WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders are launching a new communications effort to mark the one year anniversary of their party taking control of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi and her top lieutenants circulated a letter to all Democratic offices on Friday telling them that "The 110th Congress has a great story to tell." And the Democratic leadership is calling on rank-and file Democrats to tout the majority party’s accomplishments over the upcoming holiday recess.
“We need your help telling this story,” the California Democrat and the other party leaders wrote. “At a time when many of us and many Americans feel our country has been moving in the wrong direction, it is critical that we help Americans learn where we stand and what we have accomplished."
Will Norris' star power help Huckabee?
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It could be the latest so-called Chuck Norris fact: The American people don't choose presidents, Chuck Norris does.
The cult hero of “Walker Texas Ranger” fame said Monday he’s backing Republican Mike Huckabee for president.
“Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,” Norris wrote on the conservative Web site World Net Daily.
“Mike is also a respected and fearless leader, and he does not cower to the cries of any majority or minority,” Norris added. “He doesn't abandon his values for what's expedient. Like our Founding Fathers, he's not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs.”
Huckabee’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment.
TIME.com: Huckabee's Bid for the Christian Right
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - After filing for the New Hampshire primary Monday, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, addressed a large crowd at a rally outside the statehouse. There, he criticized the Bush administration, while highlighting genealogical ties to 'cousin,' Vice President Dick Cheney.
Last week, in an interview with MSNBC, Lynn Cheney said that her husband and Obama shared an ancestor from eight generations ago.
"Let's face it. All across America people are tired of George Bush. They are tired of this administration. They are tired of my 'cousin' Dick Cheney. We had been keeping this under raps. Everybody's got a black sheep in the family," Obama said.
–CNN New Hampshire producer Sareena Dalla
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was 30 minutes late from his planned arrival at the state Capitol, but he still had plenty of time to make his presidential bid official in the Granite State.
Upon entering New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner's office, the Illinois Democrat bowed his head and offered a playful "good to see you."
"I'm taking the plunge right here, I want to make my official presentation," said Obama as Gardner thumbed through his filing documents. "Want to make sure we got everything in order."
"You're all set," Gardner responded.
After filing his official paperwork, Obama held a rally outside the New Hampshire statehouse.
- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
Richardson is touting his experience in hostage negotiation in a new ad.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson is up with a new ad in Iowa and New Hampshire Monday that touts a hostage situation in Iraq "that then Congressman Richardson was called upon to defuse," the campaign said in a statement.
The 60-second ad, entitled "Only One," is a testimonial given by Bill Barloon and the late David Daliberti and wife Kathy Daliberti. Both Barloon and David Daliberti were hostages of Saddam Hussein in 1995.
"We were accused of being spies," David Daliberti said in the ad.
Barloon continued, "Then Congressman Richardson came and spoke with Saddam Hussein."
Richardson puts a twist on the traditional finish of campaign ads by closing with, "I'm Bill Richardson, and I am honored to approve this message."
Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Obama says he's making strides in New Hampshire.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama sought to portray himself as an underdog in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination Monday, but he did declare his campaign is making strides with informed voters.
"We actually are further ahead than I expected to be," Obama responded when asked about his standing in national and New Hampshire polls. The Illinois Democrat made the remarks after he filed his paperwork for the state primary.
"When we started this campaign, here's one thing I was certain of, that a 46-year-old African American named Barack Obama would be an underdog in a presidential race. But as people got to know me and my ideas, they would be confidant that I would be fighting for them."
Obama reiterated that among voters "paying careful attention," his campaign was doing "extremely well." However, he noted that "For the casual voter, many of them are still going to be parking their vote with Sen. Clinton because that's a familiar brand name."
Clinton, a New York Democrat, is the frontrunner for her party's nomination with Obama coming in second, polling shows.
Obama later added, "But when they start paying attention, I think that will only be to our advantage."
- CNN New Hampshire producer Sareena Dalla
President Bush said Monday he is requesting billions more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Bush administration on Monday requested an additional $42.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the 2008 request for total war funding to $189.3 billion.
The administration made the initial supplement request, which lawmakers have yet to approve, in February.
Bush urged Congress to act on both requests during a statement from the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN’s Dana Bash reports last night's presidential debate often got heated as the candidates compared their conservative credentials.
Protesters block the entrance to the Cannon House Office Building on Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Police on Monday arrested dozens of protesters who blocked the doors and streets outside congressional buildings near the U.S. Capitol.Nearly 60 were arrested on various charges, including unlawful assembly, said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol police.
Police handcuffed a female protester dressed in a black pullover emblazoned with "Blackwater" and the U.S. security contractor's paw print symbol.
- CNN Producer Paul Courson
Colbert insisted he's serious about getting on the South Carolina ballot.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Is Stephen Colbert serious when he says he wants to run for president in South Carolina?
Yes, according to the fake-news host himself who appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday after the very-real presidential candidate Barack Obama.
“I think a lot of people are asking whether—they say is this, is this real, you know? And to which I would say to everybody, this is not a dream, you’re not going to wake up from this,” Colbert told host Tim Russert. “I’m far real-er than Sam Brownback, let me put it that way.”
“I don’t want to be president,” he added. “I want to run for president. There’s a difference.”
Brownback, a Republican senator from Kansas, dropped his bid Friday after disappointing fundraising and low placement in most polls.
Colbert acknowledged his presidential campaign wouldn’t extend past his home state of South Carolina and said he will consider it successful if he just captures one state delegate.
“It’s proportional voting on the Democratic side - all I need is enough votes on the Democratic side to get one delegate, and I’ll feel like I’ve won. Because if, at the Democratic National Convention, somebody has to stand up and say, “The proud state of South Carolina, the palmetto state, the home of the greatest peaches and shrimp in the world, casts one vote for native son, Stephen Colbert,” I’d say I won.
Colbert has said he will seek to be a candidate in both the Democratic and Republican primaries in the Palmetto state. On his show Wednesday, he signed paperwork for both ballots. But as The Ticker reported last week, it remains to be seen whether the State parties will allow that to happen.
But Colbert, who didn’t break from his conservative-TV host act during the entire Meet the Press interview, gave plenty of hints he might not be too serious after all, including the revelation that he would consider embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig as his running-mate.
Though the Comedy Central host refused to say if he’d met “in the same room” with Craig to discuss the potential ticket.
“Sorry, my lawyer’s telling me to say no more,” he said.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney