The Note: Clean as a Whistle


Just what the 2007 presidential campaign needed -- a little bathos, a little poetry, a little offensive language and a little exposed Achilles Heel.

Biden's blunderbluss, bungled blow is not just any old campaign gaffe -- although it did follow the textbook Drudge-to-Rush-to-cable news-to-network TV-to-late-night-TV cycle, albeit at lightening speed.

Biden's undoing was an unforced error, out of his own mouth, on the first day of his campaign, as the embodiment of what 99 Senators and all of his campaign advisers possessed with the tools of reason and hearing knew (KNEW!!) would cause him trouble above all else.

So while there is no precise parallel (many of the candidates like to jabber, but Biden is in a category by himself), the comparable moves would be as follows:

Hillary Clinton saying on the first day, "I would look to Bill constantly."

Barack Obama saying on the first day. . . exactly what Biden said, but in the first person.

John Edwards saying on the first day, "Not having a real job anymore means I have the time to do this right."

John McCain saying on the first day, "The way forward on Iraq starts with Iran and ends with North Korea."

Mitt Romney saying on the first day, " No, I won't take my orders from Joseph Smith -- they'll come direct from the Angel Moroni."

Rudy Giuliani saying on the first day, "A man's personal life and character has nothing to do with the job of the Presidency."

Chris Dodd saying on the first day, "Just like Joey Liebs, I. . . "

Tommy Thompson saying on the first day: "Working for the president was satisfying, even though he didn't know my name and the press forgot I was still there. But I loved having a driver. HE knew my name. Oh, yessir!"

Mike Huckabee saying on the first day, "As soon as I get the big chair, I'll be able to eat whatever I want. State dinner equals all-you-can-eat buffet."

Tom Vilsack saying on the first day, "I LOVE these jokers who jet in wearing L.L. Bean crap and think they know what it means to be a Hawkeye."

Wes Clark saying on the first day, "If you liked General Haig, you'll REALLY salute General Clark."

Sam Brownback saying on the first day, "The new 11th commandment is, 'Vote for the REAL Republican -- me.' "

Newt Gingrich saying on the first day, "I can no longer deny the nation my brilliance. Deal with it!"

Bill Richardson saying on the first day, "This isn't about ego."

Jim Gilmore saying on the first day, "We'll bring back the Confederacy, but we'll call it a 'free trade zone.'"

Dennis Kucinich saying on the first day, "I'm in it to win it."

With all eyes on his pretty little mouth, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) presides over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "Securing America's Interests in Iraq: The Remaining Options" at 9:15 am ET with former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. Sen. Biden also participates in a webcast call with national supporters at 8:00 pm ET.

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports Sen. Biden indicated at the hearing this morning that he is signing on with the Warner nonbinding anti-surge resolution.

The Democratic National Committee kicks off its winter meeting today. The Resolutions Committee meets at 3:00 pm ET and the Rules & Bylaws Committee takes up the DNC's "bonus delegate" program for a vote. The program is aimed at rewarding those states who buck the front-loading trend and move their nomination contests later than currently scheduled in 2008.

Senate Democratic leaders Reid, Durbin, Schumer, and Murray hold a pen and pad briefing on Iraq at 12:15 pm ET. Earlier in the day, Democratic Sens. Murray, Brown, and Tester talk about body armor at 10:15 am ET.

The Senate is expected to vote on a minimum wage increase today.

President Bush delivered remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast at 8:00 am ET at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, DC. Also, this morning, Mr. Bush signed the Presidential Proclamation in Honor of American Heart Month in the Oval Office. President was scheduled to join First Lady Laura Bush for a meeting on child fitness in the Roosevelt Room at 9:40 am ET.

Mrs. Bush later delivers remarks at the Women's Day Red Dress Award Presentation at 6:00 pm ET in the Stone Rose Lounge of the Time Warner Center in New York City.

