"Don't count him out quite yet," Bloomberg's Catherine Dodge writes of President Bush, who "is making use of his last remaining political tool -- the president's executive authority -- in an effort to rescue remnants of his tattered agenda." Dodge writes: "In recent weeks, the president announced an initiative to round up illegal workers and punish the businesses that hire them, and issued rules limiting a government health-insurance program for children that lawmakers want to expand. Through veto threats and executive directives, Bush is also attempting to recover Republicans' reputation for fiscal responsibility."
Why isn't former governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., catching on: "The short, cruel answer is that many people who should be his most enthusiastic supporters don't think he could win if he were pitted in a nasty race against the one Democrat conservatives loathe most," Newsweek's Holly Bailey writes. "In short, Huckabee is too nice to be president." Huckabee tells Bailey: "I am not a Republican clone. . . . I'm not right out of the laboratory of the RNC."
Maybe he started trying to make up for that yesterday. Huckabee is stepping up his fight with the Club for Growth, which is running ads attacking his record on taxes. Offering up a conspiracy theory that builds himself up, "You have to wonder who gave them that money," Huckabee said, per ABC's Tahman Bradley. "I have to think it's one of the other candidates." He also had this to say about Thompson: "People are expecting him to basically come in and be the fifth head on Mount Rushmore. Whether he can live up to that -- I think there's a real challenge for anybody to live up to that, including if Ronald Reagan were to come back."
Washington Post columnist David Broder likes how Bloomberg-Hagel (or Hagel-Bloomberg) sounds. "Hagel said that he and Bloomberg have 'had some talks' but that neither of them is ready at this moment to form a partnership or stake out a strategy," Broder writes. "It really comes down to a question of the strength of those tidal forces moving out there in American politics. . . . John Kennedy liked to say that a rising tide lifts all boats. The Bloomberg-Hagel pairing would test that proposition."
Is it Watergate, Bill Jefferson, or silly thuggery? Dodd's Hartford office was broken into on Saturday night.
The Mark Foley investigation is wrapping up in Florida, and the former congressman, R-Fla., "is unlikely to face criminal charges for sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys," reports Amie Parnes of Scripps Howard News Service. "Sources close to the investigation told Scripps that to date there has been no criminal finding against Foley."
"I don't want to do this." -- Jack Edwards, 7, asking to get out of an interview about what it's like to be a kid on the campaign bus.
"I don't care whether you want to do this." -- John Edwards, in reply.