The Note: Topsy Turvy

Hagel: "Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. Is central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions."

GQ: "They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere in the Middle East?"

Hagel: "Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up and put our language in it."

2008: Republicans: Pataki:

Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), from whom we have not heard much since he left office on Jan. 1, is scheduled to deliver what his aides are calling a "major policy speech" entitled, "A New Way Forward In Iraq," at Georgetown University on Friday morning at 11:00 am ET.

Gov. Pataki has yet to publicly express his support or opposition for the President's plan to add more troops in Iraq.

2008: Democrats:

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza curtain raises Saturday's closed press SEIU event which promises to be the first testing ground of the 2008 Democratic presidential field. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton: the "conversation" begins:

In her inaugural web chat, Sen. Clinton's campaign blogger allowed one question of color (favorite movie?) to get through a lot of questions about issues such as Iraq, energy, healthcare, and education.

As for the movies, Sen. Clinton was not able to provide just one favorite. She has a different favorite movie for different stages in her life. "Wizard of Oz" is her favorite from childhood, during her college and law school days she liked "Casablanca" best, and in more "recent years" she put "Out of Africa" atop her list while specifically mentioning her love for Meryl Streep and Robert Redford -- which just may add up to two $4200 checks.

New York Daily News on same: LINK

Sen. Clinton "appeared comfortable as she gave animated responses to questions," writes Ian Bishop of the New York Post. LINK

The New York Daily News writes up Sen. Clinton's $1.9 billion request for treating workers who contracted illnesses working at the World Trade Center site. LINK

In his New York Post column, John Podhoretz opines that a crowded field is helpful to Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Democratic nomination. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

The "First Man" -- Bill Clinton -- scores the New York Post wood with his first public appearance since Sen. Clinton jumped into the presidential fray. LINK

Maggie Haberman of the New York Post captures the "charming" former president's gushing about his wife. LINK

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's kind words for Sen. Clinton and belief that she is electable get written up by the New York Daily News' Saul and McAuliff. LINK

Note, too, that the Daily News has Sen. Clinton making her case to the SEIU board on Friday prior to heading to Iowa for her inaugural Hawkeye State campaign swing.

RNC goes after Clinton for McAuliffe's Iraq comments:

The RNC launched its first post-Clinton announcement attack yesterday.

The RNC research shop circulated Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe's comments from the "Today" show on Monday in which he tried to apparently create some wiggle room for Sen. Clinton on what is perceived to be one of her most prominent vulnerabilities -- her vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002.

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