The Note: Unity and Fraternity, Part III


President Bush and Vice President Cheney met with the Senate Republican Conference on Capitol Hill earlier today. ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports that following his 45-minute meeting, President Bush walked out to microphones and congratulated the House for passing detainee legislation and urged the Senate to do the same.

The President said we cannot forget that there is an enemy out there that is trying to kill Americans, and that this detainee legislation is one of the tools he needs to protect the American people. POTUS did not take any questions.

At 11:00 am ET, President Bush attends an energy briefing at the Hoover Public Safety Center in Hoover, AL. (Side Note: Hoover is the home of the Hoover Buccaneers, one of the top high school football teams in the nation, currently featured on the MTV show "Two a Days").

The President then campaigns for Gov. Bob Reilly's (R-AL) re-election campaign at 1:20 pm ET before raising money for Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) at a private residence at 6:00 pm ET in New Albany, OH

Rep. Pryce, the chair of the House Republican Conference who was quoted earlier this week saying, "There's nothing that Rahm Emanuel . . . would rather have than me as a trophy in his trophy case," has aired an ad in Ohio's 15th district, "Saving Lives," touting her record of having "stood up to her own party" on stem-cell research. LINK

According to a government report issued this morning, overall economic growth -- the gross domestic product -- during the April to June timeframe was a paltry 2.6%.

ABC News' Dan Arnall reports "that's significantly lower than the previous read and the widely held consensus estimate of 2.9%. It's a full 3% lower than the first quarter's speedy growth."

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus meet with Secretary of State Rice today at 9:30 am ET to discuss the crisis in Darfur, the continued work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. (The meeting is closed press, but there will be a photo spray at the top of it.) Members of the CBC plan to hold a 11:30 am ET press conference following the meeting.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will address the DNC Women's Leadership Forum at 12:00 pm ET in Washington, DC.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will speak about national security at Johns Hopkins University at 8:30 am ET in Washington, DC.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) speaks at Catholic University in a symposium on "Roundtable on Religion in the Public Square" (Sep.28-29) at 1:30 pm ET in Washington, DC.

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) participate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion entitled "The Current and Future State of U.S. Military Readiness" at 9:00 am ET in Washington, DC.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Ed Kennedy (D-MA) attend a film screening of "The Motherhood Manifesto" hosted by at 5:00 pm ET in Washington, DC.

House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) holds weekly on-camera press briefing at 10:30 am ET. On the other side of the aisle, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds weekly press conference at 10:45 am ET at the US Capitol.

Former President Jimmy Carter will speak to Nevada Democrats at 5:30 pm ET in Reno, NV.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) join an Americans United conference call at 1:15 pm ET on the minimum wage.

The Georgetown University Law Center hosts "Fair and Independent Courts: A Conference on the State of the Judiciary," September 28-29. At 9:00 am ET, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was scheduled to deliver remarks. At 12:15 pm ET Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks at a luncheon at the Georgetown University Law Center Hotung Building, and at 7:30 pm ET, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales deliver remarks at a dinner in Washington, DC.

Politics of national security:

Adam Nagourney of the New York Times writes up the political impact of the NIE on Iraq and the Administration's 1-2 record on big ticket security bills on the Hill this week. LINK

"If anything this week, the back-and-forth between the parties -- on the intelligence report, on the bills and on the war itself -- seemed to produce at best a muddled result, rather than the sharp contrast that the White House had sought," writes Nagourney.

The Los Angeles Times also looks at the effort by both parties to shape their message through the NIE prism. LINK

That other NIE on Iraq, the one currently being drafted, is not due out to 2007, reports the New York Times. LINK

The detainee bill heads to the Senate. The Los Angeles Times recaps all the political posturing surrounding yesterday's vote in the House. LINK

The war in Iraq now costs twice as much as it did in its first year--nearly $2 billion dollars a week, according to a Congressional Research Service report. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's nostalgic David Rogers Notes that the cost of the Iraq war is rivaling that of the Vietnam War.

The Way to Win:

On Charlie Rose on PBS tonight, get a preview of The Way to Win and a fantastic discussion of Bill Clinton's latest romp into the news cycle, from John F. Harris of the Washington Post and Al Hunt of Bloomberg. LINK

(The whole hour is on 42, including segments with Chris Wallace, Richard Clarke, Rep. Peter King, and Lawrence Wright.)

