The Note: Consensus Reached


At this time of intense pressure and negativity on the national town square, it is comforting to know that President Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Lynne Cheney, Phil Singer, Karl Rove, Elizabeth Edwards, and every other elite Republican and Democratic politico share a set of cherished core American beliefs:

The Iraq war is the great force in the midterms.

No one in the press or interest groups can police last-minute robo-calls or mail.

There is a certain Senator from the Northeast who talks too much.

There is a certain Cabinet member who talks too much.

If you know where and how Michael Whouley is spending his next week and a half, you will know how Democrats will do on Election Day.

If you know where and how President Bush is spending his next week and a half, you will know how Republicans will do on Election Day.

Harold Ford needs to be ahead by at least 5 on November 6 to win on November 7.

David Yepsen thinks he himself would be a better governor of Iowa than Chet Culver or Jim Nussle.

You can spend more and still lose.

The view that 2006 is "the most negative" campaign ever is quaintly absurd.

Michael Steele is a better candidate than his numbers reflect; George Allen's numbers are better than his campaign warrants.

History may be kinder to Dan Allen than to George Allen.

Republican candidates around the country are still paying a price for the House leadership's mishandling of the page scandal in the first week after Mark Foley was exposed.

Bill Clinton can talk owls down out of the trees.

It is amazing that Republicans haven't done more to scuff up Hillary Clinton this year in advance of 2008.

Going into the New Jersey Senate race was either a) a sign of desperation by the Republicans, or b) a brilliant tactical maneuver that could be remembered as the one bright spot for the party this year.

Picking Bob Menendez for the Senate was not Governor Corzine's most inspired decision.

The only way to get a fair message out is through (friendly) New Media, because the Old Media is incompetent, weak, and biased.

If you think there has never been a more interesting midterm election season, either you are really young or you have a faulty memory.

Politicians are once again being forced to say that "there has never been a more important election in all of American history" even though they don't really think it.

If Republicans hold the House, Howie Kurtz is going to have a field day with his Thursday, November 9 story on the Charlie Cooks, Stu Rothenbergs, Larry Sabatos, and other a-wave-is-coming prognosticators.

MVP (D): Chairman Emanuel.

MVP (R): Chairman Mehlman.

Best Supporting Actors/Actresses (D): Independent, aggressive, federal prosecutors.

Best Supporting Actors/Actresses (R): Liberal, activist, gay-loving judges.

On Election Day, the network exit polls will be highly suspect and highly coveted.

You can't refresh Drudge too often.

Please don't let the election go into overtime.

A man who approves of this list, President Bush, meets with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in the Oval Office at 10:05 am ET.

According to this morning's look at the third quarter GDP, the U.S. economy is growing slower than expected. The slowdown was led by the chill in the housing sector, consumer spending held up OK and business investment is still a high point. This is a sobering number, but remember, this is a look in the rear view mirror, reports ABC's Betsy Stark.

Per the norm, Republican leaders are already issuing press releases, celebrating the silver linings they see.

First Lady Laura Bush delivers remarks (open press) at 1:10 pm ET at a Vern Buchanan for Congress reception in Sarasota, FL. (You'll likely recall that her husband was campaigning for the same candidate a few days ago.) At 5:00 pm ET in Palm Beach, FL, Mrs. Bush makes remarks at a closed press reception for Rep. Clay Shaw.

Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at a rally for the B-2 Bomber Forces at 12:55 pm ET in Whiteman Air Force Base, MO and then participates in a fundraiser for the RNC at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island at 6:00 pm ET in Kiawah Island, SC.

Karl Rove attends a luncheon for the Republican Party of Wisconsin in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Sen. Hillary Clinton receives the endorsement of BIPAC, the political arm of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) in Syracuse, NY at 12:00 pm ET. At 1:00 pm ET in Syracuse, Mrs. Clinton campaigns with Democratic congressional candidate Dan Maffei (D-NY) before attending a meeting with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the Metropolitan Development Association at 3:00 pm ET in East Syracuse, NY. Sen. Clinton then travels to Rhode Island to campaign for Senate candidate Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in Johnston, RI at 6:00 pm ET.

Sensing a political opportunity in the recent New Jersey court ruling on gay rights, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) campaigns for the protection of marriage in Harrisonburg, VA at 12:00 pm ET. Sen. Allen's opponent -- Democrat Jim Webb -- opposes a Virginia state ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriage, foreclose the possibility of civil unions, and potentially weaken existing legal protections for unmarried couples. Sen. Allen supports the ballot measure.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stumps for Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) in Nashua, NH at 5:30 pm ET.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) attends political events in Iowa. The two candidates hoping to succeed former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) as the congressman from Florida's 16th congressional district -- Republican Joe Negron and Democrat Tim Mahoney -- debate at 7:00 pm ET.

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) debate in Cleveland, OH.

Chairman Dean attends the Nevada Democratic Party's Early Vote GOTV Rally at 12:30 pm ET in Las Vegas, NV.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) campaigns with Sheriff Brad Ellsworth, the Democrat whose is hoping to knock off Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) in Indiana's 8th congressional district. During a recent meeting with Courier & Press editors, Rep. Hostettler, one of six Republicans who voted against the Iraq war, said he has turned down many offers of help from the Bush Administration "primarily because of differences over the Iraq war."

Hostettler was quoted as telling the newspaper: "We just decided, just said, 'Just stay in Washington.' Said, 'Thank you, but no thank you, we're going to run our election.'" LINK

Politics of the "homosexual agenda":

In light of the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, President Bush brought same sex marriage back into his stump speech while in Iowa yesterday, Notes Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times. LINK

Note, too, how the issue is moving to the foreground for candidates in Virginia and Tennessee -- two states with same sex marriage bans on the ballot and key Senate races.

In a must-read, the Los Angeles Times' James Gerstenzang and Ronald Brownstein look at the contrasting messages of President Bush and former President Clinton while on the campaign trail in the nation's Rust Belt on Thursday. LINK

For President Bush, this week's New Jersey court decision "provided a fresh opportunity to speak to the heart of a cultural issue that motivated many conservative voters who had propelled him and other GOP candidates to victory in recent years -- but whose enthusiasm for Bush and his party has been lagging, according to some polls."

For former President Clinton, the rally was an opportunity to try to refute a "the perceived risk, which Bush raises regularly, that Democrats would seek to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq before the country had been stabilized and could defend itself against becoming a haven for anti-American terrorists."

To "loud applause and whoops from the audience," former President Clinton said: "'Stop and think' is not the same as 'cut-and-run.'"

The president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, tells the Washington Post that conservative voters were awakened by the New Jersey Supreme Court on gay marriage and that conservatives now feel a "very real and present danger" that same-sex marriage could spread. Alan Cooperman on what may be wake call for conservatives that could really tilt thing in favor of GOP. LINK

USA Today lists the eight states that will be voting on same-sex marriage in November. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish looks at the intensifying national based attacks on Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) from Vice President Cheney, who has said of the gay lawmaker "I don't need to tell you what kind of legislation would come," (although the veep has not mentioned Frank's sexuality) and Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) who is airing an ad warning about Frank-led Democratic efforts to "advance the homosexual agenda." LINK

"Frank is both outraged and bemused by the attacks. If his mother were still alive, 'she would have kvelled at Dick Cheney attacking me, she would have been the proudest mother in America,' Frank said in an interview, using a Yiddish word for bursting with pride."

