The Note: Who's in Charge Here?

Crowley writes that Kerry's been dropped from the Democrats' "A-team" and quotes a prominent party strategist as saying, "he had hoped to make himself the voice of the opposition, and that has just not happened."

Among other quoted folks you will recognize: Joe Lockhart, Mike McCurry, and Jim Jordan.

Crowley's article appears in the February issue of GQ, set to hit newsstands nationwide on January 24.

Lloyd Grove has Kerry spokesguy David Wade's reaction to the GQ story (and Crowley's reaction to Wade.) LINK

2008: Republicans:

Gov. Romney introduced a $200 billion dollar healthcare package in his SOTS address last night. LINK

The Boston Globe's Frank Phillips Notes that Romney's "State of the State" was crafted with "two audiences in mind." LINK

"In his last State of the State address, Romney rehashed some of his old ideas and initiatives, repackaged a proposed income tax rollback to win support from the Democrat-controlled Legislature, and offered a few new proposals, including funding for an ambitious proposal to expand healthcare to the state's uninsured."

More Phillips: "On Friday, he is headed to Omaha to give a speech to a Republican audience. It will be an event that is beamed into a good part of the Iowa media market, a state that he frequently visits and that is high on the list of important stops for presidential candidates."

"Next month, the governor may well be out of state more than he is at the State House. His calendar is filled with political events, including two trips to South Carolina and one to Michigan. At the end of the month, the governor will be wrapped up with his duties at the" NGA "annual meeting in Washington, followed by a meeting of the" RGA.

Note question to Frank: what is your definition of the word "beamed"?

Michael Cooper Notes in the New York Times the decline in fundraising for Gov. Pataki's (R-NY) 21st Century Freedom State PAC, a decline which sharpened after Pataki announced over the summer that he would not seek reelection. LINK

On Feb. 1 at 11:00 am ET, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will respond to President Bush's State of the Union. He plans to discuss political activism and major political issues with students at Northern Virginia Community College. LINK

2006:

Mark Leibovich reviews Sen. Trent Lott's (R-MS) Washington news conference yesterday and the "non-denial/denial" game he engaged in over whether he will run for a leadership post in the Senate. LINK

With his eye on re-election, Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) announced a major public-works package for Illinois, but failed to mention that the initiative may be funded by keno wagering, according to Pearson and Long of the Chicago Tribune. LINK

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register gives us some statements from gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon (D-IA), who, even if short of cash, says that he is well supported by caucuses. LINK

Tom Suozzi concedes to the New York Daily News that he may have had an "undisciplined moment" when criticizing Eliot Spitzer in the past, but that he has nothing bad to say about him going forward. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

USA Today's Richard Wolf on what will get cut from the 2007 budget and why. LINK

SCOTUS:

Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times captures the poetry of yesterday's unanimous ruling which avoided revisiting any Supreme Court precedents on abortion. LINK

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