The Note: Trouble, My Friend, Right Here

The New York Post's Maggie Haberman reports the former House Speaker called Hillary Clinton, "a nasty woman" who runs an "endlessly ruthless" campaign during an editorial board meeting with the paper. LINK

"Asked whether Americans are ready to elect Rudy Giuliani -- a leader, the questioner noted, whom Ed Koch had called a 'nasty man' -- Gingrich shot back, "As opposed to a nasty woman?"'

Obviously, this is a different Newt Gingrich than the one who has been traveling the country decrying negative rhetoric -- but quite possibly the same one who was Speaker of the House in the last century.

2. "A Politico review of the 75 judges Giuliani appointed to three of New York state's lower courts found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than 8 to 1," Politico's Ben Smith reports. LINK

"One of his appointments was an officer of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Another ruled that the state law banning liquor sales on Sundays was unconstitutional because it was insufficiently secular."

"A third, an abortion-rights supporter, later made it to the federal bench in part because New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said he liked her ideology."

We wonder how quickly and how widely this story will be distributed at CPAC.

Also, Note readers who are men and women of the world will ask themselves which is more likely: that Ben Smith took time out from his family, blogging, and covering events to meticulously gather all this judicial research on his own, or someone (a/k/a: "the Romney or McCain campaign") delivered all this to him in a nice, tight little package?

The question answers itself. And the next two questions are: (1) when and where will the next package drop?; and (2) when and where will the former Mayor start to answer and explain some of these aspects of his past?

3. The New York Post ed board has a field day with the Tennessee think tank report on Al Gore's energy use, perhaps reminding Gore just how much he doesn't miss the Freak Show. LINK

4. A new Time magazine poll shows 30 percent of voters say they couldn't back a candidate who favors gun control, while another 35 percent say they have trouble with someone with three marriages, reports The New York Post's Haberman. LINK

You can see the full Time poll here: LINK

5. Bob Novak jumps on the conservative bandwagon that is looking for some fantasy candidate to get in the race because of presumed widespread dissatisfaction with the Big 3 of McCainRomneyGuiliani.

Novak creates what history might record is the finest day ever in the presidential campaign of former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA), by quoting his pollster/strategist Kieran Mahoney saying that when he conducted a push poll of probable Republican participants in the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses, Gilmore finishes ahead of the "big three" GOP candidates: "John McCain, 20.5 percent; Rudy Giuliani, 16.3 percent; Mitt Romney, 3.5 percent. Astonishingly, they all trail James Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, with 31 percent." LINK

"The most commonly mentioned void filler," writes Novak, "is not Gilmore but Newt Gingrich. A straw poll by the right-wing Citizens United organization of its political contributors showed Gingrich leading with 31 percent (followed by Giuliani at 25 percent, Romney at 10 percent and McCain at 8 percent). But based on his record as speaker of the House, Gingrich's conservative record is far from flawless."

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