WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Service Employees International Union — one of the largest and most influential labor organizations allied with the Democratic party — will be supporting Hillary Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama, the group announced Wednesday.
The SEIU executive board plans to meet with strategists from the Clinton, Edwards and Obama campaigns on Monday in Chicago. SEIU President Andy Stern said the union is satisfied with all of their health care reform plans, and is now in the process of deciding who is most capable of winning next November.
"We think these three candidates demonstrated they clearly stand on the [right side of the] issues that are important to us," Stern said. "And now [we] want to dig down on who is in the best position to win."
An SEIU spokeswoman said the union has not decided when it will make its final decision. The union has about 1.9 million members nationwide.
The SEIU endorsed current DNC Chairman Howard Dean's presidential bid in 2003.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Wednesday called the "Jena 6" case "so wrong that the right words are hard to find.”
"As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel a special responsibility to speak out on racial intolerance," Edwards said. "To measure our progress in the fight against racism, today our nation looks to Jena, Louisiana. Americans of all races are traveling to Jena because they believe that how we respond to the racial tensions in Jena says everything about who we are as a nation."
Rudy Giuliani was in London on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani picked up endorsements from two of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's advisers on a brief campaign swing to London Wednesday.
Robert Conquest and Dr. Nile Gardiner, advisers to “The Iron Lady” during her tenure at 10 Downing Street, will become foreign policy consultants to Giuliani.
“Mayor Giuliani is a proven leader with a clear vision for keeping America safe, and offers the kind of strong leadership that the United States needs to win the terrorists’ war on us,” Gardiner said in a statement. “In my time working with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, I observed how her strong principles governed her decision-making. Rudy Giuliani is a leader in her mold.”
While traveling in London on Wednesday, Giuliani is meeting with former prime ministers Thatcher and Blair, as well as the current prime minister, Gordon Brown. He will also deliver the inaugural Margaret Thatcher Atlantic Bridge lecture.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Romney is running TV ads in South Carolina before his Republican competitors.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is up with his second television ad in as many weeks in South Carolina, hoping to boost his sagging poll numbers here.
While polls show Romney leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, he trails former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain in the Palmetto State.
The ad, entitled "Tested, Proven," emphasizes Romney's conservative credentials on issues such as immigration and gay marriage. The ad is not new - it first started running in Iowa, New Hampshire and on national cable channels in late May.
Romney became the first Republican candidate to advertise in South Carolina on September 5 with a "significant" ad buy, according to Romney spokesman Will Holley. That ad, "Energy," depicts Romney jogging while the narrator touts Romney's business and management experience.
Why Romney leads in other states but trails here is unclear. Some Republican political consultants have suggested that Romney's Mormonism is his Achilles heel in a state where conservative Christians dominate Republican primary voters. Others simply think his Massachusetts pedigree simply does not resonate among southern voters (although the New Yorker in the race, Giuliani, has continued to lead state polls).
At the same time, several religious leaders in South Carolina have told CNN that they think Romney "lines up" on the issues that matter to them.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Portraying himself as the only candidate that can bring change to Washington, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, released a new television ad Wednesday.
"I approve this message to ask you to believe - not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington," says Obama in the ad. "I'm asking you to believe in yours."
Obama, who has promised not to take money from lobbyists, has said he will work to reduce the influence of special interest groups on lawmakers. He continues to promote that idea in his ad.
"Every time I speak about my hope for America, the cynics in Washington roll their eyes," Obama says. "You see, they don't believe we can actually change politics and bring an end to decades of division and deadlock. They don't believe we can limit the power of lobbyists who block our progress, or that we can trust the American people with the truth."
The ad starts running in Iowa Wednesday.
Watch the latest edition of Raw Politics.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the latest edition of Raw Politics, Barack Obama talks taxes, new polls are released on the Iraq war, and guess who's getting sued?
CNN's Tom Foreman reports the Raw Politics.
Sen. Harry Reid (foreground) said Tuesday that Democrats in the Senate would back a plan by Sen. Carl Levin (background) and Sen. Jack Reed (not pictured).
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Unable to reach a compromise with Republicans after more than two weeks of negotiations, Senate Democrats plan to move ahead with their own measure setting deadlines for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.
Emerging from the Senate Democrats' weekly policy lunch, Reid said he plans to move ahead with an amendment offered by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., that would set "definite timelines" for bringing home American combat forces. Reid said the Levin-Reed proposal is "basically the same as it was" back in July, when it drew the support of 52 senators, including four Republicans, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance under Senate rules.
Democratic leaders had hoped to negotiate new language - something short of a hard-and-fast deadline for troop withdrawal - that would attract enough Republican support to get to 60 votes. But those talks have so far not borne fruit. (Related video: Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, on giving troops more rest time)
–CNN's Dana Bash and Ted Barrett
Watch Bill Schneider's report on public opinion after last week's Iraq Report Card.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Did last week's speech by President Bush and Congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus change public opinion about the Iraq war? CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider reports on two polls that provide some answers.
Full story: Polls: Bush, Petraeus didn't change public views on Iraq
Related: Iraq Report Card
Giuliani greets former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London Wednesday.
LONDON (CNN) - For a few moments Wednesday, 10 Downing Street found itself playing host to two very different voices from the political debate across the pond.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani was there for a courtesy call on Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The meeting was a tad late because Brown ran overtime with a meeting of his political cabinet. On hand for that session: US based pollster Stanley Greenberg, a Democrat who was an architect of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential victory and also a leading voice now in his party's views on health care and economic policy.
Greenberg for years also has worked for Britain's Labor Party, and among recently installed PM Brown's pressing issues is deciding when to call national elections.
Worry not: there was neither debate nor detente between the Democratic strategist and Republican hopeful.
Greenberg told CNN as he left 10 Downing that he and Guiliani passed by each other in the hallway as Brown ended his political meeting and moved on to his sit down with Guiliani.
– CNN Chief National Correspondent John King
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Here's a quick look at what's making political news in South Carolina today:
Coming off a straw poll victory at the Values Voters Debate in Florida Tuesday, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is in town today, making an appearance on WVOC radio and holding two meet and greets at the University of South Carolina and the Congaree Grill in Columbia.
After Michelle Obama made a South Carolina appearance Tuesday in Anderson, Elizabeth Edwards will visit South Carolina Wednesday, signing copies of her book this evening in Columbia.
Sen. Hillary Clinton's South Carolina health care committee will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today to reveal how Clinton's $110 billion plan will affect the Palmetto State.
Dan Hoover says Fred Thompson needs a briefing book.
Perhaps responding to this op-ed that made a splash recently, Former Sen. John Edwards tells the AP's Ron Fournier that he's not a phony, "it's just politics."