The Note: Hanging on the Telephone

We LOVE this sentence on many levels: " Eibensteiner said that he had invited Rove 'a long time ago' to appear at a state party organization fundraiser, but that Rove said he preferred to help Pawlenty's campaign specifically." LINK

(Mr. Rove is in Helena, MT today: LINK)

Such a cute paragraph: " Unlike they were for Bush's visit, Secret Service preparations have been low key. The Helena Police Department said no extra officers would be on duty. Helena Regional Airport director Ron Mercer said he found out about the visit in the newspaper."

In our best Judy Woodruff: Question: How can a man recently promoted to coordinate policy for the most powerful man in the world travel so much?? Answer: he can do whatever he wants. And there IS a reason to this rhyme, incidentally, aside from a small-plane masochism.

Mr. Rove's showing up at so many local party functions instills goodwill with local activists and fundraisers and cements his reputation, helps Rove take the temperature of the party, and helps ensure that if he signs on with another candidate for 2008, these local activists will look super-kindly on him. And, most of all, it helps to build the party and support for the President's agenda.

The Reliable Source has Karl Rove reporting for jury duty on Tuesday, being excused and offering to come back!!! LINK

The first apparent fallout from Ben Smith's close look at Rudy Giuliani's charity fundraiser in South Carolina yesterday: a Republican state rep in the state seems to want Giuliani to "give back" his fee of (allegedly) $80,000 from a hospital foundation.

From a statement bearing the name of state Rep. Tracy Edge: "I was shocked and disappointed to learn that Mayor Giuliani charged our state hospital association $100,000 to speak at an event to benefit tsunami victims. What makes this most offensive is the fact that the occasion was widely publicized as a charitable event. No where was it disclosed that Mayor Giuliani was being paid for his appearance."

"Like all Americans, I admired Mayor Giuliani's leadership during the 9/11 tragedy. Frankly, his service in New York makes it even more troubling that he would ask for money to appear at an event designed to benefit the victims of one of the greatest human disasters in recorded history."

"As chairman of the budget committee that appropriates state support for health care, I can attest to the fact that funding for our hospitals and health service is becoming a serious challenge, as the cost of health care continues to rise. Knowing just how scarce health care funds are, it truly sadden me to see this type of profiteering in raising funds for a cause as important as tsunami relief."

"Therefore, I call on Mayor Giuliani to give the $80,000 back to the hospital association, so that those funds can be used for the noble cause for which they were raise."

The Note was not able to reach Rep. Edge or a spokesperson for Giuliani by deadline.

Dr./Gov./Chairman Dean:

Bloomberg's Dick Keil on Howard Dean's take-back-the-Red-States strategy: "Dean is girding for a long process. [The] . . . key . . . is finding candidates for lower-level posts such as county tax assessor and roads commissioner, in hopes that they will eventually become contenders for Congress or statewide office."

"DNC spokeswoman Laura Gross said Dean will travel within the next two weeks to Arkansas, and party officials said they expect he'll campaign in Nevada, Colorado and Georgia, all states won by Bush."

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