In a must-read, the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray has DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) wading into extremely controversial Democratic territory by questioning whether "strict adherence to a 40-year-old model of minority-dominated districts could be hurting the party in the long term." LINK
"Looking at the map of congressional districts today, Emanuel asked: 'Are we at the point in the political process where you don't need a 70 percent district, but a 50 to 45 district, with the political capacity to be more competitive in surrounding areas, so that more Democrats can win?'"
Bush's big boomer birthday:
"He's real excited about turning 60. He's like a kid," said Mark McKinnon in Norah O'Donnell's "Today" show birthday package. O'Donnell added that, "10 presidents in history turned 60 in office."
Quitting drinking at 40 years old and biking two hours a day can do wonders for your health at 60 years old, reports the New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg, doing her best Bumiller imitation. LINK
(McKinnon is clearly on birthday quote duty this week!)
USA Today: LINK
Ken Lay: 1942-2006:
In its front page treatment of Lay's death, the Wall Street Journal writes that there was speculation after 2000 that Lay could be named to a Bush cabinet post or ambassadorship. The newspaper also Notes that he was "deeply involved in Vice President Dick Cheney's effort in 2001 to develop an energy plan."
The Washington Post: LINK
For the Washington Post's Style section, Henry Allen reports that "too some," Lay is "cheating them one more time." LINK
Bush Administration agenda:
The Washington Post's Kremlinologist Peter Baker has officials and analysts saying that by "showcasing his meeting" with Georgia's president, President Bush "signaled he is concerned about Kremlin treatment of former satellites as he prepares to head to St. Petersburg for the first Group of Eight summit hosted by Russia." LINK
The Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont marks the arrival in Iowa of many Democrats seeking the 2008 presidential nomination (Bayh, Edwards, Warner, and Kerry) in the coming days. But it is Beaumont's Noting Gov. Vilsack's need to do some Iowa campaigning that is most intriguing. LINK
"Bayh and Vilsack will compete for the notice of influential Iowa Democrats today, with Bayh hosting political events in the Des Moines area and Vilsack, in eastern Iowa, touting his administration's economic development accomplishments," writes Beaumont.
Following the Hotline's On Call scoop from a couple of weeks ago, the Des Moines Register reports on the Iowa Democratic Party's discounted and updated voter database. Potential '08ers Bayh, Vilsack, and Warner have all expressed interest in buying access to the database before the offer expires on July 15. LINK
The New Hampshire Union Leader's John DiStaso reports that after the DCCC poured more money into the campaign for Democratic candidate for the House, Jim Craig, Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) and his supporters appear even more emboldened to raise money and defeat the challenger. DiStaso, of course, also has some must-read nuggets on Democratic '08ers pouring money into John Lynch's campaign coffers despite his lacking a competitive race and Mitt Romney's attendance at a July 4 parade as a waving observer instead of a marching participant. It's Thursday, so Granite Status is your one-stop shopping for the day. LINK
New Hampshire vs. Mitt Romney: