(CNN) - Sarah Palin's book tour brings her to Iowa in two weeks. If the former Alaska governor and last year's GOP vice presidential nominee decides to return to Iowa down to road to explore a race for the White House, a new survey suggests that Republicans in the state like her - but have some doubts.
According to a Des Moines Register Iowa poll, 68 percent of Hawkeye Republicans view Palin favorably. That's a statistically insignificant 2 points behind those who have a positive view of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses, which traditionally kick off the presidential primary season.
Among other potential 2012 candidates: The survey indicates that two out of three view former House Speaker Newt Gingrich favorably and 58 percent have a positive view of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
"With those kinds of numbers, if she were to become a candidate, while it's not a sure thing, she would be starting out in a very good position," veteran Iowa GOP strategist David Roederer told the Des Moines Register. Roederer ran McCain's 2008 Iowa campaign.
Washington (CNN) - A Defense Department review in the wake of the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, is aimed at determining whether weaknesses in programs or procedures put service members and their families at risk, the military said.
The Pentagon Monday released the objectives of the 45-day review, announced last week by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The review began Friday, and a report will be provided to Gates by January 15, 2010.
Authorities say Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, opened fire at a military processing center at the Fort Hood Army Post on November 5. Thirteen people were killed and dozens of others wounded.
Hasan has been charged with 13 preliminary counts of premeditated murder, the Army has said. Hasan, who was wounded in the incident, remains hospitalized.
In announcing the policy review last week, Gates said the incident raised questions that "demand complete but prompt answers."
Announcing a new Educate to Innovate Campaign on Monday, Obama said America needs to restore the nation's leadership in educating children in math and science to meet future challenges.
He told how President Lee Myung-bak explained that demanding parents are South Korea's biggest education problem.
"Even if somebody is dirt poor, they are insisting that their kids are getting the best education," Obama said Lee told him, sounding almost whimsical in describing his counterpart's biggest education problem as parents wanting excellent schools for their children.
Back home, Obama said, a major challenge is to revive the interest, opportunities and abilities of U.S. students in math and science.
(CNN) - With just over two weeks until a special primary election to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat, a new poll indicates that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has a solid lead in a four-way battle for the Democratic nomination.
But a Boston Globe survey released over the weekend also suggests that nearly three out of four people likely to vote in the primary say they are undecided, or are learning towards a candidate but could change their minds.
According to the poll, 43 percent of people questioned said they would vote for Coakley to succeed temporary Senate replacement Paul Kirk if the primary were held today, with 22 percent backing Rep. Michael Capuano, 15 percent supporting Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and 6 percent backing City Year co-founder Alan Khazei.
The survey indicates that Coakley has the highest favorability rating among the four candidates, the best known name recognition, the seen as the most qualified and most likely to win.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama will speak at a White House ceremony Monday honoring a Zimbabwean women's rights group, which will receive this year's Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
The award will be presented to Magodonga Mahlangu and her organization, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) by Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's widow.
Zimbabwe's political turmoil in recent years has often overshadowed human rights issues in the southern African country. Mahlangu has been credited for her relentless struggle to organize peaceful protests that spotlight injustices faced by the women of Zimbabwe.
As a result, she has been arrested more than 30 times.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee will target a handful of centrist Democrats on Monday with a new Web video and series of conference calls criticizing the Democrats for voting to allow debate to begin on health care reform.
The 60-second video, which will be e-mailed to more than 5 million people, singles out Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, according to an advance copy of the video provided to CNN.
"Rolled by pressure from Barack Obama and Harry Reid, they voted to move forward a government-run health care bill our nation does not want and can't afford," an announcer says before ticking off criticism of each lawmaker.
Reid persuaded all 58 Democrats and the two independent senators who align themselves with the Democrats to vote Saturday evening in favor of allowing debate on the Democratic health care bill to move forward.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kansas, will not run for re-election next year, a senior Democratic aide confirms to CNN.
Moore was first elected in 1998 and easily won a sixth term in 2008 after being targeted for defeat early in his career by the Republican Party.
The Kansas City Star was the first to report Monday the congressman's decision not to seek a seventh term.
CNN has left a message with Moore's office seeking comment.
(CNN) - For the federal government, this has been the year of spending dangerously.
The danger lies not just in the staggering volume of money being thrown around by the administration and Democrat-controlled Congress. It lies as well in their choices about how that money is being used and their apparent lack of concern that their spending splurge is unsustainable.
Just this past fiscal year alone, which ended in October, the federal government has racked up a staggering deficit of $1.4 trillion, tripling the previous record. And it has done so in part through moves like buying an ownership stake in hundreds of banks, an insurance company, two automakers and numerous other businesses.
A little over a year ago, Congress created the Troubled Asset Relief Program to try to stabilize plummeting financial markets
Sen. Thune talks to CNN Radio’s Bob Costantini: