Compiled by Lindsey Pope and Lauren Kornreich
CNN Washington Bureau
Making News Today…
* A few days after the top U.S. commander in Iraq testified before Congress, President Bush tonight makes his case for the war in Iraq with a prime time address.
Bush is expected to announce that he will reduce the number of troops to pre-surge levels, lowering the number of soldiers by 30,000 by next spring. His plan has faced harsh criticism from Democrats, with Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, calling it "too little, too late."
* How does the American public feel about George W. Bush's record as the president prepares for a speech to the country on Thursday night? More than six in ten Americans disapprove of how Bush is handling his job, according to a CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll out Thursday morning. The same number feels that President Bush’s policies are moving the country in the wrong direction. Full story
* Sen. Joe Biden's, D-Delaware, presidential bid gets a boost this morning when he is endorsed by Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the State Capitol in Des Moines.
Biden's campaign called it an "incredibly significant endorsement," since McCarthy is one of Iowa's leading Democrats.
* As the battle for support continues, Biden's campaign noted that McCarthy's backing puts him behind only Clinton in the number of endorsements from Iowa state legislators.
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
PELOSI TO BUSH: “YOU’RE JUST GOING BACK TO THE PRESURGE LEVEL”:
When top Democratic leaders visited him at the White House this week, President Bush told them he wanted to “find common ground” on Iraq. But when the president said he planned to “start doing some redeployment,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, cut him off. New York Times: Bush to Sell Limited Iraq Pullout as Middle Way
U.S. TO USE DIPLOMATIC MEANS TO PRESSURE IRAN: The Bush administration said Wednesday that retreat in Iraq would cede power in the country to Iran, the U.S.-labeled "axis of evil" nation that has become the boogeyman of the Middle East. Washington Post: U.S. Wants New U.N. Sanctions on Iran
NORTH KOREA AND SYRIA TEAMING UP: North Korea may be cooperating with Syria on some sort of nuclear facility in Syria, according to new intelligence the United States has gathered over the past six months, sources said. Washington Post: N. Korea, Syria May Be at Work on Nuclear Facility
GOP HOUSE RECRUITS RELUCTANT TO ENTER '08 RACE: With the GOP still mired in the political doldrums and the conclusion of the off-year recruiting period approaching, the National Republican Congressional Committee is running out of time to sign up top-tier candidates in several targeted districts. Roll Call: A Tough year for Recruiting
MOVEON SPENDS MILLIONS AGAINST GOP: Gen. David H. Petraeus isn't alone as the target of an ad campaign by the group MoveOn.org…[the group]has spent more than $2 million against nearly a dozen Republicans since last year, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. Washington Times: MoveOn Marshals Money Against GOP
CONTROVERSIAL AD FOR CHEAP, SAYS RIVAL NEWSPAPER: The New York Times dramatically slashed its normal rates for a full-page advertisement for MoveOn.org's ad questioning the integrity of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. New York Post: Times Gives Lefties a Hefty Discount for “Betray Us” Ad
CRAIG TRIES TO GET BACK IN GOP GOOD GRACES: As Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) presses ahead to reverse his guilty plea in an airport bathroom sex sting, he also is trying to restore his reputation among his Republican Senate colleagues by sharing with them his latest legal filings and apologizing for any distraction he has caused. Roll Call: Craig Offers Regrets to GOP for "Distraction"
POLL: DEMS FARE WELL IN KEY BATTLEGROUND STATES: Democrats have the advantage with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, states that plan to hold their presidential nominating contests in January and are likely to be battlegrounds in November 2008. Bloomberg News: New Hampshire, Iowa Voters Give Democrats Advantage, Poll Shows
MARK WARNER TO ANNOUNCE SENATE RUN: Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner intends to run for the Senate in 2008, according to Democratic officials who spoke with The Associated Press. Warner is scheduled to make an e-mail announcement Thursday regarding his political plans. CNN.com: With Warner In, Virginia Becomes a Battleground State
MCCAIN'S NEW SLOGAN: Senator John McCain’s famous “Straight Talk Express” was gone, replaced by a bus emblazoned with a sign that read “No Surrender.” New York Times: Buoyed McCain Tours Iowa With New Campaign
GIULIANI: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION NOT CRIMINAL: Rudolph W. Giuliani has put himself at odds with most congressional Republicans, including Rep. Peter T. King, his own point man on homeland security and immigration, by saying he does not think being in the United States illegally should be a crime. Washington Times: Illegals Talk Alienates Giuliani
RICHARDSON DONOR HAS TIES TO SADDAM HUSSEIN: Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson and a host of congressional candidates from both parties accepted cash from Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. and his wife, Lynn, since the federal government accused the Texas oilman of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. New York. Politico: Politicians Took Money From Indicted Oilman
HRC SEEKS NEW FUNDS FROM HSU DONORS: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) left open the possibility yesterday that her presidential campaign may get new donations from the 260 people whose contributions are being returned because they were raised by Norman Hsu, the political donor whose business dealings are being examined by law enforcement agencies on both coasts. Washington Post: Clinton May Revisit Donors Who Whose Funds Were Returned
UPSET BY PRESS, HSU CONSIDERED SUICIDE: Before Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu skipped a court hearing and temporarily vanished last week, he typed out a suicide note and sent copies to several acquaintances and charitable organizations, according to people who received it. WSJ: Hsu Sent Suicide Note Before Disappearance
POLL: CLINTON "THE BEST AT ENDING THE WAR IN IRAQ": Gayle Moore, an Iowa nurse, wants U.S. troops "out, out, out" of Iraq as soon as possible. Darleen McCarthy of South Carolina fears that Iraq is turning into "another Vietnam." But when these two Democrats vote in January to help decide their party's 2008 presidential nominee, neither plans to support the self-styled antiwar candidates. LA Times: Clinton Appeals to Antiwar Democrats
"CLINTON ENDORSES OBAMA": Plenty has already been made of Sen. Barack Obama's decision to give a major anti-war speech here, in a city that has the same name as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination…Still, Obama had some fun trying his hand with the headline writing that could be done from the Wednesday afternoon event. Chicago Tribune: The Swamp, Obama Has Fun With Clinton Headlines http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118964287463525841.html
OBAMA PROMISES HELP FOR DISPLACED IRAQIS: Barack Obama said Wednesday he would reach out to the Middle East with gestures such as $2 billion a year in aid to Iraqi refugees and welcoming at least 7,000 Iraqi refugee immigrants into the United States as part of his strategy to bring peace and end the war. Des Moines Register: Obama Proposes $2 Billion in Iraqi Refugee Aid
OBAMA EMBRACES CARTER-ERA ADVISOR: Senator Obama is standing by one of his top foreign policy advisers, Zbigniew Brzezinski, despite concerns that aligning with the former aide to President Carter will undermine Mr. Obama's support with the pro-Israel community. NY Sun: Despite Criticism, Obama Stands by Advisor Brzezinski http://www.nysun.com/article/62534
EDWARDS CAMPAIGN TO GO GREEN IN NH: The Graniteroots for John Edwards will hold canvasses across New Hampshire Saturday and Sunday, where volunteers will discuss Sen. Edwards' environmental policies and distribute tree saplings. New Hampshire Union Leader: Edwards Campaign Plans NH Canvassing Weekend
DC MADAM CLAIMS ABC WAS PRESSURED TO BURY CLIENT LIST: The alleged D.C. Madam said she wants to subpoena ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) in hopes of showing she's the victim of a political prosecution. Washington Post: Alleged D.C. Madam Wants to Subpoena Reporter, Senator
ANGRY CALLERS HAVE BIZARRE COMPLAINTS FOR LANTOS: Rep. Tom Lantos has been taking hits from conservatives for his stance on the Iraq War, but some of the California Democrat’s staffers are wondering whether the angry callers contacting the office haven’t been taking a few hits (perhaps of something mind-altering) themselves. Roll Call: Call Him Crazy
PELOSI CALLS REPORTER QUESTION BIASED: An awkward moment took place at the White House on Tuesday and it had nothing to do with President Bush and the English language. After meeting with Bush to discuss the war in Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid fielded questions from reporters outside the Oval Office. DC Examiner: Pelosi, Reid Take On Reporter
On the Political Radar:
* Huffington Post, Yahoo! and Slate.com host a first of its kind, online only Democratic presidential "mashup." Users can click on candidates and topics and choose what they want to hear.
* The day after unveiling his plan to end the war in Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, holds a series of town hall meetings on Iraq in Maquoketa, Anamosa and Dubuque, Iowa.
* Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, spends the day in Florida meeting with residents in Jacksonville, The Villages and Celebration.
* Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani visits the OK Café in Atlanta, Georgia.
* Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, visits New Hampshire on day three of his "No Surrender" bus tour. He holds rallies all afternoon in East Rochester, Franklin, Concord and Hudson, New Hampshire.
* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a media availability at Woodlands Resort and Conference Center in The Woodlands, Texas
* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson talks to Iowans about Iraq with discussions in Council Bluffs and Sioux City, Iowa.
* Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, starts his day with an endorsement from Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at the State Capitol in Des Moines. He then meets with residents at the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic and attends a house party in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
* Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also heads to Iowa for a meet and greet at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf, Iowa.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook