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Making News Today…
Bush to address the ‘global war on terror’
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush will appear before the Heritage Foundation Thursday to speak about the “global war on terror,” the White House announced. Bush will also use the address to call on Congress to send him a children’s health insurance bill he can sign, as well as urge the House and Senate to complete work on the new fiscal year spending bills.
Congress and Bush are at odds over the children’s insurance bill that is often referred to as SCHIP. As for his remarks on the “global war on terror,” White House aide Emily Lawrimore said Bush will emphasize that the threat of a terrorist attack remains very real.
“The president will stress that we are still a nation at war and the terrorists want to attack us again,” she said. “Six years after 9/11, it’s tempting to think the threat has receded – but it has not.”
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think-tank based in the nation’s capital.
– CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux
Congressional Dems upbeat about chances in 2008
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The two Democrats charged with helping their party maintain control of the House and Senate in 2008 delivered an upbeat assessment Wednesday of the upcoming election, and claimed that Americans agree with them over Republicans on "issue after issue."
Just over a year until Election Day, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, said their party is on the offensive and was looking to add to its majorities in both chambers.
But the two chairmen offered different levels of confidence. Schumer said 2008 could be a "seminal election" that "changes the tectonic plates of Washington." He predicted the 12 Senate Democrats facing reelection will hold their seats, while vulnerable Republicans or vacant seats in seven states - Oregon, Maine, New Mexico, Virginia, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Colorado - offer the party ample opportunities for success.
Van Hollen also sounded an optimistic tone, but he did note that historical trends show gains often significantly recede after "wave" elections such as 2006. The Maryland congressman noted, however, that he wasn't "just interested in protecting our 30 'frontline' members," and said he is actively recruiting 40 challengers to run against the most vulnerable GOP House members.
Both men insisted Americans' view Democrats as "the party of change" and will hold President Bush accountable for the legislative gridlock over the past year, instead of the Democratic-lead Congress.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Jessica Boulanger sharply disagreed with the Democrats' rosy assessment.
"Democrats’ inability to get anything accomplished, coupled with their growing list of broken campaign promises, has left the American people exasperated with this majority,” she said.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Biden to make it official in New Hampshire
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, will follow a well worn path to New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner’s office Thursday to submit the paperwork and pay the $1,000 filing fee to place his name on the Granite State’s presidential primary ballot.
The last day to file for the primary in New Hampshire is Friday. Gardner is expected to announce the date of the primary after the filing period closes.
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
CLINTON REGROUPS AS RIVALS POUNCE: After a rare night of fumbles by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination rushed to maximize the damage yesterday, even as her advisers argued that the "piling on" engaged in by an all-male field of opponents will ultimately drive more female voters into her camp. Washington Post
BIDEN-GIULIANI SMACKDOWN ENLIVENS CAMPAIGN TRAIL: In addition to the headline-grabbing Edwards-Obama-Dodd tag-team match with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic debate Tuesday night in Philadelphia had a pretty lively undercard: Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. vs. Rudolph W. Giuliani. New York Times
CAMPAIGN CALL REVEALS CLINTON DEBATE CONCERN: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) top advisers, doing damage control after the candidate’s debate performance Tuesday, told supporters on a conference call Wednesday that the campaign needed more money to fight back. The Hill
IMMIGRATION: FROM TALKING POINT TO SORE POINT: It was a moment that crystallized Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s struggles in Tuesday night’s debate. Questioned about a plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, Mrs. Clinton at first seemed to defend it, then suggested she was against it, until finally, pressed for a direct answer, she accused the moderator, Tim Russert, of playing "gotcha." New York Times
NY MAYORS SEE ROUTE TO WHITE HOUSE: Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, back-to-back mayors of New York, use nearly identical sales pitches as they try to market themselves to a nation often wary of city folks. Associated Press
CLINTON LIBRARY SECRETS II: CLINTON TRIPS OVER HER SEALED PAPERS: Well, it didn't take long after last night's debate for Hillary Clinton's waffling over keeping her first lady documents secret to ignite a firestorm. The Barack Obama camp, which needs a long-running issue to gain some traction and poll points on the front-runner, smelled blood on the issue and widely distributed a memo today titled "Turning the Page on Secrecy, Calculation and Caution." LA Times
GOP HOPES BLOOMBERG RUNS: Some Republican activists hope New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will make a third-party run for the presidency — predicting it would siphon votes from the Democrats' nominee and greatly help the party's contender next year. Washington Times
