The Note: Looking Down at the Shoes of Life

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26

In the grand tradition of Cathie Martin, The Note presents our weekly Friday Follies, in which we dump all the best stuff late, in order to get limited pick up in Saturday papers (and/but what a big news political weekend it is going to be – with Bush war counseling, Hillary Clinton Hawkeye Stating, Rudy Giuliani Granite Stating, and anti-war protesters protesting):

Ring One -- Iraq: Facts on the ground are still not apparently good . . . everyone love David Petraeus (But what's love got to do with it? Russ Feingold asks)…Iran talk doesn't do anything to strengthen the White House politically (and the "leak to Sanger-Pincus-newsmags" strategy isn't looking so efficacious right now)….the Old Media will cover the weekend anti-war rallies with gusto….and the ultimate resolution of the Iraq situation remains in the hands of the Four Johns (Warner, Boehner, Edwards, and Murtha) against the One John (the less-and-less Happy Warrior, McCain).

Ring Two -- the rest of the legislative agenda: The Gang of 500 declares Bush's agenda on health care, energy, immigration, etc. dead on arrival, too much, too little, and impossible to forge a bipartisan consensus on in the midst of the crossfire of Ring One.

Ring Two A -- US v. Scooter: There are at least 7 Paul Krugman columns, 3 Jon Stewart monologues, 11 Eric Alterman rants, 101 Huffington posts, and 1 Frank Rich book in the comic-tragic intra-Bush Administration warfare storylines of the Scooter Libby trial (and the immunized Ari Fleischer hasn't even taken the stand yet!!!!).

Ring Three -- 2008: Where we have only money questions: How much has John Edwards raised online in January (off of the war)?... How much have Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama netted on the web this month (off of their announcements)?....Raise your hand if you think Chuck Hagel or Mike Huckabee can raise $15 million this year….

Sen. Clinton, who has not been to Iowa since 2003, makes her way to the Hawkeye State today to start courting the state's influential voters.

Insiders will be watching the tussle over tight pool rules; how much is blatantly ripped off from the 20000 Listening Tour; and the location (and outcome) of the Senator's secret meetings that are not on her public schedule. The next co-centric circle out will watch to see how she balances regal versus accessible (any special instructions, for instance, to the USSS?) and if anti-war protestors are allowed to question her (and, if so, how she answers).

On Saturday, the Woman Who Would Be 44 meets with the Iowa Democratic Party Central Committee at 12:30 pm ET at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines, IA. She then conducts a town hall-style "Conversation with Iowans" at the Des Moines East High School Community Center at 1:30 pm ET. (This event will be carried live on C-SPAN).

Sen. Clinton holds a house party at 7:00 pm ET in Cedar Rapids, IA. At 9:30 am ET on Sunday, Sen. will be in Davenport, IA at the Hickory Garden Family Restaurant for a house party-style "Conversation with Iowans" and then she will hold a press availability at Central High School at 1:30 am ET.

(Saturday Clinton is expected to kiss the Beaumont and Glover rings, and perhaps others).

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