The Note: Laying Traps For Troubadors


This week's known unknowns, leading up to the midterm elections:

1. Will Democrats take what Jay Carson and Howard Wolfson call the "Chappaqua Hint" and realize that the Clintons' aggressive pushback against formidable targets such as ABC Entertainment, Fox News, Jerry Falwell, and John Spencer is meant in part to set an example for how they want the party to behave between now and Election Day?

(Anticipating skulls thinker than skins, Carson keeps saying about the Chris Wallace interview, "President Clinton fought back hard, just like any Democrat should when they are attacked with a baseless attack.")

2. Which is more likely -- that Republicans on the Hill work out their intraparty differences on immigration, budget, and security issues before adjournment, or that, despite all the Gang of 500 hand-wringing, no real voters Notice or care?

3. Will Obama communications czar Robert Gibbs demand a bonus system whereby he gets paid extra from the book royalty kitty every time he hustles to get his boss some favorable coverage?

4. Will RNC/NRCC/NRSC/value of AF1-Rose Garden/allied group spending be greater than/less than/equal to DNC/DCCC/DSCC/House of Labor/allied group spending?

5. Which candidates are being secretly advised by Bob Shrum?

6. Which struggling candidates will be smart enough to quickly buy and read "Applebee's America," before it's too late? LINK

7. Will George Allen do some soul searching, bridge building, house cleaning, and/or head clearing, before it's too late?

8. Will candidates and campaign managers who Rahm makes cry have a better or worse won/loss records than those who shed no tears?

9. Will the Medicare prescription drug benefit (and the ill-timed doughnut hole press coverage) be a net plus or net minus for the Republicans?

10. Which struggling candidates will be smart enough to quickly buy and read "The Way to Win," before it's too late? LINK

11. What will the White House do below the radar of the national media to leverage presidential trips (such as this week's jaunts to Connecticut, Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio (twice!!)) in a way that reaches the base? (Get on that, Mike Allen.)

With the President on the road, Democrats are planning to use a 1:30 pm ET hearing of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee to keep attention focused on a recently disclosed National Intelligence Estimate which shows, according to news reports, that the war in Iraq has made the terrorism problem worse.

As previewed by the AP's David Espo, retired military officers are expected to "bluntly accuse Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public." LINK

"I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq," retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste is expected to say.

A second witness, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, is expected to assess Rumsfeld as "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically …."

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, addresses the National Press Club on legal issues relating to the detainees in Guantanamo Bay, NSA wiretapping, and immigration legislation at 1:00 p.m. ET in Washington, DC.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reports that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL) is at odds with Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) over the annual defense authorization bill. Hastert wants to include controversial anti-illegal immigration legislation, among other provisions, while Warner has refused to allow extraneous measures that would not garner unanimous support. LINK

President Bush raises money for the Connecticut Republican Victory fund at a private residence in Riverside, CT at 1:45 pm ET. He then raises coin for a Mike DeWine for U.S. Senate and Ohio Victory 2006 reception at a private residence in Cincinnati, OH. The President is scheduled to make a 4:45 pm ET statement on the economy at Meyer Tool in Cincinnati, OH.

Vice President Cheney speaks at a luncheon for Wisconsin Victory 2006 at the Pfiser Hotel Grand Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI. The Vice President then flies to Michigan for a rally with the Michigan National Guard and a reception for senatorial candidate Michael Bouchard at 5:00 pm ET in East Grand Rapids, MI.

First Lady Laura Bush and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes announces the start of the President's Global Cultural Initiative in a 10:30 am ET event in the East Room of the White House.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivers the keynote address at the Southern Tier Venture Capital Symposium in Binghamton, NY at 12:15 pm ET. Clinton rallies with Maryland Democrats including gubernatorial hopeful Mayor Martin O'Malley and Senate hopeful Rep. Ben Cardin in Adelphia, MD at 7:00 pm ET.

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) joins faith leaders and their spouses at a 10:00 am ET press conference and rally at Brown's Island in Richmond, VA (5th Street and Tredegar Street) as they pledge their support for the Virginia Marriage Amendment.

Claire McCaskill, the Democrat running for the Senate against Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), will be in New York City today for a Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century fundraiser.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks with Kentucky Republicans in a private reception in Covington, KY.

