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« Perry For Veep? | Blog Home Page | Rudy's Phone Flap: Good Call? »

Morning Thoughts: Happy Credit Union Month

Happy Monday morning. Could the Seachickens have made their win over the Bungles look any sloppier? And what's this Green Bay Packers team, sitting at 3-0 after beating the Chargers, think it's doing? Upsetting the natural order of things, that's what. On to business:

-- The Senate votes this afternoon on a conference report on the Water Resources Development Act, though some Senators will be busier than others. Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh will endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton for president today at a press conference just blocks from the Capitol. Coming off a big week in which she outlined her health care platform and hit all five Sunday shows, Clinton is starting off a second week with a bang.

-- The House today takes up a number of resolutions recognizing various commemorative holidays (Veterans of Foreign Wars Day, Gold Star Mother's Day, Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, Federal Credit Union Month) as well as the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA, which needs the bill to pass to have the funding to continue operations, is missing an Administrator, a Chief of Staff, a Chief Operating Officer for Air Traffic Organization (though one has been nominated) and an Assistant Administrator for Communications.

-- Upcoming this week, Congress is going to have to make a few tough votes. Fiscal Year 2007 ends on Sunday, and both chambers are far from finished with their respective appropriations processes -- the Senate has passed five bills while the House has passed all twelve, though none have gone to the president for a signature. Look for the first of what may be several continuing resolutions this week.

-- As noted above, Bayh's endorsement helps Clinton build her aura of inevitability. But it also does Bayh some good as well. "Now, columnists can add Bayh's name to the growing list of possible Democratic vice presidential candidates should Clinton win the nomination," writes the LA Times' Andrew Malcolm. Bayh's name goes close to the top of the list, next to that of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who, in taking shots last week at Rudy Giuliani, seemed to be auditioning for the attack dog role the vice president usually plays in the general.

-- The other big news of the weekend: House Minority Leader John Boehner and the GOP leadership is reportedly upset with how Rep. Tom Cole is running the NRCC. The committee is targeting some Democrats, like North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy and Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, who represent Republican-leaning districts but haven't won by less than twenty points in years. Boehner reportedly wants resignations of executive director Pete Kirkham, a former Cole chief of staff, and political director Terry Carmack. Cole has threatened to resign before firing either man.

-- Already $9 million in fundraising behind the DCCC, Cole's NRCC had just $1.6 million on hand as of the last reporting cycle, along with $4 million in debt. The DCCC maintains $22 million on hand with just $3.1 million in debt. Republican strategists are worried about the state of the committee and hope to turn operations around before Democrats expand and solidify their majority next year.

-- In the Republican presidential race, with three, maybe three and a half months to go before the first nominating contests, a conclusion is rapidly forming: No front-runner really exists. The Des Moines Register sat down with GOP caucus-goers who sounded a familiar theme, that no candidate truly overwhelms them, though each candidate has some skills necessary to win their hearts. The race "remains remarkably fluid," writes the New York Times, which concludes that Fred Thompson's entry is doing little to excite the GOP base. No wonder, then, that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is actively seeking commitments to help him raise $30 million over the next three months.

-- Famous Baseball Fan Of The Day: According to a profile written up in Sunday's New York Times magazine, The Plank points out that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's oldest member, attended Game 3 of the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field, where Babe Ruth famously called his shot before belting a home run.

-- Today On The Trail: Senator John McCain is fundraising in Chicago and Milwaukee today. Ex-Gov. Mitt Romney heads to Santa Clara for an "Ask Mitt Anything" event. Rudy Giuliani is in South Portland, Maine, to address the National Troopers Coalition. Clinton is with Bayh in Washington; ex-Sen. John Edwards is in Washington to participate in a forum on health care sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals. Bill Richardson fills the bank account in New York. And Dennis Kucinich, in Santa Barbara, will join Jay Leno on the Tonight Show this evening.