THE NOTE: Colbert Seeking Votes, Laughs

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President Bush has a news conference scheduled today at 10:45 am ET, and his opening statement will be heavy on domestic policy, including the fight over S-CHIP, per ABC's Ann Compton.

The new CNN poll puts the national numbers at 51-21 Clinton over Obama. But the real story looks like it's on the Republican side, where Thompson is down to 19 percent from 27 percent a month ago. (At least he's working it hard, right?)

Clinton yesterday unveiled a $1 billion family-leave proposal. Writes Patrick Healy of The New York Times: "The ideas are the latest parts of Mrs. Clinton's strategy to cement women as the cornerstone of her support, but her call for an expanded federal role in labor activities drew fire from business leaders, who called her proposals onerous."

Obama's campaign pushed back on Clinton's claim on women with a memo to "interested parties," but -- whoops! -- left some internal edits in there. Sorry, but we're more interested in what we weren't supposed to see.

This sentence was stricken: "Barack has the endorsement of high profile women in each of the early states." Another sentence the campaign didn't want out there: "we are light years ahead of Clinton campaign in terms of organization -- not photo-ops and TV cameos." Also crossed out: A link to this unfortunate-sounding (smelling?) Web site: My.BO.com.

This battle over who is the "real Republican" is could give McCain an opening, Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh writes. "Wait a minute, Mittster Boast-man," Lehigh writes of Romney's claim to represent "the Republican wing of the Republican Party." McCain's "best shot at really getting back in the running will be if the other major candidates ultimately prove unpalatable to party regulars. Now Romney has given him an opening to sow some discontent -- and McCain, wily pol that he is, has demonstrated that though his fund-raising has lagged, his political instincts haven't deserted him."

With the Republican candidates making the rounds of key constituencies with a series of Washington speeches this week, Giuliani "is finding that tough foreign-policy stands are helping him connect with social and religious conservatives," The Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon writes. Yesterday, Giuliani championed the hard line he's taken against Iran and the Palestinians, complete with the story of how he kicked Yasser Arafat out of Lincoln Center. "We need to isolate the terror-funding theocrats" in Tehran, Giuliani told the Republican Jewish Coalition. "You have to stand up to dictators, to tyrants and to terrorists. . . . Weakness invites attack."

Sorry, Rudy, but Judith isn't interested in those Cabinets meeting after all. "I'm not a political person. And I have no desire to sit in on Cabinet meetings. And I promise you, I'm not going to morph into a politician," Judith Giuliani said on Fox News yesterday. Mrs. Giuliani, a nurse, told ABC's Barbara Walters in March that she would attend her husband's Cabinet meetings "if he asks me to. Yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."

Is this change of heart because Rudy discovered how to put his phone on vibrate?

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