The Note: The Last Time a New York Times Poll Write-up Was Positive for Republicans Was . . .

Michael Saul of the New York Daily News is entertained by all the singing on the campaign trail of late. LINK


"Florida House Speaker Allan Bense said Thursday the White House and Gov. Jeb Bush are encouraging him to challenge Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, underscoring GOP fears that a bid by famed former Secretary of State Katherine Harris would only motivate Democrats," the Miami Herald's Lesley Clark reports. LINK

"Bense said he is considering a run for the seat -- despite Harris' candidacy. A spokesman at the White House said administration officials have talked with 'several individuals' about the race, but that President Bush, who named Harris a co-chair of his successful 2000 presidential campaign in Florida, has not taken a position."

"A spokesman for the national Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is recruiting candidates for Senate seats across the country, said party leaders have been talking with Bense 'for some time' about the 2006 election."

"'We believe he'd be a great Senate candidate should he decide to run,' spokesman Brian Nick said. `This race is a high priority and it's our intent to make sure we're doing everything we can to eventually have a great candidate to win the race.'"

"The entreaties are the clearest signal yet that Republicans harbor deep doubts about Harris' chances of beating Nelson. Gov. Bush said he told Bense even after Harris declared that he'd make 'an awesome candidate.'"

"'It's important for our party to have a strong candidate for the U.S. Senate,' said Bush, who has expressed disapproval of White House involvement in state politics. "I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with him and I just know he's an extraordinary guy.'"

The Free Enterprise Fund today plans to launch a "draft Rogan" campaign, hoping to persuade former Rep. Jim Rogan to jump into the race to replace Rep. Chris Cox, who is headed to the SEC.

2008 Democrats:

Hillary Clinton's performance in the Richland County, SC straw poll inspired the New York Post's Ian Bishop to take a leap and write, "Clinton's surprising popularity in South Carolina could help her lock up the Democratic nomination for the White House if she decides to run, because the state hosts an early presidential primary election -- the first in the South." LINK

Raymond Hernandez of the New York TimesNotes that parts of the conservative message pyramid are hawking the Ed Klein book, but as Mickey Kaus points out, many conservatives won't touch it. LINK and LINK

(The Notion that Sen. Clinton is often at her best when opponents attack her character is a point that both smart Democrats and smart Republicans have digested.)

A Granite State birdie tells us that Sen. John Edwards will be the guest speaker at the Merrimack County Pig Roast sometime this summer.

2008: Republicans:

Sen. George Allen, in an interview with Victory New Hampshire, made clear that, although death and taxes are a certainty, "death" taxes need not be. The Virginia Senator does not believe a government should babysit its people, which is why he applies the NH "Live Free or Die" motto to four basic principles: religion, expression, property ownership, and law abidance.

(Incidentally, that fourth point spells out the judicial branch's responsibility in complying with laws' original framework.)

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