The Note: The First Woman Speaker


Ah, the perils of the sloppy use of the Outlook address book.

For reasons we cannot explain without getting our source in trouble, The Note was inadvertently sent this hot-off-the-presses memo from Democratic Congressman George Miller of California at the same time he e-mailed it to his friend (and his party's House Leader) Nancy Pelosi, also of the Golden State.

Miller is one of Pelosi's top political advisers, and a cagey veteran of the Capitol Hill wars. For those of you who don't know him, think one part Barney Frank, one part Steve Elmendorf, and one part CAA agent.

At a time when the big political question of 2006 is whether the Democrats will take back the House, Miller seems to be stepping forward to give his friend some advice about how she can further her goal of winning back the majority and becoming Speaker.

Reaction from Pelosi's office and Miller to this fake memo was not available by press time.

Here it is in its entirety:


To: The Leader

From: George Miller

Re: Making you Speaker

Date: August 4, 2006

We are right on schedule. Coming out for ethics reform and bipartisanship, and against pork barrel spending and guaranteed chairmanships for Rangel, Waxman, and Conyers were really smart moves to clear away some doubts. But there is more to do.

First of all, the Republicans have the same polling we do: you are surprisingly well known in the districts that will decide if we will take control -- and seen as liberal by a surprisingly large percentage of the people in these same places.

Clearly you see our dilemma. Your political leadership and acumen are invaluable to the party (with some going so far as to say that they are without value altogether; but ignore them).

But while vision and strategery are welcomed by the party, you, yourself, unfortunately are a potential political liability.

So the question then becomes, how do we solve a problem like Pelosi? It's a tough question. You might as well ask: How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? But I digress.

We know Republicans can't wait to unloose their San Francisco Chronicle canon, starting with this quote from you in a profile published June 9, 1996: "I pride myself in being called a 'liberal,' so I'm not dodging that word." Ouch. Works for Peter Beinart. For a leader of a party trying to capture Purple districts, maybe not so much.

You were beginning to get the idea on "Meet" on Nov. 17, 2002, when you tried to avoid taking the bait from Brother Russert and demurred from his proposed construction that you are as liberal as Tom DeLay is conservative. Good work, but you said, "No. I believe that I may be more progressive than some of my colleagues, and be to the left of center." And let's just say the "No" isn't the part the Republicans are salivating over.

Later today, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman will give a tough speech to his party's national meeting in Minneapolis, where you were yesterday, and he is expected to say this about you:

"Who will be the next Speaker of the House, number three in the line of succession to the President? Will it be Denny Hastert, whose leadership is helping us take on the enemy, or Nancy Pelosi, who said less than a year after 9/11 'I don't really consider ourselves at war.' . . . As foreign jihadists call into the United States, do we do use NSA technology to stop sleeper cells before they hit us… or do we surrender the use of this technology, as Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean would have us do? . . . Picture Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who called the President 'an incompetent leader' and 'irresponsible.'"

We want to assure you we don't stand with those in our caucus who are privately proposing a "duck and cover" or "submersion" strategy, which basically calls for you to be invisible. This camp is too swayed by our own polling showing you are not an effective messenger, but they're in such a swivet about it that they might as well be followers of the Republican consultants who contend that your photo has Newt-like effects on small children.

No, Brendan and Jen didn't for nothing spend all these years massaging your image behind the scenes and prepping you for those Speaker-dry-run news conferences in your office so majestic it could almost belong to the majority. Except, of course, for all the huge White House-style bowls of roses.

It's too late for you to adopt the Harry Reid "vanilla" model. But we do think you can show yourself to be the asset that you truly are by doing something bold on substance and on style. You are indeed a lioness, and from that flows all.

On substance, we need to quickly find the opportunity for your Sister Souljah moment BUT it can't look staged or concocted, a contradiction in terms that even one of your favorite reporters, Patrick O'Connor of The Hill, might struggle to reconcile. And it needs to be big. So we're thinking you might support a trade bill on the grounds that it's good for national security and America's role in the world, as opposed to kowtowing to unions or some other Democratic interest groups.

