Compiled by Alex Mooney
CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today…
* "Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political adviser, is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective Aug. 31, and returning to Texas." (Wall Street Journal) "There's always something that can keep you here, and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family," Rove told the paper.
His hand "was forced when White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten announced that any senior staff that were working past Labor Day (September 3) would be expected to stay on until the end of Bush's term in January 2009." (CNN.com)
"It was widely believed inside and outside the White House that Mr. Rove…would walk out the door behind Mr. Bush in January of 2009." (New York Times)
He "has survived years of pointed investigation of his activities while in the White House - first during special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's probe of White House leaks, and more recently by Democratic-controlled Congressional committees examining the firing of U.S. attorneys" (Washington Post)
* In the GOP race for the White House, the Iowa Straw poll result has claimed at least one victim: "Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson abandoned his long shot bid for the White House late Sunday evening, after he did not meet the expectations he set for himself." (The Ticker)
* Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson all took heat for skipping the event: "There was one thing that was plain at Saturday's gathering of Republicans in Ames, Iowa, it was this: They don't like to be dissed - the GOP throng groaned and booed at any mention of the no-shows. (Washington Post)
* Mike Huckabee, the "earnest underdog" with a "surprising" second place finish in the straw poll (New York Times) faces a new challenge: "Inspiring Republicans statewide to believe the former pastor can relight the party's fire."(Des Moines Register)
Should he "capitalize on his second-place showing here Saturday to get a second look from demoralized Republicans unhappy with their choices - and to get much-needed funding - the repercussions could reshuffle the party's contest for its 2008 nomination." (Wall Street Journal)
Meanwhile, for Mitt Romney - the actual winner of the straw poll - the "victory... only underscored the fierce competition he still faces for conservatives who remain wary of the GOP's top White House contenders." (Los Angeles Times)
Despite Romney's clear win, "in the more critical expectations game, there were so many other declarations of victory that the GOP field is likely to stay as muddled as ever." (Rocky Mountain News)
* And, Oprah's hosting a bash for Obama next month, but which prominent star is the latest to come forward for Clinton and hold a political bash of his own? Check it out in hot topics below.
The President's Schedule
President Bush visits the Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center at 10:20 a.m. ET and makes a statement following the event at 11:10 a.m. ET. Bush then heads to Crawford, Texas at 11:35 a.m. ET.
Also on the Political Radar
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards launches his "Fighting for One America" bus tour in Iowa Monday. On the schedule: the official kickoff at 10:45 a.m. ET in Des Moines; a stop at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines at 12 p.m. ET; a 2:15 p.m. ET town-hall event in Perry; a 3:45 p.m. ET town-hall event in Greene; a 5:15 pm. ET stop in Carroll; a 6:30 p.m. ET town-hall in Denision; a 8:45 p.m. ET town-hall in Onawa.
* Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd also spends the day in the Hawkeye State. On his schedule: a 10 a.m. ET coffee with veterans in Des Moines; a speech at the Iowa State Fair at 2 p.m. ET; a meet and greet at the Iowa State Fair at 2:30 p.m. ET; a 3:45 p.m. ET meet and greet in Des Moines; a 5 p.m. ET veterans caucus meeting in Des Moines.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spends the day in Nevada; slated to hold an "Ask Mitt Anything" event in Elko at 10 a.m. ET. He also holds a media availability following the event at 11 a.m. ET.
* Arizona Sen. John McCain spends the day in South Carolina. On his schedule: a 12:30 p.m. ET address to the Rotary Club in Seawell; a 2:15 p.m. ET media availability in Columbia; a 7 p.m. ET address in Charleston.
Political Hot Topics
(Today’s top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Rove resigns: Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political adviser, is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective Aug. 31, and returning to Texas, he said in an interview with Paul Gigot, editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. Mr. Rove, who has held a senior post in the White House since President Bush took office in January 2001, told Mr. Gigot he first floated the idea of leaving a year ago. But he delayed his departure as, first, Democrats took Congress, and then as the White House tackled debates on immigration and Iraq, he said. He said he decided to leave after White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be obliged to remain through the end of the president's term in January 2009. Wall Street Journal: Karl Rove to Resign
At the End of August
Bush losing right-hand man: Karl Rove, U.S. President George W. Bush's senior political adviser, will voluntarily step down from his White House post at the end of the month, senior administration officials said Monday. Rove, who has held a top position in the White House since Bush took office in January 2001, is to stand down on August 31.
"I just think it's time," Rove told the Wall Street Journal. "There's always something that can keep you here, and as much as I'd like to be here, I've got to do this for the sake of my family." CNN: Karl Rove to quit at end of August
Tommy Thompson out: Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson abandoned his long shot bid for the White House late Sunday evening, after he did not meet the expectations he set for himself in the Iowa Republican Party straw poll held one day before. "I want to thank the people of Iowa who were welcoming and supportive as well as my volunteers and contributors from around the country," Thompson said in a statement released by his presidential campaign. "I have no regrets about running. I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as President, but I respect the decision of the voters." The Ticker: Thompson abandons presidential bid
Iowans feel dissed: If there was one thing that was plain at Saturday's gathering of Republicans in Ames, Iowa, it was this: They don't like to be dissed. The GOP throng groaned and booed at any mention of the no-shows - former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) - and warned the missing candidates that skipping the straw poll will be remembered. "It's just like going out on a date," said Iowa GOP Chairman Ray Hoffmann. "If you want to meet someone, you have to make an effort to talk to them." As for this year's missing suitors, he added, "If they don't show up, we feel a little bit neglected."
Washington Post: Iowans Feel Snubbed, but Will It Matter?
Huckabee's surprise: “I can’t buy you — I don’t have the money,” Mike Huckabee, the Arkansas Republican seeking the presidency, told Republicans at the Iowa Straw Poll this weekend. He offered a mock frown. “I can’t even rent you,” he said. The crowd, which had been rustling, burst into warm laughter at a pointed joke intended to remind them of Mr. Huckabee’s earnest underdog campaign. Five hours later, the voters rewarded him with 2,587 votes and a second-place finish in the poll — surprising, it would seem, even Mr. Huckabee. New York Times: For a Joke-Telling Candidate, a Second-Place Finish
Huckabee the real winner: The biggest winner of Iowa Republicans' weekend straw poll of 11 presidential rivals may well turn out to be not Mitt Romney, whose first-place finish here was expected, but surprise runner-up Mike Huckabee, the guitar-picking former governor of Arkansas. Should Mr. Huckabee capitalize on his second-place showing here Saturday to get a second look from demoralized Republicans unhappy with their choices - and to get much-needed funding - the repercussions could reshuffle the party's contest for its 2008 nomination. Social conservatives, who have come to dominate the Republican party, could decide the candidate they have been looking for has been in the race the whole time, languishing at the back of the pack with little money to promote himself. Wall Street Journal: Huckabee, Iowa Poll's Real Winner?
Huckabee seeks to capitalize off strong finish: When second-place finisher Mike Huckabee called himself the real winner of last weekend's Republican presidential straw poll in Iowa, he may not have been wrong. Though finishing well behind a massive Mitt Romney organization in the straw balloting on Saturday, the former Arkansas governor catapulted his stature in the first-in-the-nation caucus state largely on a grass-roots message instead of cash. Chicago Tribune: Huckabee makes hay of straw poll
Pressure on Huckabee: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is facing a new challenge in light of his surprise second-place finish in the Iowa straw poll: Inspiring Republicans statewide to believe the former pastor can relight the party's fire. Huckabee surged to No. 2 in Saturday's nonbinding vote after giving a speech in which he asked Iowa GOP stalwarts to look beyond the money and name recognition of leading candidates and embrace the up-from-nothing Southerner. Lower-than-expected turnout at the straw poll suggests Huckabee's task will not be easy, with Iowa Republicans experiencing an untimely bout of ambivalence just months ahead of the leadoff caucuses.
