Bush to mingle with 'bubbas' and Brahman
Bring Kerry on: Bush talks to reporters Saturday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
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Stay with CNN-USA throughout the evening for updates on John Kerry's Southern campaign swing -- he has spent Monday in Florida -- and President Bush's fund-raising efforts in Texas.
CNN's Candy Crowley on John Kerry challenging Bush on 9/11.
In his weekly radio address, President Bush hails Iraq's interim constitution.
CNN's Judy Woodruff on 9/11 families' objections to the Bush-Cheney 2004 ads.
Tuesday, March 9:
Primaries in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas
Sunday, March 14:
Nevada county caucuses
Tuesday, March 16:
Saturday, March 20:
Wyoming and Alaska Democratic caucuses When is your primary? For more key dates in the 2004 election season, see our special America Votes 2004 Election Calendar
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Check out the links below to hot political stories around the country this morning.
BUBBBAS AND BRAHMAN: When Bush drops by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today, his eye will be as much on the "bubbas" as on the Brahman cattle. The president has been working hard lately to rope in these socially conservative Southern white men who usually vote Republican but who may be tempted to stray because of the tight economy. The Houston Chronicle: Bush to drop by livestock show
BUSH BRINGING IT ON: Friends who have talked with President Bush in recent weeks say he is consumed by the campaign, the polls and John Kerry. "He knows his voting record cold," said a Republican close to the campaign. The president talks to Karl Rove daily, and sends messages through his political adviser to his campaign staff in Arlington, Virginia. The New York Times: Bush ready and bursting to bring it on
RAKING IT IN: As many as 1,000 people are expected tonight at a Bush fundraiser in Houston, Texas, where event planners estimate the $2,000-a-plate dinner will add another $1 million to the slightly more than $150 million Bush-Cheney '04 has raised so far.The Houston Chronicle: Bush's Houston fund-raiser expected to raise $1 million
FLORIDA FRAY: The tug of war over Florida, capital of swing voters and microscopic election margins, extends far beyond the preparations for the primary on Tuesday. Both sides have been mapping strategy since the bitter recount of 2000, with sophisticated armies vying for the volatile electorate earlier than ever. Kerry made Orlando his first stop of the general campaign season, rousing supporters with reminders of the 2000 recount, and planned to hold rallies in Florida on Monday. The Bush campaign is spending $900,000 for its first television-advertising blitz here, more than twice as much as it is spending in any other state. The New York Times: The battle for Florida heats up, stirring memories of the recount
TACKLING THE "MASSACHUSETTS LIBERAL": Kerry and his advisers are plotting ways to try to neutralize his liberal tag. Kerry and his advisers say that by emphasizing core values, while fighting back against political labeling, Kerry can solidify the Democratic base and bring swing voters into his camp. The Boston Globe: Kerry looks to neutralize 'Massaschusetts liberal' tag
THE SAME RIGHTS?: At a town meeting at Tougaloo College in Mississippi on Sunday, an African-American woman told Kerry she is offended by comparisons between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement. After explaining his stances on gay rights, Kerry told the woman he respected her beliefs, but he said being gay is not necessarily a choice. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger: Kerry visit precedes primary vote
PLAYING HARD TO GET: Three top Democrats -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell -- all talked about as possible running mates for presumptive presidential nominee John Kerry, on Sunday suggested a lack of interest in being vice president, but none ruled it out. The Associated Press: 3 possible running mates of Kerry show little interest
FOREIGN POLICY '04: With Haiti's drama and the flare-up of violence in Iraq, the United States faces an overload of crises that Republicans and Democrats agree will be even more difficult to deal with now that the presidential campaign is in full swing. Rarely has Washington had such a large and diverse array of foreign policy problems to juggle as leaders of both parties hit the campaign trail. And rarely have those crises been so central to an election. The Washington Post: Foreign crises stretch U.S. in election year
THE REV'S PLANS: As he contemplates leaving the campaign trail, Al Sharpton, a onetime child preacher who went on to become a firebrand activist and presidential candidate, is talking about what he hopes will be his next incarnation: multimedia sensation. Sharpton, who retained the William Morris talent agency two weeks ago, said he wanted to be the host of his own cable news and radio programs, and his talent representatives said they were pursuing talks with all conceivable outlets.The New York Times: Sharpton's next role: Talk radio? reality TV?
MISSING THE POLITICAL SPOTLIGHT: Strategists for Bush and Kerry are mapping out an electoral plan for the eight-month presidential campaign that focuses on a handful of midwestern states -- Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin -- as well as Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico and perhaps West Virginia and Arizona. It's a California Catch-22. Any scenario in which California is closely divided in November involves Republicans easily winning the national contest. Any scenario in which the national contest is closely divided involves Democrats easily winning California. The San Francisco Chronicle: Will West Coast be left out? Bush, Kerry to clash in Midwest, not in California
GOP'S RISING STAR: Former U.S. Housing Secretary Mel Martinez is gaining momentum in Florida's U.S. Senate primary race now that Republican superstar Katherine Harris has decided not to run, a new poll shows. Even as his rivals target him for once contributing to some Democrats, Martinez picked up points in Miami Herald Herald/St. Petersburg Times poll of 800 registered voters in Florida, pulling to within a single digit of former Rep. Bill McCollum, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2000. The Miami Herald: Martinez's candidacy seen gaining strength
THE NEW GORE: Gone mostly unnoticed in the post-vice presidency of Al Gore is a change in the man's voice. It is often now that of an unapologetic populist, more like that of his father, the late Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore; more like it was when the younger Gore won a House seat in the 1970s, before his failed 1988 bid for the White House and before he followed Bill Clinton up the center of the party's ideological spectrum to the vice presidency in 1992.The Los Angeles Times: Gore sheds his centrist suit for a decidedly populist one
Compiled by Mark H. Rodeffer