The Note: Strategy Of Necessity

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Gov. Mark Warner, Gov. Tom Vilsack, and Sen. Joe Biden are the four potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidates scheduled to address NDN, a progressive-to-centrist Democratic group with a focus on growing the Hispanic vote for Democrats, at their annual meeting in Washington, DC which gets underway today. The title of this years conference is "What Comes Next: A New Politics For America," and is focused on 21st century politicking. LINK

First up from the '08ers is Gov. Mark Warner at noon ET and then Sen. Joe Biden at 1:45 pm ET. Sen. Clinton and Gov. Vilsack are scheduled to address the gathering tomorrow.

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) plans to call for the elimination of poverty over the course of the next 30 years in what his aides are billing as a "major policy address" at the National Press Club in Washington, DC at 1:00 pm ET.

An Edwards aide tells The Note that the North Carolinian plans to "lay out a comprehensive agenda to achieve this goal, including: radically overhauling HUD, creating 1 million stepping stone jobs in the next five years, raising the minimum wage, strengthening our educational system, calling for 'second-chance schools' focused on helping dropouts, helping Americans save for the future, and cutting taxes for low-income workers and families."

The former Senator is expected to discuss how he thinks the Democratic Party should address some of the major issues of the day. Edwards plans to do the usual press club Q&A thing before heading off to Pittsburgh, PA to do some fundraising for Bob Casey, Jr.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) testifies about his plan to reduce American dependence on foreign oil before the Senate Energy Committee at 10:00 am ET.

At 1:00 pm ET, the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee continues its (telephonic) discussion about the 2008 nomination calendar with an emphasis on the number of states to be added to the pre-window period.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) addresses the South Carolina upstate Republican run-off rally in Spartanburg, SC at 5:30 pm ET.

Govs. Granholm (D-MI) and Kulongoski (D-OR) plan to hold a DGA-sponsored nationwide conference call with online activists and the media to discuss America's energy future at 1:45 pm ET.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Gen. Casey (who is in town to brief the SECDEF on troop levels) hold a press briefing at 3:30 pm ET. The Wall Street Journal reports that Gen. Casey in a recent interview said the US and new Iraqi government have made contact with elements of the Sunni insurgency that has previously been unwilling to talk-- as many as "seven different strands of political folks with ties to various groups," compared to two or three groups early last year.

A global must read:

Peggy Noonan breaks the code on how the parties feel about their bases, as viewed from the Upper East Side. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

General Rove's troops went head-to-head with their Democratic counterparts for more than 8 hours on the Senate floor to talk about the war yesterday. LINK

The lede says it all: "Republicans, defending an unpopular war in Iraq, will use two Senate votes today to exploit Democrats' divisions on the conflict in an effort to cast them as weak on terrorism and national security." Bloomberg's William Roberts and Laura Litvan report. &LINK

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