In the third of three policy speeches sponsored by, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) speaks about democracy, voting rights, and the separation of powers in Philadelphia, PA

Other Democratic '08ers with out-of-state events today are: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), who continues to campaign in New Hampshire for state legislative candidates; former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA), who attends a Democratic Party breakfast in Greenville, SC; and Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), who travels to Florida.

Time magazine's John Huey holds reception for the new managing editor, Rick Stengel, in Washington, DC.

The Senate meets at 2:00 pm ET for morning business and to resume consideration of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The House meets at 12:30 pm ET for morning-hour debate and 2:00 pm ET for legislative business.

The House Rules Committee meets at 5:00 pm ET to formulate rules on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act and the Public Expressions of Religion Act of 2006 in H-313.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center holds a 2:00 pm ET discussion, "Afghanistan Five Years After 9/11," with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Georgetown University presents Afghanistan's president with an honorary doctor of laws degree at 5:30 pm ET in Gaston Hall.

Politics of Iraq:

On "Good Morning America," ABC News' Jessica Yellin reported, "It is just terrible timing for the White House. Just as there are signs that the President's poll numbers are starting to rise, leaked portions of the classified report are turning the attention back to the key issue that has dragged down the President's Administration and his party, the war in Iraq."

The New York Times covers the political reaction, both from Democrats and the White House, to the Sunday reports on the NIE. LINK

Bloomberg News wraps the Sunday talk show reaction to the NIE including Sens. McCain and Frist utilizing the leaked classified document to demonstrate the President's point that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. LINK

Sunday's New York Times lead with Mark Mazzetti's reporting on the National Intelligence Estimate showing America's involvement in Iraq has exacerbated the terrorism threat America faces. LINK

"The report 'says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,' said one American intelligence official," reported Mazzetti.

Sunday's Washington Post on the same: LINK

Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte announced that the National Intelligence Estimate found that "only a fraction of judgments" found the war in Iraq increased "the threat of terrorism." LINK

The Los Angeles Times: A top Army's officer says the U.S. can not continue it's current level of activity in Iraq and other global commitments without additional funding. General Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff has refused to submit a required 2008 budget plan after protesting with defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. LINK

"Schoomaker failed to submit the budget plan by an Aug. 15 deadline. The protest followed a series of cuts in the service's funding requests by both the White House and Congress over the last four months.

According to a senior Army official involved in budget talks, Schoomaker is now seeking $138.8 billion in 2008, nearly $25 billion above budget limits originally set by Rumsfeld. The Army's budget this year is $98.2 billion, making Schoomaker's request a 41% increase over current levels"

The Way to Win:

Sources familiar with the bookbag of Sen. John MCCain (R-U.S.A.) say he has obtained an advanced copy of The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 -- the Random House book out next Tuesday, October 3, that features interviews with Bill Clinton, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney. LINK

The book, by Mark Halperin of ABC News and John F. Harris of the Washington Post, was discussed Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation," with the show's anchor leading the program with the following insightful exchange:

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. With us in the studio this morning, Senator John McCain. Welcome, Senator McCain.

JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: Joining in the questioning, John Harris, who is the national political editor of The Washington Post and the co-author of a new book called, "The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008." And it's a very good book. I recommend it. Well, let me start here with Senator McCain.

MCCAIN: I'll have to read it.


SCHIEFFER: It might be of interest to you, Senator McCain.


Today's The Way to Win quiz contest is a little bit different than last week's.

To win, you still have to answer today's question correctly, and then be randomly chosen from the pool of those who get the question right.

The difference: the winner gets both an autographed copy of The Way to Win and two tickets to tomorrow night's Washington, DC party for the book.

The Tuesday party is at 6pm at David Greggory Restaurant. The winner of the contest will be rubbing shoulders with a bipartisan covey of bold-faced names, and will feel an adrenaline surge when walking past the media gauntlet covering the arrivals. If the winner is unable to attend, two guests can be designated.

The question: In Des Moines, Iowa in November of 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew gave a speech critical of the insular nature of the media. Who was the principal author of the speech?

Go to to enter. LINK

Friday's winner has the Dickensian name of Peter Whitehouse, who is from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He knew that the last two back-to-back, elected, eight-year presidents were Madison and Monroe.

Bush Administration agenda and personality:

The Washington Post's Peter Barker reports in a must read on President Bush's private anguish over the war in Iraq, with aides suggesting he is often "stewing about bad news from Iraq." However, many families who have lost relatives in the war only see his "refusal to attend military funerals, while taking long Texas vacations and extended bicycle rides," LINK

Clintons of Chappaqua:

"Former President Bill Clinton on a tear," said ABC News' Diane Sawyer in the opening headline on "Good Morning America." The much-talked about Clinton interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace was the subject of conversation between Bill O'Reilly and Diane Sawyer in which O'Reilly said Clinton gets a fair shake from Fox News and that he can understand why President Clinton, President Bush, and others are frustrated since Osama bin Laden is still on the loose.

ABC News' Jake Tapper breaks down several "Wag the Dog" scenarios incited by Chris Wallace's accusations of President Bill Clinton in his Fox News' interview. LINK

Sunday's Washington Post on former President Clinton going after Chris Wallace and "that little smirk." LINK

Associated Press: LINK

Washington Times: LINK

In his analysis, Al Hunt of Bloomberg News sizes up the dual roles dominating Bill Clinton's life of late, international statesman and partisan strategist. LINK

Clinton also talked with Bloomberg News about what he sees as Republican efforts to try and scare the electorate 6 weeks before Election Day. LINK

The Washington Times reports on a California lawsuit that has both former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) being sued for millions regarding an Internet deal gone sour. LINK

2006: landscape:

In a must-read, the Washington Post's Dan Balz reported on Sunday that a "sharp decline in gasoline prices" and "dogged persistence by the President's political team in trying to redefine the terms of the fall campaign has given a "much-needed morale boost to beleaguered Republican candidates. The ebullience many Democrats exhibited throughout the summer has given way to more cautious assessments of how difficult the final six weeks may be." LINK

Mike Allen of Time magazine discusses how the Democrat's hope for "wave elections" could be washed out by "falling gas prices and an uptick in President Bush's approval ratings." With the low-voter turnout in Democratic primaries, Allen wonders whether Democrats are strong enough to "mount a takeover of power on Capitol Hill." LINK

If you don't know whether Democrats or GOPers prefer bourbon over gin go read Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten story on micro-targeting in Sunday's Los Angeles Times. LINK

The talented Adam Nagourney of the New York Times wrote a Week-in-Review piece for Sunday's paper looking at the important lessons for both parties to learn from the 1994 midterm elections. LINK

The AP's Kimberly Hefling reports that the Philadelphia suburbs, at times a GOP bastion, has witnessed a seven percent increase in Democratic registration, while independent and minority party registration has risen 14 percent. LINK

Christian conservatives may prove to be somewhat disengaged from and disenchanted with electoral politics this midterm election year. The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick has the story from the "Values Voters Summit." LINK

Bloomberg News looks at Sen. Schumer's and Rep. Emanuel's successful pursuits of political dollars. LINK

2006: House: The AP's Nancy Benac took a Sunday look at the Republican use of "Speaker Pelosi" as a scare tactic in her profile of the Leader. LINK

In Sunday's Washington Post, Cillizza and Vandehei looked at Democrat Baron Hill's effort to return to Congress in Indiana. LINK

In Saturday's Washington Post, the traveling duo looked at the ways in which Rep. Anne Northup (R-KY) is attacking John Yarmuth for his past articles favoring SUV taxes, legalized marijuana, and lower drinking ages. LINK

USA Today's Andrea Stone looks at the handful vulnerable incumbent Democrats in the House with a special focus on Georgia. LINK

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton discusses how Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) has started equating Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) to the Bush Administration, challenging that "changing the direction of Congress is the only way to hold the Bush administration accountable." LINK

In the 3rd district of Nevada, Tessa Hafen (D-NV) is trailing her incumbent opponent Jon Porter (R-NV) by 10 percentage points, according to a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. This district is evenly spilt between registered Democrats and Republicans, 40.5% to 40.1%. Political scientist David Damore says Hafen will need "some sort of significant Porter stumble" to get ahead. LINK

2006: Senate: Salon's Michael Scherer reports that three members of Sen. Allen's college football team remember a "man with racist attitudes at ease using racial slurs." No follow anywhere we see on this yet. LINK

Joe Klien of Time magazine discusses Senate candidate Jim Webb's (D-VA) failure to capitalize on the "moment that his race against Republican Senator George Allen crystallized." Sidestepping what was "fabulous political theater" last week, Klien sits down with Webb for a serious conversation about Iraq highlighting the candidate's overlooked expertise on his strategy for the war. LINK

