The Note: One-Issue Politics


What issue is the House voting on today that will be a milestone in the enactment of the political death of the Bush Administration's major policy initiative?

What issue is currently bedeviling the presidential front-runners of both major parties like nothing else, in a way that fundamentally threatens their chances to be nominated?

What issue has already decimated the weekend travel schedules of many presidential candidates -- and threatens to do the same thing all year long, with more key votes coming? LINK

What issue causes many Republicans to say the White House will inevitably be lost to their party in 2008 and many Democratic hopefuls to assume that gaining their own party's nomination is tantamount to winning the presidency?

What issue has made SecDef Gates challenge on Iran that much tougher?

What issue has given Nancy Pelosi a chance to demonstrate that she can put competence in the service of ideology?

What issue has caused the Bush Administration to short-circuit SOP on other foreign policy matters, such as North Korea? LINK

What issue makes the prospect of Bush-Reid-Pelosi deals on immigration, education, health care, entitlements, energy, and/or competitiveness seem as likely as a Giuliani-Bloomberg ticket?

What issue has neutered the White-House-RNC-Republican leadership-Drudge-Fox News-Rush Daddy Party attack machine?

What issue is allowing liberal bloggers to acquire actual influence, currently hovering at around 1/119th the level of their own imagined influence?

What issue is creating the most tension between the Clinton-Obama camps and the Clinton-Edwards camps?

What issue on which Al Gore took an early and forceful position gives him the chance to enter the presidential race late, by surpassing Clinton on experience (simultaneously trumping Obama and Edwards), and surpassing Obama on early opposition (simultaneously trumping Clinton and Edwards)?

What issue gives candidates outside the Big 6 their best hope for getting media attention when they launch an attack from the left against one or more of the Big 3 within their party?

What issue can cause even the mild-mannered and fair-minded (such as Michael Beschloss) to be savaged by blogs and radio hosts if they rhetorically conflate it with the war on terror and the war in Afghanistan?

What issue has turned Martha Raddatz from one of the best and most influential political reporters in America to THE best and most influential political reporter in America -- and has allowed her to intimidate the unintimidatable George W. Bush?

What issue has allowed progressives to become positively Grover Norquistian in their capacity to ram wedge issues through state legislatures in order to pressure Washington? LINK

What issue has allowed Rep. Murtha to go from riches to rags to riches to…?

What issue creates a game of chicken for the Republicans 2008 Big 3, as each eyes the exit to figure out when there will be political advantage in being the first to call for peace with honor?

What issue has allowed Reps. Hoyer and Emanuel to demonstrate they understand the politics of symbolism and centrism?

What issue will allow columnists and historians to say without fear of contradiction (at least in their own minds) that the Bush Administration is an abject failure?

What issue dwarfs all others in inspiring emotion within the Democratic Party? (And remember that inspiring emotion in politics is nearly the whole enchilada.)

What issue keeps all 2008 presidential candidates and congressional do-gooders from getting the press and public to focus on anything else?

The key stories to watch today and tomorrow are the Iraq vote totals in the House and Senate.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-MD) office advises that the Democratic leadership is aiming for a vote "around 4ish this afternoon." The House is voting on a resolution that disapproves of the President's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq, while stating support for the troops.

How many Republican defections will there be, and will the broadcast network anchors in the evening describe the vote as a "bipartisan rebuke of the President's policy"? As Gene Randall would say, only time will tell.

On the other side of bicamerality, in a move that has wreaked havoc for '08ers currently serving in the upper chamber, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Thursday that the Senate will meet Saturday to take up the procedural cloture vote on the House's Iraq anti-surge resolution. (See our "weekend warrior" section for a full rundown on the '08 fallout of the Saturday vote).

As for the rest of Friday's events, President Bush has a 10:00 am ET meeting with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos in the Oval Office, and holds a 1:05 pm ET meeting with the incoming Commander of United States Central Command, Admiral William Fallon.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) travels to the Sunshine State where he delivers 7:00 pm ET remarks at the Lake Miona Regional Recreation Center in The Villages, FL.

