Watch Wolf Blitzer's interview with Shriver in the Situation Room.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday she hopes political spouses influence their husbands’ decisions and strategies.
“Do they influence their husband? I hope so. I hope so,” California's first lady said. “I hope that that is the kind of marriage that political leaders have, where they listen to their wife or to their husband.”
Shriver, who is hosting a joint discussion Wednesday in Long Beach, California with the spouses of the leading presidential candidates, also said she believes first ladies are taking on more substantive roles than in the past.
“I think the days of the ceremonial first lady are over. These are independent women. Several of them have had professional lives long before they found themselves in this situation,” she said. “And they don't need advisers to say, ‘Don't say this and don't say that.’”
"And they are not shy about saying that they have influence and that they are involved in the strategy of the campaign," she added.
Of the presidential candidate's spouses, only Judith Giuliani, wife of Republican Rudy Giuliani, and former president Bill Clinton, husband of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, are not slated to attend Shriver's event. Both cited scheduling conflicts.
– CNN Producer Xuan Thai
McCain's second time on the New Hampshire ballot
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Walking up the steps of the statehouse Tuesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, filed as a candidate in the New Hampshire presidential primary for the second time.
"Great to see you again, you haven't aged a bit since we did this in 2000," McCain said as he drew laughs from New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner.
When later asked by a reporter about his age, McCain compared his qualifications against those of his competitors, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"I think it's great to have been a mayor of a big city, I think it's great to have been governor of a state. I think it’s important that I have been involved in every national security issue since 1980," he said.
Giuliani who arrived three and a half hours later to file his own paperwork responded to McCain's words with praise.
"John has lots of credentials. He’s a close friend of mine and he's someone I admire very very much. John has every right to argue his credentials and put them in front of the American people."
He then added, "A long time ago I was once asked to do a negative ad against John McCain and I said no how, no way."
Video: Watch John McCain file his paperwork in New Hampshire
– CNN Ticker New Hampshire producer Sareena Dalla
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush sent Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Director David Paulison to southern California Tuesday, as the federal government moved to help the fire-ravaged state.
“All of us across this nation are concerned for the families who have lost their homes and the many families who have been evacuated from their homes," Bush said at the beginning of an address to the National Defense University. "We send our prayers and thoughts for those who have been affected and we send the help of the federal government as well.”
The president spoke late Monday with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and early Tuesday morning Bush declared an emergency for seven counties in the state. He said the order “opens up the opportunity for us to send federal assets to help the governor and those who are fighting these fires."
Bush also said he is sending Chertoff and Paulison to "listen, develop an inventory of supplies and help we can provide."
The Obama campaign sent out a postcard, above, criticizing a recent Senate amendment Clinton supported.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is stepping up his effort to differentiate himself with rival Hillary Clinton on the issue of Iran Tuesday, sending a postcard to Iowa voters criticizing those who supported a recent Senate amendment that he claims "raises the risk of war with Iran."
The September 27 amendment in question, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, calls for labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Clinton voted for the amendment while Obama missed the vote. But the Illinois Democrat has repeatedly said he is against the idea.
"Barack Obama is the ONLY major candidate for president to oppose both the Iraq War from the very start and the Senate amendment that raises the risk of war with Iran," the postcard states. "While other Democrats voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, Barack Obama opposed another Bush foreign policy fiasco."
Obama is also quoted in the postcard saying, "Why is this amendment so dangerous? Because George Bush and Dick Cheney could use this language to justify keeping our troops in Iraq as long as they can point to a threat from Iran. And because they could use this language to justify an attack on Iran as a part of the ongoing war in Iraq."
The campaign would not reveal the number of postcards it is sending.
The other two Senate Democrats running for president, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, voted against the measure.
Clinton has denied the terrorist labeling could increase the risk of war with Iran, arguing it instead allows for tougher sanctions.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Biden is set to unveil his healthcare plan later Tuesday in Iowa.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is set to announce a universal healthcare plan in Des Moines Tuesday that will include provisions to fight discrimination based on genetic information, according to details provided to CNN.
The Delaware senator is expected to call for prohibiting employers and insurance companies from obtaining or using genetic information when making hiring decisions, providing health coverage, or pricing insurance policies.
