The Note: Wherever the Evidence Leads, Part XV


Most important Foley development of the news cycle: the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers (the 436th member of the House) slyly signaling to the world that he believes that former House clerk Jeff Trandahl is the key to the whole case. LINK

Most important non-Foley development of the news cycle: Senator John Warner (R-VA) coming out for a dramatically new direction in Iraq, as a stalking horse for many senior military leaders and Jim Baker's Iraq Study Group (which some say has secretly already made up its mind about recommending a dramatically new direction in Iraq -- after the election).

(Note: as Haley Barbour would say, Jim Baker was born at night, but it wasn't last night.) Most important non-Foley development of the news cycle which might or might not be true: Susan Page of USA Today reports in the lede of the Nation's Newspaper on the continuing tight Senate races around the country that has Democrats gaining momentum, and positioning them for majority control. LINK

Most unimportant partisan fight of the news cycle: the two parties fighting over the meaning of Friday's employment figures.

President Bush, part of the Rashomon kabuki, participates in a roundtable discussion and then speaks about job growth and the economy at the FedEx Express building in Washington, DC at 10:20 am ET. The president then delivers remarks at the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at 2:55 pm ET at the White House.

As for that Department of Labor report on jobs out this morning, "Employers add 51,000 jobs during September. This is well below the consensus estimate of 125,000, but there were upward revisions in previous months that added some 60,000 jobs," reports ABC News' Dan Arnall.

More Arnall: "The nation's unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a percent to 4.6%. That's a move, but a statistically insignificant one."

At this writing, none of the Republican House leaders are known to have public schedules today or plans to make news.

Vice President Cheney speaks at a luncheon for congressional candidate Vern Buchanan (R-FL) at 1:30 pm ET in Sarasota, FL. He then travels to Williamsburg, Virginia to attend a dinner and reception honoring the christening of Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush. That event takes place at 6:10 pm ET

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman campaigns with Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-8) at 8:00 pm ET in Bellevue, WA.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attends a rally for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis (D-FL) at 12:30 pm ET at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is in South Carolina taking part in a rally called "Support Our Troops and Salute our Veteran," at 5:30 pm ET at Veterans Memorial Duncan Park in Spartanburg, SC.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) is the featured guest at a fundraiser for Georgia GOP lieutenant governor nominee Casey Cagle (R-GA) at a closed press event at 11:45 am ET in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) presents a flag that flew over Ground Zero to first responder at 3:00 pm ET at the Hilton Head Fire Department in Hilton Head, SC. Pataki then attends two private fundraisers, one for South Carolina comptroller general Richard Eckstrom, and then at 4:00 pm ET Pataki and then at 6:00 pm ET for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) lectures at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum at 3:30 pm ET in Simi Valley, CA.

Former President Bill Clinton meets with representatives from the American Heart Association and food industry leaders to announce their new project of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation at 1:00 pm ET at A. Phillip Randolph Campus High School in New York, NY.

Several gubernatorial candidates debate today. Wisconsin gubernatorial candidates, Republican Mark Green tees off with Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) participating in the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association's debate in Milwaukee, WI at 8:00 PM ET,. In Texas, gubernatorial candidates, Republican Rick Perry, Democrat Chris Bell, independent Carole Strayhorn and independent Kinky Friedman debate in a state-wide broadcast in Houston, TX at 8:00 PM ET.

The CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project continues the Voter Identification Registration Conference today in Cambridge, MA.

Don't miss a Sunday exclusive on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," NRCC chief Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and DCCC chief Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) argue the '06 congressional election, the Foley impact, and more. LINK

Foley: Hastert survives?:

In a story on House Republicans moving to back Hastert, the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei and Michael Abramowitz have a top adviser to Hastert saying that Boehner's comments earlier this week "still stings" and the remark "was pretty close" to an insurrection. LINK

"Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Boehner, said his boss was 'in no way trying to blame Hastert. It was merely a description' of responsibility for the page program, which the speaker's office technically oversees."

On ABC's "Good Morning America," Jake Tapper referenced, "behind the scenes. . . tension."

