With the Conservative Political Action Conference about to begin (I'll be there shortly), pundits are gazing ahead to the party's future. One of the bigger names at the conference will be Mitt Romney who—especially as Jindal's luster fades—some think is prepping for 2012. (Then again, don't count Jindal out yet.)

For now, congressional Republcians seem to be sticking with orneriness as their strategy, with most voting aginst the $410 billion omnibus spending package, though Politico wonders whether that's wise—certainly Joseph Cao has been hurt by the 'no' votes.

Despite the challenges, though, the GOP may be set to gain some ground in the solidly blue Northeast, perhaps starting in just a few weeks in NY-20.

Obama's Tuesday-night speech continues to be fodder for stories and, for Dems, fundraising. Many congressmen were typing away on their mobile devices throughout the speech. Was that rude? But, then again, casual seems to be the new mode of politics, thanks to Obama.

Finally, a couple quick notes about some politicians: Burris is rebuilding his staff; Gary Locke, Obama's new commerce pick, stands on slippery ethical ground himself; and Val Kilmer is still talking about running for governor in NM.