This in advance of what sources say is a planned appearance by Harris and co-author Mark Halperin on the show next week, as part of the publication and media launch of Random House's The Way to Win. A source familiar with Rose's thinking believes he will say that he is pleased to have them both back "at this table."'

You can buy a copy of The Way to Win right now here. LINK

Today's The Way to Win trivia question -- and our final quiz contest before The Way to Win goes on sale in bookstores everywhere next Tuesday, October 3 -- concerns the political odd couple of Hillary Clinton and Tom DeLay.

Go to the book's website for the question, contest rules, and your chance to win an autographed copy of The Way to Win. LINK

The winner of yesterday's quiz contest (for which there were two correct answers, depending on if you believe Stevie Nicks or Ron Fournier) is from Albany, New York.

2008: Republican National Convention:

Anne Kornblut of the New York Times writes up the RNC announcement to hold its 2008 national convention in Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN in "the house that Norm built," as RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman called it yesterday. LINK

Kornblut Notes the anticipated local press coverage in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin -- 3 battleground states.

". . . Democrats are now weighing whether Denver -- an appealing Western spot in an increasingly volatile state -- has enough union-run hotels to play host to their convention, which is sometimes larger than that of the Republicans. New York City has cleared the logistical bar for having the convention, officials said, but as a widely Democratic state, New York holds less political appeal than Colorado. And a potential Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, represents New York," writes Kornblut.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has all the coverage you could hope for:

How a bipartisan effort helped the Twin Cities win the convention: LINK

(Be sure to Note this graph: "By Wednesday, the race had come down to the wire. National Democrats were to meet on Friday in New York to make their pick. National Republicans had already closed in on the Twin Cities.")

The hunt for 20,000 hotel rooms begins: LINK

The battleground state of Minnesota searches for its political soul: LINK

". . . the Republicans have figured out what Sinclair Lewis knew. 'To understand America,' said Minnesota's Nobel Prize-winning author of "Main Street" and "Babbit,'it is merely necessary to understand Minnesota.'"

The history: LINK

The cost-benefit analysis: LINK

And, yes, the protest coverage has already begun as well: LINK


A new Democratic-leaning 527 called "Scientists and Engineers for America" (calling Jon Stewart) is looking to play in Virginia, Missouri, and Ohio. The New York Times has the story. LINK

Politics of 9/11: Clinton v. Bush:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's opponent, John Spencer (R-NY), issues a press release calling for the Clintons to "stop the theatrics" in the battle between the Clintons and the Bushes over fighting terrorism. Clinton adviser Howard "Broken Record" Wolfson suggests Spencer has gone "off his meds" and become "unhinged." The New York Post wraps it all together for you. LINK

Speaking in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that laying blame on President Clinton "is just wrong for many, many reason." More from the AP. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

ABC News' Ann Compton reports that the White House says this morning says Karzai and Musharraf DID shake hands, at least at the conclusion of yesterday's White House dinner.

White House press secretary Tony Snow hits the GOP fundraising circuit, but says there will be very little red meat to offer the partisans who pay to hear him speak. Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press takes a closer look. LINK

The New York Times on same: LINK

On the paper's front page, the New York Times looks at Gov. Jeb Bush's (R-FL) not-so full embrace of President Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

David Broder -- looking once again to convince us all that the nation thirsts for non-partisan independent leaders -- has Schwarzenegger chief of staff (and former Gray Davis aide) Susan Kennedy puffing on a cigar in the governor's smoking tent while offering key insight into the turnaround. LINK

Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton doesn't seem to think Angelides' "bring the Guard home" push is going to be enough to change the dynamics in the race for governor. LINK

Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times writes of Gov. Schwarzenegger's apparent success in using his environmental positions -- a traditionally Democratic issue -- as a political boon to his reelection campaign. LINK

2006: landscape:

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times (who mentions Mike Stratton, but not Bill Richardson in his piece) looks at Democratic prospects in Colorado this year and its implications for Democratic Party growth in the West for the future. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's John D. McKinnon and Christopher Conkey report that a "wave of positive economic news, capped by this week's run-up in the stock market and a continuing drop in gasoline prices, seems to be coming at an ideal time for Republicans worried about the November elections."

