There are still over two weeks until Gen. David Petraeus delivers his report to Congress on Iraq. But the debate in Washington and on the campaign trail continues to be hot and tomorrow could mark another chance for the 08-ers to distinguish themselves from their rivals on the issue.
One day after President Bush found an Iraq/Vietnam comparison that he can agree with (and clarified that "misreporting" of his seemingly weakening support of Prime Minister Maliki), the Director of National Intelligence will release the update to the Iraq National Intelligence Estimate Thursday afternoon, reports ABC News' Luis Martinez.
The updated NIE also follows the Wednesday launch of a $15 million campaign by a new conservative non-profit, Freedom's Watch. The group has launched a TV ad campaign in 20 states targeting both Republicans and Democrats members of Congress who "most likely to be undecided or potentially switch their votes on Iraq," the group's spokesman Ari Fleischer told ABC News today.
Freedom's Watch will have some competition on the airwaves as anti-war groups go up with their own media campaign which could top $30 million and targets Republicans vulnerable on Iraq. LINK
On the campaign trail with the Democrats…
Hillary Clinton gives a 1:00 pm ET policy address on health care quality in Lebanon New Hampshire.
If you're Team Romney you've got to think this nicely tees up your own health care rollout Friday in Florida. Prediction: There will be one or more references to "Hillarycare" in the Romney address Friday. We will put the over/under at 4 and start taking wagers.
(The NFL kicks off in just 15 days – we promise to limit our political wager jokes at that point.)
After her policy speech, Clinton visits MainStreet Bookends in Warner before heading to house parties in Concord and Manchester.
Barack Obama is in South Carolina for a visit to JV Martin Middle School in Dillion where he takes part in a 1:30 pm ET roundtable. He's off to a 6:00 pm ET rally in Conway after that.
TiVo alert! Obama appears tonight with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "Daily Show."
Busy day for the Edwards family as it kicks off its "Fighting For One America" bus tour en mass, including eldest daughter Cate who will be blogging from the bus. The tour includes a full day of town hall meetings in New Hampshire. Up first is a 10:30 am ET stop at Dartmouth College in Hanover followed by a 1:30 pm ET town hall in Keene a 4:00 pm ET town hall in Peterborough and one last one in Hooksett at 6:30 pm ET. Press avails follow each of the town halls. (The campaign has dusted off the tried and true "major speech" billing as the kickoff to the Granite State tour.)
Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel participate in the 5:30 pm ET "Prez on the Rez" presidential forum in Cabazon Calif., sponsored by the Native American organization, INDN.
After that, it's a jam-packed day for Richardson, who continues to campaign in Las Vegas, attending a 12:00 pm ET rally with the local culinary 226 negotiating team at their headquarters.
The Governor will be rolling out his national Latino outreach program, "Mi familia con Richardson" at a 2:55 pm ET DNC Unity Summit. The campaign says the program will be "the first grassroots Latino outreach effort unveiled by a 2008 presidential candidate," ABC News' Sarah Amos reports. The governor wraps up the day with a 9:00 pm ET town hall meeting with the Asian American and Hispanic Communities, and a 10:30 pm ET house party fundraiser in a private home.
As for the Republicans….
Rudy Giuliani will start the day in California and later attend a fundraiser in Idaho. The event has 53 co-sponsors each of whom has contributed $1,000, and could draw up to 200 donors who would be paying $500 a piece. Potentially equaling $153,000 smackeroos for all the non-math majors out there.
Mitt Romney travels to Hollywood Fla. for a fundraising reception in the evening. His wife Ann delivers the 7:00 pm ET keynote address to the Republican Executive Committee Meeting in Spartanburg South Carolina.
John McCain has no public events.
Mike Huckabee attends a 7:30 pm ET fundraiser in Branson, Missouri.
President George W. Bush spends his day at the Western White House in Crawford, Texas with no public schedule.
Republican Senator John Warner holds a 2:00 pm ET Capital news conference to discuss his recent trip to Iraq.
Keep your eye out for an AARP poll tomorrow surveying the attitudes of the 50+ crowd in early voting states.
POLITICAL STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM:
ABC News' Teddy Davis "Romney Muddles Abortion Stance" LINK
ABC News' Jon Garcia, Z. Byron Wolf and Jake Tapper "Bush: 'I Support Malaki'" LINK
ABC News' Tahman Bradley "California GOP Moves to Change States' Vote for President" LINK
ABC News' Teddy Davis "Richardson Differentiate Himself From Democratic Pack" LINK
ABC News Rick Klein "Mich. to Make January Primary Calendar Even Tighter" LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper and Gitika Ahuja "Finding Yuks in a War Zone" LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM:
Pro-War Ads Released
Non-profit Freedom's Watch creates $15 million ad campaign supporting the war. LINK
Russian Pride Soars Under Putin
ABC finds Soviet era grand parades and strict security under Putin in Russia. LINK
Bush on Maliki Government
Bush says it's not up to DC politicians to decide whether Maliki stays in power. LINK
Bush Compares Iraq War to Vietnam
President Bush cites U.S. conflicts in Far East as history's guide for Iraq. LINK
Fake News Show, Real War
"The Daily Show" sends one of its own into Iraq. LINK
Fred Thompson: Testing the Waters What keeps the former Tennessee senator from announcing his candidacy? http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3509448"target="external">LINK