It just can't be too clumsy. For instance, some members of our caucus aren't so wild about standing up for those prayers or moments of silence that Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has been instituting at the beginning of caucus meetings. It bugs our members that Republicans wear their faith on their sleeves, and we don't need to be doing the same thing.

On the style side, we're thinking you might want to consider dressing down a bit -- almost casual Friday wear -- for some of your appearances. People always see you dressed to the nines, coiffed, made up in a parlor-like, high-ceilinged setting. It gives them the wrong idea about this grandmother, as Brendan and Jen have taken to styling you. Maybe one of our targets should be to get you into a Target. Soften you up, so voters can see the real you.

Finally, we have to address the unpleasant issue of whether there will be competition for Speaker if (strike that -- WHEN) we RECLAIM our majority. There could be a fight. The press doesn't get it, but Rahm is so cautious and smart that he's not going to challenge you unless he knows he'll win, and that's not clear from the head-counting we've done.

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.


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."

Today marks day two of President Bush's shortest summer vacation yet - he visits his ranch in Crawford, TX for the next nine days with plans to return to Washington, DC next Saturday, August 12, to tend to domestic and international affairs. After yesterday's stop in Mission, TX for a tour and speech on immigration, the POTUS plans to spend the coming week at the ranch with a quick trip to Wisconsin on Thursday, August 10 to stump for congressional candidate John Gard before returning to Crawford for an RNC fundraiser's barbecue on August 11. LINK

First Lady Laura Bush is scheduled to deliver remarks at a Rep. Steve Chabot for Congress fundraising breakfast in Cincinnati, OH at 10:00 am ET. She then travels to Denver, CO to deliver the keynote address at The Helping America's Youth Second Regional Conference at 2:00 pm ET before departing to join President Bush at the ranch.

At 10:00 am ET, former Bush aide Claude Allen is expected to plead guilty to misdemeanor theft charges at the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) holds a telephone conference call with reporters to discuss the Tennessee Senate race and the 2006 elections at 10:30 am ET. NRSC Chairman Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) holds a press conference to discuss the Tennessee Senate Race at 12:00 pm ET.

Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale are in Minnesota today, raising funds for Carter's son, Jack, who is running for the Senate in Nevada. A preview from the Washington Times: LINK

Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) hold a pen and pad briefing to discuss the "Do Nothing Republican Congress" and its failure to address challenges facing the American people while outlining the new direction offered by Democrats at the Capitol at 9:30 am ET.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) discuss "Can States Override the Stem-Cell Veto: Advancing Stem Cell Research in the Face of Federal Inaction" at the Center for American Progress at 10:00 am ET.

The National Governors Association hosts the first day of its Annual Meeting in Charleston, SC. Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) and former Gov. David Beasley (R-NC) host a cocktail reception for South Carolina's GOP to kick off the NGA weekend.

Although members of Congress are on recess until September 6, the House is scheduled to meet in a pro forma session at 4:00 pm ET. The Senate, in session for the last day prior to its August recess, meets to consider the "Elder Justice Act" at the President's Room in the Capitol at approximately 3:00 pm ET following the Senate's floor vote.

Politics of Iraq:

"Sen. Clinton says Rumsfeld should resign," Associated Press on a step that Sen. Clinton has long avoided taking. LINK

"I just don't understand why we can't get new leadership that would give us a fighting chance to turn the situation around before it's too late," the New York Democrat told the Associated Press. "I think the president should choose to accept Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation."

On "Today," Newsweek's Howard Fineman said Sen. Clinton's harsh words for Rumsfeld were "more important" than those of other Democrats because she "is the front runner in 2008" and "an indicator of where the party is heading." He said, "Where she wants to go is the Democratic nomination, and she's been calibrating all along. Hillary is talking to her husband minute-by-minute," who is traveling across the country to try to gauge the political winds.

Fineman also touched on the Lieberman-Lamont showdown, saying, "If [Lieberman] loses this primary to Ned Lamont, the anti-war candidate, that's going to be the strongest signal yet to Democrats where they are going to go politically -- where they need to go politically -- and that's flat-out opposition to war."

"It's the single most important thing in determining their strategy for the fall."

"Iraq at Risk of Civil War, Top Generals Tell Senators," the Washington Post. LINK

"The day's most riveting moment came when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) read a list of policy blunders she said had led to the current Iraq crisis, and she accused Rumsfeld of incompetence. 'Given your track record,' she asked, 'why should we believe your assurances now?'"

