Political stars hit the campaign trail
By John Mercurio
WASHINGTON -- Democrats and Republicans are hauling out some of their big stars for fund raisers and rallies as the midterm election draws near. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and former White House adviser Karen Hughes, a Republican, are among those hitting the campaign trail for their respective parties.
The following is a comprehensive look at what's going on just 13 days before Election Day.
•Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, headlines a luncheon fund raiser for Rep. Steve Israel at the Huntington townhouse on Long Island. The multi-tiered event is called a "women's power luncheon," geared toward business leaders. Clinton is also attending a luncheon at the Huntington Chamber of Commerce today.
•Hillary's not the only Clinton raising money in New York today. Bill Clinton attends a fund raiser for the New York State Democratic Party at the Regent Wall Street Hotel -- also there will be state comptroller Carl McCall, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, who trails Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, by wide margins in recent polls; Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top New York Democrats. Afterward the former president and McCall go to W 14th Street to the club "Lotus" for a closed campaign fund raiser for McCall being billed as "Late Night with Bill Clinton." One of the co-hosts is Al Gore's eldest daughter, Karenna Gore Schiff. The McCall campaign hopes Hillary Clinton stops by as well.
•House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, will also be in New York City meeting with donors, having breakfast and lunch in Manhattan and then attending a private reception.
•Republican Bill Simon will be in Sacramento, California.
•White House Chief of Staff Andy Card will travel to South Carolina to campaign with Rep. Lindsey Graham, the GOP Senate nominee in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond, a Republican. Card will campaign at a GOP headquarters in Columbia and a private home in Florence, where he will talk about the war on terrorism, the economy and education.
•Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican, will travel to Callaway to attend a "Veterans for Jeb" breakfast.
•White House adviser Karen Hughes will stump for Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, at a low-ticket event at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. Earlier today, Leach will campaign with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in Des Moines. This evening, Leach will meet his Democratic challenger, pediatrician Julie Thomas, at a candidates' forum in Coralville.
•House Democratic Caucus Chairman Martin Frost of Texas will travel to New Mexico today to support Democratic House candidates Richard Romero and John Arthur Smith. Romero is trailing in a challenge to Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican, in the Albuquerque-based 1st district. Smith is locked in a tight race with Steve Pearce, a Republican, in the open-seat 2nd district. Frost will join Smith at a press conference at Sav-On Drugs in Albuquerque to tout Smith's support for covering prescription drugs under Medicare. Tomorrow afternoon, Frost will join with Romero and local veterans who say they are switching their endorsement from Wilson to Romero.
•Texas Senate candidates Ron Kirk, a Democrat, and John Cornyn, a Republican, will face off again, this time in Kirk's hometown of Dallas. The hour-long debate, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CDT, will be televised live on KERA-TV and Texas Cable News Network.
•Actor/gun activist Charlton Heston continues his tour on behalf of the National Rifle Association this morning in Duluth, Minnesota at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Heston will also attend an NRA event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this evening at the Oak Hotel and Convention Center.
•Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, begins another whirlwind day of campaigning in Arizona, campaigning with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Janet Napolitano, the state attorney general, in Phoenix, where they will discuss corporate responsibility issues. Lieberman then headlines a fundraiser at 11 a.m. for the Arizona Democratic Party. At 1:15 p.m., the Senator will campaign in Flagstaff with Democrat George Cardova, who's locked in a tight race against Republican Rick Renzi in the state's sprawling 1st district, and headline another fund raiser for the state party at 5:30 p.m. at a private home in Phoenix. On Thursday, Lieberman hits the campaign trail in New Mexico and Texas.
•The National Republican Senatorial Committee is going up with new 15-second ads in New Jersey, Iowa and Tennessee. Republicans say the Iowa ad is the strongest. The spot, produced by California-based GOP media consultant Fred Davis, touts Rep. Greg Ganske, the GOP Senate nominee in Iowa, on Medicare, Social Security and prescription drugs. Ganske is trailing Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, in recent polls.
•The Colorado Democratic Party victory tour will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver when former U.S. Attorney and Democratic Senate nominee Tom Strickland will depart on a bus to more than 40 communities throughout Colorado. During the 13-day tour, Strickland will be joined by other leaders, including Rep. Mark Udall and state Attorney General Ken Salazar, talking to people about his proposals for reviving the state's economy and the importance of bringing new jobs to Colorado. The "ONE COLORADO" tour will stop on Wednesday in Limon, Lamar, La Junta, Las Animas, Trinidad, and Alamosa.
•The conservative anti-tax group, Club for Growth, launches a long awaited "bobble-head" television ad featuring bobble head dolls of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Ted Kennedy. "Tom Daschle and the Daschle Democrats like to say 'no,'" says the announcer. "No to President Bush on job-creating tax cuts; No to President Bush on Homeland Security." The ad will begin airing this week in Texas and urges Democratic Senate nominee Ron Kirk to "say no to the Daschle Democrats." Similar ads will air in Arkansas against Mark Pryor, South Dakota against Sen. Tim Johnson, New Hampshire against Jeanne Shaheen, Colorado against Tom Strickland and Missouri against Sen. Jean Carnahan. The Club for Growth says it's spending at least $600,000 on this advertising campaign.
•In Pennsylvania, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed Rendell will start his day, as he often does, greeting subway commuters in Philadelphia. Later, Rendell will speak at the "Al Dia Power Lunch" at Maggiano's restaurant, also in Philadelphia, before he leaves for Harrisburg, where he'll participate in the NAACP gubernatorial forum. (Al Dia is a large Spanish-language newspaper in Philadelphia). Republican Mike Fisher also plans to attend the forum. Meanwhile, Barbara Hafer, the state treasurer, a Republican who endorsed Rendell after she claimed earlier this year that senior Republican Party insiders forced her out of the gubernatorial race, is on the second day of her 15-day statewide tour on Rendell's behalf. Hafer will be in Sunbury today.
•Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a Democrat, travels to Newport, New Hampshire to raise money for the Sullivan County Democratic Party, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. State Rep. John Cloutier is organizing the event.
•Former Sen. Birch Bayh and retiring Rep. Tim Roemer, both Indiana Democrats, will campaign with former Rep. Jill Long Thompson, a Democrat running to succeed Roemer in the newly drawn 2nd district. The trio's "Economy and Jobs Tour" will swing through to South Bend, LaPorte, Michigan City Avenue, Elkhart, Argos and Kokomo. Long Thompson is running in the new 2nd district against attorney Chris Chocola, the GOP House nominee.
•Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Arkansas, and other local political candidates will attend a non-partisan political rally at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith; the rally takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CDT. No official word on whether Hutchinson's Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Mark Pryor, will attend.
•Rep. Charlie Bass, R-New Hampshire, holds a $500-a-head, $1,000-a-PAC breakfast at the Capitol Hill club in Washington.
•Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, holds a $500-a-head, $1,000-a-PAC dinner at Galileo restaurant in downtown Washington.