THE NOTE: Inevitability Equals Vulnerability for Clinton

If Obama's challenge is to keep the momentum going, does it matter if some think he's already letting it drain away?'s Walter Shapiro saw Obama finding his voice Saturday night -- only to begin to lose it Sunday morning. "The fiery Obama of Saturday night had been replaced on Sunday morning by a replicant, a tepid candidate mostly concerned with avoiding mistakes rather than winning converts," Shapiro writes. "If Obama really wants to be the one who knocks Hillary off her pedestal, he should remember that statues rarely topple without a hard push."

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., is playing to his strength, with an op-ed today in the Baltimore Sun outlining his plans for Pakistan.

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that a recession is looking likely. "It's certainly pointing in that direction," Dodd said. And he had this to say on reports of the Clinton camp planting questions: "The idea that this is a contrived setting, been orchestrated and set up ahead of time, I think would hurt you here."

For as static as the Democratic field seems, the Republican side is proving impossible to narrow down. Bloomberg's Heidi Przybyla looks at former governor Mike Huckabee's, R-Ark., ability to scramble Iowa. "Though he's a Scripture-quoting champion of social conservatives, his populist economics may limit his ability to broaden his support among Republican constituencies," she writes. "The result is a kind of populist fusion -- he's also anti- abortion, pro-gun and a foe of gay marriage -- that has catapulted Huckabee to the first tier of Republicans in Iowa."

As for Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, "the Internet has harnessed him," Katharine Q. Seelye and Leslie Wayne write in the Sunday New York Times. "Mr. Paul's once-solo quest has taken on a life of its own. It is evolving from a figment of cyberspace into a traditional campaign, with yard signs, direct mail and old-fashioned rallies."

And AP's Ron Fournier catches up with Iowa waitress Anita Esterday after the media sensation blew through town. "When I got home, there were 60 messages on my machine," Esterday says. "Are you guys nuts? . . . There's a war going on and the price of oil is going crazy. Look at all the toys being recalled right now. Just look at the news! Isn't there something else you can be writing about?"

The kicker:

"If it were Bartholomew, that would be a different story." -- Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, explaining why the campaign is having fun with the name "Mitt."

"The views of my mothers are not necessarily the views of mine." -- McCain, jumping in on "Hardball" after his 95-year-old mother said of Romney: "He's a Mormon and the Mormons of Salt Lake City had caused that scandal. And to clean that up, again, it's not a subject."

"Are we nuts thinking Hillary Clinton could be president of this country? Honest to God, just stand back and think about it." -- Joel Surnow, executive producer of "24." He's leaning toward Rudy.

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Interns for the ABC News Political Unit:

The ABC News Political Unit is now seeking three full-time spring interns in Washington, D.C.

The internship begins Monday, Dec. 31, and runs through Friday, May 25.

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