The Note: Veep's Week

Now starring former governor Tom Ridge, R-Pa., as George H.W. Bush. "At the end of the day, I think the Republican Party will be comfortable with whatever choice John makes," Ridge said on "Fox News Sunday."

"The vice president is not an independent voice. He echoes the position of the president of the United States," Ridge added. "I think that's the responsibility of the vice president. If you're unwilling or unable to do that, then I think you should defer to someone else."

Former governor Mitt Romney, R-Mass., did another turn talking up McCain, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous. The situation in Georgia, he said, "shows one more time that, in a dangerous and troubled world, it's helpful to have a leader of the nation that knows these places, knows the people, understands the setting." Added Romney: "John McCain didn't have to search around to figure out what to say about what was going on."

The Sked:

McCain is in Florida (outside the hurricane's path) Monday morning, with a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Orlando.

Obama on Monday has two events in Albuquerque -- an economic discussion and a town hall -- and overnights in Florida.

From the Obama campaign: "Also today, the Obama campaign formally launches its 'Next Generation Veterans for Obama' organization, a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who support Barack Obama for the presidency because he has the judgment, vision and character to lead this country in the 21st Century.  These veterans will play a prominent role in Denver at the Democratic National Convention, lead Veterans for Obama efforts in the states, participate in grassroots fundraising efforts and serve as surrogates before veterans and general audiences across America."

Also in the news:

Obama gets spacey: "Barack Obama called Sunday for astronauts to be sent to the moon by 2020 and then possibly to Mars, once again reversing his earlier stance in favor of scaling back the space program," Beth Reinhard writes in the Miami Herald.

"Obama wants to add at least one additional shuttle mission after NASA's planned May 2010 conclusion of the program. And he wants to get us back to the moon by 2020," Tom Abrahams reports for ABC's Houston affiliate, KTRK-TV. "This is a marked change from Obama's late 2007 position in which he called for massive cuts to NASA and a longer moon timetable."

Writes Richard S. Dunham, in the Houston Chronicle: "Obama has not always been a strong supporter of additional money for NASA. Indeed, in December 2007, his campaign Web site declared that he would finance an early childhood education initiative by reducing funding for the Constellation program. And Obama told the Houston Chronicle's editorial board in February that he was not convinced that human exploration was worth the cost."

The McCain tax evolution: "The switch has been some time in the making. As one of just two Republican senators to vote against the 2001 tax cuts, and one of just three to oppose the 2003 cuts, he angered members of his own party and raised his image of bravery among Democrats. He defended those votes at late as 2005," Stephen Dinan writes in the Washington Times. "But by 2006, he was voting with Republicans to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. He still holds that position, although he would raise the estate tax slightly higher than what is in Mr. Bush's plan."

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