WASHINGTON, June 12
President Bush departed the White House for Camp David at 8:15 am ET. At 9:30 am and again at 2:00 pm ET, he meets with top military and civilian advisers to discuss military strategy in Iraq. On Tuesday, the sessions conclude with a joint meeting via videoconference with Bush's Cabinet and top ministers in al-Maliki's new government.
"By helping them succeed, we succeed, we get out," is how one senior Bush Administration official described the importance of this week's Camp David meetings, reports ABC News' Geoff Morrell. This carnival of substance will dominate cable and broadcast life today.
While we wait for the white tufts of smoke, please join us in mastering the following great works of American political journalism:
1. In a Sunday must-read, the Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein wrote that this year's low turnout, the results in CA-50, and a recent Stan Greenberg poll which warned that Democrats are at risk of underperforming in November if the party does not provide a more compelling alternative send a clear message: "Discontent with Republicans in Washington is widespread, but it isn't yet translating into consistent support for Democrats." LINK
2. In another Sunday must-read, the Washington Post's David Broder had Bernadete Budee, the "longtime political brains" of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, saying, independents and ticket-splitters will be "the key" in November and that the things that have "complicated" the President's agenda --Iraq, Katrina -- will "inevitably" be an issue for Republicans in the midterms. LINK
3. Twenty years after Democrats convened at West Virginia's posh Greenbrier Resort to recuperate after Regan's landslide reelection, Dan Balz of the Washington Post reports that the party is in the same position today: still looking for a "unified product," a "frame," a "brand." LINK
4. In the first poll of consequence, the Des Moines Register has former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) with 30 percent support among likely Iowa caucus participants, Sen. Clinton with 26 percent, Sen. Kerry with 12 percent, Gov. Vilsack with 10 percent, former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) with 3 percent, Sen. Feingold with 3 percent, former Gov. Warner with 3 percent, Sen. Bayh with 2 percent, and Gen. Clark with 2 percent. LINK
(See below for much more)
Elsewhere in these United States, Karl Rove raises money for the New Hampshire GOP dinner at 6:00 pm ET in Manchester, NH. C-SPAN 2 will carry his speech live.
Rove's trip to the Granite State comes at a time when New Hampshire Democrats are seeking to depose national Republican figures in charge of party operations in 2002 when a phone jamming scheme was employed by the New Hampshire Republican Party in an alleged attempt to disrupt Democratic turnout efforts during the very closely contested Senate race that year. Protesters are expected outside the Rove event.
Back in Washington, DC, there will be a status conference on the Scooter Libby case in Judge Walton's courtroom.
The "Take Back America" conference gets started today with a little "Straight Talk" progressive style. Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg joins Campaign for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage at a 10:00 am ET press conference to release "Straight Talk," a manual for candidates and activists that outlines how best to argue the progressive case on the economy, security, energy, health care, and other issues.
Taking a page from the American Prospect's Michael Tomasky, the theme of the conference is the need to develop policies for the "common good."
Monday's keynote event is a 12:45 pm ET luncheon address with Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and actor Robert Redford on the need for energy independence.
No fewer than four potential Democratic presidential hopefuls including Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), and Sen. Russ Feingold plan to address the conference.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) addresses a meeting of The Economic Club of New York at 12:15 pm ET where he is expected to talk about the inextricable link between national security and economic security. According to an excerpt obtained by The Note, McCain is also expected to address entitlement spending.
"A tsunami of entitlement spending is threatening our economy, while providing no real security to retirees. We have made promises that we cannot keep. Under moderately optimistic scenarios Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will in the decades to come grow as large as the entire government is today. Someday the government will be forced to make drastic cuts in these programs, or crippling increases in taxes on workers -- or both. The longer we wait to make the hard choices necessary to repair these programs, the harder the problem becomes. My children and their children will not receive the benefits we will enjoy. That is an inescapable fact, and any politician who tells you otherwise, Democrat or Republican, is lying," McCain is expected to say according to prepared remarks.
Among those said to have had significant input into the remarks: former Texas Senator Phil Gramm and FOG and Golden Stater Gerald Parsky.
Later this evening, the Arizonan is expected to raise more than $1 million at a "Top of the Rock" fundraiser for his Straight Talk America PAC.
Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is in Utah for Commonwealth PAC fundraising.
