"Santorum has never entirely shed his image as someone not quite fit for polite political company -- he is the senator as hyperactive political pugilist, quick to engage in combat, slow to yield the floor, a little too eager crush opponents. His instinct runs more toward total victory than to meeting somewhere in the middle. He has become important, a man for the political times, partly because he understands the Senate's courtly veneer as just that -- a fiction. He likes to fight from the extremes and disdains political moderation as wishy-washiness. He respects Democrats like Representative Henry Waxman of California; Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin; and the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota -- determined, passionate liberals. 'They're out there because they really believe this,' he said. 'This is from their core. They're true believers, God bless them. That's what political discourse is all about. You bring in your moral code, or worldview, and I bring in mine.'"
The Rosen trial:
The New York Times' trial scribe Leslie Eaton captures the judge's surprise after the prosecution sought to have the Ray Reggie tapes prevented from being used. LINK
We wonder if Ken Lovett enjoys his Los Angeles dateline more than his Albany one. The New York Post scribe calls the prosecution's decision to not admit the Reggie tape into evidence a "courthouse shocker." LINK
Former door-to-door salesman David Rosen gets Ben Smith's New York Observer profile treatment, and there is color and detail here you haven't read before. LINK
Los Angeles mayor's race:
Antonio Villaraigosa rode "a huge wave of voter discontent" to beat incumbent James Hahn and become the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since 1872, the Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan and Mark Barabak write. Villaraigosa won by nearly 77,000 votes. The duo Note that Hahn was the first city mayor since the Great Depression who didn't win a second term. LINK
And now the new mayor has to get off the mark in a hurry with concrete plans to follow through on his promises about transportation, public safety, and schools, write the Times' Noam Levey and Jessica Garrison. LINK
Finnegan Notes that Villaraigosa's victory puts him in the upper echelons of the country's Latino leaders and gives him a national presence in the Democratic Party. LINK
Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at how this loss caps the highs and lows of James Hahn's political career. LINK
Jim Rutenberg writes of the new Bloomberg ads: "In an unusually early start for a New York mayoral campaign, the first batch of television ads showed the mayor using his newly learned Spanish to appeal to Hispanic voters, a traditional base of Fernando Ferrer, the Democrat whom Bloomberg campaign aides expect the mayor to face in the fall. Mr. Ferrer is of Puerto Rican descent." LINK
"By advertising now, Mr. Bloomberg is putting his record in the best possible light months before his Democratic opponents are likely to advertise in any substantial way. That huge advantage may be somewhat dampened by anti-stadium advertisements that question his priorities when the city has other needs."
"Democrats tried to build on that theme yesterday, arguing that his high spending on the advertisements was offensive and that the city economy was not quite as rosy as depicted in the spots shown yesterday, especially among black and Hispanic residents."