WASHINGTON, June 3
As long-time readers know, on the first Friday of every month, The Note presents our popular and lively "Best" awards for politics and political journalism.
As always, the past 30 days saw fierce competition in all the regular categories.
But when the going gets tough, the tough vote and decide — and so we have.
The best newspaper stories explaining the real world and how it works (tie):
1. The Wall Street Journal's Jaffe and Solomon with a blockbuster explanation of how China is front-and-center on the Bush Administration's radar.
2. The Boston Globe's Mike Kranish on George W. Bush and the power of gaming interests in the Republican Party. (Note to Frank Fahrenkopf: another bullet dodged, we'd say.) LINK
The best week covering the story of the Washington Post and Deep Throat:
The New York Times' Todd Purdum, who today turns in another you-must-read-every-word opus on Woodstein, through the years and now, with Robert Redford quotes that will melt in your mouth and a blithely-thrown in "Martin and Lewis" reference. (Note to younger Note readers: that does NOT refer to "Chris Martin and "Lewis Black.") LINK
The best try at an Andy-Card-says-the-glass-is-half-full take on the status of the Bush presidency:
The Los Angeles Times' Janet Hook hits us with her best shot. LINK
The best news Capitol Hill Republicans have had this week:
The Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum and Derek Willis report that Jack Abramoff's largess spilled out over leading Democrats. LINK
The best political strategist quotes of the news cycle (tie):
1. Mike Murphy: ''The quote in the National Review article was not what I meant to communicate. I was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use. I regret the quote and any confusion it might have caused." LINK
2. Ron Kaufman: ''[I] spent a lot of hours on that campaign three years ago, and on this issue, the governor was focused, disciplined, and consistent that if elected governor, he wouldn't change one comma on the laws surrounding life. That was always his answer, and he's kept his word. He's not faking anything." (If you don't know why that quote is so brilliant, you need to read The Note more often.) LINK
3. Joe Mercurio: ""As a political consultant who worked on Ms. Ferraro's successful first congressional race, and as an Italian-American who was proud to see her as the first Italian-American on a national political party's ticket, I was very disappointed to see her endorse against a strong candidate who has a shot at becoming the first woman mayor of New York City." LINK
Best GE/NBC/Universal/presidential analogy:
Jamie Gangel is to 41 as Brian Williams is to 42.
Best Yoda/Luke relationship:
Trent Duffy/Tracey Schmitt for the admirable passing on of tone and on-messageness.
Best humorous use of the word "privately" in a major newspaper:
Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post, for this today gem: "But with midterm election campaigns approaching, some of the president's aides say privately that his most ambitious initiatives, including restructuring Social Security, must win broader support soon if they are going to be enacted this year."
Best rhetoric to teach the Cheney grandkids how NOT to talk to (or about) others:
Grandpa and the North Koreans. LINK
As for isolation in the more idyllic sense, President Bush woke up at his ranch in Crawford, TX this morning and has no public events scheduled today.