The Note: Not Proceeding Well Enough

The AP reports that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NYC) avoided a question at the NATO Summit about his foreign policy because it would possibly imply that he is seeking the Republican nomination. Giuliani added that announcing a candidacy on foreign soil would upset voters at home. LINK

In a story that points to the presence of the "rhetorically flammable Sharpton" at yesterday's Bloomberg presser, the Washington Post's Michael Powell and Robin Shulman report that Bloomberg enjoys "far better relations with the city's black leaders than Giuliani did." LINK

Gov. Pataki (R-NY) is with three gubernatorial colleagues in Afghanistan, reports the New York Post's Fred Dicker -- who could get no confirmation of the trip from Pataki's office, but Gov. Kulongoski's (D-OR) spokesman apparently spilled the beans. LINK

Gov. Pataki has suffered another staff defection from his PAC in Iowa. LINK

"Activist Craig Schoenfeld said Monday that he has resigned his position as executive director of Pataki's political action committee in Iowa," reports the Associated Press.

"'If he takes the next step, I won't be taking it with him,' Schoenfeld said."

"Departing Sen. George Allen, who is facing a big decision about his future, will address Virginia Republican activists at their annual Advance on Saturday," writes Peter Hardin of the Richmond Times Dispatch. LINK

2008: Democrats:

"The Democratic Party's decision to shuffle its presidential primary schedule, so that Nevada's caucus closely follows Iowa's and South Carolina gets a primary week of its own after New Hampshire's, is changing the early rituals of campaigning, forcing contenders to extend themselves in more states," briefly writes David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. LINK

Mike Glover of the Associated Press questions whether Gov. Vilsack (D-IA) will have a "home-field" advantage in the Iowa caucuses with party leaders "bending over backward to keep the start-off of the contest evenhanded." LINK

Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register writes that the support of Gary Hirshberg and Lou Susman seems to legitimize Vilsack's bid for the Democratic nomination. LINK

Jim Davenport of the Associated Press discusses Sen. Joe Biden's (D-DE) tough criticism of Mexico when being questioned about immigration, calling the country an "erstwhile democracy" responsible for illegal immigration and drug problems in the US because of their "corrupt system." LINK

The AP's Holly Ramer of the Granite State reports that although former Sen. John Edward's (D-NC) book tour for "Home" stops in Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina, he has not made a decision about running in 2008. Sen. Edwards emphasizes that "it's not a political book at all, it's really appealing across all kinds of party lines." LINK

The Washington Times' Greg Pierce Notes a Texas Republican activist's website, StopHerNow.com, aimed at preventing Sen. Clinton from becoming president. LINK

Gen. Wesley Clark tells the talented Abe Lubetkin of Brown University's Daily Herald that he hasn't "said I won't run" for president and comments on his challenges in 2004, "I got in too late, because I had no political experience, because I had no money prior to the time I announced and because I had no staff." LINK

Iowa:

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