Tapper and Avery Miller of ABC News report that conservative activist Paul Weyrich told ABC News that in a private phone conversation Hastert "assured me that Congressman Boehner had never, ever talked to him about this." "He didn't call him a 'liar,' " Weyrich said, "but he said, 'Paul, I assure you that phone call or visit from the majority leader never took place." LINK

Over to you, Mr. Boehner, who is down today (schedule-wise, not in terms of disposition.)

The Hill reports to the disarray and finger pointing going on within the Republican Party. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt Notes that Hastert "began his remarks on a note (sic) of contrition. . . But by the end of his remarks, he again denied any wrongdoing." LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Babington reports that Scott Palmer, the speaker's top aide, "spent much of Wednesday night rummaging through old e-mails and files to determine whether he ever corresponded with Fordham, a source close to Hastert said. Palmer, who was described as very emotional, told Hastert that Fordham's assertions are false, the source said." LINK

"Hastert's office has been on edge. Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Stokke, who handles politics for the speaker, has offered to resign, two sources close to Hastert said, and several aides have expressed frustration that Ted Van Der Meid, the top counsel in the office, did not do a better job monitoring the Foley situation. Hastert did not accept Stokke's resignation offer, the source said."

Bloomberg's Jay Newton-Small and Michael Forsythe write that Hastert "will likely survive for now in part because there is no appetite among Republican lawmakers to call the full House back into session to elect a new speaker, as required by the Constitution, and because there's no obvious successor untainted by the Foley affair among the Republican House leadership." LINK

Hastert "may well have slowed down the waves of criticism," writes Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times. LINK

The New York Times' Jeff "Front-page Boy" Zeleny (who also has the Stokke resignation offer) takes a closer look at Speaker Hastert as "political survivor." LINK

Zeleny Notes Hastert's fluid political schedule. "Mr. Hastert, who had a busy October of campaign travel penciled into his calendar, is suddenly seen as a liability for the first time since being elected speaker. Republican candidates across the nation were canceling, postponing or reconsidering appearances with him, fund-raisers said, wary of campaigning with Mr. Hastert, even though pollsters say he carries no more than a 40 percent name recognition," writes Zeleny.

USA Today also takes a look at Hastert's career trajectory: LINK

Andrew Taylor of the AP reports that Speaker Hastert "seems to be weathering the political storm" caused by the Foley fallout. LINK

The New York Times has the partisan breakdown over the anticipated (but withheld) Louis Freeh announcement and gives prominent play to Rep. Joe Barton's (R-TX) circulated letter of support for Hastert that likens the current position of the Speaker to defenders of the Alamo. LINK

The Chicago Tribune reports that a Hastert advisor said that senior Republican officials urged Hastert before yesterday's news conference not to repeat the comments he made suggesting ABC News, liberal billionaire George Soros, and Bill Clinton had created the scandal. The Tribune reports the advisor said that the comments were considered a serious misstep in national Republican circles. LINK

The Washington Post's Al Kamen provides a little FYI by writing that "there is a provision that if the speaker doesn't show up for three days, the chair can be deemed vacant and a motion would be in order for the election of a new speaker.) Were the House around, presumably someone who voted for Hastert last time could call for a new vote." LINK

Unsurprisingly, the Los Angeles Times ed board calls for Hastert's head, but writes his failures go beyond the Foley scandal. LINK

Matt Stearns, Washington correspondent for the Kansas City Star, reports that the GOP's House Majority Whip Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is "unscathed by the still unfolding scandal" and that Blunt is now seen by many to be angling to be the next Speaker, or minority leader, should the Republicans lose the house. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Deirdre Shesgreen writes an interesting story on the complex relationship between Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), two former high school teachers who now serve in Congress. LINK

Shesgreen writes that "a House GOP leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that during a conference call with House Republicans earlier this week, Shimkus did not come under fire when he recounted what he knew about Foley's contact with pages and why he handled it the way he did. 'He did not get any pushback from the members. There's some sympathy for his situation,' the aide said."

Foley: President Bush phones Hastert:

Be sure to Note the Wall Street Journal reports Hastert is scheduled to appear with President Bush "at a political event in Chicago next week."

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "President Bush called Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert late Thursday to talk about the Foley matter. This is the first time that President Bush has spoken to Speaker Hastert since the Foley story broke last week."

