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  • Trade Politics: What Will Turn Into Trade Policy? Monday, 24 Sep 2007 | 4:31 PM ET

    When Erin Burnett's show "Street Signs" called me to talk trade this afternoon, the question was "Is Trade Dead?" I thought, for this Congress, it was--until I did a little reporting.  As it happens, Republican and Democratic leadership sources both expect SOME progress on trade before the 2008 elections.

  • Norman Hsu: Why Story May Hang Over Hillary, Others Friday, 21 Sep 2007 | 5:12 PM ET

    Here's why the Norman Hsu case is so alarming--for Hillary Clinton and other presidential candidates, not to mention the investors who prosecutors say were swindled out of $60-million. It's that no one knows how big this iceberg is.

  • Gingrich, Thompson, Clinton: Key Political Notes Friday, 21 Sep 2007 | 11:21 AM ET
    Newt Gingrich

    Here are notes of interest from the political front. The first one on Newt Gingrich is from a breakfast meeting I attended this week with other journalists. The former Speaker sees a bleak Republican outlook but keeps a potential 2008 candidacy alive.

  • Obama's Tax Plan: Another Sign of Hillary's Strength? Tuesday, 18 Sep 2007 | 4:48 PM ET

    I noted earlier that the questions rivals had raised about Hillary Clinton's health plan indicated she may have hit the political sweet spot. Republican Mitt Romney slammed her for a "big government" plan whose signal feature matched one he backed as Massachusetts governor.

  • Clinton's Attackers: Giving Her The Fight She Loves? Tuesday, 18 Sep 2007 | 12:48 PM ET
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    John Edwards is attacking Hillary Clinton on health care. He argues that her approach isn't sufficiently confrontational, that she'd be too friendly to the insurance industry and thus couldn't deliver on the priority Democratic primary voters care about most: universal health coverage. .

  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's new health plan is a sign of how the debate has shifted since 1993. It's universal -- the individual mandate she's called for would see to that--but less ambitious in design than the version that crashed and burned during her husband's presidency...

  • NBC/WSJ Poll: More Highlights About White House Race Friday, 14 Sep 2007 | 9:54 AM ET

    Here are some more highlights from our NBC/WSJ poll, which tells a lot about the state of the race for the White House. Though rivals question Hillary Clinton's "electability," she outpaces all of them in the public's assessment of qualifications for the presidency. 46% of Americans express confidence in her “skills and ability necessary to be president”...

  • Highlights from NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll Thursday, 13 Sep 2007 | 1:52 PM ET

    Public discontent with the Iraq war has slightly eased, increasing President Bush’s political maneuvering room at a critical point in debates over war costs and troop levels. Those shifts in public opinion remain modest. Yet only one in four Americans say troops should leave now regardless of conditions on the ground...

  • Clinton Returns Donations: Does She Have Clean Slate? Tuesday, 11 Sep 2007 | 4:47 PM ET

    The decision by Hillary Clinton's campaign to return $850,000 in donations tied to scandal-plagued donor Norman Hsu represents an attempt to stop a damaging story line--and raise the stakes on rivals seeking to capitalize. The refunds, among the largest in political history, set a precedent that will create pressure in future situations involved tainted donors.

  • Obama Draws Crowds: Do They Really Show Support? Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 1:37 PM ET
    Barack Obama

    Barack Obama trails Hillary Clinton in polls nationally as well as in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But he continues to draw impressive crowds--which is sometimes, though not always, a leading indicator of political momentum.

  • Fred Thompson: Delicate Dance Into The Spotlight Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 3:51 PM ET
    Fred Thompson

    You'll get a nice look at political stagecraft this week with Fred Thompson's carefully calibrated entry on Thursday into the Republican presidential race. There's a Wednesday night GOP debate in New Hampshire that Thompson chose not to participate, lest it muddy his opening message. But instead of leaving the stage altogether, here's how he will attract attention that day...

  • Congress, White House: Up For Late Summer Fight? Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 1:47 PM ET

    Summer isn't over yet, but the languid pace that has prevailed in Washington since Congress left town in August has now definitively vanished. On every front, the White House and Congress, Republicans and Democrats, are girding for political action that will unfold rapidly with its ultimate consequences uncertain.

  • Why Bush Stepped Into Subprime Meltdown Friday, 31 Aug 2007 | 2:53 PM ET

    After watching for weeks as the mortgage meltdown roiled the markets and squeezed homeowners, President Bush inserted himself directly into the matter today. It remain unclear how much his intervention will help investors, lenders or homeowners. But there's no mystery about why he did it.

  • Clinton/Hsu Donations: Can She Stop The Bleeding? Thursday, 30 Aug 2007 | 4:38 PM ET
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    After initially dismissed questions surrounding donor Norman Hsu, Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential race has moved to limit the fallout. The campaign has said it will give away Hsu's donations, and Hsu himself has said he will no longer give money to candidates now that reports have surfaced that he's a fugitive from California authorities in a 1990s grand theft case.

  • Taxes And 2008 Politics: Devil In Details To Come Wednesday, 29 Aug 2007 | 5:17 PM ET

    The 2008 presidential race will produce a sharp debate over tax policy–-on individuals, estates, investments and corporations. But voters will have to wait for the general election to hear it. That’s because there’s substantial agreement on the biggest policy questions within each party’s field of primary candidates. And for now, those broad areas of consensus have left primary rivals to bicker at the margins.

  • Obama Adds Subprime Issue To Campaign Wednesday, 29 Aug 2007 | 2:33 PM ET

    In addition to campaign finance, Sen. Barack Obama has found a new issue to use in pushing his campaign for changing business as usual--the subprime mess. In a piece in the Financial Times today, Obama blames the problem partly on the mortgage industry's lobbying clout. It's a nifty attempt to add to voters' growing list of complaints against Washington...

  • Clinton/Hsu Connection: Opening For Opponents? Wednesday, 29 Aug 2007 | 12:57 PM ET
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    I blogged yesterday about the possibility that the campaign finance questions kindled by the Wall Street Journal yesterday--which involved a top fund-raiser named Norman Hsu--could get any worse for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. That is precisely what happened today.

  • Craig And Clinton: Will Buzz On Both Effect 2008? Tuesday, 28 Aug 2007 | 3:14 PM ET
    Sen. Larry Craig

    The political world is buzzing over the salacious news surrounding Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, the conservative Republican caught up in a police sting that targeted sexual activity in a men's restroom. The news endangers Craig's career, at minimum, and might conceivably threaten the GOP's grip on his Senate seat should he be ultimately be forced aside. At a time when Republican social conservatives are already dispirited by the woes of President Bush...

  • Presidential Race: About To Hit Attack Mode? Monday, 27 Aug 2007 | 10:48 AM ET
    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

    We are creeping closer to the point of full engagement in the 2008 presidential race--but not there yet. On the Democratic side, John Edwards and Barack Obama are gingerly ramping up their criticism of front-runner Hilllary Rodham Clinton. With the Iowa caucuses just four months away--and Clinton leading polls nationally and in early states alike--they need to.

  • And a Moment for White House Wannabes as Well Friday, 17 Aug 2007 | 5:21 PM ET
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    One question about market turbulence that I'll be watching is its effect on the 2008 presidential race. It's not clear the disruptions will prove long lasting, much less lead to an economic recession. If it proves a short-term blip, the effects will be negligible.