The Note: Income, Iran, Iraq, Irish


A day after the Dow's wild ride, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies at a previously scheduled hearing on the economy before the House Budget Committee at 10:00 am ET. If Iraq ever fades as an issue, "it's the economy, you genius," might end up a Democratic mantra in 2008 after all.

Ring 2 (non-Iraq legislative business) is dead; Ring 3 (2008) is 90% about fundraising for the next 31 days; and Ring 1 is at a critical, vital, essential, epoch crossroads. See our "Politics of Iraq" section and make your best guess now about how the "Perils of Harry and Nancy" will turn out.

Remember: it is rare for so many political players to be acting so much based on trying to do what they think is right, rather than doing the politically expedient thing. It is also rare for one side in a political fight to sustain a position that flies in the face of public opinion. But so it goes.

After a newsless, dark, and graceful Imus appearance, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attends the Irish-American Republicans 10th annual awards reception at the Women's Republican Club in New York City at 7:00 pm ET where he will be an honoree. He is also expected to appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" tonight.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was scheduled to have an 8:00 am ET breakfast with the New York state delegation at the U.S. Capitol.

When the Libby trial jury deliberations resume this morning at 9:30 am ET, Judge Walton is expected to disclose what the jurors asked him in a Note before they left Tuesday afternoon. After the Note request is resolved it is expected the jury will continue to deliberate.

The House Republican leadership holds a 10:00 am ET media availability following the 9:00 am ET meeting of the House Republican Conference in the lobby of the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC.

President Bush holds a 1:55 pm ET meeting with Military Service Organizations in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) holds a 2:00 pm ET news conference to introduce legislation repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel, at the Rayburn Office Building in Washington, DC.

ABC News' Jake Tapper reported this morning on "Good Morning America" about a wounded U.S. Marine, the first major casualty in the war in Iraq and who happens to be gay, will testify today about gays serving openly in the military. The Clinton-era "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is being revisited in Congress. Activists are hoping to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military, which is drawing heavy criticism. LINK

In his first public address after his Oscar moment, former Vice President Al Gore delivers 6:30 pm ET remarks and presents his film "An Inconvenient Truth" at the University of Miami in Miami, FL.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will be honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund at its 8th Annual Washington, D.C. Awards Dinner at 6:30 pm ET at the Capital Hilton.

At 10:15 am ET, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I/D-CT) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) join former 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste and World Trade Center United Families Group Board member Bruce DeCell to call on Congress to fully implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission at an event in the Mansfield room in the U.S. Capitol.

Before heading to Hawaii, First Lady Laura Bush participates in a 3:15 pm ET viewing of the Red Dress Collection and a Roundtable on Heart Health at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos moderates a 9:30 am ET panel discussion on the 2008 election at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.LINK

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) delivers 10:30 am ET remarks at the Granite State Independent Living Center in Concord, NH. He then holds a 3:30 pm ET town hall meeting on Iraq at New England College in Henniker, NH, followed by a 5:30 pm ET reception at the public library in Bedford, NH.

Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Timothy Ryan (D-OH) hold a 12:00 pm ET news conference on the Fair Currency Act of 2007 at the U.S. Capitol.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and former Gov. Mario Cuomo (D-NY) participate in a 6:30 pm ET debate as part of the Cooper Union Lincoln Dialogue Series in the "Great Hall" in New York City. NBC's Tim Russert moderates. The New York Times' Sam Roberts provides a preview. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

Everywhere one looks, the day is filled with Democratic disarray on Iraq. (See Monday's Note list for the foreshadowing.)

The Los Angeles Times' Noam Levey and Richard Simon report that just a few weeks ago, Win Without War was "targeting Republicans for standing in the way of the resolutions. Now, Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine who heads the antiwar coalition, says antiwar groups are encouraging their members to "pressure Democratic lawmakers." LINK

"'There seems to be a new world land-speed record set in back-peddling,'" Andrews tells the Left Coast Times.

