The Note: Charlie Brown Holds His Own Football

A National Republican Senatorial Committee official puts it simply this morning: "The NRSC has not pulled out a dime in this race."

A Republican Party official adds, "We have spent more money in Ohio than any other state and that level of spending will continue through Election Day."

Wrap all of that pushback together and it still doesn't refute Nagourney's artful reporting that the GOP is "moving to reduce financial support" in that race.

McCain vs. Clinton:

The MoDo column that ratcheted things up a bit and caused Sen. Clinton to phone Sen. McCain with an apology: LINK

Ben Smith of the New York Daily News advances the early look at the McCain vs. Clinton potential 2008 match-up beyond the North Korea squabble and explores the frontrunners' differences on torture. LINK

"The comments about McCain's prisoner-of-war days put Clinton's camp in damage-control mode with five weeks left in the 2006 cycle, at a time when everyone around her has stayed on-message," wrote Maggie Haberman of the New York Post in her Sunday story on Clinton's phone call to McCain to apologize for and disassociate herself from the blind quote. LINK

(Don't miss how the New York Post characterizes Sen. Clinton's stance on the war in the paper's "Tale of the Tape.")

David Lightman of the Hartford Courant writes about the political blame game that has ensued after the North Korea nuclear test. He Notes the high, and/but mostly the low points of the McCain-Clinton-Dodd feud from last week and the polarization created by the war in Iraq. Lightman points to how politicians' current finger-pointing "violates a long-held tenet of American foreign policy, that politics stops at the water's edge during a crisis." LINK

Foley: political fallout:

In an article slugged, "A Maverick who Worries Both Parties," the New York Times' Raymond Hernandez reports on Jack Davis, the unconventional Democrat running to unseat Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), head of the NRCC. LINK

On Sunday, the Chicago Sun Times' Bob Novak columnized about a Republican operative who seems to think Reynolds will definitely lose reelection and how the Foley scandal may hurt House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) ambition to be Ambassador to Japan. LINK

ABC's Teddy Davis reports that Sheriff Brad Ellsworth, the Democrat running against Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), has become the latest House candidate to air a Foley-related ad. LINK

Foley: Hastert:

The Washington Post's Michael Grunwald and Jim VandeHei look at the "accidental speaker" -- Coach Hastert whom they describe as looking like a "cross between actor Wilford Brimley and Jabba the Hut." LINK

Foley: FL-16:

The AP is reporting a new poll from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that has over 70 percent of respondents saying the Foley scandal would have no effect on their vote for FL-16 as well as other races. It also shows Democrat Tim Mahoney with a 48 to 41 lead over Republican replacement Joe Negron in what was previously considered a solidly Republican district. LINK

In Saturday's Los Angeles Times, Carol J. Williams had Negron telling a group of Florida voters: "People are saying you can't push the button next to Mark Foley's name. But I know that you're smarter than that." LINK

The Way to Win:

Buy the new Random House thriller, The Way to Win, by ABC News political director Mark Halperin and John F. Harris, the national politics editor of the Washington Post, here: LINK

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