The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler writes that Zelikow's departure deprives Secretary Rice "of a key sounding board at a time when she is still searching for a new deputy and faces difficult challenges in the Middle East." LINK
The Dems have a lot of pressure on them to "clean up" Congress in this session, writes Chris Mondics of the Philly Inquirer. He gives a run down of the most talked about ethics proposals, such as reforming earmarks. LINK
Bloomberg News' Faler looks at how some budget experts are predicting that the Democrats may struggle to find ways to pay for their midterm election promises. LINK
The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne seems to think the GOP's two biggest problems are that the party's credibility on national security has been "shattered" and pro-market libertarians and pro-family social conservatives are "more aware than ever" that their respective values and interests do not coincide. LINK
Big Casino budget politics:
The Wall Street Journal's ed board urges Republican lawmakers to follow Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in passing a "continuing resolution" that would fund the government at 2006 levels. "By Mr. Coburn's estimate, taxpayers would save about $17 billion if Congress takes this approach."
Per a new Quinnipiac University survey, former NYC Mayor Giuliani leads as the most popular politician, with Sens. Obama and McCain trailing closely behind and Sen. Clinton finishing ninth, writes The Washington Times' Eric Pfeiffer. Quinnipiac assistant poll director Notes that while Obama's showing is striking, "4 in 10 Americans still don't know enough about him to have an opinion." LINK
The Boston Herald, along with all the local Boston TV stations, highlight Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) finishing last among the 20 politicians tested. LINK
In a USA Today op-ed, Don Campbell writes up the continued efforts of Unity 08's founders Hamilton Jordan and Douglas Bailey. LINK
In one of the day's few must-reads, the New York Sun's Josh Gerstein reports that congressional action on the Employees Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) could "point up a curious and little-noted (sic) divide between" Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney. LINK
"Mr. Romney, who is positioning himself as a conservative alternative to Mr. McCain, has expressed support for the federal anti-discrimination legislation. Mr. McCain, who is viewed as a moderate, opposes the measure."
John Weaver will laugh and laugh and laugh at this one, written by Gerstein with no apparent irony.
Seth Gitell writes in the New York Sun that the wiped out status of Gov. Romney's party in Massachusetts is "not a classic roadmap to a party's nomination. But his status as a governor is. No Republican since Eisenhower has been elected president without first being a governor or vice president." LINK
The Associated Press reports on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's calling for the elimination of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms in order to expand First Amendment rights. LINK
The New Hampshire Union Leader covers Gingrich's remarks too. LINK
The AP reports that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NYC) avoided a question at the NATO Summit about his foreign policy because it would possibly imply that he is seeking the Republican nomination. Giuliani added that announcing a candidacy on foreign soil would upset voters at home. LINK