Compiled by Lindsey Pope, Mark Preston and Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
Making News Today…
* The three leading Democratic presidential contenders head to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s home turf Tuesday as they all court another wing of the all important union vote. Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, participate in the "American Dream Dialogue" hosted by “Change to Win.”
“Change to Win” is an umbrella organization comprised of seven unions representing six million workers. The candidates will appear before 1,000 delegates and allies representing the unions.
On Monday, Clinton and Obama both unveiled competing union endorsements. The New York Democrat announced that the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers is supporting her, while the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association of New York City said it would stand behind Obama. Full story
* The three Democrats will not be the only presidential hopefuls in Illinois this day. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani drops in to announce a new endorsement for his Republican presidential bid.
* Meanwhile, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee turns to the Internet to mine for votes by continuing his “Vertical Day” on his campaign Web site. The GOP presidential candidate has been hosting online conversations with bloggers, posts videos of himself talking about issues and has supporters speak about why they are supporting his candidacy. "Vertical Day" link
* On the eve of the next Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson releases a new ad. Richardson, in an online video released yesterday, criticized his Democratic rivals for their positions on trying to end the Iraq war and said he is the only candidate that plans to bring the troops home.
"I believe we should bring all of the troops home with no residual forces left behind," Richardson said in the video. "This is critically important. This war is a quagmire, it is endless, and the time has come to bring the troops home."
* And what about the Hawkeye State? Expect a quiet week in Iowa – at least on the Democratic front – as none of the Democratic presidential candidates are scheduled to visit, according to Iowa Democratic Party Communications Director Carrie Giddins.
Giddins, who is on the speed dial of every political reporter covering the 2008 race, does note that Sen. Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, will visit Muscatine and Davenport on Wednesday.
There are two reasons why the candidates are bypassing Iowa this week. The spotlight is on New Hampshire as the third Democratic National Committee sanctioned debate takes place Wednesday at Dartmouth and there are only a few precious days left to raise as much money as possible before the 3rd Quarter closes. Iowa is rich in influence, but not campaign cash.
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
CONGRESS BATTLES BUSH ON SCHIP: President Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress prepared Monday for a showdown over the future of health insurance for more than 10 million children. New York Times: Congress Set for Veto Fight on Child Healthcare
GOP SENATOR SAYS BUSH RATIONALLE ON CHILD HEALTHCARE "UNREALISTIC": A senior Senate Republican accused President Bush yesterday of holding a bipartisan expansion of the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program hostage to his broader policy goals of using tax deductions to help people afford private health insurance coverage. Washington Post: GOP Senator Says Bush Should Put Health Bill Before Policy Goal
PELOSI GOES TO THE MIDDLE IN SEARCH OF IRAQ POLICY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) leadership team has charged a band of mostly centrist members with recommending a House Iraq strategy, pushing for the lower chamber to be the source of bipartisan action on the war. The Hill: Speaker Turns to Centrist
MINN. PROSECUTOR SLAMS CRAIG: Political calculations - not injustice - drove U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to move to withdraw his guilty plea for disorderly conduct in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to a memo filed Monday in opposition to the senator's request. Minnesota Star Tribune: Publicity led Craig to withdraw plea, prosecutor says
EARMARK PROPOSAL WEAKENED: Republicans are decrying what they say are changes to newly enacted Senate earmark rules eliminating a ban on new earmarks being inserted into authorizing bills during conference. Roll Call: GOP: Earmark Rules Too Lax
WAXMAN ACCUSES BUSH ADMIN OF IMPROPER LOBBYING: A key congressional Democrat on Monday accused the White House of working behind the scenes "to stack the deck" against California's efforts to impose new restrictions on vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions. LA Times: Tactics Questioned in Emissions Lobbying
ETHICS OPINIONS FALL ALONG PARTY LINES: Despite recent incidents involving Republican politicians, Democrats in Washington have not seized the advantage on the issue of ethics. New York Times' The Caucus: The Ethics Issue
REID REVEALS CONFIDANT TO REPORTERS: OK, so you have a deep, dark secret you’re just dying to get off your chest. And you’re in search of a discreet confidante who will take it to the grave. HOH suggests that, under no circumstances, you confide in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who all but gave up the identity of a confidential confessor during a very public press conference last week. Roll Call's Heard on the Hill: Reid's Loose Lips
MARINE FATHER JOINS CROWDED ILLINOIS GOP RACE: The Gurnee father of a Marine killed in Iraq is entering the Republican primary for the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District seat, making him the third GOP candidate seeking to challenge sophomore U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) in next year's election. Chicago Tribune: Slain Marine's Father Joins GOP Primary for 8th District
CANDIDATES USE CAUTION WITH DONORS: With five days until the end of third-quarter fundraising, Democratic presidential candidates are looking to avoid media maelstroms like the one Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) endured thanks to Norman Hsu, a lack of oversight and a mountain of checks. A key part of their strategy? Increasing background checks on donors. The Hill: As Deadline Looms, Clean Cash is King
REPORTER WITH ROMANTIC TIES TO LA MAYOR GETS NEW BEAT: Television newscaster Mirthala Salinas, who was suspended without pay for two months in August after her affair with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa became public, is scheduled to return to work Monday. But she won't be taking up her old job as a fill-in anchor on evening newscasts for KVEA-TV Channel 52. LA Times: Telemundo Reassigns Mayor's Girlfriend
"IN 2008, WE SEE THE RAINBOW OF AMERICA. WE SEE A SERIOUS AFRICAN AMERICAN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT, A SERIOUS HISPANIC CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT AND YES, A PRETTY SERIOUS FEMALE CANDIDATE": Former President Clinton and other dignitaries at a gala Monday night for the nine black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School a half-century ago stressed the country's continuing need for better race relations. AP via USA Today: Pres. Clinton Appears at Arkansas Integration Gala
MCCAIN: "I'M HAVING FUN": Republican presidential candidate John McCain says he’s happy at the enthusiasm he’s been seeing at town-hall meetings and rallies in the early nominating states of New Hampshire and South Carolina-but Iowa, it appears, is another story. Chicago Tribune's The Swap: Upbeat in Iowa, N.H. "straight" About SC
GIULIANI: INSULT FOR INSULT AT COLUMBIA: Rudy Giuliani yesterday called Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's blistering pre-speech insult of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad too little, too late. New York Post: Rudy Rips Insulting Invitation
BLOOMBERG AND GIULIANI AT ADDS OVER GUN SUIT: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took a rare, veiled swipe at his predecessor yesterday, challenging Rudolph W. Giuliani’s assertion that a lawsuit Mr. Giuliani filed as mayor against gun manufacturers had changed so much that he may no longer support it. New York Times: Bloomberg Begs to Differ With Giuliani on Gun Suit
IMMIGRATION MOST IMPORTANT '08 ISSUE FOR TANCREDO: The most important domestic issue in the 2008 presidential election is not health care, education or the economy, but immigration, which has an impact on all of the other issues and is tied to the survival of the America nation, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo said yesterday. New Hampshire Union-Leader: Tancredo: Immigration is Top Issue
DODD SPOKESPERSON GIVES CLINTON A BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT, SORT OF: The gloves are finally coming off in the Democratic race for the nomination. The not-so-subtle theme is that Clinton, the Democratic senator from New York, is unelectable – too polarizing to win over a majority of the nation’s voters. Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Dodd camp Subtly Slaps Clinton
ELIZABETH EDWARDS SLAMS HILL AND BILL FOR 90'S HEALTHCARE: Hillary Clinton didn't just fail to get universal health care as First Lady, she and her husband, Bill, ditched it to stockpile political clout for other fights, Elizabeth Edwards told the Daily News. New York Daily News: Clintons Tanked ‘90s Health Plan for Clout
"IF YOU CAN'T GET YOUR LIPS OFF THE BACKSIDE OF GEORGE SOROS LONG ENOUGH TO USE THOSE LIPS TO SAY IT'S WRONG TO DECLARE A SITTING GENERAL ... GUILTY OF TREASON HOW WOULD YOU EVER EXPECT TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE VERY MILITARY YOU MIGHT HAVE TO SEND INTO DEADLY BATTLE": Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gets uncharacteristically angry when talking about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's failure to condemn by name the billionaire backer of Moveon.org's attack on Gen. David H. Petraeus. Washington Times: Huckabee Hits Hillary on Ad
CLINTON CAMP GIVES GQ AN ULTIMATUM: Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland. Politico: Clinton Campaign Kills Negative Story
OBAMA GETS HELPING HAND FROM INFLUENTIAL DEM: Former Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Fischer endorsed Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Monday, saying he has the best chance of winning the White House and changing the nation's direction. Quad City Times: Former Democratic Party Chair Backs Obama
MINNIE AIRPORT TOILET PAPER ON SALE ON EBAY: For those who balk at the prices for that fancy three-ply, lotion-infused toilet paper, here’s something even more exorbitant (though perhaps less absorbent): a 20-inch length of toilet paper selling on online auction site eBay for upward of 20 bucks. Roll all's Heard on the Hill: VIP TP ===========================================================
On the Political Radar:
* Trying to court union voters, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards participate in the "American Dream Dialogue" sponsored by “Change to Win” in Chicago, Illinois.
* After giving a speech in Chicago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, heads to Portland, Maine for a "Countdown to Change" fundraiser.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney visits Dewar's Candy Shop in Bakersfield, California.
* In the morning, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, attends the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Central High School's Integration in Little Rock, Arkansas.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign holds a press conference to announce an Illinois endorsement at his state headquarters in Lisle.
* Meanwhile, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee turns to the Internet to mine for votes by continuing his “Vertical Day” on his campaign Web site where he hosts online conversations with bloggers, posts videos of himself talking about issues and has supporters talk about why they are supporting his candidacy.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook