THE NOTE: Off Message

Romney doesn't sound like he thinks The Speech is necessary (though it's ready to go when the big man says the word). "I think as people come to know my faith they'll recognize that the values of my faith are -- they very much flow from the Judeo-Christian tradition of this country. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the equality of all humankind," Romney told the Washington Times' Joseph Curl. (When, exactly, is he convinced that the people will study up on Mormonism without his prompting?)

Let's see what he says when and if the snowman comes calling Wednesday night. And just in time for the debate, the DNC wants you to make your own Republican blooper videos. The party on Wednesday launches a new site compiling embarrassing moments featuring the GOP candidates on the trail -- free for the public to use however they wish.

Also in the news:

Sen. Clinton escalated the endorsement battle on Tuesday -- and no, not with Colin Powell. I see your Oprah and raise you a Barbra. "Madame President of the United States," Barbra Streisand mused, per the New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy. "It's an extraordinary thought."

As for Obama's big celebrity backer -- Clinton's an Oprah fan (sort of). "I am a great admirer of Oprah," she told the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet. "But people are going to decide based on the candidates, about our experience and our qualifications, our plans for the future and whether, you know, we actually can bring about the change that we are advocating." (In other words, my surrogates = good; his = irrelevant.)

But (and this will happen with Oprah as well) some of those who come out to see the former president aren't necessarily enamored with his favorite candidate. The fact that he draws big crowds "doesn't necessarily mean all the Clinton-era nostalgia is rubbing off on Hillary," the Rocky Mountain News' M.E. Sprengelmeyer writes. "It's a powerful supplement to Sen. Clinton's solo credentials. But it's hardly a panacea."

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney plumbs the depths of the 2000 Senate race that never was, for clues as to what a general election match-up might look like. (Here's guessing it won't be an uplifting and enlightening discussion of the major problems and issues that confront the United States of America.)

"Mr. Giuliani was going to portray Mrs. Clinton as inauthentic, inexperienced, a liberal champion of big government and a carpetbagger," Nagourney writes. "Mrs. Clinton was going to paint Mr. Giuliani as divisive and undignified, temperamentally unsuited for the Senate, and profoundly uninterested in national and international affairs."

Rudy was planning a TV ad slamming her for not having ever attended a Yankees game, while his aides had compiled 11 pages under the heading "Stupid Actions and Remarks." (How long would her section on him have been?)

And Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson seems more scared about 2008 than he was about 2000: "I am surprised at the way he has kept his anger in check."

The Boston Globe's Susan Milligan also picks up on the possibility of "the political equivalent of a subway series for the White House: a battle between two Empire State politicians that could bring attention and money the state has not seen in decades."

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