Former President Bill Clinton plans to address House Democrats at their winter retreat in Williamsburg, VA. The event is closed to the press.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Gen. George Casey for reappointment to the grade of general and to be Army chief of staff at 9:30 am ET.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence holds a hearing on the nomination of Michael McConnell to be director of national intelligence at 2:30 pm ET.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney travels to New Hampshire today. At 9:15 am ET he was scheduled to deliver remarks at the Health Care Policy Forum at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Gov. Romney and son Craig Romney visit with the Thompson family of Mount Cube Farm in Orford, NH at 11:00 am ET. Then at 1:40 pm ET, they meet with the local residents of Lancaster, NH at the Cabot Motor Inn, and "drop by" Lowe's General Store in Randolph, NH at 3:00 pm ET. The Romneys end the day visiting with the local residents of Shelburn, NH at the Town and Country Inn at 5:15 pm ET.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani attends a cocktail reception and dinner with the Mayor of Houston at the Houstonian Hotel.

Politics of Iraq: Warner resolution embraced:

Los Angeles Times' Noam Levey writes that Sen. Warner's announcement that he was amending his nonbinding Iraq resolution to say that the Senate "disagrees" with the president's troop increase, while also adding that he would add in clauses opposed to cutting off funding for the troops is designed to win over more Republicans. LINK

"The revised resolution would express the Senate's opposition to the troop increase but would vow to protect funding for the troops. The resolution does not include the Democratic language saying the Bush plan is against the national interest, but it also drops an earlier provision by Warner suggesting Senate support for some additional troops," report the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman. LINK

The fact that the House might take up the Warner language cleanly is not good news for the White House. (The Hill's Jonathan Kaplan explores the varied Iraq resolutions that House Democrats might propose in opposition to President Bush's "escalation" plan. LINK) The New York Times' Carl Hulse looks at Sen. Warner and the debate he has found himself in the middle of after he proposed "a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq in more muted terms than one broadly backed by Democrats." LINK

Bloomberg News on the same: LINK

Bloomberg News' Tony Capaccio Notes that some lawmakers think President Bush and the Pentagon are playing "fast and loose" with funding requests for Iraq and Afghanistan, with Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member -- Sen. John Warner -- expecting "enhanced scrutiny" of Bush's $100 billion proposal. LINK

Pelosi politics:

Claimeth the Washington Times: Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking Bush Administration support for military aircraft to transport her and her (political) family back and forth from San Francisco to Washington. LINK

2008: Democrats: Biden:

Joe Biden's presidential campaign got off to a "memorable start, not the kind he really wanted," said ABC News' Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America."

ABC News' Jake Tapper Noted on GMA that Biden may have set a record for the shortest amount of time in presidential campaign history from announcement to apology for offending a minority group.

"In a year when we have so many firsts, it's important for candidates to know how to talk about these firsts and to understand the new dynamics in American politics," said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile in Tapper's GMA piece.

ABC News' Stephanopoulos told Robin Roberts that Biden was "starting out at 1% in the polls and this is not a great first impression." Stephanopoulos went on to say that Biden advisers "concede this was a blow and that he needed to make a much better first impression. . . it really did hurt him."

Stephanopoulos also said that the life cycle of these controversies are usually a bit longer. Biden's went "gaffe, firestorm, apology, go joke about it on late night TV" all within 12 hours.

"In an ironic way this may have helped Barack Obama. . . He was doing poorly among the African American community because a lot of people didn't know he was black," added Stephanopoulos.

Under a "Biden Stumbles at the Starting Gate" header, the Washington Post's Dan Balz reports that Obama issued a statement that absolved Biden "only in part." LINK

"Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., the loquacious chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who launched his presidential campaign today, may be experiencing an ailment not entirely unknown to him: foot in mouth disease," writes ABC News' Jake Tapper. LINK

"Sen. Joe Biden officially leapt into the 2008 race yesterday and promptly fell flat on his face," writes Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News. LINK

The New York Post's Ian Bishop on the Biden misstep: LINK

Bishop got this Obama effort at euphemism: "He was very gracious and I have no problems with Joe Biden," said Obama, who "took no offense" at Biden's comment - "Joe was just making news, being Joe."

