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Making news today:
McCain’s endorsement trifecta
WASHNGTON (CNN) - Shock waves are still spreading through Democratic ranks over Joe Lieberman's decision to back John McCain's presidential bid. Independent reputation aside, it's still a move that surprised almost everyone Sunday, from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose office learned of the move via a last-minute Sunday afternoon phone call (Reid's reaction: "I have the greatest respect for Joe, but I simply have to disagree with his decision to endorse Senator McCain") to, apparently, some members of Lieberman’s own staff - at least one of whom says he first heard of the decision from a CNN staffer (his reaction: "Oh my God, no. Really?") The official announcement is planned for this morning in New Hampshire. Full Story
Even if he had not received the Lieberman nod, this would still have been a banner endorsement weekend for the Arizona senator. McCain, who already had the all-important backing of the New Hampshire Union Leader, now heads into the primary season homestretch with the editorial approvals of The Boston Globe a big read in neighboring New Hampshire, where he's running second in most polls and, in a shocker, the Des Moines Register.
McCain isn't the only presidential contender to start the day in the Granite State. Giuliani and Romney who are both banking on strong primary showings in New Hampshire are also spending the day here. Meanwhile, back in the Hawkeye State, the Fred Thompson bus tour kicks off in Dubuque, and the Hill-a-copter is back in action for Hillary Clinton, barnstorming across the state and basking in the glow of her own Register nod. (Barack Obama, who captured the Globe's endorsement, is sticking to Iowa as well).
In other news:
Get ready for some major crowing from Ron Paul's campaign, which claimed to reporters Sunday it had bested the GOP's one-day fundraising record by pulling in more than $4 million (and counting) in less than 24 hours.
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
Now you can take the Best Political Team with you anytime, anywhere. Subscribe to the “Best Political Podcast” for extensive coverage of the 2008 election. Best Political Podcast
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
New York Times: Candidates Collect Endorsements in Final Days in Iowa
The Democratic presidential candidates pressed across Iowa on Sunday as they began to make their closing arguments to voters before the holidays, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton clearly buoyed by her endorsement Sunday from The Des Moines Register.
New York Times: Candidates Scrambling to Cope With Rise of Huckabee
Just one month ago, Mitt Romney’s supporters thought that they had Iowa fairly well in hand. But there was Mr. Romney last week, telling several hundred people at a high school cafeteria in Marion that he was the underdog and pleading for their help to keep him from being derailed at the caucuses by the rise of Mike Huckabee.
Washington Post: Home-School Ties Aided Huckabee's Iowa Rise
Julie Roe, an early believer in Mike Huckabee, worked with what she had. With no buttons, no yard signs and no glossy literature from his nearly invisible Iowa campaign, she took a pair of scissors and cut out a photograph of the former Arkansas governor. She pasted it on a piece of paper, scribbled down some of his positions, made copies and launched the Huckabee for President campaign in rural Hardin County.
Washington Post’s The Trail: Ron Paul Beats Own Fundraising Record
Yesterday, Ron Paul, the Republican congressman whose rock star status on the Internet has singlehandedly fueled his campaign, raised nearly $6 million in 24 hours.
LA Times: Island Tax Havens Factor Into Romney's Business Success
While in private business, Mitt Romney utilized shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying U.S. taxes, federal and state records show.
New York Times: In ’08 Race, the Other Clinton Steps Up Publicly
When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign advisers laid out their new political strategy in a private conference call with allies last Tuesday, Bill Clinton was not on the line. He did not need to be. The message being delivered was his.
USA Today: New Clinton Campaign Out To Show Her Likability
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, trying to warm up an image some voters perceive as cold, starts a drive Monday to showcase her personal side with testimonials from friends, associates and constituents she has helped.
Des Moines Register: Iowa's First Lady To Back Edwards For President
Iowa’s first lady, who had said she would stay neutral in the presidential race, has changed her mind and plans to endorse Democrat John Edwards Monday.
ABC News: Edwards Crowds Rise for 'America Rising'
As his eight day bus tour through Iowa winds down, John Edwards is starting to bring audiences to their feet when he talks about America rising.
AP: Immigration a Big Issue to NH, Iowa GOP
At opposite sides of New Hampshire, John McCain faced two corporate audiences in two college towns earlier this month. Only one topic came up in both places when he starting taking questions: illegal immigration.
The Daily Telegraph: Mitt Romney Says Rival Is 'Another Bill Clinton'
Scarcely an hour goes by without the Romney campaign issuing a press release painting Mr Huckabee, a Baptist who has surged past the former Massachusetts governor to become the new front runner in Iowa, as a joker. He’s called his quips about policy “no laughing matter” and mocked his “playground diplomacy”.
