The Note: Kissing Ben Nelson

Bill Barrow of the Mobile Press-Register delivers an excellent run-down of tomorrow's gubernatorial primaries, and writes "there are enough wild cards present to make the usual rules anything but fail-safe in predicting just who'll be left standing." LINK

The Birmingham News' Kim Chandler explains why former Gov. (and current candidate) Don Siegelman (D-AL) "criss-crossed" the state in a last ditch effort for votes yesterday: today, he will be in Court for the 24th day of testimony concerning racketeering charges from his time as governor. LINK

The Miami Herald reports that former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) will chair Democratic hopeful Jim Davis' gubernatorial campaign for the post-Jeb Bush era. LINK

2006: ballot measures:

Congress Daily AM reports that "political brushfires" are igniting in two Western states over "potential ballot initiatives that would restrict illegal immigrants' access to state social services."

2008:

The Washington Post's Michael Shear reports that the "orbits" of Gov. Warner and Sen. Allen "collided" Saturday at Richmond's "swank Jefferson Hotel, "offering a preview of what the 2008 election might bring if Virginia's two most ambitious politicians seek the White House." LINK

2008: Republicans:

Bill Theobald of The Tennessean writes that Sen./Dr./Leader Frist's stringent support for the Federal Marriage Amendment -- to protect, as Frist says, "the cornerstone of our society" -- has earned him the respect of Christian conservatives that not even President Bush can match. Tony Perkins, president of the powerful Family Research Council, told Theobald, "[Frist] has provided more leadership on core issues than anyone, including President Bush." LINK

Clearly no fan of George Pataki's, John Heilemann of New York Magazine includes this assessment of the state of ground zero in his look at Pataki's potential presidential campaign: ". . . the state of ground zero, which nearly five years after 9/11 remains an utter, shameful mess -- for which no one deserves more blame than Pataki, whose management of the rebuilding efforts has been marked by long periods of feckless inattention, punctuated by sporadic bursts of gratuitous pandering, witless posturing, and rank incompetence." LINK

Dan Schnur makes an appearance in the piece with this clever sports metaphor on a Pataki candidacy: "He's the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee of the McCain-Giuliani bracket."

The second-most senior governor in the nation announced on Friday that he has changed the name of his political action committee from Healthy America -- which focused on fighting obesity in Arkansas and elsewhere -- to Hope for America -- which will have a "broader focus" according to Governor Mike Huckabee. LINK

"Nice hair, cute face, big on family but a bit of a follower -- that's a Romney for you"-- is how the Boston Herald's Kevin Rothstein summed up the similarities between Gov. Romney and Romney sheep. LINK

2008: Democrats:

Salon.com's Walter Shapiro took his one-car caravan to the New Hampshire Democratic convention this weekend for his first Grantie State trip of the cycle. LINK

"Hillary and probable non-candidate Al Gore aside, the two Democrats who have had the best run of it in 2006 are unquestionably Feingold and Warner, representing the purist and pragmatic wings of the party," writes Shapiro.

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