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Rudy Giuliani's continued strength in the polls has Christian conservatives talking about a third party.  But that might put Hillary Clinton back in the White House. Major anxiety for a major element of the Republican Party. Is the religious right losing its clout? What about those cell phone calls from Giuliani's wife? Also, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and, on Reporter's Notebook, as promised, President Bush has vetoed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Has the White House lost its political touch?

Photo: J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images

Making News Nuclear Deal Reached with North Korea 5 MIN, 39 SEC

North Korea was part of the famous "axis of evil," but today it agreed to disable its three main nuclear facilities by the end of this year. President Bush called it a step toward "a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons." Jay Solomon reports on national security for the Wall Street Journal.

Jay Solomon, Wall Street Journal (@WSJSolomon)

Main Topic Rudy Giuliani and Religious Conservatives 39 MIN, 55 SEC

With the latest campaign fundraising reports, Hillary Clinton looks stronger than ever as the choice of the Democrats. That creates an agonizing dilemma for some Christian conservatives, because Rudy Giuliani still leads on the Republican side. Faced with the former New York Mayor's messy personal life and liberal record on gay rights, immigration and a woman's right to abortion, leaders of the religious right are talking about a third party--which might guarantee Senator Clinton's victory. Does this mean a major opportunity for Giuliani's major opponents in next year’s primaries?  Is the religious right losing its clout in the Republican Party?

Michael Scherer, Time Magazine (@michaelscherer)
Jonathan Martin, New York Times (@jmartNYT)
Janet Folger, President of Faith2Action
Amy Black, Wheaton College
James Antle, Washington Examiner (@jimantle)

Reporter's Notebook Bush Vetoes SCHIP with Little Fanfare 3 MIN, 13 SEC

The ink was barely dry today before a rare Bush veto was denounced by medical groups, family advocates and Democrats. Many Republicans are also dismayed that he chose to block expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Was it a political blunder? Expansion of SCHIP had support from die-hard conservatives, including Orin Hatch, Charles Grassley and Pat Roberts—enough Republican Senators to override a presidential veto. The big question is now in the House. Alex Wayne is covering SCHIP for Congressional Quarterly.

Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News (@aawayne)

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