WASHINGTON, May 30
Topics that can be heard discussed among Republican members of the Gang of 500:
-Whether the Wall Street Journal took the edge off of its Hank-Paulson-for-Treasury-Secretary exclusive with this: "[B]ut it wasn't immediately clear that Mr. Paulson would take the job if it was offered."
- It looks like another day when the violent news out of Iraq will dominate over the positive Iraq news the White House had hoped would be front and center.
- How voters back home just don't want to give the party credit for a strong economy, no matter what Ron Bonjean says.
- Who gets the summer bonus for dropping oppo on the pugilistic Harry Reid?
- What to tell the receptionists to do with all those bricks.
- How to stop Rahm.
Topics that can be heard discussed among Democratic members of the Gang of 500:
- A would-be Speaker Pelosi.
- Al Gore's firmer lean into not running in 2008.
- Sen. Clinton's poll numbers and positioning.
- Current and former Ney aides taking the Fifth.
- The possibility of an upset in CA-50.
- John Murtha: Media Superstar and News Driver.
In the Rose Garden this morning, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., was nominated to replace John Snow as Treasury Secretary.
ABC News' Ann Compton reports that Hank Paulson is the head of a financial trade association here in Washington which is run by Don Evans, the president's close friend and former Commerce Secretary. Evans spent the holiday weekend at Camp David with the Bushes.
ABC News' Jessica Yellin reports a former Bush Administration official said this about the Paulson pick this morning: "Paulson is a fantastic pick. He has a keen, singular understanding of the financial markets. The markets will love the pick. His fingers are truly on the pulse of the global economy. He is held in the highest regard in the financial services industry and Wall Street. One of the world's most prominent investment bankers as Treasury Secretary is absolutely huge."
Fortune's Patricia Sellers reminds us of Paulson's affinity for snakes in this 2004 profile. LINK
Bloomberg News Notes that Paulson was "the highest paid Wall Street executive last year, earning $38.3 million in salary, stock and options up 28 percent from a year earlier, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha magazine on May 26. The sum included $30 million in restricted stock, which vests over time." LINK
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reacted to the pick by saying: "I spoke with Hank Paulson this morning and pledged my full support for his nomination. His experience, intelligence, and deep understanding of national and global economic issues make him the best pick America could have hoped for."
The Note wonders if the President's pick of a Wall Streeter presages a New Bush. Later today, President Bush participates in an 11:05 am ET credential ceremony for the ambassador of Iraq to the United States at the White House.
Dozens of dignitaries are expected to join hundreds of mourners in remembering former Treasury Secretary and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) at a memorial service in Houston, TX at 2:00 pm ET. Former President Clinton is scheduled to deliver the eulogy at Houston's First Presbyterian Church in a service held after a private graveside service for Bentsen's family.