The Note: Throat Clearing



Note to writers of daily morning political digests/tipsheets/newsletters/summaries: On any given day when you are planning to tell your readers it is going to be a slow news day, think again.

Note to political journalists everywhere: The three most reliable sources you can have are (1) a governor's chief of staff; (2) a receptionist in a Senate office; and, (3) a kid who blurts things out at camp. LINK

Note to Sy Newhouse: Beth Kseniak is a genius and deserves a substantial raise.

Note II to writers of daily morning political digests/tipsheets/newsletters/summaries: On any given day when you think a presidential news conference is going to dominate the news day, think again.

Note to America's young people: Whatever you do, please for heaven's sake do not bring back the hairstyles of the 1970s. LINK

Note to Washington Post Style section aide Chris Richards: You are awesome, dude, and have the best e-mail of the news cycle(as quoted in the New York Times : "'If you snagged the 'All the president's Men' file from the fourth-floor photo archive today, can you phone me.'")

Note to Ben Bradlee: Yes, using b-level, publishable profanity in quotes still works.

Note question to Fred Fielding: Are you SURE you didn't help Woodward and Bernstein too?

Note to Bob Woodward and the Felt family: "Follow the money" is still a pretty good rule of thumb.

Note I to Carl Bernstein: You may want to review VF story assignment policies with Graydon.

Note II to Carl Bernstein: "Contributing editor" is apparently not the same thing as "receiving editor."

Note to the MSM reporter who wants to be the first to reconcile the apparent discrepancies in what Deep Throat, as published, knew, and what Mark Felt, as the FBI's number two, could not have known: Don't let the blogosphere beat you to it!

President Bush — a man whose views on Watergate are even murkier than his views on the Vietnam war — welcomes South African President Thabo Mbeki to the White House today for a meeting and working lunch. The leaders will share some thoughts with the pool at the end of their 11:25 am ET session.

Later in the day, President Bush will meet with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Among the topics on the agenda: how the United States and Europe can continue to strengthen their strategic partnership. Pool reporters will be ushered in to hear from the leaders at the conclusion of their 1:20 p.m. ET meeting.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will join the president for both Oval Office meetings. At 5:00 p.m. ET, Dr. Rice will meets with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari at the State Department. Dr. Rice and her Iraqi counterpart will come before cameras at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET in the Treaty Room.

At noon ET, Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to deliver the commencement address at United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "Expect to hear a message similar to the president's remarks at the Naval Academy last Friday, an administration official tells ABC News. In his fifth commencement address as Vice President, Cheney will say that these graduating cadets do face new challenges and talk about those challenges. This official would not go into any more detail on Cheney's remarks and would not say if Cheney would address the base closing issue, as President Bush did last Friday."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, will conduct a DoD news briefing at 11:00 am ET in the DoD Briefing Room.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan will gaggle off-camera at 9:45 am ET and do a more detailed repeat performance — avec lights/camera/action — at the 12:40 p.m. ET briefing.

Paul Wolfowitz has his first full day on the job today as President of the World Bank.

Sen./Dr./Leader Frist (R-TN) keynotes at the Department of Health Care Policy Fifth Annual Marshall J. Seidman Lecture at the Harvard Medical School at 1:30 p.m. ET in Boston, MA.

The talk is titled "Bioterrorism and the Rise of Infectious Disease: Combating the Greatest Global Threat of the 21st Century." (Let's see John McCain do THAT!!!)

Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) and Gov. John Baldacci (D-ME) will attend a 'Save the Shipyard' rally and join with the New Hampshire and Maine Congressional delegations for a meeting with commissioners from the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The rally begins at 10:00 am ET and the (closed press) meeting with the BRAC commissioners is expected to begin at 11:00 am ET. There will be a 3:30 p.m. ET press availability.

At 4:30 p.m. ET today, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld holds an honor cordon to welcome Minister of Defense of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Jovan Manasievski to the Pentagon.

Los Angeles Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa addresses a Campaign for America's Future rally at 2:00p.m. ET in Washington, DC. At 1:00 p.m. ET, liberal media groups launch the conference's "progressive radio row."

