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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
CNN Political Ticker AM
Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau

Making news today...


  • The "informal" Fred Thompson team "has kicked around names of potential top campaign aides, lawyers and pollsters who might still be available given that so much of the Republican talent pool has already been scooped up. The team has discussed securing office space for a headquarters in Tennessee." (New York Times)

    Thompson "has not made a final decision but is on track to be ready to announce his candidacy in June or July."

    Also, asked about his "colorful dating history from 1985-2002," Thompson told House members 4/18, "Yep, I chased a lot of women... And a lot of women chased me. And those that chased me tended to catch me." (The Politico)

  • The NRSC has created a web ad, "Dick Durbin - Lying to Us About Iraq?" which criticizes the senator for his remarks about what the Senate Intelligence committee knew in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2002.

    ICYMI: "Durbin kept silent on prewar knowledge" (Washington Times, 4/26)

  • "From cooking fried calamari to powering trucks, restaurant grease represents a viable energy source for our nation." - NY State Rep. Vito Fossella. (New York Post)

  • Speaking of seafood, asked his favorite food to cook, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) said "an August New England dinner: Lobster, corn and tomatoes." Duncan Hunter said "Chicken fried venison." Bill Richardson said "diet milkshake." (AP)

  • And it was news to some Granite State Republicans that they were suddenly supporting Rudy Giuliani. How did the campaign jump the gun on several NH endorsements? Find out in Hot Topics below!

    President's Schedule:

  • The president participates in an 11:40 am ET briefing at CENTCOM in Tampa, FL. Bush delivers remarks to the CENTCOM Coalition Conference at 12:45 pm ET.

    Also on the Political Radar:

  • Bill Richardson has a 10:30 am ET meeting with Hispanics in Politics at Dona Maria's restaurant in Las Vegas. At 1 pm ET, Richardson holds a forum at Culinary Workers Local 226 HQ, also in Las Vegas.

  • Rudy Giuliani keynotes The Latino Coalition's annual gathering of small business owners at the Four Seasons in DC at 11 am ET.

  • John Edwards holds a 3 pm ET town hall meeting with union members in Seattle, then travels to Everett, WA, for a 5 pm ET town hall at Everett Community College.

  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivers a 3 pm ET major foreign policy address, called "An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom," to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He'll hold a media avail after the speech.

    From advanced excerpts of his speech: "Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom, knowledge and resources necessary to succeed. When we believe international action is necessary, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, we must work to persuade our democratic friends and allies that we are right. But in return, we must be willing to be persuaded by them. To be a good leader, America must be a good ally."

  • Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) hold a 2:30 pm ET presser to introduce legislation to giving DC a voting seat and Utah an additional seat in the House of Representatives.

  • The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook

  • The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook

    =================================================================
    Political Hot Topics

    (Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)

    DEMS TO MARK PASSAGE OF SPENDING BILL ON "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" ANNIVERSARY: Democratic leaders in Congress are planning a special ceremony on Tuesday afternoon to send President Bush a bill that sets timetables for troop withdrawal from Iraq. The timing is no accident. It comes on the fourth anniversary of the day Mr. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under the banner "Mission Accomplished" and declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. The Democrats' ceremony, featuring the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is part of the elaborate political theater at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue surrounding the Iraq spending bill, which is destined to produce only the second veto of Mr. Bush’s presidency. New York Times: Bill on Iraq to Be Delivered 4 Years After Bush’s Words

    "SYMBOLISM AND THEATRICS": The showdown over the Iraq war moves from statecraft to stagecraft as President George W. Bush prepares to veto congressional limits on military operations in Iraq. Today the Democratic Congress will send Bush a funding measure that mandates a timetable for withdrawing troops. Bush's rejection of it is prompting both sides to stage their actions for maximum dramatic effect, deploying symbols of patriotism and parading their military supporters in carefully orchestrated events. Democrats plan a rare Capitol Hill "enrollment" ceremony, featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, before sending the measure to the White House... "It's all about symbolism and theatrics at this point," said Allan Lichtman, a political science professor at American University in Washington. Bloomberg: Bush, Democrats Jockey for Advantage in War Funds Veto Standoff

    AFTER THE VETO: Democratic leaders in Congress are slowly backing down from a standoff with the White House over tying war funding to a troop-withdrawal timetable, saying they can use other bills to confront President Bush on Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is courting Republican support for compromise war-funding legislation to follow Mr. Bush's promised veto this week of a $124 billion bill that would start a pullout as soon as July. Senior Democratic aides say that although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not similarly talking to Republicans about a post-veto agreement, she privately acknowledges that eventually the "money will get to the troops without timetables."... House Democrats are expected to attempt to override the veto this week, although they likely are at least 70 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to succeed. The failure of the House vote would make a Senate action unnecessary because both chambers are needed to defeat a veto. Washington Times: Democrats conceding on war bill

    BACK AT THE PODIUM: White House press secretary Tony Snow says he's looking forward to toasting Catholic University graduates and an upcoming competition with his band, Beats Workin'. Then there's the matter of biweekly chemotherapy sessions for four months, beginning Friday, to treat his latest bout with cancer. He had a cancerous growth on his abdomen removed March 26. Snow, who returned to work Monday, said he plans to stay busy and won't shy away from discussing how cancer has affected his life with others. "I'd much rather have help with it than go off in a corner and be by myself," said Snow, who lost his colon to cancer in 2005. Snow, 51, wasted no time picking up a busy schedule: He attended his reunion at Davidson College in North Carolina last weekend. Snow spent Monday greeting colleagues and catching up. USA Today: Back on job, Snow looks forward to busy schedule

    WOLFOWITZ SAYS HE WON'T "GIVE IN" TO SMEAR TACTICS BY RESIGNING: World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz said yesterday that he is the victim of a "smear campaign" designed to portray him as unethical and an ineffective leader and that he will "not give in to such tactics" by resigning. In a statement to a committee of the bank's executive board on allegations that he violated bank rules by arranging a hefty five-year pay and promotion package for his girlfriend, Wolfowitz said he had followed the institution's rules as he understood them. He said the effort to oust him is part of a "conscious campaign" to undermine his reform efforts and "derail important programs... to aid the poor." Washington Post: Wolfowitz Says He Is Target of 'Smear' Tactics

    RAHM HASN'T SLOWED DOWN: In his transition from the campaign trail into his newest role running the Democratic Caucus in the 110th Congress, [Rahm] Emanuel is described by Democratic colleagues and aides as no less intense - all jokes aside - than he was during his two-year turn at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and no less confined to a single role in the leadership structure. "He's still going at 85,000 feet with his hair on fire," Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) said of Emanuel. She later added: "What Rahm brings is this 21st-century, technology-age, go-go attitude." The Illinois lawmaker, now in his third term, snagged his current title under an agreement brokered after November's elections by now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The arrangement grants him broader responsibilities as Caucus chairman than his predecessors in the post held, and avoided a potentially brutal intraparty fight as Emanuel deferred a run for Majority Whip, the post now held by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.). Roll Call: For Emanuel, One Title but Lots of Jobs

    WHICH NAMES ARE IN THOSE 46 POUNDS OF PHONE RECORDS? Deborah Jeane Palfrey ran her high-end sexual fantasy business in a way she carefully designed to keep the feds at bay. (She didn't take a year of law school for nothing.) In quintessential Washington style, the woman dubbed "the D.C. Madam" solicited male clients who paid up to $300 an hour and hired some 130 subcontractors - women as young as 23 and as old as 55 - under detailed employment agreements that required them to perform only lawful acts. That worked for 13 years, then she was indicted on charges of running a high-class prostitution ring. Now, rather than keep her clients secret, she has decided to unmask them - in the name of her legal defense. And she has elicited the help of ABC News to do it, turning over 46 pounds of phone records, a stack about a foot high, with the names of "thousands and thousands" of clients that, Palfrey promises, reach "high into the echelons of power in the United States." Los Angeles Times: Washington sexual fantasy service 'madam' unmasking clients

    SEN. JOHNSON LEAVES REHAB CENTER: Having regained some of his strength and coordination, Sen. Tim Johnson was discharged from a Washington rehabilitation center and is continuing his recovery from a brain hemorrhage at home, his office announced Monday. Johnson's friend and former Senate colleague, Tom Daschle, said Monday that the South Dakota Democrat has made remarkable progress since December, when he was rushed from his Capitol Hill office to the hospital. When Daschle last saw him two weeks ago at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, Johnson was doing well, and his speech was coming along, Daschle said. The 60-year-old Johnson is up for re-election in 2008. Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Sen. Johnson goes home

    "I CERTAINLY HOPE THE STATE WILL FORGIVE ME," SAYS CORZINE: Remorseful over not buckling up but feeling "blessed" to be alive, Gov. Jon Corzine left a Camden hospital yesterday, 18 days after he was gravely injured in a car crash. As two of his children wheeled him out the front door of Cooper University Hospital, into bright sunshine and cheers from dozens of assembled medical staff, Corzine exclaimed, "What a beautiful day." It was the governor's first public appearance since the April 12 crash, in which he lost half the blood in his body and suffered 15 broken bones, including 11 ribs and his thighbone. "I don't think people understand how much people care about others and reach out and support them. I just want to make sure I say thank you," Corzine said, his voice hoarse with emotion. "I also understand that I set a very poor example for a lot of young people -- a lot of people in general -- and I certainly hope the state will forgive me." Newark Star-Ledger: FOR CORZINE, 'A BEAUTIFUL DAY'

    THOMPSON ADVISERS INTERVIEWING "POTENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGERS": Advisers to Fred Thompson have begun exploring a range of staffing options -- including talking to potential campaign managers -- as the actor and former Tennessee senator firms up his plans to enter the Republican presidential contest, according to people involved in the conversations. Thompson has not made a final decision but is on track to be ready to announce his candidacy in June or July, his advisers say. Thompson has already been polling better than some of the announced GOP candidates, and his entry would shake up a field that has left many Republican faithful dissatisfied. The Politico: Thompson mulling summer announcement

    IS BLOOMBERG THE NEW PEROT? In 1992, Ross Perot's quixotic run for the presidency tapped into voters' deep worries about the state of the country and unhappiness with the major-party candidates. The Texas businessman shook up the race, capturing one of every five votes cast. Fifteen years later, the political winds that fanned the Perot candidacy might be blowing once again -- this time stirring talk of an independent run by another billionaire, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "More people are willing to consider an independent today than in 1992," says Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who worked for Mr. Perot, and then for Mr. Bloomberg in 2001. He predicts the mayor could get as much as 25% of the popular vote. Mr. Bloomberg, who is 65 years old, denies he is running, although the New York gossip columns regularly quote "friends" claiming otherwise. Wall Street Journal: Could Bloomberg Shake Up Race?

    OBAMA HASN'T RAISED MONEY FOR CBC: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has failed to raise money for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) even though it has been a year since he was asked to, and his main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination has done so, CBC members say. CBC leaders asked Obama to hold a fundraiser for the caucus's political action committee (PAC) a year ago but they have slim hopes that he will come through for them. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Obama's chief rival for the nomination, held a fundraiser for the PAC in March last year at the home of Dan Leeds, a Washington venture capitalist. The Hill: Obama snubs Black Caucus

    WOMEN SET "EXCEEDINGLY HIGH STANDARDS" FOR FEMALE CANDIDATES: For the first time in history, a woman has the visibility, the reputation and the cash to make a serious run at the presidency. It would seem that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, would be in a solid position to parlay the female vote into success against an all-male field in 2008. But women running for office face an unusual political conundrum: Women sometimes set exceedingly high standards for female candidates. It's in part because some expect the first female president to be a reflection of them, only better, said Marie Wilson, president of the White House Project, a group that aims to encourage women to lead in business and politics. AP via Yahoo! News: Women candidates face high standards

    RUDY JUMPS THE GUN ON SOME NH ENDORSEMENTS: Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani released his latest slate of New Hampshire supporters last week. One problem: Not all of them back the former New York City mayor. Alongside a former state GOP chairman, a congressman and an executive councilor who do support Giuliani, a handful of people made the list of 125 supporters despite their objections. Some are openly criticizing their mistaken inclusion. Others, who did not want to be quoted or to embarrass the Giuliani campaign, have since decided to join it. Wendy Stanley Jones, named a state co-chair for Women for Giuliani, said she was considering Giuliani, but also was weighing staying out of the race because of a busy personal schedule. AP via Yahoo! News: Giuliani counts backers who aren't fans

    MAKE FRIED CALAMARI, GAS UP YOUR SUV: Finally - a reason to revere all things greasy. Rep. Vito Fossella (R-Staten Island) yesterday said he was cosponsoring federal legislation to double the tax credit for making biodiesel fuel from recycled restaurant grease - a move he hopes will persuade eateries to turn the slimy stuff into environmentally friendly fuel instead of paying to have it hauled away. "From cooking fried calamari to powering trucks, restaurant grease represents a viable energy source for our nation," Fossella said at a conference held in Jody's Club Forest, which forks over $25 for every 50-gallon drum of grease it must remove. Fossella said biodiesel fuel was already being used in Staten Island and by the Parks Department in the rest of the city, to power the department's 650 diesel-operated vehicles and equipment. New York Post: S.I. POL'S BILL GREASING WAY FOR 'NEW' FUEL
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