Sen. Clinton attends the ribbon cutting ceremony and tours the new VH-71 presidential helicopter integration facility at Lockheed Martin systems integration in Owego, NY at 10:00 am ET. Meanwhile, her husband is in Orlando, FL to speak at a Florida Democratic Party reception in Orlando, FL. At 7:00 pm ET, he participates in the National Association of Broadcasters Service to America Gala at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC.
The Senate will reconvene at 2:00 pm ET for an hour of morning business. At 3:00 pm ET the chamber will begin consideration of the fiscal 2007 defense authorization bill (S 2766). No roll call votes are expected. ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports that Sen. Kerry might try to attach an amendment that would require US troops pull out of Iraq by the end of this year.
The House will reconvene at 2:00 pm ET to consider the conference report on the fiscal 2006 supplemental appropriations bill (HR 4939) as well as several measures under suspension of the rules. Votes will be at 6:30 pm ET.
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) embarks on a pre-primary fly-around with his wife and their four boys to push his message of "fiscal responsibility and the need for continuing to improve [South Carolina's] business climate."
Fed Chair Ben Bernanke delivers a speech on bank supervision at Georgetown University in Washington, DC at 7:30 pm ET.
First Lady Laura Bush delivers 10:35 am ET remarks at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 2006 Mission Confernece in Arlington, VA. Later in the day, she delivers remarks at the Senate spouses luncheon in the East Room.
Reuters reports that arguments on the NSA's domestic spying program are slated to start today at a US District Court in Detroit, where the ACLU will try to prove the wiretapping unconstitutional. LINK
And finally, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WVA) breaks former Sen. Strom Thurmond's (R-SC) record as the longest serving Senator in American history today. The West Virginia Democrat serves his 17,327th day in the United States Senate today. That's 47 years and 5.3 months.
Edwards response to his poll standing? "'It was a nice gift to see that we still had friends in Iowa.'" LINK
One Hillary Clinton supporter tells The Note this morning that, "Her fav/unfavs are strong, but she hasn't been there nearly as much recently as the other guys. If she runs, that will change."
The Vilsack camp's spin? "Advisers to Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said his fourth-place finish in the poll - behind Edwards, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and 2004 presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts - means his name merits mention among the party's serious contenders." LINK
And must-read Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen's response?
"...awful news for Gov. Tom Vilsack's presidential hopes... No politician who has finished fourth among the candidates in an Iowa caucus has ever gone on to win a nomination." LINK
On his always must-read Political Punch blog, ABC News' Jake Tapper writes, "there ain't no good way to spin Vilsack's results." LINK
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza also saw Vilsack as the "obvious loser." LINK
The New York Post's Earle describes the poll results as "a rare blow to Clinton's front-runner status for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination." LINK
Politics of Iraq:
While appearing on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) reiterated his call for troop withdrawl from Iraq, even with the recent military success of American troops. Of President Bush's two-day Camp David summit with American and Iraqi leaders, Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) said, "I hope the Iraqis ask them to leave."
Roll Call's Ben Pershing writes, "The House will gear up this week for what could be one of its most significant debates in several years, as the chamber spends much of Thursday considering a Republican-crafted resolution on Iraq." The resolution, which is written in GOP language, is "likely to inspire controversy" as did a similar debate from last November.
The Los Angeles Times places its Casey coverage under a headline that reads, "Commander Says US Likely to Shrink its Numbers in Iraq" LINK
In the blurb section of Sunday's Washington Post Opinion section, Robert Shrum -- advisor to former VPOTUS Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) during their presidential campaigns -- says, "The war in Iraq is over except for the dying. Campaign for a date to bring our forces home. Speak for Americans on big issues like gas prices, heatlh care, the environment and alternative energy. Don't be afraid to say we're for the people, not the powerful. Be Democrats -- for a change."
Pretty powerful for a guy out of politics.
Rove goes to New Hampshire:
In the AP's curtain raiser on Rove's New Hampshire trip, Norma Love has New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Wayne Semprini saying: "There's absolutely no connection between his being here and phone jamming. Period. This is our annual dinner." LINK
The conservative group Victory NH is promoting an exclusive interview with Karl Rove to be emailed to supporters later today. The tease quote from the interview in the group's sneak preview has Rove praising the New Hampshire presidential primary, 'natch.
ROVE: "For over 50 years, New Hampshire and its First in the Nation Primary have played a pivotal role in America's Presidential politics. While the winner of each party primary in the Live Free or Die State has not won the nomination each time, the primary has always been the center of attention and put New Hampshire at center stage."