". . . the main reason he's self-destructing as a national political figure is concern over whether he's honest about his family and himself," writes Newsweek's Jonathan Alter in his look at Sen. Allen the person and the persona. LINK

The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus wrote over the weekend that instead of being offended by Sen. Allen's reaction to his Jewish heritage, she prefers to "see the pathos." LINK

Charles Krauthammer: "Everyone's Jewish." LINK

Robin Toner of the New York Times checks in on the Pennsylvania Senate race and wonders if the money, turnout, and presidential megaphone blasting the GOP terror message can combine to protect Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) from defeat. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Thomas Fitzgerald reported Sunday that a new Temple University-Inquirer poll showing Casey leading Santorum by ten points is attributable to the "Bush effect," most salient in Philadelphia and its suburbs, and Santorum's "candidacy and his personality." LINK

The New York Times' Medina Notes Ned Lamont's pivot from the Iraq war to domestic priorities, such as healthcare and education, in an attempt to avoid the "one-issue candidate" label. LINK

Mark Pazniokas of the Hartford Courant reports that Joe Lieberman will be delivering a speech on the war in Iraq today. LINK

The Washington Post's Mark Niesse reported on Sunday that Sen. Daniel Akaka's (D-HI) win continued Hawaii's tradition of failing to unseat an incumbent since 1959. LINK

The New York Times' campaign column has debate dates for the Connecticut and New Jersey Senate races and so much more. LINK

Ben Smith of the New York Daily News writes of New Jersey Democrats' buyers' remorse over Gov. Corzine's (D-NJ) selection of Sen. Menendez as his successor in Washington. LINK

The Kansas City Star takes Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill to task on Iraq in separate interviews: LINK and LINK

Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that the key issues in Missouri's Senate race this year might not be hot button issues like Iraq and immigration but the perennial "guns, gays, God, and abortion." LINK

"Jim Pederson: 'I oppose amnesty,'" reads the Arizona Republic headline above the Democratic Senate candidate's op-ed clarifying his stance on immigration. LINK

The Arizona Daily Star Notes how both Kyl (the McCain endorsed candidate) and Pederson are attempting to utilize Sen. McCain as a campaign asset. LINK

2006: Governor:

The Miami Herald reports on a controversial claim made in mid August by gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Charlie Crist (R-FL). Crist is saying that his office solved the murder of Harry T. Moore, a civil rights activist, who was murdered along with his wife in 1951. While Crist says that he has identified the now-deceased Klansmen involved, scholars say that such a development in the case would be impossible. LINK

Florida is abuzz with the Notion of having its first black lieutenant governor. If Jim Davis (D-FL) beats Crist, then former state Sen. Daryl Jones (D-FL) will make Florida history. Since 2000, blacks comprise 12% of registered Florida voters and vote Democrat by a 9-1 ratio. Davis' courtship with the black vote will not be easy, though, as he is still defending a 1990 decision not to compensate two wrongfully imprisoned black men. LINK

They've tossed words back and forth now for a few weeks, but tonight they'll debate face to face. Republican gubernatorial nominee Kerry Healey (R-MA) and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval L. Patrick (D-MA) will have their first debate of the general election season. The Boston Globe explains what both candidate's strategies may be. LINK

Schwarzenegger foe wants National Guard out of Iraq:

In a pair of speeches on Tuesday, Democrat Phil Angelides plans to say that on his first day as governor he would call for all California National Guardsmen to return to the Golden State.

If implemented, the Angelides proposal would almost certainly provoke a legal challenge.

Angelides maintains, however, that under Perpich v. Department of Defense, a 1990 Supreme Court case, a governor retains the right to refuse to deploy his or her state's National Guard if deploying the troops "were to interfere with the State Guard's capacity to respond to local emergencies."

The Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday that not only would Angelides push to return California's National Guardsmen from Iraq, he would also: "work to mobilize other governors so that the National Guard can be used once again for its intended purposes, not to prop up the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld failed war policy." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan reported on Sunday that at a Democratic primary debate in May, "Angelides said governors lack the power to force the Pentagon to send a state's National Guard troops home from the war. But in the interview Saturday night, he said there might be some legal leeway on the matter." LINK

On ABC's "Political Radar," Teddy Davis reported that federal officials would likely respond – as they did to Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) last year when he wanted Montana National Guardsmen home for the summer fire season – that they have a system in place that rotates members of the National Guard from nearby states when an emergency arises." LINK

Davis added that Democrats are hoping, in the words of Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, that calling for the Guard to come home would be "a classic example of the right policy translating into good politics."

