The Note: The New New Normal


What to look for next:

Whether, as some predict, President Bush and Speaker-Presumptive Pelosi turn out to like each other, or whether he thinks of her as the head of a "Democrat" Party that is deluded, liberal, and out-of--touch-and-out-of-its-mind, and she thinks he is everything her daughter-with-child always told her he is.

The 25-dimensional chess that the would-be 2008 presidential candidates are playing in determining the timing and sequencing of their pre-announcement announcements.

The hideousness of the House Republican leadership battles (compared to the uncharacteristically less-hideous -- but still hideous -- House Democrat fights).

If Harry Reid stops calling President Bush a liar (and if Yucca is dead).

Who breaks the 41-43-Cheney-Baker Code of Silence for a weekend tick tock about What Really Happened. (Place your bets on Mike Allen, David Sanger, or Tom DeFrank.)

How smartly do the newly elected House and Senate Democrats follow the Hillary Clinton Model of Listening-Tours-constituent-service-monster-fundraising-bipartisan-legislating to lock in their 2008 and 2012 re-elections?

The future of earmarking.

How many Republican Senators go up to Harry Reid and tell him that they have always cherished the bipartisan comity of the World's Most Deliberative Body, and they thought it was unfortunate and unseemly the way Sen/Dr/Leader Frist ran roughshod over tradition for partisan gain.

Whether Secretary Rumsfeld is mad enough to give an interview. (Paging Mark Mazzetti.)

Whether Sen. Warner presides over Gates confirmation hearings in the lame-duck session.

Whose lawyers are busier, Henry Waxman's or the White House's.

A spate of stories about how Democrats taking over is good for Republican lobbyists. (The fear factor.)

How long it takes the Bush White House to say, "We extended a hand, but they didn't reach back."

As for the last midterm piece of pending business of Note: "Sen. Allen does not want to drag this out. At the conclusion of the recanvassing, Sen. Allen is going to make remarks," a senior adviser who has spoken with Sen. George Allen tells ABC News' Teddy Davis.

The precise location for the remarks is TBD. Allen's campaign believes roughly 50% of the canvass is thought to be complete at this writing.

The Allen adviser believes that Sen. Allen's comments could come "mid to late afternoon."

Be on the lookout for a likely Northern Virginia Webb press conference today as well.

President Bush participated in a breakfast with bicameral Republican leadership at 7:00 am ET in Washington, DC. Mr. Bush meets with his Cabinet at 10:35 am ET (pool coverage at bottom with a likely opportunity for a question or two).

He then has lunch with the Democratic House of Representatives leadership at 12:00 pm ET. ABC News is determined to be the first to report the (real) menu.

White House press secretary Tony Snow briefs at 12:00 pm ET.

DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer (D-NY) thanks the staff of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for its efforts during the 2006 campaign at 11:00 am ET in the Mott House Conference Room. The Mott House is located at 122 Maryland Ave NE -- adjacent to the DSCC headquarters. This is open to still cameras only.

At 2:30 pm ET, Sens. Reid (D-NV), Durbin (D-IL), and Schumer (D-NY) hold a 2:30 pm ET ET press conference at the Senate Swamp to declare victory.

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