7 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses
With only one week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has injected a real-life foreign policy crisis into the 2008 race.
For Barack Obama's top strategist, the day's events were an opportunity to go after Hillary Clinton's 2002 Iraq vote.
"She was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq," said Obama strategist David Axelrod of Clinton, "which we would submit, was one of the reasons why we were diverted from Afghanistan, Pakistan and al-Qaeda, who may have been players in this event today, so that's a judgment she'll have to defend."
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer rebuked Axelrod, calling his comments "baseless allegations" and accusing him of "politicizing this situation."
Clinton herself said in Dennison, Iowa, that the day's events are a "stark reminder" that it is "time to look hard and think deeply about what we need in our next president."
Chris Dodd used the assassination to rap both Obama and Clinton.
"Good, soaring speeches aren't the experience we need at this moment," Dodd told Radio Iowa, in an implicit swipe at Obama. "And frankly," he added in a swipe at Clinton, "even being the First Lady of the United States . . . doesn't necessarily qualify. . ."
Bill Richardson stood apart from his rivals by calling for Gen. Musharraf to resign. On Friday, Richardson is expected to call on the U.S. to halt aid to Pakistan until Musharraf steps down when he makes 10:15 am ET remarks in Des Moines, reports ABC's Sarah Amos.
While Richardson was calling on Musharraf to step down, John Edwards attempted to showcase his familiarity with the region by speaking with Musharraf by phone.
Joe Biden has been most outspoken in highlighting the potential threat from Pakistan. His campaign is using the assassination to encourage its supports keep his new ad, "Office," on the air. The ad urges voters to think about the kind of person they want sitting in the Oval Office.
Watch the ad here.
In the instant analysis, opinion was split on which Republican candidate would be helped most by the assassination: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote that "it could well work most to Giuliani's benefit by enabling him to thrust himself back into the daily political conversation after steadily losing ground to McCain and Huckabee."
The Hardball roundtable, by contrast, gave the edge to John McCain, citing the Arizona senator's argument that post-crisis experience does not amount to foreign policy experience.
Where Is Hillary Clinton on "No Child Left Behind"?
Per ABC's Eloise Harper . . .
Hillary Clinton went further than she has in the past on Thursday in repudiating "No Child Left Behind."
During an unscheduled stop at the Family Diner in Ida Grove, Iowa, Clinton was met by one voter who was there with her two daughters.
The woman said to Clinton: "get rid of that 'No Child Left Behind.' Clinton responded: 'I intend to, I intend to, and please caucus for me.'"
In the past, Clinton has taken rhetorical shots at No Child Left Behind. LINK
But prior to today, when asked for specifics, her campaign has always left the impression that what she wants to end is the law's unfunded nature -- not the law itself.
Democratic rival Bill Richardson, by contrast, has campaigned on a plan to scrap it. "Senator Clinton voted for No Child Left Behind. For months she has been calling for merely reforming in it. Suddenly, she is now for getting rid of it," Richardson campaign manager Dave Contarino told ABC News. "This has become a habit for Senator Clinton. Just last week she changed her opinion on how quickly we could remove troops from Iraq. Now, education can be added to the issues on which her position seems less rooted in principle than in politics and polls."
"I know Woody Allen said that 80% of life is just showing up but there's actually more to being proficient in foreign policy than just having been around for a long time."--Obama strategist David Axelrod on Hillary Clinton
The Democrats . . .
