The Note: You Can't Always Get What You Want

After his meeting with Ken Mehlman, Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons dishes with Lloyd Grove about his thoughts on Howard Dean. LINK

House of Labor:

The presidential re-election campaign of AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney got a major boost yesterday when an on-again, off-again ally, Harold Schaitberger of the International Association of Firefighters, endorsed Mr. Sweeney, writing in a letter suggesting Sweeney had begun to embrace the beginnings of bipartisan legislative and political outreach.

From a press release: "The IAFF has been and will continue to carefully weigh the issues in this reform discussion. However, the person to lead that discussion remains clear. Following several meetings with President Sweeney and his embrace of key issues that the IAFF believes must be at the core of the reform, the IAFF's Executive Board unanimously voted to endorse John Sweeney for re-election as president of the AFL-CIO."

"While the AFL-CIO will continue to support and maintain relationships with those Democrats who have historically and continuously supported the goals of our movement, it will also build bridges over party lines to Republicans who can be with us on selected issues."

Josh Gerstein, writing the story for the New York Sun, seems incredulous. LINK

Incidentally -- as Gerstein Notes in his story -- the SEIU's executive board meets in San Francisco today to begin to formally consider whether to give President Andrew Stern permission to withdraw from the AFL-CIO.

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz is skeptical, based on the Vanity Fair excerpt, that Edward Klein's coming book on Hillary Clinton will necessarily do much damage to her image or her potential candidacy for the White House. LINK

"The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and his wife despised a 'duplicitous' and ruthless Hillary Rodham Clinton, who they believed would do anything to advance herself, according to a bombshell new book," writes the New York Post's Ian Bishop. LINK

Philippe's response: "'Sen. Clinton will always be proud to have had the support of Sen. Moynihan, and wishes she still had his wisdom and counsel,' said Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines."

"'Beyond that, we don't comment on works of fiction, let alone a book full of blatant fabrications.'"

Sen. Moynihan's daughter, author Maura Moynihan, tells ABC News that she was in the room (unlike Ed Klein, she says) with her parents and Hillary Clinton during the meeting Klein describes at the Moynihan apartment.

Moynihan says the only other person in the home (and in and out of the room) was the "Tibetan cook."

Moynihan says the conversation that day was a "gracious, polite, serious, thoughtful conversation . . . an adult conversation."

"Ed Klein never identified his sources. I think I know Pat and Liz Moynihan better than Mr. Klein and the cadence and language is certainly not of her tongue," added Moynihan.

The New York Daily News has more on Sen. Clinton's "hot rhetoric" at yesterday's midtown Manhattan fundraiser. LINK

Deep Throat revealed:

ABC News' Jake Tapper writes that the son of L. Patrick Gray said "claims being made about his father are 'categorically false' and that L. Patrick Gray does not belong on the long list of Watergate criminals and miscreants from the Nixon White House." LINK

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