"As members of Congress returned to Capitol Hill after a weeklong break at home, Democrats searched for a way to translate a tide of public sentiment against the war into legislation that makes practical -- and political -- sense," report the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny and Robin Toner. LINK

"Senate Democrats are accusing their leaders of mismanaging the twin efforts to block President Bush's troop surge in Iraq and force a quicker end to the war," Politico's John Bresnahan writes in a story looking at Majority Leader Reid's move to postpone a plan to rewrite the 2002 Iraq war authorization. And the House is confronting a similar problem, Bresnahan reports. LINK

Check out the kicker: "Republican strategists, though, for the first time since their big loss in November, looked at the problems facing Reid and Pelosi and gloated, although only for a minute."

"'We're at the best we've been since the election,' said one senior Senate GOP aide. 'It may not last, but this is definitely the best we've been in a while.'"

Politico's John Harris pulls back the curtain a bit and admits he came up with "slow-bleed strategy" as the term to describe Rep. John Murtha's plan to end the war in Iraq. LINK

Senate Democrats promised to keep the Iraq war out of the 9/11 Commission bill debate, with their reverse course undermining the desire for a unified opposition to the war, writes The Hill's Elana Schor. LINK

The Bush Administration is willing to join Iran and Syria in next month's meeting organized by the Iraqi government, reports USA Today's Barbara Slavin. State Department spokesman said the move is consistent with Bush's position since discussions will be confined to Iraq while critics contend that it's a reverse course. LINK

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank Sketches the White House getting "neighborly" in the Middle East. LINK

2008: ABC News/Washington Post poll:

ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer breaks down the numbers in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that has everyone buzzing and that shows Americans have a high interest in the 2008 contest. The poll also shows that "initial support levels are showing some shift in the preliminary jockeying for position."LINK

"Among the Democrats, Clinton still leads, but by less of a margin than last month, given a seven-point gain in support for Barack Obama. His advance has come overwhelmingly among African-Americans, many of whom likely have learned more about Obama in recent news coverage," writes Langer.

"Clinton's support, meanwhile, slipped by five points. The reason, again, is entirely blacks. In ABC/Post polls in December and January, she led Obama among African-Americans by 60-20 percent. Today it's a 44-33 percent race among blacks, with Obama in front."

Read the full ABC News/Washington Post poll results here: LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jon Cohen also take a look at the huge swing in African American support from Clinton to Obama in their Washington Post write-up of the poll. LINK

Balz and Cohen write that the poll finds a "noticeable (sic) shift in sentiment among African American voters, who little more than a month ago heavily supported" Sen. Clinton but now favor the candidacy of Sen. Obama.

On the Republican side, the Washington Post duo report that Giuliani holds a "2 to 1 advantage over McCain among Republicans, according to the poll, more than tripling his margin of a month ago."

"The principal reason" for Giuliani's gains "was a shift among white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain. Giuliani is doing well among this group of Americans despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, two issues of great importance to religious conservatives. McCain opposes abortion rights," they write.

"Former House speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia ran third in the latest poll with 15 percent, while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was fourth with 4 percent. Gingrich has not said he definitely plans to run, and without him, Giuliani's lead would increase even more, to 53 percent compared with McCain's 23 percent."

Politics of immigration:

In a must-read, the Boston Globe's Rick Klein reports that Sen. McCain and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) are set to introduce a revised version of their sweeping plan to overhaul the nation's immigration laws "as soon as next week." LINK

The measure, "which is being drafted in consultation with the White House," will largely mirror the immigration bill that stalled last year including its earned legalization component. The plan is expected to jettison the three-tiered approach to citizenship included in last year's measure, which "allowed undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States the longest to take a far easier path to citizenship than newer arrivals."

In his first Capitol Hill testimony since Democrats took over, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will push for passage of a "comprehensive overhaul" of the nation's immigration policies, reports the Los Angeles Times' Nicole Gaouette. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

"President George W. Bush's plan to revamp the health-care system would increase taxes on Americans by $526.2 billion over the next decade, according to a congressional estimate that calls into question administration claims of cost and tax savings," writes Bloomberg's Donmoyer. (Note the Treasury Department's desire to work with Congress to make sure the plan is "revenue neutral.") LINK

The Washington Post's Al Kamen reports that the White House is bringing in "one of Washington's premier lobbyists to shore up the oft-criticized legislative affairs office. Dan Meyer of the Duberstein Group, who was the first chief of staff for incoming Speaker Newt Gingrich when the GOP won the House, is said to be coming on board to handle the House side for the administration." LINK

