The Note: Bolten and Snow


Maybe leaks are going to be more common in the Tony Snow Era.

The man has not even started officially yet as White House press secretary, and already the tightness of the Andy Card days seems to be a thing of the past.

ABC News has exclusively obtained this undated memo from Snow to his new colleagues. It is not clear when it was written, but from the content, it must have been in the last few days. It was given to ABC News by a Republican who is not pleased with Snow's hiring.

At publication time, calls to Snow, Bolten, and the White House press office were not returned.


To: Josh Bolten, Dan Bartlett and Nicolle Wallace

From: Tony Snow

Re: Our message

After observing how the Press Office has operated, first from the outside and for the last week from the inside, I wanted to share some initial thoughts about what I think needs to be done. Thank you so much for the trust you've placed in me and the risk you took by making an unconventional choice in a most conventional White House. I promise I won't screw it up.

First, I want to clear the air about something that I know has been bothering some people in the building -- and frankly has been bothering me, too. When I was at the podium with the President and Scott McClellan, I meant to recognize Scottie and say something nice about him and the big shoes I have to fill. He was standing right next to me, and I know it really rubbed people the wrong way and looked ludicrous for me to ignore him.

Like Hilary Swank after she won for "Boys Don't Cry" and failed to mention, Chad Lowe, I had intended to say something, and I just blanked. I really felt badly about it, and said so right away. I know Scott had told his friends he would be welcoming, and he has been, and I really appreciate his help with the transition. After talking to reporters and other staffers, I realize better why people like him so much. (And all those cats and dogs at home! The man's a saint!) I recognize that Scott has a hard-won, first-hand understanding of the ecology of Bushworld that I can only hope to gain by osmosis. I respect that, and I plan to stay in regular touch with Scott -- if he'll take my calls when he's off making all that speakers' bureau buckage.

Second, I've been doing my own reporting and I know there are concerns inside that I might mistake the George Bush Show for the Tony Snow Show. I am extremely conscious of this and am going to be very careful. Jim Rutenberg always knows the right word, and he wrote that I'm "something of a showman." That stung, but it was an astute insight and I get what he was saying. I assure you that I'm going to keep the spotlight where it belongs -- on the President. I'm the gigolo -- paid to meet specific needs, and then leave. Unfortunately, Halperin thinks I'm an ugly gigolo. LINK

(Funny stuff, although not as funny as Ms. Gladstone seems to have thought. But he does make some good points.)

All right, enough throat-clearing. The number one thing we need to do is RE-HUMANIZE THE PRESIDENT. All my other suggestions are just variations on that theme. People WANT to like this President, and we need to give them more chances. They love the regular guy thing that worked so well for you in the first campaign, and we need to tap back into that on a regular basis as a fundamental part of our communications strategy, not a when-can add-on.

There's nothing the Press shop can do about facts on the ground, but we can HELP people remembers why they originally liked the President so much. In December and January, Dan and Nicolle did a great job of getting the President out more, talking to the pool nearly every day and answering all those questions from the good red-blooded, red-stated Americans who come to our events. There have been lulls in this strategy as plans got overtaken by the news and the schedule, but we need to make it a priority instead of an if-can. I know the President was reluctant to do the questions from the general public, concerned that he would say some tiny thing that the press would blow it up into some huge deal. But he has nailed nearly every one of these outings, and I know he now enjoys them and has gotten more confident.

I know you realize the dirty little secret: Truly nasty questions, ones the President can't defuse with his quick wit, are rare. And when we DO get asked them, we get brownie points for openness. So these free-for-alls are almost can't-lose propositions.

Similarly, the President should take questions from the pool all the time. For him, this is just batting practice. With all due respect, all press corps are predictable. And when we give them two questions, I'll go back to my radio show if I can't usually predict what they're going to be. But it makes it harder for the press to rag on the President when they're in close touch with him, and it's an opportunity for us to remind people of our message. When we don't answer questions, it looks like we believe the critics. We want to be out there at every opportunity, like my uncle at Thanksgiving dinner, saying: And ANOTHER thing. . .

