The Note: Weakness Attracts Those Who Are Waiting

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg welcomes the campaigner-in-chief to the trail. "The appearances buck the conventional wisdom that Mr. Bush is such a pariah to Republicans that he cannot be of much use on the campaign trail. White House strategists say they have carefully selected several make-or-break races in which the president's presence can still make a difference," writes Rutenberg of the President's efforts "to stop a Democratic takeover of the House and possibly the Senate in the last two years of Mr. Bush's presidency, or, at least, to keep the opposition's gains to a minimum." LINK

The Washington Post's Al Kamen reports that State Department career diplomats "are in an uproar over the recent appointment of a mid-level civil servant who worked for Undersecretary Karen Hughes to a top job running the new Public Diplomacy Rapid Response office in Brussels." LINK

Tumulty and Allen get Bush officials to talk about life under Pelosi:

In a must-read, Time magazine's Karen Tumulty and Mike Allen get Bush Administration sources to talk about the possibility of having to work with a Democratic Congress. LINK

Expanding "No Child Left Behind," moving toward energy independence, lowering health-care costs, fighting terrorism, pushing for entitlement reform, and making common cause on immigration are all cited as areas of possible bipartisan cooperation.

As for the Democrats' plan to use control of Congress to conduct oversight, one strategist says the President's team has been planning for a "'cataclysmic fight to the death' over the balance between Congress and the White House if confronted with congressional subpoenas it deems inappropriate. The strategist says the Bush team is 'going to assert that power, and they're going to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court on every issue, every time, no compromise, no discussion, no negotiation."

Politics of Iraq:

Thomas Ricks and Peter Baker wrote in Sunday's Washington Post that "October 2006 may be remembered as the month that the U.S. experience in Iraq hit a tipping point, when the violence flared and shook both the military command in Iraq and the political establishment back in Washington." LINK

In a front-page story predicting the White House will likely face increased resistance from Congress over the war in Iraq even if Republicans keep control, the Washington Times' David Sands reports that Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann argue in a lengthy study to be published in Foreign Affairs that "'Congress' oversight of the executive branch on foreign and national security policy has virtually collapsed' over the past six years." LINK

The Associated Press reports this morning that President Bush's National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley, is in Iraq meeting with his counterparts.

Pelosi politics:

The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer goes beyond the grandmother thing and captures Rep. Nancy Pelosi's operational side -- demonstrating that she didn't get where she is by accident. Steinhauer also Notes that "she has raised more money for Democrats in this election cycle than any other candidate except Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -- just over $50 million." LINK

Our favorite Nancy Pelosi line: "How was Paris?"

Our favorite Jennifer Steinhauer line: "She favors alternative sentencing over prison construction, schools without prayer and death with taxes."

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