Murtha: Pelosi vs. Hoyer:
The "get out of Iraq" caucus was emboldened over the weekend by Rep. Jack Murtha's (D-PA) decision to challenge Rep. Steny Hoyer for the Majority Leader job if Democrats take back the House in November.
Per a Saturday story by the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray, "several senior Democratic aides, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Pelosi was aware of Murtha's decision, and while she did not encourage him, she did not request that he stop, either." LINK
Note readers will surely remember that when Leader Pelosi endorsed Rep. Murtha's call for a swift redeployment of US forces from Iraq over a period of six months, Whip Hoyer publicly opposed her.
Roll Call's Steve Kornacki reports that Rep. Murtha and Whip Hoyer are "said to have a frigid relationship owing to personality conflicts."
More on Murtha's move from ABC's plugged-in Gigi Stone: LINK
On Saturday, the New York Times' Nagourney reported that the man of the weekend, Markos Moulitsas (a/k/a Kos), had this to say when asked if Sen. Clinton was popular among the blogger convention attendees: "Oh my God, no way!" LINK
To the delight of Scott Lindsay, Ron Brownstein writes that of the four '08ers who attended the Kos convention, "Warner was by far the most visible." LINK
Roger Simon of Bloomberg Notes that Warner's blogger-wooing didn't come cheap: his party in cost roughly $50,000. LINK
The Virginian also made time to drop by the "Draft Mark Warner 2008" booth to express his appreciation, reports Simon.
The Washington Times' Charles Hurt writes that Sen. Reid is winning bloggers' acclaim while writing that according to a poll conducted last month for the Reno Gazette Journal, "just 48 percent of Nevadans" approve of the job he's doing, compared with 41 percent who disapprove. LINK
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reports that a "somewhat obligatory standing ovation" followed former Gov. Mark Warner's (D-VA) speech to the Yearlyl Kos convention, indicating that though the progressive blogospher is interested in Warner, "a political marriage is still a ways off."
Per the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, DNC Chairman Howard Dean was "greeted as a conquering hero" when he spoke to the Yearly Kos convention despite the early (8:00 am PT) hour of his speech. LINK
Although the Des Moines Register reports that Sen. Feingold has only single-digit support in a recent poll of presidential candidates in Iowa, Michael Scherer of Salon.com reports that Feingold leads all Democrats with 44% support in a DailyKos poll. LINK
Scherer also analyzes the pros and cons of Gov. Warner's admittedly "over the top" party at a roof top bar in Vegas during the YearlyKos convention.
Sen. Arlen Specter braces himself for a fight over the Bush Administration's eavesdropping, the AP reports. LINK
The Los Angeles Times previews the first "major court test today" for President Bush's warrantless domestic wiretapping program. LINK
The Roanoke Times explores the different paths taken by Harris Miller and Jim Webb in their efforts to win the Democratic nomination in the Virginia Senate race tomorrow. LINK
Jake Tapper's Political Punch blog has more on that flyer controversy in Virginia. LINK
Tomorrow, Maine's "sleepy" primary season comes to a close with only one contested vote: the GOP primary for governor, which according to Paul Carrier of the Portland Press Herald, is "too close to call." LINK
Bush Administration agenda and personality:
Meet Meghan O'Sullivan, the Bush Administration's top Iraq policy expert, courtesy of the New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller. LINK
Time's Mike Allen introduces to the world Blake Gottesman, a 26-year-old college dropout who's become one of the president's most trusted aids. Gottesman met the president while dating his daughter Jenna years back and began working on his campaign at 19; he's since "blossomed into a systems analyst, gatekeeper and diplomat who serves as the membrane between the President and the rest of the staff." LINK
If you missed Sheryl Gay Stolberg's Sunday New York Times look at President Bush's more personal approach (Truman Balcony tours, White House residence gatherings, and intimate Oval Office impromptu meetings included) to congressional relations, make sure you take some time to read it today. LINK
And don't miss the kicker from Senator Sununu, in which he tries to accurately quote himself.
Paul Krugman's New York Times op-ed column attempts to debunk the straw men, known as "Some," propped up by President Bush and others in their political rhetoric. LINK
Note to Krugman: where are the bloggers in your piece??
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA):
"A top aide to House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) received almost $2 million last year in a buyout package from his old lobbying firm, which specializes in placing earmakrs in annual spending bills and is now under federal investigation," report Roll Call's Kane and Bresnahan.
The duo report that attorneys for Jeff Shockey, the deputy staff director of the committee said his buyout from the firm "met all ethical and legal guidelines applicable to House staffers." Shockey was paid $3.4 million in an 18-month period in 2004-2005, including a buyout from the lobbying firm, and in 2005 was paid over $140,000 by the Appropriations Committee.
Politics of immigration:
Fighting against the tide of anti-immigration sentiment, the Texas Democratic Party unveiled a risky proposal over the weekend to take the polls this election year: an anti-wall, pro-assimilation immigration platform. The Houston Chronicle's Clay Robison and Kristen Mack report. LINK
If you love the theater of American politics, The Note pities you if you missed the recent two-act play involving the Senate campaign of K.T. McFarland, the self-styled Reagan Republican facing off against former Yonkers mayor John Spencer for the right to run against Hillary Clinton in the fall. First, last week, McFarland's bad copping consultant Ed Rollins made a repeat appearance on New York 1's "Inside City Hall," to tell Dominic Carter about Spencer's alleged bigamist, nepotinistic past. This weekend, on WCBS's "Kirtzman and Kramer," McFarland herself appeared and was asked by her count nine times by Carter's "good friend" Andrew Kirtzman if she did or did not support/endorse Rollins' charges. The Note cannot do justice in print to these two tangos. They should be posted back to back on some enterprising website. Someone please do that, and send us the link.
In an election season that many Democrats think will wash many a Red section Blue, Maryland Democrats fear a reprisal in the form of Kweisi Mfume, the former NAACP president running in the Senate Democratic primary. The Post's Lee Hockstader has the story. LINK
In one of the day's must-reads, USA Today sees Democrats slipping in gubernatorial races across the country, taking particular Note of Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) and Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI). LINK
Ninety days before the GOP primary election, Attorney General Charlie "Chain-Gang" Crist -- and gubernatorial candidate -- "sashayed and danced" at a Youth Center salsa night during a three-day campaign blitz across the state. Gary Fineout of the Miami Herald reports that Crist leads opponent Tom Gallagher in nearly every poll. LINK
The Philadelphia Inquirer Notes that Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann has tapped two new advisors to help him with policy and outreach in his contest against incumbent governor Ed Rendell. LINK
The Schwarzenegger Era:
Newsweek's Karen Breslau writes up Gov. Schwarzenegger's environmental record and proposed policies as a moderating force for the Republican seeking reelection in environmentally friendly California. LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Cooper has Duf Sundheim, the chairman of the California Republican Party, hoping that Gov. Schwarzenegger can "win support from moderates and the expanding Latino electorate" without offending his deeply conservative base, by coupling a "mix of personal anecdotes with a moderate policy stance."
The Washington Post's Peter Slevin frames the House race in AZ-05 between Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) and Democrat Harry Mitchell as a test of the GOP's hard line on immigration. LINK
The campaign to succeed Major Owens in New York's majority African American 11th congressional district appears to be largely about race. The New York Times' Jonathan Hicks takes a closer look. LINK
The Arizona Capitol Times on their busy-body Senator. "In the course of Arizona Sen. John McCain's all-but-announced campaign for the presidency, the presumed front-runner for the Republican nomination has been busily building an organization and doling out favors, all in the hopes that they will be returned when he launches his White House bid." LINK
In a must-read, Deborah Solomon looked at Gov. Romney's Mormon faith for the front-page feature on the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal. She Noted that Gov. Romney seemed to put Bobby Kaufman, a 21-year old student who heads the state's Federation of College Republicans, at ease by saying that he believes Jesus Christ is his savior, she Notes that Gov. Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, had five wives in the late 1800s, she has GOP strategist Scott Reed talking about the challenges posed by HBO's "Big Love," and she ends with Gov. Romney saying that what's really important is to nominate someone who "we are convinced will beat Hillary Clinton."
National Journal's Marilyn Werber Serfani analyzes Gov. Romney's unusually bipartisan implementation of universal healthcare in this week's cover story. She prognosticates, "How well the Massachusetts plan ultimately works not only has lasting implications for national health care policy. It could also make or break the political aspirations of Romney, who is widely expected to run for president in 2008."
The Boston Globe's Scott Helman and Chase Davis provided a Sunday look at the Romney team's leadership PAC strategy with several state affiliates allowing for donors to contribute in multiple locations -- something not afforded to his potential opponents in federal office such as McCain and Allen. LINK
The AP reports that Utahns have contributed nearly 45% of Gov. Romney's $1.6 million campaign coffer. LINK
Under a "Say It Ain't So" headline, Sunday's New York Post's wood was all about a report that Rudy Giuliani may be thinking the unthinkable - buying a baseball team that isn't his beloved Yankees. LINK
Today, the New York Post has that sunny Giuliani spokesgal debunking the report saying, "It ain't so." LINK
In Saturday's Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin had former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) telling a luncheon group at Brookings that he expects to run for president "if the contest for the Republican nomination still seems wide open late next year. LINK
Gingrich also took a party shot at ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and said he would put "even money" on the Democrats taking back the House this fall.
"'The Gingrich model of an idea-led, contentious majority . . . is a lot better than a model of 'The Hammer.' A hammer is a relatively dumb symbol,' he said, adding that now that DeLay is gone, 'the House will become healthier with every passing week. You'll see an emergence of an idea-led Republican majority. The question is whether they'll do it fast enough to save the majority.'"
The Washington Times picks up on Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report's reporting that Huckabee will make this decision about running after he leaves office in January. LINK
Ed Fallon tells the Quad-City Times that Sen. Clinton phoned him after his better than expected third-place showing in the Iowa Democratic primary for governor last week. LINK
"Clinton 'congratulated me on running a fine race and let me know that I can call her if I ever need anything,' Fallon said."
In Saturday's New York Times, Robin Toner and Anne Kornblut Noted Sen. Clinton's evolved approach to her (arguably) most identifiable issue. LINK
"Mrs. Clinton's approach to health care is strikingly different this time around, a measure of her evolution from an impatient agent of change to a cautious senator -- and potential presidential contender -- keenly attuned to the political center."
The New York Post's Ian Bishop looks at Sen. Clinton's ability to draw contributions from Red state donors as potential proof that she may have some potential general election appeal in those places. LINK
Never doubt the power of marching in a parade next to Sen. Clinton. We wonder if her decision to march with Andrew Cuomo amounts to an unofficial endorsement of his candidacy for New York State Attorney General or just a bit of making up from 2002. LINK
AP's Mary Claire Jalonick reports that former Sen. Tom Daschle has "no regrets about his tenure in the Senate," except that he did not run for President in 2004. "Now," she writes, "he may be going for it." LINK
George Will writes in a near-must-read column that Al Gore's fervor for the global warming issue and his insistence that he won't run for president just don't add up. Given Gore's knowledge on the matter and the urgent attention he says it requires, Will asks why the former Vice President isn't more forceful in pushing the issue to a national electoral platform. LINK
Instructing his troops to "arm yourselves with knowledge," former Vice President-cum-environmentalist Al Gore spoke with MoveOn.com members via conference call on Sunday night. Gore, who seemed befuddled by POTUS' recent rejection of his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," pleaded with MoveOn members to round up political will -- a rare "renewable resource" -- and change the environment surrounding the global warming debate. Gore predicted that there was a "50-50 chance" that the Bush-Cheney camp would alter its environmental impotence by 2008; whether that change arises from a newly elected Democratic Congress in 2006 or an environmental disaster, Gore left unclear.
Politics of Iran:
". . . the Bush administration's Iran move has compounded many conservatives' concerns about the direction of U.S. foreign policy under the leadership of Rice's State Department," writes the Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter. LINK
Note Marshall Wittmann's prediction that conservative lawmakers will soon follow the punditry in its criticism.
US News' Dan Gilgoff on the microcosm that is Ohio and the different tune its politicians are singing about President Bush this year than they were in 2004. LINK
The Abramoff affair:
The AP takes a look back at the Safavian trial that was, as the first Abramoff-related trial draws to a close. LINK
House of Labor:
The New York Times previews Gettelfinger's speech today (and accompanying report) and finds a union president prepared to explain the reality of the auto-industry crisis and the expected hard times ahead for his members. LINK
"Endorsements from execs usually don't give labor leaders much cred on the shop floor. But [UAW President Ron] Gettelfinger. . . has won over the troops with a mix of piety and pragmatism," writes Newsweek's Naughton in his curtain-raiser of the UAW convention getting underway in Las Vegas, NV today. LINK
The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein writes that the "emerging shape of Medicaid represents a victory for governors of both political parties and for fiscal conservatives" while some patient advocates warn that Medicaid's vulnerable patients will be "less certain to get the health care they need." LINK
US News' Gilgoff on how some Christian conservatives are less than satisfied with Bush's performance last week on the amendment to ban same-sex marriage. LINK
The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus writes her in column, "I hadn't planned to write about DeLay's departure…But his speech cries out for, if nothing else, a review of the ethical and political wreckage left behind." LINK
Voting Rights Act:
The Wall Street Journal's ed board Notes that legislation to renew Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee last month, has been "transformed into a tool for creating safe Congressional seats."
