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The Incoming Majority

Democrats are evicting Vice President Cheney from his sumptuous House-side suite, NBC's Mike Viqueira reports.  But even more interesting is who he's vacating the office for.  Six years ago, Republicans gave Cheney some prime real estate on the House side: a corner office just off the chamber to use on his occasional journeys to the Capitol.  He has used it maybe once a week for a few hours at a time whenever Congress is in session.  For years, the ornate space was occupied by the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee -- and that's who Cheney will have to make way for now.  Cheney and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) don't exactly get along.  Don't feel too bad for the Vice President, though, since as President of the Senate, he still has a place to hang his hat on that side of the Capitol. 

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also considering abolishing the smoke-filled room -- literally.  The Washington Post front-pages Pelosi's pondering of "banishing tobacco from the most popular smoking spot in the building: the Speaker's Lobby outside the House chamber." 

But while Democrats have promised to enact tough ethics reforms, the New York Times writes that lobbyists on Wednesday were throwing parties and fundraisers for the opportunity to meet and greet lawmakers.  "Some politicians had just won election, or re-election, and needed to pay off campaign debts.  Others were raising money for 2008, hoping that a fat campaign war chest would discourage serious challengers."