The Note: The Tips of Icebergs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18

Key political stuff even David Sanger, Dee Dee Myers, Charlie Rose, and Steve Schmidt aren't seeing (and hearing) right now:

-- The disagreements between Josh Bolten (remember him?) and Karl Rove (remember him?) about what should be in the State of the Union.

-- The Clinton, Obama, and Edwards staff conference calls that precede their act-react-respond chess moves on Iraq.

-- The Boehner-Blunt discussions reviewing what Rahm did to them (and about how to keep it from happening again).

-- Howard Dean's efforts to influence Pelosi-Reid legislative strategy.

-- Carl Cameron explaining his expense reports to his bosses.

-- Kevin Madden explaining to a bunch of business people who have never set foot in Iowa during the caucuses – or in a debate spin room – how all this actually works.

-- The private dinners that labor and other liberal interests are hosting with the men (and woman) who want to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.

-- Jeff Zeleny reminding his bosses that not only is he an expert on Barack Obama (from his Chicago Tribune days), but he used to work for the gosh darn Des Moines Register (and that he is solidly sourced there too).

-- Senate Democratic communications staffers strategizing about how to wring the maximum benefit out of Chuck Hagel's apostasy.

-- The BOARD meetings in Hillaryland on the coming announcement (in days or weeks, not months).

-- The meetings Al Gore and his people (Hollywood-style, with a little Nashville panache thrown in) are having over positioning "An Inconvenient Truth" for an Oscar nod.

-- Laura Bush's pouring over polling data, and asking Rove for clarification.

-- John Kerry's pouring over polling data, and asking Ed Reilly for clarification.

-- Joe Biden's prep conference calls with his staff to get ready for each key hearing.

-- John Weaver's internal ruminations about at what pace to unfurl the (endless) additional pre-canned endorsements -- in key states and nationally -- that he has ready to go.

Things that are more out in the open for your consideration:

-- How Leader Reid will finesse ethics legislation today.

-- If Tom Edsall's HEARTING of the Pelosi Machine is reasonable and reasoned. LINK

-- If Mel Martinez and other leading Republicans find the worldview of Bob Novak or Jacob Weisberg more dire: LINK

-- Or, perhaps, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll numbers. LINK

Every last one of those items were grist for the Republican National Committee's mill as they began its Winter Meeting under the theme "Recommitting to Reform" at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC at 9:00 am ET. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) will speak at 11:30 am ET, and outgoing RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman will speak at 12:30 pm ET. Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times is still making it tough on the incoming face of the RNC, Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Rove). LINK

Friends of AR GOP & Gov. Huckabee's Hope for America PAC will be hosting an informal breakfast reception on Thursday AM at the Grand Hyatt to welcome RNC Members and provide copies of the Governor's new book. "From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Stops to Restoring America's Greatness."

President Bush has no public schedule today.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) hold a news conference to discuss the 100 legislative hours of the 110th Congress at roughly 3:30 pm ET.

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