SNEAK PEEK: NH Primary in December?

Now that Iowa Republicans have announced their caucus date, the third day of next year, the big looming question mark is the date of the New Hampshire primary. And the man of the hour, the week, the month, the fall is Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Thursday afternoon at the University of New Hampshire, Gardner delivers remarks on a subject near and dear to him, "A Barometer of the Nation's Democracy: New Hampshire's Unique Role In American Political Culture." LINK

Gardner literally wrote the book on the state's primary and its significance in presidential electoral politics, so political junkies can expect the lecture to be detailed and informative. LINK

Just don't get your hopes up that you will hear an announcement of the primary date.

Gardner is in no rush to make a decision and lately has been giving off stronger signals that a December primary is a possibility, pointing out that state law requires him to set a primary date "each year when a president of the United States is to be elected or the year previous."

At this point, the only thing that he is certain about is that New Hampshire will go no later than Jan. 8 and he will adhere to state law requiring the state primary to be seven days or more ahead of any other primary or caucus (excluding Iowa).

Gardner is serving his 16th consecutive two-year term and this election marks the eighth time he has set a primary date – and he points out that he has never changed it once it was set.

On the campaign trail. . .


-- 10:45 am ET: Meets voters, Minneapolis, MN

-- 5:00 pm ET: Speaks at a forum at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL

-- Attends an evening fundraiser, Milwaukee, WI (unconfirmed)


-- 8:00 am ET: Hosts an "Ask Mitt Anything" event, Pawley's Island, SC

-- 11:30 am ET: Attends a luncheon meet and greet, Florence, SC

-- 3:00 pm ET: Visits Gibbs Regional Cancer Center and holds media availability, Spartanburg, SC

-- 6:00 pm ET: Hosts an "Ask Mitt Anything" and BBQ, Fort Mills, SC


-- 12:00 pm ET: Speaks at a luncheon, Charleston, SC

-- 7:00 pm ET: Speaks to East Cooper GOP women, Mount Pleasant, SC


-- 11:30 am ET: Receives Cobb County endorsement, Cobb County, GA

-- Attends a fundraising luncheon, Atlanta, GA

-- Attends an evening fundraiser, Powder Springs, GA


-- 8:45 am ET: Visit and speaks at USC Upstate Nursing School, Spartansburg, SC

-- 12:15 pm ET: Holds a town hall meeting, Greenville, SC


-- 7:30 am ET: Speaks to the Jaffrey Rindge Rotary, Rindge, NH

-- 9:00 am ET: Speaks at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, NH

-- 11:00 am ET: Makes a campaign stop, Peterborough, NH

-- 4:00 pm ET: Files candidacy papers, Concord, NH

-- 4:45 pm ET: Attends a reception at his state campaign headquarters, Concord, NH

-- 6:45 pm ET: Attends a fundraiser, Amherst, NH


-- 1:30 pm ET: Holds a news conference with other representatives to address concerns about using Chinese steel to build a Mexican border fence, Washington, DC


-- Speaks at the Avenues Pregnancy Clinic, Glendale, CA

As for the Democrats. . .


-- 2:00 pm ET: Participates in a health care forum sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals, Washington, DC


-- 2:00 pm ET: Holds a town hall meeting, Reno, NV

-- 9:30 pm ET: Attends a community event, Las Vegas, NV


-- Tapes "The Ellen Degeneres Show," Los Angeles, CA


-- 1:00 pm ET: Delivers a "major speech" about global threats of the 21st century, Des Moines, IA

-- 6:00 pm ET: Has a conversation on Iraq, Nevada, IA

-- 8:15 pm ET: Has a conversation on Iraq, Des Moines, IA


-- 9:00 am ET: Has coffee with O'Brien County Democrats, Sheldon, IA

-- 11:30 am ET: Meets with Cherokee County Democrats, Cherokee, IA

-- 1:30 pm ET: Visits the Buena Vista County Democrats, Storm Lake, IA

-- 5:00 pm ET: Meets and greets Pocahantos County Democrats, Laurens, IA

-- 7:30 pm ET: Meets Calhoun County Democrats, Lohrville, IA


-- 9:00 am ET: Talks with Internet users live on the Washington Post's website

On Capitol Hill. . .

-- 10:00 am ET: Congresswoman-elect Niki Tsongas is sworn in (and then plans vote to override S-CHIP veto), Washington, DC

At the White House. . .


-- 10:00 am ET: Meets with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the Oval Office


-- 7:35 pm ET: Speaks at gala for the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the National Portrait Gallery

-- 8:30 pm ET: Speaks at a dinner for Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


ABC News' Teddy Davis and Mike Chesney report: "Giuliani Retreats from Reagan Flexibility" LINK

ABC News' Jennifer Parker and Nitya Venkataraman: "Candidates' Dollars and Cents" LINK

ABC News' Jonathan Karl: "Rice Visits Bethlehem, Witnesses Conflict's Toll" LINK

ABC News' David Chalian: " Calendar Craziness: IA GOP and SC Dems. Set Primary" LINK

ABC News' Jason Ryan, Theresa Cook and Ariane deVogue: "AG Confirmation Revisits Gonzales Era" LINK

POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM Bush Honors Dalai Lama Despite China's Disapproval Bush and Congress present the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal. LINK

Giuliani Retreats from Reagan Flexibility '08 Republican rules out tax increase to fix social security. LINK

Why Should Women Choose Obama? Sen. Obama responds to an Iowa questioner on why he's the best candidate. LINK

Obama Laughs Off Phone Calls Sen. Obama plays off audience laughter during a campaign appearance in Vinton, Iowa. LINK

Bush Defends Visit With 'Man of Peace' President Bush dismisses China's criticism of his meeting with the Dalai Lama. LINK

Steven Colbert for President? The host of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" says he will run for president. LINK

Bush Presses Congress on Spending Bills President Bush holds a press conference to address significant domestic issues. LINK

Bush: Iran Wants to Make a Nuke Bush says he'll continue to rally the world to take care of this "threat." LINK

Senator Larry Craig Speaks How much of a liability is Sen. Craig to the Republican Party? LINK