SNEAK PEEK: McEntee Hearts Clinton?


The executive board of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (A.F.S.C.M.E.) meets Wednesday in Washington, D.C., and decides whether to make an endorsement in the 2008 presidential race.

If A.F.S.C.M.E. makes an endorsement, all signs point to Hillary Clinton who seems to have deftly arranged her schedule to be in the nation's capital for a possible surprise announcement.

A.F.S.C.M.E.'s backing is one of the big "gets" in Democratic primary politics.

The powerful public employees union, which has 30,000 members in Iowa, is planning to spend $60 million over the course of 2008 (primary plus general).

In addition to a possible A.F.S.C.M.E. endorsement, Clinton also plans to appear beside First Lady Laura Bush.

Clinton joins Mrs. Bush and Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., at the Sewall Belmont House at 9:10 am ET. The purpose of the event is to unveil legislation related to the "Preserve America! Save America's Treasures" programs. At 10:00 am ET, Clinton works to stay in the good graces of Nevada caucus goers by attending an Environment and Public Works hearing on the Yucca Mountain licensing process.

As Howard Dean knows better than anyone, A.F.S.C.M.E.'s endorsement is not always golden. The union's backing did not put him over the top in 2004.

But while appearing Tuesday on Hardball's pre-debate show, the D.N.C. chairman had to catch himself from falling into the "Hillary Is Inevitable" frame by referring to the Democrats' 2008 presidential nominee as a "she" before catching himself and adding an "or he" qualifier.

On the Halloween front, Barack Obama plans to spend the day with his daughters in Chicago while John Edwards goes trick-or-treating in Bedford, N.H., and Chris Dodd does the same in Washington, D.C.

On the control-of-Congress front, DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen and DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer hold an 11:00 am ET pen and briefing at The Mott House. This is their first pen-and-pad briefing of the cycle and they plan to offer a bullish assessment on the political environment while discussing their challenge for the year ahead.

On the health-care front, John McCain takes questions from ABC's Dr. Tim and others at an 11:00 am ET forum sponsored by Families USA and the Federation of American Hospitals.

One key difference between McCain's health-care plan and that of rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney is that the Arizona senator relies on a refundable tax credit – rather than a tax deduction -- which will put him out of favor with the Wall Street Journal's ed board while providing more assistance to lower-income Americans.

Schedule details:

HILLARY CLINTON --9:30 am ET: Joins First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Pete Domenici to unveil legislation related to the "Preserve America Save America's Treasures" program, Washington, DC

--10:00 am ET: Attends a hearing to examine the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain Repository, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC


-- 3:15 pm ET: Holds Peterborough town hall, Peterborough, NH

--4:15 pm ET: Holds media availability

--5:15 pm ET: The Edwards family goes trick or treating, Bedford, NH


-- Spends Halloween with daughters, Malia and Sasha, Chicago, IL


-- Attends to Senate duties, Washington, DC


-- 4:00 pm ET: Visits with local residents, Nashua, NH


-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends a house party, Adel, IA


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