Kick Off: With so many presidential contenders vowing to decide over the holidays whether they will run for President, January is bound to be chalk full of events tied to announcing a candidacy and launching a race. John Edwards, who revealed on “The Daily Show” in 2003 that he was in the race, is planning to do so this time around in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, which was hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, according to the Washington Post. Barack Obama has said that should he run, he would make an announcement on Oprah Winfrey’s show. And Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack already has keyed into Jon Stewart’s show to keep attention focused on his race in an otherwise difficult time to draw attention. Chris Cillizza of the Post rounds up students’ suggestions from a political communications class of where other contenders should make the plunge. Among them are Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live” and Michael Bloomberg at a U2/Toby Keith concert.
Braving the opera: Slate’s Anne Applebaum goes to Deutsche Oper’s “Idomeneo” in Berlin, where Muslim groups have protested because of a finale that includes the head of Mohammad getting chopped off. She finds the evening rather uneventful, and at the cresendo “some in the audience booed. More shouted ‘Bravo.'” “What more can one ask from a night at the opera?” she writes.
Anti Hillary ad: Republican donor Dick Collins has a new website called StopHerNow.com, with animated episodes of “The Hillary Show.” The latest has Barbra Streisand waving a donation check in front of Clinton while demanding more taxes and liberal judges, among other things.
New Lennon files: The FBI has released the last of its surveillance documents on John Lennon to a UC Irvine historian who waged a protracted legal battle to obtain them. The documents contain details of Lennon’s tied to leftist and anti war groups in the 1970s, but nothing that indicates he was a serious threat, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Today, we can see that the national security claims that the FBI has been making for 25 years were absurd from the beginning,” professor Jon Wiener said.