Biden's proposal–dubbed the "CARE" plan–is expected to include four "essential steps to lay the foundation for universal healthcare," all of which fit into the acronym CARE: "Cover all children, access for adults, reinsurance for catastrophic cases, and encouraging prevention and modernization."
Also expected in his plan: a provision to require the government to cover a majority of "catastrophic health costs."
According to the campaign, this federal reinsurance plan would reimburse employers, insurers, or associations for up to 75 percent of health costs that exceed $50,000 per individual.
– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Watch Wolf Blitzer's interview with Rep. Rangel.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, a prominent supporter of Hillary Clinton, sharply criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Rudy Giuliani's personal life Monday, highlighting the fact that the former New York City mayor and his wife have each been married three times.
"Two people, six spouses. It's a little complicated if you're not religious, especially if you're running against a Mormon," Rangel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in a reference to Giuliani's chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. For the record, Romney has only been married once.
"I think America has to look at all these things, and there are enough moles on this man that embarrasses those of us who have sought public life," the 19-term New York congressman added. "When we get involved in public life, it means we're in a goldfish bowl. It would seem to me, with all the breaks the mayor had, being involved with his personal problems, he would thank God he's gotten as far as he did go without making the politicians get involved in his personal life."
Rangel brushed aside the notion that criticizing Giuliani's personal life exposes Hillary Clinton to similar criticism. The former first lady’s own marital troubles have been well documented.
"You can say it over and over and over again. This woman got married [and] stayed married [to] the same husband. When they had problems, she stuck with him. You tell me what in her personal life is something she should be ashamed of, and I want to talk about it."
Contacted by CNN, Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "This kind of ugly, personal attack isn't even worth a response."
Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making news in South Carolina politics this morning:
Sen. Barack Obama is taking heat for inviting a controversial gospel singer named Donnie McClurkin to appear at a fundraising Gospel concert in Columbia on Sunday. McClurkin has said "God delivered him" from homosexual thoughts, and that homosexuality is a choice. The choice of McClurkin to appear is drawing criticism from GLBT activists and liberal bloggers.
The RNC is threatening to punish South Carolina and four other states for moving up their Republican primary dates by stripping half of their convention delegates. South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson told the AP he will "certainly put up a fight."
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is in South Carolina Tuesday, making stops in Greenwood, Greenville, Columbia and Summerville. He will also campaign in Myrtle Beach early Wednesday.
According to The State, Fred Thompson will make his first Charleston area visit on Wednesday morning, with a campaign stop at Alex's Restaurant in Mount Pleasant.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Perhaps it's time for Obama to say "No more Mr. Nice Guy" when it comes to Clinton. Watch Bill Schneider's report.
(CNN) - From the beginning, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, promised to run a different kind of campaign. But, he continues to trail rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, in national polls. Is it time for Obama's gloves to come off? Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider has this report.
Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com
Watch John King's report about the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
(CNN) – After the second Republican debate that included former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, Chief National Correspondent John King takes a look at where things stand between the top contenders for the GOP presidential nomination.
Watch Donnie McClurkin address the controversy surrounding him at Sunday night's concert.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday he is "disturbed" by some of gospel-singer Donnie McClurkin’s views toward homosexuals, a day after the prominent Obama supporter lashed out at critics for calling him 'anti-gay.'
“It’s true we had a controversy...a gospel singer was singing at a gospel concert on our behalf, he was one of many, and he had some views that were anti-gay,” the Illinois Democrat said during an MTV/MySpace forum. “I am disturbed by those views and I have said publicly that I have disagreed with them.”
But Obama defended his campaign's affiliation with McClurkin, saying, "I have also said we have to reach out to those who have a different attitude on these issues to try to teach."
Obama added that in the course of his presidential campaign he has "spoken out forcefully and clearly to African American ministers and African American denominations saying we’ve got to get beyond some of the homophobia that still exists in some of these communities." (Related: Obama's gospel concerts raise dilemma)
On Sunday night McClurkin headlined the final installment of the Obama campaign's "Embrace the Change" Gospel concert series, and addressed critics at the end of the event who have faulted him for saying homosexuality is a choice.
"They accuse me of being anti-gay and a bigot," McClurkin said. "We don't believe in discrimination. We don't believe in hatred, and if you do you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's the whole premise of God. That's the whole premise of Christ is love, love, love. But there is a side of Christ that deals in judgment, and all sin is against God."