Politics of the Internet:
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Steve Forbes writes that if you scratch the surface3 of what the Net Neutrality crowd is really asking for, it shifts from "benign to ominous."
The AP reported Saturday that many deep-pocketed Democratic donors are unsatisfied with DNC Chair Howard Dean's outreach efforts, and are are offering up to $3 million in grants to organizations trying to persuade young voters. LINK
Sen. Robert C. Byrd:
Roll Call's Lauren Whittington reports that Sen. Byrd, who is expected to be re-elected in the fall, is facing one of the toughest re-election campaigns of his long career. LINK
Brian Faler of Bloomberg Notes Sen. Byrd's professional beginnings as a butcher in his look at the longest-serving Senator's big day. LINK
The Washington Times has a Q & A with Sen. Byrd. LINK
Politics of global warming:
The Western Governors Association unanimously passed a resolution to reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, but did not specify what steps need to be taken. And Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) used the opportunity to show his environmentally-friendly side. The Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK
The Washington Times on DeLays' next literal move, " He said some have already offered him office space up on Capitol Hill." LINK
Robert Novak writes that the Republican Party may not have found themselves in "more embarrassment" if they had agreed to the Congressional office searches last month, and as a result, the claims that Rep. Hastert was under investigation for corruption charges may have been leaked out in retaliation to his opposition of those searches. LINK
Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning news reports that the San Antonio convention found an unusual amount of Democrats "wearing religion on their sleeves." LINK
The Washington Post's Al Kamen reports that the doors may be closing shortly on the nine-year-old Project for a New American Century. LINK
The weekend political schedule:
On Tuesday, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia hold primary elections; Brian Bilbray gets sworn into office by Speaker Hastert; former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) delivers a policy speech on energy at a Manhattan Institute luncheon in New York City; Chairman Dean attends a grassroots fundraiser at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC; Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) delivers "Foreign Policy: A Governor's Perspective" at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC; and former Vice President Gore keynotes the AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, MD.
On Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats hold a "town meeting" on domestic priorities at a Washington, DC community center on Wednesday. President Uribe of Colombia visits President Bush at the White House; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks with Southern Baptist Convention messengers in Greensboro, NC; former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell lead the Initiative for Global Development's National Summit in Washington, DC; former Sen. Edwards rallies for hotel workers in Honolulu, HI; director Spike Lee and World Trade Center architect Michael Arad lead the annual community arts forum of Generation Engage, a program that aims to incorporate youth in political debate, in New York City; Gov. Vilsack tours Stonyfield Farm in New Hampshire with Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) before dining with the Manchester City Democrats at its annual Flag Day Dinner in Manchester, NH.
On Thursday, the House will debate a resolution on Iraq on Thursday. House Republicans have crafted a resolution describing Iraq as the central front on the war on terror. House Democrats are likely to use their time in the debate to highlight what they see as the Republican Congress' lack of oversight and accountability over the past three years. The House Democratic Caucus meets to consider the Steering Committee's recommendation that Rep. Jefferson (D-LA) be temporarily removed from the Ways and Means Committee. The Congressional Black Caucus is likely to continue to weigh-in on this as well. Gov. Vilsack eats breakfast with the Hampton Democratic Committee in Hampton, NH; the Supreme Court holds a memorial for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Washington, DC; Gov. Huckabee addresses the 72nd Annual Arkansas Municipal League Convention at the Hot Springs Convention Center in Hot Springs, AR.
On Friday, President Bush campaigns for congressional nominee Dave Reichert in Seattle, WA before traveling to Albuquerque, NM to campaign for Heather Wilson at the Hyatt Regency; the Iowa Democratic Party holds its annual Hall of Fame dinner in Des Moines, IA; former President Clinton fundraises for the Colorado Democratic Party in Denver, CO; Sen. McCain attends a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R-MD) in Baltimore, MD; Gov. Pataki attends the annual GOParty Picnic in Des Moines, IA.