2008: nomination calendar:

According to Gov. Gibbons' (R-NV) chief of staff, the White House is urging the Nevada GOP to move up its presidential caucus in 2008 to help steal some of the thunder that Democrats have created so far. The Las Vegas Review Journal's Steve Tetreault has the must-read. LINK

The AP's Laura Kurtzman reports that moving California's presidential primary from June to February next year would "give lame duck legislators, including the Democratic leaders of both houses, a chance to extend their terms before they are ousted from office." LINK

The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that as many as 23 states may hold primary elections on February 5. LINK

2008: Bono:

Many political reporters are frustrated sports writers and rock critics -- which is why the most over-used and annoying political cliché of the season is to describe a hot candidate as "like a rock star." But it is a REAL rock star, Bono, who has dominated presidential politics for the last 48 hours. Proving that he has more entrée than Roger Simon and Dan Glickman combined, the U2 warbler is meeting with potential 44s all week. According to a reliable source, Bono has tete-a-teted privately already with 5 of the Big 6 (McCain, Clinton, Romney, Obama, and Edwards, and he is expected to meet with Giuliani today), plus Sens. Brownback and Hagel. In Ireland, we call that influence. Bono's been making the rounds on behalf of DATA, and the ONE Campaign LINK. He hopes to meet with other contenders, such as Dodd and Biden, in the future.

2008: Republicans:

The Salt Lake Tribune's Thomas Burr has McCain spokesman Danny Diaz disavowing attacks against Romney over his faith, saying, "A presidential contest is a leadership test, not a religious one." LINK

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

Tom Beaumont of the Des Moines Register writes up Rudy Giuliani's hiring of Tony Delgado, a former top staff member at the RNC, as his Iowa political director and an upcoming Hawkeye State trip (his first since forming an exploratory committee in November 2006) for the former mayor in the coming weeks. LINK

Mayor Giuliani plans to raise coin in the Silver State, reports Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal. LINK

Two more co-conspirators weigh in: "The more Republicans see of Mayor Giuliani, the more they seem to like him," writes the New York Sun's Russell Berman. As Mayor Giuliani begins "overtaking" Sen. McCain in polls, "he is trying to convince conservatives, at least implicitly, that social issues have to take a backseat in this election," writes Berman. LINK

Steve "Broken Record" Malanga writes at that "in a GOP presidential field in which cultural and religious conservatives may find something to object to in every candidate who could really get nominated (and, more important, elected), (Mayor) Giuliani may be the most conservative candidate on a wide range of issues." LINK

2008: Republicans: Romney:

Keying off of the alleged Romney campaign strategy document, the Boston Globe's ed board writes that if there is "one intriguing peculiarity in the enemies list compiled for the Romney campaign, it is the primacy given to France as the ultimate evil haunting America's future." LINK

(And if you missed Rick Davis' reminder on "Hardball" of how Sen. McCain feels about France-bashing, be sure to go back and check it out.)

The New York Post's Maggie Haberman reports, teams Giuliani and McCain declined comment on former Gov. Romney's alleged campaign document but Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff could not resist responding to the document's charge that Sen. Clinton is like France. LINK

"Given his propensity for flip-flopping, if Mr. Romney doesn't like France today, he'll probably decide to move there tomorrow," Zeff said.

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and Michael Shear on Romney's leaked document. LINK

Gov. Romney plans to visit the Hollis Pharmacy in Hollis, NH, the owner of which says he will be "honored to have him." The Nashua Telegraph's Karen Lovett has the Romney itinerary. LINK

2008: Republicans: McCain:

The McCain campaign formally announced former Gov./DHS Secretary Tom Ridge's (R-PA) endorsement today -- even though it sort of was out there already. The campaign did not announce the expected fundraising total David Girard-diCarlo plans to collect from his Blank Rome colleagues (save Barbara Comstock, of course) and deposit into the McCain coffers. LINK

2008: Republicans: Gingrich:

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review's Molly Ball, Newt Gingrich once again said he would consider running for the presidency if other candidates fail to address the "big solutions" he thinks are needed. LINK

