THE NOTE: Colbert Seeking Votes, Laughs


The New York Times' Marc Santora notices a shift in how climate change is being addressed by the Republican candidates: There is "a near-unanimous recognition among the leaders of the threat posed by global warming." "Within that camp, however, sharp divisions are developing," Santora writes. "Senator John McCain of Arizona is calling for capping gas emissions linked to warming and higher fuel economy standards. Others, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, are refraining from advocating such limits and are instead emphasizing a push toward clean coal and other alternative energy sources."

This brings us to Al Gore. He -- again -- tells Norwegian state TV that he's not running for president, but in that cutesy way that ensures he'll be asked the question again, and again: "I don't have plans to be a candidate again, so I don't really see it in that context at all," Gore said, per the AP's write-up.

The Gore endorsement (when and if it comes) is probably the most sought-after in the Democratic Party. But what about the most recent Democratic nominee? Elizabeth Wilner writes in Politico that Sen. John Kerry's, D-Mass., influence could still be felt in 2008. "The lack of an audible clamor for an endorsement by Kerry is more than a bit deceiving, as is the perception that he's still wandering around in that wilderness to which all losing Democratic nominees are cast," Wilner writes. "The two top candidates who aren't married to Elizabeth Edwards are quietly seeking his advice and support. An associate suggests that Kerry may hold off on endorsing until closer to the primaries, but when he does make his choice, that candidate will get access to a 3-million-name e-mail list, possibly the largest in the party."

The Virginia Tech gun bill has the support of the NRA and the Brady Campaign -- but not Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is holding up the measure, ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports. "He has concerns about the privacy implications of the bill, particularly for veterans returning from war, who he said may be unfairly tagged as having mental problems," Wolf writes.

The kicker:

"John Edwards left South Carolina when he was 1 year old. He had his chance. Saying his parents moved him -- that's the easy answer." -- Colbert, declaring himself the favorite-son candidate of his native state.

"I've got a better chance of living to 90 than you do. That's the way the actuaries work -- because I'm from French Canadian stock, I'll live in my 90s unless I get sick. I only intend to serve four years anyway. . . . It's unfortunate from a political point of view that we're unlike many other cultures in not revering experience and wisdom." -- 77-year-old former senator Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, in a Washington Post Web chat.

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