The Note: Philly Stakes


Surely the most important story impacting McCain this week: The McCain campaign is blaming an intern for swiping recipes and passing them off as Cindy's own on the campaign Website. "Apparently a web intern of ours appointed an unknowing Rachel Ray to be our Senior Director for recipe policy," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Obama meets with Philadelphia Jewish leaders Wednesday morning, and Wednesday night's Democratic debate is the day's marquee event. Ninety minutes of debating time spread over a two-hour nationwide ABC broadcast, starting at 8 pm ET.

I'll be live-blogging from inside the Constitution Center in Philadelphia at ABC's Political Radar.

Lots of pomp and ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, with Pope Benedict XVI making his official visit. From the White House: "Marine Band performs National Anthem of the Holy See. A simultaneous 21 gun salute sounds from the Ellipse. Marine Band performs National Anthem of the United States. Musical Troop in Review. Ms. Kathleen Battle sings 'The Lord's Prayer.' " (And yes, the White House actually calls it the "popemobile.")

The New York Sun's Nicholas Wampshott: "Benedict XVI's arrival in Washington last night heralds a series of events intended to show solidarity with President Bush at a time of anxiety about Islamic fundamentalism, which threatens both America and the Catholic Church, and the president's pursuit of the war on terror."

Remarks from the president and the pope at 10:40 am ET.

The president also announces a new climate change "strategy" on Wednesday. "In a speech in the Rose Garden, Bush will lay out a strategy rather than a specific proposal for curbing emissions," per the AP's Deb Riechmann.

Also in the news:

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., is willing to star at the Republican National Convention on behalf of McCain's candidacy, The Hill's Manu Raju reports. "If Sen. McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will," Lieberman said.

(We'll have to check the rules on this, but does this require Lieberman to challenge Chris Matthews to a duel?)

Mitt Romney's audition continues -- with (what else?) a flip-flop, per the AP's Glen Johnson. Romney Tuesday, on CNN: "I can tell you that for a person who's spent over 25 years in Washington, D.C., working on economic policies from the days of [Ronald] Reagan and throughout the current time, Senator McCain is very well aware of the spending programs in Washington, which ones need to be cut back, which ones need to be grown."

Romney in January: " 'Washington talk' says that somehow, because you've been in Washington, and you've been on a committee, that you somehow know about how the jobs of this country have been created."

Former governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., abandoned his candidacy at last, but Huck PAC will live on. "Huck PAC is committed to helping Republicans regain control of the House and Senate, regain a majority of governorships and elect John McCain as the 44th President of the United States," according to the mission statement. (Good luck with that.)

Good news for Obama (not to mention the Republican Party): Alan Keyes is back (seriously). He's left the GOP and is now considering running for president on the Constitution Party line, he announced Tuesday. "Symbolic of Keyes' break with the Republican Party is a caricature of the GOP logo -- upside down -- on the front page of his website," his site states.

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