The Note: John Edwards

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The New York Times' Russ Buettner examines the record of the Texas law firm that bears Rudolph Giuliani's name -- Bracewell & Giuliani -- and casts it as key to the former New York mayor's fund-raising successes in the Lone Star State. The firm "is one of the higher-profile defenders of the oil, gas and energy industries, to which it provides legal help and extensive lobbying services in Washington." LINK

Giuliani also gets unflattering treatment in Vanity Fair, with Michael Wolff offering a succinct judgment: "he is nuts, actually mad." LINK

Odds and ends:

The Boston Herald sees a new flip-flop in former governor Mitt Romney's (R-MA) choice of favorite books: It was "Huckleberry Finn" before, "Battlefield Earth" now. LINK

Newsweek's Howard Fineman gets Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) telephone briefing call slipped under his door. No bombshells, but Fineman finds that "the scripted rigor borders on the comic." LINK

The New York Post's Ian Bishop tags Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) as a "fussy frequent flier," reporting that she demanded a Gulfstream upgrade on a recent campaign swing. LINK

Matt Stearns of McClatchy Newspapers reveals the "management philosophy of the CEO presidency," whereby the president stands by Alberto Gonzales and Paul Wolfowitz, but is glad to see Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias go after admitting to getting massages from an escort service through the "DC Madam." LINK

And sorry, Mike Gravel, but you're going to have company: Clinton and Obama are both in for the June 3 Democratic debate in New Hampshire, guaranteeing a full stage for the first debate in the state with the first primary. The peer pressure was fun to watch -- first Edwards committed, then Clinton and Obama followed suit yesterday, much like Edwards' refusal to participate in Fox News debates pushed his counterparts in the top tier to reject the forums.

The kicker:

"Everybody holds their nose and maybe a couple of times vomits, but you get it done,' Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), talking in the Washington Post about the need to compromise with Democrats on the Iraq war.

"If he has not been killed today, he will be killed tomorrow," Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, not quite confirming the death of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri

Today's Must-Reads: LINK

The Sneak Peek: LINK

Welcome to the new Note:

Before I close today, I wanted to briefly outline my ideas for this forum. As a longtime Note reader, I know that it has long been essential reading for those who live and breathe politics, a tip sheet that is as readable and interesting as it is vital. I hope to continue that tradition, while taking the product in new directions -- with video, feedback capabilities, and a look at a broader spectrum of what's making news every day.

The Note should mirror politics at its best -- a conversation about the issues and personalities that shape the direction of the nation. Sometimes that conversation is humorous, sometimes it's serious, but it should always be thought-provoking. Like the best of the Web, this will be an evolving product. And, as always, thanks for reading.

What's different:

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