Keying off Sen. Biden's presidential announcement, Johanna Neuman writes "(the Senator), whose 1988 campaign ended with charges of plagiarism, immediately found himself at the center of a new controversy, having to explain comments he made this week in which he criticized his rivals in the Democratic presidential field." LINK

ABC News' Mark Halperin reports on Sen. Joe Biden's (D-DE) attempt on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" to laugh off his comment about Obama. LINK

You can catch a couple of clips "The Daily Show" here: LINK

"Mr. Sharpton started off the conversation reassuring Mr. Biden about his hygienic practices. 'I told him I take a bath every day,' Mr. Sharpton said," writes Adam Nagourney on the Biden flap that Nagourney writes has "injected race more directly into the presidential contest." LINK

Nagourney's story is below a "Biden Unwraps His Bid for '08 With an Oops!," headline, which has a previous generation of Sulzbergers rolling over in their graves.

.ABC News' Teddy Davis on Sen. Obama toughening his assessment of Sen. Biden as the day progressed. LINK

Under a "Nothing clean or bright in Biden's '08 opener" header, the Washington Times' Christina Bellantoni reports how Obama initially told reporters "we have more important things to think about" before issuing his statement calling the comment "historically inaccurate." LINK

On NBC's "Today," host Meredith Vieira said that Sen. Biden was now "fighting to regain his footing," on his first official day out when, as NBC's Norah O'Donnell described it, Biden "quickly got caught with his foot in his mouth."

Chris Matthews, who commented that with such a long way to go, things are "getting ugly early," and offered a glimmer of hope for Sen. Biden saying, "The silver lining to this is that people are paying attention to Joe Biden. Let's see what he says in the next couple of days."

Bush ed board with the Wall Street Journal:

In an interview with the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, President Bush said Congress can put caps on total deployments in Iraq through its power of the purse; he said the United States has to be careful about nativism taking hold and this era becoming like the 1920s; he thinks Social Security can be resolved without raising taxes but he wants people to bring their best idea to the table; and he said that Vladimir Putin has "kept his word on everything he's said to me." LINK

On the recent decision to subject his NSA warrantless wiretap program to judicial review, President Bush said, "'Scrap the program' is not accurate."

"'. . . The program is ongoing, giving me the tools and others in the government the tools necessary to protect us,' Mr. Bush said."

In its accompanying editorial, the Journal writes: "It sounds to us as if the President believes he's made a tactical concession in order to achieve what he thinks is a larger strategic victory. Let's hope he's right."

The Journal also writes: "If Mr. Bush is beaten down by the polls and his party's loss of Congress, he isn't showing it."

And the piece basically says that the ed board swooned when the President went all macho off the record.

Democratic agenda:

Providing the likely Democratic talking point of the day, "Exxon Mobil Corp. has posted the largest annual profit in U.S. history at $39.5 billion, despite a 4 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit," reports the Associated Press.

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe Notes that the Democratic "100 Hours" agenda passed through the House with great fanfare has all but stalled in the Senate. LINK

Note Klein's code breaking on the White House-approved plan to stall the Iraq war debate by offering up amendments galore on the minimum wage bill.

Bush Administration agenda:

In a piece looking at the way in which President Bush's Wednesday comments gave hope to foes of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, the Wall Street Journal's John D. McKinnon and Christopher Conkey report that the new Democratic Congress "plans to try to push" President Bush "further than he has so far seemed willing to go, both on executive pay and on inequality more broadly."

"The Senate will pass as soon as today legislation that would raise taxes on certain forms of executive compensation."