The President looked strong and decisive swinging a hammer down in New Orleans for a few minutes the other day. If he wants to, and I bet he'd be thrilled, let's suggest that he spend a whole day working down there, and really have something to show for it. I understand we had to call an audible and make that quick stop at the BP station to make the statement about CAFE standards, but that became the news and drowned out the real empathy the President had shown for the folks on the Gulf Coast. You know how he likes working up a sweat at the ranch. Let's remind people that he's not trapped at the desk. He got along great with the workers down there--I saw the video of the back pats and the shared jokes. That's the George W. Bush we need to showcase.

One of the most important changes I'd like to make in the operation is to empower the other spokespeople so they can develop relationships with reporters and work with them on stories and give them guidance and tidbits we might not be able to dispense from the podium. In my canvassing of reporters, I've learned that the only spokesperson who had any real rapport with the press was Trent Duffy. That's not helpful to the President. We need our spokespeople to be proactively reaching out to A-list reporters, which gives us a ripple effect of good will as they talk to others in the press corps and reach their large audiences.

As far as the podium: Josh, that was sheer genius of you to float the idea of cutting back on on-camera briefings. Obviously, we can't do that, because it would make the White House look like it was going backwards instead of forwards, and like we had something to hide, when in fact I wish we could open all the doors and windows and have every good American just walk on through. But now when we spell out our policy on briefings, it'll look like we took the press's side.

There are two tweaks I'd make to the briefings, though. One, we need to reengage the press by really making some news from the podium. We need to have people literally running out of the briefing room to file bulletins or do a quick hit from the lawn. Muscles atrophy if you don't use them and the podium is a powerful platform that we should be using the heck out of. I'm amazed at how empty the briefing room sometimes is when it is shown on the cut-away shots. We need to remind this press corps that with this reenergized White House, if you snooze, you lose. Second, let's take a page from the Pentagon and the mega-churches and include some electronic and graphic elements in our presentations. We don't want to be predictable, and a clip that provides a preview of the next day's event might give us two pops where we would have gotten only one.

A quick housekeeping matter: We need to assure the young people in the Press Office right away that we need them and are going to keep them and if anything are going to expand their responsibilities. They're understandably worried about change, and they shouldn't be. I understand I'm not an expert on operations, and I value their expertise and will defer to them. The Press Office wouldn't run without your Nathan Carletons and Carlton Carrolls and John Robertses. And we can only dream of having the approval rating of Josh Deckard. Let's make sure the Press Office knows we're still a team and that I think they're all starters.

Thank you for letting me vent. I'm thrilled by this opportunity, and look forward to the day, not far down the road, when all of America sees this President as we do.

And by the way: Let's have a little fun!

Your friend, colleague, and servant, Tony


Blissfully unaware of this security violation, President Bush made remarks in the East Room on this National Day of Prayer at 9:15 am ET.

Also on the President's schedule today: a 10:20 am ET Oval Office meeting with the President of Uruguay, Cinco de Mayo (on Quatro de Mayo) remarks at 1:45 pm ET, and 7:00 pm ET remarks to the American Jewish Committee's "Centennial Dinner" at the National Building Museum.

The Senate is expected to vote on final passage of the emergency supplemental bill today which it seems will need to look dramatically (read: approximately $15 billion less expensive) different than it does when it emerges from conference if it is to get the President's signature. The AP has the latest on what's currently in the Senate version of the bill and what is likely to go. LINK

Gov./Interior Secretary nominee Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) appears before the Senate Natural Resources Committee at 10:00 am ET for his confirmation hearings to be chaired by Sen. Domenici (R-NM).

House Majority Leader Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi hold competing on-camera press conferences at 10:45 am ET.

Sens. Bingaman (D-NM), Bayh (D-IN), Coleman (R-MN), Lieberman (D-CT), and Chafee (R-RI) hold a 11:15 am ET press conference on their legislation aimed at breaking America's dependence on fossil fuels.

Sens. Reid (D-NV), Kennedy (D-MA), Harkin (D-IA), and Feinstein (D-CA) hold a 11:00 am ET press conference on stem cell research.

Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) meets with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at 12:30 pm ET to discuss immigration reform legislation.

In advance of a United Nations review of the Bush Administration's alleged use of torture, many of the most prominent human and civil rights organizations are holding a press tele-conference at 1:00 pm ET to discuss their expectations for the UN hearings.

