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Making News Today…
Viva Las Vegas
The seven Democratic presidential candidates head to Las Vegas Thursday for the CNN/Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Debate. This is the first event in the West to be sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. Tune into CNN and keep checking back to http://www.CNNPolitics.com and http://www.cnn.com/ticker throughout the week for the latest on this historic event, as the Democratic candidates head into the homestretch in the race for their party’s presidential nomination.
Clinton's planted student speaks out, says she just wants honesty
GRINNELL, Iowa (CNN) –- The college student who says she was told what question to ask at one of Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign events–and whose story in her campus newspaper has now made its way around the world–said Monday that "voters have the right to know what really happened," adding that she wasn't the only one at the event who was a plant.
In an exclusive taped interview with CNN, Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff, a sophomore at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, said that giving anyone specific questions to ask is "dishonest," and the whole incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.
Gallo-Chasanoff, an undecided voter, said what happened was really pretty simple: she says a senior Clinton staffer asked if she'd like to ask the senator a question after an energy speech she gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6.
"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'" Gallo-Chasanoff said.
"'I don't think that’s a good idea," the staffer said, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, "because I don’t know how familiar she is with their plans."
He then opened a binder to a page that, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, had about eight questions on it.
–CNN's Chris Welch and David Schechter
Romney shattering TV advertising record
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has spent $10.2 million on television advertising this year, a record amount at this point in a presidential campaign, according to new data provided to CNN. Full Story
Prominent conservative clarifies: I am not endorsing Romney
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said Monday that he supports Republican Mitt Romney's right to seek the presidency as a Mormon, but has not, and will not endorse any candidate running for president. Full Story
Senate ends cigarette sales on Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democrats in. Cigarettes out. Senate leaders are banning cigarette sales on their side of the Capitol, a decision that ends a little-known discount and is sparking a fire sale at Senate convenience stores. Full Story
The Best Political Team wants you
CNN is looking for an associate political editor with strong editing and reporting skills to help the network cover the historic 2008 elections. Primary responsibilities will be to edit and write for the CNN Political Ticker, as well as serve as an off-air reporter. Previous television experience is not required, but strong newswriting ability and experience covering politics are a must. Full Story
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
New York Times: That Clinton Boy Defends His Wife and Raises Eyebrows
It’s a Southern thing, not a gender thing. That was the explanation from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign for a new remark by former President Bill Clinton, who had this to say yesterday about his wife’s (all-male) presidential rivals: “Those boys have been getting tough on her lately.”
USA Today: Dems profit as 113 campaign donors near $108K cap
Dozens of donors are nearing the $108,200 cap on federal campaign contributions for the 2008 elections in a sign of the record-breaking cost of the White House race, an analysis conducted for USA TODAY shows.
LA Times: Campaigns Raise Stakes On Nonprofits
In an election cycle in which top-tier presidential candidates are setting fundraising records, nonprofits offer yet another channel into which money can flow.
Washington Post: Head of 'The House'
Back in March, when Fred D. Thompson's presidential candidacy was just a possibility, but one with seemingly unlimited potential, a small group of veteran Republican insiders began meeting regularly in the dining room of Thompson's McLean home to plot his coming-out.
USA Today: Fred Thompson Keeps Nose To Iowa Grind
The complexities of Fred Thompson's bid for the Republican presidential nomination were on display to a mix of fans and undecided voters as he visited coffee shops Monday in the kickoff caucus state.
Quad City Times: Thompson to Push for Expanding Military
Republican Fred Thompson is taking his call for expanding the military, spending more money on defense and taking better care of current and former service members before a receptive audience at a military college in a Southern state with an early presidential primary he is counting on to give his campaign a boost.
Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Thompson: Overturning Roe V Wade Is The Goal
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson today defended his opposition to a federal constitutional amendment to ban abortion and contended it was more realistic to appoint conservative judges to outlaw abortion or let the states decide whether the procedure should be legal.
New York Times: For Edwards, a Man on the Run, Time Is No Ally
Lagging in national polls less than two months before the Iowa caucus, Mr. Edwards is a man racing against the clock, hammering out miles over long stretches of countryside in a campaign that his spokesman, Mark Kornblau, says is dictated by a “flat-out, hard-charging schedule.”
Washington Post: For Obama, a Handsome Payoff in Political Gambles
Those who know Sen. Barack Obama best swear that this is nothing new: Trailing a powerful name in politics, hurrying to build an organization from scratch, struggling to overcome skepticism that he will ever catch up.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Obama Vows To End War, Step Up Fighting Al-Qaeda
About 450 people came to the Stevens High School gymnasium in Claremont, New Hampshire yesterday to hear Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's pitch for hope and fundamental change in the nation's political system.
NY Daily News: Hillary Clinton Suddenly Vulnerable As Bruises Start To Show
Where did Hillary Clinton's mojo go? That's what her campaign has to be asking after a rough two weeks. And more importantly, they have to be wondering how to recapture that fading aura of an unstoppable juggernaut.
Quad City Times: Clinton Touts Her 'Passion' for Results
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's "driven by my passions" to get things done and suggests her image as a calculating politician comes from her pragmatic focus on results.
