The Note: Follow My Lead, Oh, How I Need

"The admiral picked by President Bush to oversee his new strategy for Iraq testified yesterday that he does not know much about the plan that the administration says will determine whether the U.S. wins the war," reports the Washington Times' Rowan Scarborough and Charles Hurt. LINK

USA Today's Richard Wolf reports on the efforts of some House Democrats to redirect funds intended for Iraq to "military readiness at home." Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), defense budget subcommittee chairman, said, "We've got problems in our own country. We're going to check every cent that's spent by the United States government" in the war on terrorism. LINK

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, who served in the Justice Department under President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, argue that "unless Congress withdraws funding for the Iraqi war as a whole, the president would" be "justified in refusing to comply."

Bush to Stark:

In an exclusive interview, ABC News' Betsy Stark talked with President Bush about invading Iran, to which, he replied, "Nobody's talking about that." During the interview, President Bush made mention of his budget that will be presenting next week. If the Democrats try to raise taxes, "I've got a veto that will prevent them from raising taxes" said Bush. There's plenty more here: LINK

2008: Democrats: Biden:

In your must-read 2008 story of the day, the New York Observer's Jason Horowitz writes up an interview with Sen. Biden -- a man who didn't mince words about Sens. Clinton, Obama, Edwards. LINK

On Clinton, Biden calls the likely results of her position on Iraq, "nothing but disaster." (Sen. Biden offered kind words about Sen. Clinton on "Good Morning America," but didn't back down from his assessment of her plan for Iraq when pressed by ABC News' Diane Sawyer.)

Biden goes on in the Observer story to talk about Sen. Clinton's political standing.

"'Are they going to turn to Hillary Clinton?' Biden asked, lowering his voice to a hush to explain why Mrs. Clinton won't win the election."

"'Everyone in the world knows her,' he said. 'Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can't break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They've looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?'"

Cris Barrish of the Wilmington News-Journal looks at Sen. Biden's 21st Century rollout plan (web video, "Daily Show") compared to his 1987 announcement at the Wilmington train station. LINK

Nicole Gaudiano of the Wilmington News-Journal gets some expectations setting from Sen. Biden in a pre-announcement interview. LINK

"'I have to do well in Iowa and I have to do well in New Hampshire,' he said. 'If I do well in those two places, I win South Carolina and I think the nomination would be mine. To put it another way, if Barack Obama or [former Sen.] John Edwards or Hillary Clinton doesn't win Iowa, they're out.'"

More Gaudiano: "His campaign committee, Biden for President Inc., will open its office in Wilmington within the next couple of weeks."

Be sure to Note Sen. Biden's pushback on criticism of his vote for the Bankruptcy Act of 2005.

Probably not a scheduled part of the Biden rollout: LINK

Democratic agenda:

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