The Note: Kissing Ben Nelson

Fresh from his New Hampshire Democratic convention appearance over the weekend, former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) is in New York City today. Warner is scheduled to headline DL21C's inaugural "Eye on the 2008 Presidential Election" series event where he will address young Gotham Democrats at "Embassy." LINK

Former. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is in Israel discussing Middle East peace, Iran, and other issues with Israeli leaders.

Politics of same-sex marriage:

At the top of "Good Morning America," ABC News' Charlie Gibson had this to say about President Bush's push to ban gay marriage: "Does he really think it's the right thing to do? Or is it just politics?

On NBC's "Today" show this morning, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough was asked why the President is pushing the same-sex marriage ban. "Because he's at 29 percent and he needs his base. . . If he gets his conservative base back he'll get himself back to the low 40's," answered Scarborough.

"It will work. It worked in 2004. It will work in 2006," added Scarborough.

While appearing on "Good Morning America," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom accused President Bush of pandering to his evangelical base by pushing a measure that doesn't have a "snowball's chance" of passing.

Newsom also lamented that the President would push a gay marriage ban on the 25th year anniversary of HIV and AIDS.

Matt Dowd and Grover Norquist are dubious at best at the ability of same-sex marriage initiatives to drive turnout, reports Newsweek's Rosenberg. LINK

"While the GOP leadership clearly hopes this tack can revive their sputtering election prospects this fall, some GOP strategists aren't so sure. Pew polls show a 10-point jump in support for gay marriage since 2004. And Bush pollster Matthew Dowd doubts it was decisive last time around. 'It didn't drive turnout in 2004,' he says. 'That is urban legend.' Turnout was the same in states with bans on the ballot and those without, Dowd says. GOP consultant Grover Norquist also questions how gay marriage plays as an electoral issue. Though social conservatives vote for marriage bans, it's not clear whether that will translate into votes for GOP candidates. 'We don't have much to go on,' he says."

The New York Post picks up the highlights of Newsweek's coverage. LINK

"The measure has 31 GOP sponsors, and one said yesterday the debate would just be a start. 'The fact that we'll have a majority vote but not a two-thirds vote doesn't mean that you don't try,' Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) said on CNN's 'Late Edition,'" reports the New York Daily News. LINK

The Washington Times on the expected Wednesday vote: LINK

Estate tax politics:

In advance of this week's vote, the Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby slams efforts to repeal the estate tax as a reward for the hereditary elite while Noting that GOPers are "picking up support from renegade Democrats, such as Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Max Baucus of Montana." LINK

In a companion op-ed, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) calls the estate tax, or the "death tax," as he prefers to call it, an "unfair burden on families." LINK

In an editorial calling on the Senate to ignore "highly dubious" revenue estimates, the Wall Street Journal's ed board Notes that Sen. Evan Bayh "says he favors repeal in principle but is nervous about potential revenue losses."

Politics of immigration:

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