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The biggest question headed into tomorrow's State of the Union address doesn't seem to be what President Obama will say -- it seems clear he will in some way acknowledge the recent Republican gains, talk about the need for spending cuts, defend health care reform against efforts to repeal it, etc. No, the big question is -- which Democrat is sitting with which Republican?

As you know, there has been a push in the last couple weeks for Democratic and Republican members to sit with each other, as opposed to the usual separated seating. There is no assigned seating, of course, but we've always been treated to the sight of separate aisles that stand to applaud the president, or sit stony-faced.

The idea this year was promoted by the think tank Third Way, which is associated with moderate Democrats, and taken up by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO). It has also been promoted as a pro-civility measure to suggest a sense of Congressional unity, in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

Let's take a look at some of the key pairings that are coming up. I asked Udall's office about who he would be sitting with. Their response: "Stay tuned Eric!"

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As promised, Senate Democrats aren't going to take the GOP's health care repeal push lying down.

In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Sunday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) demand an answer to a question now at the center of the Republican party's top legislative priority: Will repealing the health care law force seniors to reimburse the government for the $250 check they received in 2010 to help them pay for prescription drugs?

"We are particularly concerned that repeal would reverse the course of making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors," Schumer and Menendez write. "The [repeal] legislation approved by the House could require seniors to repay the government."

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McCain: Obama Has 'Learned A Lot' Appearing on Face The Nation, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) offered some rare compliments to the man who defeated him in 2008, President Obama, saying that Obama had "learned a lot in the last two years" and since the November elections. "He is a very intelligent man. I think he's doing a lot of right things. This emphasis on cutting spending that we'll be talking about...was something that obviously was not talked about in the last two years," said McCain. "I think there's common ground because I think the president realized, as a result of the November elections, that the American people have a different set of priorities."

McConnell: 2012 Election 'Is Not Right Now' Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell backed away form his past statements that his top priority was to make sure President Obama would be defeated in 2012. "Well, the election is not right now," said McConnell. "And the question is what are we going to do between now and '12? Sure, I'd like a Republican president in January of 2013, but the real question for the American people right now is not the election in '12, but what are we going to do now? And I'm hoping the president's pivot to the center will be more than just rhetoric and we can actually do some important things for the country in the short term. The election will take care of itself over a period of two years."

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On Meet The Press this morning, host David Gregory asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to dismiss birther claims that President Obama is not a citizen of the United States as "crazy talk." Cantor declined, though he professed his own confidence that Obama is indeed eligible for the nation's highest elected office.

"I think the President is a citizen of the United States," Cantor said.

"Period?" Gregory asked.

"Yes," Cantor replied. "Why is it that you want me to go and engage in name calling [against birthers]?"

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The leaders of the New Hampshire Republican Party have spoken, and they have given Mitt Romney the early presidential lead in the Granite State. In the first-of-its-kind straw poll of members of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, Romney drew 35% of the total vote. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) came in second with 11%.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Meet The 2012 GOPers: Ex Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)]

The straw poll was conducted in Derry, NH and was sponsored by ABC News and WMUR-TV.

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Obama Talks Up Trade With Asia In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama talked up his recent work on trade deals with countries such as China, South Korea and India, saying that it would promote markets for American manufacturing and create jobs here.

"That's why I met with China's President Hu Jintao at the White House this past week. We're now exporting more than $100 billion a year to China in goods and services," said Obama. "And as a result of deals we completed this week, we'll be increasing U.S. exports to China by more than $45 billion, and China's investments in America by several billion dollars. Most important, these deals will support some 235,000 American jobs. And that includes a lot of manufacturing jobs."

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More than a year before New Hampshire Republicans will head to the polls to vote for the candidate they think is best equipped to take on President Obama in 2012, leaders of the Granite State GOP will meet today to choose which of the myriad unofficial candidates has the early lead.

WMUR-TV and ABC News will sponsor New Hampshire's first-ever straw poll of state Republican officials, who will gather in Derry, NH to choose their next state chair. The event, one of the earliest of its kind, ever, is expected to be watched by political junkies across the country.

But it's unclear if the event will do much more than briefly satiate the appetites of those hungry for all things electoral -- coming so far before the primary, and before the major candidates have officially declared their intention to run, what exactly the "winner" of Saturday's straw poll suggests about the nomination race is difficult to predict, to say the least. But the event will offer a chance to see who has the heart of the activists and party organizers in New Hampshire, which could suggest who's got the momentum heading into next year's primary season.

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Countdown with Keith Olbermann, a staple of the progressive media diet, and the cable news network's top-rated show, is no more. In a surprise announcement at the end of Friday's show, Olbermann said the episode would be his last. A release from MSNBC released shortly after the show ended announced "MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract."

The release from MSNBC, in full:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) now appears to be on track for a presidential run.

Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

In the last 24 hours, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich has touched base with several prominent Republicans in his former home state, telling them that he intends to make a run for president in 2012 using Georgia as his base - and that he already has his eye on office space in Buckhead for a campaign headquarters.

Gingrich met on Thursday with [Governor] Nathan Deal, whom Gingrich endorsed during a critical phase of last year's Republican primary for governor.

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Here are the line-ups for the Sunday talk shows this weekend:

• ABC, This Week: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

• CNN, State Of The Union: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

• Fox News Sunday: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).

• NBC, Meet The Press: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-SC), former George W. Bush adviser Karen Hughes, former Bill Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta.

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