The Note: Everything Is Relational

If you are addicted to the East Coast's sensibilities, then you should know that Carole Goldberg, the books editor of the Hartford Courant says The Way to Win is "an insider's guide to a system that affects the lives of all Americans." LINK

And you can buy the book and check out the upcoming schedule of author public and media appearances at the book's website here. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

David Sanger of the New York Times writes up James Baker's newsy interview with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" where he hinted that the Iraq Study Group he heads will neither suggest a "stay the course" strategy nor a "cut and run" strategy when it presents its recommendations, indicating that perhaps America needs a new approach in Iraq. LINK

On his "Political Punch" blog, ABC News' Jake Tapper "does the math" on how a Republican Senator, who will eventually break with the White House, "calculates how many lives it's acceptable to have killed pursuing that policy before stating his opposition to it…for the sole purpose of protecting his political party in an election." LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

For Sunday's Washington Post, Peter Baker looked at the grim rhetoric that Vice President Cheney brings to the campaign trail. LINK

For those of you keeping count, he has attended 111 fundraisers this cycle.

David Wessel reported in the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition that the White House will release the final deficit tally next week in the hope of sharing some good news before the election. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish looks at President Bush's relationship with religious conservatives and the friction that exists in his second term. LINK

Here is the link to Part 1 from over the weekend: LINK

Abramoff affair:

In the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition, Jeanne Cummings reported that two upcoming court dates will push the Abramoff scandal back into the spotlight:

"Next Friday, Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney is scheduled to enter guilty pleas to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trips, meals and other gifts in exchange for taking official action on behalf of clients of former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff."

"On Oct. 27 -- less than two weeks before the Nov. 7 election -- David H. Safavian, a former White House official and Abramoff ally, is scheduled to be sentenced for his conviction, earlier this spring, on lying and obstruction-of-justice charges. Those also flowed from the Abramoff investigation."

The economy:

Kevin Hastert of Bloomberg News reports that Republicans incumbents may be dealt another political blow in weeks to come when GDP figures for this quarter, which are expected to be exceptionally low, are released later this month. LINK

"…. a soft landing for the economy may deliver a hard landing for Republicans. There is no question that individuals look at their own personal economic circumstances as the election approaches, and base their votes on how they feel the economy is doing. If the data turn sour, then voters will vote for change.

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