The Note: Trouble, My Friend, Right Here


The Thursday Note quiz. You gotta play to win.

Send your entries to

The first successful entrant gets to buy lunch for ABC News' Teddy Davis.

It is, as always, a multi-part quiz.

Part I: Match the political figure with his or her biggest problem. (See choices below.)

Part II: Answer "yes" or "no" -- does the person recognize this as his or her biggest problem and evince urgency in fixing things?

Part III: Answer "yes" or "no" -- is the person currently on the path to fixing his or her problem?

A. George W. Bush: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

B. Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

C. Rep. John Murtha: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

D. Sen. Hillary Clinton: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

E. Sen. John McCain: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

F. former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

G. Sen. Barack Obama: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

H. former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

I. former North Carolina senator John Edwards:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

J. former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

K. Rep. Rahm Emanuel: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

L. Rep. Anthony Weiner: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

M. Sen. Joe Biden: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

N. former Vice President Al Gore:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

O. Rep. John Boehner: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

P. Rep. Tom Cole: Part I ________________

Part II: __________ Part III: __________

Q. former President Bill Clinton:

Part I ________________Part II: __________

Part III: __________

R. Vice President Dick Cheney:

Part I ________________ Part II: __________

Part III: __________

Choices for Part I:

1. Is writing a book.

2. Lived in an English basement.

3. Craves Johnny Rocket's.

4. Still hasn't read "Fiasco."

5. Thinks Karl Rove is a secret supporter.

6. Was a source for Woodward.

7. Reads only Page 6 and clips.

8. Thinks Dick Holbrooke is a secret supporter.

9. SOLD stocks on Tuesday.

10. Doesn't know if Jeff Bartlett likes to be called "Jeffrey" or what his favorite brand is.

11. Secret cigarette smoker.

12. Open cigar smoker.

13. Leaks to Pickler.

14. Building consensus on the war more dangerous than not having consensus on the war.

15. Carries no cash.

16. Roy Blunt has his back.

17. Is sweet on Jay Carney.

18. Watches self on C-SPAN reruns.

19. Thinks Gordon Fischer is a secret supporter.

20. Prays for Dan Bartlett daily.

21. Thrown out of Lauriol Plaza.

22. Completely misunderstands what it means to pull a "Sister Soulja."

23. Calls Kevin Madden for advice.

24. Tells staff, "I don't care what the right political decision is; I am doing what I believe."

25. SHOULD call Kevin Madden for advice (but doesn't).

26. Wears TV makeup all day.

27. Read David Rogers growing up.

28. Wants to get on Greta's show.

29. Thinks Jesse Jackson and George Miller are equally trustworthy and equally strategically brilliant.

30. Let's spouse terrorize the campaign staff.

31. Doesn't disguise his contempt for congressional Democrats.

32. Has lost Adam Nagourney's interest.

33. Al Gore might run for President.

34. Refuses to flip-flop on the war.

35. Being lied to by the finance staff about how much the first-quarter report will show.

36. Hates the boss.

37. The boss hates him.

38. Thinks a favorable Maureen Dowd or Paul Krugman mention is worth (at least) 25 electoral votes.

39. Has lost Dan Balz's respect.

40. Doesn't see the need for "message discipline" or a consistent "stump speech."

41. Is surrounded by yes-men and yes-women.

42. Thinks no one will actually build a grassroots effort in 99 Iowa counties -- so why should they?

43. Doesn't fully appreciate the single-minded determination of Ellen Malcolm.

44. Thinks blogger support=votes.

45. Doesn't know that Jeff Zeleny is no longer at the Tribune.

46. Gets angry and yells.

47. Still calls George Allen.

48. Once called Jonathan Alter "John Harris."

49. Doesn't remember which 2 Iowa counties Howard Dean won -- or, worse, never knew.

50. Treats the campaign staff with a combination of the styles of Al Gore and John Kerry.

51. Thinks iPod is a moving company.

52. Too tan, leaving voters wondering, "is s/he white enough?"

53. Makes Rahm look fat.

54. Member of "Mile High" club.

55. Doesn't know Harold Ickes' 2008 role.

56. Annoys VandeHei.

57. Hasn't bookmarked the URL for David Yepsen's blog.

58. Doesn't know what the O (Onette) stands for or the real reason behind the naming of O'Kay Henderson.

59. Former fresh face now an old fogey.

60. Too much perspiration, not enough inspiration.

61. Giuliani Inc.

62. Not the guy on "LA Law."

63. YouTube.

64. Clinton Inc.

65. Needs a Second Act.

66. Thinks the Shuttle is faster than the Acela.

67. At Halloween, went as Jenna Bush.

68. Sounds like a rusty trombone.

69. Running as a retread candidate against his/her platform from the last election.

70. Reads the classifieds.

