The Note: What if Hillary Clinton Said "Jose"

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne looks at Sen. Obama's recent remarks to Rick Warren's Saddleback Church and opines that it "demonstates a much truer Christian spirit than the GOP masterminds who have recently tried to push people away from Obama by pointing out that his middle name is Hussein." LINK

The Christian Science Monitor's Linda Feldmann predicts that if Obama runs without stumbling, "there may not be enough political oxygen left for any of the other Democrats running or thinking of running or being urged to run." LINK

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters this morning, Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) re-stated his line about that six months old Des Moines Register presidential preference poll showing him in fourth place among Iowa Democrats. "People perceive me as a governor, not as a presidential candidate," Vilsack said.

Then he went on to add, "I have more number ones signed up today – people who know they will caucus and organize for you – than any candidate has any had -- not only at this point at time, but at one month out from the caucuses. . . no doubt about that. . ."

Vilsack told reporters to expect a lot of talk from him in the coming weeks and months about energy security. He claims to have a better record in that policy area than any candidate considering a 2008 presidential run.

Before he delves too deeply into policy on the trail, Vilsack intends to spend some time this month raising money. He heads to New York City today for a fundraiser, then back to Iowa for a couple gubernatorial events there, and then to the donor-rich state of Florida to shake the trees there.

The State's Lee Bandy reports that Gov. Vilsack did not seem concerned about his status as the underdog when he visited South Carolina, where staffers had to recruit passersby to fill empty front-row seats. Vilsack said, "I'm the one person who is legitimately, totally outside of Washington on this thing. I'm the one who can win. When people start thinking I'm the one who can win. ... You know you can't govern, you can't change unless you can win." LINK

Gov. Vilsack spoke about stamping out inequality during a campaign stop in South Carolina, reports the Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont.LINK

Kansas City Star's Peter Brown Notes that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) could be the Democrats' winning ticket for 2008 because of his Southern ties and his likeability. LINK

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) won his battle to deny John Bolton's confirmation as United Nations ambassador, Notes the Hartford Courant's David Lightman. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Gov. Romney's political action committee announced that Gov. Matt Blunt (R-MO) will chair his PAC's Governors' Advisory Council.

In a story that has possible implications for whether Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will seek the White House in 2008, Roll Call's David Drucker reports that "speculation is mounting" that Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) will retire in 2008. If Allard's seat opens up, Tancredo has signaled that he could run for that seat instead of making a presidential bid.

2008: Independents:

Michael Bloomberg came clean about his height (inaccurately listed on his driver's license as 5'10) while visiting with Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida yesterday. LINK

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