"Harris came to Washington in 2002 as a lightning rod who drew wary praise from Republicans and suspicion from Democrats who tended to see her as a partisan dragon lady or a lightweight with too much mascara. She has since softened her image and impressed fellow Republicans with an energetic style and a good grasp of policy. She has compiled a conservative voting record while focusing on bringing federal money to her district," writes the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel's Mark Hollis. LINK
It'll be interesting to see where she stands on Social Security now.
AP catches up to Chris Cillizza: "North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven is slated to meet with White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political strategist in Washington this week. But he says it has nothing to do with a potential run against Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad." LINK
2006: Republican fundraising:
Next Tuesday night, the Republican congressional campaign committees -- the NRSC and the NRCC -- team up for the President's Dinner -- one of the off-year's hottest fundraisers.
$2,500 gets you a ticket to hear President Bush at the Washington Convention Center and the chance to circulate among attendees like Mary Carey. LINK
Each committee has special treats for donors who've written larger checks.
If you've given more than $15,000 to the NRSC in the last year -- more than $30,000 during the last cycle -- you 're a member of the Senate Trust and get tickets to a Monday night dinner at the Hay-Adams with former Sen. Bob Dole as the honored guest and a Tuesday afternoon lunch at the Four Seasons with Vice President Cheney, Majority Leader Frist, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and many more.
Another lunch on Tuesday -- contribute $5000 and you , a new member of the Presidential Roundtable group, will get an invite -- features a reception with Sen. John McCain and an address by former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie. The lunch is at Ortanique downtown.
Special NRCC donors get lunch with Karl Rove on Tuesday, a tour of Washington on a "luxury" motorcoach and a closed-door reception with NRCC big-wigs. $10,000 gets you a photo with top Republican officials, and $25,000 gets you a photo with President Bush and 10 tickets to every event.
If you want to know how the NRCC flatters prospective donors, check out this press release from Equus Resources, which announces that "its President, Randy Harris, has been invited by the National Republican Congressional Committee (the "NRCC") to attend an Emergency Board Meeting of the Business Advisory Council (the "BAC") in Washington, DC to provide input and make recommendations on critical issues facing the Congress and the American public. These issues include social security, the energy cost crisis, and immigration."
"Mr. Harris also plans to attend the President's Dinner on June 14, joining many members of Congress and other business and government luminaries, and, while in Washington, to meet with HUD personnel and Congressional staff to explore the availability of new and expanded federal grants and related assistance programs pertaining to the mortgage industry." LINK
Or read this news brief: LINK
Roll Call's Ben Pershing reports that more than two dozen senior House Republicans still haven't ponied up their cash for the President's Dinner next week, and are furiously working to get the money in.