"Key Lawmakers Getting Files About Surveillance Program," headlines the New York Times' Mark Mazzetti's look at the Justice Department giving in and offering information on the domestic surveillance program. LINK

Yesterday "marked the first time he has spoken of a problem of income inequality," reports the Washington Times' Stephen Dinan. LINK

"The Bush administration yesterday proposed legislation that would reduce payments to farmers by $10 billion over the next five years and cut off support for wealthy ones entirely," reports the New York Times' Alexei Barrionuevo.LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

"The House passed a $463 billion spending measure yesterday that would keep the government operating for the remainder of the fiscal year, an austere plan stripped of billions of dollars worth of special-interest provisions," reports the Washington Post's Paul Kane. LINK

The New York Times: LINK

Mary Cheney's baby:

"This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child," said Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, during a speech at Barnard College on her decision to have a baby with longtime partner Heather Poe, per the New York Times' Seelye. (And don't miss Ms. Cheney throwing on her Howie Kurtz hat with a review of the Blitzer interview.)LINK


Dan Morain of the Los Angeles Times writes up the year-end totals in the 2008 presidential cash race concluding that the numbers only matter when you factor in Sen. Clinton's big war chest. LINK

2008: Republicans:

The AP reports that Sen. McCain raised $1.7 million in the final quarter of 2006 -- most of which was transferred from his Senate account. McCain ended the year with $472,000 on hand. Rudy Giuliani raised $1.4 million in the final quarter of the year, bringing his cash on hand to $1 million. LINK

The New York Daily News also writes up the fundraising numbers. LINK

Robert Novak writes in his column that Republicans have on earmuffs. ". . . Pollster Frank Luntz for the past decade issued warnings to his fellow Republicans that they did not want to hear, but never has been so out of touch with them as he is today. 'The Republican message machine is a skeleton of its former self,' Luntz told me. 'These people have no idea how the American people react to them.'" LINK

Most Notable: Novak seems to be warming to John McCain and Novak seems to forget that Frank Luntz quit politics years ago.

2008: Republicans: McCain:

Jim Davenport of the Associated Press writes up Sen. McCain's endorsements from 40 (a majority, that) South Carolina House GOP members. LINK

Those who aren't reading the daily McCain press releases are missing the reality: he is signing up a lot of people in key states -- real people, who can actually organize, raise money, and move votes. (OK: not all of them, but a lot of them.)

2008: Republicans: Romney:

David Wedge of the Boston Herald curtain raises Gov. Romney's "charge" through New Hampshire today. Note too in Wedge's last graph that Sen. McCain is apparently taking Notice. LINK

The Mobile Press-Register's Sebastian Kitchen keys off the Wall Street Journal story from earlier this week looking at Gov. Romney's use of state-based PAC's last year and writes up the predictably partisan reaction among Alabama pols. LINK

On Wednesday, the Romney press shop circulated an excerpt from a CBN story in which Dave Brody reports that Jim Bopp, the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, is endorsing the former Massachusetts governor. LINK

In a story looking at former Gov. Romney's ongoing effort to court social conservatives, the Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan writes that Romney's "rightward shift on abortion and gay rights poses one of the main challenges of his candidacy: Can he convince social conservatives that he is one of their own and capture his party's nomination? Or will his late-in-life ideological swerve raise too many doubts about whether he shares their core principles?" LINK

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

"The question is this: Can the thrice-married New Yorker -- a supporter of abortion rights, gay rights and gun control -- win the nomination of a Republican Party that has become increasingly dependent on and influenced by conservative Christians?," poses Susan Page of USA Today in her front page look at the conundrum Giuliani faces in his battle for the White House. LINK

Note that Family Research Council's Tony Perkins finds Giuliani "unacceptable," and plans to, basically, take him out if he shows strength. Note also Page marshalling data suggesting that Giuliani's liberal views are not well know within the party.

