The Note: By Their Leaders We Shall Know Them

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15

To pass the time while we all wait for Jim Baker (and Lee Hamilton) to tell us how it's going to be: The Senate Armed Services Committee holds an 11:00 am ET hearing on the current military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Bush makes his way to Singapore to take part in a cultural event at 9:00 pm ET.

The trip is smartly curtain-raised for Note readers and the world by the good folks at Bloomberg News and the AP. LINK and LINK

Note guess: the President is already wishing that this trip was over and is ready to come home.

Back in the United States, Senate Republicans meet at 9:30 am ET to decide whether Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) or Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will be their new whip. Senate GOPers are expected to announce the results of their vote at an 11:00 am ET news conference.

Note admission: our whip count on this one is weak.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Sen. Evan Bayh holds a 2:30 pm ET availability in Russell 463 with the three newly elected House Democrats from Indiana – Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth, and Baron Hill -- that Dan Pfeiffer likes to call "walking, talking examples of Bayh's Red State appeal."

Note prediction: this event will evince Hoosier Values.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) delivers 7:30 pm ET (closed press) remarks to the annual Robert L. Bartley dinner hosted by the American Spectator at Washington, DC's Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Note prediction: all in attendance will count the number of times that the Governor tries to rhetorically outflank John McCain on the right.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) speak to activists from one of Wal-Mart's most vociferous union-backed critics today as debate over the world's largest retailer becomes increasingly political, the Associated Press reports. LINK

Edwards discusses his new book "Home: the Blueprints of our Lives" at the Borders on L Street in Washington, DC at 7:00 pm ET.

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) presents the Arkansas Community of Excellence Award at Mayflower Middle School at 6:30 pm ET. At 8:00 pm ET he participates in "Arkansas Ask" for the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

The Blue Dog Coalition holds a news conference to introduce the nine new Blue Dog-elect Democrats, announce their leadership, and outline their philosophy for the 110th Congress in Washington, DC at 11:00 am ET.

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Pat Buchanan are just two of the authors speaking at the Annual Book Fair and Authors' Night at the National Press Club at 5:30 pm ET in Washington, DC.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) headline a news conference at the Capitol to discuss electronic voting machine issues in the wake of the 2006 elections and the voting controversies in New Jersey and Florida at 1:00 pm ET.

Hotline editor Chuck Todd was scheduled to moderate a briefing on post-election Hotline/Diageo polls at the Watergate in Washington, DC at 8:15 am ET.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) celebrates his 59th birthday.

Iraq:

According to an AP-Ipsos poll, "more Americans rank Iraq as the top priority of the new Democratic-controlled Congress, but nearly three out of five say the party does not have a plan to deal with the war." LINK

The poll showed "lingering uncertainty about the country's direction and the ability of Democrats and President Bush to work together. Underscoring the country's political divisions, Democrats expressed more confidence and optimism than Republicans."

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