The Note: Expecting Surprises

"Republicans were quick to note that while Obama said he was not officially campaigning in Milwaukee, he still made an appearance before a large, political crowd," Susanne Rust writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"Hours of standing in line and waiting to listen to Sen. Barack Obama ended for thousands with a 9-minute speech Monday from the Democratic presidential candidate," Ben Schmitt writes in the Detroit Free Press. "Some expressed major disappointment, while others said they understood that Obama had to cast politics aside as Hurricane Gustav came ashore in Louisiana."

What cards are being played here? Obama, to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday: "My understanding is, is that Governor Sarah Palin's town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years. And, certainly, in terms of the legislation that I passed just dealing with this issue post-Katrina of how we handle emergency management, the fact that many of my recommendations were adopted and are being put in place as we speak, I think, indicates the degree to which we can provide the kinds of support and good service that the American people expect."

Karl Rove likes what he hears: Rove "argued that Democrats have already 'over played' their hand on Palin by putting out a statement -- from the Obama campaign -- that cast her as an inexperienced, small town mayor," per Washingtonpost.com's Chris Cillizza. Said Rove: "They run a real risk of looking condescending. . . . The same crowd played these cards against Clinton and it was a mistake."

The uglier side of the convention: "Bolstered by emergency help from the Minnesota National Guard, police in St. Paul arrested 284 people Monday after outbreaks of violence and road obstructions linked to rogue bands of demonstrators among an otherwise peaceful throng estimated at 10,000 people," Curt Brown writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "As the day wore on, the carnival atmosphere turned ugly."

"Waving signs and chanting in unison 'troops out now,' thousands of anti-war protesters took to the streets of St. Paul Monday for what is the largest anti-war rally scheduled during the week of the Republican Convention," per ABC's Lindsey Ellerson. "Police estimated a crowd of 8,000 to10,000 at the event organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, despite initial predictions that up to 50,000 demonstrators would show up."

The happier side continues: "Corporate lobbyists are clearly going ahead with their plans to spend millions of dollars entertaining key Republican lawmakers and officials," ABC's Brian Ross reported on "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "The lobbyists were out in force as the National Rifle Association, Lockheed/Martin and the American Trucking Association took over a downtown bar for a party that went into the early hours. The band was called 'Hookers and Blow.' The host was Washington lobbyist Glenn LeMunyon, a long time aide to former Congressman Tom Delay."

The Kicker:

"Big, blowhard doofus." -- Karl Rove, describing vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden, per PolitickerME.com. (Big?)

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