The Note: The First Woman Speaker

But you do have to watch your back with the Congressional Black Caucus. Some of them may not have been too wild about your clever pronouncement that ranking members would not automatically become committee chairs in the majority. We applauded your effort to defuse Republicans' plans to use ads and press hits to try to scare people about our chairs. It really offended us that some of those to be featured were African Americans, although the GOPpers have been very conscious of that issue and do not plan to feature more than one African American in any given ad or news release.

But not everyone in the CBC is looking at the big picture, and there could be trouble if they were up for grabs and joined forces with the Steny bloc. Remember: you might never have been Leader if it weren't for the California delegation. So we have to watch your back the way Senator Lieberman watches his around Senator Clinton. We're a little worried about someone like Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala./Rahm) -- moderate, well-liked by colleagues, Harvard magna cum laude and Harvard Law cum laude -- stepping out there and forming some coalition.

We're not too worried about it. You'll be hard to knock off if we pick up a few seats or get the majority. And if we lose a few, it'll probably be in moderate seats like that of Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa). So we'll probably still have most of our liberals, er, progressives, around.

So we're in don't-blow-it mode. THANK YOU for listening to these thoughts -- they're just aimed at making a strong leader stronger. We love you as Leader. We want to make sure all of America loves you as Speaker.

Remember: the Lioness does not get to sleep at night -- or during the day -- until November 8th!!!! We've got work to do.

Happy recess.

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No one can know yet how yesterday's death tax/minimum wage vote, yesterday's Iraq hearing, and today's (weakish) job numbers are going to play in the midterms, but we'll figure it all out over the weekend and let you know on Monday.

In the meantime, at the RNC's summer meeting in Minneapolis, MN, today the key open press events are an 11:30 am ET speech by RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman followed by a media availability at around 12:00 pm ET. Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN), the Republican Senate candidate who is airing an ad in Minnesota that describes him as "not much of a party guy," is the featured speaker at the RNC's member's luncheon at 2:12 pm ET.

Ryan Lizza of the New Republic explains why Kennedy is such an interesting speaker choice in his piece on how many GOP candidates are distancing themselves from the same POTUS they once hugged. LINK

When Mehlman speaks today, the RNC chair is expected to define the struggle against "radical Islam" thusly: "As we take on this new struggle, America faces a critical question: will we elect leaders who recognize we're at war and want to use every tool to win it, or politicians who would surrender important tools we need to win."

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