"Bush thanked him for going out and making a public statement today that 'showed the American people that they [the House Leadership] take responsibility and hold themselves accountable,' a White House official said last night.

"The President told Hastert he appreciated that when the Speaker and the leadership got the information on Foley, they swiftly took action and made it clear that Foley needed to step down and that they promptly request a professional investigation by the Department of Justice."

"President Bush expressed his appreciation and support for Speaker Hastert."

Foley: ethics committee convenes:

The New York Post's Earle writes up what could become the politically pertinent timing of the ethics subcommittee's findings, "California Rep. Howard Berman, the lead Democrat on the panel, said it might take 'weeks, not months' -- raising the possibility that ethics investigators could issue a bombshell report days before the elections." LINK

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Foley investigation serves as a test of the ethics panel's ability to rise above partisan politics. LINK

USA Today reports that the two Republicans of the House ethics committee have Hastert ties and received campaign money associated with the Speaker. LINK

Foley: the polls:

Two new polls have Republicans (even more) worried about November, the New York Post reports. LINK

Time Magazine is out with a poll showing 80 percent of those polled are aware of the Foley matter and only 16 percent of them approve of the Republicans' handling of it. LINK

The biggest political gain for the Democrats in the Foley scandal may be that the White House/RNC plan to put national security and terrorism front and center for the duration of the campaign was completely thwarted this week.

Foley: political fallout:

An aide to a leading House conservative told The Note this morning: "Let's face it: R's only hope out of this right now is if Dems had this info and sat on it."

In the aforementioned VandeHei/Abramowitz must-read in the Washington Post there is also this: "White House aides are nervous that the controversy has clouded, at least for now, Bush's effort to try to shape the midterm elections around the issue of terrorism." LINK

Under a "Democrats Hold Intensity Edge as Foley Scandal Reverberates" header, the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 51% of Democrats express the "highest possible level of interest in the elections, compared with 43% of Republicans. Democratic edge on that harbinger of motivation to vote is up slightly from 51%-46% edge in early September."

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes has a must-read front-page look at "the hot seat" that Rep. Reynolds finds himself in. The Journal Notes that Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), a member of the House ethics committee, suggested during a Monday conference call with GOP House members that "every member contact the parents of the pages they'd sponsored, to provide reassurance and perhaps learn of other problems. 'We seem to be forgetting that this is all about the children. We keep talking about who did what to whom, and who's covering up,' she said yesterday in an interview."

Read to the end, in which Calmes points out that Reynolds did not join Boehner and Blunt in putting out a statement of support for Hastert yesterday.

Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, a regular winner of the LaHood Award, appears worried that the Foley scandal may leave his party's base dispirited. LaHood seems to believe this scandal doesn't bode well for GOP congressional candidates like Peter Roskam who is locked in a fight to the finish with Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth. The Chicago Tribune has that story. LINK

The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman reports that in Minnesota's conservative 6th Congressional District, "the loosening of the GOP's hold on religious voters is helping Patty Wetterling, an antiwar Democrat, run an unexpectedly close race against Republican state Sen. Michele M. Bachmann, who has made opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage her signature issues." LINK

Conversely, per Bob Von Sternberg of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Democrat Patty Wetterling's attempt to capitalize on the Foley scandal in her bid for Minnesota's open sixth district seat has been largely unsuccessful. LINK

Jennifer Mooney Piedra reports that although Iraq, taxes and Social Security were all discussed, Foley was the center of the debate between Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) and Ron Klein. LINK

Palm Beach Post on the Shaw/Klein debate: LINK

Anne Saunders of the AP writes that Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hodes accused Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) of being hypocritical for not calling for Hastert's resignation like he did when North Country Councilor Ray Burton was involved in a sex scandal. LINK

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) and Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) both had harsh words for Speaker Hastert and called on him to resign if he knew anything about the Foley situation earlier than he has indicated. LINK

The Hartford Courant's David Lightman writes that those most likely to benefit from Foley's downfall are Democratic women running for public office, most Notably Diane Farrell (D-CT) in her race against Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT). Note that Farrell's daughter was a Senate page in 2002.LINK

Foley: the gay Republican angle:

In light of the Foley scandal, ABC News' Jake Tapper writes about the discrepancy between a Republican Party that fights against same sex marriage but also accepts gay congressmen and their staff. "A question now being debated is whether Foley's homosexuality is part of the problem of what led to his inappropriate behavior with pages -- or, conversely, whether it stemmed at all from the fact that Foley felt forced to hide his orientation," writes Tapper in his story on LINK

Tapper also provides "A Brief History of Gays In Government." LINK

The Los Angeles Times and The Hotline's Marc Ambinder on the same. LINK

and LINK

Foley: the messages:

ABC's Brian Ross, Rhonda Schwartz and Maddy Sauer report on The Blotter that three more former pages have accused Mark Foley of online sexual approaches. LINK

USA Today reports, "A former page, now working on the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Rep. Ernest Istook, has retained a lawyer. Lawyer Stephen Jones said he is representing the page in matters related to his work as a page and in reference to Foley." LINK

Foley: FL-16:

In a profile of Democrat Tim Mahoney's journey from "long shot" to "big shot," the Wall Street Journal's Yochi J. Dreazen reports that Republican Joe Negron's nascent campaign "received a boost Tuesday when Florida's Division of Elections recommended that election supervisors in this affluent, Republican-leaning district post notices in voting booths and send letters to absentee voters indicating that votes for Mr. Foley count for Mr. Negron. Democrats are likely to challenge that recommendation in court since they are hoping to capitalize on the fact that Florida law requires Mr. Foley's name to stay on the ballot." LINK

The Miami Herald reports that one county will include Notices in absentee ballots informing voters that votes for Mark Foley will go towards Negron.


Foley: investigations:

The Washington Post on instant messages and a lingering paper trail. LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), "the watchdog group that first provided the FBI with suspicious" e-mails from Foley, "said yesterday that FBI and Justice Department officials are attempting to cover up their inaction in the case by making false claims about the group." LINK

Warner's warnings:

Sen. John Warner (R-VA), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that the U.S. should consider a "change of course" in Iraq if the Iraqi government is unable to stabilize the country in the next two to three months.

Washington Post: LINK

Bloomberg News: LINK

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence committee Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) sent a letter to the CIA Director demanding the agency release the information she says it's withholding about Iraq. The Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK

The Way to Win:

Sales of The Way to Win, by Mark Halperin of ABC News and John F. Harris of the Washington Post, continue to be brisk, but, darling Note readers, not brisk enough.

So, if you like The Note, buy your copy of the book here now, through The Way to Win website: LINK

Harris has a front-page Washington Post story today based on the book. LINK

A Way To Win doubleheader tonight, at least for those of you who live in Manhattan and have Tivo.

First, at 7pm ET, Mark Halperin goes into the belly of the beast, talking about the book and then signing copies at the Barnes and Noble at 82nd and Broadway on the Upper West Side. LINK

Then, at 8pm ET, John F. Harris holds forth about the book on Gwen Ifill's fabled Washington Week on PBS. LINK

Earlier in the day, you can hear both men talk about the book throughout the media world, including a radio appearance on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC from noon until 12:40pm ET. LINK

Halperin is due on Michael Medved's radio show from 4pm ET to 5pm ET LINK

and then on the World of John Williams on WGN at 5:35pm ET. LINK

And this weekend, a West Wing reunion of sorts, when Halperin and Harris appear with a Gotham-visiting Wolf Blitzer on "Late Edition," which Wolf regularly assures us is the last word in Sunday talk. LINK

E.J. Kessler, in a Forward profile of Halperin, writes that The Way to Win "abounds with juicy, insider details...acutely and cutely presented" and is "likely to emerge among the top political-journalism titles of the century's first decade." LINK

(We forgive the use of "likely," on the assumption that an editor inserted it.) Andrew Keen's PajamasMedia podcast interview of the authors is available here. LINK and here LINK

Oh, Irony -- thy name is the reaction to The Way to Win. The book looks at how America's political-media culture has become a polarized Freak Show, with extreme voices at the center of the country's politics -- and facts and decorum pushed to the fringe.,, and other websites are filling up with comments from the Right and the Left about the book, and the alleged political allegiances of the authors.

Those who hope Americans can unite around shared beliefs will be happy to hear that there is stark agreement: Halperin and Harris are extremely biased.

However, the nature of that bias is not so clear

GOPJ, on, says this:

"[Halperin is a] biased, self-serving, puffed up shill for the MSM and their liberal democrat handlers." LINK

And drindl, on, says something completely different: "Halperin is the WORST partisan in the news business, and the Note is the worst of the worst of political commentary -- precious and fawning and straight out of the mouth of Rove. It's below the quality even of People Magazine." LINK

At the sameā€¦

The Way to Win sightings: Road warrior partisans of all types are snapping up the book. At the Orlando Airport Borders, Republican super attorney Ben Ginsberg, who worked on both of President Bush's campaigns, was seen buying a copy. And Richard Plepler, Friend of Chris (Dodd) and HBO honcho, was spied grabbing his at Reagan National.

The Way to Win Just Asking: Which Olympian-sized leading Republican 2008 presidential candidate recently cited The Way to Win in a private meeting with political types a long way from his home state. The soon-to-be-unemployed man cited the book's concept of the Freak Show and praised both the text and the two authors by name.

You can buy your copy of The Way to Win here now: LINK

Charles Gibson interviews George H.W. Bush:

"Bush Bashing, Parental Advice and November Politics," reads the headline above ABC News' Charles Gibson's interview with President George H.W. Bush (41). LINK

Former President Bush on being the President's father: ". . . you know there's a lotta Bush-bashing, there's a lotta people out there that have nothing good to say about it. I'd hate to single out a newspaper for example but, I can't remember the New York Times ever writing anything positive about our son. And every, we all know that it's a very liberal paper and all of that. But it's, Barbara says, 'why do you read it, why do you sit in here complaining all morning?' I say I just wanna get it out of the way. And, but it hurts far worse when, when your son is criticized than when I used to be."

After the interview aired on "World News with Charles Gibson" last night, Charlie said, "Mr. Bush handicapped, by the way, the 2008 presidential race -- said he's getting less certain that Hillary Clinton will run, just his opinion. On the Republican side the names he mentioned were McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Frist."

You can read the entire interview, including the FPOTUS' 2008 musings, here: LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Bloomberg's Matthew Benjamin and Brendan Murray report that President Bush is emphasizing the economy as the other two prongs in Karl Rove's strategy -- security and values -- "weaken." LINK

Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times picks up on the ever-talented Kay Henderson's always attuned ears and writes up Tony Snow's unlikely air time in Iowa. LINK

Here is Henderson's blog posting on Salesman Snow: LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that former White House official David Kuo will publish a book this month "slamming" the Bush Administration's commitment to "faith-based" programs. "A person familiar with book's content says it will characterize centerpiece of Bush's compassionate conservatism as 'big talk, little action.'"

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

"Bubba's back. And he is bringing the whole complicated Clinton package with him as he bounds back on the national political stage in the closing stage of a hard-fought election," write John Broder and Anne Kornblut of the New York Times. LINK

Be sure to Note Clinton's role in recruiting Harold Ford, Jr. into the Senate race in Tennessee and the requisite anonymous disgruntled Democrat who doesn't seem to think Clinton has done enough for the party this cycle.

And Jay Carson, part of the Carson-Hastert Anti-ABC coalition, is pacific.

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that the proportion of electorate calling gas prices a top voting issue plummets to 11% from 23% a month ago, based on a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

In a story looking at the conspiracy theories that revolve around fluctuating oil prices, the Washington Post's business section reports that one theory about lower oil prices holds that "Saudi Prince Bander bin Sultan lowered oil prices to help Bush in the election." LINK

2006: House:

The Associated Press's David Espo reports on Rep. Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) "drain the swamp" attitude on GOP scandal and her political momentum plus goals into the 2006 election year and beyond. LINK

Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) expressed disappointment with critical ads sponsored by the Economic Freedom Fund. Republican challenger Jeff Lamberti has asked the group to stop running the ads, Notes the Quad-City Times' Eby. LINK

2006: Senate:

USA Today's Jill Lawrence profiles two black politicians Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R-MD), with both men eager to move into Senate seats, but battling the political leanings in their states. LINK

