The Note: The Majority Party

"State lawmakers yesterday again refused to vote on a proposed ban on same-sex marriages, a move that activists on both sides said effectively killed any chance that the measure would appear on the 2008 statewide ballot," reports the Boston Globe's Estes and Helman. LINK

More from the Globe: Romney "acknowledged that because the Legislature had recessed instead of adjourning, he was probably powerless to do anything about it."

"'My options are limited,' Romney said. 'But we will explore any other alternatives that may exist to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.'"

The Boston Herald's Kimberly Atkins reports that with Gov. Mitt Romney on his way out of the Bay State, the issue of same-sex marriage comes back on the front burner because Governor-Elect Deval Patrick supports same-sex unions. LINK

The Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh writes up Gov. Romney's refusal to see Tuesday's election results as a rejection of conservativism. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reports that the "ebbing fortunes of Santorum, Allen, and Frist" have allowed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) to emerge as a "top conservative prospect" for 2008.

Bush-turned-McCain adviser Mark McKinnon says of Gingrich: "He can win some primaries."

The Washington Times has Gingrich saying, "We have to recognize that this was a defeat for Republicans, not for conservatives." Gingrich also said: "The balance of power in the House is now 50-plus blue-dog [conservative] Democrats." LINK

The Washington Wire also reports that the anti-Washington mood helps Gov. Huckabee (R-AR) compete with Sen. Brownback (R-KS), in wooing the religious right.

2008:

ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman takes a look at the very crowded field of 2008 presidential wannabees. LINK

McClatchy's Steven Thomma breaks down all the 2008 contenders from both sides and puts them into categories such as "Toast" and "Burnt Toast." The front-runners from each side are Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). LINK

Democratic agenda:

"George McGovern, the former senator and Democratic presidential candidate, said Thursday that he will meet with more than 60 members of Congress next week to recommend a strategy to remove U.S. troops from Iraq by June," reports the Associated Press. LINK

Unless, of course, Rahm has federal marshals block McGovern from entering the building.

Will there be a tax increase coming soon? The Democrats got a little bit of advice yesterday from Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, who told members of the Economic Club in Washington that the deficit can't be eliminated solely on expense reduction; more revenue is needed. Kevin Carmichael of Bloomberg News has the story. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt on the leadership fight between Hoyer and Murtha. LINK

Reps. Hoyer and Murtha go head to head over who will be the next Majority Leader, putting Pelosi in the middle, the New York Post reports. But Pelosi avoided another battle between Reps. Emanuel and Clyburn over the position of Majority Whip, as Emanuel takes the Caucus Chair slot, which is bound to be beefed up. LINK

"Emanuel will be able to redefine his No. 4 job as he sees fit and will be a principal policy and political strategist. The job title gives Emanuel the credential to be at that small table and he will make of the job what he wants," writes Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times. LINK

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