The Note: Totally Machiavellian and Self-Loathing

"On a number of social issues, including same-sex marriage, sex education, and embryonic stem-cell research, Romney has struggled to find a sliver of ground between the views of the Bay State's moderate voters and the conservative voters who wield tremendous influence in the Republican presidential primaries . . . On a questionnaire Planned Parenthood gave to the gubernatorial candidates in 2002, Romney answered yes to the question, ''Do you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception?" LINK

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hits New Hampshire next Monday and Tuesday with an itinerary that leaves us winded just looking at it: a $50-per-person fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee; meeting conservative activists; meetings with the Concord Monitor, Union Leader and Valley News and an appearance on New England Cable News; speaking to the Dartmouth College Republicans and participating in two signing sessions for his new book, "Winning the Future." He visits Iowa May 12 and 13 for another whirlwind, including a stop at Cornell College.LINK

Sen. Bill Frist nets a mention in a John Fialka story in the Wall Street Journal about a renewed push for ethanol use by 30+ governors. But Fialka charmingly ignores the huge 2008 implications of this story.

2008: Democrats:

On President Clinton's contention that Arthur Finkelstein might be "self-loathing": LINK; LINK

Check out the Michael McKeon pushback!!!

Sen. Clinton responds to speculation over a possible presidential bid: "'06, '06, '06," she says with that trademark laughing response, in a Daily News ed board as wide-ranging as it is newsless. LINK

Page Six picks up Drudge's report that some Penguin executives are worried about Ed Klein's book on Sen. Clinton, due out in late summer. LINK

More from Lloyd Grove. LINK

The Boston Globe's Peter Canellos likens Bill Clinton's relationship with the Bushes to being adopted by a "sprawling clan, legendary for its warmth and unity. It is a clan that is so accustomed to acquiring surrogate sons and daughters that adoption has become a part of its strength" -- and the ultimate centrist political act. LINK

Imagine -- as we do -- the 2008 implications.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is getting a divorce, he announced Monday. Note UVA Prof. (and Feingold's fellow Rhodes Scholar) Larry Sabato's open-and-shut declaration that this closes the door on Feingold's White House aspirations for 2008. LINK; LINK

Sen. Evan Bayh will keynote the Butler County Democratic Party's Truman-Kennedy-Holcomb Dinner on May 5. LINK

Democrats regroup:

For years now, wealthy liberal activists have formally strategized about the creation of a center-left message machine, similar to the pyramid Bill Bradley described in the New York Times last week and equal in heft and influence to what conservatives built through the Scaife and Bradley funds and the Heritage Foundation. Rob Stein, formerly a top aide to the late Ron Brown, has been the project's intellectual and organizational whip.

Stein and dozens of top party fundraisers will meet this weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona to plan the future of his enterprise, called the Democracy Alliance. These are folks who have seen his fabled PowerPoint and who have agreed to help build a grassroots, communications and think-tank network for liberals and progressives.

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