The Note: Getting the Worm

With an expected 17th consecutive federal interest rate hike on the horizon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke searches for ways to convince investors that he can control inflation. Bloomberg News takes a look at his messaging two-step. LINK

2006: Senate:

Citing his labor record, the Hartford Courant has Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) telling the AFL-CIO that Lamont's charge that he is a "lap dog" for the Bush Administration is "BS." LINK

Roll Call's Nicole Duran reports that Lamont has launched a new 30-second spot, entitled "Speaking for Bush," which syncs Sen. Lieberman's words with images of President Bush.

"'If it talks like George W. Bush and acts like George W. Bush, it certainly is not a Connecticut Democrat,' the narrator intones."

Duran also Notes that MoveOn recently decided to back Lamont and is now soliciting donations for him.

In an effort to move from the personal to the political, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) mentioned President Bush's name roughly 20 times in last night's debate against Tom Kean, Jr., who he attempted to portray as a Bush Republican. For his part, Kean hammered home his reformer message. The New York Times' Chen has more. LINK

Cynthia Burton of the Philadelphia Inquirer on the debate. LINK

The Hill's Aaron Blake writes that the recent New Jersey and Montana debates got "down and dirty quickly." LINK

The Republican Main Street Partnership PAC issued a press release this morning urging former Cranston, RI Mayor Steve Laffey to drop his Republican primary campaign against Sen. Chafee (R-RI) and blasting the Club for Growth for supporting Laffey's bid and working to make certain "Harry Reid ends up as Majority Leader."

The Chafee campaign launched a new ad yesterday featuring an endorsement from Sen. McCain. Bill Clinton was in Rhode Island last night for a Whitehouse fundraiser and delivered a "tough partisan speech," reports the Providence Journal. LINK

A day after receiving a thrashing in the press over campaign contributions from controversial sources, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele -- the Republican candidate for an open Senate seat in Maryland -- receives more favorable treatment from USA Today's Jill Lawrence. In the Politics cover story, Lawrence reports that Steele and two other prominent, African-American Republican contenders -- Lynn Swann for governor in Pennsylvania and Kenneth Blackwell for governor in Ohio -- are shifting the paradigm of black voting and "making Democrats edgy this year." LINK

We're guessing the DeWine campaign will make sure to share (with potential contributors and the Ohio press) this front page New York Times story on the difficulty some Iraq war widows experience in receiving benefits. LINK

"'Why do we want to draw arbitrary and capricious lines that exclude widows?' asked Senator Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, who has sponsored legislation to close some of the legal loopholes that penalize widows. 'It seems to me we ought to err on the side of compassion for families.'"

2006: Governor:

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the issue of voting rights moved to the forefront yesterday and sparked a heated argument between gubernatorial candidates -- Republican Sec. of State Kenneth J. Blackwell and Democrat Ted Strickland -- after the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review voted to approve updated voter registration rules written by Blackwell. LINK

2006: House:

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