The Wall Street Journal duo is quick to add, however, that "as President Bush knows, good economic news doesn't always translate into votes."

"'We've had a little history of that in our family, you might remember,' he said at a Rose Garden news conference this month, to laughter from assembled reporters."

2006: House:

ABC News has learned that Iraq vet Tammy Duckworth will deliver the Democrats' national radio address responding to President Bush on Saturday. Focus: Iraq.

The Chicago Tribune on the race between Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Democrat Duckworth. LINK

Paul Hodes (D-NH), who is running in New Hampshire's district 2, has put forth an exit strategy in the war in Iraq. In a press conference yesterday he outlined how he would immediately withdraw the National Guard and Reserve troops in addition to full withdrawal from Iraq within the year. A poll in the article has opponent Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) leading Hodes 46% to 36%. LINK

James Pindell of the Boston Globe weighs in on the race too -- and sees increased D-trip interest. LINK

Despite having to launch a write-in campaign during the primary, Democrat Charlie Wilson appears headed to victory over Republican Chuck Blasdel, report the Washington Post's River Ramblers. LINK

"For the moment, the national party organizations, which swarm into the most competitive races, are nowhere to be found."

The GOP is sending reinforcements to district 22 in Texas. In order to keep the district Republican after Tom DeLay's departure, the party is sending about $100,000 and Vice President Dick Cheney to fundraise in October. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R-TX) is competing for DeLay's former seat. LINK

Roll Call reports that Congress is looking over and combing through a $3 million dollar license awarded to close associates of Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 7 people were arrested for protesting Rep. Steve Chabot's (R-OH) refusal to sign a pledge to end the war in Iraq, during their 6 hour sit-in, Chabot's staff provided the group with food and bathroom keys. LINK

In Nevada's 2nd district, the Democratic candidate, Jill Derby, is sounding more like a GOP member than a Democrat. In calling her opponent a "big taxing liberal" she seems more conservative than opponent Dean Heller (R-NV). Also interesting, Derby does not mention her part affiliation in her TV ads. LINK

2006: Senate: Allen v. Webb:

Sen. George Allen's (R-VA) re-election bid keeps getting tougher and tougher amid more people coming out alleging he used a racial epithet. USA Today's Jill Lawrence compiles George Allen's "Troubling Tales on Campaign Trail." LINK

ABC New's Jake Tapper, who filed for World News on the Virginia Senate race yesterday, asks on his Political Punch blog: "What do you think about Allen? About Webb's comments? About the media's coverage of this all?" LINK

Fred Barnes accidently shows the depths of George Allen's troubles when he writes on that Allen plans to go up on the air with a tough attack ad on Webb's much-covered comments about women in the military. Barnes also explores the contours of the scrutiny a potential presidential contender receives and wonders if Allen emerges victorious -- even with a small margin -- having never budged on his support for the Iraq war and the President's policies there, if Republican activists would rally around him as a "survivor." LINK

2006: Senate: Lieberman v. Lamont:

Joe Lieberman has a 10-point lead over his opponent, Democrat Ned Lamont, in the Connecticut Senate race. Lieberman leads 49 percent to 39 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll. Lieberman receives the support of 69 percent of Republicans in the poll compared to Lamont's 15 percent among GOPers. (The actual Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, receives only 12 percent support among Republicans.)

Lieberman also pulls in 50 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats in the poll. What may be more troubling for Lamont is that the poll finds 47 percent of Connecticut voters don't seem to think he has the right kind of experience to be a US Senator.

Per the Hartford Courant, this poll shows a decrease in support for Lieberman since an identical poll done on August 17th, in which he led Lamont 53% to 41%. LINK

Both Lamont and Lieberman feel vindicated by the NIE report, saying that their opposing positions on the war are simultaneously validated by the report's content. LINK

Roll Call reports on "Dems for Joe," which debuts today with a diverse amount of political supporter such as: Bob Kerrey, John Breaux, Leon Panetta and James Woolsey. All those who came together have share " a common thread… that Lieberman was unfairly being portrayed as a "bad" Democrat."

New Jersey Senate:

According to the Star Ledger (which was first to get its story on the Web), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has fired his closest adviser, Donald Scarinci, who was caught on the tape, secretly recorded seven years ago, boasting of political power and urging a Hudson county contractor to hire someone as a favor to Menendez. LINK

The contractor, Oscar Sandoval, cooperated with the FBI in a 2000 sting that helped them catch then Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski accepting a bribe from him. Sandoval was never charged and never did any jail time personally.

More from the Philadelphia Inquirer: LINK

The New York Times' Chen followed Sen. Menendez to South Florida where his anti-Castro positions and Cuban heritage make him very popular -- even among some Republicans. LINK

2006: Senate:

Enough with this talk of the House. Robin Toner of the New York Times looks at the unexpectedly competitive races in Tennessee and Virginia and declares the battle for control of the Senate very much in play. LINK

Republicans will read below the headline and the lede and see that in fact Republicans have had some good news as well.

Per the Washington Post, Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Democratic nominee for Senate in Maryland, got the endorsement of his top rival Kewisi Mfume (D-MD), while Sen. Barack Obama looked on. Mfume warned that his party must do more to energize black voters.

On the Post's front page, Ann E. Marimow reports that Kweisi Mfume's endorsement of Rep. Ben Cardin's (D-MD) Senate bid, which was made with Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) looking on, "came with a blunt warning about the lack of diversity among candidates for statewide office in Maryland." LINK

"We have a problem," said Mfume.

Sen. Bill Nelson is still leading Rep. Katherine Harris, according to a Mason-Dixon poll, 53% to 35%.

2006: Governor:

Tracie Mauriello of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discusses the results of a recent poll, which shows that Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) still holds a comfortable 16 point lead. LINK

The colorful Kinky Friedman gets the Texas gubernatorial contest some coverage in the Los Angeles Times. LINK

In the Florida gubernatorial race Democrats have found an old vote from Charlie Crist's (R-FL) record regarding public safety which is a focal point of his platform. Apparently he voted against raising fees for gun buyers. The money was to be used for bulletproof vests for policeman. News of the old vote came when Crist was enjoying an endorsement from Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) in the presence of fire fighters and policeman. LINK

2006: downballot:

The New York Times' Healy on the latest saga in Jeanine Pirro's life. She is now under investigation for potentially illegally recording her husband's conversations. She denies she did anything illegal. Rudy Giuliani has canceled a planned fundraiser on her behalf. LINK

The Pirro melodrama is perfect for New York's famed tabloids too: LINK and LINK

GOP agenda:

Susan Davis of Roll Call looks at Boehner's strength and durability over the last year since replacing DeLay. LINK

The Hill looks past Election Day and onto November 15th 2006 when Republicans will vote for their new leadership posts, eight elected leaders will face re-election that day. LINK

Roll Call profiles Rep. Phil English's (R-PA) run for the NRCC chairmanship.

Pamela Brogan of the Arizona Republic discusses former Sen. John Danforth's (R-MO) advice to his party to "disengage from the Christian right." He added that the GOP is polarizing the electorate with religion and should instead be reconciling people towards the center. LINK

Democratic agenda:

The Hill reports on the lack of support for Murtha's bid to be Majority Leader. LINK

The Washington Times reports on Rep. Murtha's comments yesterday at a VETPAC press conference. When asked if the Democrats had a plan for Iraq, Murtha "did his own version of Bill Clinton's recent tear on Fox News." LINK

The Associated Press discusses the effect of the "fighting Dems" running for office. Karen Finney, a spokeswoman for the DNC, states that veteran Democrats "understand that our party is committed to our men and women in uniform and that our party has a place for them." LINK

2008: Republicans:

Per John DiStaso, 'tis the season to enlist veteran New Hampshire GOP members for your 2008 presidential campaign: Rhona Charbonneau, Steve Duprey, and Jayne Millerick are joining Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) Straight Talk America PAC. Among other New Hampshire Republicans who are endorsing McCain for president, these three are considered key in organizing the New Hampshire GOP. Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) has signed Tom Rath among other New Hampshire GOPers for his Commonwealth PAC. And Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) will be opening his 21st Century Freedom PAC in New Hampshire and calling on various party activists to join his campaign. In related news, Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) plans to visit the state two more times before Nov. 7th. LINK

The Iowa Speaker of the House Chris Rants (R-IO) said he would support a Mitt Romney (R-MA) presidential bid in 2008, the AP's Mike Glover reports. LINK

The Des Moines Register on the same: LINK

Roll Call Notes that Gov. Romney has been making time to meet with GOP lobbyists in DC.

