The Note: The Majority Party

"The majority party in the House is now the minority party among Southern states for the first time since the 83rd Congress in 1953-1954. The same holds for the new Democratic-controlled Senate, except for a brief period in the 1980s."

Rumsfeld departs:

John Broder of the Paper of Record does the Democrat takeover wrap up, highlighting President Bush's priorities before control switches in Congress, not the least of which is a confirmation for Robert Gates. LINK

On that subject, the New York Times also had a disappointed Newt Gingrich, "If the president had replaced Rumsfeld two weeks ago, the Republicans would still control the Senate and they would probably have 10 more House members. For the president to have suggested for the last two weeks that there would be no change and then change the day after the election is very disheartening."

Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times reports that President Bush has been considering replacing Rumsfeld since late summer. LINK

Ken Mehlman departs:

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney scores the Mehlman interview formally declaring his intention to leave the Republican National Committee at the end of his term. LINK

Nagourney includes Mitt Romney extending an informal offer to Mehlman to join his team. (Though, don't be surprised if Mehlman sits out the nomination fight and waits until a 2008 nominee emerges.) And be sure you don't miss the evocative James Carville dig at Howard Dean.

The Washington Times' Ralph Z. Hallow reports that Republican officials told the Washington Times that Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R-MD), who lost his bid for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, "has been sought out to succeed Mr. Mehlman as national party chairman. Those Republican officials said Mr. Steele had not made a decision whether to take the post, as of last night." LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz reports that Mehlman is "leaving his position voluntarily and has not come under any pressure from the White House or state party leaders to vacate his position as a result of Tuesday's elections." LINK

Cino, Matalin, and Steele are the names bandied about.

2008: Democrats:

The AP's Steven Paulson writes that Denver needs to win some support from labor unions, if it is to beat out New York City for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. LINK

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register knows that "Vilsack knows his odds are long, but he also knows he won't be able to sleep at night if he doesn't at least try." When it comes to the national security issue, he didn't vote for the war, which makes "a great sound bite for television." LINK

The energetic Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa brings you the details and color of Gov. Vilsack's rollout conference call with supporters. LINK

". . . at the end Vilsack advisor Teresa Vilmain made a plea for the rather spartan campaign headquarters. 'We have a banner. We have a couple folding chairs, but I wanted to have a light moment here. We could use a few tables and a few cleaning supplies, not to mention a few more chairs and garbage cans,' Vilmain told the Vilsack supporters. 'This would be the 'ask' of the call. . . If you happened to be by the neighborhood, feel free to stop by with any left-over supplies, microwaves, refrigerators or desk tops. That would be great.'"

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