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register analyzes the fact that gubernatorial candidates Jim Nussle and Chet Culver both oppose same-sex marriage. LINK

Sen. Clinton makes news on same-sex marriage:

Sen. Clinton told a group of gay elected officials Wednesday that she would not oppose same sex marriage in New York if the state legislature and governor enacted it. LINK

According to the Gay City News, when Sen. Clinton was asked about plans Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic candidate for governor, has to introduce a gay marriage bill, Sen. Clinton said: "if our governor and our Legislature support marriage in New York, I'm not going to be against that. . . So I feel very comfortable with being able to refute anybody who tries to pit us or pit me against Eliot." LINK

During a May 26, 2005 interview on CNN's "Inside Politics," Sen. Clinton said: "Well, I don't know many Democrats who support gay marriage. In fact, I don't and haven't for, you know, years before I became a Senator."

Bush Administration agenda:

"The commissioner of internal revenue has ordered his agency to delay collecting back taxes from Hurricane Katrina victims until after the Nov. 7 elections and the holiday season, saying he did so in part to avoid negative publicity," reports the New York Times' David Cay Johnston in a story that is almost certain to be quickly turned into a DNC press release. LINK

In the forthcoming Sunday New York Times Magazine, Ben Wallace-Wells looks at Tony Snow's not-so-easy job as press secretary for an Administration "under siege."

"According to White House officials, Snow does play a bigger role than previous press secretaries did in helping to design the day's response to anticipated press inquiries. But Snow's more obvious success has been within the theatrical confines of the press room -- in deflecting damaging stories before they gain traction, in phrasing the president's position more eloquently and precisely than Bush himself is able to and in imposing the White House's line on the story of the day."

White House counselor Dan Bartlett, as part of his overall praise for his colleagues, credits Snow with pushing the President to speak to the NAACP in advance of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Politics of Iraq:

John Broder of the New York Times explores the many different formulations Democrats have provided on the path forward in Iraq. LINK

"With less than two weeks to Election Day, both Republicans and Democrats appear to be fudging their positions to avoid alienating voters. Polls indicate that the public, hungry for a change, prefers the Democratic approach, unspecific as it is, to a continuation of the Bush policies," writes Broder.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman does the math and determines that the United States must withdraw from Iraq and refocus on Afghanistan to avoid going 0 for 2 in the current wars. LINK

Linguist George Lakoff takes to the New York Times op-ed page and writes of how "stay the course" rhetoric went from a positive to a negative for President Bush. Lakoff also warns the Democrats of the peril of staying their own course by offering no "language articulating a Democratic vision." LINK

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz urges President Bush to stop playing "smallball" in Iraq. LINK

Pelosi politics:

For the newspaper that covers the city where the would-be Speaker began her political education, the Baltimore Sun's Julie Hirschfeld Davis looks at Nancy Pelosi's "tough style of leadership." LINK

2006: landscape:

According to the latest Associated Press poll, " public attitudes about President Bush, the nation's direction and the upcoming elections." The results: "Middle-class voters are giving the Democratic Party its best chance to reclaim the House since 1994. Angry with President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, 56 percent of likely voters said they would vote Nov. 7 to send a Democrat to the House, while 37 percent said they would vote Republican." LINK

When many members of Congress traveled to Europe in July of 2003 on official government business, they might not have disclosed their free meals from defense contractors and lobbyists representing corporations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Notes the Wall Street Journal's Paltrow, in a piece whose timing and sourcing are almost as interesting as the question of whether it will have an impact on the midterms or not. LINK

Latino voters will take the polls this November with immigration very much on their mind. Nonpartisan groups have been registering large numbers of Latino voters in Arizona, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, all states with key congressional races. Nicole Gaouette of the Los Angeles Times on Latinos having their say in on the immigration issue in the voting booth. Gaoutte gives short shrift to Latinos previous failure to vote in big numbers. LINK

The New York Daily News' DeFrank and Bazinet on the GOP "voter vault" and micro-targeting efforts to get its voters to the polls. LINK

The St. Petersburg Times gives a nod to the outstanding GOTV efforts of the Florida GOP, saying that although the Democrats have a lot to be optimistic about, the "mighty Florida GOP machine [is] revving its turbines, " write Adam C. Smith and Asjylyn Loder. "By some estimates the GOP's absentee-ballot program alone will ensure that Republicans wake up on Election Day with a 300,000-vote advantage over Democrats." LINK

2006: Campaign advertising:

Michael Grunwald of the Washington Post nearly has the courage to say it with full voice: most of the most negative, personal (and misleading) campaign ads recently and now have been run by Republican candidates. LINK

Amy Schatz of the Wall Street Journal Notes the difficulty of breaking through the nonstop negative ad clutter with many candidates going for the political jugular.

USA Today takes a look at "the brave new world of political ads in the Internet age." LINK

2006: House:

Lois Romano if The Washington Post profiles the woman who is on duty everyday and who makes everything work at the DCCC, Karin Johanson, executive director. LINK

2006: House: CA-04 and CA-11:

Jesse McKinley of the New York Times -- covering theater of a different sort -- writes up the tough reelection races Rep. Pombo (R-CA) and Rep. Doolittle (R-CA) find themselves in due to their connections to Jack Abramoff. LINK

2006: House: CO-05 and ID-01:

USA Today's Tom Kenworthy looks at the ways in which "party divisions" among Republicans have helped Democrats gain traction in "once safe bets in GOP country." LINK

2006: House: CT-04:

The Hartford Courant's David Lightman reports that Diane Farrell (D-CT) and other candidates are hoping to awake the "sleeping giant of American politics" that is Hispanic voters, who historically have not turned out in huge numbers. LINK

Joel Lang of the Courant tries to clear up any murkiness surrounding Rep. Christopher Shays' (R-CT) April 2003 trip to Iraq, after the New Republic reported that Shays didn't disclose any of the financial details of the trip. LINK

Here is Garance Franke-Ruta's New Republic piece: LINK

2006: House: FL-16:

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Joel Hood writes about the debate last night in Florida 16 between Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) replacement Joe Negron (R-FL) and Tim Mahoney (D-FL). The debate will not air until the weekend and it was the first between the two candidates. LINK

2006: House: IA-03:

Charlotte Eby of the Quad City Times covers President Bush's visit for congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti, raising almost $400,000. "Despite polls showing low support for the war in Iraq, Bush put the issue front and center." LINK

Tim Higgins and Lisa Rossi of the Des Moines Register report on President Bush's visit to help congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti. "While touting his support for Lamberti, Bush slipped a bit and referred to him twice as 'Dave.'" LINK

The Quad City Times breaks down the cash on hand for Iowa congressional candidates. LINK

2006: House: KY-03:

The Louisville Courier Journal writes up the debate in Kentucky 3 between John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Rep. Anne Northup (R-KY). Per Kay Stewart: "John Yarmuth called U.S. Rep. Anne Northup's new call for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation a transparent attempt to buoy her re-election, as the two debated for the fourth time yesterday." Northup said publicly on Tuesday that Rumsfeld "should go" due to the increased violence in Iraq, but she believes the US should stay. Yarmuth favors immediate withdrawal from Iraq. LINK

2006: Senate:

Sen. Schumer (D-DSCC) repeats his usual talking points about the Senate races in what the New York Post bills as an exclusive interview. LINK

2006: Senate: Tennessee:

Jim Rutenberg and Anne Kornblut of the New York Times take a look at the Scott Howell and Terry Nelson connections to the recently pulled controversial RNC ad in Tennessee and their connections (past, present, and future) to presidential campaigns too. LINK

Tom Humphrey of the Memphis Commercial Appeal discusses the campaign spending of senatorial candidate as Bob Corker added $650,000 to his campaign account. Corker has spent a record-setting $14.2 million while Ford has spent $10.6 million. LINK

The Memphis Commercial Appeal's Richard Locker on Ford's new ad defending himself from RNC attacks on gay marriage and abortion pills for school children as well as Corker's new ad which attacks Ford for missing 365 days. LINK

USA Today: "RNC pulls ad in Tenn. amid racism charges" LINK

Bonna de la Cruz of the Nashville Tennessean discusses the "nationally notorious ad." LINK

Nashville Tennessean's Bill Theobald breaks down John Greer's analysis of why negative campaign ads work. LINK

2006: Senate: Virginia:

The Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings looks at Jim Webb's prospects for picking up crossover votes from the GOP's base of white men because of his past as a disenchanted Reagan Republican, their chance to pick up the six seats they need to control the Senate may well come down to the Virginia race.

Over at his "political punch" blog, ABC News' Jake Tapper looks at the latest twists and turns in the Virginia Senate race thanks to a carefully placed (Drudge and Fox News) Allen press release on some controversial fictional writings by Allen's Democratic opponent, Jim Webb. The Webb campaign response is there too. LINK

USA Today's Jill Lawrence sees the Virginia Senate race as possibly resting on the shoulders of the state's women and minorities. LINK

USA Today chronicles the fight for the African-American vote in Virginia. LINK

The Richmond Time Dispatch's Pamela Stallsmith reports that Jim Webb has raised more money in the first part of this month than Sen. Allen but Sen. Allen has more cash on hand. LINK

Christina Bellantoni of the Washington Times calls Sen. Allen's wife Susan the "head cheerleader" of his campaign, alluding to her high profile on the campaign trail and her popularity. LINK

2006: Senate: Missouri:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jo Mannies reports that State Auditor Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) controversial Senate ad featuring Michael J. Fox took in $300,000 on Thursday from the attention and commentator Rush Limbaugh's criticisms. LINK

Mannies also reports that Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) sent out a release last night accusing McCaskill of "using her family fortune to pay for the Senate race" and "using her family's wealth to further her political career." LINK

McCaskill "continued outpacing" Talent "in the final, furious days of fundraising, but disclosed Thursday that she took out a $500,000 loan to help her campaign buy TV ads," ledes the Kansas City Star's Buzz Blog. LINK

The Kansas City Star's Matt Stearns writes that McCaskill's effort to appeal to voters in more rural areas is useful, but in order to unseat Talent she needs to pick up votes in urban areas. LINK

2006: Senate: Montana:

President Bush will make a campaign appearance for Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), and local Republican candidates at MetraPark in Billings, MT at noon Thursday, Nov. 2. An official announcement has not been issued by the White House, but local Republicans are being offered volunteer VIP passes to the event, in return for helping to get out the vote efforts in Billings according to the Billings Gazette. LINK

2006: Senate: New Jersey:

A New York Times/CBS News poll shows the Senate race in the Garden State is a dead heat. Among likely voters, 40 percent support Bob Menendez (D-NJ) versus 39 percent for Tom Kean, Jr. (R-NJ). LINK

". . . if patterns hold, the race will come down to what is essentially a proxy battle: those who are motivated by national issues, and dislike Mr. Bush, versus those who are motivated by local issues, and who look up to former Governor Kean," write the New York Times' Chen and Connelly.

2006: Senate: Maryland:

The Washington Times highlights a controversial gesture on the part of Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD) who skipped an NAACP-sponsored debate last night with Michael Steele (R-MD). Per S.A. Miller and Jon Ward: "Debate organizers said they had expected Mr. Cardin to participate but his campaign had not made a firm commitment to appear with Mr. Steele and Kevin Zeese, the nominee of the Green, Libertarian and Populist parties." LINK

2006: Senate: Pennsylvania:

Speaking at the Valley Forge Military Academy, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) beefed up tough talk on American's defenses towards enemies abroad, he also called his opponent Bob Casey (D) "unready" for the job, per the Philadelphia Inquirer's Carrie Budoff and Jeff Shields. LINK

2006: Ohio:

Despite Sen. Elizabeth's Dole's (R-NY) recent thinly veiled effort to sully the reputation of Adam Nagourney's employer, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephen Koff confirms that the RNC has "notified television stations in Ohio that it will not use time it reserved" for Sen. DeWine "from next Tuesday until the Nov. 7 election." LINK

2006: Senate: Connecticut:

Mark Pazniokas and Elizabeth Hamilton of the Hartford Courant report that Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) got a little help from friend Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to bolster his "centrist appeal." LINK

Ned Lamont has been promoting his "two opponents" of late in an effort to boost Republican Alan Schlesinger's chances of eating away at Sen. Lieberman's Republican support, reports the New York Times' Confessore. LINK

2006: Governor: Nevada:

Molly Ball has an article in today's Las Vegas Review Journal about the Gibbons scandal, this one focusing on his opponent Dina Titus (D-NV), and a new ad -- that may or may not air -- which refers to Mazzeo's accusations. Ball points to the fact that Titus says that she will not comment on the allegations, but the ad, which was inadvertently posted on the web states: "Gibbons talks about family values, but on a rainy night in Las Vegas, he's at a bar drinking, then walks an intoxicated woman to her car. We can't trust Jim Gibbons' judgment; we can't trust Jim Gibbons to be governor." The Titus campaign is not sure that they will air the ad. LINK

All the Sheriff wants is a signed crime report from Chrissy Mazzeo, write Francis McCabe and David Kihara in today's Las Vegas Review Journal. In a press conference yesterday, Sheriff Bill Young said of the potential investigation of gubernatorial candidate Jim Gibbons (R-NV): "Bring it on. Come forward, sign the crime report, and I guarantee if you want an aggressive investigation ... you ain't seen nothing yet." LINK

2006: Governor: Pennsylvania:

James O'Toole of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at criticism Gov. Ed Rendell has received for saying that many seniors live "gray" lives. LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

Have you heard the one about what Sen. Clinton wanted President Clinton to give her for her birthday? Ray Hernandez of the New York Times wraps the former president's Empire State campaign swing from Albany to Syracuse to Long Island and finishing up on the Upper West Side. LINK

"No one raised the possibility of a 2008 White House run, as has been custom during the race, with Bill Clinton veering close just once, saying, 'She represents the best of what [the country] is yearning for,'" write Maggie Haberman and Ken Lovett of the New York Post. LINK

The Albany Times Union's Tim O'Brien on Clinton campaigning for Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand. LINK

The New York Daily News wraps Clintonfest too: LINK

Politics of immigration:

Nicole Gaouette of the Los Angeles Times emphasizes the President saying "we have more to do" on immigration. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan on the bill signing. LINK

Democratic agenda:

Business groups and special interests sense that the Democrats might in fact take control of Congress November 7th and so they're throwing campaign money at the men and woman in line for House committee chairmanships. Richard Simon of the Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK

In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Prof. Ross Baker looks at the way Democrats have tacked right on gun control. LINK

"Democrats have run up the white flag. They have evidently concluded that curtailing the right of gun ownership is a nonstarter, especially if they intend to pursue victory in 50 states."

"That's the goal of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. His vision of breaking the GOP lock on states such as Wyoming, Montana and Colorado has caused the Democrats to holster their olive branch, snatch the Winchester from the cold, dead hands of Charlton Heston and ride off under the leadership of Montana's pro-gun Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer to confront the Mountain West Republican Party. We should not be surprised if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton shows up at the 2008 Democratic Convention togged out like Annie Oakley, shooting cigars out of the mouth of her husband, the former president."

2008: Republicans:

The New York Daily News' McAuliff writes up Sen. John McCain's PAC support in New Hampshire (and Iowa and South Carolina too) as a warning sign for Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. LINK

In a rare Bay State appearance, Gov. Romney campaigned in Massachusetts for Lt. Gov Kerry Healey (R-MA), reports Andrea Estes of the Boston Globe. LINK

Kimberly Atkins of the Boston Herald reports has Gov. Romney telling supporters that Patrick is a "Mike Dukakis liberal." LINK

2008: Democrats:

Jacob Weisberg on Slate tries to calmly lose his mind over Barack Obama (D-Earth). LINK

Charles Krauthammer does the same thing, saying Obama should run for President in 2008 so that he can lose and win later on. LINK

Alex Fryer of the Seattle Times describes Sen. Obama's rally with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) where the "smartest person" wasn't the two Senators or congressional candidate, but "it was the guy selling 'Obama for President' campaign buttons and t-shirts." LINK

David Ammons of the Associated Press reports that although "Obama sounded like a national candidate, but neither he nor the other speakers who lavished praise on him directly referred to his presidential bid." LINK

According to a poll released by WISH-TV (CBS) in Indianapolis, Sen. Bayh has a 64 percent approval rating and 57 percent of Hoosiers "approve of Bayh for a presidential run." LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sen. Kerry's stumping on behalf of Pennsylvania politicians. LINK

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes that the "word out of Iowa" is that Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is "beginning to solicit contributions for an early December event that would raise money for a federal political action committee." LINK


The Palm Beach Post follows the New York Times reporting on the Human Rights Campaign staffer link to the Foley emails. LINK

Casting and counting:

The New York Times takes a long front page look at some Democratic concerns that black voters, possibly disillusioned from their voting experiences in 2000 and 2004, may decide to sit out this election. Timesman Ian Urbina reports what a critical blow that would be in some of the key Senate contests in Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri. LINK

Richard Wolf tackles what could be the most important issue on November 7, in Cleveland LINK and around the rest of the country. LINK

Whether due to fraud or just human error, USA Today checks out if voters will actually be able to cast their ballots when the time comes.

Wolf breaks down the ways that states and counties across the country are trying to increase voter turnout and decrease the number of voting issues. Anyone want to go vote at the mall? LINK

Early voting is up this year, USA Today's Bill Nichols reports. One race attracting early voters is the Tennessee Senate which is seeing a jump in early voting, due in part to the widely publicized battle between Ford and Corker. LINK

The Way to Win:

Buy the Random House book here. LINK

Other calendar items:

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Joe Erwin hosts a reception honoring former Democratic National Committee Chairs Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Don Fowler, Columbia, SC.

Boston University holds a panel discussion on "The Mid-Term Election: A Reversal of the Republican Revolution? Implications for Congress and for 2008" with the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report, and Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal at 8:30 am ET. at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The Brookings Institution hosts a forum, "The Marketplace of Democracy: A Groundbreaking Survey Explores Voter Attitudes About Electoral Competition and American Politics" at 10:00 am ET in Washington, DC.

Weekend politics:

On Saturday, President Bush attends an Indiana Victory 2006 Rally in Sellersburg, IN at 12:45 pm ET. He then travels to South Carolina to meet with troops at the Charleston Air Force Base at 5:25 pm ET. before attending a RNC dinner on Kiawah Island at 7:05 pm ET.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attends a "Get Out the Vote" Rally at 5:15 pm ET at the State Capitol Building in Little Rock, AR. Senate candidates Bob Corker (R-TN) and Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) debate in Nashville, TN. Former President Clinton continues his "birthday tour" with a brunch and golf tournament at the Bayonne Golf Club and an evening gala at the Natural History Museum with his opening remarks at 6:30 pm ET.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), and Nevada Democratic leaders hold an "Asian American and Pacific Islanders GOTV Rally" in Las Vegas, NV.

On Sunday, former President Clinton hosts a party/fundraiser at the Beacon Theatre featuring the Rolling Stones. Thousands of invitations were sent out, the money will go towards his charitable foundations and the concert will be filmed by Martin Scorsese. Co-hosting the event is former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and his daughter, Chelsea.

Senate candidates Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) debate in St. Paul, MN.

Sen. George Allen campaigns at a rally for the protection of marriage in Harrisonburg at 12:00 pm ET.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) delivers his "gathering storm" speech on the War on terror at 9:30 am ET in Pittsburg, PA, 12:00 pm ET. in Johnstown, PA and 2:30 pm ET. in Erie, PA.