The Note: Springing Forward

WASHINGTON, Mar. 9

Even losing one hour this weekend, there will still be numerous gab-ops to share your insights -- cribbed from The Note -- about the three rings of American politics.

Ring 1 (Iraq):All this in the House LINK, and then all this in the Senate LINK, and, then, inevitably, leading to this LINK (and/but it is not clear that either of the first two contraptions will work or, if they do, that the Democrats then will get something out of conference committee). So we know there IS a point somewhere, but remind us what it might be.

Ring 2 (other legislative business leading to bipartisan legacy deals): Even deader than last Friday. (See Ring 1, above, per usual.)

Ring 3 (2008): The Note's wild guess of the order of finish of the Big Six total raised in the first quarter (NOT cash on hand and not including transferred funds or self funding) -- Clinton, Obama, McCain, Edwards, Romney, Giuliani. Or -- Clinton, McCain, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney. Or -- Clinton, McCain, Romney, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani. Or -- something else, as long as you've got Clinton first.

Our point: It is all about the fundraising, and yet not even Susan Page knows how it's all going to turn out. Our second point: Clinton, McCain, and Romney will have the highest burn rate of spending money this quarter, and their disbursement records are going to be required reading.

And our real point (which we have made before): this is ALL the campaigns care about right now, even more than Iraq, parking tickets, and how to keep their kids from answering the phone when reporters call.

Ok, the Republican candidates ALSO care about Rudy Giuliani's rise and the possible entry of Newt Gingrich (a lot, along with his interview with Dr. Dobson), Chuck Hagel (not as much), and Fred Thompson (also not as much). (Don't miss Politico's Jonathan Martin must-read story with background quotes galore from the McCain and Romney camps, who both appear confident that the country still has much to learn about Rudy Giuliani and it likely will do so before too long. One Romney aide tells Martin, "it will be Rudy's turn." LINK)

And the Democratic candidates ALSO care about Barack Obama taking Manhattan tonight for big coin events, and Lynn Sweet of the Sun Times cares about the fact that Obama is doing a lot of private, secret, closed donor events LINK, and the Chicago Tribune cares about keeping the Obama stock story alive. LINK

Obama and his wife Michelle hold some multi-tiered fundraising events at the Grand Hyatt in New York, NY this evening around 8:00 pm ET, and Sweet will find the evening bittersweet, with some of the events pooled and some closed press.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) travels to the Carolinas today where he will raise coin and pick up the endorsement of Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) at a 2:00 pm ET in Charlotte, according to the Politico's Jonathan Martin. LINK

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) plans to discuss Cuba when he delivers 7:00 pm ET remarks at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Miami, FL. Romney will talk to the press following his speech.

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) holds a 1:15 pm ET community meeting to discuss his health-care plan in Sioux City, IA. He then travels to Sioux City, IA for a 6:15 pm ET community meeting on his health care plan.

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) holds a 6:00 pm ET town hall meeting to discuss Iraq at the Des Moines Club in Des Moines, IA.

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