Des Moines Register: Biden: Next President Needs Foreign Policy Experience
A presidential election with so much at stake regarding the United States’ standing in a tumultuous world should not end with a president with expertise limited to domestic issues, Sen. Joe Biden said today.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Kucinich Would Push Peace, Health Care
Dennis Kucinich knows he's an underdog in the presidential primary. But he plays to win.
CNN: Obama Talks Faith In 'Music Man’s' Church
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama told worshipers Sunday that he wasn’t raised in a church, but “came to Christ” during his years as a community organizer in Chicago.
Boston Globe: Republican Candidates Returning To The Fold
Many Democrats who had spent years lamenting that their candidates were uneasy around the faithful were pleased to find this year that their primary field was filled with people with at least enough church experience to work scriptural verse into a stump speech – and even more pleased to find, for the first time in years, that it was the Republican front-runners who appeared most conflicted about discussing religion.
Politico: Rudy Cuts Back NH Ad Buy
The Nashua Telegraph's Kevin Landrigan reports that Rudy is planning to deeply cut back his New Hampshire television presence by reducing his buy on the pricey Boston stations this week.
New York Times: At Web Site for Journalists, Criticism of a Campaign Article Becomes a Melee
The Washington Post article, which ran on Nov. 29, was about rumors of Barack Obama’s ties to the Muslim world. The piece drew widespread criticism: the Columbia Journalism Review said the article “may be the single worst campaign ’08 piece to appear in any American newspaper so far this election cycle.”
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Reinhold Pushing Richardson's Run
Actor Judge Reinhold has a new supporting role - stumping for Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson.
Des Moines Register: Rep. King To Endorse Presidential Candidate Monday
Steve King, the Republican congressman from Iowa's Fifth Congressional District, says he will announce an endorsement for a presidential candidate in a conference Monday morning at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Des Moines.
Washington Times: Spouses Lend Savvy To '08 Race
Janet Huckabee and Michelle Obama are among a group of spouses who bring significant professional resumes and modern personal stories to the 2008 election as they line up as potential first ladies.
NY Daily News: Women More Willing To Forgive Monica Scandal Than Judi Giuliani's Trysts
A straying husband is bad. But a home wrecker is worse – at least when it comes to who should end up in the White House.
AP: Dems mull strategy, leadership after setbacks
Congressional Democrats will have plenty to ponder during the Christmas-New Year recess. For instance, why did things go so badly this fall, and how well did their leaders serve them?
Roll Call: Endgame a Tale of Two Chairmen
While Democrats attempted this weekend to put the finishing touches on a catchall spending bill, the rocky road to the 2007 endgame has been exacerbated by a volatile House Appropriations chairman and a Senate Appropriations chairman weakened by age and health problems.
Washington Post: No Running Jokes Here
Al Franken doesn't want to be funny these days, not really funny. Wit has its place in politics, he says…But funny can be a distraction from the serious stuff Franken is trying to talk about, such as veterans' health care, global warming, his opposition to the war in Iraq, etc. Besides, Franken has always had funny. What he needs, as a candidate, is gravitas.
Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill: Small Steps, Giant Leap.
When he walked onto the Senate floor under his own power to vote on Friday, Sen. Tim Johnson (D) quietly marked a major milestone in his rehabilitation from a brain aneurysm that the senior South Dakotan suffered last year…
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Hillary Clinton continues her "Every County Counts Tour" through Iowa with stops in Johnston, and Des Moines. Later, she heads to the eastern part of the Hawkeye State with events in Davenport and Coralville.
* John McCain receives an endorsement from Joe Lieberman in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Later, he tours Lincoln Financial Company, holds a press Conference, and attends a house party in Concord. In the evening, McCain holds a town hall meeting in Weare.
* Fred Thompson kicks off his "The Clear Conservative Choice: Hands Down!" bus tour through Iowa with an event in Dubuque.
* John Edwards holds a bus tour finale event at The Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa. Later, he campaigns in Cedar Rapids and Davenport.
* Rudy Giuliani delivers remarks at Goss International Corporation in Durham, New Hampshire.
* Mike Huckabee is a guest on Larry King Live from Los Angeles, California.
* Dennis Kucinich campaigns in Sunapee, Claremont, and New London, New Hampshire.
* Barack Obama continues his bus tour through Iowa with events in Spencer, Storm Lake, Cherokee and Le Mars. Later, he holds a rally in Sioux City.
* Mitt Romney holds town hall meetings in Londonderry, Manchester, and Goffstown, New Hampshire.
* Joe Biden addresses local Democrats at a house party in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook