The Note: The Deck's Stacked

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17

Another week of intense change in American politics comes to an end, with words of bipartisanship continuing to share shelf space with bipartisan intra-party dust-ups.

Incumbency may not have proved all that powerful on November 7 with voters in many competitive House districts, but when members of the House of Representatives are the voters it appears to still hold some serious sway. After Steny Hoyer held onto his spot in the Democratic leadership yesterday, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) holds onto his post as Republican Leader in the House. Boehner is set to become the House Minority Leader in the 110th Congress after defeating Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) in secret balloting this morning. No vote tally was provided to reporters staking out the Ways and Means Committee Room, 1100 Longworth House Office Building.

The new GOP Leadership team is scheduled to hold a press availability immediately following the elections.

The traveling President Bush meets with the President Roo Moo-hyun of the Republic of Korea at 7:40 pm ET followed by a meeting with the Southeast Asian Leaders at 9:00 pm ET. President Bush then continues to visit a Joint POW/MIA accounting command at 10:15 pm ET and the US Embassy at 11:15 pm ET. Tomorrow, the President will meet with the President of China at 8:30 pm ET at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel and attend a second APEC leaders retreat in the evening.

Vice President Cheney speaks to the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention at 5:00 pm ET at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean rallies his base in Jackson Hole, WY today as the Association of State Democratic Chairs kicks off its fall meeting. Dean's been under attack this week from Clinton strategist James Carville for not putting more DNC dollars into House races in hopes of building a much larger new Democratic majority. The state chairs and vice chairs make up a significant chunk of the DNC members and were a crucial bloc in electing Dean national chair in early 2005. Dean will be addressing the biggest fans of his 50-state strategy (the folks who get the checks) at 3:30 pm ET. The state chairs are expected to pass a resolution expressing their strong support for Gov. Dean -- and that may not be the only birthday present he receives.

The freshmen class of the 110th Congress held their room lottery at 9:00 am ET. Selection and planning for the member-elects is at 1:00 pm ET.

Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates at noon ET. Gates is scheduled to meet with Sen. Frist at 10:45 am ET, Sen. Reid at 1:15 pm ET, and is also expected to sit down with Sen. McConnell and Sen. McCain today.

Gen. John Abizaid, Commander of the United States Central Command, delivers a public address at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, "The Long War," at 5:00 pm ET in Cambridge, MA.

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) keynotes the Arkansas Red Cross Heroes Award Luncheon at the Wyndam Hotel in North Little Rock at 12:30 pm ET. Tomorrow, he receives the American Diabetes Association 2006 C. Everett Koop Medal for health promotion and awareness at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX at 1:30 pm ET.

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) holds two book signings in Atlanta, GA. The first is at 2:00 pm ET at the Georgia Tech Bookstore and the second at 7:30 pm ET at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. He continues his book tour over the weekend in Greensboro and Charlotte, NC, and Columbia, SC. On Sunday at 7:00 pm ET, Former Sen. Edwards delivers the keynote address at the 2006 Heyward E. McDonald Lecture on Peace and Justice in the Rutledge Chapel at the University of South Carolina.

Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) keynotes Virginia NARAL's fundraising lunch at the Alexandria Mark Hilton at 12:00 pm ET in Alexandria, VA.

The National Governors Association hosts a seminar today through Sunday for new governors at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Participants include NGA Chair Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), Vice Chair Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), and Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The Free Congress Foundation Chairman and CEO Paul Weyrich host a forum to examine the implications of the recent elections. The event takes places at the Krieble Center in Washington, DC and the participants include Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

DNC Chairman Howard Dean delivers the keynote address for the International Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference tomorrow at 11:30 am ET in Houston, TX.

On Sunday, you will not want to miss "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" when George will be joined by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in an exclusive interview following McCain's formal opening of a presidential campaign committee this week. And incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will join George on Sunday morning on the heels of his victory over Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for the Number Two slot in the Democratic House leadership. LINK

The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday December 5.

Enjoy your final pre-Thanksgiving installment of The Note today. The Note returns to a computer screen near you on Monday, November 27.

Hoyer defeats Murtha: Pelosi takes a hit:

On their evening newscasts last night, all three broadcast television networks portrayed the Hoyer victory as a political defeat for Nancy Pelosi as she prepares to assume her historic role as the first woman Speaker of the House.

The New York Times ed board strongly endorses that portrayal. LINK

As does Newsweek's Howard Fineman. LINK

The New York Times news account includes a lot of 'on the one hand, on the other' assessing of Nancy Pelosi's political judgment in backing Murtha's failed bid for Majority Leader and looks ahead to her next challenge -- choosing an Intelligence Committee chairman (or woman). LINK

Hoyer's "Man in the News" moment courtesy of the New York Times. LINK

"Pelosi's bruising," reads the New York Daily News headline. LINK

Playing up that fact that her colleagues gave her a lesson in the limits of her power, the Los Angeles Times writes that "Pelosi's failed effort to anoint her chief lieutenant fueled doubts among critics about the political skills she brings to leading her fractious party." LINK

The New York Post hints at some alleged threatened recriminations for members who chose not to support Murtha. LINK

In the aftermath of Murtha's defeat, New York Post columnist Deborah Orin-Eilbeck wonders if Nancy Pelosi has solidified an image as "Nancy Shrew" and, if so, what that may mean for other women who may seek national political prominence. LINK

The Washington Post chronicles the Hoyer/Murtha battle and the long road ahead for Speaker-elect Pelosi. LINK

In his New York Post column, John Podhoretz seems to see the Democratic disarray and dissension as a sign of a healthy political party at work. LINK

Bush overseas:

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "President Bush was only in Vietnam for a few hours today before he was asked about the war here over three decades ago and the comparisons to the war in Iraq today." LINK

"'We'll succeed unless we quit,' Bush said of Iraq. He stressed that the war there is part of a greater struggle and it will be long."

"Bush was asked about his impressions of being in Vietnam: '[H]istory has a long march to it. And that societies changed and relationships can constantly be altered for good,' he said."

"The President said one of the most poignant moments for him and the First Lady on their drive into Hanoi was passing by Truc Bach Lake, where Sen. John McCain's plane was shot down in 1967."

"'He's a friend of ours, he suffered a lot as a result of his imprisonment and yet we passed the place where he was literally saved in one way by the people pulling him out,' Bush said."

The New York Times explores the inevitable Vietnam/Iraq comparisons for President Bush. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

Bloomberg News reports on James Baker's engagement with Syrian officials as part of the Iraq Study Group's work, perhaps suggesting "the Iraq panel will recommend that President George W. Bush reverse current policy and engage in talks with the leadership in Damascus." LINK

Bush Administration:

The Bush Administration is preparing to ask Congress for a record-setting $127 billion to $160 billion in funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, reports USA Today. LINK

2008:

McCain begins his 2008 branding of the Republican Party, and it looks a lot like Reagan's, the Washington Post Notes in its must-read coverage. And Note there was nary a mention of President Bush. LINK

The New York Times looks at Sen. McCain's double-hitter efforts (Federalist Society and GOPAC) to "reinforce his standing with conservatives." LINK

The Washington Times reports on McCain's urging Republicans to lick their wounds and get back on the battlefield. LINK

Your New York newspapers have all the details on the next phase of Rudy Giuliani's exploration of a possible presidential bid - determining if there is serious money to be raised for his candidacy. (Note that the New York Daily News reveals the name of the midtown Manhattan restaurant where Giuliani's newly formed finance committee met with the former mayor on Wednesday.) Thirty to thirty-five people met for several hours over a working lunch "to get organized from a finance committee stand point as Mayor Giuliani tests the waters including testing the waters of financial viability," said Roy Bailey, a founding partner in Giuliani's firm and the leading organizer of the Giuliani's exploratory finance committee. Participants included money men Bill Simon (the 2002 California gubernatorial candidate with whom Giuliani was meeting on the morning of 9/11/01), former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Tom Hicks, T. Boone Pickens, and others. LINK, LINK, and LINK

The Boston Globe reports that Gov. Mitt Romney and his advisors will meet at a location not disclosed to the Globe, to discuss all things presidential, with Charlie Black saying the Governor would be wise to start raising real money real soon. LINK

The Morning News reports that Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) will not let Sen. McCain's decision to start an exploratory committee influence his own decision as to when announce any definite plans for a presidential run. LINK

On talk radio, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) threw out any aspirations in 2008 -- he is absolutely, positively not running. LINK

The AP's write up of Hillary Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson's comments urging the Democratic Party to be open to anti-abortion rights candidates makes it into the New York Post under the headline, "HILL'S GUY IN PRO-LIFE PUSH." LINK

Sen. Dodd's (D-CT) speech at Howard University gets the attention of his home state Hartford Courant as an attempt to court African-Americans, which the Courant describes as a group that "could be a crucial constituency for Dodd if he runs for president." LINK

Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) still has many clamoring for him to rejoin the presidential '08 race, Notes the Roanoke Times. LINK

The Los Angeles Times looks at the push in California and Florida for earlier primaries, which if successful could completely shakeup the presidential nomination process. LINK

Attention Democratic '08ers and advisers: The Iowa Democratic Party is looking for a political director.

2008: Senate:

The New Hampshire Union Leader on Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) having "no plans" to run for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Sen. John Sununu in 2008. LINK

Outstanding House races:

The Cleveland Plain Dealer Notes that trailing Ohio Democrats, like congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, hold out hope that uncounted absentee and provisional ballots will give them an edge in their races. LINK

Provisional ballots will begin to be counted on Monday in Ohio's 2nd congressional district race between Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and her Democratic challenger Victoria Wulsin, Notes the Cincinnati Enquirer. LINK

Political potpourri:

The Houston Chronicle reports that interim Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R-TX) is demanding a congressional investigation of (former DeLay) aides who quit abruptly earlier this week. LINK

Florida officials have opened an investigation into the sexually explicit messages that former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) sent to congressional pages. 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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