The Note: Budgeting Time

Vice President Cheney said Sunday he's not launching his own presidential bid in 2008. LINK

It's stories like these that make some Republicans nervous about Mayor Giuliani and 2008: LINK

Dana Milbank runs up the middle and catalogues Sen. George Allen's penchant for football metpahors. LINK

Whoever succeeds Jason Miner at the DNC will want to put this in their Romney clip file. LINK

John Edwards in New Hampshire:

What's new in New Hampshire?

There's a new governor (John Lynch) with a new state education plan (to be unveiled tomorrow) that just might end the state's long-running crisis/political sideshow; there's a newly remodeled Courtyard by Marriott near the airport (don't get too excited); there's a new riverside minor league ballpark down the street from WMUR; and there are some new ethnic restaurants on Elm Street in Manchester.

But the newest things in New Hampshire this weekend were John Edwards' stump speech and his missing mole.

First, the speech.

It got good in-state coverage and we are here to tell you that it is the finest 2008 Democratic presidential stump speech in the nation today (although mostly by default) .

The text (as written and delivered) is a clever extension of Edwards' 2003/4 speech, updated to implicitly include "lessons learned" from that race -- which makes it optimistic, issue oriented, and forward looking. It's progressive, but in a DLCish kind of way, and the guy could give a honed version of it for a long, long time.

As for the mole, the North Carolina papers give it proper play. LINK

In short, Edwards' doctor wanted to test it and removed it and it is (thankfully) benign.

Far be it for us to say that looks matter in politics, but we believe that one of the four most disqualifying barriers to John Edwards ever becoming president of the United States has now been removed.

Also, Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards are now represented by the Harry Walker Agency for speeches. Note the grouping on the Walker Web site homepage with John Ashcroft!!! LINK

On Sunday, the Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote up his time with Sen. Edwards in New Hampshire this weekend, where, Diet Coke-free, Edwards said that Democrats don't need to change their positions to be successful, they just need to stand up for what they actually believe in. Among his post-public life ventures is a focus on foreign policy and speeches in the U.S. and abroad. And we're glad to hear that Mrs. Edwards is doing well. LINK

Note that Edwards has not (and will not!) take a Lieberman-like pledge not to run if ticketmate Sen. Kerry decides to.

Newsweek's Melinda Henneberger sat down Edwards for a look at what else he's up to -- and discovers, among other things, that he and Sen. Kerry stay in close touch. LINK

Note how interesting it is that Newsweek's photographer just happened to tag along when the Senator took in a high school basketball game in the Granite State Friday night with those adorable tykes of his.

Overall, we would say the full-page spread in Newsweek is favorable to the Senator.

Other clips from the Weekend in New England:

Fournier: LINK

Raleigh News and Observer: LINK

Charlotte: LINK

Sen. John Kerry:

As we have said many times, the worst thing that can happen to people who want to be president is that they lose control of their public image.

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