Daily Briefing: Three Day Weekend Ahoy

Ari Fleischer recalls skepticism of Gannon/Guckert; McClellan deflects: "The credentialing is all handled at the staff assistant level." [NYT]

DeLay, Hastert step away from Bush on Social Security by opposing idea of fiddling cap on taxable earnings. [WP, NYT, LAT, WT]

Bush: "Iran is different from Iraq -- very different. . . there's more diplomacy, in my judgment, to be done." On Syria: "Democracy is on the move, and this is a country that isn't moving with the democratic movement." [WP, NYT]

Catty Rove credits Bush with making conservatism "forward looking." Plus: "The next time one of your smarty-pants liberal friends says to you, 'Well, he didn't have a mandate,' you tell him of this delicious fact: This president got a higher percentage of the vote than any Democratic candidate for president since 1964." [NYT, WT, AP]

Overhaul of class action guidelines passes Congress; a victory for business. [WP, LAT]

Negroponte, an administration loyalist, tapped as first director of national intelligence. Bush: "He understands the power centers in Washington. He's been a consumer of intelligence in the past. And so he's got a good feel for how to move this process forward in a way that addresses the different interests." [NYT, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Ridge met with Republican pollsters during campaign while saying, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." [AP]

Bush hopes trip will smooth relations with Europe; Iran to be forefront. [USAT]

Kerry, Hillary introduce election-reform bill that would allow same-day registration and designate a federal holiday. Kerry: "This has nothing to do with the question of outcome of 2004. This has everything to do with full civil rights for Americans, period." [LAT]

Bob Schieffer's brother recently named ambassador to Japan. [NYT]


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