The Note: Not Proceeding Well Enough


The number of unique page views for Monday's Note reminds us all -- as if any reminder were needed -- how much all of you love quizzes.

Up 2,200% over same-week sales for Notes open at least a year, yesterday's readership levels were sort of staggering, and, thus, we realize, there will be quizzes for the rest of the year, at least (or: until we crush all of the "competition," extant and looming).

So, today's quiz: for each of the swirling developments below, identify the factor or factors causing it to occur:

A. Elections have consequences.

B. The 2008 presidential campaign is well underway.

C. Politically, American involvement in the war in Iraq is over -- it is just that no one has told President Bush yet.

D. No candidate for president of either party will run promising to build on the Bush record.

E. It is almost Christmas.

F. The invention of the Internet.

G. A, B, C, and F

H. B, C, and D

I. All but D.

J. A and F.


-- Rice alter ego Philip Zelikow goes Wahoo.

-- One of the Los Angeles Times' best political reporters of the 21st century, Matea Gold, continuing on the TV beat, points out her own paper declared an Iraqi civil war in October. LINK

-- The Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh kvells over the power of the Massy delegation. LINK

-- Jimmy Carter on Charlie Rose says, "I think Al Gore is the best qualified to be president. And I agree with him on the environment and his critique of the Iraqi war. I don't agree with him on everything. He would be my preference, yes. I think he would do well in the South. And I think a lot of Democrats know he was elected in 2000 and should have been president. I wouldn't say it would be a sympathy vote, but his credentials are good."

-- The New York Times takes its money-and-politics reporter (Jeff Zeleny) and one of its seven Hillary Clinton reporters (Anne Kornblut) and puts them on the Hill beat.

-- The Wall Street Journal ed board hopes Republicans in Congress will suddenly be for smaller government.

-- E.J. Dionne luxuriates in Third Way bath beads. LINK

-- Two potential presidents -- Newt Gingrich and John Edwards -- appear simultaneously in Manchester, New Hampshire on a balmy Monday, the former at the Center of Universe, getting a huge ovation for saying an American city could be destroyed in the next ten years and repeatedly using two of his favorite words ("literally" and "insane"); the latter at a Barnes and Noble shortly after telling the AP's Holly Ramer -- on fire about a Union Leader editorial criticizing the Tar Hell -- about the differences between Wal-Mart, Costco, and Barnes and Noble.

-- Ramer and her Iowa colleague Mike Glover file more daily copy as if it were November of 2007.

Overnight and overseas, President Bush, a man who can identify Glover from fifty yards, held several meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Estonia before traveling to Riga, Latvia this morning. At 9:20 am ET, the President delivers a speech at the NATO summit in Riga. The President then participates in a cultural program at the Latvian National Opera at 12:15 pm ET and then a NATO working dinner at 1:15 pm ET.

The Iraq Study Group convenes for the second of its two-day meeting at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, DC. Be sure to check out ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf's reporting on Sens. Kerry and McCain meeting with the group yesterday. LINK

Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) meets with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Francesco Rutelli to congratulate her on the Democrats' midterm victory and her ascent as the first Italian-American Speaker at 11:15 am ET.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) was scheduled to participate in the Politics and Eggs 2006 Issues Forum sponsored by the New Hampshire Political Library at the Bedford Village Inn at 8:00 am ET.

In Barack Obama's backyard, former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) signs copies of his new book, "HOME: The Blueprints of Our Lives" at the Chicago Public Library in Chicago, IL at 12:30 pm ET and then at Anderson's Books in Naperville, IL at 7:00 pm ET. (Edwards, too, can pick Glover out of line-up.)

The US Chamber of Commerce hosts a conference on the Future of American Trade Agenda with US Trade Representative Susan Schwab at 12:00 pm ET.

John Podesta, president and CEO of Center for American Progress, hosts a press breakfast to discuss his suggested agenda for the first 100 days of the 110th Congress at 9:00 am ET in Washington, DC. (Podesta often mixes Glover up with someone else.)

Politics of Iraq:

On the front page of today's Washington Post, Robin Wright and Thomas Ricks report, "The White House again resisted assertions that Iraq is now in a civil war, but that stance is increasingly hard to defend, according to analysts, diplomats and even some officials in private." LINK

ABC News' Karen Travers reported from Estonia before heading to Latvia on Air Force One that "President Bush addressed the latest violence in Iraq, and whether it was civil war there, by saying that there is 'a lot of sectarian violence taking place,' that it's been happening since February and the purpose is to further sectarian conflict there."

More Travers: "President Bush said in his upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Maliki in Jordan he will ask him: 'What do we need to do to succeed? What is your strategy for dealing with the sectarian violence?'"

"Asked whether direct talks between the US and Iran and Syria would stem the violence and if he would agree to such talks, Bush stressed that Iraq is a sovereign nation which is conducting its own foreign policy. 'They're having talks with their neighbors and if that's what they think they ought to do, that's fine. I hope their talks yield results.'"

Bush Administration:

In a story looking at plans on the part of the Justice Department's inspector general to investigate the department's connections to the government's controversial warrantless surveillance program, former Clinton administration lawyer Lanny Davis said that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the privacy protections built into the NSA wiretapping program. LINK

ABC News' Jason Ryan: LINK

The New York Times: LINK

Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman warns Democrats that President Bush will be prepared to veto spending bills which exceed his total budget or cuts defense resources, Notes the Washington Times' Stephan Dinan. LINK

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's senior aide, Philip D. Zelikow, resigned because of what one official described as "frustration with the pace of the administration's diplomatic efforts on the Middle East, Iran and North Korea," reports Helene Cooper of the New York Times. LINK

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

Democratic agenda:

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

GOP agenda:

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

2008: Republicans:

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

In a story that points to the presence of the "rhetorically flammable Sharpton" at yesterday's Bloomberg presser, the Washington Post's Michael Powell and Robin Shulman report that Bloomberg enjoys "far better relations with the city's black leaders than Giuliani did." LINK

Gov. Pataki (R-NY) is with three gubernatorial colleagues in Afghanistan, reports the New York Post's Fred Dicker -- who could get no confirmation of the trip from Pataki's office, but Gov. Kulongoski's (D-OR) spokesman apparently spilled the beans. LINK

Gov. Pataki has suffered another staff defection from his PAC in Iowa. LINK

"Activist Craig Schoenfeld said Monday that he has resigned his position as executive director of Pataki's political action committee in Iowa," reports the Associated Press.

"'If he takes the next step, I won't be taking it with him,' Schoenfeld said."

"Departing Sen. George Allen, who is facing a big decision about his future, will address Virginia Republican activists at their annual Advance on Saturday," writes Peter Hardin of the Richmond Times Dispatch. LINK

2008: Democrats:

"The Democratic Party's decision to shuffle its presidential primary schedule, so that Nevada's caucus closely follows Iowa's and South Carolina gets a primary week of its own after New Hampshire's, is changing the early rituals of campaigning, forcing contenders to extend themselves in more states," briefly writes David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. LINK

Mike Glover of the Associated Press questions whether Gov. Vilsack (D-IA) will have a "home-field" advantage in the Iowa caucuses with party leaders "bending over backward to keep the start-off of the contest evenhanded." LINK

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register writes that the support of Gary Hirshberg and Lou Susman seems to legitimize Vilsack's bid for the Democratic nomination. LINK

Jim Davenport of the Associated Press discusses Sen. Joe Biden's (D-DE) tough criticism of Mexico when being questioned about immigration, calling the country an "erstwhile democracy" responsible for illegal immigration and drug problems in the US because of their "corrupt system." LINK

The AP's Holly Ramer of the Granite State reports that although former Sen. John Edward's (D-NC) book tour for "Home" stops in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina, he has not made a decision about running in 2008. Sen. Edwards emphasizes that "it's not a political book at all, it's really appealing across all kinds of party lines." LINK

The Washington Times' Greg Pierce Notes a Texas Republican activist's website,, aimed at preventing Sen. Clinton from becoming president. LINK

Gen. Wesley Clark tells the talented Abe Lubetkin of Brown University's Daily Herald that he hasn't "said I won't run" for president and comments on his challenges in 2004, "I got in too late, because I had no political experience, because I had no money prior to the time I announced and because I had no staff." LINK


Tim Higgins of the Des Moines Register reports that incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-IA) named Tony Bisignano to be his chief of staff. Gov. Vilsack mentioned the death of Bisignano's son to inspire tougher state driving laws in his Condition of the State address last January. LINK

2008: Senate:

Carlos Santos of the Richmond Times Dispatch reports that Sen. John Warner (R-VA) "just might" run for a sixth Senate term because experience is "not to be replicated by many people." LINK

The New York Times' Carl Hulse reports many already senior Senators are planning another run at their seat, including Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). LINK

Outstanding House races:

Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) was named the winner in her race, but still faces a recount as she leads by less than one half of one percent reports Bob Driehaus of the New York Times. LINK

Political potpourri:

The Houston Chronicle reports that Hispanics "deserted" the GOP because of the war, the economy, and education. Immigration was not the most important issue, say some exit polls. Hispanics switched to Democratic candidates at double the rate as non-Hispanic voters, writes Michelle Mittelstadt. LINK

Incoming freshman Rep. Chris Carney, the Democrat from PA-10, may play an interesting role in the new Congress, especially if Democrats decide to investigate the Administration's handling of pre-war intelligence. Mr. Carney served as a Naval Reserve officer working at the Feith unit in the Pentagon responsible for analyzing much of that pre-war intel, reports James Risen of the New York Times. LINK