COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making news in South Carolina politics this morning:
Aaron Sheinin at The State reports that South Carolina Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler will ask the DNC to move up the Democratic primary date to match the Republican primary on Jan. 19th. Fowler has faced pressure from Democrats in the state that the current date, Jan. 29th, would be overshadowed by the Florida primary happening the same day.
Referring to okra as "the slimy green vegetable so beloved in the South," The Boston Globe rounds up the conventional wisdom about the Republican candidates in South Carolina.
An advocacy group combating childhood obesity is taking aim at Sen. Lindsey Graham in a new ad that will run today in the Midlands. You can watch the ad, which spoofs the Larry Craig bathroom scandal, here.
Sen. John McCain will end his three day campaign swing through South Carolina with a stop in Pawley's Island today. Watch McCain's interview Tuesday with John King aboard the CNN Election Express here.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
John Edwards, his wife Elizabeth, and 6-year-old son Jack, greet people at the City Hall Plaza in Manchester, New Hampshire.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Sen. John Edwards takes a detour from the traditional early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire on Thursday to visit the small Kentucky hamlet of Columbus. Population: 229
Columbus residents won an online competition to have Edwards visit their town, which is an ideal location for the North Carolina Democrat to discuss his agenda for rural America as he seeks his party’s presidential nomination.
"I grew up in a small rural town, so I've seen first-hand how the problems of rural America too often are forgotten by politicians living and working in far-off capital cities," Edwards said in a statement.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Making News Today…
Republican senator to retire
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Veteran Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico will announce Thursday that he will not seek re-election to a seventh term next year, opening up yet another competitive seat for the GOP to defend, three Republican sources told CNN Wednesday. Full Story
– CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
RUDY AND HILLARY TAKE '08 FIGHT CROSS COUNTRY: Ballot measures in California have long been proxies for local politicians’ hopes and dreams — just ask Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who rode a recall petition to the Statehouse. New York Times: In Ballot Fight, California Gets a Taste of '08
NEW POLL FINDS BLACKS TORN BETWEEN OBAMA AND HILLARY: Blacks are split down the middle over Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential race, seeing both as on their side, a new poll says. AP via New Hampshire Union-Leader: Blacks Split Evenly on Clinton and Obama
GOP LOSING WHITE MALE VOTERS: The 2008 election offers the most diverse array of presidential candidates in history. But this rainbow campaign will hinge on the most durable reality of American politics: White men matter most. Politico: Dems Must Woo White Men to Win
RUDY RIPS HILLARY IN NH: Republican president hopeful Rudy Giuliani said yesterday that New Hampshire residents would see their federal taxes go up about $3,300 each if a Democrat is elected president New Hampshire Union-Leader: Giuliani Begins new Ads in NH, Bashes Clinton in Stops
POLL: BOTH CLINTONS SCORE HIGH MARKS: Former president Bill Clinton has emerged as a clear asset in his wife's campaign for the White House, with Americans offering high ratings to his eight years in office and a solid majority saying they would be comfortable with him as first spouse… Washington Post: In Latest Poll, Good News For Both Clintons
HILLARY'S MESSAGE ISN'T CLEAR FOR SOME VOTERS: When Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke here last month, people liked what she said about ending the Iraq war. But it is not clear that they understood what she meant. LA Times: On Policies, Clinton Plays it Safe
HILLARY: "WE'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH IMMIGRATION TO BE SURE THAT WE'RE GOING TO GET BACK TO DOING WHAT IS RIGHT AND SMART IN AMERICA": Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday as president she would push an immigration bill with a path to legalization that unites families. Washington Times: Hillary Touts Bill to Unite Illegals' Kin
RON PAUL: "THERE'S NO THREAT THAT ANYBODY IS GOING TO INVADE US": Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said the United States does not face any real threats to its national security and does not need to extend itself militarily around the world. New Hampshire Union-Leader: Paul: Bring Troops Home
FRED WARNS AGAINST A DIVIDED AMERICA: Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson told about 120 people gathered in Dubuque that Americans “can’t afford to send a signal that we are weak and divided as a nation,” Des Moines Register: Thompson: Americans Must Appear United
THOMPSON BEGS CROWD FOR A ROUND OF APPLAUSE: Twenty-four minutes after he began speaking in a small restaurant the other day, Fred D. Thompson brought his remarks to a close with a nod of his head and an expression of thanks to Iowans for allowing him to “give my thoughts about some things.” New York Times: Subdued Thompson Stirs few Sparks on Stump
FRED'S FRESH-FACED WIFE SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THEIR AGE DIFFERENCE: Forty-one-year-old Jeri Thompson, the subject of much rumor and innuendo since her 65-year-old husband Fred began mulling a presidential run, says she’s never been “an older-man-dater kind of girl.” DC Examiner's Yeas and Nays: Jeri Thompson: "I Was Never an Older-Man-Dater Kind of Girl"
OBAMA DRAWS ON JFK NOSTALGIA: The obvious parallels to the martyred Democratic hero always have provided a powerful subtext to Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. Chicago Tribune: Obama Camp Claims JFK Legacy
OBAMA: "…AS A YOUNG MAN GROWING UP, I DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF ROLE MODELS, AND I MADE A LOT OF MISTAKES. BUT I LEARNED TO FIGURE OUT THAT THERE WERE CERTAIN VALUES THAT WERE IMPORTANT TO ME": With most voter questions dealing in weighty policy matters, a man in the audience asked Sen. Barack Obama a somewhat unusual one this afternoon. Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Obama's Most Painful Experience
OPINION: ROMNEY'S CLAIM ONLY REPORTERS ASK ABOUT HIS RELIGION IS UNTRUE: When Mitt Romney appeared last week (via closed circuit from California) before the Council of Retired Chief Executives meeting in Washington, he faced kindred souls: rich Republicans who had managed big enterprises. Yet the second question from the audience was whether Romney's Mormon faith was hurting his quest for the Republican presidential nomination. Washington Post: A Mormon in the Oval Office?