CLINTON ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL FUNDRAISING: Two conservative bloggers filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday alleging that Hillary Clinton accepted illegal contributions to her presidential campaign. Politico
CANDIDATES: MAKE ME YOUR BACKUP: In Iowa's quirky caucus system, a candidate who works to be the second choice can end up finishing first. It's a counterintuitive strategy, but one that has worked in the past and is being stressed by several Democratic candidates this year. Associated Press
REPUBLICAN FIELD STILL UP FOR EVANGELICAL GRABS: White evangelical Protestants, a key support base for the Republican Party, still have not united behind a single candidate for the 2008 White House race, according to a new poll released on Wednesday. Reuters
BULK OF CANDIDATES' TIME, CASH GOES TO EARLY STATES: Tucker's Restaurant, on the main business strip in Anderson, S.C., is a regular stop for Republican politicians. So K.D. Simpson, who oversees catering there, expected a flood of new business from presidential candidates competing for votes in South Carolina's primary. USA Today
EDWARDS TO AIR TV AD IN IOWA: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards calls on his party to "have a little guts" and be a voice for working people in a television ad set to begin airing in Iowa on Thursday. Associated Press
GRANITE STATUS: WAITING FOR MICHIGAN: The outstanding issue keeping the New Hampshire primary date from being set by Secretary of State Bill Gardner continues this week to be what the Michigan Democratic Party will do. New Hampshire Union Leader
CRAIG ALLIES EYEING LAWSUIT AGAINST AIRPORT: Sen. Larry Craig’s allies in the American Land Rights Association are considering a lawsuit against the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where Craig was arrested this summer after a police officer said Craig cruised him for gay sex. Washington Examiner
REID WORKING ON '08 STRATEGY: Keen to maintain his open seats and capitalize on a deflated and bruised Republican Party, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has begun laying the groundwork for a legislative and message strategy aimed at maximizing Democrats’ electoral gains in the closely divided chamber. Roll Call
SEEKING RELEVANCE, RHODE ISLAND SETS FEB. 5 PRIMARY: Rhode Island lawmakers, in a bid to make their tiny state matter in presidential politics, voted Tuesday to move the state's presidential primary up to Feb. 5, joining 22 other states. Associated Press
IOWA CAUCUSES DRAW FIRE: Despite the tradition of the Iowa caucuses and the large amount of conversation that surrounds the voting system, some people disagree with its methods and have a solution in mind – eliminate it and replace it with a primary. Daily Iowan
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN BE A REPUBLICAN MEDIA STRATEGIST?: The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a contest asking GOP activists from across the country to help the committee craft a message it can use to hit the Democrats. Roll Call
TWO MORE DEMOCRATS TO OPPOSE MUKASEY: Democratic support for attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey dwindled further yesterday over his refusal to comment on the legality of a harsh CIA interrogation technique, setting the stage for an unexpectedly close vote next week by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Washington Post
VIRGINIA SEN. JOHN WARNER BACK IN HOSPITAL: U.S. Senator John Warner was admitted to a Virginia hospital for observation on Wednesday following a minor surgical procedure on his leg, his office said in a statement. Reuters
WAXMAN SEEKS REST OF ABRAMOFF DOCUMENTS: Rep. Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the House oversight committee, called on the White House yesterday to turn over all documents in its files that relate to lobbying efforts by Jack Abramoff. Washington Post
On the Trail:
Compiled by Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will visit two colleges beginning with a stop at Wellesley College in Massachusetts before heading north for a similar event at the University of New Hampshire Durham campus.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will support the New Jersey State Senate and State Assembly Republican candidates at a political rally in Manalapan, New Jersey.
* At the State Capitol in Concord, New Hampshire, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, will file primary registration papers to get his name on the ballot in New Hampshire. After paying the $1,000 filing fee, he'll head over to share a slice with some local Granite State voters at Sal's Pizza.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hits four towns in Iowa today, a state where Republicans continue to favor him in the polls. Romney will hold two of his campaign's "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meetings. The first is at Luther College in Decorah and following the second one in Mason City he will deliver a speech on his trade policy titled "Strategy for a Stronger America: A New Vision on Opening Markets." Romney will also stop by the Floyd County Historical Museum in Charles City and deliver a keynote speech to the Association of Builders and Contractors of Iowa in West Des Moines.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, continues his campaign swing through South Carolina with a town hall meeting at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach. The Charleston area Rotary Club members will hear from McCain at a meeting in Goose Creek later in the day. McCain will stop after both events for a few minutes to address questions from the press.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, will hold a "Countdown to Change" event at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC.
* Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, will attend a breakfast in Las Vegas hosted by the Republican Party of Nevada.
* Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, will celebrate the grand opening of his campaign office in Greenville, South Carolina. Paul will then attend the Spartanburg, South Carolina GOP meeting.