Senator Barack Obama visited New Hampshire this weekend and he wasn't skiing or climbing Mount Washington. He was speaking and signing books, getting great publicity in his quest for higher office.

The senator hasn't announced anything, but is clearly raising his profile and exploiting fantastic media coverage — the press loves him.

Behind the senator's adventure is the far left. He is their guy, the new Howard Dean. The committed left has bailed on Hillary Clinton over Iraq and now sees Obama as their big hope in 2008.

A look at the senator's positions exposes only one chink in his leftist cred: He opposes gay marriage, saying it's not a human right. Obama does support civil unions, but draws the line at nuptials.

Now the committed left in America is energetic, has money, has media sympathy, but lacks numbers. Air America is a bust and most far-left projects bomb, but Obama has some momentum. It will be interesting to see how far he can take it.

Right now Americans don't know much about the senator. He wants out of Iraq, but what about Iran and North Korea? How would he deal with them? We simply don't know.

"The Factor" has been trying to book Obama for months. We even visited him at a book signing:

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Senator, why won't you come on "The O'Reilly Factor"? You know, you're welcome any time to come on the show.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.: My communications director is right over there.

WATTERS: You know, because we sell a lot of your books on the show. You're a best-selling author.

OBAMA: I actually like Bill.

WATTERS: You do?

OBAMA: Yes.

WATTERS: Well, Bill really wants to meet you.

OBAMA: Tell Bill that I look forward to being on the show sometime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Well, we've called the senator nearly every day since that time months ago. So far, no luck.

The rise of Obama has to be killing Hillary Clinton, who did not anticipate the challenge. I still believe the senator from New York will get the nomination because old guard Democrats don't really like the far left and feel comfortable with the Clinton style.

On Super Tuesday, Senator Clinton will unleash a media barrage unlike anything ever seen in this country. Her money is almost unlimited. And money talks, even if Senator Clinton doesn't. Like Senator Obama, Mrs. Clinton avoids tough questioning.

So there you have it, a rising Democrat star and an established Democrat star. The anti-Bush press will embrace both, but right now Obama is the man.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Many on the left continue to deny the American media's incredibly tilted their way. So "The Factor's" conducting a research project on newspaper, TV, movie critics and TV critics, both of them.

So far, we have not found one Republican TV or movie critic who works for a major paper. Not one.Michael Medved is a syndicated guy. If you know of any, please e-mail us.

Now why does this matter? That's a good question. If every TV critic is liberal, then the coverage of television will be disseminated through that prism. That's why FOX News gets hammered everywhere. Same thing with films. The left-wing movies will give good reviews. Traditional themes and people will get hammered.

Here's a good example. Writing in the Arizona Republic, not a liberal newspaper, left-wing movie critic Richard Nielson says, quote, "One hates to use the term 'intellectual' and O'Reilly in the same sentence."

It's a gratuitous shot. I have nothing to do with the film Nielson is reviewing, but the guy can't help himself.

Likewise a TV writer at the Arizona Republic, he's a committed leftist, and shows it all the time. Ridiculous? Off the charts.

We'll have the results of our research project in a few weeks, but if you know of any Republican, even moderate TV or movie critics, please let us know.

—You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com