Compiled by Stephen Bach, Lindsey Pope and Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
Making News Today…
* The day after questioning the top U.S. commander in Iraq about progress in the war torn country, Sen. Barack Obama delivers a major foreign policy speech in Clinton, Iowa. Obama, according to his campaign, will discuss what the war has cost America and how to finally end U.S. military action in Iraq.
The Illinois senator, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is expected to unveil a set of new policy proposals. Obama will talk about withdrawing troops, diplomacy within Iraq and the region and action to deal with the humanitarian crisis, according to a campaign aide. He will also talk about what America will be able to accomplish after leaving Iraq.
* Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who continues to focus on the early primary states, enters the second day of his "No Surrender" bus tour with rallies scheduled all across Iowa. The GOP presidential hopeful, who supports the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq, holds campaign rallies in Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Waterloo.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hit the television airwaves Wednesday in Florida, his first extensive ad buy in the Sunshine State, CNN Political Editor Mark Preston reports. Romney, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, made a limited ad buy earlier this year that introduced him to Florida Republicans. The new ad titled "Energy," highlights Romney's accomplishments in the public and private sector. The campaign will announce that the 30 second spot will air in television markets throughout the state, which holds its presidential primary on January 29, 2008.
* Congressional sources tell CNN Political Editor Mark Preston that House and Senate Democrats will go on the political offensive Wednesday, one day after Iraq Commanding Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Amb. to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified before the Senate about the situation in Iraq and one day before President Bush addresses the nation in primetime. "This is our pivot off the hearings and we are now going on the offensive," a Democratic leadership aide said.
* And we will know Thursday what political path former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner plans to take, CNN Political Editor Mark Preston reports. Senate Democrats hope that Warner chooses to run for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. John Warner. Another possibility is that Warner tries for a second term as Virginia's governor – a thought that makes New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, shudder.
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
"SOME EXCHANGES…STRUCK A TONE NOT HEARD ON CAPITAL HILL IN 40 YEARS": The two top American military and diplomatic officials in Iraq conceded Tuesday that the Bush administration's overall strategy in Iraq would remain largely unchanged after the temporary increase in American forces is over next summer, and made clear their view that the United States would need a major troop presence in Iraq for years to come. New York Times: Officials Cite Long-Term Need for U.S. in Iraq
ADS LINK 9/11 TO IRAQ: Every investigation has shown that Iraq did not, in fact, have anything to do with the Sept. 11 attacks. But the ad, part of a new $15 million media blitz launched by an advocacy group allied with the White House, may be the most overt attempt during the current debate in Congress over the war to link the attacks with Iraq. Washington Post: 9/11 Linked to Iraq, In Politics if Not in Fact
COURT RULING COULD "RESTRICT" ABILITY TO WAGE 'WAR ON TERRORISM': The nation's top intelligence officials have told a federal appeals court in recent days that a July ruling requiring the government to disclose virtually all its information on Guantánamo detainees could cause "exceptionally grave damage to the national security." New York Times: Officials Cite Danger in Revealing Detainee Data
US MILITARY IN TALKS WITH SADR MILITIA: U.S. diplomats and military officers have been in talks with members of the armed movement loyal to Muqtada Sadr, a sharp reversal of policy and a grudging recognition that the radical Shiite cleric holds a dominant position in much of Baghdad and other parts of Iraq. LA Times: U.S. Seeks Pact With Shiite Militia
REP. ILENA ROS-LEHTINEN BASHES BUSH FOR AFGHAN HEROIN: The ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says the Bush administration is not doing enough to target heroin traffickers in war-torn Afghanistan, who have resumed control of the world market and expanded their illicit trade into Europe, Canada and the United States. Washington Times: Bush Ripped on Heroin Trade
WHITE HOUSE CLOSE TO NAMING NEW A.G. PICK: The White House is closing in on a nominee to replace Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, with former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson considered one of the leading candidates, administration and Congressional officials said Tuesday. New York Times: Bush is Nearing a Choice to Lead the Justice Department
HILL STAFFER TO BE SENTENCED TODAY: A former chief of staff to ex-Rep. Bob Ney provided so much cooperation to investigators in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that they say the strongest punishment he should get is house arrest. AP: Former Hill Staffer To Be Sentenced Wednesday
INDIVIDUALS COMPETE TO POST TERRORIST MESSAGES: Early yesterday morning, a South Carolina Web designer who works at home managed to scoop al-Qaeda by publicly unveiling its new video, a feat she has accomplished numerous times since 2002. Washington Post: Bin Laden Brought to You by…
