THE NOTE: Obama in Spotlight at Democratic Debate

As Romney seeks to explain his religion, "he is getting some unusual advice on how to explain his Mormon faith: Don't try to be one of us," Bloomberg's Hans Nichols and Christopher Stern write. Says Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention: "When he goes around and says Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, he ticks off at least half the evangelicals. . . . He's picking a fight he's going to lose."

Another vice-presidential hunting trip is making news -- or, at least, making Al Sharpton stir. "Nobody got shot, but Vice President Cheney still fired up controversy Monday when he went hunting at a private club that hangs the Confederate flag," write Joe Gould and Dave Goldiner of the New York Daily News, which has a picture of the flag hanging inside a garage at the hunting club in Dutchess County, N.Y. Said spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride: "The VP did not see the flag and neither did anyone on staff." (Isn't that what happened to Harry Whittington?)

Sharpton put out a statement condemning the vice president even before he knew for sure that a Confederate flag was hanging at the club, ABC's Jake Tapper reports. Said Sharpton: "He ought to leave immediately, call for the flag to be brought down at once, and apologize for being connected to an institution that would be insensitive enough to fly it in the first place." Sharpton went on to threaten that if the vice president doesn't leave the club, he "will bring a delegation of clergy to lead a prayer vigil in the immediate future." Writes Tapper: "Forgive me for asking this . . . but does this seem rash at all to anyone?"

The Wall Street Journal's John R. Wilke examines "Murtha Inc." -- the Johnstown, Pa., defense cottage industry constructed almost entirely by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. "If John Murtha were a businessman, he'd be the biggest employer in this town," Wilke writes. "Johnstown's good fortune has come at the expense of taxpayers everywhere else. . . A review by The Wall Street Journal of dozens of such contracts funded by Mr. Murtha's committee shows that many weren't sought by the military or federal agencies they were intended to benefit."

Ready for the next political twist in the Blackwater case? "State Department investigators offered Blackwater USAsecurity guards immunity during an inquiry into last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad -- a potentially serious investigative misstep that could complicate efforts to prosecute the company's employees involved in the episode," David Johnston writes in The New York Times.

Finally, a fun DC tale from Libby Copeland in today's Washington Post (and read carefully for cameos): "Those who work in politics are well aware of the dangers of trying to juggle two whiny, unpredictable and demanding creatures at once," Copeland writes. "That's why they often plan their babies around the election cycle."

The kicker:

"It's a truthful statement of my position. I'm basically an American League fan and [in pro football] an NFC fan." -- Giuliani, explaining that he's back for rooting for the Yankees after spending roughly a week as a Red Sox fan. But here come the undefeated New England Patriots to test your loyalties, Mr. Mayor.

"Every time you're somewhere, that means you're not somewhere else." -- Fred Thompson, explaining why his promise to be in New Hampshire "early and often" has resulted in a grand total of two trips to the state so far.

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