THE NOTE: Oprah, Bill Face Off

"But her gates-drawn stance raised concerns that shadow her presidential bid today -- that she reacts with a siege mentality under pressure, retreating behind a restrictive wall of presidential and attorney privilege," Braun continues. This from Leon Panetta, President Clinton's former chief of staff: "There's no question that her first instinct was to protect herself and the president."

Clinton on Tuesday will outline her anti-AIDS proposals, "becoming the latest Democratic presidential candidate to commit to a significant expansion of federal efforts to combat the epidemic," Patrick Healy and Lawrence K. Altman report in The New York Times. "Taking Mrs. Clinton's into account, the three approaches are similar in terms of spending, goals and differences with President Bush's AIDS policy."

Guess who's coming to dinner? The governor who brought you open office hours wants presidential sleepovers with "average Americans," the Des Moines Register's William Petroski reports. "I would stay in touch. I would be a grass-roots president," said Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.

Former governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., is up with a new ad -- no Chuck Norris this time, but that doesn't make it any less subtle. How about emblazoning the words, "CHRISTIAN LEADER" across the screen. Says Huckabee: "Faith doesn't just influence me; it really defines me. I don't have to wake up every day wondering, 'What do I need to believe?' "

For a clue about whose voters Huckabee is targeting, the New York Sun's Russell Berman picks up on the lovefest between Huckabee and Giuliani. Huckabee on Monday played referee in the Romney-Giuliani fight, and called it for Rudy: "I think Mitt was the one who went after Rudy more than Rudy went after Mitt," he told reporters in a conference call.

Remember Fred Thompson?'s Erick Erickson still likes him, sort of. "I want an across the board pro-life, pro-defense, small government, pro-entrepreneur conservative. And of the three men who fit the bill, I think Fred offers the most with the least baggage. He'll make sure the government leaves me the heck alone."

Get the pre-orders in for 2010: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., "has agreed to a multimillion dollar deal with Hachette Book Group USA to pen his memoirs, giving the veteran Massachusetts lawmaker a forum for his own perspective on a life and career that has been examined by others in countless books and articles," The Boston Globe's Susan Milligan reports. Bob Barnett, who (of course!) represented Kennedy in negotiations (grabbing the senator more than $8 million!): "My sense is he's going to write his life as he lived it."

The kicker:

"There's a fireplace in this new home, but it doesn't really work and she thinks it's too small for Santa." -- Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., on his 6-year-old daughter's biggest fear, now that they live in Iowa.

"I wanted my kid to be a football star, not a national press secretary." -- Romney national press secretary Kevin Madden, on his 20-month-old son's Blackberry habit.

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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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PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin works out at Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, Russia, Aug. 30, 2015.
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