MCCAIN REBOUNDING: Senator John McCain's once front- running presidential campaign, which has been battered by plunging polls, defecting donors and staff turmoil, is showing signs of a rebound in New Hampshire. Bloomberg: McCain's Campaign Showing Signs of a Comeback in New Hampshire
IN SPEECH THOMPSON MAKES THE CASE THAT THE U.S. COULD HAVE SAME FATE AS THE ROMAN EMPIRE: “Our country is at a crossroads. And we’ve become the most blessed country in the history of the world, through the work and sacrifice of a lot of people, basically adhering to certain principles. New York Times: In His Own Words: Fred D. Thompson
GIULIANI TO BE DENIED COMMUNION: Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke, who made headlines last presidential season by saying he'd refuse Holy Communion to John Kerry, has his eye on Rudy Giuliani this year. Giuliani's response: "Archbishops have a right to their opinion." AP via New York Times: Bishop Would Deny Communion to Giuliani
GIULIANI SAYS ONLY HE CAN DEFEAT CLINTON: Republican front-runner Rudolph W. Giuliani is making a new pitch to Republicans that he — and only he — can defeat the leading Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the 2008 election. Washington Times: Giuliani Selling Self as Winner
GOP '08ERS LOOKING FOR STRONG FINISH IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Each of the top Republican presidential candidates has a different path to the nomination. South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary on Jan. 19 – in between the initial contests and a de facto national primary in early February – lies at the crossroads of all three. Boston Globe: Republicans Bring Contrasting Ideals in Quest for Southern Votes
VA CANDIDATE TAKES GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES EVEN THOUGH HIS FARM IS PROFITABLE: Gary H. Baise, the Republican candidate for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman, who tells audiences that he stands for "lower taxes, limited government and less spending," collected nearly $300,000 in federal subsidies for his southern Illinois farm between 1995 and 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show. Washington Post: Candidate in Virginia Took Subsidies for Farm
LIEBERMAN AT CENTER OF ANOTHER SENATE BATTLE: Since he declared himself an Independent Democrat, Sen. Joe Lieberman has not been shy about endorsing Republicans. Roll Call: Lieberman Endorsement is 4th Up for Grabs
SESSIONS OWNS STOCK IN NAMK BENEFITED BY BILL: In late July, Sen. Jeff Sessions began promoting legislation that would aid some of the nation's biggest banks - among them, two institutions in which he and his wife hold shares. Wall Street Journal: Bank Bill's Senate Champion Has Ties to Industry
LEAHY URGES AG NOMINEE TO RELEASE DOCUMENTS SOUGHT BY CONGRESS: Backing away from a fight with the White House, Senate Democrats are suggesting that they will not hold up confirmation of President Bush’s nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, despite differences over Senate access to documents involving Justice Department actions. New York Times: Democrats Won’t Block Hearing for Gonzales Successor
REPUBLICANS ACCUSE RULES PANEL FOR STICKING WITH PARTY LINES: Despite Democratic promises that the House Rules Committee would operate much differently in the new majority, it is as partisan as ever. The Hill: Partisanship Rules Panel
LOTT TOUTS COMPROMISE IN THE FACE OF GRIDLOCK: In what could be a new incarnation of the successful bipartisan “Gang of 14,” Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.) hosted a meeting this week with a handful of the Senate’s most notable compromisers to figure out how to unclog the gridlock that has slowed the chamber’s progress this year. Roll Call: Lott Looking to Form "New Gang"
HEALTH CONCERNS KEY TO SENATOR'S RETIREMENT: Senate Republicans are bracing for another potentially costly 2008 retirement, with veteran Sen. Pete V. Domenici (N.M.) expected to announce today that he will not seek a seventh term. Washington Post: Republican Domenici Is Set to Retire From Senate
"A BEAUTIFUL DAY" FOR MADAME SPEAKER: U2 front man Bono strode through the U.S. Capitol bright and early Wednesday morning, carrying a large bouquet of white and pink long-stemmed roses. DC Examiner's Yeas and Nays: Flowers for Pelosi ==============================================================
On the Political Radar:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, continues to campaign in Iowa with a town hall meeting in Waterloo and a meet and greet at the Buchanan County Fairgrounds in Independence. In the evening, he holds a rally at Luther College in Decorah.
* Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, visits Columbus, Kentucky, a small town that won a visit from the presidential candidate.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney heads to New Hampshire to tour the digital imaging company, Presstek Inc., in Hudson. After that, he goes to Manchester for two "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meetings, followed by a meet and greet in Derry. He ends his day with another town hall meeting at Wheeler Memorial Chapel in Merrimack.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani meets with local residents at City Coffeehouse & Creperie in Clayton, Missouri. He then heads to Illinois for a town hall meeting at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and a speech in Chicago.
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, delivers a speech on "Reclaiming Our Commitment to Science and Innovation" at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, D.C.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, gives a speech at a Rotary meeting at Litchfield Country Club in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. In the afternoon, he addresses the Americans for Prosperity Foundation's first-ever "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington, D.C.
* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson delivers a major speech on Iraq and modernizing the U.S. military at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
* Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, unveils his comprehensive education plan in Des Moines, Iowa. He then makes campaign stops in Sigourney, Ottumwa and Burlington.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook