The Note: Questionable Figures has a straw poll favorable to Republicans who aren't socially conservative on social issues. And then to George Allen. LINK

On Saturday, the Boston Globe's Frank Phillips reported that Eric Kriss, Gov. Romney's top budget adviser, is the third official in the administration to announce in recent weeks that he's leaving. LINK

And just as Romney proposed that the state borrow nearly $1 billion for a variety of construction projects, the Globe reported Saturday. LINK

A Washington meeting of Romneyites gets whispered into Bob Novak's ear and will inspire another round of questions at the Statehouse. No hard specifics, but Novak writes that attendees got the impression that the Massachusetts governor is not going to run for re-election in 2006. LINK

Andrew Miga follows up. LINK

The Rosen trial:

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans got a partial transcript of that now infamous Morton's Steakhouse meal in Chicago shared by former Hillary Clinton fundraiser (and self proclaimed "guinea pig) David Rosen and Sen. Kennedy's brother-in-law turned government informant Raymond Reggie. LINK

"In a detailed discussion of the event, Rosen acknowledges that the gala probably cost far more to produce than he reported on federal campaign forms, a criminal offense and the central question at issue in the case."

And make sure you read why Raymond Reggie will never work for Al Gore again!

The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein picks up some of the details from Saturday's Times-Picayune story for his trail curtain-raiser. LINK

"With the trial of a key finance official on Senator Clinton's 2000 campaign set to open tomorrow, a secretly recorded audiotape at the core of the case could prove embarrassing to politicians, political operatives, and wealthy donors to the Democratic Party."

Ray Hernandez has a good overview of the case. LINK

And AP story also got wide World Wide Web pickup over the weekend.

2008: Democrats:

We're not sure what to make of this squiblet in the New York Times under the headline "The White House Weighs In."

Sara Taylor and a deputy visited NY GOP Chairman Steve Minarik and his deputy, and someone briefed a Times reporter, apparently.

Writes Patrick D. Healy, "[T]the focus was on divining Gov. George E. Pataki's future -- re-election in '06? a run for the presidency in '08? -- and finding an appealing moderate Republican who could cause trouble for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's re-election bid next year." LINK

"Specifically, the Rove camp is concerned that Mrs. Clinton is positioning herself as a centrist Democrat on issues like abortion and defense in order to broaden her appeal for a possible White House bid in 2008, according to people who were briefed on the Friday discussions. Fielding a moderate Republican challenger, the thinking goes, could force Mrs. Clinton to adopt liberal positions to energize her base of support, and thereby sully her moderate image and weaken her in advance of '08."

Recall, when reading Joe Klein's dissertation on why he thinks nominating Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would be disastrous for the Democratic Patrty, the tangled relationship not only between Klein and the Clintons, but between Klein and the Clinton staff. LINK

Two points:

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