Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Fresh off the news that Osama bin Laden is planning an imminent address to the American people, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicates that, for the first time since 9/11, a majority of Americans thinks the U.S will be unable to capture or kill the al-Qaeda leader.
The poll reports 54 percent of Americans do not have confidence bin Laden will be killed or captured, while 42 percent do. Full story
At least two presidential candidates will be talking terrorism on the trail today:
John Edwards gives a "major policy speech on global terrorism" today at 12 noon at Pace University in New York City, and Rudy Giuliani speaks at a 12:05 pm ET "9/11 Remember Our Fallen Heroes" luncheon at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
PETRAEUS MAY RECOMMEND SMALL TROOP REDUCTION: Army Gen. David H. Petraeus has indicated a willingness to consider a drawdown of one brigade of between 3,500 and 4,500 U.S. troops from Iraq early next year, with more to follow over the next months based on conditions on the ground, according to a senior U.S. official. Washington Post: Petraeus Open to Pullout of 1 Brigade
TOO CAUTIOUS? General Petraeus's view is considered overly cautious by some other senior military officials and some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, officials said. But they said it reflected his concern that the security gains made so far in Baghdad, Anbar Province and other areas were fragile and easily reversed. New York Times: Petraeus, Seeing Gains in Iraq as Fragile, Is Wary of Cuts
ANTIWAR DEMS COMPLAIN OF LOST MOMENTUM DURING RECESS: Rank-and-file Democrats in Congress are criticizing the party's leaders for allowing the White House to sap momentum from the antiwar movement during the August recess. Washington Times: Antiwar drive stalls on Hill
BUSH HAS RARE, ON CAMERA BACK-AND-FORTH EXCHANGE WITH S. KOREAN PRES.: In a rare public exchange highlighting the delicacy of political diplomacy, President Bush told South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun a formal end to the Korean war begins when North Korea halts its secretive nuclear weapons program. CNN: Bush spars with Roh on Korean war
OUTCRY OVER BUSH INVITATION TO '08 GAMES: President Bush has accepted an invitation from President Hu Jintao of China to attend the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, a move that drew condemnation from human rights advocates and a Republican member of Congress, who are calling for a boycott of the Games. New York Times: Bush, After Talks With China's Leader, Accepts Invitation to Beijing Olympics
JUDGE CALLS PATRIOT ACT PROVISION "LEGISLATIVE EQUIVALENT OF BREAKING AND ENTERING": A federal judge struck down controversial portions of the USA Patriot Act in a ruling that declared them unconstitutional yesterday, ordering the FBI to stop its wide use of a warrantless tactic for obtaining e-mail and telephone data from private companies for counterterrorism investigations. Washington Post: Judge Invalidates Patriot Act Provisions
CRAIG EXPECTS TO RESIGN: The likelihood that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig would resign at month's end grew Thursday as the prospect of a timely legal defense dimmed, and no new supporters emerged. Craig expects to step down Sept. 30 after all, spokesman Dan Whiting said. Idaho Statesman: Staff: Craig likely to resign
IDAHO REP. KNOCKS McCONNELL FOR HANDLING OF CRAIG MATTER: Rep. Mike Simpson (R) condemned Senate GOP leaders on Thursday for their treatment of fellow Idahoan Sen. Larry Craig (R), accusing them of hypocrisy. "I hope I never stub my toe and they throw me under the bus," Simpson said of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and other Republican leaders. The Hill: Lashing out at McConnell
GILLMOR'S WIFE WON'T RUN TO REPLACE HIM: Karen Gillmor (R), widow of Cong. Paul Gillmor (R), has decided to forego a run for her late husband's seat, according to normally reliable Republican sources. State Rep. Bob Latta (R) is now likely to get in the race. Rothenberg Political Report: Ohio 5: Karen Gillmor Out, Latta In
NO GOV. RUN FOR NOLA'S NAGIN: New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, the controversial leader of the Crescent City during Hurricane Katrina, will not seek the governorship of Louisiana. Nagin... did not file the necessary paperwork to seek the state's highest office. The deadline to do so has passed. The Ticker: Nagin not running for governor
HSU ARRESTED IN COLORADO: Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu... was on an eastbound Amtrak train about noon when he fell ill, and Amtrak personnel took him to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo. Los Angeles Times: Democratic donor Hsu caught in Colorado
