SNEAK PEEK: "More Yesterdays than Tomorrows"

22 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses

As Bill Clinton waxes philosophical about having "more yesterdays than tomorrows," a top Clinton surrogate injected Barack Obama's past drug use into the campaign Wednesday. LINK

Billy Shaheen, the co-chair of Hillary Clinton's Granite State campaign, raised the issue of Obama's past admissions of drug use while discussing electability with the Washington Post. LINK


"'The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight . . . and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use,' said Shaheen," the husband of former New Hampshire governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is planning to run for Senate next year.

"Shaheen said Obama's candor on the subject would 'open the door' to further questions. 'It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. 'There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome.'"

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer attempted to distance the former first lady from Shaheen's comments, telling ABC News, "These comments were not authorized or condoned by the campaign in any way."

In "Dreams From My Father," Obama acknowledges that he used cocaine as a high school student but rejected heroin.

"Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," wrote Obama.

Shaheen's decision to invoke the past drug use is only the latest effort to raise electability questions about Obama.

Earlier this week, what is known in the trade as "political sources opposed to Obama's presidential campaign" directed a 1996 Obama questionnaire to Politico.

The decade-old document revealed that in Obama's first run for state senate he was "flatly opposed to capital punishment, in support of a federal single-payer health plan, against any restrictions on abortion, and in support of state laws to ban the manufacture, sale, and even possession of handguns."

If any of this -- or health care, for that matter -- comes up at Thursday's debate, look for Obama to channel F.O.B. Robert Reich, Clinton's former labor secretary, in asking: "Why is HRC stooping so low?" LINK

Thursday's Democratic debate, which will be sponsored by the Des Moines Register, takes place at 2:00 pm ET. It will feature the top six Democrats (neither Dennis Kucinich nor Mike Gravel met the newspaper's criteria of having an Iowa office and paid Iowa staffer).

The 90-minute affair, which takes place in Johnston, Iowa, will be carried live on Iowa Public Television, FNC, CNN, and C-SPAN 3.

Giuliani scrutinized on disclosure  

Only one Republican was asked a pointed question at Wednesday's Des Moines Register debate.

The candidate? Rudy Giuliani.

The topic? His handling of security expenses in a way that "obscured the public disclosure."

"On the issue of transparency," said Giuliani, "I can't think of a public figure that's had a more transparent life than I've had."

The former New York mayor made this comment despite the fact that a former Giuliani official complained earlier this month that he's "sick" over reports that his little-known agency was used to hide taxpayer money that funded police escorts during the former mayor's "rendezvous" in the Hamptons.

". . . I don't care about his personal life," said Brendon Saxton, who chaired the Procurement Policy Board in 2000. "The part that's disturbing to me is that my organization or any government organization could be used to conceal from the public how their money was being spent."

Saxton's panel was charged $29,757 for travel bills racked up by Giuliani's security detail as he hung out with then-girlfriend Judith Nathan on Long Island, according to the New York Post. LINK

Officials at City Hall in New York confirmed this week to ABC's Richard Esposito that the NYPD, in all cases they could document, did reimburse each of the small agencies for most but not all of the security detail costs and other mayoral costs billed out to them.

This is in line with claims made by the Giuliani camp when the story first broke.

There are a few costs that the city could not document. They appear to be minor and could be the result of lost records or of a dispute over the amount owed.

These reimbursements do not change, however, that Giuliani appears to have obscured the budget for his security detail by billing parts of it through these other agencies.

Huckabee only sounds like a Democrat

A top priority for the Democratic '08ers is requiring health insurance companies to cover individuals without regard to pre-existing conditions.

At Wednesday's debate, Mike Huckabee said "a person who is sick shouldn't be treated differently, because they're in poverty, than a person who has extraordinary wealth." Asked following the debate if Huckabee favors new federal regulations which would stop insurers operating in the individual market from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, a Huckabee aide said the answer is "no."

"The answer is no, he doesn't," Huckabee research director Joe Carter told ABC News. ". . . he was answering how the government should act -- not how the market should be forced to respond. It would be a stretch to conclude that he favors new federal regulations just because he supports treating people with dignity."

This won't be an issue during the primaries -- since Huckabee's rivals are on the same page with him -- but it's one that Dr. Dean's DNC can hold onto if the former Arkansas governor makes it to the general.

"Huckabee University, Illegals Welcome"

While Republican candidate Fred Thompson didn't attack rival Mike Huckabee today on the debate stage, Iowa Republicans will soon be getting a piece of mail hitting Huckabee on immigration, reports ABC's Christine Byun.

The new mailing looks like an advertisement for higher learning, with the phrase, "Huckabee University, Illegals Welcome, US citizens need not apply."

It also accuses Huckabee of being against "legislation to require proof of citizenship in order to obtain public benefits and to vote."

The "Lesser-Knowns" Debate!

The New Hampshire Political Library will hold its traditional "Lesser-Known Candidates Forum" Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET in Manchester, N.H. The lesser-known candidates are: Caroline Killeen, Henry Hewes, Kenneth Capalbo, Michael Skok, Richard Caligiuri, Cap Fendig, Hugh Cort, Albert Howard, James Creighton Mitchell, Vermin Supreme, Daniel Gilbert, Michael Levinson, Raymond Stebbins, and Jack Barnes.

On the Campaign Trail. . .


--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--7:30 pm ET: Attends campaign rally, Shenandoah, IA


----Attending to Senate duties, Washington, DC

--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--6:00 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with Gayle King, Dubuque, IA

--8:45 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting, Maquoketa, IA


--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--7:00 pm ET: Holds community meeting, Indianola, IA


--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--7:15 pm ET: Speaks at the Polk County Democrats committee meeting, Des Moines, IA


--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--5:00 pm ET: Attends campaign event, Grinnell, IA

--8:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser for State House candidate Josh Easton, Story City, IA


--2:00 pm ET: Participates in the Des Moines Register Democratic debate, Johnston, IA

--6:00 pm ET: Spends the evening fundraising, New York, NY

Republicans . . .


--11:15 am ET: Visits with local supporters, Oklahoma City, OK


--10:30 am ET: Holds campaign event, Muscatine, IA

--1:00 pm ET: Attends office grand opening, Bettendorf, IA


--9:30 am ET: Meets with Black Hawk County Republican women, Cedar Falls, IA

--12:00 pm ET: Meets with Dubuque County Republican women, Dubuque, IA


--9:30 am ET: Attends town hall meeting, Sioux City, IA

--10:45 am ET: Holds media availability, Sioux City, IA

--12:45 am ET: Attends town hall meeting, Davenport, IA

--2:05 pm ET: Holds media availability, Davenport, IA


--10:00 pm ET: Meets with Churchill County Republican, Fallon, NV

At the White House


-- 10:15 am ET: Participates in a meeting with the President of Nigeria


ABC News' Rick Klein: "Analysis: Huckabee Shines in Lackluster Debate" LINK

ABC News' Asa Eslocker and Joanna Jennings: "It's a Holly Jolly Holiday for Congressional Parties" LINK

ABC News' Kirit Radia: "Budget Dip Decimates Diplomats" LINK

ABC News: "Bush: 'I Doubt I'd Be Standing Here If I Hadn't Quit Drinking Whiskey' LINK

ABC News' "POLL: Shifting Preferences Shake GOP Race; Dem. Contest is Stable, Bush Stays Low" LINK

ABC News' Maddy Sauer: "Hillary Clinton Calls for Investigation Into Gang-Rape Allegations" LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Jesus and the Devil are Brothers?" LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis: "Putting Global Poverty on '08 Agenda" LINK