SNEAK PEEK: It Happens

It happens.

No, we're not talking about the Barack Obama perspective on Mitt Romney's Obama-Osama gaffe -- which, you will no doubt note, is far different than his campaign's perspective. LINK

Or the need for senators running for president to cancel some of their Wednesday events to be in D.C. for a close cloture vote on Judge Southwick (a 5th Circuit judicial nominee) and an 11:30 am-ish close cloture vote on the American Dream Act (a measure which would give the children of undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship).

We're talking about the second look that Fred Thompson may soon start getting from members of the media who pilloried his lazy-like-a-fox demeanor.

Thompson is earning that second look by laying out base-friendly policy details on immigration, stepping up to the plate on Social Security, and showing some passion when talking about the end-of-life decision he faced in his own family.

He also showed at Sunday's G.O.P. debate that his record on right-to-life issues gives him latitude to go after Rudy Giuliani on abortion.

To be sure, Thompson still faces considerable hurdles.

As Thompson adviser Rich Galen notes, before Thompson can present himself to G.O.P. voters as the Republican with whom they are most comfortable, he must first convince them that he: (1) can win the war on terror and (2) can beat Hillary Clinton -- two areas where Giuliani is perceived as strong.

He also has to contend with: (1) Giuliani preparing to step up his criticism of Thompson as "the biggest obstacle to tort reform in the United States Senate," (2) a potential attack from Romney for being open to cutting Social Security benefits for all seniors without regard to income, (3) the chance that Mike Huckabee catches Romney in Iowa and catapults himself into contention, (4) the continued difficulty to complete a sentence without coughing, and (5) the x-factor of whether or not there is enough room in the GOP contest for TWO candidates with a Jan. 29/Feb. 5 strategy.

As for Wednesday, in addition to the DREAM Act vote, the immigration issue will intrude on the Democratic race when Bill Richardson delivers a 4:30 pm ET policy address on Latin America at UCLA.

As he did at the Univision debate, Richardson plans to criticize Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden for voting to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

"They talk about change," Richardson plans to say according to excerpts given to ABC News. "But they voted for the most blatant example of old-style Washington solutions-- expensive, dumb, and entirely the product of political calculation."

As for President Bush, he makes 1:20 pm ET remarks on Cuba at the State Department. On Thursday, he heads to fire-ravaged California at the invitation of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.


--11:30 am: Senate holds cloture vote on American Dream Act, Washington, D.C. --TBD: Senate holds cloture vote on Judge Southwick nomination for 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C.

As for the Democrats . . .


--4:30 pm ET: Delivers Latin American policy speech at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA --Holds evening fundraiser, CA


--Returns to Washington, D.C., for Senate votes --3:30 pm ET: Holds rally, Oskaloosa, IA (tent.) --6:30 pm ET: Delivers lecture to center for women and politics at Iowa State University, Ames, IA


--Returns to Washington, D.C., for Senate votes


--11:30 am ET: Holds community meeting at American Legion hall, Glenwood, IA --1:30 pm ET: Holds community meeting, Sidney, IA --5:00 pm ET: Holds community meeting, Shenandoah, IA --6:45 pm ET: Holds community meeting, Red Oak, IA


--8:45 am ET: Delivers keynote address at the Girl Scouts' annual Leading Women Awards ceremony, Boston, MA


--8:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser, Council Bluffs, MO


--Participates in Senate votes

As for the Republicans . . .


--7:05 pm ET: Delivers remarks at town hall meeting, Davenport, IA


--8:00 am ET: Holds a meet and greet, Myrtle Beach, SC --11:15 am ET: Holds media availability, Philadelphia International airport, Philadelphia, PA --6:30 pm ET: Attends a dinner fundraiser, Philadelphia, PA


--Returns to Washington, D.C., for Senate votes --7:30 pm ET: Delivers foreign policy speech, Des Moines, Iowa


-- 8:45 am ET: Has breakfast with supporters, Mount Pleasant, SC --12:20 pm ET: Holds meet and greet, Bluffton, SC --1:20 pm ET: Holds meet and greet, Bluffton, SC


--8:00 pm ET: Holds fundraiser at American University, Washington, DC

The Bush Administration . . .


--1:20 pm ET: Speaks on Cuban policy


--9:30 am ET: Secretary Rice testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee


ABC News' Matt Stuart, Teddy Davis and Sunlen Miller Report: Obama Camp Rips Romney for Osama Gaffe LINK

ABC News Jan Simmonds reports: Rudy Files in NH, Joins Red Sox Nation For Series LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper and Teddy Davis Report: AFSCME Nearing Clinton Endorsement? LINK

ABC News' Dean Norland Reports: A Stark Apology LINK

ABC News' Bret Hovell Reports: McCain Wins Thompson Support in N.H. LINK

ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: Thompson Announces Immigration Plan LINK

ABC News' Ed O'Keefe Reports: Blair: America Ready for Woman President LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper Reports: Clinton Defends Marriage, Lauds 'Romantic' Prez LINK

ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman and Jennifer Duck Report: Bush Declares State of Emergency in California LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Obama Against Voter ID Requirement LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: What is Hillary implying about Mississippi? LINK

ABC News' Matt Jaffe Reports: Nuclear Materials 'Poison' Navajo Land LINK

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Sens. Debate Fate of Children of Illegals">LINK


Intern for the ABC News Political Unit: The ABC News Political Unit is now seeking three full-time spring interns in Washington, D.C. The internship begins Monday, Dec. 31, and runs through Friday, May 25. Not only do Political Unit interns attend political events and write for the politics page of, they also help us by conducting research, maintaining contact lists, and building the next day's political schedule.

In order to apply, you must be either a graduate student or a college student who has completed his or her first year. You also must be able to work eight hours per day, starting early, Monday through Friday. Interns will be paid $8.50/hour. If you write well, don't mind getting up early, and have some familiarity with web publishing, send a cover letter and resume to as soon as possible, with the subject line: "INTERN" in all caps. Please indicate in your cover letter the dates of your availability.