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Making news today:
Romney to deliver faith speech
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will speak about religion and faith in America in an address Thursday that is being viewed as a way for him to discuss his Mormon religion.
The speech comes after several recent polls have suggested that his faith may present a stumbling block in his White House quest. Romney will use the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas as a backdrop.
Earlier this week, Romney told reporters that this speech is not modeled after a similar address given 47 years ago by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy, who spoke about his Catholic faith in his successful White House run. But Romney did say he would talk about being a Mormon.
“I certainly will answer some questions related to how my own faith will inform my presidency,” Romney said.
The speech begins at 10:30 a.m. ET. Tune into CNN throughout the day for coverage of this event.
Clinton volunteer's anti-Obama e-mail causes stir
(CNN) - One of the recipients of a controversial anti-Barack Obama email forward that put Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign on the defensive Wednesday said the volunteer county coordinator who sent the original message may have been unfairly targeted. Full Screen
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
New York Times: Crucial Test for Romney in Speech on His Religion
Mitt Romney’s planned speech today at the George Bush Presidential Library in Texas to confront suspicions about his Mormon faith is being viewed as the biggest moment of his presidential campaign.
Chicago Tribune: Question Of Faith In '08 Race
The fact that Romney, a Mormon, is coming to Texas on Thursday to articulate his vision of "faith in America" is a measure of just how much sway evangelical Christians still hold in presidential voting, particularly the Republican Party's naming of a nominee.
Washington Post: As N.H. Primary Nears, Clinton Clings to Narrow Lead
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a narrow lead over Sen. Barack Obama among Democratic presidential candidates in New Hampshire, a state whose primary her campaign has viewed as a potential firewall should she stumble in the Iowa caucuses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
USA Today: Parties Struggle To Control Primaries
For a state that is a key player in presidential politics, the 2008 campaign so far has been strangely lopsided.
Chicago Tribune: Relief In Sight For Besieged Iowa Voters
Pity poor Larry and Phyllis Olson. He's a registered Republican. She's a declared Democrat. Between the two of them, they need to get a bigger mailbox and disconnect their telephone and doorbell.
Wall Street Journal: How Giuliani's Slide in Polls Could Undermine His Plan
The Mike Huckabee boom, combined with a drumbeat of revelations in the media about his personal and business conduct, are threatening to wipe out one of the Republican White House hopeful's most important assets: His lead in the national polls.
New York Times: Pulpit Was the Springboard for Huckabee’s Rise
In August 1980, as the conservative Christian movement was first transforming American politics, Ronald Reagan stood before a Dallas stadium full of 15,000 foot-stomping, hand-clapping evangelicals and pledged his fealty to the Bible. “All the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in that single book,” said Mr. Reagan, the Republican presidential nominee.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: NH Educators To Endorse Clinton, Huckabee
The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association has endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee in their parties' primaries, sources said yesterday.
Quad City Times: Clinton, Romney Shift Course in Race
Now, locked in unpredictable, tight races in the leadoff Iowa caucuses, both the Democratic senator from New York and the Republican former governor of Massachusetts are shifting course.
Washington Post: Paul's Quixotic, Chaotic Run May Make Its Push in N.H.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) has raised more than $10 million for his run for president in the past two months, leaving him well positioned to help swing the outcome of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, a state well suited to his libertarian, antiwar platform.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Schilling for McCain
THE SOUND SYSTEM piped out "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" and "Sweet Caroline" as World Series champion Curt Schilling delivered his first campaign pitch for Sen. John McCain for president.
Boston Globe: Mccain Voices Guarded Optimism On Iraq But Says Hurdles Are High
Republican presidential contender John McCain said yesterday he was "guardedly optimistic" about the ability of Iraqis to make political, economic, and social progress, thanks to what he described as the "fundamental of a secure environment" brought about by the US troop increase he championed.
CNN.com: Clinton Volunteer's Sending Of Anti-Obama E-Mail Causes Stir
One of the recipients of a controversial anti-Barack Obama email forward that put Hillary Clinton’s Iowa campaign on the defensive Wednesday said the volunteer county coordinator who sent the original message may have been unfairly targeted.
AP: Clinton Volunteer Quits Over Obama Email
A volunteer Iowa county coordinator for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has resigned after forwarding a chain e-mail that suggests Barack Obama is a Muslim who wants to destroy the United States by being elected to its highest office.
Des Moines Register: Grassley Makes Presidential Predictions
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa predicted today that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will narrowly win the Jan. 3 Iowa presidential caucuses — and Democratic candidate Barack Obama will as well.
USA Today: Calderón Rebukes U.S. Candidates
Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Wednesday accused U.S. presidential candidates of "anti-Mexican" posturing and asked the U.S. Congress not to impose conditions on a $1.4 billion anti-drug aid package.
LA Times: Clinton, Edwards Up The Ante On Foreclosures
Two leading Democratic presidential contenders raced ahead of the Bush administration Wednesday in calling for more sweeping measures to help struggling homeowners with their mortgages.
New York Times: Lenders Agree to Freeze Rates on Some Loans
The Bush administration reached an agreement with the mortgage industry on Wednesday on a plan to freeze interest rates for up to five years for a portion of the two million homeowners who bought houses in the last few years with subprime loans.
LA Times: 1 In 3 Would Deny Illegal Immigrants Social Services
One-third of Americans want to deny social services, including public schooling and emergency room healthcare, to illegal immigrants, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.
The Hill: Immigration Roils Dems
House Democratic leaders are being whipsawed on immigration policy by two groups within their caucus — Hispanic lawmakers who want an end to Democratic support of enforcement-only immigration bills and vulnerable Democrats from swing districts who say a “get tough” approach is necessary to keep their seats in 2008.
Boston Globe: In high-tech world, candidates still turn to TV
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama gained early attention and buzz with viral videos, the unsanctioned online ads that seemed to herald a new era for political campaigns.
Quad City Times: Personal Side: Candidates' Worst Jobs
All these years later, Mike Huckabee still avoids touching the glass when he opens a door. He remembers a thankless task at Penney's as a teenager, scrubbing away fingerprints only to have customers smudge the glass all over again. Mitt Romney worked in a sewage pipe on an Idaho ranch when the effluent was still flowing. In Alaska as a post-grad, Hillary Rodham Clinton spooned the guts out of fish.
Politico: Cheney Bashes Top Democrats
Vice President Cheney warned in an interview Wednesday that a premature withdrawal from Iraq would invite “further attacks” against the United States and said he has been surprised by the weakness of the Democratic Congress.
The Hill: Martinez Touts Fla. Gov. As Veep
Florida GOP Sen. Mel Martinez, fresh off his stint as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), is one of the most sought-after endorsements in Florida with its early primary and steady influx of GOP White House hopefuls.
Roll Call: Chairman Race Down to the Wire
While the race continued to narrow Wednesday, Republican Senators still appeared poised to elect Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) over Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) as the next GOP Conference chairman when they meet behind closed doors today to fill holes in their leadership hierarchy.
Washington Post: Larry Craig, Now a Verb in Pop-Culture Lexicon
If they weren't already, sex scandal plagued Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho) are now officially part of the pop-culture mainstream lexicon. The Tuesday night episode of ABC's "Boston Legal" featured the show's leading character, played by William Shatner, getting busted in a men's room sex sting.
Roll Call: Officer Indicted in Fires
A federal grand jury handed down an indictment on Wednesday against a Capitol Police officer for the series of restroom fires that burned in Senate office buildings this fall.
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, will hold an Organizing for Change event at Gunstock Ski Resort in Gilford, New Hampshire. Clinton will then receive an endorsement for her presidential run from the NEA at Manchester's Technical Community College. To wrap up the day, Clinton will attend a "Holidays with Hillary" reception with John Grisham at Union Station in Washington, DC.
* Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, will hold campaign events in Cedar Rapids and Pleasant Hill, Iowa.
* Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards attends the opening of the Oconee County Democratic Party headquarters in Seneca, South Carolina. He will also stop by his childhood home in Seneca, and take questions from the press. Edwards then meets with the media after a Generation Next Votes 2008 event at Walhalla High School in Walhalla. In the evening, actor Harry Belafonte joins Edwards for a meet and greet and a speech at the Charleston County Democratic Women's Holiday Party at the College of Charleston.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will hold a press conference at Lido Beach Resort in Sarasota, Florida. The Republican candidate will then attend a local house party in Venice, Florida.
* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will take questions from the press before he attends a fundraising reception in Greensboro, North Carolina.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will hold a town hall meeting at Timberland Company and take a tour of the Stratham, New Hampshire business. McCain will then address Portsmouth Rotary Club and hold a press availability in Newington. McCain will then hold an Energy Security and Climate Change forum at Seacost Media Group in Portsmouth. Lastly, McCain will hold a town hall meeting at Raymond High School in Raymond.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will deliver a "Faith in America" speech at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook