WASHINGTON, Sep. 20
President Bush meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at 9:30 am ET at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City before returning to the White House at 12:55 pm ET.
And that interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer we mistakenly told you about yesterday, happens today. It airs at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm ET. According to a source familiar with Blitzer's thinking, he plans to ask the President if any of his grandparents are Jewish.
The President's UN hallway buddy, former President Bill Clinton (a/k/a: America's first Jewish president), kicks off the second annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative today with the help of First Lady Laura Bush, who is scheduled to deliver remarks at 10:00 am ET in New York City.
Other headliners at the CGI today include: Thomas Friedman, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Pervez Musharraf, Javier Solana, and Alvaro Uribe Velez. (And that's just one panel!) The opening reception takes place tonight at 7:30 pm ET at the Museum of Modern Art. Get all your schedule info here: LINK
ABC News' Jessica Yellin hears that "when the First Lady speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative today she'll announce a new partnership with the Case Foundation (Steve and Jean Case) to help bring clean water to sub-Saharan African countries. They're investing in a system that uses merry-go-rounds. When kids play on the merry-go-round it powers septic systems to clean the water."
More Yellin: "Also expect the First Lady to highlight the Bush Administration's work on AIDS. Mrs. Bush will also address literacy, poverty, and global health."
The House is in session today with Voter ID legislation on the floor. The Senate is in session today and tackles the border security/fence legislation recently passed by the House.
The House GOP leadership talks national and border security at a 10:00 am ET post-conference meeting stakeout. The House Democratic leadership talks national and economic security at its 10:00 am ET post-caucus meeting stakeout.
The Senate Democratic leadership holds a 10:45 am ET press conference announcing plans to embark upon (partisan) oversight of the Iraq war.
According to excerpts "obtained" by ABC News, Sen. Reid plans to say: "Since the Republicans who run the Senate won't fulfill their constitutional duty. Democrats will take it upon ourselves. We will hold a series of oversight hearings into the war in Iraq. We will bring real witnesses. We will ask tough questions. And we will get the truth."
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) was scheduled to deliver an 8:30 am ET speech on his plan for the way forward in Iraq at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was scheduled to discuss technology-related issues at 7:45 am ET as part of the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Titans Breakfast at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) delivers a speech on energy independence at 12:30 pm ET as part of MoveOn.Org's "Progressive Vision" speech series at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Later today, Sen. Obama campaigns with Jim Webb (D-VA) in Alexandria, VA.
Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), a potential 2008 opponent of George Allen's for the nomination, makes remarks at an Israel solidarity rally at 1:00 pm ET in New York City.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was scheduled to speak at 8:30 am ET as part of the 2006 National Long Term Care Symposium along with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.
Ohio gubernatorial candidates Rep. Ted Strickland (D-OH) and Ken Blackwell (R-OH) face off in a debate in Cleveland, OH.
Young Voter Strategies unveils the results of a new poll showing the voting attitudes of 18-30 year olds in the 2006 election cycle at a 10:00 am ET news conference at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
The Center for American Values releases the results of its survey on religion, values, and politics today.
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman travels to Minnesota where he is expected to make remarks at a closed-press fundraiser for Michele Bachmann in Minneapolis. Mehlman also plans to attend a grassroots volunteer rally for Bachmann in Woodbury, MN.
Former fellow Clinton strategists Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Bruce Reed sign copies of their book "The Plan" at 7:00 pm ET tonight at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, DC.
Clinton Global Initiative:
In an interview with the Financial Times, Bill Clinton says "Americans will tolerate Democratic differences on Iraq because the current situation has not worked." He adds, however, that Democrats won't win just by criticizing Iraq. LINK
He says that the Bush Administration's strategy has been complicated because Sens. Warner, McCain, and Graham "believe in the rule of law."
He also says of the Swift Boat attacks on Sen. Kerry: "That was disgusting."