--2:30pm ET: Clinton attends a Story County "Picks a President" Event at Roland-Story Elementary School, Story City, IA
--4:30pm ET: Clinton campaigns at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds, Webster City, IA
--7:00pm ET: Clinton campaigns at Olson Hall, Mason City, IA BARACK OBAMA
--10:45am ET: Obama campaigns at Mary Welsh Elementary School, Williamsburg, IA
--1:00pm ET: Obama campaigns at Northwest Junior High School, Coralville, IA
--5:00pm ET: Obama campaigns at Washington Middle School, Clinton, IA
--7:30pm ET: Obama campaigns at River Center, Davenport, IA
--10:00pm ET: Obama campaigns at Central Middle School, Muscatine, IA
--10:30am ET: Michelle Obama attends the Mills County Meeting at the Mills County YMCA, Glenwood, IA
--12:40pm ET: Michelle Obama attends the Harrison County Meeting at the Rand Senior Center, Missouri Valley, IA
--2:40pm ET: Michelle Obama attends the Pottawattamie County Meeting at AHST High School, Avoca, IA
--4:35pm ET: Michelle Obama attends the Cass County Meeting at Cass County Community Center, Atlantic, IA
--11:30am ET: Edwards holds a roundtable discussion with undecided caucus goers at "Bill's Pizza and Smoke House," Independence, IA
--1:45pm ET: Edwards holds a "Countdown to Caucus" event at Colts Community Center, Dubuque, IA
--4:30pm ET: Edwards visits his Cedar Rapids office, Cedar Rapids, IA
--6:45pm ET: Edwards meets voters at Tipton Family Restaurant, Tipton, IA
--8:15pm ET: Edward holds a rally at Putnam Museum & Imax Theatre, Davenport, IA
--10:15 am ET: Richardson delivers speech on "current crisis in Pakistan and the Global War on Terrorism" at Des Moines Botanical Gardens, Des Moines, IA
--1:00 pm ET: Richardson campaigns Luther College Campus, Decorah, IA
--3:45 pm ET: Richardson campaigns at Schera's Restaurant, Elkader, IA
--6:30 pm ET: Richardson campaigns, Anamosa, IA
--8:30 pm ET: Richardson campaigns at Cedar County Courthouse, Tipton, IA
--10:00am ET: Biden campaigns at Adel Public Library, Adel, IA
--1:30pm ET: Biden campaigns at Mabe's Pizza and Restaurant, Decorah, IA
--4:00pm ET: Biden campaigns at Howard County Fairgrounds, Cresco, IA
--6:30pm ET: Biden campaigns at Waverly Civic Center, Waverly, IA
--8:30pm ET: Biden campaigns at Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, IA As for the Republicans . . .
--11:30am ET: Giuliani attends an endorsement press conference at Orange County Law Enforcement Memorial, Orange County Courthouse, Orlando, FL
--4:15pm ET: Giuliani holds town hall meeting at the Opera House at The Fort Museum, Fort Dodge, IA
--9:15am ET: Romney campaigns at B & L Vintage Brew, Rock Rapids, IA
--10:45am ET: Romney campaigns at Casey's Bakery, Sioux Center, IA
--12:00pm ET: Romney campaigns at Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, Le Mars, IA
--3:00pm ET: Romney campaigns at Bluff's Area Family Center, Sergeant Bluff, IA
--5:00pm ET: Romney campaigns at Gurney's Lounge, Missouri Valley, IA
--7:15pm ET: Romney campaigns at The Center, Council Bluffs, IA
--10:00am ET: McCain campaigns at The Ivy Bake Shoppe, West Burlington, IA
--10:45am ET: McCain holds a media availability at The Ivy Bake Shoppe, West Burlington, IA
--2:15pm ET: McCain holds a media availability at Wiggins Airways, Manchester, NH
--3:00pm ET: McCain attends a Health Care Town Hall Forum at Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH
--5:30pm ET: McCain attends a Manchester Young Professional town hall meeting, Manchester, NH
--6:45pm ET: McCain visits his New Hampshire campaign office, Manchester, NH:
--10:00am ET: Thompson participates in radio town hall event hosted by KNIA/KRLS's Bob Leonard at Smokey Row Coffee House, Pella, IA
--11:55am ET: Thompson tours downtown Oskaloosa and drops by Oskaloosa Herald, Oskaloosa, IA
--1:10pm ET: Thompson campaigns at Hotel Ottumwa, Ottumwa, IA
--3:15pm ET: Thompson tours downtown Fairfield and drops by Fairfield Daily Ledger, Fairfield, IA
--7:30pm ET: Thompson campaigns at Alphas on the Riverfront, Fort Madison, IA