The Note: By Their Leaders We Shall Know Them


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.


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."

Robin Wright of the Washington Post -- buried on A16 -- says the Bush Administration is doing its own review of Iraq policy parallel to the ISG. LINK

ISG met with 42 and Associates, per the New York Times. LINK

The New York Times says troop withdrawal from Iraq wouldn't be so easy. LINK

The Washington Times on the lack of consensus among Democrats over Iraq. LINK


The New York Times explains a bit more about the logic of Rudy Giuliani's New York filing. LINK

The AP examines the provisions of election law which allow White House hopefuls to test the waters. LINK

The New York Daily News wonders if Rudy Giuliani can ride his post 9/11 star power all the way to the GOP nomination. LINK

National political advisers are soon on their way to Team Giuliani, tells one aide to the New York Daily News. LINK

The New York Post and New York Daily News have the latest Quinnipiac University poll numbers showing New Yorkers' love for their mayor as mayor -- not so much as president. LINK and LINK

Note prediction: Kevin Sheekey has already hired two teams of pollsters to analyze (read: "undermine") the findings.

Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) said Tuesday "he's not running for anything 'yet,' but he wouldn't say whether he would form a presidential exploratory committee, as fellow New Yorker Rudy Giuliani did this week," the Associated Press reports. LINK

Asked if he would like to announce anything while appearing Tuesday on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show," John Edwards said: "I actually do have an announcement, just between us. If people go to my website,, in the next few weeks, they may see something new and exciting."

Dick Morris is still betting on FFLOTUS becoming POTUS in 2008. LINK

The Chicago Tribune on Sen. Obama's plans to speak at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA at the invitation of Rick Warren, "evangelical icon and author of the popular Christian book 'The Purpose-Driven Life.'" LINK

The Nation on why Sen. Russ Feingold decided not to run. LINK has excerpts from John Edwards' new book: LINK


The Hill looks at the showdown for Minority Whip between Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), as it will be decided today. LINK

The empowered Sen. Chuck Schumer, the sidelined John Kerry, and the strength of Sen. Clinton's "team" all get some play in the New York Post's round-up on the Senate Democratic leadership. LINK

Harry Reid, populist, in an interview with the Washington Post. LINK

The bicameral, bipartisan leadership elections: New York Times LINK and the

Washington Post LINK

CQ has "a senior Democrat" saying of Pelosi and Murtha: "If they turn her down on this -- this is huge." LINK

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post op-ed page declares Murtha unfit for leadership. LINK

Norm Ornstein writes in Roll Call that choosing Murtha is not the right way to start "the most ethical Congress."

On Roll Call's news page, Murtha accuses Hoyer's allies of spreading allegations that he was corrupt while Murtha tries to tie Hoyer to President Bush's policy on Iraq.

The New York Observer sees Pelosi's support for Murtha as rather tepid. LINK

The Cleveland Plain Dealer on Rep. John Boehner's (R-OH) leadership run. LINK

Bloomberg News on the Free Congress Foundation, the American Conservative Union, and the Club for Growth backing Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) over Boehner to be the House Republican leader. LINK

The New York Times on Sen. Lieberman (I-Himself) in the catbird seat. LINK

The New York Times on how Democratic lobbyists are moving to their own catbird seats, with usual suspects Steve Elmendorf and Wayne Berman (both who resemble Kaiser Sose in several respects) giving good quote. LINK

In a story looking at the same improving fortunes of Democratic lobbyists, the Wall Street Journal has Glover Park partner Michael Feldman saying: "Suddenly, people are taking a fresh look at us." LINK

MOC freshperson orientation, courtesy of the New York Times. LINK

Martinez and GOP divisions on immigration:

The Los Angeles Times writes that President Bush's support of Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) for RNC chairman has angered many in the GOP in part because his stance on immigration is seen by some as out of touch with core conservatives. LINK

The Washington Times sniffs at Sen. Martinez referring to the border-enforcement-first message of most Republicans as "harshness only." LINK

The Washington Times takes a front page look at immigrant-advocacy groups which are "up in arms" about the federal government's plans to alter the current test for U.S. citizenship. LINK


In Florida's thirteenth congressional district, Republican Vern Buchanan's lead increased slightly at the end of a two-day electronic recount, Notes the Herald Tribune. LINK


Democrat Joe Courtney seems to have beaten Rep. Rob Simmons (R-CT), making Chris Shays the sole survivor in Nutmeg State House battles.

Bush Administration agenda:

A House Republican and Democrat are urging the President to name Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), a surprise loser in last week's election, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the UN if John Bolton fails to win Senate approval, writes the Washington Times. LINK

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