The Note: 'Both Hopeful and Precarious'

Dick Morris explicates the latest move in the "Hillary Playbook" and (surprise) takes credit for writing it with her. In Morris' view, it's all about building national security cred. LINK

In one of the paper's FOUR pieces today on the 2008 presidential race* the Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi turns in a must-read on the Clinton Juggernaut, Noting that the Clintons are experts at political repositioning and going for the middle, but the idea of her nomination as inevitable doesn't hold up -- or, at least, shouldn't in Joan's World. LINK

The Boston Globe's Brian McGrory turns in a must-read on Gov. Romney's wait and see strategy for 2008, factoring in the Democrat-controlled state legislature and the built-in resentment of Bay State voters who would watch him shoot for the national stage while seeking re-election or at least keeping his job as governor. LINK

Brian gets Romney advisers being more explicit about this strategy than anyone else has to date. This piece is more than must read -- if Romney is elected president in 2008, this piece is historic.

And speaking of that legislature, the Boston Globe's Raphael Lewis looks at the $100 million for stem cell research proposed by Massachusetts Senate President Robert Travaglini, setting up a veto by Gov. Romney. LINK

The Boston Globe's Scott Lehigh makes the case for moving Massachusetts' presidential primary to the spring. LINK

* = folks, don't accuse US of being fixated too early!!!!

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had a boffo performance on Crossfire yesterday, squaring off against Bob Novak and free marketeer Fred Smith. The topic: obesity, and the government's obligation to help alleviate it. Smith kept alluding unfavorably to Huckabee's fiscal record in office; the Cato Institute gives him a "D" for some tax hikes and spending increases.

The AP and the New York Times have stories about the Reform Institute, the non-profit founded by Sen. John McCain to promote campaign finance legislation. The articles Note that McCain's chief political adviser, Rick Davis, is paid $110,000 a year by the group, which helps to fund McCain's travels. The Times story has a good quote from Davis about conservatives who don't like campaign finance reform legislation and thus how the group could not possibly help promote McCain's presidential ambition. Board member Norm Ornstein endorses the group, as have several companies who had business before the Commerce Committee last session. LINK

We like the photos of John Weaver and Sen. McCain and Sen. Lott being all palsy-walsy.

And we wonder about the timing of these stories. Hmmmmmmm.

Dean and the Democrats:

AP's Will Lester reports that with Howard Dean at the helm, the Democratic National Committee raised $3.4 million in three weeks -- and the Internet solicitation hasn't even gone out yet, the Governor Noted. LINK

The DNC's commission on the primary calendar holds a day-long meeting in Washington this Saturday. The group will hear presentations from various factions about revising the primary calendar. It's open to the press.

California politics:

Patrick McGreevey and Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times detail the ground game for Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, state Sen. Richard Alarcon of Sun Valley, former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg and City Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Antonio Villaraigosa during their last full day of campaigning before today's mayoral primary. LINK

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