FAA CHIEF TO WORK FOR LOBBYING FIRM: The nation's top aviation regulator is under criticism for accepting a job as head of a trade group that frequently lobbies for the aviation industry on government spending and policy. USA Today: Departing FAA Chief Comes Under Fire
CLINTON WH DOCUMENTS SOUGHT: In a concession to Republicans, House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) has promised to ask the National Archives for documents relating to President Bill Clinton's Office of Political Affairs. Politico: Waxman to Probe Clinton Files
FORMER NOLA PROSTITUTE DETAILS VITTER RELATIONSHIP: Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) might have a problem of too many Wendys. A former prostitute from New Orleans named Wendy Cortez on Tuesday detailed the relationship she claims to have had with the scandal-plagued Senator. Roll call: Tail of Two Wendy's
GOP "MESSAGE MAKEOVER": Senate Republicans are likely to engage in a more serious message makeover than they previously thought following a private strategy session Tuesday where they reviewed new polling data showing tax cuts are no longer priority No. 1 with key independent voters. Roll Call: GOP Forced to Pivot on Taxes
PELOSI SPEECH INTERUPTED BY FIRE: Good thing the House's 9/11 commemoration ceremony was held outside on Monday evening, what with all the fire… Nancy Pelosi’s candle-card caught on fire in the middle of her remarks. DC Examiner: Don't Play With Pelosi, Cuz Your Playin' With Fire
'08 CONTRIBUTIONS UNDER SCRUTINY: The thorny question of tainted contributions - and how to check for them - gripped several election campaigns Tuesday in the wake of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's decision to return $850,000 raised by disgraced political patron Norman Hsu. LA Times: Campaigns Feel The Effects of Hsu Case
RIVAL CALLS CLINTON '08 "THE SEQUEL" TO HER HUSBAND'S 1996 CAMPAIGN: Hillary Clinton's links to illegal fundraising by Asian-Americans in 1996 should have made her wary of accepting $850,000 from a fugitive Asian-American this year, a rival presidential campaign said Tuesday. DC Examiner: Rival Charges Hillary Clinton Turned Blind Eye to Hsu's Past
POLL: CLINTON ATTRACTS LOW INCOME VOTERS: Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is dominating the Democratic field among working-class and older voters in early primary states, while Republican Fred Thompson is making inroads among religious voters, particularly in the South and at the expense of rival Mitt Romney. Bloomberg: Clinton Lures Older, Lower-Income Voters In early State Races, Poll Shows
MINORS CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS TO '08ERS: At 8 years old, Matthew Mardirossian is too young to vote. But he and his 7-year-old sister, Karis, each contributed $4,600 to help Democrat Barack Obama win the White House. In Arizona, 15-year-old actor Hunter Gomez gave $2,300 to Republican John McCain, his home state senator. USA Today: '08 Hopefuls Net Millions From Piggy Banks
"SURGE HAS HAD NO IMPACT ON RECONCILIATION": Just back from his eighth trip to Iraq, Sen. Joe Biden said Monday that the sectarian violence in that war-torn region underscores why his plan for peace is the only one that will work. Des Moines Register: Biden's Plan Alone Can Fix Iraq, He Says
GINGRICH WEIGHING '08 OPTION: Newt Gingrich is moving closer to a presidential nomination bid in a severely divided Republican Party. Washington Times: Gingrich Hints of White House Bid
WEB SITE QUESTIONS FRED'S CONSERVATIVE CREDS: A spokesman for Fred Thompson's presidential bid accused GOP rival Mitt Romney's campaign of a "cover-up" Tuesday over a now defunct Web site, which portrayed the former Tennessee senator in an unflattering manner and referred to him as "phony." CNN.com: Thompson Camp Accuses Rival of a 'Cover Up'
SPANISH DEBATE DRAWS MORE VIEWERS THAN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE DEBATES: Sunday night's Spanish-language Democratic presidential debate carried by Univision drew 4.6 million viewers - higher than the 4.3 million average for the English-language debates carried by CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC, Univision said. And it was done without YouTube gimmickry. LA Times: What You Weren't Watching
On the Political Radar:
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, attends a late morning news conference in Washington, DC with the National Association of Letter Carriers as it announces its endorsement for president.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, unveils his plan for ending the war in Iraq at Ashford University in Clinton, IA. Later in the day, he holds a town hall meeting focused on Iraq in Davenport, IA.
* On Day 2 of his "No Surrender" bus tour, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, starts his day with a rally in Council Bluffs, IA. After eating a barbeque lunch and holding a rally in Des Moines, he heads to Waterloo for another rally at American Legion Post 138.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney heads to Midland, TX to speak to a group of Republican women.
* Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, holds a rally at "Tommy Trojan," the famous statue in the middle of the University of Southern California's campus in Los Angeles.
* Elizabeth Edwards stops by Rachel Ray's daytime television program to discuss how she and her husband, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary, lessons she's taught her children and what she does to relax.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani makes an early afternoon campaign stop in Akron, Ohio and then visits Canonsburg, Pennsylvania for an event. Giuliani then heads to South Carolina for an evening meet-and-greet.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook