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.
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.
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?