The Note: Help Wanted

With a hat tip to a weeks-old posting on The Hotline's blog, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza analyzes what the Vilsack talent primary has to do with the "endless tea-leaf reading" about Obama.LINK and LINK

Despite Iowa's own Tom Vilsack making a presidential bid, Charlotte Eby of the Quad City Times reports that the Iowa Democratic Party pledges that "fundamentally, this is going to be a fair process." Lt. Gov Sally Pederson stepped down as state party chairwoman after working with Gov. Vilsack for two terms and officials are calling for state party Executive Director Mike Milligan to step down as well to offset the "appearance of impropriety." Iowa Democrats choose their new leader this Saturday. LINK

The Union Leader also reports that Gov. Vilsack (D-IA) will make his mark in New Hampshire tomorrow and Friday as part of his five-state announcement tour. LINK

The Nashua Telegraph breaks down Gov. Vilsack's visit: LINK

Thomas A. Fogarty, a former Des Moines Register reporter, covered Vilsack in the state senate, and spoke with Radio Iowa by telephone on Tuesday from his office at USA Today, where he now works. LINK

"He was incredibly bright. He was incredibly talented in zeroing in on the points of potential compromise," Fogarty said of Vilsack. "He was extremely dilligent and he was extremely persuasive."

Fogarty is now an editor at USA Today who no longer covers politics, but he vividly remembers Vilsack's demeanor. "He has no patience for small talk and I always thought that in the long run that he would be inhibited from advancement in politics because of his personality," Fogarty said. "I was wrong on that. You don't get elected governor twice and have a complete inability to deal with people."

Obama Heads to New Hampshire:

As Sen. Obama nears a decision on whether to run for president, the New Hampshire Democratic Party announced Tuesday that the freshman Senator will make his Granite State debut on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Obama is scheduled to speak Dec. 10 at 3:30 pm ET in the fabled Center of New Hampshire Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.

The ostensible purpose of Obama's visit to the home of the first in the nation primary is to celebrate the results of the 2006 elections when Democrats took control of New Hampshire's two congressional seats for the first time since 1912 and assumed control of both houses of the state Legislature for the first time since 1874.

But the real focus, of course, will be on what this trip says about Obama's 2008 thinking.

In a story looking at Obama's New Hampshire trip, the Chicago Tribune's Mike Dorning has Obama spokesguy Robert Gibbs saying an announcement of the Senator's presidential intentions is now "several weeks away." LINK

John DiStaso of the Union Leader discusses Sen. Obama's first visit to the state as a "special guest" of state party chair Kathy Sullivan. Other party officials cite the upcoming trip as a "great opportunity for him to introduce himself to New Hampshire." LINK

Beverley Wang of the AP discusses efforts encouraging Sen. Obama to run for president including Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) letter and "draft Obama" online efforts. LINK

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