The Note: Denny's Grand Slam (cont.)

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10

Things that Speaker Hastert's spokesguy Ron Bonjean knows that 473 members of the Gang of 500 "know":

1. Hastert's staff has for years been aware of Mark Foley's bad behavior.

(Bonjean knows that 69% of the Republican members of the House -- the Conference -- "knows" this too.)

2. There are still serious discrepancies between the accounts of senior House leaders about what they knew and when they knew it (and who didn't do what).

(Bonjean knows that 92% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

3. In settling discrepancies between the Speaker and his staff, on the one hand, and other congressional Republicans, on the other, it is safe to assume that the latter group is always telling the truth.

(Bonjean knows that 54% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

4. The Bonjean Strategy is to run out the clock by hiding behind the on-going investigations to avoid answering any hard questions -- and assume no big shoes will drop -- before the midterm election.

(Bonjean knows that 86% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

5. Below the iceberg tip, the identities and roles of many more closeted (or semi-closeted) gay Republicans connected to the Foley matter explains a lot more than the general public knows about what happened (and what didn't happen).

(Bonjean knows that 98% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

6. The House leaderships' many muscular press releases on North Korea are the cure for what ails the GOP (for one news cycle at least).

(Bonjean knows that 100% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

7. What Bonjean sometimes tries to pass off as cutesy incompetence is in fact stark stonewalling.

(Bonjean knows that 30% of reporters "knows" this too.)

8. The full Gang of 500 will read every national poll for the foreseeable future -- no matter what the data says -- as proof that the Foley scandal will cost the Republicans the House, and maybe the Senate.

(Bonjean knows that 71% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

9. Hastert is almost half as good a television spokesman as Howell Heflin.

(Bonjean knows that 32% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

10. NRCC topper Tom Reynolds is electorally dead -- and distracted.

(Bonjean knows that 69% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

11. The dysfunctional handling of this crisis tells a larger -- and accurate -- story about the ability of the current Conference leadership to work together and get things done, in good times or bad.

(Bonjean knows that 38% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

12. Democrats will take control of the House, and maybe the Senate.

(Bonjean knows that 50% of the Conference "knows" this too.)

Ron Bonjean knows these things.

Now: Who will tell the Speaker, who is doing two public events this morning on the economy in Aurora, IL. Quick: name the national news organizations who will staff those events and guess the weight of the security men who will be there?

The political highlight on President Bush's schedule is a 5:35 pm ET fundraiser for Republican Mac Collins in Macon, GA. Collins is running against Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) in one of the nine competitive House seats currently held by the Democrats.

Earlier in the day, the President and First Lady participates in a panel discussion on school safety at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD. Mrs. Bush speaks at 12:30 pm ET and the President speaks at 1:15 pm ET.

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