"After a long pause, Rumsfeld responded: 'My goodness.'"

"Rummyache," the New York Post on Sen. Clinton's call for Rumsfeld to resign. LINK

"Generals Give Grim Report on Iraqi Strife," the Los Angeles Times. LINK

"Generals warn of civil war in Iraq," Washington Times. LINK

In a quote that already has Jim Manley oohing and ahing, James Baker is quoted by Al Kamen as writing in his forthcoming memoir: "And after fighting successfully [against the State Department] to secure the lead role in winning the peace and reconstructing Iraq . . . the Defense Department made a number of costly mistakes, including disbanding the Iraqi army, outlawing the Baath Party, failing to secure weapons depots, and perhaps never committing enough troops to successfully pacify the country." LINK

"Top generals: Iraq nearing civil war, " the Chicago Tribune. LINK

Politics of the minimum wage and estate tax:

"Using aggressive tactics to keep his party in line and even appealing directly to business lobbyists to help him derail the legislation, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada led Democrats to thwart the GOP's push to clear the measure that would have permanently reduced the estate tax, extended numerous expiring tax breaks and increased the minimum wage," CQ reports.

"Bill on Minimum Wage, Estate Tax Rejected," the Washington Post on the GOP falling "three votes short of the 60 needed to cut off debate and bring the package to the Senate floor, where it was considered certain to pass on a simple-majority vote." LINK

"Repubilcans Bet on 'Trifecta,' Lose on Estate Tax Legislation," Bloomberg LINK

"The end of the right?" E.J. Dionne sees the minimum wage and estate tax fight as an acknowledgment on the part of Republicans that "they would not hold congressional power without the help of moderates," and yet, "their way of admitting this was to put on display the central goal of the currently dominant forces of politics: to give away as much as possible to the truly wealthy." LINK

2006: RNC summer meeting:

As part of a coordinated GOP effort to demonize the ranking Democratic House members who stand to gain the chairman's gavel if the President's party loses 15 House seats in November, White House political director Sara Taylor went on the attack against Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) regarding Hezbollah on the opening day of the RNC's summer meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

"Just this week," Taylor said, "Democratic Representative John Dingell, who has his sights set on chairing the powerful Commerce Committee, says he doesn't 'takes sides for or against Hezbollah', a vicious group that Time magazine called 'one of the world's deadliest terrorist organizations' and who, like Al Qaeda, has brutally killed innocent Americans and US servicemen. Ladies and gentlemen, there are a lot of hard questions in public life today - but whether to take a side for or against Hezbollah is not one of them."

What Taylor left out of her remarks is that in the same television interview, Dingell said, "Now, I condemn Hezbollah as does everybody else, for the violence, but I think if we've got to talk to them and if we don't - if we don't get ourselves in a position where we can talk to both sides and bring both sides together, the killing and the blood letting is going to continue." LINK and LINK

"It's totally out of context," Dingell adviser Anita Dunn told ABC News. "They have no issues to use against Democrats. They are now at the point where they are taking interviews out of context and ignoring people's records."

Dunn Noted that Dingell recently co-signed a July 28 letter from Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), calling on the European Union to add Hezbollah to the EU terrorist organization list. Dunn also Noted that Dingell has a long record of supporting aid to Israel.

"He probably has more contacts with Arab Americans than most members of Congress," Dunn said of Dingell. "But that has never influenced his feelings about Israel or about what we need to do in the Middle East."

Dingell's Hezbollah comments were made to WDIV-TV's "Flashpoint" public affairs show. After a snippet of Dingell's comments were posted on Power Line, a popular conservative Web site, Rush Limbaugh derided Dingell as the congressman from "Dearbornistan." LINK

According to excerpts released by the RNC, Mehlman is expected to follow Taylor's lead in taking Dingell's comments about Hezbollah out of context when he speaks today.

Mehlman's prepared text reads: "As our allies fight this same war on other fronts, should we support them, or should we - as the longest-serving Democrat in the House and possible Committee Chairman John Dingell said -- 'not takes sides for or against Hezbollah.'"

"GOP says it's about a choice," Pioneer Press on the RNC's strategy to keep President Bush "at arm's length" while focusing on local candidates. LINK

"Republicans plot strategy to keep control in fall elections," Associated Press. LINK

The AP's Martiga Lohn perceptively Notes that Gov. Pawlenty's speech, which cribbed a line from Will Ferrell's new movie about thanking God for his "red-hot smoking wife," got a "warm reception."

"Pawlenty in line to lead governors," Star Tribune on the NGA tapping Gov. Pawlenty as its new vice chairman, a move that puts him in line to become chairman next summer if he is re-elected in November. LINK

Sen. Lieberman's primary politics:

In a must-read, the Washington Post's Dan Balz writes: "Facing a likely defeat, Lieberman has scrapped plans for a massive and costly get-out-the-vote operation on primary day, according to several Democratic sources. Instead, he will shift some of his resources into more television commercials designed to highlight his accomplishments for the state, in hopes of boosting his battered image." LINK

Balz Notes that despite his earlier pledge to run in November regardless of what happens in the primary could be "complicated" by a "landslide loss to Lamont."

Note that Liebermann has decided "not to attempt to discuss the war in his final commercials."

Balz also has a Lieberman adviser confirming the general state of the race as summed up in yesterday's public poll. Lieberman himself admits he is behind.

"Lieberman trails challenger in primary, new poll finds," The New York Times. LINK

"An Embarrassment of Riches for Lieberman's Challenger," Time magazine's Massimo Calabresi on Lamont explaining his ownership of Wal-Mart stock only a day after Lamont criticized the company for its wages and benefits. LINK

In his Political Punch blog, ABC News' Jake Tapper writes that with Lamont's endorsement by the New York Times, the Mayor of Lieberman's hometown, John DeStefano, and others, the question seems to have shifted from whether or not Sen. Lieberman will win the primary to whether or not he will decide to run as an independent when he does not win. LINK

"Unlikely Trail Boss," in a break from the coverage blitz swarming the Lieberman campaign, the Hartford Courant takes a look at Ned Lamont's campaign manager Tom Swan, and the contrast he creates with his boss. LINK

"Lieberman Forges On," the Hartford Courant on the Senator pushing through tough poll numbers and continuing his trek. LINK

"Old Friends With Deep Pockets," the Hartford Courant on faithful (and rich) Lieberman supporters continuing to stand by "their old friend" and offer reassurance. LINK

"Health Union: Joe Must Go," the New York Post on Sen. Lieberman. LINK

"In Connecticut race, bloggers are throwing curves and spitballs," The New York Times. LINK


After a federal appeals court panel refused to allow the Texas Republican Party to take House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) off the November ballot, Republican officials said they would take the right to the Supreme Court.

While on a conference call with DSCC Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY), DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) reacted to the DeLay ruling by saying that he saw some "poetic justice" in it given that, in Rahm's view, "Usually, DeLay tries to figure out a way around the law."

"Appeals Panel Keeps DeLay on Ballot," the Washington Post reports in a story that has Scott Haywood, a spokesman for the Texas secretary of state saying that the office must certify ballots for the November election by Sept. 6. LINK

"If the state Republican Party appeal is still pending then, Haywood said that 'we'll probably move forward with the ballot as it is at this point, and right now a judge has ruled DeLay should remain on the ballot.'"

"DeLay stays on ballot, judges rule," The New York Times LINK

"Ruling keeps DeLay on Texas ballot; GOP to appeal to high court," USA Today LINK

"GOP to fight DeLay ruling," The Houston Chronicle. LINK

NGA Conference:

ABC News' David Chalian reports that most of the nation's governors will gather in Charleston, SC this weekend for the annual non-partisan National Governors Association summer meeting.

NGA Chairman Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) concludes his tenure as chair by maintaining his focus on his "Healthy America" initiative. The marquee panel at the NGA will take place on Saturday at 2:00 pm ET, featuring Coca-Cola President Donald Knauss, PepsiCo CEO Steven Reinemund, and General Mills CEO Stephen Sanger to discuss how industry can help contribute to a healthier America.

