to Giuliani's crime fighting successes, "there are 16,000 people alive today who would have been killed in New York over the last fifteen years."

Gingrich predicted an ominous assessment of the government's recovery performance when the one-year Katrina anniversary rolls around. "Mark my words. . . When we visit, in September, the amount not yet done in New Orleans, it will be seen as a national scandal. They rebuilt San Francisco, Galveston, and Chicago after a hurricane, an earthquake, and a fire, faster than the planning process of the federal government in New Orleans," he said.

Russell Nichols and Kathleen Burge of the Boston Globe Note that after Gov. Romney received criticism about not appointing women to the bench in Massachusetts, yesterday he appointed four. His spokesperson released this statement on the nod, "the governor felt he wasn't getting enough female and minority candidates, the governor is interested in making sure that appointments to the bench, to the extent possible, reflect the diversity of the community at large." LINK

Bob Novak pens a must read op-ed on Gov. Romney's 2008 run and writes that evangelical Christians will not vote for him and if that means voting for Sen. Clinton, so be it. Romney realizes the issue exists, but may not be giving proper attention to the gap it will cause him although the rich Mormon donors will give him a boost to his campaign treasury. LINK

Slate's Adam Reilly comments on Gov. Romney's past strategies for defusing negative opinion about his Mormon fain and what it'll take to ease concerns about his membership in the Church of Latter Day Saints as 2008 approaches. LINK

As only few can, AP's Marc Humbert sizes up his home state Republican presidential hopefuls and writes most of the current conventional wisdom on both Giuliani's and Pataki's prospects are summed up in one word: "Fuhgetaboutit." LINK

The New York Sun's Ira Stoll has Rudy Giuliani backing the Senate's "comprehensive" immigration plan over the "punitive" one passed by the House. LINK

2008: Democrats:

In his New York Post column, Dick Morris (following the lead of the New York Sun's Davidson Goldin) explores just how tricky Bill Clinton's Yucaipa/Burkle association may be for Sen. Clinton's political future. LINK

The Hillary Clinton for President Committee, a movement unaffiliated with the Senator but aimed at drafting her into the 2008 presidential contest, releases its first web video ad entitled, "Bold Leadership For a Stronger America." The web ad features a female voice reciting the pledge of allegiance and a montage of presidential portraits culminating in the display of Hillary Rodham Clinton. You can check it out here: LINK

Taking a swing at Rep. Katherine Harris and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) prepares for the Saturday Democratic fundraiser in Miami Beach, writes Beth Reinhard of the Miami Herald. LINK

Josh Richman of the Argus has former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) playing the "maybe" game yesterday and saying that "'I am seriously thinking about it, but I haven't made a final decision'…Then, after a pause and with a smile: 'But I like Iowa.'" LINK

Lobbying reform:

What did Congress learn during its spring break? Per the Washington Post's Birnbaum and Edsall, the American people don't care about lobbying reform, so there's no need to do it. LINK


The Washington Post on Rep. Alan Mollohan's response to Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reporting: LINK

New Hampshire:

The New Hampshire primary's status as first in the country is being challenged by the California Elections and Redestricting Committee chair who introduced a bill that would require California to hold the first Presidential primary. LINK