Jonathan Tamari of the Asbury Park Press reports that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) has lined up an army of Garden State GOP supporters including nearly 300 legislators, chairmen, and mayors, and failed U.S. Senate candidate Tom Kean, Jr. New Jersey's presidential primary may be held as early as Feb. 5, 2008. LINK

The Newark Star Ledger on the same: LINK

2008: Republicans: Huckabee:

The Morning News' Aaron Sadler reports on Gov. Mike Huckabee's frugal spending on his Iowa campaign trip with a nod to the underdog's dilemma of raising the necessary funds to be competitive in his bid for the White House. LINK

While campaigning in Iowa yesterday, Huckabee "expressed doubts about hopefuls who are not anti-abortion" without mentioning names, reports Ed Tibbetts of the Quad-City Times. LINK

"'If a person is not right on this issue, then I'd be concerned about whether he or she would be right on some other issues,' Huckabee said."

"Huckabee just signed on the GOP's candidate for lieutenant governor in Iowa last year, Bob Vander Plaats, as well as former state legislator Danny Carroll."

Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazzette Noticed that fitness-freak Huckabee "didn't add an ounce" while campaigning in Tipton, IA, "opting not to eat." LINK

CBN's David Brody has an unnamed "prominent Evangelical leader" saying: "Huckabee has potential. With his chief executive experience, if he can show the ability to raise money, he could quickly move ahead of Sam. He is very good in his presentation." LINK

"That Sam is Sam Brownback," writes Brody. "The Senator from Kansas wants to be the choice of religious conservatives but Huckabee will give him a run for his money. Either way, both Brownback and Huckabee are second tier candidates. That all could change if McCain and/or Romney implode. It's a long way to November 2008."

2008: Republicans: Pataki:

John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader was first out of the gate with the Pataki news yesterday and leads his always must-read Granite Status column with it. LINK


A Pataki aide tells The Note that the former New York governor has not ruled out a presidential run.

The Note's theory: he will hang around, Newt-style, and see if the field implodes, making a late entry possible. Or: he keeps giving issues speeches and earns a veep nod.

2008: Republicans: Hagel:

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed poking fun at Sen. Hagel's recent line about selling shoes, Mark Lasswell writes, "Surely Sen. Hagel was not suggesting that selling shoes is physically safer than serving in the Senate. In the past two months alone, according to police reports, robbers have struck several shoe stores across the country."

Lasswell jabs lawmakers for the resolution they are preparing to pass: "It's not clear precisely what the point would be of a resolution opposing the troop increase, other than letting legislators flatter themselves with the notion that they have some influence over the president's war-making strategy."

2008: Democrats:

The New York Sun's Jill Gardiner curtain raises tonight's event in Times Square where Sens. Clinton and Edwards will be working for the support of AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group, and perhaps more importantly for financial support from AIPAC members. LINK

"Mrs. Clinton will deliver the keynote speech, while Mr. Edwards is expected to work the crowd at the cocktail reception before she speaks, making a face-to-face encounter unlikely, but not impossible," writes Gardiner.

Review the Bain documents!!!

Having spent most of 2006 trying to soften up Republican Senators up for reelection in 2008, Democratic research czar Mike Gehrke is heading back to the DNC. The effort Gehrke will be heading is informally titled "Democratic Victory 2008" and the initial focus of the project is to ramp up the Democrats' opposition research and keep the Republican presidential contenders on their toes as they hit the campaign trail.

"We're thrilled to have Mike returning to help with this effort -- he is a first class Democratic operative like none other," says DNC communications director Karen Finney.

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) is being courted for her endorsement in the Democratic nomination fight, and while she hasn't yet picked a favorite, she did mention that Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) had come a-wooing. LINK

Roll Call's Laura Whittington looks at the potential dilemma facing the female members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are reportedly finding it difficult to choose between prospective presidential candidates, especially with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) in the race.

"To even have these choices is historic," said an undecided Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), "I am still basking in the delight in having choices that I ordinarily would not have."

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed that is a must-read for the Clinton campaign and for those who underestimate the Right's concerns about Hillary Clinton being elected, Fred Barnes writes that Sen. Clinton made herself electable during her first term in the Senate. But given the pressure she is now feeling from her party's liberal base and her Democratic opponents, "it's now very much in doubt" whether she can add one populous red state or two smaller ones to the Kerry states. "She's already becoming more liberal than it's safe to be in a presidential election in a nation with an enduring center-right majority."