In the New York Sun, Nicholas Wapshott writes that behind closed ballroom doors, the secret world establishment "is busy doing what it does best, congratulating itself on its concern for those lesser mortals who rely on mere democracy to try to get things done." LINK
The Washington Post's Michael Fletcher looks at the First Lady's "major role" on the World Stage including her address to the Clinton Global Initiative. LINK
The Way to Win:
The Way to Win, the Random House book by Mark Halperin of ABC News and John F. Harris of the Washington Post, out October 3rd, explores how presidential candidates such as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have won the White House. One big factor: they learned to keep control of their public images and to define their opponents. Today, on the book's website, thewaytowin2008.com, you can attend the world premiere of two videos which demonstrate this theme.
Click here to see how the Bush political operation turned John Kerry into an effete Frenchman and to watch the before-to-after transformation of Hillary Clinton from beleaguered FLOTUS to commanding Senator. LINK Go to the "videos" page.
You can also make sure you are the first on your block (or Russell SOB hallway) to get a copy of The Way to Win by pre-ordering the book. LINK
Today is also the second installment of our book quiz, in which you can win a free autographed copy of The Way to Win.
But first, to briefly review yesterday's contest:
Tuesday's question was "Bill Clinton famously donned sunglasses for Arsenio Hall during the 1992 campaign, but for which television icon did he belt out the Elvis Presley classic "Don't Be Cruel"?
The correct answer: Charlie Rose of PBS and Manhattan. (Popular guesses were Leno, Letterman, Carson, and Brokaw.) The winner, chosen at Random from the pool of those who answered correctly was from -- quite appropriately -- a man in Austin, Texas.
Today's question: Which American president was caught on tape saying of John Kerry, "Well, he is sort of a phony, isn't he?"
To answer, go to The Way to Win website here: LINK You gotta play to win.
The party committees file their August numbers with the FEC today. Here's an early look at what was provided to us by the committees. The National Republican Senatorial Committee was the only committee to not respond to our request this morning.
Total raised for August 2006: $7.7 million
Total raised for 2006 cycle: $175.8 million
Total spent for 2006 cycle: $160.4 million
Cash on hand: $39.3 million
Total raised for August 2006: $8.5 million
Cash on hand: $36 million
Total raised for August 2006: $6.7 million
Total raised for 2006 cycle: $97 million
Cash on hand: $10.9 million
Total raised for August 2006: $5 million
Cash on hand: $35 million
Total raised for August 2006: $4.1 million
Total raised for 2006 cycle: $81.3 million
Cash on hand: $29.8 million
The Wall Street Journal's Cummings adds up all the dollars and Notes that Chairman Dean's decision to spend money to hire full-time workers in state party offices has created "friction" with House and Senate Democratic leaders, who fear "the more immediate consequences" of the RNC's money advantage.
McCain and the GOP:
The Washington Post's Babington and Weisman have Frist chief of staff Ueland calling the dissident's detainee bill "dead" as Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist says that any legislation must "preserve our intelligence programs" and "protect classified information from terrorists." Meanwhile, President Bush faced "still more problems in the House" where four GOP moderates "publicly threw their support behind the bill opposed by the White House." LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Richard Simon reports on the rift between Frist and McCain over interrogation legislation with Sen. McCain asserting that his negotiations are with the White House, not with his potential 2008 opponent. LINK
Politics of detainees:
The White House has signaled it might be willing to alter US law instead of international treaty by clarifying the 1996 War Crimes Act, a move that may protect American interrogators from fear of prosecution. It's not clear if the trio of GOP Senators led by Sen. McCain will go along with the Administration's plan. The Boston Globe's Richard Klein explains. LINK
Graniteprof's Dante Scala charts the recent McCain/McQuaid trajectory. LINK
Politics of Iraq:
"A lack of progress by Iraq's government is a growing concern for the Bush administration," write Julian Barnes and Peter Spiegel of the Los Angeles Times on Army Gen. John P. Abizaid's announcement that troops will not be reduced in Iraq until the spring. LINK
The Washington Post on the same: LINK
In yet another rompy read, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank excoriates James Baker and Lee Hamilton for refusing to answer any questions about the report being prepared by the Iraq Study Group that they chair. LINK
In the latest installment of his "Meet the Next President" series, Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner has Karl Rove saying Democrats such as former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) are "not serious about winning the Democratic nomination because they know it will almost certainly go to Clinton. 'Anybody who thinks that she's not going to be the candidate is kidding themselves,' Rove says. 'I mean, all this stuff about, you know, Warner or Richardson -- all these guys are preening for the vice presidential slot.'" LINK
Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner raised more than $100,000 dollars in two days in New York as he and other 2008 Democratic hopefuls setup shop in the Big Apple trying to court big name, high influence Hillary Clinton donors. Jason Horowitz of the New York Observer describes the scene. LINK
"He was sipping a diet soda at the bar of Fresco on 52nd Street, where a Wednesday-night fund-raiser was planned upstairs. As the disco lyrics of "Last Dance" pulsed out of the restaurant's speakers and drowned out his words, Mr. Warner ever so quietly and carefully made the case why he might be a more pragmatic option than Mrs. Clinton."
