Remember Us?: They might not have any competition in Iowa and New Hampshire for the GOP presidential nomination, but that's not stopping President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney from traveling to the two early voting states in the next few days.
Cheney attends a fundraiser in Des Moines, capital of a state where The Des Moines Register reports the president's poll numbers have "plunged and prominent Republicans acknowledge will be in play next year." The Democratic presidential candidates have blanketed the state for the January caucuses and the Iowa economy continues to shed jobs. The latest Iowa poll showed Mr. Bush's approval rating at less than 50 percent.
Also Friday, President Bush travels to Milwaukee, where he attends a fundraiser expected to net $800,000 for his campaign coffers. Wisconsin, like Iowa, is a state that Mr. Bush lost by slim margin to Al Gore in 2000. Also like Iowa, Wisconsin continues to struggle economically, putting pressure on the White House. Some of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Howard Dean, have paid more attention to Wisconsin than in previous election years, in part because the primary has moved from April to Feb. 17.
Mr. Bush will visit New Hampshire next Thursday for an economic forum in Manchester and an official event in Pease. Later in the day, he travels to Lexington, Ky., for a Bush-Cheney FR.
Young's Out But Who's In?: Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young announced Friday he's not running for the U.S. Senate, ending days of speculation.
The 71-year-old Young, who had initially said he was planning to run, said, "I decided that I could not be the candidate."
"I was afraid I'd win. Winning would mean I would spend the next seven years of my life in Washington, and Washington is not always the center of action."
Young's decision paves the way for other Democrats – some of whom had deferred to him – to jump into the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Zell Miller. Little-known state Sen. Mary Squires has already announced. Other potential candidates include Michelle Nunn, the 36-year-old daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn; U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall; and former Sen. Max Cleland. However, Nunn seems to be the popular choice.
"The party will probably turn to Michelle Nunn," a senior Democrat told CBS News. "A lot of people are excited about (Nunn)," who is the executive director of Hands on Atlanta and would be running for office for the first time.
Democrats are hoping to rally around one candidate to focus on next year's election while four Republicans battle each other for their party's nomination. The Republicans already in the race are U.S. Reps. Mac Collins and Johnny Isakson, as well as businessmen Al Bartell and Herman Cain.
Here We Go Again?: Ralph Nader announced Thursday that he will make a decision by the end of the year regarding another bid for the presidency. The longtime liberal activist and consumer advocate has endorsed long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich.
The AP reports that Nader told a told a news conference that such a decision would be contingent upon the response he recieves from Republicans and Democrats regarding his proposals for universal health care, a progressive wage policy and a hardlined crackdown on corporate curruption.
Nader received 3 percent of the national vote in 2000 as the Green Party cadidate, fueling criticism that he was responsible for George W. Bush's narrow victory over Al Gore. Nader denies such criticisms, claiming that his campaign increased voter turnout by offering a third choice to voters.
Nader said yesterday, "The highest priority is to defeat President George W. Bush and his administration, which is running this country into the ground."
Move On, Arnold: The all-purpose anti-Clinton impeachment, anti-war, anti-Bush group MoveOn.org is jumping into the California recall melee with an ad criticizing Arnold Schwarzenegger for his alleged mistreatment of women.
In the 30-second spot, featuring a montage of Schwarzenegger's comments over the years on women, an announcer reads: "If you're a woman, or your mother is a woman, or your wife, or your sister, or your daughter, or there's a woman where you work... you cannot vote for this man... because Arnold Schwarzenegger has a serious problem with women."
The spot will air Friday through Election Day in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. The size of the buy is $500,000.
Quote of the Day: "The governor heard rumors similar to these about his opponent during his first campaign and he never once thought to make an issue out of them." --Gov. Mitt Romney's press secretary, Shawn Feddeman, comparing stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger to rumors about Ted Kennedy. (Boston Herald).
Weekend Ahead Calendar:
Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun and John Kerry addressed the DNC fall meeting in Washington. President Bush gave remarks on the economy and headlines a Bush/Cheney fundraiser in Milwaukee before heading back to Washington. Vice President Cheney speaks at a fundraiser for Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., in Pennsylvania before heading to Iowa for a Bush/Cheney fundraiser.
Besides the DNC event: Clark delivers a speech to military reporters in Virginia; Dean kicks off Generation Dean Tour with a town hall meeting at Howard University, then travels to Charleston, S.C.; Kerry speaks to The National Council of Negro Women about Supreme Court issues; Kucinich and Moseley Braun participate in a meet the candidate session. Dick Gephardt and Iowa Gov. Vilsack campaign with Gray Davis, then Gephardt heads to a fundraiser hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Bob Graham fundraises in West Palm Beach, Fla. No public events scheduled for John Edwards or Al Sharpton, who is celebrating his 49th birthday.
Sharpton, Edwards, Graham and Gephardt address the DNC fall meeting. Laura Bush hosts the National Book Festival on the Mall. Clark attends a Musicfest in El Dorado, Ark. Dean travels to Oklahoma and Washington State as part of his Generation Dean tour. Kucinich campaigns in South Carolina and California. Moseley Braun attends the Colorado Black Women for Political Action Luncheon in Denver.
Other: Louisiana gubernatorial primary.
Clark holds town hall meeting with Arkansas Black Legislative Caucus in Little Rock. Dean travels to Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire as part of his Generation Dean tour. Edwards attends two meet and greets and three town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Kucinich participates in a meet and greet at the Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach, Calif. Lieberman attends church services and addresses Congregation in Portsmouth, N.H. Moseley Braun attends fundraisers/meetings in Winston Salem, N.C. No public events scheduled for Gephardt.