71. Knows global warming is important; doesn't realize that having the press like you is too.

72. Needs an eye lift and jowls reduced.

73. Has had too many eye lifts.

74. Will always be overshadowed by Bill Clinton.

75. Spokesman's obsession with seeing his name in the paper, regardless of whether it helps the candidate.

For the first time since the one year anniversary of the storm last August, President Bush travels to the Gulf Coast where he holds an 11:40 am ET meeting with elected officials and community leaders at Biloxi City Hall in Mississippi. The President then travels to New Orleans, LA for a 1:35 pm ET lunch with Louisiana state and local officials, followed by a 3:10 pm ET visit to the Samuel J. Green Charter School, where he will deliver remarks at 3:50 pm ET.

His Number Two will tend to GOP politics here at home today as Vice President Cheney will be the star attraction at the American Conservative Union's 34th annual Conservative Political Action Conference which gets underway at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Mr. Cheney takes to the stage at 7:30 pm ET. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is expected to address the Republican grassroots activists at 1:15 pm ET. (See below for more CPAC schedule highlights.)

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports on Sen. McConnell's plan to paint Democrats as wanting to "unring the bell" on Iraq. LINK

After his star turn on Letterman, Sen. McCain is in Utah today with no public events on his schedule.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) has a packed Granite State schedule today. Romney participates in a 9:00 am ET community forum at the New Hampshire Community Technical College in Concord, NH. At 11:20 am ET he meets with local residents at Hollis Pharmacy in Hollis, NH. Gov. Romney then delivers the 12:15 pm ET keynote to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce Business Eminence Awards luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Nashua, NH. He will be available to the press at 5:45 pm ET before delivering 7:00 pm ET remarks for the Hampton/Derry/Portsmouth Lincoln Day Dinner at the Granite Rose in Hampstead, NH.

Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) hold an 11:30 am ET news conference introducing "The Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act" at the U.S. Capitol.

The Federal Election Commission holds a 10:00 am ET meeting in Washington, DC to consider the Obama campaign's question of whether a campaign can raise funds for the general while retaining the option to return those funds if the candidate chooses to participate in the program at a later date.

Sen. Clinton (D-NY) plans to attend a 9:30 am ET Senate Armed Services Committee hearing focused on American efforts in Afghanistan.

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) holds a 6:00 pm ET rally at the Tivoli Student Center of the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Denver, CO, followed by a media availability.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) delivers an 8:00 pm ET speech to the Northern Virginia Society of Financial Services Professionals at the Ritz Carlton in McLean, VA.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) holds a 6:30 pm ET press conference on crime fighting at Hobbs City Hall in Hobbs, NM.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) holds an 11:15 am ET on camera press briefing at the Capitol.

The U.S. Senate holds a 3:00 pm ET members-only briefing on Iraq at the Capitol with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson delivers a noon ET address to the Economic Club of Washington at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Spartanburg County Republicans in South Carolina hold their straw poll for the 2008 presidential primary, with poll results scheduled to be announced at about 9:40 pm ET on Fox News Channel. Of the "big three" Republican campaigns, the two which have worked the straw poll in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties hardest are Romney and McCain.

The McCain camp sent one letter from Attorney General Henry McMaster and made one automated call to McCain supporters in the area. Romney used a February 2005 speech in Spartanburg County as his initial step on the road to South Carolina's first-in-the-South presidential primary and has kept up his efforts since then.

First Lady Laura Bush travels to Midway Atoll, HA, including a tour of Eastern Island, a visit to the Albatross Reproduction Study Plot, and to the Hawaiian Monk Seal Captive Cares Project.

2008: must-reads:

1. Remember all those fond statements Newt Gingrich used to offer up about Sen. Clinton? No more.

The New York Post's Maggie Haberman reports the former House Speaker called Hillary Clinton, "a nasty woman" who runs an "endlessly ruthless" campaign during an editorial board meeting with the paper. LINK

"Asked whether Americans are ready to elect Rudy Giuliani -- a leader, the questioner noted, whom Ed Koch had called a 'nasty man' -- Gingrich shot back, "As opposed to a nasty woman?"'

Obviously, this is a different Newt Gingrich than the one who has been traveling the country decrying negative rhetoric -- but quite possibly the same one who was Speaker of the House in the last century.

