The Note: Blessed Is He Who Expects Nothing . . .

The Wall Street Journal's Chris Cooper has a great look at the subtle marketing of (unintentional) presidential endorsements, like for, say, a Trek bicycle.


On CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" (known internally to as CLEWWB), Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said that he plans to vote tomorrow in favor of John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations ambassadorship unless something new comes up.

We're not sure if the Washington Post's Dafna Linzer scoop qualifies: she reports on new allegations from John Bolton's former colleagues that he kept information vital to the U.S. relationship with Iran from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and getting the information directly to Powell's deputy, Richard Armitage. Note Sen. Hagel's comments yesterday on CNN. LINK

"'If there's nothing more that comes out, I will vote for Bolton,' Hagel told CNN's 'Late Edition.' But Hagel also said that he was 'troubled with more and more allegations, revelations, coming about his style, his method of operation,' including charges that Bolton had intimidated a member of Hagel's staff who had worked briefly under Bolton at the State Department's Nonproliferation Bureau."

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Serrano sees Hagel's comments as more of a hint of his opposition to Bolton, and reports that Sen. Chafee will decide today how he'll vote after looking at the allegations against him. LINK

AP takes the same view of Hagel's remarks. LINK

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times sees Chafee's public concern over Bolton as a larger emblem that "[t]his is a miserable moment for centrist senators." Where moderates have traditionally reached across party lines to build consensus, Brownstein writes, they're now being caught in the middle as the polarization of political debate is pulling each side further apart. And because they often represent states that have voted with the opposite party in the presidential election, they face a doubly hard prospect of maintaining their stances while still trying to appeal to their party's activists. LINK

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times' Sonni Efron and Richard Serrano looked at the latest allegations of bullying lodged against U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton -- released by Sen. Joe Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's ranking Democrat. LINK


As the New York Times reported Sunday, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey is considering entering the Democratic field to try to beat Mike Bloomberg to become the mayor of New York City this fall.

It'd be a great story if Kerrey runs, but the betting in the political circles we touched this weekend is that in the end, the often mercurial current president of the New School won't make the race.

The Bloomberg campaign -- delighted with the relative weak group of four Democrats already in the race -- won't shed a tear if Kerrey stays out. Political reporters, on the other hand, would rejoice if he gets in, because Kerrey is so very fun to cover.

What to make of it all?

The Omaha World-Herald says it's used to the former Senator's musings. LINK

Hank Sheinkopf, quoted in a New York Post article, tells everyone to calm down. "He has no money, no staff, no name recognition outside of a small group of people who live in Manhattan,' Sheinkopf said. 'The last time we elected a mayor from Nebraska was before my memory,' he added." LINK

The Daily News' Lisa Colangelo cutely calls Kerrey a "could-be carpetbagger." LINK

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