The Note: Welcoming Gifts

On the Senate side: "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has moved early to exploit its steep cash advantage over the National Republican Senatorial Committee, investing more than $5 million so far this cycle to improve on the comprehensive field operation the DSCC credits for its success in 2006," Roll Call's David M. Drucker writes.

The flip-side of the big bucks: "For the Pritzker family of Chicago, the 2001 collapse of subprime-mortgage lender Superior Bank was an embarrassing failure in a corner of their giant business empire," John R. Emshwiller writes in The Wall Street Journal. "Billionaire Penny Pritzker helped run Hinsdale, Ill.-based Superior, overseeing her family's 50% ownership stake. She now serves as Barack Obama's national campaign-finance chairwoman, which means her banking past could prove to be an embarrassment to her -- and perhaps to the campaign."

Emshwiller continues: "Superior was seized in 2001 and later closed by federal regulators. Government investigators and consumer advocates have contended that Superior engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices. Ms. Pritzker, a longtime friend and supporter of Sen. Obama, served for a time as Superior's chairman, and later sat on the board of its holding company."

Phil Gramm got his ritual ouster.

But is that enough? "McCain didn't announce he was distancing himself from an economic program designed by a man who devoted his entire career to: cutting corporate taxes, reducing the social safety net and deregulating financial markets," Joe Cutbirth writes at Huffington Post. "The only thing different is that someone else will have the silly title 'national co-chairman.' "

There's Obama's face on screen of a McCain-produced video, framed for a split second by the letters "al qD." What does that say to you? (We know what it says to Google.) What does it say about the McCain campaign? An oversight? Meaningless? Or "RATS" part two?

The Veepstakes:

Al Gore provides a new twist on Sherman: "General Sherman famously said, 'If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. I already ran . . . I didn't run for the nomination, and I've already been elected and didn't serve," Gore said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I made a decision, in this past election cycle for the nomination, and the one before that, not to be a candidate again. And I'm comfortable with the fact that what I'm doing now is of use."

Yankee fans have spoken: They want former mayor Rudy Giuliani, R-N.Y., on McCain's ticket: "One-time GOP rivals John McCain and Rudy Giuliani bonded over hot dogs and Twizzlers in front row seats by the New York Yankees dugout Sunday, providing a snapshot of a possible Republican ticket," ABC's Ed O'Keefe and Jennifer Duck report.

"Reporters then swarmed around Giuliani, asking if he would accept the role as vice president," they report. "I'm not thinking about any of those things," Giuliani responded. "I know you are! You have a right to think about it. And I have a right not to think about it."

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney and Patrick Healy tour the veepstakes landscape -- and include this reported nugget: "Democrats said they thought it was less likely now than it was a month ago that Mr. Obama would choose Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York as his running mate, though they said she remained in consideration and that she was being vetted."

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