The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe has told business associates and party donors that he will chair Sen. Clinton's campaign next year , holding the potential to raise around $100 million before the Iowa caucuses in January 2008. While Clinton hasn't announced whether she will run for the high office, McAuliffe said, "I would just say that I hope she runs." LINK
Mr. McAuliffe and Ms. Lewis both demur. General Wesley Clark plans to be in Kentucky on Sunday and Monday to rally Democrats and campaign for local candidates, Notes the Courier-Journal's Beardsley. LINK
The New York Post reports that "many voters" in California want New York Mayor Bloomberg to run for President. LINK
In an interview with Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), the man in line to be the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee if Democrats win control of Congress, says that he would fight privatization of Social Security, seek a compromise on trade accords, pursue a return to pay-as-you-go budget rules as well as a major reform of the AMT's expanding reach.
Howard Fineman and Holly Bailey of Newsweek hit it out of the park this week with a detailed look of the intermingling of the Rahm and Ari Emanuel entourages, complete with peerless news, color, and analysis explaining how Democrats MIGHT take control of the House. LINK
Dick Morris' column in The Hill urges readers to pay no attention to that Gallup poll that was all the buzz yesterday. LINK
". . . with the underlying situation not much changed, it is probable that the mood will pass and that the Democrats will resume their domination of the 2006 election," writes Morris, who seems to believe that the thwarted terror plot in London, the debate over detainees, and the 9/11 anniversary (and accompanying ABC Entertainment docu-drama) may have only temporarily made the war on terror foremost on voters' minds.
ABC News' Jake Tapper traveled to Tucson, AZ where he spoke with congressional candidate Randy Graf (R-AZ) and saw firsthand how the illegal immigration issue looks in a border state with a visit to the Arizona-Mexico border. Look for more on this story on Thursday's "World News with Charlie Gibson." LINK
In a story that dismisses the competitiveness of Rep. Richard Pombo's (R-CA) seat and which downplays the competitiveness of Rep. John Doolittle's (R-CA) seat, the Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes Notes that the redistricting plan drawn by Michael Berman -- brother of Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and uncle of Lindsey Berman -- has narrowed opportunities for both parties to pick up seats in California.
Patrick Murphy, the Democratic nominee and Iraq war veteran running against freshman GOP incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in Pennsylvania's hotly contested 8th Congressional district garnered major editorial page space today in the Philadelphia Daily News with an editorial on Iraq co-written with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). LINK
Of all the important issues on the table for November's midterms, the most important in the tight race between Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Democratic challenger Lois Murphy may not be Iraq or education, but a referendum on trash collection in Reading, PA. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Nancy Peterson has the story. LINK
The Hartford Courant reports that the Connecticut state GOP is looking to attract some high-rollers for a $15,000-per-head fundraiser that will offer attendees "a picture and . . . a firm handshake" from President Bush. The money raised won't go to individual campaigns but be spent for the entire Republican ticket. LINK
The Des Moines Register's Higgins reports that Republicans around the country are stepping into the competitive IA-03 race and contributing huge sums of ad money to unseat Democrat Leonard Boswell, as the NRCC alone has spent nearly $112,000 on ads thus far. LINK
Sen. Chuck Schumer successfully persuaded four Senators with large campaign warchests (three of whom are in cycle with easy reelects) to part with big chunks of their cash. Sens. Kennedy, Clinton, Durbin, and Feinstein have stepped up to the plate, each giving $1 million from their campaign committees to the DSCC in recent days, reports Roll Call.
Making him the latest public official to discover Jewish roots late in life, the Washington Post's Michael Shear reports that Sen. Allen "said for the first time publicly yesterday that he has Jewish ancestry, a day after responding angrily to an exchange that included questions about his mother's racial sensitivity and whether his family has Jewish roots." LINK
The Note continues to wonder: Will Sen. Allen's angry reaction at Monday's debate spur Jews to give heavily to Webb? ABC News' Jake Tapper tackles the brewing controversy in his "Political Punch" blog. LINK
Sen. Allen is meta-embracing his Jewish heritage, something he only became aware of after reading an article last month, reports Carl Hulse of the New York Times. LINK
A Quinnipiac University poll finds a dead heat in Ohio. LINK
Quinnipiac also released a New Jersey Senate poll this morning and finds it within the margin of error too. (Note the awareness of and reaction to the Menendez ethics issues.) LINK
Sen. Maria Cantwell won a huge victory in the Democratic primary in Washington state, despite her support of the Iraq war. LINK
Republican challenger John Spencer called Clinton to defend Pope Benedict XVI's right to free speech, Notes the Washington Times. LINK
Bay State Primary Day:
Winning half the primary votes cast yesterday, Deval Patrick earned the Democratic nomination for governor of Massachusetts. Patrick, decisively defeated his well-known opponents businessman Christopher Gabrieli and Attorney General Thomas Reilly. Yesterday's results pit Patrick, seeking to become the states' first African-American governor against Lt. Governor Kerry Healey (R-MA), who's vying to become Massachusetts' first woman elected governor. Last night, Healey was on the attack, claiming Patrick is soft on crime and an advocate of tax increases. LINK
The Globe has no shortage of opinions on the gubernatorial primaries and other statewide elections. LINK
Kimberly Atkins sets up the picture for Healey v. Patrick. LINK
The Boston Herald has a complete listing of the primary results. LINK
"Republican candidates in states heavy with moderate or Democratic voters are playing up their liberal positions on issues including stem cell research, abortion and the environment, while remaining true to their party's platform on taxes and streamlining government," writes Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times on the not-so-new but oh-so-prevalent-this-year technique of conservative gubernatorial candidates campaigning liberal-centrist. LINK
Steinhauer quotes RGA Executive Director Phil Musser: "From the broadest perspective, voters in these races go into the booth caring less if governor is pro life or pro choice and more about whether he is going to reduce their property taxes or make their life easier at the D.M.V."
On the flip side, if Democrats win in Ohio and Colorado, they will have in their ranks, two former missionaries (Ritter and Kaine) and one ordained minister (Strickland).
According to the Las Vegas Sun, big differences have arisen between gubernatorial candidates Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) and state Sen. Dina Titus (D-NV) in Nevada. LINK
The Houston Chronicle's Scharrer reports that Gov. Rick Perry's (R-TX) new TV ad touting accomplishments in public schools has infuriated opponents who say the state contributed little to funding increases for Texas public schools. LINK
The Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont Notes that GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle (R-IA) "proposed measures aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from voting, although elections officials said there is little evidence of such a problem in Iowa." But Beaumont also Notes the proposal is in line with a Des Moines Register poll showing a majority of voters oppose overturning a law casting English as the state's primary language. LINK