The Note: The New New Normal

Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is scheduled to deliver a lecture at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS today at 12:08pm ET. Rumsfeld's 19-minute speech will focus on the Cold War. At 2:00 pm ET, Rumsfeld will make brief remarks at a building dedication in honor of former Joint Chief Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, a KSU alumnus, and then he will visit the Eisenhower Library (3pm ET - closed). Afterwards he will visit Ft. Riley's First Division Brigade at 4:30pm ET.

Current House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), who announced yesterday he is running for minority whip, will deliver a major policy address at 2:00 pm ET in the Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium on the future of conservatism, where he'll call on Republicans "to start acting like Republicans again" and lay out a strategy for a GOP House takeover in 2008.

Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps presents a major post-election poll at 1:00 pm ET at the National Press Club.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) speaks at the Alabama Policy Institute in Birmingham, AL at 9:00 pm ET.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) meets with the 50 Camp Bayh staffers in Washington, DC. These are the staffers paid for through Bayh's PAC that were dispatched into key states to help achieve Democratic victories in the midterm.

The New Democrat Movement holds a forum with Peter Brodnitz, the pollster and advisor to Jim Webb (D-VA) and Rep. Harold Ford, Jr (D-TN).; Tom Matzzie, Moveon.org's Washington director; and Tom Schaller, author of "Whistling Past Dixie" at 10:00 am ET in Washington, D.C.

Morning shows:

On "Good Morning America," ABC News' Claire Shipman wrapped these extraordinary times in Washington with the exit of "an unusually demurred Donald Rumsfeld" and the entrance of a Speaker-to-be-Pelosi.

George Stephanopoulos reported that "Sen. Allen is likely to concede, if not today, by the end of the week." Stephanopoulos then looked ahead to three policy areas that are likely to be affected by the Democratic takeover of the Hill.

1. The minimum wage is going to go up.

2. Immigration reform is more likely with a Democratic Congress.

3. On judges "Unless [President Bush] nominates someone completely different from his past two choices," he will not get a Supreme Court nominee through the confirmation process.

When White House counselor Dan Bartlett was asked by NBC's Matt Lauer if the White House was operating under the assumption that Webb had won in Virginia, Bartlett carefully sidestepped the question, saying that the people of Virginia and Sen. Allen would sort that out.

On CBS' "Early Show," Bartlett was asked what is on the menu for the President's lunch with Leader Pelosi. "For the president, it's probably a little bit of crow," he quipped.

Rumsfeld departs:

Bob Novak writes, that no one really knows what Bob Gates thinks on Iraq, but the door is open to close the gap with Congress, the State Department, and the military. LINK

The Washington Post's David Ignatius writes that Gates "represents the return of Bush 41 people and ideas to the Bush 43 administration." LINK

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