It's A Lot Warmer In Florida Than Iowa: The Clark campaign says it's not going to organize in Iowa, but it's keeping its options open about participating in a possible Florida straw poll in November. After getting some bad information that every other campaign had signed a letter circulated by the DNC promising not to participate, the Clark folks tell CBS News they are taking DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe's opposition seriously but are now re-assessing the situation.
The Miami Herald reports that the Dean campaign is "quietly mobilizing for a show of force" at the Dec. 5-7 meeting at Walt Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. Dean sent an e-mail to Florida supporters reminding them of the boost Florida Democrats gave to Bill Clinton in 1991 and telling them how to register, even though the official deadline ended in August. The e-mail lays out how to contact the state party office in Tallahassee to get the party chair to appoint new delegates up until October 30.
State party chairman Scott Mattox said he would be careful not to give any campaign unfair advantage but he waived off a complaint by Marcus Jadotte, deputy campaign manager for John Kerry, that the straw poll was "inconsistent with the rules of the Democratic Party."
Mattox said he'd be fair making his appointments. "There won't be any stacking of the deck," he told the Herald.
CBS News Early Show contributor Craig Crawford reports that John Edwards told Florida Democratic leaders that he was going for the straw ballot in a big way, saying Florida was too important and he had to show that he could do well in the South. Edwards also made the point that since there will be no more finance reports before Iowa, Florida will be the next important milestone in the race.
Meanwhile, the Clark and Lieberman campaigns say that despite their decisions not to play in the January 19 Iowa caucuses, they will participate in the DNC and Des Moines Register Iowa debates. Neither campaign has decided, however, about appearing at the Nov. 15 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines. Maybe they're afraid to confront Iowa Democratic chair Gordon Fischer just yet.
Clinton Fatigue Returns: While Hillary Clinton is receiving praise for her fundraising skills and book publicity juggernaut (National Journal, New Yorker), some Iowa Democrats would prefer she took her talents elsewhere. Clinton is scheduled to emcee the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Nov. 15 and many state party activists are worried her star power will outshine the party's presidential candidates.
One Democratic activist told the New York Post, "She ought to know better. If she's not going to run, she ought to give some air to the people who really are." And according to The New York Times, another activist called Clinton's participation "outrageous."
Iowa activists are particularly steamed about Sen. Clinton because the Democratic field played second fiddle to the other Clinton (Bill, that is) at Sen. Tom Harkin's annual steak fry in September. Even out of office and out of the presidential race, the Clintons are still drawing enough attention to upset those looking to shine in the 2004 race.
Despite the activists' irritation, Iowa state party officials appear thrilled to have Hillary aboard. Iowa officials thought her caché would raise the event's profile and, indeed, the Washington Post reports that the event's 9,000 tickets, ranging from $40 in the back to $750 front and center, sold out in less than three days. And Sen. Clinton has agreed to participate in three other events associated with the dinner, adding further to the state party's coffers.
For the senator's camp, the activists' rancor might seem like a no-win situation. According to the AP, Clinton's staff has limited her participation in Iowa to one event, "to avoid speculation about her intentions in the nominating process" and to dampen gossip about her own presidential intentions. So far, that strategy has been futile. But don't worry that Clinton's Iowa foray will completely malfunction: she'll headline a brunch for her own PAC the day following the J-J dinner.
Attacking The Leak: The Democratic National Committee started running an ad Monday attacking the Bush administration's leak of an undercover CIA agent's identity.
The 30-second ad, which is airing in only one market, Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pa., says, "It keeps getting worse… scandals in the Bush White House. Now they illegally leaked the identity of an American CIA agent … all to hide Bush administration deceptions about the war in Iraq." It's alleged the administration leaked the agent's name in retaliation for her husband's - former ambassador Joe Wilson - outspoken opposition to the president's Iraq policy.
The ad features a clip from a speech by former President George H.W. Bush, in which he said: "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors."
The spot ends by calling for an independent investigation of the leak.
The DNC said the ad will run about a week in Scranton at a cost "in the ballpark" of $20,000. A party spokesman told CBS News they chose Scranton because "it has everything to do with Pennsylvania being a swing state."
In an e-mail to 1.4 million people, the party has also asked supporters for donations so they will be able to air the ad in other markets.
Surprise!: California's attorney general, Bill Lockyer, announced over the weekend that his apparent midlife crisis has extended to the political realm. On Saturday, the liberal Democrat told a group of journalists, academics and political strategists that he voted for Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Oct. 7 recall.
That's roughly equivalent to Ralph Nader announcing that he voted for George W. Bush.
Lockyer, the state chairman for the 1972 McGovern campaign who spent 25 years championing liberal causes in the state legislature, said he was "tired of the transactional, cynical, deal-making politics," The New York Times reports. "I want to see principled leadership. And yes, he may be naïve about that. But, you know what? It is real."
Lockyer – 62, newly married and the father of a young son, Diego - did vote against recalling outgoing Gov. Gray Davis, but voted for the Republican actor on the second part of the history-making ballot. Although Lockyer campaigned by Davis' side and argued strenuously against the validity of the recall, he might have signaled his feelings on the race when he referred to some of Davis' tactics in previous races as "puke politics."
Making his vote for Schwarzenegger even more interesting, Lockyer himself has been actively gearing up for a 2006 gubernatorial run of his own. The Times reports that his committee already has $10 million for the race.
But since 134 of the replacement candidates did not appeal to him – especially Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a fellow Democrat who had also been looking at the 2006 race – he voted for Schwarzenegger. He said that Bustamante's own run for governor had "made it harder" for Davis to beat the recall.
Of his first vote ever for a Republican, Lockyer said of Schwarzenegger's attitude: "It is just hopeful and optimistic and positive and problem solving. I don't know any other way to describe it. People vote more for the person than the philosophy. It was just voting for the person that made sense."
Lockyer said he met with Schwarzenegger after he was elected and told him of his vote. "He said, 'Bill, you listen to my heart, not my party.' Now, how can you not love somebody that feels that way about it? I hope I am not being conned. I think the voters hope they are not being conned, because we really want and deserve people who genuinely want to see that little Diego should live safely and should go to good schools and have health care if he needs it."
Political Week Ahead:
President Bush attends APEC meetings in Bangkok. Howard Dean campaigns in Iowa; attends town hall meeting in Sioux City and then meets with Democrats from Plymouth, Sioux, Lyon, Osceola, O'Brien and Emmet County Democrats. John Edwards attended the "Every Child Matters" forum in Durham, N.C., and launched his "National Check-Up Tour," where he will diagnose President Bush's health care record and offer alternatives. Dick Gephardt campaigns in Missouri and Florida. John Kerry attends the "Every Child Matters" forum and then gives speech on the environment in Durham, N.C. He also campaigns in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, where he will meet with students from Harvard and Boston-area schools before participating in Hardball forum at Harvard's Kennedy School. Joe Lieberman campaigns in Wilmington and Dover, Del. Carol Moseley Braun campaigns in Chicago.
President Bush attends APEC meetings in Bangkok before flying to Singapore. Clark gives economic speech at University of New Hampshire in Manchester. Dean campaigns in Iowa. Kerry attends press conference on creating manufacturing jobs in Salem, N.H., and then does a downtown business walk with Mayor Bob Baines in Manchester. Moseley Braun campaigns in Chicago.
Dean campaigns in Iowa. Edwards continues his "National Check-Up Tour," focusing on cheaper prescription drugs. Tour travels to Dubuque, Manchester, Elkader, Waukon, Decorah, New Hampton and Waterloo, Iowa. Kerry campaigns in Iowa. Kucinich campaigns in New Hampshire. Moseley Braun campaigns in Chicago.
President Bush meets and addresses Parliament in Canberra and then travels to Honolulu where he will tour Pearl Harbor. Edwards continues his "National Check-Up Tour," focusing on seniors. Tour will travel to Waterloo and Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Fla. Kerry campaigns in Iowa. Kucinich participates in the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in Miami. Moseley Braun speaks at the Harris County Women's Political Caucus in Houston.
Other: Trout Run, a rustic 450-acre estate not far from Camp David, once used by Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, is being put on the auction block by its current owner, a former State Dept. official. The estate, where Hoover came to fish and Patricia Nixon spent part of her honeymoon, was more recently the headquarters for the Stars and Stripes military newspaper.
President Bush meets with Pacific Island leaders and headlines a Bush/Cheney fundraising lunch in Honolulu. Edwards campaigns in Florida. Kerry does a press event on the economy in New Hampshire. Kucinich campaigns in New Hampshire. Moseley Braun fundraises in Houston. No public events scheduled for Dean.
Quote of the Day: "What we'll do is what I call the Gen. MacArthur strategy ... Gen. MacArthur was very successful in World War II because he skipped over the Japanese strongholds, where they were more organized, and instead picked islands that were favorable or neutral terrain. Which means we would choose not to focus resources on Iowa and instead focus them on New Hampshire and on Feb. 3." - A senior adviser to Wesley Clark, to the New York Times.