At 3:45 p.m. ET, AFL-CIO political director Karen Ackerman, Celinda Lake, Donna Brazille, and Eli Pariser strategize for a new progressive majority. At 7:00 p.m. ET, luminaries honor John Kenneth Galbraith, Ellen Malcolm, and others for their contributions to the cause.

In East Windsor, NJ at 1:00 p.m. ET, Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) will detail his plan for property tax relief for New Jersey.

The Scripps Howard News Service hosts the 78th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee today and tomorrow.

Deep Throat revealed: news of day:

The Vanity Fair story that started it all: LINK

The Washington Post wisely chose David Von Drehle to write the paper's must-read Deep Throat lede-all, complete with Woodward interview, word of Woodward's book and inside-the-newsroom stuff. LINK

New York Times ' Purdum gets news-of-day duties for the New York Times and got to write this fairly high up: " . . . . The Post , which had guarded the secret as closely as the formula for Coca-Cola, suddenly found itself scrambling to deal with a monthly magazine's scoop of the final footnote to the biggest story in its history." LINK

"'It's been The Post 's story forever,' said Tom Wilkinson, an assistant managing editor of the paper, 'and you never like to see those things go to somebody else.'"

The Los Angeles Times ' Schmitt and Miller: LINK

USA Today 's Page and Memmott: LINK

Deep Throat revealed: Felt profiles and previous theorizing:

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz and R. Jeffrey Smith look at the career of W. Mark Felt and some of his possible motives for becoming the world's most famous informant. LINK

The Los Angeles Times ' T. Christian Miller writes that Felt and his cooperation with the press was a product of the time. LINK

David Johnston drew Felt profile duties for the New York Times. LINK

Nina Easton of the Boston Globe sums up 30 years of Washington parlor game conversations and gives the Washingtonian Magazine due credit for its 1974 look at Felt as a likely Deep Throat candidate. Plus: quotes from 2/5th of the Capital Gang (Hunt and Novak)!!!! LINK

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat leads with the AP story, but uses the opportunity to reprint columnist Chris Coursey's May 2002 opus with Felt suspicions and reminds its readers that Mr. O'Connor is not the first to write of Woodward's 1999 visit to the neighborhood. LINK

Michael Kranish of The Boston Globe profiles Felt's rise to the (near) top of the FBI. LINK

Deep Throat revealed: media:

The Times ' Kit Seeyle writes that Vanity Fair's fact checkers did not call Woodstein before publication and has other must-read inside-the-newsroom details. LINK

The New York Observer reports John O'Connor was paid a "standard fee" for writing the Vanity Fair exclusive. LINK

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi writes that the Vanity Fair story nearly didn't happen. LINK

The Los Angeles Times ' James Rainey writes that the story is a reminder of the importance of anonymous sources. LINK

POTUS speaks: newspaper leads:

Los Angeles Times : "Coming off a string of unexpected setbacks at the hands of Democrats and Republican moderates in Congress, President Bush insisted Tuesday that he would be persistent in pressing his agenda." LINK

Washington Post : "President Bush dismissed yesterday suggestions that his influence is waning less than six months into his second term, blaming partisanship and timidity in Congress for the lack of action on his plans to bring change to the United Nations, restructure Social Security and enact a new energy policy this year." LINK

The New York Times ' Dick Stevenson leads with Bush's suggestion that his Administration won't turn over the NSA intercept info at issue in the Bolton confirmation stand-off. LINK

USA Today : "President Bush said Tuesday that he remains optimistic that democracy will take hold in Iraq despite escalating violence there. He said the Iraqi government is "plenty capable" of eventually defeating insurgents and maintaining its own security." LINK

New York Daily News: "President Bush slammed as 'absurd' yesterday a report that called the Guantanamo Bay prison 'the gulag of our times.'" LINK


Writes Douglas Jehl in the New York Times , "The information that the White House has refused to provide to Congress for its review into the nomination of John R. Bolton includes the names of American companies mentioned in intelligence reports on commerce with China and other countries covered by export restrictions, according to government officials who have been briefed on the matter." LINK


Back in his district, Tom DeLay attended a luncheon with 400 supporters who praised the Congressman's work in Washington. Supporters like Houston Mayor Bill White and Texas Governor Rick Perry sent in videotaped messages. Across the hall from the event critics held a news conference urging a continuing investigation LINK

Meanwhile, MoveOn PAC is targeting seven members of Congress with radio ads to pressure them to turn against Leader DeLay: Reps. Melissa Hart (R-PA), Dave Reichart (R-WA), Chris Chocola (R-IN), Rob Simmons (R-CT), Mike Sodrel (R-IN), Heather Wilson (R-NM) and Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO). In addition, the group is sending constituents to the Members' district offices armed with a "fire DeLay" petition.

Wolfowitz and the World Bank:

The Washington Post 's Paul Blustein looks at the reign of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, which begins today. LINK

AP: the ongoing violence in Iraq makes rebuilding and development there a much tougher prospect, Wolfowitz said. LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The Washington Post 's John Harris turns in the next installment of his Clinton saga (playing off his book, "The Survivor"), today looking at the former president's post-White House starring role on the world stage — starting specifically with Clinton's desire to be Secretary General of the United Nations. "His ambitions are no less obvious than when he was on the rise as a domestic politician. Clinton wants to present an alternative face of America to the rest of the world — in implicit opposition to President Bush, and to create a legacy that builds on his eight years in office," Harris writes. LINK

Modeled to some degree on the Post -presidential career of Jimmy Carter — but with some added glamour — Clinton will set the stage for his latest endeavor in September, when world leaders, American politicians, business people, and celebrities go to New York for the first Clinton Global Initiative.

"Beneath the surface, there is a deep vein of politics in Clinton's international activities as ex-president. While he has mostly supported Bush on the Iraq war — and says that all Democrats should be supporting full victory even if they first opposed the war — almost every speech he has given in recent months has contained the same refrain, delivered in nearly identical language."

Need we say: it is must-read.


The New York Observer's Lizzy Ratner writes up the 2008 donor-centric invisible nomination rumblings occurring up and down Park Avenue. LINK

2008: Democrats:

Hillaryland, in the eyes of the New York Times ' Raymond Hernandez, is a world of no leaks, no internal disagreement, very few blind quotes, and one message: The Senator is focused on doing a good job for the people of New York and for the nation. Just like, of course, the Bush apparatus.

"Bill Clinton led a political team that, while battle-tested and successful, could sometimes function as an all-night idea session with thoughts being tossed out as trial balloons and internal debates erupting publicly. But as Mrs. Clinton, the junior senator from New York, moves to establish her own orbit in American government and politics, associates of the couple say that her husband's style runs contrary to what they describe as her cautious and deliberate nature." LINK

"'The difference between the two operations is really the difference between Bill and Hillary,' said one Democratic strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the subject's delicate nature. 'Whereas Bill Clinton publicly agonized over every decision he made, Hillary is more discreet and private.'"

Check out the sidebar graphic on the web and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

"Hollywood's Democratic donors may be only now recovering from the last presidential election, but the next political cycle is already getting under way. Tonight, Senator Hillary Clinton will swing through town for a blitz of high-profile entertainment fund-raisers," writes Variety's Gabriel Snyder. LINK

Snyder suggests that Bob Novak's claim that Senator Clinton and Hollywood have fallen out of love is flat wrong.

The Council on Foreign Relations announced yesterday that former Senator John Edwards will join former Rep. Jack Kemp in chairing an independent task force to review current U.S. policy toward Russia and to make recommendations on future policy including global security and democracy.

The panel will focus on seven main areas, according to CFR: co-operating against terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, strategic energy partnerships, (de-)democratization, Russia's relations with its neighbors, Cold War legacy issues, and Chechnya. The bipartisan panel boasts an impressive list of foreign policy heavyweights, including Robert D. Blackwill, Mark F. Brzezinski, Robert J. Einhorn, John L. Gaddis, Ret. Gen. John A. Gordon, Fiona Hill, Jessica T. Mathews, Strobe Talbott, Daniel H. Yergin, and Dov S. Zakheim.

2008: Republicans:

An oddly timed Gray Lady op-ed from a former Swedish embassy official in New York extols the virtues and life-saving record of Rudy Giuliani. LINK


From "In the final week of the primary election, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows former West Windsor Mayor Douglas Forrester with an 11 point lead over his main rival, former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler. Among likely primary voters, Forrester is ahead 40%-29%. On May 19, Forrester led 39%-33%. None of the other five GOP contenders have passed the double-digit mark." LINK

The margin of error is +/- 5.6 percent.

Forrester garners the New York Post editorial board endorsement today. LINK

On going up against Corzine's deep pockets: " … only Forrester is in a position to match him, at least close to dollar-for-dollar. Practical politics suggests that, come November, Forrester would be the strongest Republican against Corzine."

The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the pros and cons of campaigning for Congress from Ohio with the last name "DeWine." LINK

"Fernando Ferrer called on the Bloomberg administration yesterday to shut down a potentially contaminated Bronx high school, in an effort to focus his campaign on the school system, an area where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is considered vulnerable," leads the New York Times ' Diane Cardwell on the Ferrer team's Tuesday message event. LINK

And who is the big Freddy endorsement coming today???


Ben Smith of the New York Observer offers up yet another long-ish look at a potential 2006 Republican challenger to Senator Hillary Clinton. This time Westchester County DA (and "What It Takes"-reading) Jeanine Pirro gets the Smith profile treatment. LINK

"State Republican officials and Ms. Pirro's backers have also said Ms. Pirro is the national Republican Party's first choice, pointing to a telephone conversation between Ms. Pirro and Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman."

"But a White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, poured cold water on that contention. 'We are not involved in that primary,' the official said, referring to the jostling between Ms. Pirro and Mr. Cox."

A Wall Street Journal editorial gloats over the friction between Eliot Spitzer and the U.S. comptroller of the currency, who is happy to tell Journal editorialists that she's not afraid of drawing the line between her regulatory sphere and Mr. Spitzer's ambitions.

Tom Beaumont of the Des Moines Register writes up the anti-Nussle ads going up on Iowa radio today timed to his gubernatorial campaign announcement speech. LINK

"The radio spots airing in Des Moines and Dubuque take aim at the eight-term U.S. House member's receipt of $15,000 in campaign contributions last year from House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's federal political action committee."

And be sure to Note Gordon Fischer's involvement.

The Schwarzenegger Era:

The Los Angeles Times ' Evan Halper reports that Democrats in the California legislature on Tuesday announced a plan to come up with an estimated $1.8 billion a year to help shrink the state's budget deficit and give more money to schools — by raising taxes on high-income Californians. We can guess how the Governator will react. LINK


As this morning's DNC press release and this Toledo Blade article indicate, Howard Dean thinks there is still more mileage to get on the Tom Noe flap in Ohio. LINK

The tax-hike-refusin' Mitch Daniels is back in the good graces of the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Sort of.

Speaking of the Journal's editorial board: the Free Enterprise Fund announces today that Mallory Factor will replace Stephen Moore as its public face; Moore will become a full-time economics editorialist for the Journal; Factor becomes the FEF's non-paid chair.

"Without Mallory Factor's tireless efforts to help raise funds for the best Senate candidates, like Jim DeMint, John Sununu, and John Thune, it is no exaggeration to say that the Republicans might not have control of the Senate today," Moore said in a statement. "I am confident that Mallory Factor and FEF will work vigorous to make sure the right candidates keep getting elected, the Fund plans to raise 20 million for pro growth conservative candidates to the House and Senate in 2006."

Gubernatorial election on trial:

David Postman of the Seattle Times looks at the accusation by Republican attorney Dale Foreman that the secretary of state's office is not neutral, and is secretly siding with the Democrats, in the lawsuit over the results of the Washington state gubernatorial election. LINK

Gregory Roberts of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer looks at the escalating partisan rhetoric, with Democrats accusing Republicans of firing up their tactics in place of having a case. LINK

Spokane mayor:

Mike Prager of the Spokesman-Review reports that the Spokane City Council unanimously voted to ask Mayor Jim West to step down hours after West's "Today" show appearance, which clearly ruffled a lot of feathers. LINK

AP's Nicholas Geranios has more details. LINK

Free Matt Cooper and Judith Miller:

In other news on the "protecting sources" front, we wonder if, over the long Memorial Day weekend, you missed this: on Friday, the attorneys general of 34 states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, asking the justices to hear the case of Time magazine's Matt Cooper and the New York Times ' Judith Miller. The brief took no position on special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's case would hold up if federal protection for journalists exists, the New York Times ' Adam Liptak reports, but argued that the absence of a federal shield law undermines the 49 states that do have them. LINK