FROM Jeff Schapiro
Last Call for Game-Changers In the depths of an economic crisis, recent polls show that attacks are backfiring on John McCain . But the message from his Republican base was to come out swinging. That he did in last night's debate —on taxes, healthcare and Barack Obama 's alleged association with 60's anti-war extremist Bill Ayers. In what's being called the "most intense," "spirited and combative" of their three debates, Obama maintained what one paper labeled "amused detachment." With so little time left, did it make a difference? Did McCain successfully separate himself from President Bush? Did Obama stay ahead by staying cool? What about the economy? We hear from strategists on both sides and get reaction from the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.
Midterm Elections Bring Big Changes On the day after Democrats won control of the Congress, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld steps down ; Former CIA Director Robert Gates is named to replace him. Nancy Pelosi will be the new House Speaker , but the Senate majority may not be known before Christmas. President Bush and Speaker-elect Pelosi pledge bi-partisanship, but what about their differences on the war in Iraq? Just who is Nancy Pelosi and what are the prospects for divided government? Will there be re-counts for Senate seats in Virginia -- where Republican Senator George Allen is trailing Democrat James Webb -- and Montana -- where Republican Senator Conrad Burns appears to have lost his seat to Democrat John Tester ? Whatever happened to “the permanent Republican majority?” Can Democrats maintain power without the South?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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?