Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
* "The first of a new kind of presidential debate is scheduled for tonight..." (New York Times)
All eight Democratic Presidential Candidates will take the stage at The Citadel in Charleston, SC, for the CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate.
The debate starts at 7 pm ET and will be moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Nearly 3,000 questions have been submitted on YouTube. Check them out here.
Which ones will make the cut? Cooper and CNN Senior VP and DC Bureau Chief David Bohrman discussed the selection process on CNN's "Reliable Sources" yesterday.
As always, the CNN Political Ticker will be your destination for real-time updates, play-by-play action, behind-the-scenes color, campaign spin, and expert analysis from The Best Political Team on Television.
* A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) continues to lead the Democratic field "by a wide margin."
In a race sans Al Gore, "45 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents support Clinton to be the party's nominee, with [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] second at 30 percent. [John] Edwards, whose hopes for winning depend heavily on a victory in the Iowa caucuses in January, is at 12 percent." (Washington Post)
* "In the case of the three Democratic front-runners, not one of them has managed even a corner store, let alone a state or a city." – Mitt Romney, speaking in Nashua, NH, Sunday. (AP)
* "I will not respond to any more questions about process... I did that for two weeks. I cut down at least three forests worth of paper being written on it." – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), speaking at his campaign HQ in Des Moines Sunday. (Des Moines Register)
"I will answer any question except that," the GOP presidential candidate told a group of reporters. "I am happy about the state of our campaign. We will do fine… I will not discuss it any further as much as you want me to."
McCain said he was in the Hawkeye state to thank his supporters for their help and to tell them the campaign is doing 'great.'
* On NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) said he "will be shortly introducing a censure resolution of the president and the administration."
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the move a "stunt."
He told CNN's "Late Edition" that the idea, after an all-night Senate session organized by Democrats last week, gives a sense of why Congress' approval rating is so low.
* And the LA Times blog says Rudy Giuliani is toast...
"Simply close up shop now. Save all that money. The same goes for both Fred and Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Bill Richardson, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Dennis Kucinich."
Find out why in Hot Topics below!
* No public events.
Also on the Political Radar:
* Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) holds an 11 am ET presser with Force Protection Inc. and Protected Vehicles Inc. in Charleston's Brittlebank Park. At 12 pm ET, Biden takes a trolley whistle tour through downtown Charleston.
* Newt Gingrich will "conduct a comprehensive briefing about the changes required to make our government work again" beginning at noon at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Briefing Center in DC.
* Rudy Giuliani gives a 6:30 pm ET speech in San Francisco, CA.
* Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) holds a 7:30 pm ET town hall meeting at Lake Michigan Community College in Benton Harbor, MI.
* John Edwards will participate in a post-debate webcast and answer questions submitted from johnedwards.com.
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
FEINGOLD SAYS "CONGRESS NEEDS TO FORMALLY CONDEMN" BUSH "FOR MISCONDUCT": Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) Sunday called for the censure of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and others, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated that he is reluctant to schedule a vote on such a measure. "Censure is about holding the administration accountable," Feingold said. "Congress needs to formally condemn the President and members of the administration for misconduct before and during the Iraq war, and for undermining the rule of law at home." While censuring White House leaders would not be "a cure for the devastating toll this administration's actions have taken on this country," Feingold said he believes such a move would send a signal "that a co-equal branch of government stood up and held to account those who violated the principles on which this nation was founded." The Hill: Feingold calls for censure of Bush
KERRY SEES WAR PROTEST AS HISTORY REPEATING: He was a seminal figure as the Vietnam War spiraled downward, just as the generals and the politicians were starting to acknowledge that the war was a failure. Young, lanky and highly decorated from his service commanding a Navy swift boat, John Kerry sat before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and famously said, "How do you ask a man to be the last person to die for a mistake?" Few living American politicians have had their lives so defined by war as Kerry. His wartime service and wartime protest stoked his political career in Massachusetts. His military background burnished his credentials among Democrats seeking a nominee to run against an incumbent president during wartime in 2004. And now, in a quieter time, his hair gray and reading glasses perched on the bridge of his nose, he finds himself again opposing his government's conflict. Chicago Tribune: Kerry fights battle he finds all too familiar
HOUSE DEMS TO PUSH "MAJOR CHANGES IN MEDICARE": After a rare bipartisan agreement in the Senate to expand insurance coverage for low-income children, House Democrats have drafted an even broader plan that also calls for major changes in Medicare and promises to intensify the battle with the White House over health care. President Bush has threatened to veto what he sees as a huge expansion of the children's health care program, which he describes as a step "down the path to government-run health care for every American." The House measure calls for changes that the administration will probably find even more distasteful, including cuts in Medicare payments to private health plans. New York Times: Democrats Press House to Expand Health Care Bill
CANDIDATES HAVE RAISED OVER $2 MILLION OUTSIDE OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN ACCTS: Real estate executive Jack Rosen has given Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton $8,800 since last November, nearly double the amount individuals can donate to any single presidential candidate this election. He is able to do so because of a loophole in political fundraising laws - one that is allowing several presidential candidates to simultaneously collect donations for their presidential bid and other political entities connected to them... In all, 2008 presidential candidates have already raised more than $2 million outside of their official presidential campaigns since the Nov. 7 election, using congressional or state campaign committees, political action committees or IRS Section 527 political groups to do so, a Washington Post computer analysis found. Washington Post: Loophole Lets Candidates Skirt Donation Limit
CLINTON HOLDS DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD IN NEW POST-ABC POLL: By a wide margin, Democrats view Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) as the party's candidate best positioned to win the general election, and she holds a double-digit lead over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in the race for the nomination, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll. How competitive the Democratic contest becomes could turn on the question of whether voters are significantly more interested in a fresh face or in a candidate they see as projecting strong leadership. Clinton enjoys a substantial edge over Obama among the 4 in 10 Democrats who said that in assessing presidential candidates, strength and experience are more important than new ideas or a new direction. Even among the 51 percent who prefer a change-oriented candidate, the core message of Obama's campaign, Clinton runs even with him. Washington Post: Poll Shows Clinton With Solid Lead Among Democrats
WOOING THE "GOOGLERS": Besides [Hillary] Clinton and [John] McCain, Gov. Bill Richardson (D) of New Mexico, former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a possible independent candidate, have come to Mountain View to take a closer look at a corporate culture that is the epitome of Silicon Valley self-confidence and innovation. Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, called the question-and-answer sessions "a job interview with the American people."... Access to visiting politicians is typically limited in the tech world to corporate executives, in private meetings. Not so at Google, where the town hall meetings are open to all employees and posted later on the Internet, on Google-owned YouTube. Washington Post: A Campaign Stop With a Hip, Innovative Air
HILLARY'S "UNPRECEDENTED" WOMEN'S OUTREACH: The most viable female presidential candidate in U.S. history is building what amounts to a separate organization devoted to winning women's votes. As she pursues the Democratic nomination, the scale of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's outreach appears unprecedented. Tonight, 400 women plan to hold house parties to watch the Democratic candidates debate — twice as many parties as women had for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on June 24. Clinton has six full-time staffers for women's outreach, an unusual number six months before primaries begin. Former senator John Edwards has one full-time staffer. Several candidates have national women's networks, but Clinton's started earlier and has many fronts. Her campaign has special groups for nurses, businesswomen, minority women, New Yorkers, young women and graduates of Wellesley, Clinton's alma mater. It is courting female politicians and activists and other women with their own networks, such as book clubs and breast cancer groups. USA Today: Clinton focuses on female bonding
OBAMA TELLS LA RAZA HE "WALKED THE WALK" ON IMMIGRATION: Sen. Barack Obama told the nation's largest Hispanic advocacy group yesterday that he earned their support for his presidential campaign by marching in last year's May 1 immigrant rallies and challenged them to learn whether others met that standard. "Find out how many senators appeared before an immigration rally last year. Who was talking the talk, and who walked the walk — because I walked," Mr. Obama said at the National Council of La Raza's annual convention in Miami Beach. "I didn't run away from the issue, and I didn't just talk about it in front of Latino audiences." The Illinois Democrat said the recent Senate immigration debate "was both ugly and racist in a way we haven't see since the struggle for civil rights." Washington Times: Obama solicits La Raza backing
EDWARDS CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THE INTERNET QUESTIONS: Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) will conduct a live video webcast immediately after the Democratic CNN-YouTube debate Monday, answering questions submitted to the campaign online and via text message. Edwards spokesperson Colleen Murray told The Hill that the webcast was geared at boosting Edwards' online presence as a candidate. The webcast will last 30 minutes and will be viewable on Edwards' campaign website and MySpace page, in addition to three other sites. Viewers can submit questions to the Edwards campaign before and during the CNN-YouTube debate on Edwards' website, Facebook, MySpace, via AOL Instant Messenger, via text message, and in video on YouTube. The Hill: Edwards to air live webcast after debate
McCAIN PROMISES TO ELIMINATE ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX: Republican presidential hopeful John McCain is pledging to repeal the alternative minimum tax and hold down government spending with vetoes and line-item-veto authority. The Arizona senator, in remarks prepared for delivery Monday evening to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan, promised to eliminate the alternative minimum tax, which he said would affect as many as 30 million people by 2010. The tax was originally intended to make sure the wealthy do not exploit tax loopholes. "I am committed to repealing this tax before millions of American families are forced to devote even more of their hard work to paying for the spending largesse in Washington," McCain said in excerpts from his speech released by his campaign. AP via Yahoo! News: Sen. McCain vows to repeal the AMT
NO MORE PROCESS STORIES, SAYS McCAIN: To hear John McCain talk about it Sunday, his presidential campaign woes – so severe two weeks ago some observers speculated that the Arizona Republican would withdraw – have disappeared almost overnight. In fact, McCain said, he isn't going to talk anymore about the problems that bedeviled his campaign. "I will not respond to any more questions about process," he said when asked about them at his campaign headquarters in Des Moines. "I did that for two weeks. I cut down at least three forests worth of paper being written on it." Instead, McCain, on his first visit to Iowa since campaign fundraising problems and overspending forced a dramatic reduction in his national and Iowa campaign staffers, claimed that he can still win the GOP presidential nomination. Des Moines Register: Upbeat McCain dismisses setbacks
ROMNEY KEEPS FOCUS ON CLINTON, EDWARDS, AND OBAMA: Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney took aim at Democratic rivals on Sunday, calling them all unprepared to lead the country and comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's economic plan to that of Socialist Karl Marx. "It would be helpful to have a person leading the country who understands how the economy works and has actually managed something," the former Massachusetts governor told reporters after a GOP fundraiser. "In the case of the three Democratic front-runners, not one of them has managed even a corner store, let alone a state or a city." Romney, who leads Republicans in New Hampshire, has focused his criticism in recent weeks on Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards rather than rival Republicans. It's a strategy he hopes will help him maintain his lead over Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. AP via Yahoo! News: Romney continues assault on Democrats
YOU GOTTA SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY: Rudy Giuliani's campaign spent big bucks to make even bigger bucks this spring – raising $17 million by staging lavish events. New financial statements break down the cost of each event, but, like documents filed by other campaigns, give only a total of how much all of them raised together. Giuliani shelled out $53,000 to host a fund-raiser at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he chipped shots with Donald Trump and other donors at the minimum $1,000-a-ticket event, according to the financial statements. He swung for cash at three other golf fund-raisers: the Tournament Players Club in McKinney, Texas, which cost his campaign $16,000; the Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood, N.J., on which the campaign spent $12,712; and Wynlakes Golf and Country Club in Montgomery, Ala., which cost $4,543. New York Post: RUDY PAYS TO RAI$E
SEVEN LETTERS MAX: Rudy Giuliani's campaign for the presidential race is over. Simply close up shop now. Save all that money. The same goes for both Fred and Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Bill Richardson, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Dennis Kucinich. To continue their expensive campaigns would be an unnecessary drama and simply futile, according to a little-noticed historical rule. Their names are too long. American voters, especially those in the last half-century, simply do not elect or allow men with more than seven letters in their names to be commander in chief. Think about it. Bush (4), Clinton (7), Bush (4), Reagan (6), Carter (6), Ford (4), Nixon (5), Johnson (7), Kennedy (7). All the way back to Eisenhower in 1956, who at 10 letters ties Washington for longest presidential name. Okay, carried to its logical conclusion, this American preference for short names would appear to suggest that the next president is likely to be Chris Dodd or Ron Paul, which isn't going to happen. Los Angeles Times: It's official - Giuliani is toast