2008: Republicans: Huckabee:

Although Huckabee campaign officials dismiss the prospects of the former Governor running for Senate, one state GOP source speculates that a Senate bid is possible and that Huckabee has "considered and analyzed" it, reports The Hill's Aaron Blake. LINK

2008: Democrats:

ABC News' Jake Tapper provides the details on the upcoming Clinton and Obama trips to Selma, AL on Sunday as part of the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The Democratic presidential competitors are expected to be (literally) yards apart. LINK

2008: Democrats: Gore:

Under the header, "Ozone Man Sequel," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd dares former Vice President Gore to jump in '08 White House race.LINK

"With Hillary overproduced and Barack Obama an unfinished script, maybe it's time to bring the former vice president out of turnaround," writes Dowd, one of the unofficial leaders of the media effort to lure Gore into the race and then destroy him.

Kristen Hall of the Associated Press on conservative attempts to label Gore's global warming crusade as hypocritical. LINK

The Washington Times editorializes on the matter. LINK

New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica seems to think people are still dreaming about an Al Gore 2008 run because the Democratic frontrunners "are who they are." LINK

"One of them is a woman who is as much a polarizing figure out of New York as Rudy Giuliani is, the other is a young, black senator who has been on the job for what feels like about 20 minutes. Don't say that you know the country is ready to elect either one of them, because you don't know that," Lupica writes.

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish (who we are pretty sure never referred to the Junior Senator from the Bay State as simply "John" in his copy) looks at the ways in which the "pardon controversy" has "reemerged in an obscure court case in which Senator Clinton's brother Tony is battling an order to repay more than $100,000 he received from a couple pardoned by President Clinton." LINK

"Yesterday, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Marian Harrison of Nashville ordered Tony Rodham, Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) brother, to respond by March 16 to the allegation that he failed to repay a loan of $107,000 from the couple pardoned by Clinton, according to attorneys involved in the case."

The Clinton campaign refused to comment.

The New York Times' dust-eating Patrick Healey picks up on the charitable family foundation not listed on Sen. Clinton's Senate financial disclosure, first reported by the Washington Post. LINK

Per The Hill's Elana Schor, Sen. Clinton will introduce her energy legislation this week aimed at diverting oil-company tax breaks to investment in other energy sources. LINK

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Clinton will be in Dubuque, IA on Sunday March 4 and in Des Moines, IA on Monday March 5. LINK

Chances are that Chris Lehane will not be on this trip, although Sen. Clinton might face anti-Lehane protesters.

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Alyssa Marcus reports on the new car safety bill being pushed by Sen. Clinton and Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), requiring new safety features in vehicles. LINK

ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports on President Bill Clinton's LULAC speech where he said, "I kind of like organizations with woman presidents." LINK

Jill Gardiner of the New York Sun reports on the "terrible misunderstanding" that shut out three reporters from Chinese language newspapers from a San Francisco event for Sen. Clinton. LINK

2008: Democrats: Edwards:

Jason Horowitz of the New York Observer is apparently tickled by the dogged political reporting from the unlikely outlet "Inside Edition." LINK

Sen. Edwards, on a three day swing through New York City, addressed the concern that voters may weary of his apologies for his Iraq war vote, saying, "There's not a single voter in America who doesn't understand that their president is human, and their president will sometimes makes mistakes." Beth Fouhy of the Associated Press reports. LINK

The New York Post's Haberman, reflecting her paper's sensibilities, writes that John Edwards' call for "honesty, openness and decency in the White House," was an apparent slash at Hillary Clinton. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

In advance of his upcoming trip to Selma, AL, Sen. Obama took to the NPR airwaves this morning and discussed, among other things, on whether or not being black would influence how he would govern as president: LINK

OBAMA: "I guess what I would say would be that there are certain instincts that I have that may be stronger because of my experience as an African American. I don't think they're exclusive to African Americans but I think I maybe feel them more acutely. I think I would be very interested in having a civil rights division that is serious about enforcing civil rights laws. I think that when it comes to an issue like education, for example, I feel great pain knowing that there are children in a lot of schools in American who are not getting anything close to the kind of education that will allow them to compete. And I think a lot of candidates -- Republican and Democrat -- feel concern about that. But when I know that a lot of those kids look just like my daughters, maybe it's harder for me to separate myself from their reality. Every time I see those kids, they feel like a part of me."