Politically, several 2008 presidential hopefuls will use the opportunity to make inroads in the important Palmetto State, which may well play a critical role in both the GOP and Democratic nomination contests in 2008. Gov. Romney (R-MA), Gov. Huckabee (R-AR), Gov. Pataki (R-NY), Gov. Richardson (D-NM), and Gov. Vilsack (D-IA) are all eyeing the White House in 2008 and are all expected to attend the NGA meeting.

South Carolina Democrats recently won a critical vote by a DNC panel to host the first presidential primary after the New Hampshire primary in early 2008.

The partisan sister organizations, the Democratic Governors Association and Republican Governors Association, will have representatives at the meeting discussing the competitive governors races this election year. The current partisan breakdown of governors is 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats. Both parties acknowledge that Democrats may be able to pick up a net-gain of four seats for majority bragging rights the day after the election -- the only bragging rights they will have if they fail to regain control of the House or Senate.

"S.C. to Give Governors Red-Carpet Treatment," The State on this weekend's Annual Conference of the National Governors Association. LINK


"Resilient Corker win GOP Senate primary," Nashville City Paper. LINK

"Corker Wins Tenn. GOP Senate Primary," Associated Press. LINK

In her statement responding to Corker's win, NRSC Chair Ellizabeth Dole (R-NC) praised him as a "distinguished public servant who will go to Washington and represent Tennessee in the conservative tradition of Bill Brock, Howard Baker, Fred Thompson, Bill Frist, and Lamar Alexander."

Bush Administration agenda:

In his story about President Bush beginning his 10-day Texas vacation, the Washington Post's Michael Fletcher has former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer saying: "The impact of Katrina was profound. It caught a tired White House staff off guard and turned out to be one of the most damaging events of his presidency." LINK

"Bush's Grade on Environment Fails," the LA Times/Bloomberg poll. LINK

"Americans Want More Federal Action on Environment, Poll Says," Bloomberg LINK

"Bush ready for Houdini country," Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva in the Swamp. LINK

"Bush chooses director of faith office," New York Times. LINK

2006: landscape:

"Business Grows Bearish on Republicans holding Congress," the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire in an item that has Bernadette Budde of Business-Industry Political Action Committee saying: "It is likely that Republicans lose control of the House."

"The biggest danger for Republicans: 'clumps' of defeats in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, submerging incumbents who don't now appear vulnerable."

"Democrats set an agenda they can agree on," The Boston Globe. LINK

2006: House:

"Prosecutors Face Pre-election Dilemma," the Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings reports that "party officials fear late-season indictments of incumbents could scramble House races.

"Investigators remain mum, but the uncertainty has raised worries among some Republicans that the wave of public-corruption cases could take on new life late this summer, hurting their chances of retaining control of the House. Others cling to the hope that prosecutors will sit tight rather than risk accusations of acting for partisan reasons."

"GOP moderates feeling heat," the Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman on Rahm Emanuel's top target Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT) and fellow moderate Republicans, describing how their stance on Iraq coupled with their typically Democratic districts could spell "the final purging of party moderates." LINK

"Rival tars Emanuel for clout list links," the Chicago Sun-Times' Fornek, writing that, "Forty of the more than 200 people who walked precincts gathering signatures to put Democratic U.S. Rep. Rahm Emamurl on this year's ballot have names that also appear on the secret clout list uncovered during the federal trial of Mayor Daley's patronage chief Robert Sorich."

Fornek adds that Kevin Edward White, Emanuel's GOP opponent, "is calling for a federal investigation and demanding that Emanuel explain the 'intentional, premeditated and persuasive use' of city workers on his re-election campaign." The DCCC says it's just the NRCC "playing politics." LINK

"Ads on Social Security Taking Aim at Rep. Pryce," Columbus Dispatch. LINK

"Challenger to Mollohan Revises Biographical Data on Education, War Service," Washington Post reports in a story LINK

". . . Wakim responded to his opponent's allegations of résumé-padding by admitting that he never served in the Persian Gulf during the war against Iraq in the 1990s. He also conceded that he received his master's degree at night and weekends from Harvard's extension studies program, and got it not in public policy but in liberal arts with a concentration in government."