PA'S RENDELL GIVES NEARLY $38K IS HSU DONATIONS TO CHARITY: For two weeks, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell stood by big-time political fund-raiser Norman Hsu, insisting the fugitive California businessman is still his friend and going so far as to call him "one of the best 10 people I've met." But there are limits even to Mr. Rendell's political loyalty. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rendell gives away fugitive's donations
RUNNING TO BE THE NEXT REAGAN: Fred D. Thompson had one central strategic goal as he formally began his presidential campaign on Thursday: to win over conservatives who are disheartened at their current choice of Republican candidates by positioning himself as the ideological and stylistic heir of Ronald Reagan. New York Times: For Thompson, Goal Is to Don Reagan Mantle
"ANOTHER CHANCE AT FALLING IN LOVE" FOR GOP: Republicans enter the 2008 campaign without a consensus candidate to rally around. It's nobody's turn to win the nomination in the traditionally hierarchical party. And voters are facing a field of flawed candidates, with no single candidate providing the consistent conservatism that the GOP base demands. Chicago Tribune: GOP fatigue could give Thompson boost
BUT IS HE "DOOMED" BY LATE ENTRY? Fred Thompson joined the Republican field yesterday already vying for the lead in one early presidential primary state, but analysts say as a first-time national candidate, he may have entered too late. Washington Times: Late entry could doom Thompson
PLENTY OF ELBOW ROOM AT THOMPSON KICKOFF: Judging by the crowd (or lack thereof) at the Polk County Convention Complex yesterday, it seems clear that the once fever pitch excitement about a Thompson candidacy has cooled significantly. New York Sun: Thompson Comes In With a Whimper
STEPPING "IMMEDIATELY INTO THE FIRING LINE": Rival campaigns have already prepared thick dossiers of "opposition research" chronicling the former Tennessee senator's zigzags on such key issues as abortion rights, immigration, a gay marriage ban, and campaign finance reform. Boston Globe: Thompson's next steps critical for his viability
ROMNEY STANDS APART IN RELIGION POLL: Just 14% who offer an opinion see Rudy Giuliani as very religious... nearly half (46%) of those who express an opinion say Romney is very religious. Pew Research Center: Clinton and Giuliani Seen as Not Highly Religious; Romney's Religion Raises Concerns
BLOOMBERG AGAIN OFFERS DENIAL ON '08 ("WITH A LITTLE WINK"): Mayor Bloomberg revved up the buzz on his White House aspirations again yesterday – announcing on his Web site, "It's time for something real."... The mayor said he's not interested in the job – but as with his past denials, his words came with a little wink. New York Daily News: Mayor Bloomberg generating Presidential buzz on Web
EDWARDS AND GIULIANI ONLY MAJOR CANDIDATES WHO'VE NEVER BEEN TO IRAQ: Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), who has criticized the Democratic-led Congress for its funding of the Iraq war, has never been to Iraq. And in a move that left him politically exposed, Edwards on Monday lambasted President Bush for making a surprise trip to the Middle Eastern country. The Hill: 2008 and counting: Anti-war Edwards hasn't visited Iraq
HILLARY "IN ALL HER WALNUT-CRUNCHING GLORY"...: Beware, sugarplum fairies of the political world, there's a new nutcracker in town – and her name is Hillary. The Hillary Nutcracker, which sells for $19.95, is quickly becoming the most Hill-arious joke of the campaign trail. New York Post: NUT BUSTER
On the Political Radar:
* The CA Republican party begins its Fall Convention at the Renaissance Esmeralda Hotel in Indian Wells, CA (through 9/9).
* Fred Thompson holds town hall meetings at the convention center in Sioux City, IA (11 am ET), and Mason City's Music Man Square (7 pm ET).
* After a noon event in Orlando, Giuliani later delivers 7:35 pm ET remarks at the Pinellas County Reagan Day Dinner at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL.
* Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks at a California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting at 1:15 pm ET in Dana Point, CA. At 4 pm ET, McCain holds a town hall meeting at VFW Post 1622 in Lomita, CA.
* Mitt Romney holds "Ask Mitt Anything" events in North Conway (9 am ET) and Berlin, NH (10:45 am ET). He later tours the Littleton Coin Company in Littleton, NH (2:45 pm ET), and finally holds a 5 pm ET "Ask Mitt Anything" session in Lebanon, NH.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) gives 12 pm ET remarks at the New Jersey Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. She later speaks at AARP's "Life @ 50+" event at 3:30 pm ET in Boston, MA.
* Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attends a 3:30 pm ET Women for Obama luncheon at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. He later heads North to Portland, OR, for a 12 am ET Countdown to Change event at the Oregon Convention Center.