The Note: Milestones, Watersheds, and Turning Points

David Lightman of the Hartford Courant once again dominates presidential political coverage with his reporting on Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-CT) intentions to begin putting together a potential presidential campaign. LINK

Lightman includes all the appropriate caveats (liberal voting record, tabloid attention-grabbing bachelor days, and hailing from the Northeast), but Dodd and his advisers (Sosnik, DeLauro, Greenberg, etc…) appear full steam ahead.

A national network of long-time supporters are beginning to raise money for Dodd starting today, but his biggest obstacle will be fundraising. After Sen. Clinton, however, Dodd on paper is as strong as most of the others who are considering the race. And Dodd's statement makes him as "declared" as anyone but Sen. Biden and Sen. Bayh.

Welcome to the fray, Senator. Quick: how many direct flights are there a day from Bradley to Manchester? How do you pronounce "Berlin"? And when is Scott Spradling's birthday? LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

Pat Healy of the New York Times writes up the results of some 50 interviews on the subject of the Clinton marriage. Having a Page One New York Times story dedicated to the Clinton marriage won't do much to quell the hand wringing -- so prevalent in the story -- about the relationship's political ramifications. LINK

"Out of the last 73 weekends, they spent 51 together," reports Healy, who also includes a fascinating Carson/Reines joint statement -- the construct of which could be the basis for a senior thesis.

Counter-programming, the New York Post reports that 42 will appear in Buffalo next week when his spouse is re-nominated.

Jefferson:

Carl Hulse of the New York Times writes up the allegations against Rep. Jefferson in the context of possibly blunting the Democratic "culture of corruption" message. LINK

Per Roll Call's John Bresnahan and Paul Kane, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) wrote in an e-mail that the President should "probably fire" whoever gave permission to conduct the FBI raid. The duo also details the Speech or Debate Clause, the law which congressional members from both parties claim has been violated.

The Hill's Josephine Hearn and Patrick O'Connor on the GOP's surprising distress over the raid. LINK

House Speaker Dennis Hastert's full statement: LINK

Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant and Laura Litvan Note a bipartisan anger and action towards the DOJ for raiding a Congressional office. LINK

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe Notes that Rep. Jefferson's corruption charges, "highlights the fact that major ethics problems are dogging members of both parties, political observers said yesterday, and complicates the Democrats' plan to make Republican corruption a nationwide issue in this fall's congressional races. LINK

"Lawmaker, Democrats Feel The Chill," reads the humorous Los Angeles Times headline above Faye Fiore's Jefferson story. LINK

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank on the ways in which Jefferson is making life difficult for Democrats who are "hoping to convince voters that it's the Republicans who are corrupt." Milbank plays judge, jury, and reporter in this one. LINK

Per The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "the House ethics probes of Reps. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and William Jefferson (D-La.) are unlikely to conclude before Election Day, diminishing their political impact, according to experts and a review of past investigations."

Surveillance politics:

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