THE NOTE: Colbert Seeking Votes, Laughs


This from a hopeful National Republican Congressional Committee, in a pep-talk memo this morning (subject line: "The Democratic Wave Breaks"): "Democrats wrongly assumed they could continue to ride the 2006 wave to overwhelming victory in the bluest of blue states. Instead, in what should have been an election blow-out, Republican candidate Jim Ogonowski kept it close to the end, proving a major shift in the national political environment that, until now, was favorable to Democrat candidates nationwide."

Some finality (finally) in the primary schedule: "The Republican Party of Iowa voted Tuesday to hold its first-in-the nation caucuses Jan. 3, 2008 and Democrats in South Carolina voted to move its primary to Saturday, Jan. 26," ABC's David Chalian reports. But Iowa Democrats could still choose their own caucus date.

No decision yet (surprise) out of New Hampshire, the Union Leader's John DiStaso reports: "Secretary of State William Gardner . . . reiterated in an interview that a mid-December primary is not out of the question."

Even without a firm calendar, the shifting primary dates have inspired vastly different paths to the GOP nomination, per ABC News. "As they cope with a scrambled primary calendar, in a year with no heir apparent to the Republican throne, [GOP candidates] are combining campaign messaging with geography in ways that will test the traditional equations of presidential politics." Romney's got his "kindling" strategy, while Rudy looks to Feb. 5. It's New Hampshire or bust for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., while Thompson, R-Tenn., wants a drawn-out contest that lets him capitalize on support in the South.

The New York Daily News' David Saltonstall has more details of the national campaign Giuliani is building, with offices in California, Florida, North Dakota, Illinois, Missouri and New Jersey, in addition to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Also in the news:

After (finally) receiving her call from the White House Monday night, Speaker Pelosi, R-Calif., "is now unlikely to bring [to the House floor] a resolution which would label the deaths of Armenians in a conflict more than 90 years ago as 'genocide,' " ABC's George Stephanopoulos reports. "Congressional sources say that Pelosi is telling House members that she will not bring the bill to the floor without majority support. At least seven House members have withdrawn as co-sponsors of the bill and several more are expected to follow. Key Pelosi ally Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., is also lobbying against a vote."

It could just be that Pelosi knows how to count. "Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure's prospects," Carl Hulse reports in The New York Times. "By Tuesday evening, a group of senior House Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure."

President Bush has a news conference scheduled today at 10:45 am ET, and his opening statement will be heavy on domestic policy, including the fight over S-CHIP, per ABC's Ann Compton.

The new CNN poll puts the national numbers at 51-21 Clinton over Obama. But the real story looks like it's on the Republican side, where Thompson is down to 19 percent from 27 percent a month ago. (At least he's working it hard, right?)

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