Gov. Mitt Romney attends a 6:00 pm ET closed press fundraiser for Gov. Don Carcieri (R-RI) in East Providence, RI.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) attends an event for FAIR Wisconsin in Washington, DC opposing a ban on same sex marriage.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker hold a 4:45 pm ET press conference on the Indiana Voter ID law in Indianapolis, IN.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman addresses the Republican state party chairs in Colorado Springs, CO at 3:00 pm ET. Mehlman is expected to focus on the 2006 races, campaign technology, and engage in some q&a with the members. There will be closed press regional political meetings and strategy sessions as well throughout the day.

Big Casino budget politics:

The Los Angeles Times has Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) saying he believes the President's veto threat is real: "We have never been down this path before with this administration, with a substantial, firm veto threat." LINK

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray reviews the earmarks being tacked onto the emergency spending bill and writes that while the "presumption is that the extraneous provisions will get cut in a final conference committee with the House," avoiding a presidential veto, "so far, the Senate has found additional spending irresistible." LINK

Carl Hulse of the New York Times writes up President Bush's renewed (and on camera) veto threat to the supplemental should it arrive on his desk with a price tag higher than the $94.5 billion he has stipulated as his ceiling. LINK

Jonathan Weisman focuses his Washington Post piece about the congressional agreement on extending the President's tax cuts and the new "day of reckoning" imposed by the bill: January 1, 2011, when the cuts are now set to expire. LINK

According to Weisman, the dilemma confronting Congress on that date will be to "either allow taxes to rise suddenly and sharply. . . or impose mounting budget deficits on the government far into the future."

A vote on the tax bill will likely be pushed until at least next week, reports the Wall Street Journal, as congressional Republicans continue to wrangle over the details.

Politics of gas:

ABC News' Liz Marlantes reports, "House Energy Chairman Joe Barton -- a Texan -- today sent what he calls a 'strong' letter to a number of oil CEOs asking questions about the investment of record profits -- or as he put it, asking them to detail 'where the money's coming from and how it's being spent.'

More Marlantes: "Barton told a group of reporters off-camera that 'profit's not a bad word,' and that many of these oil execs are his 'friends,' but when companies are fortunate enough to be making big profits, they have an obligation to reinvest in things like pipelines, refineries, etc, rather than 'stock buyback plans.' He also said that he planned to hold 'the most comprehensive set of hearings that have ever been held' over the next 6 weeks."

There's new momentum in Congress behind raising CAFE standards, even among previously resistant lawmakers, reports the Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin. LINK

Brian DuBose of the Washington Times reports on the failed attempt in the House to increase oil refinery capacity in the United States. LINK

Though House lawmakers approved a measure to beef up penalties on price gouging, experts say it will do little -- if anything at all -- to change prices at the pump, reports William Neikirk of the Chicago Tribune. LINK

Under the Banner "Gas, oil giants aid Santorum," Borys Krawczeniuk of the Scranton Times-Tribune takes a look at how "as gasoline prices skyrocket, the oil and natural gas industries have been busy pumping cash into the campaigns of congressional incumbents up for re-election" and Notes that "the industries contributed more than $7.2 million last year to congressional campaigns, with Republicans receiving more than five times as much as Democrats." LINK

Lobbying reform:

The Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum contrasts the promises made with the actual measures in the lobbying reform bills passed by the House and Senate and concludes "neither version is as tough on lobbyists and lawmakers as Republican leaders promised in January, after former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe public officials in a major political corruption scandal." LINK

Birnbaum also provides an excellent primer on which portions of the final law could have different rules for the House and Senate and which provisions must be the same for both chambers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the ethics measure passed narrowly by the House preserves some of the most talked-about perks, including corporate jet travel. Now the House will try and reconcile the bill with the more aggressive version the Senate passed.