On Sunday morning, be sure to tune into "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" for an on-the-trail interview with Gov. Romney and his wife, Ann. It will be Romney's first post-announcement Sunday morning interview.

Sen. Obama attends a 4:30 pm ET rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, SC.

Sen. McCain starts Friday in Ohio, then heads to Chicago where he delivers the keynote address to the Union League Club of Chicago's 120th George Washington's Birthday Gala. There will be a press availability beforehand at 6:30 ET.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attends a fundraiser hosted by former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, VA.

Sen. Dodd attends the 8:00 am ET "Politics and Eggs" breakfast in Bedford, NH, and participates in a 1:30 pm ET roundtable discussion at the public library in Keene, NH.

Sen. Biden holds a 4:30 pm ET town hall discussion on national security at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, IA, and delivers an 8:00 pm ET keynote address at the Story County Democrats Soup Supper at the Collegiate United Methodist Church in Ames, IA.

Fresh from an unquestionably strong appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Vilsack is in Los Angeles today where he is shaking the money tree and meeting with other people interested in his campaign.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), author of "Positively American," and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), author of "Winning the Future," participate in a 10:00 am ET debate at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Jim Ramstad (R-MN), Mike Ross (D-AR), Ray LaHood (R-IL), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) participate in a 10:00 am ET unveiling of the Healthy Kids Act at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. They are joined by representatives from Families USA, America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, Healthcare Leadership Council, and Johnson & Johnson.

Because we love presidents of all types, the Note will not publish Monday in observance of the national holiday. It will return Tuesday.

Weekend warriors:

Reid's decision to call a Saturday vote "caused untold pain and suffering for his Democratic colleagues," writes the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, "many of whom prefer to spend their weekends running for president." LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper and Zach Wolf report that Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) say they will be present if there is a vote. LINK

McCain, by contrast, is still planning (as of now) to be away from the Senate even if there is a vote. On Saturday, Sen. McCain attends a 10:15 am ET town hall meeting at Hotel Fort in Des Moines, IA. He also attends a 2:15 pm ET town hall meeting at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Even though she has cancelled her town hall discussion in Dover, NH, Sen. Clinton will keep her scheduled 10:00 am ET house party in Portsmouth, NH.

Sen. Obama (for now) keeps his 10:00 am ET town hall meeting at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Physical Education Center in Orangeburg, SC, and then attends the Virginia Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at 7:30 pm ET in Richmond, VA where he might pick up the endorsement of Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA).

Sen. Biden, who was supposed to be in Iowa, Sen. Brownback, who was supposed to attend the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Florida, and Sen. Dodd, who was supposed to be in South Carolina, have all scrapped their Saturday campaign activity.

Leader Reid calls a "weekend detention." The New York Times reports that Sens. Boxer and Murray were already on flights to the west coast when the announcement was made, but they plan to fly right back to DC. LINK

The New York Daily News: LINK

The Washington Times' Christina Bellantoni reports that "the Nevada Democrat yesterday said he did not take members' 2008 aspirations -- or planned weekend visits to Iowa and New Hampshire -- into consideration." Los Angeles Times: LINK

First Obama skips out, now Biden, Clinton, and Dodd may have to skip next Wednesday's AFSCME presidential forum in Carson City because of the Senate Iraq debate, writes the Las Vegas Review Journal's Molly Ball. LINK

Politics of Iraq: in the Congress:

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "linked her support for President Bush's war-funding request to strict standards of resting, training and equipping combat forces, a move that could curtail troop deployments and alter the course of U.S. involvement in Iraq," reports the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray. LINK

As the debate in Congress shifts from nonbinding resolutions of disapproval to attaching conditions on funding for the war, a constitutional clash between the legislative and executive branches "may be inevitable," reports the Washington Post's Harvard-educated Michael Abramowitz. LINK

Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times looks at the "more divisive questions" that await Democrats after the House passes its non-binding resolution of disapproval. LINK

Kathy Kiely of USA Today writes that while the battles in Congress expose the national discontent over the Administration's war policy, it also demonstrates "the limits of how far Democrats are willing to go to change it."LINK

Rep. Emanuel predicts, as the House vote goes on the non-binding resolution goes up, the Senate vote will go up too, reports CNBC's John Harwood.

Politics of Iraq: in the states:

Sparked by a conference call with Sen. Kennedy and frustration over Congress's inability to pass a resolution on Iraq, Democratic state legislatures are taking the matter into their own hands. The New York Times on a small-but-maybe-growing trend from state to state. LINK

Jonathan Roos of the Des Moines Register on the Iowa State Senate's condemnation of the Iraq troop surge. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

"Bush Paints Congress as Incoherent on Iraq," reports ABC News' Teddy Davis, Matthew Zavala, and Paul Fidalgo. LINK

In a column that is being circulated by the White House, the Washington Post's David Broder writes that President Bush is "regaining his footing" by reframing the Iraq debate. LINK

The New York Times takes Note of President Bush's timing with his speech on Afghanistan.LINK

"The speech was also a striking effort by the White House to focus attention back on Afghanistan at a time when Congress is debating resolutions criticizing Mr. Bush's strategy in Iraq and the administration is making a case that Iranian forces are supplying Shiite militants in Iraq with roadside bombs."

Chicago Tribune on Bush: LINK

Democratic agenda:

"The new Democratic-controlled Congress is looking to rein in looming tax increases on the middle class, possibly covering the cost by raising taxes on upper-income households. And the Bush Administration may not stand in the way, reports the Wall Street Journal's Sarah Lueck.LINK

2008: Republicans: Giuliani:

CNN's Bill Schneider says Giuliani has "the Big Mo." LINK

The New York Times has a history lesson for Giuliani, but it isn't all bad news. LINK

Giuliani beats Romney to the (conservative) punch. The New York Post reports that America's Mayor will give a lecture at the Pat Robertson founded Regent University in April, before former Gov. Romney gives the commencement address in May. The paper also reports that Robertson will most likely introduce Giuliani himself. LINK

More from the Richmond Times Dispatch:LINK

2008: Republicans: Romney:

Glen Johnson of the Associates Press reports on Gov. Romney's million-dollar haul at the end of this announcement tour. Speaking to supporters in Boston, Gov. Romney said not to worry about his current standing in nation polls insisting that, "The polls that count are what are happening in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, those early states, among Republican voters. That's where we're aiming right now. And slowly but surely we're going to be building our strength there.'' LINK

On that front, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA), who has a son working for Gov. Romney -- but who personally remains uncommitted -- says Romney's Iowa polls are up while Sen. McCain and Mayor Giuliani are down, reports John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal's in Washington Wire.

On the other hand, Cato's Dan Mitchell says economic conservatives "remain wary" of Gov. Romney's record on spending, reports the Wirey Harwood.

The Washington Post ed board writes Gov. Romney has a lot to do to convince voters that his transformation on abortion, gay rights and embryonic stem cell research is authentic, but adds that Romney should not be judged on the basis of his religion.LINK

After former Gov. Romney's wife opened up to ABC News' Kate Snow on "Good Morning America;" the Boston Globe does the wrap-up on Ann Romney's first dance with the media. LINK

Romney drives "home" his affiliation with Boston and Massachusetts at a fundraiser in the city last night, the Boston Globe reports. LINK

The Boston Herald picks up on Romney trailing Gingrich. LINK

2008: Republicans: Gingrich:

Ralph Hallow of the Washington Times writes about the "shadow" former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) casts over the 2008 presidential race. Republican communications strategist believes the reason that Gingrich goes unNoticed is because "the liberal press doesn't want to acknowledge that he casts a big shadow over the 2008 race." LINK

2008: Republicans: Brownback:

Of the Senate 2008 presidential hopefuls, Sen. Brownback leads the field in missed votes. Politico's Carrie Sheffield reports. LINK

The Kansas City Star re-runs a story today that originally came out in 1996, when Brownback first ran for the Senate, but it does give a good look at the reasons Brownback first got into politics. LINK

Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star opines this morning that Brownback is another flip-flopper on the abortion issue.LINK

2008: Republicans: Tancredo:

ABC News' Jennifer Parker reports on Tancredo's letter to the NFL Commissioner of the League's decision not to air a recruitment ad for the U.S. Border Patrol during the Super Bowl. LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper clears up the misunderstandings over Tancredo's smoking and the conflict with Rep. Ellison. LINK

2008: Democrats: Clinton:

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that Sen. Clinton "has secured the backing of Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team. LINK

". . . taking nothing away from Barack Obama, it's not a difficult decision -- I'm absolutely convinced Hillary Clinton will be the best president."

The Associated Press, eating DiStaso dust, reports that former Rep. Dick Swett (D-NH) and his wife Katrina, who is running for the Senate, along with former Shaheen aide Judy Reardon, are backing Sen. Clinton's presidential bid. LINK

The New York Post on Bill Clinton's initial public/private larger scale coin acts as would-be First Husband. The former President hosted a fundraiser for Sen. Clinton in a Manhattan residence and will host a bigger affair in March in Washington, the paper reports. LINK

Sen. Clinton goes "nuclear" on Giuliani, the New York Daily News reports. LINK

2008: Democrats: Obama:

ABC News' Jake Tapper reported this morning on "Good Morning America" about a recent poll that says that 84% say a black person running would not affect their vote. However, Tapper reported about the "15% lie" in the polls, which is to say race actually does play a role in how people vote.

After Sen. Obama skipped a Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Bush, Tapper got an Obama aide to say: "He's trying to replace the president, not just meet with him." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Dahleen Glanton explores a central question facing Sen. Obama's prospects for African-American support in the South. "Black voters, in particular, have found themselves in a dilemma," writes Glanton. "Should they support Obama and possibly make history or should they support Hillary Clinton and bring back a team many feel was the most dedicated to black causes since President John Kennedy?"LINK

In a Washington Post op ed, Marjorie Valbrun argues that people asking if. Obama is "black enough" are asking the wrong question. LINK

"Obama gets into some trouble when he tries to differentiate himself from his opponents on the war," writes Time's Joe Klein. ". . . He professes not to know where Clinton stands on how to end the war, and yet less than a year ago, they voted for exactly the same Iraq resolution, a phased withdrawal without a fixed timetable. Both he and Clinton voted against John Kerry's proposal to withdraw all troops by July 2007 for reasons that still sound good today. . . Clinton remains opposed to timetables, but Obama decided to change his position and in January announced the March 2008 date." LINK

Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune looks at the MySpace-ification of Sen. Obama's website, and the experimentation with social networking happening with many candidates' Internet presences. LINK

The State's Aaron Shenin previews Obama's trip to South Carolina beginning today and continuing tomorrow, an effort to close the gap that Clinton has on him in the state. LINK

Jim Davenport reports this morning that the sentiment among black South Carolina voters is that Obama is not guaranteed support just because of his roots.LINK

Some of that Obama magic may be rubbing off on the basketball court at Brown University, the New York Times reports. LINK

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne opines that Sen. Obama's path to the Democratic nomination may be determined by whether he can become a champion of Internet campaigning. LINK

2008: Obama vs. Vilsack:

Sen. Obama's "out by March of '08" Iraq war position came under criticism Thursday from a Democratic presidential rival who argued that Congress has a "moral responsibility" to immediately cut off funding for U.S. fighting.

Congress has a responsibility to get the U.S. out of Iraq, said former Gov. Tom Vilsack, D-Iowa, "not in March of 2008 -- but now."

The "March of 2008" reference was a thinly veiled shot at Obama's position, reports ABC News' Teddy Davis. The Illinois lawmaker has introduced legislation in the Senate which sets the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by Mar. 31, 2008. LINK

Vilsack said that if Congress does not immediately act to cut off funding, the Bush administration will send more troops to Iraq and more Americans will risk dying.

