FROM Mike Allen
Can Dramatic Flair Beat Persistence in the Presidential Race? 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?
Fred Thompson Gaining on Giuliani in GOP Race A poll out today from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg shows Hillary Clinton retaining her solid lead over Barack Obama --33% to 22% of Democratic voters, with Al Gore third at 15% and John Edwards trailing with 8%. On the Republican side, both that poll and a survey by Rasmussen Reports have some bad news for Rudy Giuliani because of another undeclared candidate. Mike Allen is chief political reporter for The Politico , a web site that covers Washington politics.
Senate, House Create War-Funding Problems for Bush By two votes last night, the US Senate approved a non-binding deadline for pulling out of Iraq by March of next year. By the middle of May, the military will be running short of money in Iraq. This morning, after President Bush again threatened to veto any measure with a deadline for troop withdrawal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged him to "calm down with the threats." Mike Allen, who reports for the new website, Politico , reports on a potential impasse.
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?