The New York Times Notes Rep. Dreier (R-CA) promising more reform is on the way. LINK

The Hill's Elana Schor and Patrick O'Connor give a detailed account on the passage (217 to 213) of the bill in the House yesterday, Noting that eight Democrats voted for the bill, signaling "a reluctance to take a possible political hit by voting against any reform legislation." LINK

Josephine Hearn of The Hill writes of Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) efforts to unify Democrats before the vote by arguing "that Democrats would hand Republicans a victory if they voted for a measure that Democrats and others have denounced as a sham." LINK

House and Senate negotiators are expected to take on issues like gifts and the revolving door in the coming weeks, reports USA Today's Drinkard. LINK

Politics of immigration:

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan reports that the May 1 rallies don't seem to have had any significant affect on American public opinion on immigration. LINK

The Washington Post editorializes in favor of "Nuestro Himno." LINK

Peter Beinart, writing in the Washington Post, questions the conventional wisdom about the connection between better border security and stopping terrorism. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's ed board asks if Senate Democrats would be "nuts enough to launch a judicial filibuster" against Brett Kavanaugh, who nomination for a seat on the D.C. Appeals Court will come before the Judiciary Committee today.

Politics of Iran:

"The long-anticipated showdown at the UN over Iran's nuclear program has started," reports ABC News' Jonathan Karl.

The UN Security Council has kicked off a closed session debate on "a resolution demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium."

More Karl: "The resolution -- drafted by the United States, United Kingdom, and France -- expresses 'serious concern' about Iran's behavior and warns its nuclear program is a 'threat to international peace and security.'"

"The resolution does not explicitly call for sanctions, but it is a so-called 'Chapter Seven' resolution -- such resolutions are considered binding, and are usually enforced through sanctions or even military action."

"Both China and Russia went into this meeting opposed to the resolution. Condoleezza Rice heads to New York on Monday, when the Security Council is expected to vote on it."

Politics of Iraq:

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) asked yesterday for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, reports Des Moines Register's Jane Norman. LINK

More on Sen. Harkin's call from the Cedar Rapids Gazette: LINK

Bush Administration:

Catherine Dodge of Bloomberg reports that Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) is offering up advice (shocking, that) for brand-new chief of staff Joshua Bolten, urging him that "'a good start in terms of improving relationships would be to take calls when senators call, for God's sake.'" LINK

Vice President Cheney addressed a conference of Eastern European leaders and accused Putin's Russia of restricting the rights of its citizens and using energy resources as tools of blackmail, reports David Espo of the Associated Press. LINK

Bloomberg News reports on the same: Link

Per the Washington Post's David Brown, the lesson from Katrina, as reflected in the White House's new bird flu plan, appears to be: don't "wait for help from Washington." LINK

The New York Times reports many states don't have the money to implement the Administration's plans. LINK

USA Today on the same: LINK


Democrats are reviving their calls to delay the Medicare prescription drug signup deadline after a new GAO report found callers to the Medicare hotline often were given erroneous information. LINK

The Fitzgerald investigation:

The New York Times reports that Valerie Plame is shopping around a book proposal among a small group of publishers. LINK


After Louisville businessman Vernon Jackson pled guilty yesterday to bribing Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) with more than $400,000, the Washington Post's Allan Lengel sums up Jefferson's status in compelling fashion: "Jefferson denied any wrongdoing in the case yesterday, but his legal problems are steadily mounting and have undercut his party's efforts to portray the Republicans as the party of political corruption." LINK

More: Jefferson "has not been charged, but he is a target in the case, according to law enforcement authorities. Sources familiar with the case have said a plea agreement with the lawmaker has been explored."

The New York Times also reports that Rep. Jefferson and his family are the focus of the case and that the case allows Republicans to point to congressional corruption beyond their party. LINK

More from Jonathan Allen of The Hill: LINK

House Democrats are not going to call for Jefferson to resign, " writes Roll Call's John Bresnahan.

Politics of same-sex marriage:

Per the Associated Press, Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court will take up a challenge today about whether opponents of gay marriage can put the issue before voters in a ballot question. LINK

Ohio votes:

With nominees firmly in place, Joe Hallett and Mark Niquette of the Columbus Dispatch preview the Ohio gubernatorial election between two "unconventional" candidates. LINK

In a "sign of things to come," the Columbus Dispatch's Mark Niquette suggests that the primary loss of Jim Petro could indicate that for Ohio Republicans, traditional fiscal values could be taking a the backseat to social and religious issues. LINK

Had enough of "hanging chads" after the 2000 presidential election? Well, you might get used to the phrase "technical glitch." Ohio had it's first election without punch-card ballots and it did not exactly go smoothly, reports the Associated Press. LINK

2006: Governor:

What a difference television advertising can make! The Philadelphia News has the latest Keystone Poll numbers in the gubernatorial race showing Gov. Rendell opening up a 14 point lead over Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania. LINK

The Hill writes up a Wilson Research Strategies survey showing not such great affection for a Lynn Swann ad. LINK

Last night's debate between California Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Phil Angelides and Steve Westly turned "into a mudfest. . . as the two Democrats splattered each other with accusations over taxes, credibility and their records as millionaire businessmen." LINK

Sparks were flying last night between Westly and Angelides as they "traded harsh personal attacks. . . in a bitter debate that said more about the candidates running for the party's nomination for governor than their views on the environment," report John Wildermuth and Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle. LINK

Be sure to tune in next Wednesday for the third and final debate between the two contenders.

The battle between Angelides and Westly is helping Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, writes the Los Angeles Times' George Skelton. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan reviews Angelides' record as state treasurer and finds it to be a "study in contrasts": Angelides "has wielded the immense power of his job to mold society to his liking," while also "using his state job to fuel his collection of campaign money in a way that clashes with the image he has cultivated as a man guided by firm principles." LINK

Republican Jim Rappaport is running an undeclared primary campaign against Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey for the GOP's nomination for governor in Massachusetts, writes the Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi. LINK

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Deval Patrick is under fire for his role as a director of Ameriquest Mortgage, reports the Boston Globe. LINK

Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R-MD) continues his all-out fight against a new early-voting law in his state, which he says could lead to fraud but Democrats say will merely make voting more convenient in the state's most populous communities -- which happen to also be heavily Democratic. LINK

2006: Senate:

That NY1 News interview with Ed Rollins is getting some of that New York ink today we forecasted yesterday. LINK

Bill Adair and Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times have Sara Taylor, President Bush's political director, saying that state House Speaker Allan Bense (R-FL) "would be great in any office he ran for" in what appears to be "a subtle but unmistakable signal that the White House is getting more involved in the race for the Republican nomination." LINK

Analyzing the GOP calls for Bense to take on Katherine Harris, Keith Epstein and Kevin Begos of the Tampa Tribune Note that "Bense will face the need to raise perhaps $20 million, get himself known across the state, fight a tough primary battle, then an even tougher general election battle - all within a scant six months. And all in a year when political winds seem to be blowing against Republicans." LINK

Donald Lambro of the Washington Times writes of the woes of Rep Harris. With her approval rating down, all the national part could muster was a luke warm backing "until something happens to make the race different." LINK

Stu Rothenberg was slightly more to the point, calling her campaign "an utter, unabashed, unparalleled disaster" that "hasn't gotten off the ground and isn't likely to at any point this century."

Roll Call's Billings and Whittington write that two of the most vulnerable Republican Senators, Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Conrad Burns (R-MT), are getting major financial help from fellow Republicans.

The Philadelphia Daily News writes up the latest Keystone Poll showing Bob Casey, Jr.'s lead over Sen. Santorum down to six points. The director of the poll, Terry Madonna, attributes the narrowing of the gap -- in part -- to an increase in Casey's unfavorables. LINK

The Washington Post observes that former Navy Secretary James Webb Jr. has a "military emphasis" in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Virginia. LINK

2006: House:

Per the Boston Globe, Democrats are hopeful about their prospects for retaking NH-01 after 24 years of Republican control. LINK

The Agency vs. The Bureau: Roll Call's Stephanie Woodrow looks at Michigan's 8th district House race, "where retired CIA agent Jim Marcinkowski (D) is taking on Rep. Mike Rogers (R), a former FBI agent."

Democratic turnout seems to have been up in Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina on Tuesday, reports Roll Call's Lauren Whittington. Democrats contend that disillusioned voters came out to vote for change while Republicans countered that there are other factors and reasons.

2006: New Orleans:

In New Orleans, former mayoral candidate Rob Couhig is backing Ray Nagin for mayor, per the Times-Picayune's Kruppa and Russell. LINK

The Times-Picayune's Kruppa and Russell also write that the ad war in New Orleans has gone negative with Mitch Landrieu attacking Ray Nagin, saying that Nagin failed in restoring the city. Nagin's own attack ads target Landrieu's public career and his "political pedigree". LINK

A man in the Nagin ad says, "I'm not sure I want another Landrieu. I mean, how many Landrieus do we need to run the city and state?"