The former Iowa governor offered his criticism of Obama's Iraq position on a conference call with reporters after taping an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

2008: Democrats: Edwards:

In Salon, former Edwards Bloggers, Amanda Marcotte, gives her reasons why she quit the Edwards campaign. LINK

2008: Democrats: Richardson:

Liz Smith gives play to comments made by Gov. Richardson in this morning's New York Post. LINK

2008: Democrats: Vilsack:

Without a doubt, Vilsack was boffo on Leno. He joked smoothly with Jim Carrey; he got in his favorite stump lines (including how he is rock solid, not a rock star); had a good rapport with Jay; and got a huge ovation the second time he called for the troops to be brought back from Iraq. Iowa Radio's Kay Henderson on the local boy's 6-minutes on the big-time couch: LINK

The Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont on Gov. Vilsack's Leno appearance, which apparently disappointed some for lack of a governor-as-Winnie-the-Pooh photograph.LINK

On his post-Leno conference call with reporters, Vilsack plugged the New Republic's recent coverage of his campaign. LINK

In his coverage of Vilsack's "long road," TNR's Jason Zengerle writes: ". . . if a cynic suggests that Vilsack has a certain freedom to make this demand of Congress--since he himself doesn't actually have to vote on the issue--he gets a bit testy. 'I called every family who lost a loved one in the state while I was governor,' he says. 'So don't tell me I've got a free ride on this.'"

Rob Boshart of the Cedar Rapids Gazette was on Vilsack's post-Leno call and has the former Iowa governor saying: "Any time you get an opportunity to be in front of a national audience, especially an opportunity to show yourself as a regular person with an interesting life story and a position on an issue that's the issue of the day, it's going to help." LINK

2008: Democrats: Dodd:

The Washington Posts Jeffrey H. Brinbaum and Carrie Johnson explore Sen. Dodd's connection to the financial services community and how that has helped him gain a campaign war chest (for now) only surpassed by Hillary Clinton. LINK

While campaigning in New Hampshire, Dodd said the recent jockeying by the Senate disgusts him. "This was debating about debating, this was in my view the Senate and Congress at some of its worst in some ways. Both sides sort of enjoying this game at the expense of failing to come up with some clear direction for our Congress." John DiStaso of the Union Leader has Dodd's full story.LINK

2008: Democrats: Biden:

The Delaware News Journal's Nicole Gaudiano reports on Sen. Biden's intentions toward a new Iraq war resolution with a "a much narrower mission statement for troops in Iraq."LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Matthew Zavala on the same:LINK

While appearing Thursday on Brooke Brower's "Hardball," Sen. Biden said that President Bush referred to Sen. Obama as "articulate" on the same day that the Delaware Democrat's controversial interview appeared in the New York Observer.

2008: Democrats: Gore:

Former Vice President Gore announced his "Live Earth" concert.LINK

The Bush vs. Gore Mall face-off is underway.

2008: Nader:

Former presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, is considering making another bid for the White House, but his decision will be made if Clinton get's the nomination. "She's just another bad version of Bill Clinton" Nader said in a radio interview.LINK

2008: Bloomberg:

Page Six has Mayor Bloomberg's respect for Aretha Franklin. LINK


Rob Christensen, Bill Krueger, and Barbara Barrett of the Raleigh News & Observer report that Sen. Edwards' lead has slipped in Iowa to a tie with Sen. Clinton, according to a Zogby poll, following the flaps over his campaign's bloggers.

Beaumont reports for the Des Moines Register on some Iowa campaign recruitments. Sen. McCain has picked up political adviser Matt Strawn to head his Iowa campaign, and Sen. Clinton has recruited Angelique Pirozzi as caucus director, Bayh staffer Chris Hayler as Iowa political director, and Mark Daley as Iowa communications director. LINK

If Sen. Clinton doesn't know yet how much reporters HEART Mark Daley, she will find out on her next trip to the state.