Des Moines Register: Huckabee faces pressure to lure voters after win
Romney faces fight for conservatives: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has fought for months to unite social conservatives behind his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. But his weekend victory in an Iowa straw poll only underscored the fierce competition he still faces for conservatives who remain wary of the GOP's top White House contenders. "Clearly, no one has consolidated the conservative vote," said Whit Ayres, a Republican strategist unaligned in the presidential race. Los Angeles Times: Romney faces fierce fight for the right
Straw poll only muddles GOP field further: The Iowa Straw Poll has left the Republican presidential contest as crowded and chaotic as the carnival-like crowd scene outside the building where the votes were cast. As expected, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the most votes in Saturday's symbolic test of campaign organizing strength in this first-in-the-nation caucus state. But in the more critical expectations game, there were so many other declarations of victory that the GOP field is likely to stay as muddled as ever. Rocky Mountain News: Waters still muddy after caucus
Ney's chief of staff key to conviction: When Will Heaton went to work for Rep. Robert W. Ney in 2001, he was 23 years old and still in awe of the members of Congress he had come to know years earlier as a congressional page. Within six months, the Ohio Republican promoted the fresh-faced neophyte to be the youngest chief of staff in Congress. For the next five years, Heaton stuck by Ney, even as the House Administration Committee chairman accepted free meals at super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's downtown restaurant, sports tickets in his arena skyboxes and luxurious junkets around the world. Heaton accompanied Ney on a golf junket to Scotland with Abramoff, and he helped Ney return the favors to Abramoff. Washington Post: Ney's Chief of Staff Wore Wire, Was Key To Boss's Conviction
Clinton’s fundraising numbers require asterisk? For Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, it was a monumental achievement: Her campaign announced in April that she had raised $26 million in the first quarter of the year, more than any other presidential candidate. The tally was especially important because it nudged her past Senator Barack Obama, whose campaign reported a surprisingly strong $25.7 million, and allowed her to claim victory in the “money primary” that is widely viewed as an early test of endurance in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination.
But like a certain home run record, Mrs. Clinton’s big numbers might require an asterisk. New York Times: Yes, the Fund-Raising Records Fell, Just Not as Far
Teddy Roosevelt inspiration to '08 candidates: Speaking loudly and carrying on like Theodore Roosevelt. It's a rare part of the 2008 presidential campaign rhetoric that crosses party lines. Democrats and Republicans alike are frequently invoking the words of the nation's 26th president and renowned political maverick as they project a take-no-prisoners image in a time of protracted war and continuing terrorist threats. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney managed to mention Roosevelt, a GOP chief executive before he led the Progressive Party in 1912, twice during a recent GOP debate. First, Romney referred to "a campaign of values, combined with our strong arms, speaking softly but carrying a strong stick, as Teddy Roosevelt said, that will help move the world to a safer place." AP: Candidates see themselves in TR
NBC ready to axe Thompson's 'Law & Order' reruns: Former Senator Fred D. Thompson of Tennessee segued neatly from Congress back to an acting career in 2002, when he joined the cast of NBC’s long-running crime series “Law & Order.” Now that Mr. Thompson seems poised to re-enter politics as a Republican presidential candidate, his career will take another twist. In May, he asked NBC to release him from further “Law & Order” commitments; more recently, NBC said it was ready to stop showing reruns of the episodes he appears in because of federal equal time regulations for presidential candidates. New York Times: If Thompson Runs for President, Don’t Look for Him in Reruns
Giuliani continues conservative shift: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to discard the moderate and liberal positions of his past. The latest is civil unions for same-sex couples, which the Republican presidential candidate has been backing away from in recent months. A campaign aide told the Globe this weekend that Giuliani favors a much more modest set of rights for gay partners than civil union laws in effect in four states offer. Giuliani has described himself as a backer of civil unions and is frequently described that way in news reports. But he began distancing himself from civil unions in late April, when his campaign told The New York Sun that New Hampshire's new law goes too far because it is "the equivalent of marriage," which he has always opposed for gays. Boston Globe: Giuliani continues his conservative shift
Magic Johnson to host Clinton fundraiser: Celebrities dueling over politicians. Or politicians dueling with politicians via celebrities. Either way it's a fun story. And here we go. Do you remember all the hubub a few weeks ago when talk show diva and black billionaire Oprah Winfrey announced her support for fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama and agreed to throw an exclusive fundraiser for him at her Santa Barbara area home on Sept. 8? Los Angeles Times: Hillary raises Oprah's Obama bash with a Magic party