Less than a week after telling the Values Voters Summit that people were tired of "horizontal politics" that pit left against right, Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) alleges in a missive to RNC supporters that from his viewpoint "in middle America," the Democrats "are only concerned with one thing: bringing phony impeachment charges against President Bush."

Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), the honorary chairman of 21st Century Freedom PAC Iowa, announced this week that Craig R. Schoenfeld has been named the PAC's Executive Director and will be directing the PAC's Get out the Vote program to elect Republicans across Iowa this fall.

Giuliani campaigned for Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL), insisting that he would be tough on terror and steadfast in pursuing the war in Iraq. Giuliani accepted questions about his 2008 presidential aspirations, saying that he will decide after the mid-term elections. LINK

In his latest column, Dick Morris excoriates the record of Dr./Leader/Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN) on immigration, lobbying reform, and more. LINK

"Frist performed about as well as a heart surgeon with mittens on. He failed utterly to provide the leadership necessary and managed to so mangle the reputation of the legislative wing of the Republican Party in the process that it may take several elections, and perhaps a Hillary Clinton presidency, to recover."

More Morris: "He managed, despite a compliant House, a supportive president, and 55 votes, to pass very little and achieve almost nothing. Now he leads his majority into the general election virtually certain of losing four seats and hoping desperately not to lose six. That's some record!"

2008: Democrats:

The New York Post's Ian Bishop picks up on The Atlantic piece about Sen. Clinton and the 2003 poll conducted by Mark Penn in secret to see if breaking her pledge to serve her full first term was a politically viable option. Penn and Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson both say that Sen. Clinton was never considering breaking that pledge. LINK

CLARIFICATION: Yesterday, The Note mistakenly wrote that Penn's super secret poll took place "shortly after winning her Senate seat." Josh Green's story in The Atlantic makes clear that the poll was conducted more than two years after Sen. Clinton took office. We regret the error.

The Hill reports on AIDS legislation that has Sen. Clinton in tough place, "forcing her to choose between the interests of her home state and those of battleground states in the 2008." LINK

Walter Shapiro of got into his one-car caravan and did some Hawkeye State traveling with former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) who "offers a toothy smile, an easy sense of humor, a zest for the handshakes and arm touches that create instant intimacy, along with a compelling autobiography, especially for a Democrat. (A successful entrepreneur, Warner made more than $200 million in cellular telephones -- though the wealthiest potential candidate in the Democratic field, he never mentions money in his speeches -- before becoming a red-state governor.)" LINK

Sen. Kerry returns to New Hampshire on Monday to campaign with state Senate candidate Elizabeth Roth. LINK

Howard Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Enquirer Notes Sen. Kerry's visit to Ohio next week to try and sway "the state that gave the election to George W. Bush." LINK

Denny Freidenrich of the OC Register spent the summer asking Democratic woman who they would vote for in 2008 after Dick Morris claimed Sen. Clinton would bring out the woman's vote. "Not one person said Hillary Clinton" -- rather the buzz was focused on former Vice President Al Gore. LINK

Politics of immigration:

Based on figures provided by the Center for New Community, a Chicago organization that tricks immigration issues, the Wall Street Journal's Miriam Jordan reports that there are "211 so-called nativist groups -- groups that advocate protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants -- across the U.S., up from 37 two years ago."


Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register reports that more absentee ballots went out to Democrats on the first day of early voting. LINK

Casting and counting:

Richard Wolf continues his casting and counting reporting, this time examining possible voting troubles for the 3.7 million Americans who live overseas, including members of the U.S. military who typically vote in percentages greater than civilian Americans. LINK

Political spending:

Campaign spending reform and the taxpayer checkoff are on George Will's mind and in his column today. LINK