In an on-line column for the California Majority Report, Lehane argued last month (that if done the right way) calling for the Guard to come out of Iraq would "give Californians the chance to vote up or down on the Republicans' War in Iraq." LINK

In a statement released over the weekend, the Schwarzenegger camp criticized the proposal by saying that even Angelides knows that it is unconstitutional.

The Angelides proposal was discussed Sunday on the "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" roundtable. Frank Rich of the New York Times said it was a "slick political move" but added that there is "a point behind it."

George Will said: "Notwithstanding, it's illegal, it might resonate. Well the President can nationalize the National Guard. They've done it before in Arkansas and Little Rock and all kinds of times and governors were opposed to it and you can do it. But I think it might resonate, he's way behind in the polls. There must be 80% opposition to the War in Iraq in his party in California and this is a shrewd political move if illegal."

Questions yet to be answered: Whether Democrats will make this part of their paid media campaign and whether national Democrats like Leader Pelosi will back Angelides when asked about the proposal.

GOP agenda:

Richard Wolffe of Newsweek takes a look at Karl Rove's protégés including Scott Howell, Terry Nelson, Todd Olsen, and Sara Taylor. LINK

With Democrats providing a largely unified front of opposition on many legislative priorities for the GOP leadership, it has been intramural disagreements between House and Senate Republicans that has halted forward movement on several bills. Carl Hulse of the New York Times takes a closer look at what remains to get done this week and in the post-election lame duck session. LINK

Robert Novak columnizes that it took an "embarrassing intraparty quarrel to spawn compromise" on military tribunals, with Novak once again siding with the Hill over the White House on manners. LINK

In a Sunday Los Angeles Times story looking at the ways in which the "prudence party" has stood up to President Bush lately, Ron Brownstein predicts that through 2008, "Bush's disputes with these voices of restraint may shape America's national security decisions more than his arguments with the Democrats." LINK

In the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) penned an op-ed arguing that "pocketbook conservatives" who "face the very real economic challenges of earning a living, paying the mortgage and raising their children to be productive members of society" are being neglected by both parties. LINK


Peter Wallsten reports that at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, evangelical leaders asked their discontented followers to put aside their frustration and back GOP candidates. LINK

Democratic agenda: Despite efforts to go "offline," Perry Bacon Jr. of Time Magazine discusses the limits of "Netroots, the Democratic Party's equivalent of a punk garage band – edge, loud, and anti-authoritarian," and his apparent skepticism about their ability to spark victory for the Democrats in 2006. LINK


Former Gov./State Sen. Dick Codey's (D-NJ) bill to move the New Jersey presidential primary to Feb. 5, 2008 gets a committee hearing today, per the Associated Press. LINK

2008: Republicans:

John Fund joins the if-it-can't-be-McCain-it-must-be-Romney bandwagon.

The Union Leader's indefatigable John DiStaso writes that, "Veteran Republican strategist Tom Rath of Concord has chosen his candidate for the 2008 Presidential election: Gov Mitt Romney of Massachusetts." Rath has joined Romney's Commonwealth PAC as a senior adviser and will continue on during the New Hampshire primary "and if Romney fares well beyond." LINK

While some GOPers have quietly distanced themselves from the 800-pound gorilla in the room this election season, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) endured pouring rain and roaring winds to serve up praise for President Bush at a New Hampshire fundraiser for state GOP candidates, saying, "This is the most critical point in the history of America . . . Thank goodness we have a president that knows what's at stake and is willing to take a stand." The Union Leader has more. LINK

More from the AP: LINK

Gov. Romney raised $500,000 for Ron Saxton's (R-OR) gubernatorial campaign. LINK

The Washington Post's R. Jeffrey Smith reports that Sen. McCain, with the help of other GOP Senators, has drafted a compromise in new proposed interrogation legislation that would ban more "extreme measures," including extreme sleep deprivation, forced hypothermia, and the more scrutinized "waterboarding," which simulates drowning. LINK

In a rare acknowledgement of specific CIA techniques, Sen. McCain expressed that he was "confident that some of the abuses that were reportedly committed in the past will be prohibited in the future."