U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. has a slight lead over his Republican opponent Bob Corker in the race for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released today. Bill Theobald from the Nashville Tennessean gives his analysis of the new numbers emerging from the poll in today's paper. LINK

The Memphis Commercial Appeal on the latest ads in the Corker v. Ford match-up. LINK

Claire McCaskill added a little star power to her campaign yesterday with Michael J. Fox's hosting a fundraiser. The St. Louis Dispatch has the story. LINK

Republican Senate hopeful John Spencer accuses opponent Sen. Clinton of aiding Al Qaeda. " 'You don't think that's helpful to the enemy in a time of war, for a prominent and possibly presidential contender to be calling for the head of the secretary of defense?' an incredulous Spencer said during a sitdown with the Daily News Editorial Board." LINK

2006: Governor:

Susan Page of USA Today provides a nice 2006 gubernatorial wrap. LINK

The Detroit News on its latest gubernatorial poll numbers: LINK

"In the first poll taken since a raucous Monday debate, Michigan voters showed they're growing less certain about who'll get their vote in the state's contentious race for governor, a Detroit News/WXYZ-TV poll indicates."

"Gov. Jennifer Granholm leads Republican challenger Dick DeVos 46 percent to 40 percent, the new survey shows. But support for both candidates has dropped over the past month and the percentage of undecided voters nearly doubled, from 7 percent in September to 12 percent this month. Granholm led DeVos 50-42, among all voters, in mid-September."

The Houston Chronicle Notes that the first Texas gubernatorial debate will air tonight and analyzes the candidate gameplans, including that of incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry. LINK

Tom Fahey of the Union Leader writes that during the first debate between gubernatorial candidates Gov John Lynch (D-NH) and James Coburn (R-NH) both candidates "stuck to their campaign themes" and discussed taxes, education, and the presidential primary. LINK

2006: downballot:

The New York Times reports on attorney general hopeful Andrew Cuomo's (D-NY) risky, yet profitable, campaign fund strategy. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Rudy Giuliani isn't much interested in reasserting his support for New York attorney general candidate Jeanine Pirro, reports the New York Post. LINK

The State curtain raises Sen. John McCain's trip upstate South Carolina trip today to attend a luncheon for agriculture commissioner candidate Hugh Weathers. LINK

2008: Democrats:

The Associated Press's Brendan Farrington writes that Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) figures his work with Republicans is a great way to secure becoming his party's presidential nominee. LINK

Howard Greniger of the Tribune-Star writes that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is using his political clout to back several Democratic candidates including congressional candidate Brad Ellsworth. During a press conference for Ellsworth, Bayh said "I think Indiana can make an important contribution in leading this country in a better direction by sending good people like Brad Ellsworth, and Baron Hill and Joe Donnelly to the United States Congress." LINK

Sen. Bayh also made stops at a union hall and AM General Plant to campaign for congressional candidate Joe Donnelly who is running against Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN) in Indiana's second district. LINK

Political potpourri:

How many politicians can you fit in a box at Yankee Stadium? The New York Post's Page Six has the answer. . . Apparently: three. LINK

The New York Post also spotted Sen. Lieberman at Yankee Stadium in a more humble situation, waiting in line for the bathroom. LINK

Weekend politics:

Saturday, President and Mrs. Bush participate in a Christening Ceremony of the USS George H. W. Bush at the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard Saturday at 10:00 am ET.

Saturday, Former President Bill Clinton, Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD), former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), and USA Today founder Al Neuharth headline a dedication of the McGovern Library at 11 am ET at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) debates State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D-CA) on Saturday October 7 at 9:00 pm ET in Sacramento, CA. The California Broadcasters Association carries the debate live and makes it available to all California tv stations.

Saturday, Laura Ingraham campaigns for Sen. George Allen at the 11th Annual "Hoe Down" at the in West Maidens Virginia at 5:00 pm ET.

Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R-TN) and Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) debate Saturday at 8 pm ET in Memphis, TN.

On Saturday, Sen. Joe Biden is in Kentucky campaigning for Kentucky Democrats Ken Lucas, Mike Weaver, Bill Young and Kent Stevens at several different events throughout the day. He begins his day in Greenup, KY at 9:30 am ET.