Daily Briefing: "I Have a Bulldog Named Lockjaw" Edition

Old Treebeard Is Back With public skeptical or disapproving of agenda, Bush lacks clear mandate, according to new poll. Iraq, war on terrorism viewed as top priorities; 58 percent disapprove of handling of Iraq; 61 percent approve response to terrorism. [WP]

Bush lauds Powell, King: "We need our children to know how great the struggle for racial justice in our society has been, and how much work remains to be done." [WP, NYT, WT]

Cheney gets his hands dirty orchestrating bold domestic agenda; attends senior and lower-level meetings. [NYT]

Commission advises Congress to cut Medicare payments to hospitals, supporting Republican position. [NYT]

Kerry says votes were "suppressed": "In a nation which is willing to spend several hundred million dollars in Iraq to bring them democracy, we cannot tolerate that here in America too many people were denied that democracy." [BG]

Lawmakers, advocates think guest worker program is unlikely to pass; McCain, Kennedy working on bipartisan proposal. Hagel: "This is a very bloody issue within the Republican Party." [LAT]

Bush's values combined with GOP's commitment to religious education and faith-based initiatives appealed to many African-American pastors who endorsed Bush; Dowd predicts Republicans could soon win a quarter of the African-American vote: "The minister is the No. 1 influencer in the African American community." [LAT]

Dean: "Obviously I'd rather be president of the United States, but that's not going to happen. So my question is: How can I bring America back to where it ought to be, both for the party and the country's sake?" [WP]

Florida DNC delegation endorses Dean. Says chairman: "I'm a gun-owning pickup-truck driver and I have a bulldog named Lockjaw. I am a Southern chairman of a Southern state, and I am perfectly comfortable with Howard Dean as DNC chair." [NYT]

Wolfowitz visits Sri Lanka. [NYT]

[AP Photo/Josh Reynolds]


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