In response to Huge Chavez's condemnation of President Bush last week, the Associated Press details Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) hopes that John Bolton is confirmed as UN ambassador to "talk back to two-bit dictators." LINK

Leah Beth Ward of the Yakame Herald-Republic reports that Rudy Giuliani will campaign for Mike McGavick in Seattle next month. LINK

The AP reports on Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist's push for Congress to act on immigration legislation. LINK

2008: Democrats:

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, at a Friday breakfast session of the Values Voters Summit, the Rev. Jerry Falwell said: "I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate. I hope she's the candidate, because nothing will energize my (constituency) like Hillary Clinton."

"If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't," Falwell added. LINK

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines responded by saying: "Working for someone who believes in the Golden Rule we're not going to engage in such vitriolic discourse - but it seems that a new low has been reached in demonizing political opponents."

In a subsequent interview with the Associated Press, Falwell said his comments were "totally tongue-in-cheek." LINK

The New York Post's Geoff Earle covers Bill Clinton's other Sunday morning appearance and focuses on his belief that Sen. Clinton could do quite well if she ran for president. LINK

The New York Daily News wraps the Des Moines Register poll results into its Falwell/Lucifer/Clinton coverage. LINK

Jennifer Senior in New York Magazine nicely profiles Sen. Obama. LINK

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) blasts the Bush Administration for a lack of focus and responsibility in the war in Afghanistan, urging the United States renew it's effort with at least 5,000 more troops to help "reverse an unfolding disaster in the war we were right to fight after 9/11" LINK

Per the AP, a developer's family members and their businesses contributed "at least $130,000 to Gov. Bill Richardson's campaign several months after a family business was granted direct access to a city thoroughfare for a shopping-center project." LINK

The Daily Iowan reports on Sen. Joe Biden's intentions to come back to Iowa next year and "do something else." LINK

Riley Yates of the Union Leader reports that Sen. Evan Bayh told a Manchester, NH crowd last night that Democrats should be more aggressive in shaping their image and not allow Republicans to do it for them, and need to take a stronger stand on security and economic issues. LINK

Cincinnati Enquirer's Patrick Crowley covers Gen. Wesley Clark's efforts to turn red Kentucky to a blue state by calling for "real leadership." LINK

Casting and counting:

The New York Times on Sunday reported on the concern of election officials on how the voting process will unfold in November when one-third of the precincts nationwide will be utilizing electronic voting technology for the first time. LINK

The Times also took a closer look at the technology at issue. LINK

The "politics of pink shirts":

In the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal, Ray Smith analyzed White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's wardrobe choices, writing that "Five months into the job, the former Fox News pundit is using his wardrobe to communicate that he's not the stereotypical press secretary." LINK

Literary corner:

The Washington Post on Pat Buchanan's immigration book. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel pens an editorial on what one could call the anti-Spitzerism movement in which big business is taking a renewed interest in anti-activist Attorney General candidates and starting to put some actual money behind them. LINK

The Week Ahead:

On Tuesday, President Bush welcomes Afghan President Hamid Karzai to the White House. Vice President Cheney headlines a NRSC fundraiser at the National Building Museum. Democrat Phil Angelides pledges in a speech at San Francisco State that he will call California National Guardsmen home from Iraq. First Lady Laura Bush campaigns for Joy Padgett, the Ohio Republican who is hoping to succeed Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), in Granville, OH. The Center for Public Integrity releases their investigative report: "Campaign Consultants: The Price of Democracy."

On Wednesday, President Bush hosts President Musharraf of Pakistan and President Karzai of Afghanistan at the White House. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joins Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and others for a press conference about their work on "comprehensive immigration reform." At 9:45 am ET Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and thirteen veterans running for Congress as Democrats discuss the Bush Administration's military Policy. At 6:00 pm ET, Sen. Hillary Clinton and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney attend an event to honor Ela Bhatt, founder and former General Secretary of the Self-Employed Women's Association. Former Gov. McGreevey (D-NJ) signs copies of his new book at "Books-a-Million," in Washington, DC. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe keynote a forum entitled, "Public Policy for Economic & Corporate Growth," in Washington, DC.

On Thursday, former President Jimmy Carter speaks to Nevada Democrats in Reno, NV. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will speak about national security at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. Georgetown University Law Center holds a conference on the state of the judiciary featuring Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

On Friday, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) travels to Florida. The Democratic Governors Association holds their fall policy meeting in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. The Western Policy Research Network presents their Presidential Primary Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT. Georgetown University Law Center concludes their conference on the state of the judiciary with remarks by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.