Where's Alberto Gonzales been this week? According to the Washington Post, the embattled attorney general has retreated from public view "in an intensive effort to save his job," spending hours phoning lawmakers for support and practicing for upcoming appearances before the Senate.
Gonzales and his aides see his Senate testimony beginning next week as a final chance for him to explain his role in the controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys, and they're treating it "as seriously as if it were a confirmation proceeding for a Supreme Court or a Cabinet appointment," officials said.
After canceling tentative plans for a family vacation, Gonzales has spent the week holed up in his office, "poring over thousands of pages of documents related to his upcoming testimony."
The Post says Gonzales has three days of mock testimony sessions planned for next week and has already called more than a dozen Republican lawmakers to seek their backing.
But apparently he still has some work to do. Several Republican aides say the attorney general has so far received little support from GOP members of Congress.
The Final Word On Early '08 Fundraising?
Much ink and bandwidth – here and elsewhere – has already been used up explaining the significance of those first-quarter fundraising figures for the 2008 presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton's huge $26 million haul; Mitt Romney's surprising $20 million; John McCain's relative poverty at just $14 million. And now, with the announcement of Barack Obama's nearly Clinton-esque $25 million total, this early round of fundraising fortune-telling may, at last, be at an end.
But not before the major dailies chime in with their takes on the Illinois senator's windfall and what it means for his battle with Clinton.
The New York Times says Obama's fundraising prowess proved he could "stand toe to toe" with Clinton "at least in raising money."
The Los Angeles Times says Obama "proved himself to be a fundraising powerhouse" by tapping a donor base of 100,000 people, twice as large as Clinton's.
And the Washington Post says Obama's big bankroll puts an end to Clinton's hopes that the nomination will be a cakewalk, making it "all but certain that Democrats will face a costly and protracted battle."
Several papers also pointed out the Democrats' sizeable financial advantage over Republicans at this stage of the race - $78 million for the Democratic candidates versus $51 million for the Republicans.
The New York Times called that "measurable evidence" that Democrats are confident about their chances of winning the election and "not typically for their party — satisfied with their candidates."
Is there a bright side in any of this for the Republicans? Maybe, the Times says. At least the Democrats have "enough money to inflict a considerable amount of damage" on one another in the months leading up to primary season.
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