The Note

(Keep your eyes on the eBay bids for those "Don't tell Mama, I'm for Obama!" t-shirts.)

In his National Journal column, Charlie Cook writes, "For Democrats, the only significant remaining question is whether Obama runs. A fairly persuasive argument can be made that a freshman U.S. senator only two years removed from the Illinois Senate shouldn't run for president yet. That argument is quickly drowned out, though, by the cacophony of pleas from Democrats urging him to run. And such a courtship can be quite seductive. Personally, I don't think Obama will run this time, but I find it impossible to separate my sense that it's too early from my sense that he won't do it."

In a New York Post op-ed, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain why the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination is Hillary Clinton's to lose. LINK

The AP reports that while Sen. Hillary Clinton held a double digit lead over her Democratic rivals in a poll done by Marist College, 47 percent of registered voters would definitely not consider voting for her. LINK

Thomas Cole of the Albuquerque Journal writes up FOX News' interview with Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) in which he said "I am Hispanic, which I believe is an asset. But I'm not running as a Hispanic. I am running as an American who is proud to be Hispanic." LINK

Although it's no secret that Richardson is seriously looking at a presidential run, spokesmen for his campaign called the inference "absolutely false" and issued a statement denying that the Governor had announced his candidacy claiming that "comments from the interview were taken out of context based on a hypothetical question that FOX News posed about the Governor's strengths should he run for President."

Steve Terrell of the Sante Fe New Mexican also Notes that Richardson announced he was running "followed quickly by a denial" in February 2005 and in "at least two appearances before out-of-state audiences Richardson has said in English he's not running, followed by his own 'translation' in Spanish that he is running." LINK

The Washington Times reports on Gov. Richardson's call for the Democratic Congress to abandon building a fence along the Mexican border. LINK

Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack made a follow-up campaign trip to New Hampshire after her husband's initial presidential campaign swing took him to the Granite State last week, reports Tom Beaumont of the Des Moines Register. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Harwood reports that as part of a broader effort on the part of business to curry favor with the new Democratic majority, PACs for MetLife and Northwestern Mutual each sent post-election donations of $5,000 to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), the incoming chair of the committee overseeing their industry.

House of Labor: "As the AFL-CIO gathers in Washington today for a post-election organizing summit," reports the Washington Post's Dale Russakoff, "the labor movement is assured of a seat at the table in the new Democrat-controlled Congress, and it has an ambitious agenda: raising the minimum wage, restricting trade agreements, beefing up worker health and safety protections and rewriting the National Labor Relations Act to make it easier to organize unions." LINK

Amidst the unity on most issues, be sure to Note the split on immigration.

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