2. "A Politico review of the 75 judges Giuliani appointed to three of New York state's lower courts found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than 8 to 1," Politico's Ben Smith reports. LINK

"One of his appointments was an officer of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Another ruled that the state law banning liquor sales on Sundays was unconstitutional because it was insufficiently secular."

"A third, an abortion-rights supporter, later made it to the federal bench in part because New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said he liked her ideology."

We wonder how quickly and how widely this story will be distributed at CPAC.

Also, Note readers who are men and women of the world will ask themselves which is more likely: that Ben Smith took time out from his family, blogging, and covering events to meticulously gather all this judicial research on his own, or someone (a/k/a: "the Romney or McCain campaign") delivered all this to him in a nice, tight little package?

The question answers itself. And the next two questions are: (1) when and where will the next package drop?; and (2) when and where will the former Mayor start to answer and explain some of these aspects of his past?

3. The New York Post ed board has a field day with the Tennessee think tank report on Al Gore's energy use, perhaps reminding Gore just how much he doesn't miss the Freak Show. LINK

4. A new Time magazine poll shows 30 percent of voters say they couldn't back a candidate who favors gun control, while another 35 percent say they have trouble with someone with three marriages, reports The New York Post's Haberman. LINK

You can see the full Time poll here: LINK

5. Bob Novak jumps on the conservative bandwagon that is looking for some fantasy candidate to get in the race because of presumed widespread dissatisfaction with the Big 3 of McCainRomneyGuiliani.

Novak creates what history might record is the finest day ever in the presidential campaign of former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA), by quoting his pollster/strategist Kieran Mahoney saying that when he conducted a push poll of probable Republican participants in the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses, Gilmore finishes ahead of the "big three" GOP candidates: "John McCain, 20.5 percent; Rudy Giuliani, 16.3 percent; Mitt Romney, 3.5 percent. Astonishingly, they all trail James Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, with 31 percent." LINK

"The most commonly mentioned void filler," writes Novak, "is not Gilmore but Newt Gingrich. A straw poll by the right-wing Citizens United organization of its political contributors showed Gingrich leading with 31 percent (followed by Giuliani at 25 percent, Romney at 10 percent and McCain at 8 percent). But based on his record as speaker of the House, Gingrich's conservative record is far from flawless."

So if the answer isn't Gilmore, Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Frank Keating, or Mark Sanford -- who then?

6. Gov. Romney unloads on Giuliani in an exclusive interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody. LINK

"He is pro-choice, he is pro-gay marriage, and anti-gun," Romney tells CBN. "That's a tough combination in a Republican primary."

In previous interview, Romney has eagerly differentiated himself from Sen. McCain but has held back from drawing contrasts with Giuliani.

Romney also says that the "attenuated attacks" on him are "so unusual" that he thinks it "proves that the media has determined who the conservative candidate is because they're going after me with hammer and tong and that's the way you would expect to go after the conservative candidate. And I'm proud of the fact that the mainstream media isn't wild about my candidacy and that's why I'm going to win."

On the question of whether he has flip flopped, Romney says: "That's the sort of thing that opponents are going to try and push and then you ask them to be more specific and they have a hard time being more specific or if they are specific it's on an item of such insignificance that you say of course I've changed my view on that. I've learned from experience."

2008: Republicans: McCain announces:

Apparently, Dan Balz and Adam Nagourney, among others, had some doubt.

The Washington Post's Balz writes that Sen. McCain "may have additional motives for using the late-night comedian's show, as he tries to rekindle some of the spontaneity and unpredictability from his first campaign. He cast himself as an insurgent politician in 2000, but this time, weighed down by a supportive position on the Iraq war that is out of step with the public even as he methodically woos the GOP establishment, he has struggled to project the buoyant personality of his first effort." LINK

In his announcement on Letterman, McCain said, "This is the announcement preceding the formal announcement. You know you drag this out as long as you can. You don't just have on rendition. You've got to do it over and over," reports the New York Times' Adam Nagourney. LINK

"The exchange was the latest example of how the customs of presidential campaigns are changing. Not all that long ago, an announcement was a defining moment in the evolution of candidates, in which they truly opened their campaigns. For 2008, on the other hand, candidates have been not only announcing but also preannouncing on Web sites and various television shows and in random interviews," Nagourney writes.

ABC News' Diane Sawyer lead "Good Morning America" with McCain's announcement.

Also on "Good Morning America," ABC News' Jake Tapper Noted Sen. McCain's use of David Letterman's couch for his announcement and pointed to some possible concern for McCain because of "white evangelical conservatives going into Giuliani's camp" according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll.

Dan Norwicki of the Arizona Republic his state's Senator's "pre-announcement" on Letterman. "[Sen. McCain's] not going to get aggressive follow-up from Letterman, and it's also a way to reinforce his image as a different kind of Republican," said John J. Pitney Jr. of Claremont McKenna College in California. LINK

"Seeking to stem eroding support among GOP voters, Sen. John McCain confirmed yesterday that he's in the 2008 race for the presidency, with a formal announcement set for April," write Celeste Katz and David Saltonstall of The New York Daily News. LINK

Sen. McCain's Letterman announcement was "no joke and no surprise" per NBC's Today Show. As Sen. McCain makes his presidential bid "more official," Andrea Mitchell said that he is "trying to recapture the magic of his 2000 campaign."

According to Tim Russert, the "Late Show" appearance "needed to be done" in light of Sen. McCain's sagging poll standing against Mayor Giuliani, due to "something going on within the Republican psyche" as the party faithful seem to be prioritizing a tough stance on terrorism over conservative social credentials.

Los Angeles Times' Dan Morain reports that Sen. McCain's 13 national finance committee co-chairmen include five Californians: Orange County billionaire Donald Bren; investor George Argyros; Univision Chairman A. Jerrold Perenchio; Cisco Systems Chief Executive John Chambers; and San Francisco venture capitalist J. Gary Shansby. LINK

Sen. McCain also tapped Schwarzenegger's lead fundraiser, Marty Wilson, as part of his California finance committee.

Jill Gardiner of the New York Sun reports on a surprise drop-in by former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) during Sen. McCain's swing through New York City. Gardiner writes that Gov. Pataki's appearance provided an "interesting twist" due to the two Republicans' "strained relationship after the governor backed President Bush in 2000 and attempted to knock Mr. McCain off the New York ballot. Both contended last night that they had mended the wounds years ago." LINK

Opportunity 08: ABC News-Brookings Forum:

One day after an ABC News-Washington Post poll showed Sen. McCain losing ground to Giuliani, Washington veterans Tom Donilon and Ken Duberstein debated McCain's standing vis a vis the former New York City mayor. LINK

"'In a change dynamic, McCain is the un-change,' said Tom Donilon, a former Clinton administration official who has served as senior adviser to Democratic presidents and presidential candidates for 20 years."

"Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein disagreed with Donilon on the question of whether McCain's presidential bid has suffered a 'collapse' as a result of embracing President Bush's" proposed troop surge.

"The key for McCain, Duberstein told ABC News following the forum, is for him to 'talk about the future as a change agent.'"

2008: Republicans:

As the CPAC gathering of conservative grassroots activists gets underway in Washington, DC today, the overarching storyline for the Republican presidential field for some continues to be the search for an allegedly true conservative candidate.

The Boston Globe's Susan Milligan has Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, saying: "'For years, the party was completely president-centric, and put all their efforts into keeping the presidency. But going into 2008, it's going to be equally important to pick up the House and Senate. Now, people recognize you can govern from either body, not just the White House." LINK

Milligan also quotes Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ethics and religious liberty commission, saying of Giuliani that "Southern evangelicals would never vote for a man who has been married three times and who supports abortion rights." Speaker Gingrich "would face similar problems with religious conservatives because of his messy divorces, he added."


Other schedule highlights for today include: 10:05 am ET remarks from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC); an 11:45 am ET discussion with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute, and Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth; Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivers 12:45 pm ET remarks, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow speaks at 1:45 pm ET; Labor Secretary Elaine Chao takes the podium at 3:15 pm ET; Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) -- the man who cleared the path for John Roberts and Samuel Alito to take their seats on the Supreme Court -- is set to speak at 3:45 pm ET.

The 2008 presidential activity gets underway in earnest tomorrow when Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, Brownback, Hunter, and Tancredo are all set to deliver speeches. Sen. McCain did not accept the group's invitation to speak, but he is sending his surrogate Gov. Pawlenty (R-MN) to do so on Saturday. (As ABC News' Jake Tapper reported on "Good Morning America," Citizens United is distributing anti-McCain literature at the conference describing him as no friend to conservatives.)

The Washington Times' Ralph Z. Hallow reports that sponsors of the Conservative Political Action Conference, which begins today in Washington and brings together "thousands of conservative leaders and grass-roots activists," say Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., "has 'dissed' organizers by attempting to schedule a private reception for attendees after rejecting invitations to speak at the event." LINK

"'It was a classical McCain move, dissing us by going behind our backs,' said William J. Lauderback, executive vice president of the American Conservative Union."

"Conservative activists have speculated that Mr. McCain did not want to be seen on television 'pandering' to Republican 'right-wingers' but wanted to court those same activists at a reception in the same hotel."

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

The Associated Press reports on the new Quinnipiac University poll showing Mayor "What Exit?" Giuliani easily besting his rivals in both primary and general election matchups in New Jersey. Garden State GOP voters prefer Mayor Giuliani over Sen. McCain by a spread of 43 percentage points, and the mayor defeats Sens. Clinton and Obama by 9 and 11 points, respectively in the general. LINK

The New York Sun's Ryan Sager previews Mayor Giuliani's address to the Conservative Political Action Conference tomorrow, saying it will mark the end of a "fitful anti-courtship between the man increasingly known as 'Rudy' and a venerable right-wing institution that just doesn't know what to make of a crime-fighting, welfare-reforming, abortion-supporting, drag-wearing foreign-policy hawk." LINK

Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla writes of the anybody-but-Clinton sentiment among some religious Republicans that could work in Giuliani's favor, as he appears to many as the best means to block a Hillary Clinton presidency. LINK

2008: Republicans: Romney:

The AP's Glen Johnson looks at Romney's relative lag in the New Hampshire polls behind McCain and Giuliani despite that fact that he "can campaign in New Hampshire and still sleep at night in his own bed in Massachusetts," noting that the New Hampshire electorate has changed dramatically since 2000. LINK

Johnson also has pollster Andrew Smith arguing that "I don't think it matters to a lot of voters that he was perceived as a socially moderate-to-liberal figure in Massachusetts, because that's the way a lot of Republican New Hampshire voters see themselves."

Gov. Romney is planning to have at least 225 student volunteers at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a sign Romney has his eyes set on this year's straw poll, David Kirkpatrick reports for the New York Times. LINK

More on Romney's big push at the CPAC conference from Politico's Jonathan Martin. LINK

The Associated Press reports Gov. Romney has picked up Arizona political consultant Jason Rose to lead his campaign in the state, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been named its honorary chairman. LINK

2008: Republicans: Hagel:

The Boston Herald's columnist Brett Arends argues that conservatives unhappy with their choice for president need only look to Sen. Chuck Hagel. LINK

2008: money:

ABC News' Political Director Mark Halperin on the intense battle for cash in which the presidential hopefuls are engaging as the final month of the first quarter arrives. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

ABC News' Matthew Zavala has a quick recap of Hillary Clinton allegedly reaching her $1 million in a week campaign where she garnered financial support from 15,000 individuals in all 50 states. LINK

Two prominent black New York politicians want Sen. Clinton to "cool it" against Sen. Obama, report Fred Dicker and Ian Bishop of the New York Post. LINK

2008: Democrats: Edwards:

"I want a Democrat I think can win," said New Jersey's Senate President (and former acting governor) Richard Codey as he endorsed the presidential bid of Sen. Edwards, who, in his opinion, "clearly has the best chance in the general election." Deborah Howlett of the Star-Ledger has the story. LINK

Codey will chair Sen. Edwards' Garden State campaign and according to the Quinnipiac University poll numbers out of New Jersey today, he will have his work cut out for him.

ABC News' Jake Tapper on Edwards going pro-gay by applauding legislation that would now allow gays to serve openly in the military. LINK

Mostly due to his talk about eliminating poverty, New York Daily News columnist Erol Lewis calls Sen. John Edwards, "the man with a plan" that the rest of the Democratic field should follow. LINK

Bob Cusack of the Hill writes of how Sen. Edwards' opposition to gambling in college sports may pose a problem for him in the Nevada caucuses. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

Lynn Sweet writes in the Chicago Sun Times that Barack Obama will give an in-depth speech on U.S. policy towards Israel and the Middle East on Friday. Obama has never been too vocal on his views towards Israel, Sweet writes, but he will be holding a reception for AIPAC members when its meeting convenes next week. (Note: Clinton is hosting AIPAC members as well). LINK

Lynn Sweet's blog on Obama's breakfast with House Dems: LINK

2008: Democrats: Biden:

Kristen Senz of the Union Leader Notes that Sen. Biden used his appearance at New England College in Henniker, NH, to tout his plan for a tri-partite Iraq. LINK

The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein writes of Sen. Biden's Iraq plan as one of substance, but not necessarily geared towards easy applause on the Democratic presidential campaign trail. LINK

2008: Democrats: Richardson:

Under a "Can Richardson catch up? Maybe" header, the Des Moines Register's David Yepsen writes that Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) "comes to Iowa later than other leading candidates, but he arrives with credentials Tom Vilsack lacked: foreign policy experience, fund-raising ability, and cross-party appeal." LINK

2008: nomination calendar:

Molly Ball of the Las Vegas Review-Journal explores the Nevada Republican Party's apparent internal conflict on deciding when to schedule the Silver State's GOP presidential caucuses. Most GOPers agree, reports Ball, that with a later date, Democrats will have the January spotlight to themselves and be able to mobilize voters more efficiently and spend a lot more money in the state. One analyst said, "that could change the dynamic of this state from red to blue in a hurry. . . This is too close of a state to allow something like that to happen without a response." LINK

2008: Democrats: Denver:

Patrick Doyle of 5280 magazine has a in-depth look at why the Democrats will do in well in the West and why Denver was a good choice to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He says, "A lot of people believe that the election is going to be won or lost in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Montana." LINK

Doyle also writes, "the West contains the fewest number of evangelical Christians, who often hold socially conservative stances. A recent study showed that, despite the presence of organizations like James Dobson's Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, only 24 percent of Coloradans identified themselves as evangelical or born-again Protestants. Sounds like a lot, but that puts Colorado toward the bottom of the evangelical list, with states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington.

2008: Democrats: New Hampshire:

The Union Leader reports this morning that the investigation into former state Democratic Vice Chairman Raymond Buckley's alleged possession of child pornography is completed, and the findings will be released today. LINK

2008: Senate:

Aaron Blake of The Hill reports that a DSCC/Garin poll shows that only 35% of North Carolinians are committed to re-electing Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC). LINK

NRSC communications director Rebecca Fisher tells The Note, ""Sen. Dole is a rock star in North Carolina -- she had a smooth election against a tough candidate in 2002 and we expect the same for her re-election."


Progress for American Voter Fund received the third largest fine in FEC history yesterday for violating campaign finance laws by spending more that $30 million in supporting President Bush's 2004 reelection, reports the New York Times' Kate Phillips. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

The Washington Post's Spencer Hsu and Stephen Barr report that the Bush Administration "will allow states to postpone the planned May 2008 launch of a program to toughen security requirements for driver's licenses by up to 19 months, in response to complaints about the projected $11 billion cost and potential disruptions." LINK

Rep. Jefferson:

The Washington Post's Lyndsey Layton has Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly warning that if House Republicans follow through on their threat to force a floor vote on Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) appointment to the Homeland Security Committee, it would set a "dangerous precedent." LINK

"A number of their own members are under investigation," Daly told the Washington Post, referring to Republicans allegedly under scrutiny by the Justice Department.

Susan Davis and Jennifer Yachnin of Roll Call report that House Republicans will object to the placement of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) on the Homeland Security Committee, breaking with unwritten comity rules by attempting to intervene in another party's committee assignments.

Rep. Jefferson "is a Member of Congress," said Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), "who, like every other American, is innocent until proven guilty."

Politics of immigration:

"Two senior Bush administration officials vowed on Wednesday to work with Congress to ensure passage of immigration legislation this year but publicly distanced themselves from proposals that would place most illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship," wisely Notes Rachel Swarns of the New York Times in her look at the Gutierrez and Chertoff testimony on the Hill yesterday showing some White House shifting on an issue that has caused the President some trouble within his own party. LINK

Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times writes that Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Specter cautioned Sen. Kennedy to stop "secret work" on the immigration bill, after allegedly breaking a promise to consult with other senators' staffs before making any moves. LINK

Ken Mehlman:

Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to advise U.S. businesses on "coping with political winds shifting against his party," report the Wall Street Journal's John Harwood and Brody Mullins. LINK

"'We are moving toward universal access to health care,' Mr. Mehlman says. To respond to climate change, he adds, there will be 'increased scrutiny of the emission of carbon.' And powerful corporations -- as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has discovered in recent years -- face the threat of Web-based public relations warfare from opponents who need relatively few resources to have an impact."

"The bottom line, he says: 'The 212 miles between New York and Washington is shorter than it's ever been.'"

Literary corner:

ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman has an interview with ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Martha Raddatz where she discusses her new book 'The Long Road Home'. The book retells about a 48 hour firefight in Sadr City in 2004 from the perspectives of both the soldiers who fought in it and their families they left at home. 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.