Mark Naymik of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has some details on the local bigwigs attending two private receptions for Sen. Obama in Cuyahoga County, OH, and writes, "Those without the connections or unable to write fat checks didn't miss too much, other than the finger foods." LINK

Sen. Obama would have preferred it if St. Louis businessman Sam Fox, a nominee to be ambassador to Belgium who donated to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, had referred to his donation to the anti-Kerry group as a mistake during his Tuesday testimony on Capitol Hill, the Associated Press reports. LINK

(The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers looks at the Kerry angle of the same hearing. LINK)

2008: Democrats: Biden:

Holly Ramer of the Associated Press reports on Sen. Biden's swing through New Hampshire, where he emphasized his long-term Iraq plans. LINK

2008: Democrats: Richardson:

ABC News' Paul Fidalgo writes up Gov. Richardson's comments on what being the last governor in the race for the Democratic nomination means to him. LINK

Gov. Bill Richardson claims first place among second-tier candidates, reports The Hill. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

The Los Angeles Times' Paul Pringle reports that despite preaching energy efficiency, Gov. Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) often fly fuel-gulping small jets. LINK

Mayor Daley:

The Chicago Tribune's Gary Washburn and Robert Becker on Daley winning a 6th term. LINK

Political potpourri:

"The biracial daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond says the Rev. Al Sharpton 'overreacted' to news reports he is a descendant of a Thurmond family slave," writes The State's Aaron Sheinin. LINK

Per the press release: "The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia today announced the formation of the National War Powers Commission, a private bipartisan panel led by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker, III and Warren Christopher. The Commission will examine how the Constitution allocates the powers of beginning, conducting, and ending war." LINK

In a special to, George Tanber has an interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice where she discusses her strong interest in all sports, but most importantly football. LINK

ABC News' Karen Travers on yesterday's visit to the White House by reigning NBA Champions the Miami Heat for a reception held by President Bush. LINK

"[Dwayne] Wade and teammate Shaquille O'Neal presented the President with a signed basketball from the Heat. The President tried to dribble it on the carpeted stage and it landed with a thud, which drew laughs from the team and audience."

Opportunity 08:

ABC News and the Brookings Institution are teaming up to bring you "Opportunity 08," an ambitious project where scholars and experts will help to focus on the most pressing issues of the 2008 campaign. "Americans are increasingly demanding more than sound bites," said Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott. "Opportunity 08 will provide candidates and the public with the opportunity to get the facts and discuss ideas to move our nation forward."

The project kicks off today with a series of panel discussions hosted by Talbott, featuring ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, along with Torie Clarke, Tom Donilon and Ken Duberstein, and you can watch it all here: LINK

Literary corner:

ABC News' Martha Raddatz' new widely anticipated must-read book, "The Long Road Home," is set to hit bookshelves tomorrow.

"In retelling the forty-eight hour firefight in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, Raddatz weaves together -- from the perspectives of both soldiers on the ground in Iraq and the families they left at home -- in harrowing, chilling detail, an unforgettable and unique portrait of the war in Iraq," writes ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman in a preview on

In the next few days, ABC will post video of the soldiers Raddatz chronicles and their families and tomorrow an excerpt of the first chapter of "The Long Road Home" will appear on the site.

You can purchase the book at LINK

Intern for the ABC News Political Unit:

The ABC News Political Unit is now seeking full-time unpaid summer interns in Washington, D.C.

There are a few requirements you should know about before applying for the internship.

-- You must be either a graduate student or junior or senior in college.

-- You must be able to work long days, starting early, Monday through Friday.

-- If your school gives credit for internships, you must receive credit.

-- The internship begins May 29 and runs into August.

Not only will you get to write for The Note and help us manage ABC's Political Radar, but ABC News Political Unit interns also help us by conducting research, maintaining contact lists, and attending political events.

If you write well, don't mind getting up early, and have some familiarity with web publishing, send a cover letter and resume to as soon as possible, with the subject line: "INTERN" in all caps. Please indicate in your cover letter the dates you would be available.