FROM Chuck Todd
The Day Before the Iowa Caucuses The presidency of the United States is up for grabs almost as never before. For the first time in 80 years, neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party has an incumbent or a vice president in the running. Tomorrow, real people will get a chance to state their preferences in the Iowa Caucuses , which are happening earlier than ever before. However, when these ordinary voters finally start choosing the next president, the process will violate basic tenets of American democracy. Forget about the secret ballot or giving each person one vote. The Iowa caucuses don't work that way, especially for those who call themselves "Democrats." We find out how tomorrow's caucuses will work, and why they're getting more attention than ever before. What are the candidates saying and doing to stay alive for campaigns that may be over on the fifth of next month?
Presidential Campaign Is Already Underway The New Hampshire Primary will be held exactly a year from today. The days before that will see presidential caucuses in Iowa and Nevada . That might sound far off, but with no president running for re-election and no vice president stepping up, the 2008 race is moving at record speed. Chuck Todd is Editor of the National Journal 's Hotline, the favorite website for political junkies. Declared candidates: Former Senator/presidential candidate John Edwards (D-NC) Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) Those officially exploring campaigns and other possible condenders: Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) Senator John McCain (R-AZ) Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-NY)
Polls Offer First Look at '08 Presidential Race In the latest Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll on the incipient 2008 presidential race, Democrats are leaning toward Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton . But she would get thumped if she ran against Republican Senator John McCain , and she's would barely edge out the lesser known Mitt Romney if he were to get the GOP nomination.
Are the Democrats This Year's October Surprise? "Strategists and consultants of both parties now believe the House is lost and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi will become speaker. At best, Republicans will cling to control of the Senate by a single seat, two at most." That's from conservative columnist Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, quoted today in ABC's political website The Note . Democrats are so optimistic that Pelosi is already talking about which office she'll use as House Speaker. But President Bush and Carl Rove are reportedly full of confidence, both publicly and in private. Will the mid-term elections be a referendum on the President himself, Iraq and scandals in Congress? Can Republicans change the subject to local issues? What about money, organization and the partisan gerrymandering of district boundaries?
Political Fallout of the Mark Foley Scandal Florida's Republican Congressman resigned on Friday after reports that he sent sexually charged e-mail to teenage boys who were Congressional pages. One former page says he was warned about Mark Foley five years ago, and colleagues in the GOP leadership were told about possible problems a year ago. The former chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and a champion of anti-pornography legislation is being investigated by the State of Florida and the FBI.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.