Tuesday, May 08, 2007
CNN Political Ticker AM
Compiled by Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau
Making news today...
"The Queen received the wink with a frosty glare" (Daily Mail caption to this photo)
Tonight, the president and Mrs. Bush go to the Ambassador's Residence at the British Embassy for a reciprocal dinner hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Also on the Political Radar:
Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
WHITE TIES AND BLING AT STATE DINNER: What the guest list lacked in Hollywood glitter, Queen Elizabeth II more than made up for with a dazzling display of royal jewelry when she dined at a White House white-tie state dinner Monday. The guest list included sports stars - among them Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel; a few current and former Washington power brokers - Vice President Cheney and Henry Kissinger - and former first lady Nancy Reagan. The queen wore the Queen Mary tiara, given to her by her grandmother; a diamond necklace known as the Festoon; diamond earrings and other diamond accessories, with her creamy white gown featuring a beaded bodice, chiffon skirt and the blue Order of the Garter sash. She wore white gloves and carried a silver handbag. First lady Laura Bush wore an aqua gown with a bolero by Oscar de la Renta, embroidered with sparkly trim. USA Today: Bushes extend Washington welcome to Queen Elizabeth
BRITISH PRESS HAS FUN WITH GAFFE: When you've just made it sound like the Queen is more than 200 years old, there may be a few ways of recovering from the gaffe. But turning to her and giving her a sly wink is probably not included in any book of royal etiquette. That's what happened yesterday after George Bush mangled his greeting to the Queen on her state visit to the U.S. Stumbling over his words, he came perilously close to suggesting that the monarch had toured the States in 1776. And although the President's following wink was initially rewarded with a regal glare, the Queen did at least seem to see the funny side of the blunder. After the blunder the President paused and turned to the Queen to acknowledge his gaffe, joking that she "gave me a look that only a mother could give a child." Daily Mail: Blundering Bush makes ANOTHER gaffe as he winks at the Queen
LEADERS WANT TO MOVE QUICKLY ON NEW SUPPLEMENTAL: House Democratic leaders are preparing a new version of the Iraq war funding bill that would pay for the war in two stages. The first stage would give the Bush administration about half of the $95.5 billion it seeks for U.S. troops and military operations. Congress would vote on authorizing the second half of the funds in July, but only after it reviews a report from President Bush on a series of benchmarks measuring the Iraqi government's progress. The new draft bill, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, was floated by House leaders last week as a way to appeal to the various factions in the House Democratic caucus. A vote on the bill could be scheduled as early as the end of this week. Leaders hope to move swiftly in order to mesh the House proposal with the Senate's bill before the Memorial Day holiday. CNN: New bill would fund war in two stages
"WE HAVE TO SEE SOME SIGNIFICANT CHANGES" BY FALL, SAYS LOTT: Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott says President Bush's new strategy in Iraq has until about fall before GOP members will need to see results. Lott's comment Monday put a fine point on what Senate Republican stalwarts have been discussing quietly for weeks. It also echoed remarks made this weekend by House Minority Leader John Boehner (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, indicating the GOP's limited patience on the war. "I do think this fall we have to see some significant changes on the ground, in Baghdad and other surrounding areas," Lott, R-Miss., told reporters. Lott declined to say what he thinks should happen if Congress does not see improvement in the security situation by then. But he said lawmakers have time before they must decide. AP via Yahoo! News: GOP senator: Patience on Iraq is limited
WORLD BANK DEAL... U.S. CAN PICK NEXT CHIEF IF WOLFOWITZ LEAVES: Leading governments of Europe, mounting a new campaign to push Paul D. Wolfowitz from his job as World Bank president, signaled Monday that they were willing to let the United States choose the bank's next chief, but only if Mr. Wolfowitz stepped down soon, European officials said. European officials had previously indicated that they wanted to end the tradition of the United States picking the World Bank leader. But now the officials are hoping to enlist American help in persuading Mr. Wolfowitz to resign voluntarily, rather than be rebuked or ousted. The goal, they said, is to avert a public rupture of the bank board over a vote, possibly later this week, to sanction Mr. Wolfowitz. Even if the vote is a reprimand, they said, it could effectively make it impossible for him to stay on. New York Times: Deal Is Offered for Chief's Exit at World Bank
IMMUNITY DEAL MEANS GOODLING "LIKELY TO TESTIFY": The Justice Department cleared the way yesterday for a limited immunity deal between House investigators and Monica M. Goodling, a former top Justice aide who has refused to answer questions about her role in last year's firing of eight U.S. attorneys. The move means that Goodling is likely to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a broad range of questions about the firings that she helped coordinate, including the extent of involvement by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and the White House, officials said. Washington Post: Justice Dept. Allows Immunity Deal for Former Gonzales Aide's Testimony
