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FROM THIS EPISODE

While eight Republican candidates were trudging through yet another debate in New Hampshire last night Fred Thompson upstaged them -- from Los Angeles. He went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and finally announced he was running for the White House. Some experts say his announcement was big news because the field's so weak. But does Thompson have the substance to win over conservatives? Also, more grim news on Iraq. On Reporter's Notebook, after a string of slick successes, has Apple stumbled with its new iPhone? Jim Sterngold guest hosts.


Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBC Universal via Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Dan Konecky
Karen Radziner

Reporter's Notebook Rationale Behind the iPhone Price Cut 8 MIN, 34 SEC

Few gadgets have received as much hype as Apple's iPhone. Just introduced three months ago, people lined up for hours despite the cellphone's whopping top price of $599. Now, Apple's stock price has tumbled following a $200 price cut for the phone. Has Steve Jobs got more up his sleeve? Freelance journalist Joel Johnson, who writes about technology on BoingBoing.net, has an update on the iPhone, the electronics market and Apple's virtual music venture with Starbucks.

Guests:
Joel Johnson, Freelance journalist

Making News Study Recommend US Should Lower Profile in Iraq 5 MIN, 55 SEC

In a week of dark assessments about Iraq, a panel of experts has delivered more grim news, this time about the police force. A twenty-member commission led by a retired Marine general found that the Iraqi army was slowly improving, but that the police force is so riddled with militias that it could not be trusted and ought to be disbanded. Adam Graham-Silverman of Congressional Quarterly joins us from the Senate Press Gallery.

Guests:
Adam Graham-Silverman, Reporter for Congressional Quarterly

Main Topic Can Dramatic Flair Beat Persistence in the Presidential Race? 34 MIN, 19 SEC

For a moment at least, Hollywood flair has trumped the policy wonks in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. Last night, while eight Republican candidates trudged through yet another debate, Fred Thompson upstaged them -- from Los Angeles. He went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and announced he was running for the White House. After stealing the spotlight with his late entry into the race, does the actor and former senator have the substance to win over conservatives? How will he fare against intense scrutiny on issues like abortion and immigration?

Guests:
Mike Allen, Chief Political Correspondent for the Politico
David Bossie, President of Citizens United (@David_Bossie)
Richard Viguerie, ConservativeHQ.com
John Geer, Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
Ann Stone, Republicans for Choice (@aews)

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