Mike and Janet Huckabee were both 18 when they married in Hope, Arkansas, in May 1974.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Did you know that Bill Clinton had to buy a house to convince Hillary Rodham to marry him? Or that GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee proposed to his wife with a pop top from a soda can?
A new Web site is using stories such as these to try to humanize the candidates and provide a forum for brides-to-be to discuss politics and the upcoming elections.
BridesDecide.com, which launched a few weeks ago, targets the "bridal voting bloc demographic." The site says it hopes to attract the 12 million-plus women who frequent the two popular wedding planning Web sites, TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Imagine that you get to design your own presidential debate, choosing which candidates you listen to and picking only the topics you want to hear. Yahoo!, The Huffington Post and Slate are teaming up to host an online-only, interactive presidential "mash-up" starting on Thursday.
Say you want to hear Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel and Hillary Clinton talk about health care. Or John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich discuss the war in Iraq. All you have to do is click on the candidates' pictures and the topic and press play.
"With presidential candidates announcing online and with campaign ads and fundraising increasingly online, presidential campaigns are moving to the Internet at breakneck speed. Online debates are the inevitable next step," Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington said in a press release.
The forum will be hosted by PBS's Charlie Rose. It will be available live on the Yahoo! election Web site from Thursday morning through next week.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Gen. David Petraeus listens to opening statements Monday before testifying at a congressional hearing.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a Senate resolution Tuesday condemning MoveOn.org's recent attack on Gen. David Petraeus in a New York Times advertisement. The move comes the same day the top U.S. general in Iraq is set to testify before key Senate committees.
The measure was offered as a nonbinding amendment to the transportation appropriations bill currently on the floor, and but was ruled “not germane” and will not be put to a vote.
Before the ruling, Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, gave a speech critical of the ad, calling it “a poor choice of words,” but he defended the group’s right to place the ad. He added that Democrats should not be held accountable for all the words and actions of anti-war groups.
The resolution follows a similar one introduced in the House Monday by Minority Leader John Boehner, who called the liberal advocacy group's advertisement "despicable" and said it should be "condemned by all members of Congress, including the Democratic leadership."
The ad in question displayed a large black-and-white picture of Petraeus with the caption "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" Below the picture, the ad alleged the general would likely be untruthful in his testimony on Iraq for political reasons.
Several Democrats joined Republicans in condemning MoveOn.org's ad Monday, but the group’s executive director said he stood by it.
"Every major independent study and many major news organizations cast serious doubt on Petraeus' claims," said Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action Committee.”
– CNN’s Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh
Sen. Biden will call into "Whatcha Know Joe" events in South Carolina tonight.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Senator Joe Biden will campaign in South Carolina via conference call Tuesday, dialing into supporter meet-ups across the state to discuss his recent trip to Iraq.
Biden's state director Trip King told CNN there are about a dozen meet-ups—called "Whatcha Know Joe" events—scheduled around tonight's conference call. The senator will dial into the call at 7 p.m.
King also said Biden will give supporters an update on the state of his presidential campaign.
Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in Washington today hearing testimony from General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker on the state of the war.
— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) — Here's a quick look at what's making news this morning in South Carolina politics:
Today's papers are offering up their reviews of Fred Thompson's South Carolina debut on Monday. Dan Hoover at the Greenville News writes that for some in the Greenville crowd, "Thompson appeared to fill a void in their political hearts." The State has Thompson admitting that while "his speech was short on specifics," it was simply meant to introduce himself to South Carolina voters.
The Charleston Post and Courier picks up on something very important that got lost in the shuffle of yesterday's Thompson-mania: the Tennessee native promised more Johnny Cash in the White House.
And while the Hillary Clinton campaign announced Monday they are signing up senior citizens, the Obama campaign is touting their week-long voter drive that signed up 1,100 young voters in South Carolina.
— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Sen. Biden is chairman of the Senate Foreign relations committee.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joe Biden told Gen. David Petraeus "It's time to end the surge and bring the troops home" from Iraq.
Opening a Senate hearing on progress in Iraq, the Delaware Democrat said he found little reason to believe that sectarian violence will end in Iraq.
