WASHINGTON (CNN) - Tonight is President Bush’s final State of the Union address - but there may be nearly as much attention paid to another Washington speech a few hours earlier and a few stops up the Red Line.
Meanwhile, as Barack Obama takes that American University stage with both Ted and Caroline Kennedy today, Hillary Clinton will hold an event back in the Massachusetts senator’s home state. Clinton had a substantial lead over Obama there in polls taken before the South Carolina vote – but the Illinois senator, fresh off his overwhelming weekend win, now sports the backing of the February 5 state’s Democratic governor and both U.S. senators, with just over a week to go until Super Tuesday.
Both the Democratic frontrunners will be on hand to vote against FISA cloture today, and stick around for SOTU this evening.
Down south, there’s just 24 hours until the presidential primary, but already nearly a million Floridians have cast their ballots in early and absentee voting – which makes late surveys there an even more uncertain results roadmap than usual.
(Of note: more than 400,000 of those votes have been cast in the Democratic primary-that-isn’t, according to the state party. That’s more than four times the total number of Democratic early and absentee ballots in the 2004 presidential primary – one sign the national party’s penalties haven’t affected the passion of the base in this key swing state.)
Recent polls also give Clinton the advantage here – but the ongoing argument over whether or not the contest will actually count for anything heading forward (whether in the real, delegate-granting sense the Clinton campaign has called for, or via some indefinable edge heading into Super Tuesday) has taken on an esoteric, angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin quality. (The answers right now are: who knows? And: it depends.)
Turning back to a contest that counts – at least halfway – the question of the day is whether Mitt Romney has successfully managed to turn the focus of the Florida GOP contest back to the economy, despite John McCain’s best efforts over the weekend. Mike Huckabee is already looking past the state to friendlier territory, spending much of the day in Tennessee.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand