"Axelrod and other Democrats counted Thursday's incident as a missile. 'That kind of language doesn't exactly improve our chances of making the case' to Republicans that they should vote Democratic, he said. Mike McCurry, a strategist for John Kerry's 2004 campaign and the Clinton White House, said Dean was making a point about 'the pressures on working people.' But he added, 'Class warfare usually doesn't get us very far.'"
"Matt Bennett, spokesman for the Democratic centrist group Third Way, called the comment 'a poor choice of words.' Still, he said, 'I can't think of a single instance in which an utterance by a party chair has really had a huge impact on an election.'"
Big points to former Republican Party chairman Ed Gillespie for working in a NASCAR reference.
Big points to Jill for getting all those quotes!!!!
The Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum and Derek Willis report that while yes, Jack Abramoff got $82 million in lobbying and public relations fees from six Indian tribes and spent a lot of time working on Republican lawmakers on their behalf, he directed campaign contributions from the tribes to Democrats as well — including then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO), then-DCCC chairman Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), and DSCC chair Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). For their part, Democrats seem to be trying to distance themselves from Abramoff proper, while acknowledging relationships with the Democratic lobbyists who worked for him. LINK
The Washington Post 's Peter Baker reports that the White House is gearing up to test the strength of the filibuster compromise with a whole slew of new judicial nominations — they've been vetting candidates for more than 30 federal district and appeals court slots, Baker writes — in the next few weeks, unless there happens to be a vacancy on the Supreme Court later this month. LINK
(Note the Wall Street Journal correctly says that Democrats are still undecided about what to do about blocking Bolton — or not — in the Senate.)
Charles Krauthammer writes that the allegations about prisoner mistreatment and mishandling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay are no reason to shut the place down, and "[t]he self-flagellation has gone far enough." LINK
E.J. Dionne chastises President Bush's critics on human rights and Guantanamo Bay for using overwrought language that allows him to dismiss the allegations as "absurd" and politically motivated, and encourages them not to back down in the face of the administration's push-back. LINK
The AP reports that campaign volunteers for Tom DeLay will start gathering the 500 signatures needed to put DeLay on the Republican primary ballot on March 7. Republicans say this move is to energize DeLay supporters while Democrats believe this is a sign of DeLay's weakening support on the home front. LINK
The Clintons of Chappaqua:
A "Defamer operative" submitted a report to the cheeky SoCal site about the Hillary Clinton fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of producer/director Roland Emmerich. The brief but colorful account includes a swipe at disorganized Kerry fundraisers of the past, a nod to the guest of honor's benevolence with her speaking time, and an observation of the relative dearth of celebrities — the presence of Defamer pet, starlet-chameleon Lindsay Lohan, notwithstanding. LINK