(CNN) – From the “Daily Show” to “Law and Order” to “Saturday Night Live”, the presidential campaign in many ways has been intertwined with the world of entertainment television.
But Stephen Colbert’s failed bid to make the ballot isn’t the only reason you won’t see anything new, at least for a while. Production is halted on the late night talk shows, variety shows, and prime time programs until the Writers’ Guild of America strike is settled.
Ironically, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama appeared on what may have been the last show produced before the walkout, when he appeared in a sketch on “Saturday Night Live”. Just 36 hours after his surprise cameo, Obama issued a statement of support for the striking television writers.
Obama said, “"I stand with the writers. The Guild's demand is a test of whether corporate media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives. I urge the producers to work with the writers so that everyone can get back to work."
– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk
Edwards campaigned in Iowa Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards strongly criticized rival Hillary Clinton Monday over her foreign policy approach, and accused the New York senator of not being up front with primary voters about her plans for Iraq and Iran.
"Sen. Clinton is voting like a hawk in Washington, while talking like a dove in Iowa and New Hampshire," the former North Carolina senator said during a speech at the University of Iowa, according to prepared remarks. "One of her advisors told the New York Times that was because she was shifting from primary mode to general election mode. Well, we only need one mode from our president – tell the truth mode all the time."
Edwards went on to say Clinton has not been clear about how she plans to end the war in Iraq, and took issue with her pledge to leave some troops in the region the carry out combat missions.
"Only in Washington would anybody believe that you can end the war and continue combat," Edwards said. "On a matter as serious as Iraq, we need honesty and real answers-not more double-talk."
Edwards also assailed the Democratic frontrunner for supporting the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that calls for labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, claiming such a move allows the Bush administration to go to war with Iran.
"The war in Iraq isn't even history yet, but the Bush Administration is repeating the march to war with Iran, and they're getting help from people who should know a lot better," he said. "George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocon warmongers used 9/11 to start a war with Iraq and now they're trying to use Iraq to start a war with Iran. And we have to stop them."
Responding to the criticisms, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "The contrast is clear: While Sen. Clinton has been a leader in the effort to stop the rush to war with Iran and has consistently called for engagement with Iran aimed at ensuring that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons, Sen. Edwards is spending his days attacking other Democrats."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Watch Sen. Biden's take on the Pakistan crisis.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told CNN Sunday he is not surprised by the current instability in Pakistan, and said that if he were president he would be working to ensure elections took place there in the coming weeks.
The “way out for [Pervez] Musharraf and in turn for us and Pakistan is this guarantee, making it known now that the election will go off within sixty days and there will be a fair arbiter of whether or not it was conducted fairly,” Biden told CNN's Candy Crowley in a wide-ranging interview aboard the CNN Election Express as it ambled through Iowa.
Biden spoke to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto while campaigning in Iowa Sunday and told voters he was trying to connect with President Musharraf to talk about the political crisis in Pakistan.
The Delaware senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee agreed with the Bush administration’s decision to review U.S. aid to Pakistan and told Crowley he thinks the war in Iraq has contributed to Musharraf’s present situation.
Biden said he's not interested in being No. 2.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told CNN Sunday he is confident a top three finish in Iowa will propel him to his party’s nomination, and said he would not consider being a vice presidential candidate if his White House bid is unsuccessful.
“I believe I’m going to do very well here,” the Delaware senator told Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley during an interview on the CNN Election Express. “If I end up one, two or three then I believe I’m the nominee because all of the sudden the national press will have to cover me.” (Related: Biden says Bill Clinton will overshadow VP position)
Biden pointed to his years of foreign policy experience and relationships at home and abroad that make him the most qualified of the crowded Democratic field.
“This is not a time for on-the-job training and no matter how smart the next president is, you know and I know that they don’t make really difficult decisions, no matter how bright their advisors are unless they feel it in their gut, these are good decent people these Democrats. It’s going to take them a while to get their footing, we don’t have a whole long time,” Biden said.
When pressed about who among his candidate colleagues might need to learn as they go, Biden replied: “I’m talking about the entire field … the exception might be Chris Dodd and I would’ve thought Bill Richardson but some of the things Bill’s saying these days, I find it confuses me whether or not he has a sense of a proportion about our place in the world.”
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Here's a quick look at what's making news in South Carolina politics this morning:
Just when you thought this past weekend was busy, get ready for three more candidates: Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Giuliani will all hit South Carolina tomorrow and Wednesday.
Thompson will hit Columbia, Fort Mill and Spartanburg on Tuesday. Romney will be in Greenville and Anderson on Tuesday, and then Columbia and Hilton Head on Wednesday. Giuliani will be in South Carolina on Wednesday, but his campaign has not yet finalized details.
The State's John O'Connor takes a look at Giuliani's surprising staying power in South Carolina so far. But Clemson University's Dave Woodard drops this prediction: "I really think he's going to take a real dive here."
Calling the Republican race the "most open in decades," The Washington Post has a new national poll out Monday that notes: "Among white evangelical Protestants, Giuliani is competitive, but he runs only even with McCain and Thompson. "
Liz Sidoti from the AP takes a wide-angle look at the South Carolina GOP primary race.
In case you missed it, Rep. Jim Clyburn and former Sen. Fritz Hollings both said they are refusing to endorse a Democratic candidate.
On Sunday, the Greenville News examined Obama's Upstate organization.
And according to the Charleston Post and Courier, they still like John Edwards in his home town of Seneca.
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Thompson responded Sunday to reports of his adviser's criminal past.
(CNN)– A Republican presidential hopeful stood by a campaign adviser Sunday after it was revealed that person had a past drug conviction.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Philip Martin, a businessman who serves as a co-chairman for former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign, entered a guilty plea to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979. According to the Post, the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation.
On Sunday, Thompson said he was unaware of the situation before the report.
"I wish I had known about it a little earlier," Thompson said to reporters before his appearance on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' "Phil I'm sure knows that he should have told me about this, but he thought it was over and done with and forgotten about I’m sure. But of course nothing is ever over and done with and forgotten about in this business."
The Post went on to say that Martin was charged in 1983 with violating his probation, along with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. The newspaper said Martin pleaded no contest to cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which were part of a plan to sell $30,000 worth of cocaine, and was continued on probation.
"I know him to be a good man," Thompson said on Sunday. "I know him to be a man who has rehabilitated himself and led a productive life. He's my friend. He's gonna remain my friend."
As for Martin's future role with the campaign, Thompson said that has not been decided.
"You know, what I do about it after I talk to him with regard to the future we'll just have to see, sit down and work out, and do the right thing to a fellow who is a friend., but who is now on the front page of the Washington Post."
Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com
– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Clinton campaigned in Iowa Sunday.
CLINTON, Iowa (CNN) - Just a day after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the current U.S. policy toward Pakistan "fundamentally incoherent" and said the "failed policies" of President Bush were partially to blame for Pervez's actions.
The administration has "diverted resources, time, and attention away from Afghanistan and from the volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan border," Clinton, D-New York, said Sunday. "They have sent mixed messages over several years now to President Musharraf that rendered our policy toward Pakistan fundamentally incoherent, and now we face a situation where it's deteriorating in terms of safety."
Clinton added that the threat is "in large measure - if not caused by - certainly contributed to by the Bush administration."
Asked if she had anything specific to say to Musharraf who on Saturday suspended the nation's constitution, Clinton said she was "disappointed" and that she hoped Musharraf will be able to move more forcefully against Islamist forces
"He hasn’t been able to sufficiently rein them in," Clinton added, "So his strategy up until now has not succeeded. I would hope he would move to restore constitutional govt as soon as possible. I don’t think the answer to the threats that Pakistan faces is ongoing emergency status."
"He’s already been subjected to I believe it's five assassination attempts, so I hope he takes stock of where he is today."
UPDATE: In response to an initial posting of this story, RNC spokesman Brian Walton issued the following statement: "From her inability to find a consistent position on Iraq and her failure to support funding for our troops, to her opposition to the monitoring of terrorist phone calls as they plot to kill Americans, Hillary Clinton clearly lacks credibility on national security."
Related video: Watch Sen. Clinton discuss the situation in Pakistan
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
WASHINGTON (CNN)–The presidential candidates are trying to put their time and energy where it counts most this week — one year before Election Day - and less than two months before the first primary season contest.
Look for all the top Democrats to be in Iowa throughout the week, leading up to a must-attend dinner and fund-raiser with party activists on Saturday.
Iowa is the place where Hillary Clinton's Democratic rivals have the best, and maybe the only shot at stopping her. And she's showing new weakness after she got roughed up in the latest debate.
The Republican candidates are also branching out on the trail this week. With Mitt Romney leading polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former Massachusetts governor will hunt for votes in Florida and South Carolina.
Sen. John McCain spends two days in Iowa this week, where he's slipped in the polls, while underdog Mike Huckabee has surged to second place - ahead of, or tied, with national front-runner Rudy Giuliani.
Look for Giuliani to play catch-up in the lead-off caucus state later this week.
– CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer
Clinton spoke about her position on giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants on Sunday.
CLINTON, Iowa (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, Sunday sought to further clarify her position on New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s controversial plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, a position which she said she’s already made clear on “a number of occasions.”
The issue was brought front and center at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. At the time Clinton said the plan “makes a lot of sense" but stopped short of endorsing it. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, claimed her answer was inconsistent and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has since said that her answer to that question and others “left us wondering.”
Asked by reporters Sunday why it’s taken so long for clarification Clinton admitted she “wasn’t as clear as [she] should have been” but added, “I broadly support what governors like Elliot Spitzer are trying to do.”
Clinton said governors around the nation are left with the burden because she said the Bush administration and the federal government as a whole have failed to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale endorses Clinton for president.
CLINTON, Iowa (CNN) - Former Vice President Walter Mondale said Sunday that he’s endorsing Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, because he believes she is running a positive bid for the White House and not stooping to “personal attacks” on other candidates.
“One thing that I like about her campaign,” Mondale said, “is that she’s stayed focused on her positive vision for change. She knows that it’s not the time to tear down our fellow Democrats with personal attacks.”
Mondale served under former President Jimmy Carter as the 42nd vice president of the United States.
“Being in the White House and running and leading our country is tough business,” Mondale added. “I’ve been there.”
“Hillary has the strength and experience to do it, to change the course that America’s on.”
Then it was Clinton's turn at the podium.
“I cannot tell you how totally honored I am to be here with someone whom I have admired all my adult life,” Clinton said. “Walter Mondale has served our country starting by serving his native state of Minnesota and then serving the United States with such distinction, such passion for what really matters in peoples lives.”
Mondale ran for president himself in 1984 but was defeated in a landslide victory by incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan.
The two appeared together at a stop in the eastern Iowa city of Clinton and held a joint press conference on the banks of the Mississippi River.