Barnes' focus is on Iraq. His analysis might be right, or it might be wrong.

Due to the death of former President Clinton's stepfather, Sen. Clinton has cancelled her planned trip to New Hampshire this weekend. John DiStaso has more in his Granite Status column in the New Hampshire Union Leader. LINK

Sen. Clinton said that Americans are not looking for "group hug" bipartisanship in a speech yesterday. ABC News' Matthew Zavala has more. LINK

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) "first made fun of her fellow N.Y. legislator's [Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)] attempts to hog the Monday morning headlines: "He's the hardest working man in Washington. On the seventh day, the Lord rested, but Chuck did press conferences." Ba-dum bum," writes the New York Daily News. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

Elana Schor of The Hill on Obama's introduction of legislation aimed at election fraud and comments that Obama is using the spotlight to help his legislation, but also to show potential voters the issues that are important to him. LINK

Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune reports that Obama's team is readying for his Feb. 10 announcement.LINK

Lynn Sweet reports that Sen. Obama is ready to fundraise after his Feb 10 announcement with events in Chicago scheduled for the following day. Sweet also Notes that Penny Pritzker will be his national finance chairman and that Pritzker had donated to the Bush campaign in the past. LINK

The Washington Times' DeBose writes Sen. Obama's "success in quickly assembling a staff is remarkable because his decision to enter the 2008 presidential campaign was reached only in the past two months." LINK

2008: Democrats : Edwards:

While in New Hampshire yesterday, Sen. Edwards called himself a candidate of "transformational change," and criticized the debate over Iraq resolutions in the Senate saying, "They'll object, they'll give speeches, they'll pass nonbinding resolutions, they'll talk about how bad he is and how bad the escalation is and then at the end, they'll go along. It's time to stop going along." The AP's Holly Ramer has the story. LINK

2008: Democrats : Dodd:

Former New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Joe Keefe joins up with his sister's cause and signs on with Team Dodd, reports John DiStaso in his Granite Status column. LINK

2008: Democrats: Gore:

The Associated Press reports that former Vice President Al Gore is a nominee for the 2007 Nobel Peace Price for his work on global warming. LINK


"Hillary shines, while Vilsack's a hyphen," writes Des Moines Register's Marc Hansen. LINK

According to a federal report released Wednesday, "the Iowa Army National Guard has one of the worst equipment shortages of National Guard organizations in the country for responding to large-scale terror attacks or natural disasters," reports the Des Moines Register's William Petroski. LINK

2008: Senate: Al Franken jumps in:

But seriously, folks. . . comedian Al Franken made it public that he will challenge Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) for his seat in 2008. Rob Hotakainen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has the details. LINK

The AP has Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Carey saying he is "confident Minnesotans 'will reject Franken's divisive, scorched-earth attacks." in his run to replace Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) in 2008. LINK

The Libby trial:

ABC News' Jason Ryan has the details on former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper's testimony and the Karl Rove connection. LINK

The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig on the questions jurors are asking in court during the Libby trial. LINK

The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein and Carol Leonnig report that the testimony of Cooper and Judith Miller "exposed jurors -- and the public -- to the sloppy and incomplete note-taking of reporters, their inability to remember crucial interviews and, in Miller's case, important interview notes stuffed into a shopping bag under her desk." LINK

The New York Times: LINK

Casting and counting:

The AP reports that Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) is proposing the state "abandon touch-screen voting machines adopted after the disputed 2000 presidential race" and transition to optical-scanning machines that will provide a paper trail. LINK

Political potpourri:

"The public school lobby lives in fear of competition," writes the Washington Post's George Will. "But school choice is gaining ground." LINK

"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's re-election campaign manager resigned Wednesday after confronting the mayor about an affair Newsom had with his wife while she worked in the mayor's office, City Hall sources said," reports the San Francisco Chronicle's Matier, Ross, and Vega. LINK