The Note: Reasoning Adroitly and Speciously . . .

The battle for the Senate will be front and center today when Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the chairs of the NRSC and DSCC, respectively, speak at the National Press Club at 1:00 pm ET. Democrats need six seats to win control of the Senate. The three most closely watched races at this time are Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia.

On Wednesday, President Bush meets with the President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez in the Oval Office at 1:15 pm ET.

While the President stays off the campaign trail, his more popular wife has a busy day of campaigning. First Lady Laura Bush campaigns for Michelle Bachman (R-MN) at 10:00 am ET in Minnetonka, MN. Bachman is the Republican running against Patty Wetterling, the first Democrat to run a Foley-related ad, in Minnesota's sixth congressional district. Mrs. Bush then travels to Rochester, MN for a 12:05 pm ET rally followed by another rally in Columbus, IN. ABC News' Claire Shipman traveled with the First Lady today and plans to air her "Day in the Life with Laura Bush" tomorrow morning on Good Morning America.

Vice President Cheney delivers remarks to the Cincinnati USA regional chapter at the Phoenix hotel in Cincinnati, OH at 12:00 pm ET.

Speaker Hastert's chief counsel, Ted Van Der Meid, is expected to testify before the ethics committee today.

Frist says focus should not be Iraq:

"'The challenge is to get Americans to focus on pocketbook issues, and not on the Iraq and terror issue,' Frist said in an interview yesterday," reports the Concord Monitor. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

From the Washington Post's front page: "More U.S. Troops May Be Iraq-Bound" LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Greg Jaffe offers analysis of the administration's shift in strategy, where Iraqi government leaders agreed to develop a timeline by the end of the year: "In a way, officials now are describing a strategy that reverses the priorities the U.S. had set for itself and its allies in the Iraqi government. Bush administration officials had long theorized that Iraq's security situation needed to be stabilized before its fledgling government would have the breathing space to solve the difficult sectarian splits and regional feuds. Now, the U.S. is proposing that Mr. Maliki needs to do more to establish a government worth defending before a security force can be built to do that job adequately." LINK

Per Columnist David Ignatius of the Washington Post, "The Bush administration's Iraq policy is no longer 'stay the course' but, in the phrase of White House spokesman Tony Snow, 'a study in constant motion.' The reality, as near as I can tell, is that the administration isn't sure yet where to move after the November elections. Nor are most of the administration's critics." LINK

2006: landscape:

When asked about President Bush's unflagging optimism about the GOP's November prospects, First Lady Laura Bush told ABC's Claire Shipman on "Good Morning America," "Nobody's voted yet. Certainly you can still be optimistic."

The First Lady also rejected the Notion that her husband, who jabs Rep. Pelosi on a near-daily basis, has made negative comments about the would-be Speaker.

"He doesn't say bad things about other people who are running," Mrs. Bush said.

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