South Carolina:

Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Sen. Clinton has won the race to hire South Carolina state Sen. Darrell Jackson and his Sunrise Enterprise firm for her campaign, beating out Sens. Obama and Edwards, both of whom were wooing Sen. Jackson for themselves.LINK

In The State, Aaron Sheinin discusses Jackson's defending his endorsement of Clinton, over Obama, but some are questioning him because his consulting firm is now a client of the Clinton campaign. LINK

2008: Senate: New Hampshire:

As President Bush's job approval dropped to 31% in New Hampshire, the Wall Street Journal's Wirey John Harwood reports that Democrats are pressuring Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) on Iraq.

2008: Senate: Minnesota:

Not wasting anytime, recently announced Senate candidate Al Franken, used his first campaign event to stump for universal healthcare. LINK


Scandal comes to Nevada... The New York Times writes up the allegations against Gov. Jim Gibbons, which first broke in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. LINK

Political potpourri:

The drama continues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus after an alleged insulting comment made to one of its female members, which may force an additional five members to resign if Chairman Joe Baca (D-CA) does not apologize, although he is denying the allegations. The Hill's Alexander Bolton has more.LINK

Weekend politics:

All subject to change, of course, based in part on the winter weather and Senate votes.

Saturday politics:

On Saturday, Sen. McCain will be in Iowa where he will participate in three townhall meetings in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport.

Former Sen. Edwards holds a 2:00 pm ET meeting with One Corps members and community activists at the IBEW Local 357 in Las Vegas, NV. He then travels to Davenport, IA to give a 7:30 pm ET address for the Scott County Democrats' Annual Red, White & Blue Banquet at the Starlite Ballroom Mississippi Fairgrounds.

Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. McCain attends a 10:00 am ET brunch with the Nashua Area Federated Republican Women's Club and the Nashua Republican City Committee at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua, NH, and then travels to Keene, NH for a 4:00 pm ET reception at the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

Rep. Kucinich attends a 3:30 pm ET forum at the public library in Westport, CT, and participates in a 6:00 pm ET live broadcast for WHUS Radio in Norwalk, CT.

Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. McCain attends a 10:00 am ET brunch with the Nashua Area Federated Republican Women's Club and the Nashua Republican City Committee at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua, NH, and then travels to Keene, NH for a 4:00 pm ET reception at the Historical Society of Cheshire County.

Sunday politics:

On Sunday, Sen. McCain travels to South Carolina.

Sen. Obama holds a 3:00 pm ET rally at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sen. Edwards holds a 2:15 pm ET town hall discussion on his health care plan at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, IA.

Rep. Kucinich participates in an 8:00 am ET forum on groundwater in Barrington, NH, and a 10:30 am ET forum on health care in Concord, NH. He meets Belknap County Democrats at 3:00 pm ET in Laconia, NH and gives a 7:00 pm ET address at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.

Sen. Biden holds an 11:30 am ET breakfast at Beck's Restaurant in Waterloo, IA, delivers a 1:30 pm ET keynote for the "First in the Nation Series" Event at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, has a 3:45 pm ET meeting with Butler County Democrats at the Matter of Taste Café in Allison, IA, and gives a 5:30 pm ET address to Franklin County Democrats at the home of Mildred and Ben Van Hove in Hampton, IA.

Monday politics:

On Monday, President and Mrs. Bush participate in a 10:00 am ET wreath laying ceremony in honor of George Washington's 275th birthday at the Mount Vernon Estate in Mount Vernon, VA, followed by 10:30 am ET remarks by President Bush. Sen. Clinton attends a 10:00 am ET town hall discussion at Allen University in Columbia, SC, then heads to a 1:15 pm ET meet-and-greet barbecue at Osborne's in Florence, SC.

Sen. Clinton then delivers 6:00 pm ET remarks in tribute to Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) at the ILA Union Hall in Charlestown, SC.

Sen. Biden will deliver a 9:00 pm ET keynote to a Washoe County Democrats Dinner at the Garage Night Club in Reno, NV.

Rep. Kucinich meets with Doris "Granny D" Haddock at 9:00 am ET, and participates in Franklin Pierce College's "Tuesday Briefing" series at 11:00 am ET in Rindge, NH.