ROMNEY SEES SELF AS UNDERDOG IN IOWA
The longtime front-runner in opinion polls of Iowa Republicans, Mitt Romney, is acknowledging he has now slipped behind the juggernaut driving the candidacy of a former Arkansas governor, Michael Huckabee.
In Muscatine, Iowa, yesterday, the former Massachusetts governor was asked if he now sees himself as the underdog in the contest. "In this race here, absolutely," Mr. Romney replied, according to the Quad Cities Times. "In New Hampshire, I'm in a stronger position there. Depends on the state. But at least in this state right here, based on what we're seeing, yeah, he's the guy in front."
CITIZENS UNITED SUES FEDS OVER AD RULES
A conservative group, Citizens United, is suing to overturn the restrictions imposed on so-called issue advertisements that mention federal candidates. The rules, part of the so-called McCain-Feingold law passed in 2002, require the disclosure of all donors who help pay for such broadcast or cable ads in the 30 days before a primary and the 60 days before a general election.
Citizens United asked a three-judge panel in Washington for an injunction that would permit the political group to run television ads promoting a movie critical of Senator Clinton, without complying with the rules.
One proposed ad includes a former adviser to President Clinton, Dick Morris, describing Mrs. Clinton as "the closest thing we have in America to a European socialist."
A spokesman for the defendant in the case, the Federal Election Commission, said it does not comment on pending litigation.
First, she took Mom on the campaign trail, now, she's putting her on television. Mrs. Clinton is featuring her 88-year-old mother, Dorothy Rodham, in a new 30-second ad airing in Iowa.
Speaking directly into the camera, Mrs. Rodham says, "What I'd like you to know about Hillary is what a good person she is." Mrs. Rodham goes on to say that Mrs. Clinton was "never envious" and "always helpful" and, expressing a sentiment similar to one President Clinton often voices, says she would support her "even if she were not my daughter."
Mrs. Rodham made her debut on the campaign trail with Mrs. Clinton in Iowa last weekend, and the spot includes images of that appearance.
• Mayor Giuliani has a new 30-second television spot up in New Hampshire and Boston focusing on his plan to end illegal immigration, which includes establishing a "tamper-proof" ID card for immigrants, building a physical and technological fence along the Southern border, and implementing a "BorderStat" system based on the "CompStat" system he used in New York. "We can end illegal immigration," he says in the ad. "The technology exists to do it, the people exist to do it. Now we need the political leadership and will to get it done."
• After dodging press inquiries for a week, a group affiliated with United Brotherhood of Carpenters, has come out the woodwork with plans to support John Edwards with television ads in Iowa. One spot from Working for Working Americans laments the closing of a Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa and praises Mr. Edwards for opposing "tax breaks for offshoring." "Tell John Edwards he's right," the ad implores. The group's head, William Luddy, also plans to advertise in Illinois and New York.
• The American Federation of Teachers political committee reported yesterday that it has spent more than $310,000 on radio ads in New Hampshire touting Mrs. Clinton's candidacy.
Governor Ted Kulongoski of Oregon yesterday announced his support for Senator Clinton, saying in a statement that "no one is better equipped to repair the damage of the last seven years and repair our standing in the world." Mr. Kulongoski was first elected in 2002 and won re-election last year.
HILLARY TO BARNSTORM IOWA IN 'HILL-A-COPTER'
Mrs. Clinton is embarking on a five-day tour of Iowa next week in a helicopter that her campaign has dubbed the "Hill-A-Copter." The campaign plans to dispatch the senator and an array of surrogates, including President Clinton, to every one of the state's 99 counties during the swing. The former first lady will touch down in 16 herself.
The trip comes with less than three weeks before the January 3rd caucuses and with polls showing a dead heat between her and Senator Obama.