The Note:

"'In my judgment it's been insufficient,' said Richardson who chaired the Democratic Governors Association in 2006 when his party won control of a majority of the nation's governorships for the first time since 1994. 'The Democratic Congress should listen to Democratic governors more because we have won.'"

At another point at yesterday's news conference, Richardson contrasted governors with members of Congress by saying: "Here in Congress, the people just float around and nothing happens."

Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press also looks to Democratic governors for signs of the party's political pulse heading into the 2008 cycle. LINK

John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader writes of Sen. Clitnon's first possible visit to the Granite State as a presidential candidate. "The most likely scenario has Clinton headlining the party's big "100 Club" fund-raiser, which is usually held in early February," writes DiStaso. LINK

How would Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) confront the turmoil in the Middle East?

About 80 high-ranking U.S. and Israeli officials and opinion leaders will get a glimpse into Clinton's thinking when she participates in a closed press discussion of "U.S. Strategies in the Middle East: What Works, What Doesn't?" this Sunday at noon (ET).

The panel discussion, featuring New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and moderated by former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, is part of a three day forum on US and Israeli policy towards the Middle East sponsored by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

ABC News' Teddy Davis has more here: LINK

He wasn't ready to make an endorsement, but the grin on Gov. Corzine's (D-NJ) face yesterday when The Note asked him about Sen. Clinton hiring his former money man, Jonathan Mantz, as her national finance director for her likely 2008 presidential campaign certainly demonstrated a great deal of paternal-esque pride in having a Corzine-guy in the Clinton operation.

"Jonathan Mantz is a first class professional at what he does. He served me well and I'm sure he'll serve Sen. Clinton well. I have a very favorable view of Sen. Clinton, but I haven't committed to one candidate or another at this point," said Corzine.

On whether or not the Mantz hire should be seen as a tacit endorsement for Sen. Clinton, Corzine said, "It is quite possible that Jonathan Mantz has the ability to make a decision what he would like to do for himself. As you can imagine, I have a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton as I do a number of the people running. I think having a strong finance operation is elemental to success in presidential politics. And so, I think she's chosen well."

Gov. Corzine will likely continue to grin today when he looks at the Quinnipiac University poll numbers released this morning showing his best job approval rating in that poll since taking office roughly one year ago -- 49 percent of New Jersey voters approve - 32 percent disapprove. However, the poll also clearly shows why he didn't need to hang on to Mantz for a Corzine 2008 operation. Seventy-four percent of Garden State voters said he should not run for president. Gov. Corzine didn't sound full of praise on Don Imus' radio show yesterday when he said Sen. Clinton would have a "have a hard time getting elected," reports Maggie Haberman of the New York Post. LINK

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