Wall Street Journal: What Giuliani's Lead Really Means
Rudy Giuliani is the kind of candidate who doesn't display self-confidence so much as he oozes it from every pore. His rise to the top of the Republican presidential field is the political story of the year, and his staying power atop national polls is as striking as Hillary Clinton's parallel strength on the Democratic side.
The Hill: Romney Surges In Early States; Giuliani Looks To Later Rounds
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s senior advisers laid out their path to victory Monday morning, downplaying the importance of winning early states where Giuliani is trailing and insisting that later contests in delegate-rich states will propel the mayor to the Republican nomination.
DC Examiner: Giuliani Aiming For Second Place In Iowa Primary
Rudy Giuliani’s top strategists effectively ceded Iowa to Mitt Romney Monday, but said Romney’s resulting momentum would not be enough to win the GOP presidential nomination.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Giuliani Might Not Need Early States To Capture Nomination
Early momentum has been the surefire way to win modern presidential primaries: Emerge as the front-runner in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, then steamroll through later states to become the nominee. Most of the Republican candidates are betting on this approach for 2008, but Rudy Giuliani is counting on something simpler: delegate math.
USA Today: N.H. Voters Take Wait-And-See Approach On Primaries
Plenty of voters in New Hampshire may be undecided, but don't call them indecisive.
Roll Call: Despite Big Haul, Paul Keeps Operation Small
Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) $4 million one-day online haul for his long-shot presidential bid may have created national media buzz, but it doesn’t mean he intends to change much when it comes to his shoestring grass-roots political operation.
Las Vegas Sun: Culinary Union Puts Candidates On Hold
Union boss D. Taylor is taking his own good time changing hats, from that of chief contract negotiator for 60,000 hotel and casino workers to political power broker.
Washington Post: Web Start-Up Offers Canned Campaign Ads
For $499 plus the cost of airtime, Spot Runner will plug your photo and personalized narration into a generic [political campaign] ad and air it on television in about a week.
LA Times: Romney Casts A Cool Eye On A Former Triumph
Politicians of both parties trooped into Boston's historic Faneuil Hall as a fife and drum corps played. Business titans stood alongside labor and religious leaders. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney even welcomed the man who had once been his bitter foe in a U.S. Senate contest - Democratic lion Edward M. Kennedy.
Boston Globe: Methodical Style Sets Romney Apart From GOP Rivals
Mitt Romney made millions in business with meticulous planning, serious salesmanship, and shrewd execution. As a candidate for president, he is applying the same techniques, courting voters with a tightly mapped strategy that governs nearly every step of his campaign.
Politico: Money Woes Keep GOP Worried About 2008
Senate Republicans are in trouble, and last week’s Democratic victories in Kentucky and Virginia suggest their challenges may be steeper than even they thought.
Roll Call: Home-State Voters Want Dodd Back
While Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) might be in single digits in national Democratic presidential surveys, he’s polling at 70 percent in his home state.
Politico: When Television And Politics Collide
Conservatives prefer watching TV and movies that comport with their personal values. Liberals will sample entertainment fare from across the cultural and political divide.
USA Today: Spitzer Takes Flak Over Licenses For Illegal Immigrants
Since Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in September, outrage has grown, leaping state boundaries into national politics.
Washington Post: 'Hidden Costs' Double Price Of Two Wars, Democrats Say
The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts' "hidden costs"– including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.
Roll Call: Iraq Document Kept From Hill
In television interviews and press conferences, Gen. David Petraeus has described the Joint Campaign Plan as the key military and diplomatic strategy to stabilize Iraq.
The Hill: Groups Press Ethics Panel On Sen. Craig
A leading national gay rights advocacy organization is pressuring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Ethics Committee, to drop an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho). As a result, Democrats may question the merits of pushing the embattled Republican out of Congress.
Chicago Tribune's The Swamp: Hawkins, Oldest Living Ex-Congressman, Dies At 100
The oldest living former member of the House of Representatives has died, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today. Augustus Freeman “Gus” Hawkins, a Democrat who represented the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from 1963 to 1991, was 100 years old.
LA Times: Liberating The Capitol's Dim History
The slaves who helped build the U.S. Capitol may finally be recognized for their contributions to one of the nation's most cherished monuments to freedom and democracy - values they themselves never fully enjoyed.
New York Times: Investment Firm Names Gore as a Partner
Deepening his ties to Silicon Valley, former Vice President Al Gore said on Monday that he had become a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will visit with local residents at his California campaign headquarters in Glendale, California.
* Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, addresses the United Auto Workers' conference at Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will campaign in the Windy City with a stop at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to talk with traders on the floor. Afterwards, McCain will answer questions from reporters at the Union League of Chicago.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will give a speech titled "Strategy for a Stronger America: Reforming our Immigration System," at the JetSun Aviation Centre in Sioux City, Iowa. After the speech, he will take questions from the press and then attend the opening of his campaign's Sioux City office.
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards attends "Grand Rounds" at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Later, he holds town hall meetings in Milford and Salem.
*Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, will deliver remarks at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Afterwards, he will meet voters at the NASCAR Cafe in Myrtle Beach.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook