Daily Briefing: 'Finally Getting a Little Credit'
• Approval of Bush climbs back to 40% in NYT/CBS poll; 52% believe that the administration "intentionally misled the public when its officials made the case for war" and only 33% approve of Congress. Charles Cook: "It looks like they're finally getting a little bit of credit for the economy performing as strongly as it has. We've had good economic news for a while, but Iraq so dominated things it couldn't break through." [NYT]
• Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald solicits new grand jury; sources say "Fitzgerald was probably providing the new grand jury with a primer on what has been learned in the investigation and what remains unresolved" and "could spell trouble for [Karl Rove], or for other people enmeshed in more recent developments in the case." [WP, NYT]
• Bush shifts strategy in Iraq to focus on "smaller, more visible projects." Bush: "Reconstruction has not always gone as well as we had hoped, primarily because of the security challenges on the ground. Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking." [WP, NYT, USAT]
• Rice explains detainee policy but "did little to clear up widespread confusion about where the administration draws the line or to dispel hints of an internal debate among President Bush's inner circle on that topic." [NYT]
• Bush is selective in his portrayal of Iraq. [NYT]
• Rep. Hastert (R-Ill.) proposes new ethics training for lawmakers. [NYT]
• White House fights to block Congress from gaining access to administration officials' emails about Katrina. [NYT]