The Note: Nancy's Boys

The Des Moines Register has Thompson saying: "I don't think anybody's got a better handle on health care than me" while adding that he's learned a lot about energy policy as a partner in a business that plans to build an ethanol plant. LINK

On the issue of what to do about U.S. troops in Iraq, ABC News' Teddy Davis has a Thompson spokesman saying that he hasn't had to answer that question yet. LINK

More from Reuters: LINK

And the Associated Press: LINK

Lott returns to Senate leadership:

The Los Angeles Times looks at Lott's return to Senate GOP leadership as another reminder to the Bush White House that the 110th is not likely to feel as indebted to President Bush as the 107, 108, and 109th. LINK

The Wall Street Journal calls Lott's return a "mixed blessing" for the Bush Administration and Notes that the White House will probably gain from his legislative skill.

The Washington Post on Lott's "redemption": LINK

The New York Times: LINK

Boston Globe: LINK

Barton ends bid, backs Boehner:

The Hill on Rep. Joe Barton's endorsement of Boehner: LINK

Broadcasting and Cable: LINK

Democratic agenda:

In examining Nancy Pelosi's criticism of China on human rights, the Wall Street Journal writes that the presumptive Speaker's views on China "could set the tone for a new Congress looking to get tough on Beijing."

Roll Call looks at members of the moderate Republican and Democratic House factions indicating Wednesday that the two groups may coordinate efforts in the 110th Congress and could move to create a formal bipartisan coalition in the new session.

The Washington Post's David Broder on a time of testing for Harry Reid. LINK

2008: Senate:

NPR's Ken Rudin Notes the retirement watch currently focused on Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) as the 2008 cycle gets underway. LINK

The Hill checks the 2008 Senate landscape. LINK

Dean's Democrats:

Despite the party's biggest victories in over a decade, Democratic disarray is very much on display, reports the New York Times. LINK

Clintons of Chappaqua:

"They didn't give us a mandate, they gave us a chance," said Bill Clinton of the 2006 midterm electorate, per the New York Daily News. LINK

New Hampshire:

John DiStaso of the Union Leader writes that Shaun Hansen is the third person to plead guilty to federal criminal charges for a Republican operation that jammed Democratic get-out-the vote telephone calls on Nov. 7th. LINK Note the defiant kicker quote!!

Political potpourri:

The Washington Post reports on the changing cultural landscape of Virginia. LINK

FL-13:

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the manual recount of votes in Sarasota starts today. LINK

Intern for the ABC News Political Unit:

The ABC News Political Unit is now seeking full-time interns for the spring semester. There are a few requirements you should know about before applying for the internship.

- You must be either a graduate student or junior or senior in college.

-You must be able to work long days, starting early, Monday through Friday.

-If your school gives credit for internships, you must receive credit.

-The internship begins Jan. 8 and runs into May.

Not only will you get to write for The Note, but ABC News Political Unit interns also are afforded the opportunity to help manage ABC's Political Radar, cover political events around town, and conduct research used by ABC News broadcasts.

If you write well, don't mind getting up early, and have some familiarity with web publishing, send a cover letter and resume to politicalunit@abcnews.com, with the subject line: "INTERN" in all caps.

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