"Are we any closer to a lasting political settlement? If we continue to surge, is there any evidence Sunnis, Shias and Kurds will stop killing?" Biden asked Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
"The answer to both those questions is 'No,' " Biden said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Heated exchanges, outbursts, and even a bit of profanity among lawmakers magnified the pressure Monday amid crucial testimony from the Iraq Commanding General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on the future of the war. (Related: Petraeus: Troop withdrawals by year's end)
The first such exchange came before Congress managed to get out of the gates. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, had a contentious moment with Congressman Dan Burton, R-Indiana, over the presence of protesters who had disrupted proceedings.
In open session, Burton made the following demand of Skelton: “I see a number of people in the audience that I anticipate will be making a disturbance. And if this occurs during the testimony by our honored guests, I hope that you will be very firm and get them out of here.” (Related video: Protesters disrupt hearing)
A frustrated Skelton responded, “You don't have to lecture me. They'll be gone. Don't worry about it.”
Burton told him, “Well, I still see them out there.”
Skelton replied, “Do not worry about him. Don't worry about him. We have done this before.”
Minutes later, during a recess to fix the witnesses’ broken microphones, Burton approached Skelton, and in an exchange picked up on an open mic, Burton told Skelton, “I’m not lecturing you.”
Skelton responded, with Congressman Duncan Hunter, R-California sitting right next to him: “The hell you weren’t. Duncan knows I don't need a [expletive deleted] lecture.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – CNN commentator Jack Cafferty gets personal and political.
The Situation Room's resident contributor is out with a new book Monday detailing his thoughts on the current state of American politics and the events in his life that shaped his perspective of world events.
In his book, “It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America,” Cafferty details a part of his life he has rarely discussed in public before – his turbulent childhood and years spent as an alcoholic. (Read an exclusive excerpt)
"Very little of my back-story qualifies as Hallmark Card material, but it may help you to make sense of the way I see and interpret what's going on around me," he writes in the book. "My folks were alcoholics who, between them, were married 11 times. It would have been an even dozen, but my dad accidentally killed one of his fiancées."
Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Monday, Cafferty explained he wrote about his background at length so "people who watch this program and listen to the things I say might have some sense of where this ongoing questioning of authority that I have comes from."
"It's probably rooted in the fact that I learned pretty early on – because of the environment I was in – not to trust everything you see and hear because it's likely a good portion of it isn't going to turn out to be true," he added.
And of course, no book by Jack Cafferty would be complete without detailing his frustration of Washington politicians.
"We want our troops home, but we also want a new army of elected officials to march into Washington and take a fresh, uncorrupted look at the needs of the vast majority of Americans," he writes. "If these two parties, however 2008 breaks, can't fix what's broken, this way of life as we've known it may vanish into some deep, dark crevasse."
Check out Cafferty's book at bookstores everywhere.
The Hillary Clinton campaign said Monday that it will return money solicited by Norman Hsu from more than 250 donors.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton will return about 850,000 in contributions tied to disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu.
Clinton, a New York Democrat seeking her party's presidential nomination, will send the money back to approximately 260 donors, a senior campaign official said in a statement Monday evening.
"In light of recent events and allegations that Mr. Norman Hsu engaged in an llegal investment scheme, we have decided out of an abundance of caution to return the money he raised for our campaign" Clinton campaign official Howard Wolfson said in the statement.
Wolfson emphasized that the campaign was unaware of Hsu's alleged illegal activities and noted that they have put in place a more rigorous back ground check for future donors.
–CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Six years after the September 11 attacks, only three in ten Americans believe that the U.S. and its allies are winning the war on terrorism, according to a new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll. That’s down from 41% when the same question was asked at the beginning of last year.
Half of all Americans believe that neither side is winning the war on terrorism. And almost one in five Americans believes that the terrorists are winning. A solid majority of Americans (57%) believes that the terrorists will always find a way to launch major attacks regardless of what the U.S. government does. That number is unchanged from one year ago.
Only five percent of those questioned think things in the U.S. are now completely back to normal following the September 11 attacks. Thirty percent feel things will eventually be back to normal and 63 percent think things will never be back to normal.
The CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll questioned 1,017 Americans from September 7-9. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
And a majority are not satisfied with the way the war on terrorism is going
Fewer than four in ten Americans are satisfied with the way that things are going in the war on terrorism, according to a CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll conducted last month. The survey showed that one in three Americans believe we are actually less safe from terrorism than we were prior to the September 11 attacks. Two out of every three Americans believe that we are either as safe as or safer than we were on the day of the attacks.