DOOLITTLE CALLS FBI SEARCH UNJUST, "POSSIBLY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED": Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) called the FBI raid on his home unnecessary, unjust and possibly politically motivated in an op-ed published Saturday in a California newspaper. "The search occurred after my attorney had a meeting with the government, and I now believe that the search of our home was in large measure an attempt to strong arm my wife in order to get me to admit to a crime - a crime that I did not commit," Doolittle wrote in the Auburn Journal. Doolittle was not home during the April 13 search, but said his wife, Julie, was confined to the kitchen as federal agents searched the couple's Northern Virginia residence. The lawmaker said she was able to leave the room or use the restroom only if accompanied by an escort. The Hill: Doolittle berates the FBI over raid on his Va. Home
NJ GOV. BACK TO WORK: Saying "it's time for me to get on with work," Gov. Jon Corzine took back the powers and duties of his office yesterday, more than three weeks after he was gravely in jured in a car crash. "I feel strong enough to ... perform the constitutional roles," Corzine told reporters at a news conference outside the governor's residence in Princeton. Besides, he said, "I'd go stir crazy if I didn't have things to do." Corzine's first order of business is a full cabinet meeting this afternoon. He hasn't had one since Oct. 27. He faces a deadline Thursday for acting on several bills still on his desk, including modest pension reform legislation (S17) that represents the final piece of the Legislature's special session on property taxes. He plans to publicly outline his ideas for selling or leasing state assets, such as toll roads or the Lottery, sometime in the next month. Newark Star-Ledger: Corzine takes back the reins of power 3 weeks after crash
DON'T COMPARE HILLARY TO SEGOLENE ROYAL, SAYS CLINTON CAMP: There was a time when advisers to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) looked abroad for proof that women can get elected to a top leadership role in the modern world: Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister; Angela Merkel, the German chancellor; and Michelle Bachelet, the president of Chile. But as presidential candidate Segolene Royal was defeated by a conservative man who had been France's chief law enforcement officer, the Clinton campaign was quick to dismiss comparisons between their candidate and her Socialist counterpart across the Atlantic. "Other than the fact that they are both women, they don't have much in common," said Howard Wolfson, Clinton's communications director. Washington Post: Comparison To Clinton Is Dismissed
OBAMA CHIDES CARMAKERS ON FUEL-EFFICIENCY IN DETROIT: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama chastised Detroit's automakers on their own turf Monday, saying the time has run out for making excuses about building more fuel-efficient cars "to deal with the tyranny of oil." Chiding the U.S. auto industry for giving fat bonuses to executives and lobbying against improved vehicle gas mileage, Obama proposed as much as $7 billion in tax incentives to help domestic automakers reduce retiree health care costs in exchange for investing in earth-friendly innovations. "While foreign competitors were investing in more fuel-efficient technology for their vehicles, American automakers were spending their time investing in bigger, faster cars," Obama told a Detroit Economic Club luncheon at Cobo Center. "And whenever an attempt was made to raise our fuel-efficiency standards, the auto companies would lobby furiously against it, spending millions to prevent the very reform that could have saved their industry." Detroit Free-Press: Obama issues call to carmakers
MICHELLE OBAMA HITS THE TRAIL SOLO: Michelle Obama said Monday that although her husband can electrify a crowd with his speeches, the Democratic presidential contender won't be perfect as the campaign drags on. "Barack has given people that hope, but he's going to get tired. This is a long campaign," Michelle Obama told Democrats gathered for a house party in Windham, N.H. "I joke he's not going to be able to bring people to tears with every speech that he makes. He's going to make stumbles. "And what's going to keep this going are the people around this room and around this country who are finding other people to get involved." AP via Yahoo! News: Michelle Obama campaigns for husband
GORE DONORS HOLD OUT HOPE FOR A LATE ENTRY: Prominent political fundraisers who backed Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign are reserving support for the current slate of 2008 Democrats in hopes the former vice president will swoop in for another White House bid... Of the 25 major players who helped raise at least $100,000 for Mr. Gore for the 2000 campaign, at least 12 have not donated or publicly committed to a candidate. "People are still somewhat reluctant to get fully engaged at this point, and part of it is that people hope that Al would consider getting into the race," said Warren Gooch, a managing partner at the Tennessee law firm Kramer Rayson and another Gore fundraiser. Washington Times: Gore backers hold on to cash
RIVAL HIGHLIGHTS GIULIANI'S PLANNED PARENTHOOD DONATIONS: Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in his campaign appearances this year has stated that he personally abhors abortion, even though he supports keeping a legal right to choose. But records show that in the '90s he contributed money at least six times to Planned Parenthood, one of the country's leading abortion rights groups and its top provider of abortions. Federal tax returns made public by the former New York mayor show that he and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, made personal donations to national, state and city chapters of Planned Parenthood totaling $900 in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999. The returns have been on the public record for years, but the detail about Giuliani's support for Planned Parenthood -- along with e-mailed copies of the returns -- was provided to The Politico by aides to a rival campaign, who insisted on not being identified. The Politico: Giuliani gave to Planned Parenthood
"LONG ODDS" FOR ABORTION RIGHTS SUPPORTER TO WIN GOP NOD, SAYS McCAIN: Presidential hopeful John McCain said Monday that although it's not impossible for a Republican candidate who favors abortion rights to win the nomination, such a candidate would face long odds. "I think it's one of the fundamental principles of a conservative to have respect and commitment to the dignity of human life, both the born and unborn," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It makes it tough because the Republican Party is basically composed to a significant degree by people who are pro-life, just as the Democratic Party has pro-choice candidates." The issue is far from symbolic for McCain. One of his leading rivals for the GOP nomination, Rudy Giuliani, supports abortion rights. AP via Yahoo! News: McCain: Tough for abortion rights rivals
PUBLIC OPINION ON IRAQ NOT AT "POINT OF NO RETURN": Republican presidential candidate John McCain said in Iowa on Monday that the decline in public opinion about the Iraq war had not yet reached the point of no return. "I hope not," McCain said in a Des Moines Register interview, asked whether the public had given up hope on success in Iraq. "I think the American people have to be shown some progress," the Arizona senator added. "But look, it's long, hard and difficult - I understand. Because of the mismanagement of the previous four years, it's going to be very difficult." McCain, the GOP candidate most closely associated with President Bush's strategy to add troops in Iraq, pointed during a town hall event in Muscatine to recent improvements in security in some areas of Iraq. Des Moines Register: McCain: Progress in Iraq may turn opinions on war
ROMNEY LEADS IN NH POLL: For the first time since declaring his candidacy for the presidency, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is leading the other Republican contenders in a poll of likely voters in next year's New Hampshire primary, a development that could provide a psychological boost for his campaign and energize his campaign donors. The poll, by Survey USA for WBZ-TV, was taken after the first debate among Republican presidential candidates last week. It suggested that 32 percent of likely GOP voters in New Hampshire favor Romney, compared with 23 percent for former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and 22 percent for Senator John McCain of Arizona. The poll, which has a 4.3 percent margin of error, also placed actor and former senator Fred Thompson in fourth place with 11 percent. Thompson, who plays a top prosecutor in the TV series, "Law and Order," has been considering a presidential run. Boston Globe: Romney leads GOP contenders in a N.H. poll
GOVERNOR BLOOMBERG? Forget President Bloomberg. How about Gov. Mike? Mayor Bloomberg, who'll be forced to leave office when his term expires in less than three years, is eyeing a run for governor against Eliot Spitzer in 2010, a top New York Republican has told The Post. "On two occasions in recent weeks, the mayor brought up the possibility of running for governor, of running against Spitzer in 2010," said the senior Republican, who said he was surprised at Bloomberg's blossoming - and clearly unequivocal - interest in the state's highest office. "He's saying he can do for the state what he did for the city - bring professional management and not politics," said the Republican, who demanded anonymity. "He's saying he knows that the presidency is most likely beyond his grasp. New York Post: GOV MIKE!
HOT TEMPERS AT FINAL PHILLY MAYORAL DEBATE: In their sixth and final broadcast debate, the major Democratic candidates for mayor of Philadelphia finally succeeded last night in getting on one another's nerves. During the hour-long encounter at the National Constitution Center, Chaka Fattah and Michael Nutter went at it bitterly over race, with Fattah stunning the crowd by accusing Nutter of having "to remind himself that he's an African American." Fattah and Dwight Evans went at it over the wisdom of Fattah's proposal to lease the airport as a way of funding a massive antipoverty initiative, with Evans calling the idea "half-baked." And Tom Knox and Bob Brady almost went at it quite literally. What prompted the Knox-Brady explosion was a question to Knox about whether he ever expected anything in return for the $500,000 that he has donated to Democratic candidates over the years. Philadelphia Inquirer: Tempers reach a boil at mayoral debate
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