The New York Daily News writes up historian Douglas Brinkley's new book on the handling of Hurricane Katrina, which paints an unflattering portrait of Mayor Nagin's behavior during the crisis.

One passage describes Nagin holed up in the bathroom of Air Force One for so long the Secret Service finally kicked the door down. LINK

New Hampshire:

John Distaso's Granite Status on indications that New Hampshire is making progress in the fight to preserve first-in-the-nation primary status with the DNC and the ripple effect the President's low approval ratings are having on local GOP incumbents. LINK

The Senate Majority Project is filing a complaint with the FEC today claiming the Abramoff-related Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians sent a check to the New Hampshire State Republican Committee for $10,000 in October 2002, but that the state party violated the law by only reporting a $5,000 (the legal limit in New Hampshire) contribution for the Choctaw Indians. (The Senate Majority Project includes a .pdf of the Choctaw check to the NHSRC as part of its complaint.)

Sens. Clinton (D-NY) and Gregg (R-NH) went head-to-head in a "war of words" after the Senate approved Sen. Gregg's proposal to divert some of the money requested for the war in Iraq to border security. LINK

Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) nabbed the speaking slots at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention on Saturday June 3 at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, NH. Sen. Feingold is scheduled to kick things off with breakfast remarks and Gov. Warner is slated for the noon-time luncheon speaking slot.

2008: Republicans:

The New Republic's Ryan Lizza follows his story from last week about George Allen's relationship with the Confederate flag with a story about George Allen's relationship with the Confederate flag. LINK

The new details include the flag's appearance in the background of the Greg Stevens-produced initial campaign ad for Allen's gubernatorial run in 1993. Lizza also has UVA classmates recalling Allen's displaying of the flag on his truck while a student there.

Stevens, who is a McCain image-maker these days, tells Lizza that his stories about the Senator and the Confederate flag are helping him woo Republican primary voters.

The Note reached out to the Allen campaign this morning for comment on Lizza's latest installment, but the campaign declined to respond.

Gov. Romney plans on pulling a JFK and take the time to explain his Morman faith to the country if he decides to "go national," reports the AP's Glen Johnson. LINK

The Washington Post's Arshad Mohammed writes that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's fight for a bill that would increase indecency fines on broadcasters seems aimed at "conservative groups, a key voting bloc if he runs for president," which had "expressed frustration at the lack of congressional action to curb broadcast indecency." LINK

Sources tell the New York Daily News' Joe Mahoney that Gov. Pataki has become so politically toxic that a national GOP political consultant has warned state senators to steer clear of him this campaign season. LINK

2008: Democrats:

David Broder endorses Sen. Joe Biden's approach to fixing Iraq. LINK

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) heads to Michigan today to speak with Whirlpool executives about keeping jobs in Iowa, reports William Ryberg of the Des Moines Register. LINK

MSNBC's Howard Fineman sat down for a chat with James Carville, the man who "doesn't speak for the Clintons, but. . . speaks to the Clintons." Fineman translates Carville's words and describes a potential Hillary Clinton run for the White House as one where the former First Lady can be expected to run as a "hard-eyed realist in a world of dreamers." LINK

Bonna de la Cruz of the Tennessean takes a look at how the movement to draft Sen. Clinton is expected to play out in Tennessee after its launch in Nashville "later this month." LINK


Damien Cave and Josh Benson of the New York Times write up Cory Booker's campaign against his image in advance of Tuesday's mayoral election in Newark, NJ. LINK

Columnist Robert Novak explores Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) opposition to a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod that would "despoil the pristine appearance of a natural resource dear to his family and the memory of John F. Kennedy." LINK

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen goes to the voting booth on the Stephen Colbert question and pulls the "so not funny" lever. LINK

Here are some New York Times letters on the subject: LINK

The New York Times looks at a new report from two Harvard economists which aims to debunk the Red State/Blue State divide espoused by many a political pundit. LINK

Andrew Barr of The Hill points out that new Nationals owner Theodore Lerner and his family have contributed to Democrats. LINK

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) has ruled out a posthumous pardon for civil rights advocate Clyde Kennard, reports the New York Times. LINK