The ABCs of Politics

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9

A is for al Qaeda, which remains the problem (still).

B is for Bush, the biggest speech of his life (again). LINK

C is for "cut and run," which one doesn't hear much any more.

D is for David Rogers, Dow Jonesing for Rep. Murtha's secret plan to end the war. LINK

E is for endgame, which this just might be.

F is for Fielding, more Mikva than Cutler.

G is for governor, which Romney isn't any more – so what on Iraq?

H is for Harry Reid, who - despite what the AP led many to believe - was against the surge before he was against it.

I is for Iran, about which the Wall Street Journal is flipping out. LINK

(I is also for "I get it," a key -- and so far undercovered -- component of the President's "way forward" speech.)

J is for Joe Biden, whose hearings will give him a chance to talk.

K is for Kennedy, Edward Moore, emboldened and fearless.

L is for leaks, about the Iraq plan, which still seem ham handed.

M is for Maliki, who remains the biggest question mark (still).

N is for New York Sheraton, where the torch went from RJLJackson to BHObama last night.

O is for opportunity, to save ¼ of a presidency.

P is for Pelosi, having her own moment of truth.

Q is for Qaeda (al), which remains the problem (still).

R is for raising money, which 2008 handicappers discount at their peril.

S is for surge, which Rahm calls an "escalation." (S is also for -- don't forget -- "sacrifice.")

T is for Terminator, shaking up health care.

U is for underminers, some surprising Republican Senators on Iraq this week.

V is for Vilsack, heavily dissed on Imus this morn.

W is for winning, which W is determined to do.

X is for X-ing out, starting Wednesday at 9:26 pm ET.

Y is for your money – a billion here and a billion there, and it starts to add up.

Z is for Zeleny, Timesman Jeff chronicling the Democrats' split on Iraq. LINK

One day before President Bush outlines his plan to change Iraq policy, and amidst the growing (or is it shrinking) Democratic Party split on the issue, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) will introduce legislation that would prohibit the Bush Administration from using federal funds to increase US troops beyond the levels there on Jan. 1 of this year without specific congressional approval.

"We cannot simply speak out against an escalation of troops in Iraq," Sen. Kennedy plans to say at the National Press Club at an event that begins at 12:30 pm ET. "We must act to prevent it."

Congress has to act now, Sen. Kennedy told the Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh, "because if lawmakers wait, they could be put in the position of voting to cut off funding for additional troops after the administration has already sent them to Iraq -- a difficult vote for any elected official to take."

"If that happens, 'they will have effectively won the day,' Kennedy said. 'They will have gotten what they are looking for.' Thus Kennedy says he will press for a vote on his legislation 'at the earliest possible time.'"

This won't be easy, however, because as Obama expert Jeff Zeleny points out in his seminal New York Times story, Democrats are split over their approach to Iraq.

"While Democrats find themselves unusually united in their resistance to a troop increase, party leaders are locked in an internal debate over how far to go in objecting to the Administration's Iraq strategy." LINK

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