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First thoughts

From Chuck Todd and Mark Murray
*** Back to Walter Reed: Bush makes his first visit to the Army hospital since the Washington Post exposed the poor living conditions there. But what story will be the bigger headache today for the White House -- this one or the fallout from yesterday's Kyle Sampson testimony?

*** Giuliani's Tough News Day: Judith Giuliani will sit in Cabinet meetings; Bernie Kerik is back on the front page; and there's another look at people who are upset with Giuliani's handling of 9/11. Ouch.

*** Anchors Away: At the end of this week, the presidential candidate most identified with the Iraq war -- McCain -- heads to Iraq. Biden, Clinton, Rudy, Dodd, and Obama also hit the campaign trail as Congress begins its Easter recess. 

*** Countdown to March 31: Paranoia about the other campaigns is in the air. We're 24 hours from a game of chicken. Expect candidates like Edwards, Giuliani, and Dodd to be releasing their totals first. Neither is contending for top honors in their respective money primaries, but all three will raise hefty sums that if they are out first, they will earn decent early press. Clinton, Obama, Romney, and McCain will all be playing a waiting game on releasing totals until their hand is forced.

*** The Expectations Game: Other things we expect with the 1st Q fundraising deadline this Saturday: 1) that the Democratic field, collectively, will out-raise the GOP field; and 2) that all Big Six candidates could raise at least $20 million each, raising the likelihood that the entire '08 field will rake in more money in ONE quarter what Bush and the Democratic presidential candidates raised in ALL of '03.

*** Get Ur Freak On: Hillary Clinton's Saturday fundraiser with hip-hop impresario Timbaland -- who produced that Missy Elliot classic -- closes out her 1st quarter haul, which will be anywhere between $25-$50 million. Also in the money chase: Obama raises cash in Florida today, while Giuliani hits Utah.

*** And Do the Math: Obama's campaign is holding 5,000-plus house parties tomorrow. If it raises just $1,000 on average at each event, that's an additional $5 million the campaign may raise.