The Note: Baker - Forever

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13

On the first day of the lame-duck session of Congress, President Bush is meeting with former Secretary of State James Baker, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), and other members of the Iraq Study Group at the White House. This remains the center of gravity of American politics for now.

At 10:00 am ET, President Bush makes remarks at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The President has a working lunch with Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at 11:10 am ET at the White House.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was scheduled to address the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City at 8:30 am ET.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) attends political events in Colorado and Arizona.

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) speak at a "Citizens for Global Solutions" conference at 9:00 am ET in Washington, DC.

Stanley Greenberg releases the results of a new poll on unmarried women voters at 11:00 am ET in Washington, DC.

The Ketterling Foundation holds a roundtable discussion on election analysis at 12:00 pm ET at the National Archives.

The Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation holds a press conference on the first Muslim congressman and the 2006 elections at 10:00 am ET.

The National Conference of Women's Organizations hosts an election recap press conference at 1:00 pm ET.

At 1:30 pm ET, the ACLU holds a conference call on the lame duck session of congress and its impact on civil liberties.

ABC News' Mark Halperin will talk about (and sign copies of) The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 at the Harvard bookstore in Cambridge, MA at 6:30 pm ET. LINK

Stories:

In a must-read, the Washington Post's Dan Balz reports that strategists in both parties believe that 2006 was not a "powerful affirmation of the Democratic Party, despite its takeover of the House and Senate." LINK

The New York Times on Senate Democrats pushing for a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq within months. LINK

The Los Angeles Times wraps up Iraq and Baker-Hamilton. LINK

If you missed it, check out the must-read Saturday Los Angeles Times' story about the search for a bipartisan solution in Iraq, and don't miss the Pentagon's newfound love for John Kerry's ideas. LINK

The Sunday Washington Post on the inner workings of the Baker commission. LINK

In an ABCNews.com exclusive, ABC News' Jake Tapper and Avery Miller reported Friday evening that Sen. McCain is expected to set up a presidential exploratory committee this month - - perhaps as early this week. LINK

ABC News' Mark Halperin curtain raises speeches Sen. McCain is planning to give Thursday to the Federalist Society and GOPAC. LINK

On Good Morning America, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) states that he's "still thinking" about seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. "Whether it's an African-American candidate, a woman candidate running, if it's a nontraditional candidate, there is another threshold you have to meet. I think you have to show people competence in a way that, if you're a white male, you may not have to show initially."

The Washington Post on Sen. McCain positioning himself as a candidate who would "restore Republican principles" on spending and ethics. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman sees the 2008 GOP race coming down to Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney. LINK

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