"Ad blitz," the Washington Times on Rep. Cynthia McKinney's recently bought ad time in advance of Tuesday's runoff. LINK

"McKinney Must Fend Off Primary Challenge," Associated Press. LINK

"Groups Rally For, Against Murtha," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on competing rallies throughout the city both supporting and slamming Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the Iraq War. LINK

2006: Senate:

"Santorum Adds Mine Plan to Wage Bill," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has added a mine-cleanup provision to his proposal to decrease estate taxes and increase the minimum wage in his efforts to win reelection in November. LINK

"Martinez backs Harris in Senate race," the Miami Herald reports that Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) has come to the defense of Rep. Katherine Harris despite its unbridled "uneasiness" from the GOP. LINK

2006: Governor:

Can Ventura's team do it again?" Dallas Morning News on Kinky Friedman's team of Minnesota consultants. LINK

"Taft Hosting GOP Luncheon for Governors, Hopefuls," Columbus Dispatch reports that the Republican Governors' Association will host a fundraising luncheon later this month for gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell and fellow GOP-ers. LINK

"Strickland, Blackwell Reel in the Cash," Columbus Dispatch. LINK

"Activists: Advisory Proves Blackwell Suppressing Vote," Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that, according to voting rights activists, gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell and his campaign office are attempting to override voting laws. LINK

"Suozzi ad only half true: mag," the New York Daily News on an angry New York magazine. LINK


"A Bloomberg bid for President? Guests won't say," New York Times, in which Al From broke bread with the Mayor and we wonder if Hillary Clinton already knew about that. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Sen. McCain announced on Friday morning that he will be attending the Iowa state fair on Tuesday, Aug. 15. He also announced that he will be heading to Virginia on Wednesday, Aug. 16 for an event on behalf of one of his potential 2008 rivals: Sen. George Allen (R-VA).

"Looking ahead," the Washington Times on the South Carolina Republican Party's recently announced date for the first presidential primary debate in 2007. LINK

"Arkansas Governor Urges Gay Marriage Ban," The State on Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R-AR) opposition to same-sex marriage. LINK

2008: Democrats:

"Vilsack profile may appeal to S.C.," Des Moines Register. LINK

Richardson stands with NH," Union Leader on Gov. Bill Richardson's (D-NH) statement that New Hampshire should remain "the epicenter of presidential politics." LINK

"Al Gore YouTube Spoof Not So Amateurish," ABC News' Jake Tapper Notes that a recent video launched on YouTube spoofing Al Gore's anti-global warming crusade was not created by an amateur, but rather a Republican PR firm. LINK

"Gore's U.S. popularity not as hot as warning to globe," the Washington Times. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

"Angelides Backs Public Financing of Campaigns," Los Angeles Times. LINK

"Govinator in Ping-Pong duel," the AP on Gov. Schwarzenegger. LINK

Politics of the Middle East:

"Conflict reveals partisan split," the Miami Herald on their new poll showing Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support Israel's actions. LINK

Politics of warrantless wiretapping:

"Specter's NSA Plan Hits Snag," Washington Post on Democrats successfully maneuvering to block a committee vote on a White House-endorsed plan to formally legalize the NSA's warrantless surveillance program. LINK


"Senate Approves Pension Overhaul," Washington Post. LINK

Weekend politics:

President Bush continues his abbreviated summer vacation at his Crawford ranch with the First Lady. Bush is scheduled to meet at his ranch with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Later in the week, he is scheduled to travel to Wisconsin for the day to campaign for Republican congressional candidate John Gard before returning to Washington on Aug. 13.

The Senate begins its August recess on Saturday, with plans to reconvene after Labor Day next month.

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is scheduled to stump for New Hampshire State Senate candidate Jackie Cilley in Rochester, NH tomorrow, while Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) begins his week-long bus tour across the state of Pennsylvania on Sunday.

As Noted above, the NGA's Annual Meeting continues throughout the weekend in Charleston, SC, wrapping up on Monday. Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) hosts an event to honor the White Knoll Middle School in West Columbia, SC tomorrow and is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the Spartanburg County Republican Party Membership's Bronze Elephant Luau in Spartanburg, SC on Sunday.

The National Bar Association kicks off its 81st Annual Convention beginning tomorrow until next Saturday, August 12 in Detroit, MI.